Top 25 Answers

Twelve of the Top 25 Most Played songs were correctly identified over the weekend. Given the obscurity of some of these, that's pretty impressive. I think there's only one that should've been obvious that didn't get guessed.

Full answers are below the fold.

(Edited to add: If you enjoy this sort of thing, here's another list of lyrics to identify.)

  1. "Holiday In NY," The Ike Reilly Assassination. I have no idea how this is the most-played song in my library.
  2. "Roots Radicals," Rancid. When in doubt, rip off the Clash.
  3. "Valentine," Bobby Bare Jr.. A twisted little pop gem, via KEXP.
  4. "So It Goes," Nick Lowe.
  5. "Short Skirt/Long Jacket," Cake. Wouldn't we all like a girl with a short skirt and a looooonnnnnng jacket?
  6. "The Boat Song (We're Getting' Loaded)," The Ike Reilly Assassination. The fact that these guys have two of the top ten is a good indication of how skewed things get from running the "party shuffle" on the recent acquisitions list for a few weeks.
  7. "Big Brown Eyes," Old 97's. Might be the best tune off Too Far to Care and Wreck Your Life both.
  8. "Shake It Up," The Cars. Classic 80's cheese. I actually like "Magic" more, but it's a good track.
  9. "Life, In A Nutshell," Barenaked Ladies. One of the very few good songs off their second album. Underappreciated.
  10. "First Few Desperate Hours," The Mountain Goats. One of the best tracks off Tallahassee.
  11. "Lost In The Supermarket," The Afghan Whigs. A killer cover, and dancing to it was a highlight of our wedding.
  12. "Southwood Plantation Road," The Mountain Goats. The other best track off Tallahassee.
  13. "Diamond In Your Mind," Solomon Burke. A Tom Waits song, only performed with an actual singing voice.
  14. "The Whole Of The Moon," The Waterboys. Pretty much the only reason I know about Brigadoon. This is the one I thought would've been obvious.
  15. "Now It's On," Grandaddy. Another one that I'm not sure how it got up here. I don't think I've listened to it that much.
  16. "Secrets Of The Sea," Billy Bragg & Wilco. One of their Woody Guthrie covers, of the second album of same.
  17. "The Rock Show," Blink-182. Pure pop gold. Maybe their best track.
  18. "Rudie Can't Fail," The Clash. You can't have a Top 25 without at least one Clash song.
  19. "Conrad," Jets To Brazil. Maybe the cheeriest song about a suicide ever.
  20. "Kitchen," The Lemonheads. The song with the chorus that people confuse with "Hey Jealousy." ("Run around until morning/ and we'll stay awake all night...")
  21. "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You," Bob Dylan. Not really my favorite Dylan song, but I couldn't possibly have a Top 25 with no Dylan in it.
  22. "There She Goes," The La's. Some would say, the perfect pop song.
  23. "Pride And Joy," Marvin Gaye. Again, not really my favorite, but he couldn't be left off.
  24. "Mother And Child Reunion," Paul Simon. Once again, I'm not sure how this one of all his songs made it into the top of the list. I would've taken "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard," but iTunes works in mysterious ways.
  25. "Another Saturday Night," Sam Cooke. Some of the lyrics sound a little dated, but it's an absolute classic.

Some songs that I'm surprised to not see on the list: "Your Little Hoodrat Friend" by the Hold Steady (because I played it every day for about a month), "Reconstruction Site" by the Weakerthans (Beauty's just another word I'm never certain how to spell), "W.I.F.E." by the Old 97's (which might be a better sing-along than "Big Brown Eyes"), "Like a Rolling Stone" by Bob Dylan (which probably misses because I have three or four different versions), and "My Old School" by Steely Dan (not because I like it all that much, but because the iPod seems to cough it up every time I listen to the thing).

Under-represented artists: The Beatles, the Stones, David Bowie, Dire Straits, the Afghan Whigs, the Weakerthans, Tom Waits, Tom Petty, Richard Thompson, Bob Dylan, the Pogues.


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Hm. I should've recognized Rancid and The Clash... my rationalization is that I usually listen to those when I'm programming, and have thus never really absorbed the lyrics. I'm fairly sure I would've called "Reconstruction Site" and "W.I.F.E.".

Tom Waits, indeed undeservedly under-represented. My all time favorite quote:
"Don't you know there ain't no Devil, it's just God when he's drunk."
I like this blog, by the way. I've been ploughing through the ScienceBlogs for about a month or two, and just now I found this one. Which is nice...
Well, now I'm off to get in my Ol'55, cruisin' down this electronic highway by night, and maybe stopping in Nighthawk's diner to read some more of your posts.

Ps: how about Van Morisson? Pretty great songwriter too, eh?