This past Tuesday, Spotify came out with its “Your Top Songs 2017”. To access it from a laptop or desktop app, go to the homepage and click on “Browse” on the upper left. From a phone or iPad you can find the “Browse” button on the lower left, just to the right of the “Home” button. Then scroll down to and click on “2017 Wrapped.” You will then be led to a series of choices, including “Your Top Songs 2017”, “The Ones that Got Away (…a collection of songs you’ll wish you’d discovered earlier in the year”), and a series of “Tops” and “Best ofs” in just about every genre, from popular “Rap Caviar” and “Rock This” to the esoteric folk and indie.
Perhaps the most interesting information under the “2017 Wrapped” menu, however, is seen by clicking on “Find out everything to know about how you listened this year.” Turns out that, in 2017, I listened to Spotify an embarrassing 96,242 minutes, to 3,120 different songs, 857 different artists and 65 genres. When given a multiple-choice quiz, I guessed correctly that my top artist was The Doobie Brothers, my top song was “Baby I Love Your Way,” and my top genre was something called “mellow gold.”
OK I can explain. Spotify is essentially always on in my office, either muted or full blast (much to the chagrin of my staff). I also just wrote a book, the story of which takes place in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. And while I remain hopelessly nostalgic, I am occasionally able to leave my coming-of-age decade and enter the new millennium. Here are some selections from my own Spotify favorites of 2017, from less-popular to more popular, with a very brief explanation for their placement:
Other than learning that I listen to songs when their bandleaders die, and that apparently I didn’t listen to music for the entire decade of the ‘90s, I did a little research and found that what I had long suspected is true. Psychologist Steve Janssen reported in 2006 that our ability to remember events peaks between the ages of sixteen and twenty in what is called a “reminiscence bump”, and that because we listen to music repeatedly, our favorite music tends to come from this period in our lives. Interestingly, the same phenomenon is seen with both movies and books watched or read during these formative years. Looking at my own “2017 Wrapped,” this theory certainly holds true.
I encourage all of you Spotify listeners to check out your own favorites, and feel free to send me a message about any fun facts you discover along the way. And for you younger readers, don’t make fun of me so soon; in twenty or thirty years you still won’t be able to get Kendrick or Kanye out of your heads.