In 2016, Spotify tells me I listened to 25,538 minutes of music. On average, this equates to 70 minutes of music per day. The listening minutes are made up of 958 unique artists and 3,277 unique tracks got a spin.
Remember back in the 80’s and even the 90’s, when only a handful rock and metal artists would get our attention.
- It could be because we laid out money for their record, so we had to spin it.
- It could be we saw the music video on TV and recorded it to VHS tape and watched it over and over again.
- It could be due to the record labels promotional campaigns we got caught up in their scorched earth PR policy.
- It could be due to radio playing the songs non-stop.
In the process, we made the small number of artists into global superstars and lined the pockets of the record labels in the process.
Well in 2016, I am just one fan who listened to 958 unique artists on Spotify and I am sure I am not the only one. In my case, those 958 artists came from the rock and metal genres, which means the current bands, with their current releases are competing with the history of music, plus their past hits for our attention.
And my time listening to music is fragmented between iTunes, CD’s, Vinyl, CD and Spotify. I listened to a lot of music in the 8 weeks I spent in Europe but it all came from iTunes.
My five top artists for the year are;
- Kingdom Come – does anyone even remember them? While the commercially successfully version of the band lasted between 1987 and 1991, vocalist and main songwriter, Lenny Wolf kept the band name going with German/European musicians until he retired the band in August 2016. And since the majority of their releases are on Spotify, it was happy days listening for me.
- Sixx:A.M. – as a Motley fan from the 80’s it was only natural I gravitate to this and it’s the best of the side projects apart from Vince Neil’s first solo album back in the 90’s. And they are a band who had new product out in 2016 and it was good enough to compete with the history of music.
- Saxon – there was a period between April and June this year that Saxon got a lot of listens as I got myself re-acquainted with their 80’s output and then I started to delve into their 90’s plus output.
- Whitesnake – no new product in 2016 but still a big favourite of mine.
- Tremonti – a lot of new product over the last few years so it’s no surprise the band ended up on this list.
My top 5 genres are;
Rock, Hard Rock, Album Rock, Metal and Glam Metal.
I always hated the genre labels and their stupid pigeon holed definitions.
Seriously, what the hell is Album Rock?
To me, it’s either Metal or it’s Rock.
Friday was my favourite day to listen, followed by Saturday and Sunday. Then came Wednesday and Thursday, with Monday and Tuesday been my least favourite days to listen to music.
And finally, here is a selection of my top tracks for the year from Spotify are;
Prayers For The Damned – SIXX:A.M
The album came out in April this year and this song was the lead single that hit streaming sites in February. It’s more or less a perfect modern hard rock song like “Life Is Beautiful” and a constant on my playlists.
Run To The Hills – Vitamin String Quartet
My kids prefer this version over the original and they found it by accident by searching for “Run To The Hills” on Spotify. To be honest, the eastern European vibe is intoxicating and since I was never really a fan of the original song to start off, the Vitamin String Quartet version has become a staple.
Twilight Cruiser – Kingdom Come
It’s 21 years old and the title track to the 1995 album. The feel and the groove and that guitar lead that sounds like a wolf howling are just perfect.
Ghostbusters – Ray Parker Jr
Another track courtesy of my boys, especially my 4-year-old. I hear it and i remember Huey Lewis.
Back In Black – Vitamin String Quartet
Another track courtesy of my boys and my four-year old loved hearing the vocal melody played by a violin, which he then sang along with.
Hall Of Fame – The Script
It was the reason why I got a family premium account. The song must have screwed up the Spotify algorithm because since this was listened to by my kids, my Discover playlist has been a mess.
Dust – Tremonti
The brilliant title track of the new album.
In The Fading Light – Andy James
He came up in a Discover Playlist. It’s an instrumental from an EP released in 2013 and it’s been on my Drive Home from work playlist since i heard. The guitar lead melody is perfect and I find myself chanting it as I drive home.
Sail On – The Night Flight Orchestra
The best classic rock side project from guys in Soilwork and Arch Enemy.
Funky Town – Pseudo Echo
My kids again, however I was a fan of this version in the 80’s, so it was cool to be re-acquainted with it.
Iron Man – Black Sabbath
My kids again, because of the Iron Man/Marvel movies.
Slip Of The Tongue – Whitesnake
It’s one of my favourite cuts and it’s Led Zeppelin on steroids.
War – Live – Bruce Springsteen
My kids again and it was good that they pulled up Bruce Springsteen performing live as I wouldn’t have listened to this song or the other live songs this year if it wasn’t for the kids.
Living Out Of Touch – Kingdom Come
Quick call the stupid plagiarism lawyers. Yes, I know it sounds like Led Zeppelin. Gary Moore even wrote a song called “Led Clones” about Kingdom Come. But there is no denying that Lenny Wolf was a master of re-creating classics, in the same way the Gallagher brothers recreated Beatles classics.
Good Enough – Van Halen
The boys were watching “Spaceballs” and this song came up. I totally forgot about it as it’s been 30 years since it came out and “Dreams” proved to be the cross over hit. But the Van Halen I like is the distorted groovy rock version of the band and this song is one of the best opening tracks for an album.
So I searched it up on Spotify and added it to my Drive Playlist.
“Hello Baby”. And all hell breaks loose. Enough said
Distance – Evergrey
The opening track from their new album “The Storm Within”. As the lead single, it got a lot of listens.
My Way – Kiss
It’s from 1987’s keyboard heavy “Crazy Nights” album. It’s a cool track, I dig the clichéd lyrics and it’s cool to hear Paul Stanley squeeze his balls even tighter for some of those highs. And now my kids dig it and it’s getting constant listens.
Stargazer – Kingdome Come
My kids had one of those toy keyboards and they figured out the intro, so it became a constant song we listened to on Spotify.
Rise – Sixx AM
The lead single to Part II – Prayers For The Blessed.
Trains – Porcupine Tree
Steven Wilson just did what he wanted and wrote songs the way he wanted. He wasn’t a songwriter that was locked in to a particular genre and that is why Porcupine Tree is a favourite of mine. Love the groove, the feel of the acoustic guitars and that epic ending.
Black Rose – Volbeat
I was hooked on that 60’s bubble-gum pop vibe in the Chorus.
My Last Mistake – Tremonti
The heaviness of the music.
We Are The Ones – Dee Snider
The title track and the opening track to Dee’s solo album.
Live In Love – Times Of Grace
Does melodic pop rock heavy death metal make even sense. If it does, then this track is for you.
The Threat Is Real – Megadeth
You get the Arab voices at the start and the chainsaw pedal point riff. The threat is indeed real.
Do You Like It – Kingdom Come
A simple ode to rock music and the live show and yes, I really like it.
The Devil’s Bleeding Crown – Volbeat
This song is a favourite of mine, because it’s a boogie-fied version of “Children Of The Grave”.