When we began compiling our Best Songs of 2012 list, there were many differing opinions, and after briefly toying with the idea of pitting all our staff against one another in a Hunger Games fight-to-the-death scenario against the backdrop of Times Square, we conceded that the most diplomatic and least murderous thing to do would be to each submit our own list. You know, in the name of preserving a civil work environment and whatnot (not to mention our longstanding policy of avoiding contact with the human resources department). So while we didn’t battle it out in a conference room or some such nonsense, each one of us faced an internal battle — choosing our favorite songs of the year.
As far as consensus is concerned, there were 21 songs that appeared on multiple ballots, but only eight that appeared on three or more lists: Carly Rae Jepsen‘s “Call Me Maybe” (4 ballots), Frank Ocean‘s “Pyramids” (4 ballots), fun.‘s “We Are Young” (4 ballots), Gotye‘s “Somebody I Used To Know” (3 ballots), P!nk‘s “Just Give Me A Reason” (3 ballots), Usher‘s “Climax” (3 ballots), Azealia Banks‘ “212” (3 ballots), and Miguel‘s “Adorn” (3 ballots).
(Btw, before we get into this, we’d like to note that we put together the following Spotify playlist for your listening pleasure: VH1 Staffers Pick Their Favorite Songs Of 2012. It’s sequenced in alpha order by artist first name, so we wholeheartedly recommend you hit Shuffle while listening to this 92 track playlist. Now, on with the show…)
Blasphemy! But someone had to do it. Everyone calm down, I’m not saying that you can’t play Mariah Carey‘s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” until your iPod breaks. All I’m saying is that there is so much more out there in terms of cheerful spirited holiday-themed music that is both modern and mostly listenable.
Let’s put aside our differences and agree that lists are fun. They are also only definite if you actually add them to your holiday playlist. SO: WILL YOU?
In the 38 years since I was born, the music industry has shifted through a number of different methods of delivering their product to their customers. Vinyl, of course, has been the one format that has maintained relevance throughout my lifetime, but as a consumer, I have purchased music in 8-track, cassette, compact disc and, of course, digital form. Each of these mediums have their inherent benefits and drawbacks, but the one constant that tied them altogether was this: I could only (legally) listen to music that I, myself, had purchased. That meant that the my music universe was limited to the library of music that I had acquired over the years (which, in my case, was something that I spent tens of thousands of dollars building), and if I wanted to sample something new, I had to be willing to commit $10-$15 to purchase it. That all changed for me when I signed up for Spotify about a year ago July.
Of course, music subscription services like Rhapsody and eMusic have been around since the late 90s, but it wasn’t until Spotify publicly launched in the United States in July of 2011 that I decided to take the plunge and convert from being a music owner to a renter. Suddenly, for the cost of $9.99 a month, I now had access to millions upon millions of albums, old and new, that I could sample on demand. If I read a good review of a current artist on a music site that I trust, I can immediately listen to the album and decide for myself. Albums that I have always wanted to listen to but have been hesitant to purchase are now available to me. And best of all, thanks to Spotify’s semi-controversial yet undeniably brilliant decision to partner with Facebook, I can see what music my friends are listening to in real time. In short, the process of music discovery has been radically simplified thanks to the previous barriers to entry being removed, and despite the occasional gripes from music creators about payment concerns, Spotify has made this an incredible time to be a fan of music of any era. And that, my friends, is what I am most thankful for, musically, this holiday season.
If you’re on Spotify, be sure to follow VH1 for our frequent playlist updates featuring songs from all of your favorite shows. And, if you’re interested, you can always follow me, too!
Happy Thanksgiving! While you’re savoring the day with friends and family and a big ole’ feast, we’re celebrating with a crew of our favorite artists at the table this year. Here’s what everyone’s bringing:
Bob Dylan knows where to begin: with a “Turkey Chase.” Once wrangled, the bird can be topped with George Benson‘s famous “Giblet Gravy.”
While that’s getting prepped, Snoop will set up the beverage station — “Gin and Juice,” anyone?
Rick Ross, the real star of this meal, will handle the hors devours: “More better, more cheddar” (“Here I Am”); “Air train and peanuts, it’s time to slide” (Yung Joc‘s “Brand New”); “Order crab legs with the heavy butter” (“New Bugatti”); some lobster bisque (“I Love My Bitches”); and let’s get an order of those lemon-pepper Wingstop chicken wings, because why not.
Once again, fall transitions into winter, and once again you’re in the house looking at your ex’s Facebook page. Not that you wouldn’t look at your ex’s Facebook page during other seasons, but it’s cold(er) and you’re more apt to have aimless web browsing nights where you just happen to end up there. Not your fault!
Friendly reminder, all you Drakes out there: being miserable is a choice, and if you want to take steps to cultivate some holiday cheer, you can start right now. In a baptism-by-fire sort of way, let’s begin by getting the remaining sad ickiness out of your system, and go full-throttle into the carefully crafted playlist below, shall we?
America’s Sweetheart turned Tim Burton muse turned shoplifting pariah, Winona Ryder, will always be the coolest girl of all time. Okay, the coolest woman, as she officially turns 41 years old today. No matter her age, we’ll always remember her as *the* It Girl, not to mention star of films with the coolest soundtracks. We’d like to think she’s had a hand in the soundtracks–the girls has dated rock stars from Pete Yorn and Evan Dando to Chris Isaak and Beck.
In honor of her 41st, we’ve made the ultimate ‘Winona Forever (Young)’ playlist, chock full of the most memorable tracks from Wino’s most memorable films.
If you’re East Coast-based like us, it’s likely that you’re fully focused on the approaching weather. Hurricane Sandy is like the Sandy at the end of Grease–the one with the crazy leather pants and cigarette? Do you understand our stress now? To help get through the storm, we’ve put together a playlist full of Sandy-inspired songs for all you Spotify users out there: (Rock You Like A) Hurricane Sandy: Get Through The Storm With Some Jams.
Here on VH1 Tuner, we’ve been supplying you with music to whet the Cuffin’ Season appetite all week long. Even though the find-a-mate scramble doesn’t officially begin until September 22nd, we wanted to help pysch you up and give you all an advantage over the competition. To bring you up to speed, we’ve already covered the following bases:
Let’s face it: some people just don’t want to be in a relationship. Speculating on why your crush may want to fly solo can keep you up at night, so instead of driving your ego into a tizzy, let today’s playlist soften the blow and remind you that you’re not alone.
If you thought yesterday’s Doin’ It Well playlist geared toward freaks was a tad scandalous, today’s Cuffin Season topic might really send your moral compasses whirling. In matters of the heart, we sometimes can’t control where our affections land, amiright? And in some instances, brewing feelings for someone who’s already in a relationship can be an unexpected reality that hits your bubble of awareness after it’s too late.
What’s the code of ethics to abide by when your heart and loins are telling you one thing, and your mind’s screaming the opposite? I’m no moral arbiter, but I do know one thing: whether the apple of your eye has been happily taken for years or is in the midst of a rocky separation from their significant other, wanting to scoop up someone who’s already cuffed is never an easy set of circumstances to end up in. The situations vary for everyone, too! Maybe your crush has no idea that you’re silently swooning in their presence, or maybe they’re aware of your feelings and have been stringing you along for months, dangling a I’ll-be-single-soon carrot in front of your face. Perhaps they’re recently single, but are still moping and fawning over their ex. Maybe they sincerely care for you and see a future together, but have been stuck in a repetitive break-up-to-make-up cycle that, from your vantage point, seems unlikely to end soon. Any of this drama sounding familiar, or am I just projecting?
As we’ve been noting all week, it’s CoitusCuffin’ Season, and there’s an elephant in the room that needs to be addressed. As you woo your Cuff targets over the next few months, it’s important to stay confident and keep your eye on the prize. Flowers and romantic candlelit dinners are cute and all, but if you’re looking to successfully procure a lasting relationship partner who’s not shy in the bedroom, you’ve got to make sure that you’re ready to, borrowing wisdom from Cuban Link, make it hotter than lava when you climb up in the cama.
Don’t worry, you got this! And if you’re a smidge apprehensive, I got you. Monday we made some suggestions for dealing with Hopeless Romantics, and yesterday we brought up the topic of reeling-in the Distracted Workaholics. Today’s lesson though, is a bit more intimate. And naughty. And for you conventional types, potentially offensive. Below you’ll find Doin’ It Well: Bagging A No-Holds-Barred Freak, a Spotify playlist molded to rev your sexual engines in preparation for what happens “Between The Sheets.”