When we began compiling our Best Songs of 2011 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 you can see, it wasn’t easy (some of us got a little greedy with 20 strong lists), and while the usual suspects like “Rolling In The Deep” and “Holocene” made appearances, there were a few surprises in the music tastes of the VH1 office folk…
(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 2011. It’s sequenced in alpha order by artist first name, so we wholeheartedly recommend you hit Shuffle while listening to this 120 track playlist. Now, on with the show…)
If you were anywhere on the Eastern seaboard in the last hour or so, you no doubt felt the effect of an earthquake that registered 5.9 on the Richter Scale. Here in Times Square at VH1 HQ, we felt the building sway and bounce uncomfortably for a good five or six seconds. Everyone seems to be okay, if a bit freaked out.
In order to help you (and us!) calm down on this hectic afternoon, we just created the following playlist of earthquake-themed songs for all you Spotify users out there:
Quakin’ – Songs To Help You Cope With The 2011 New York City Earthquake
(If you’re not on Spotify, this room on Turntable.fm also just cropped up: Earthquake 2K11.)
Full playlist for you after the jump:
While it will still be another 18 months or so until Twilight-mania finally subsides, the next big franchise poised to gobble up the disposable income of America’s rabid teenage girl fanbase will almost certainly be The Hunger Games¹. There is currently a film adaptation in the works, and it is scheduled to hit theaters next March. Earlier today, The Hollywood Reporter landed the scoop that there will be not one but TWO soundtrack albums produced for the Lionsgate film. One will feature the instrumental score co-composed by Grammy-winning soundtrack maestros T. Bone Burnett and Danny Elfman, while the other will feature “collections of the songs featured in the film and songs directly influenced by the themes — freedom, rebellion, survival, family — and subject matter of the film.” No specific artists have been announced yet, but we’re not going to let a silly thing like that stop us from speculating about the contents of said soundtrack. Here is the The Hunger Games soundtrack tracklisting … of our dreams.
(And if you’re into this sort of thing, check out The Hunger Games Soundtrack (Of Our Dreams) on Spotify.)
1) Temple Of The Dog, “Hunger Strike”
2) Lenny Kravitz, “Always On The Run”
3) Eric Carmen, “Hungry Eyes”
4) Weird Al Yankovic, “Eat It”
5) The Clash, “Career Opportunities”
6) Duran Duran, “Hungry Like The Wolf”
7) The Postal Service, “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight”
Cloud-based streaming music service Spotify has launched in the United States, and you can sign up for their “unlimited” or “premium” monthly subscriptions or, with an invite, listen for free, with advertising. The hype machine is in full force, but how does the service stack up against other available options? We broke down the aspects of Spotify’s appeal to cut through the hype and look at what the service offers.
Spotify is streaming-only, so it does not allow users to download from its music catalog. This allows the service to license the music at a lower rate (and is part of what makes the advertising-supported service possible). As a free option, Spotify improves on Pandora by allowing listeners to choose what songs they hear, rather than having a playlist programmed for them. Its subscription service is not dissimilar to Rhapsody‘s or Rdio‘s streaming services, but both of those allow subscribers to download songs, so they can only offer free trials rather than a full-fledged advertising-supported service, and their subscription services start at a higher price point than Spotify’s $4.99/mo. “Unlimited” subscription.
Spotify is also touted for being cloud-based, which is to say that music is provided by content owners and stored by the service, not by the user. This allows users to have access to a larger catalog than they would able to store on their computers, phones, etc. However, control of the music is ultimately out of the user’s hands, so it can become unavailable. For example, even the services that have licenses with Sony do not stream Milli Vanilli songs, because that music has been deliberately removed from circulation by the company.