Ben Greenman created a special playlist for the New Yorker holiday party this year. He chose one track from each year of the New Yorker’s existence and played them in chronological order:
At the party, the mix worked like a charm. Jazz and blues greeted the early arrivals, and as the party picked up, the mood became romantic (thanks to the big-band and vocal recordings of the late thirties and forties), energetic (thanks to early rock and roll like Fats Domino and Jackie Brenston in the early fifties), funky (James Brown in 1973, Stevie Wonder in 1974), and kitschy (the eighties), after which it erupted into a bright riot of contemporary pop and hip-hop (Rihanna! Kanye! M.I.A.! Lil Jon!).
All-in-all, I have become more and more impressed with Rdio’s collection. From this totally eclectic list of music, only a few tracks were unavailable:
- 1945 - “Scorpio,” by Mary Lou Williams (I subbed this one with a version by the Dutch Jazz Orchestra): There’s a ton of Mary Lou Williams’ work available on Rdio - just not this track.
- 1961 - “Shout Bamalama,” by Otis Redding: This single was recorded a full 3 years before Otis Reading released his first full-length album - so it’s pretty obscure.
- 1966 - “Day Tripper,” by The Beatles: The Beatles are absent in all online music collections right now with the notable exception of iTunes. If/when the exclusivity agreement ends, a major hole in the Rdio library could be filled.
- 1989 - “Me Myself And I,” by De La Soul: De La Soul’s “3 Feet High and Rising” album is missing from Rdio despite the presence of other albums bearing the Warner Brothers and/or Tommy Boy imprint.
If you’re not using Rdio, I thoroughly recommend signing up for a free trial today. It’s a great (and inexpensive) service and a low-risk way to try a lot of new music out for a spin.