At this time of year, a lot of people get their reports from Spotify or perhaps other streaming services, showing them their listening habits for the year. I’ve never subscribed to any streaming service but I do own A LOT of music. It’s all in my iTunes library with perhaps 60-70% of it from CD’s I owned and downloaded into my computer. The rest are songs I’ve purchased from iTunes.
I’ve had an iTunes library since 2004, although 2-3 times I’ve had a computer crash and had to have someone restore the library. Of all the frustrating things that this involves, most upsetting to me has been losing playlists… and play counts. I’ve always enjoyed seeing what songs/artists/genres/decades that I own/play the most.
I have printed and saved some of the play counts info from previous libraries. I have a fairly accurate listing of the most played songs. My recent library was restored on 8-31-20. I can see the play counts since then and can add them to previous totals.
With all that said, this episode of 10 MOM includes the “most played song” in my library. I discovered this info about 5 years ago. It shocked me then and still does today. It’s just not a song that I would guess that I’d love. Music is that way sometimes… we can’t explain why, but we love certain songs for unknowable reasons.
I knew nothing about the song or the band but just LOVED the song when I heard it regularly on the Muzak service playing at the Publix I worked at. It came out in 1993 and made it to #20 on Billboard.
I purchased it on May 27, 2010 from iTunes, so I imagine I had been hearing it for 6 months or so before I bought it. I probably “sound hounded” it to find out the artist/title. To this day, it’s hypnotic to me, I love the 20 second opening, the other guitar riffs and the tone of Shannon Hoon’s voice is part of the hypnotism. Sadly he overdosed in 1995. The song is a bit famous due to its video. I don’t remember liking it or hearing it much when it came out. I wasn’t listening to much radio in 1995. It’s actually a sad song, but it’s uplifting to me. I like the lyrics and can relate to them on some levels.
Here’s some info I found on the internet about this song… “No Rain” by Blind Melon. Wikipedia — “No Rain” is in the key of E Mixolydian, and is performed in a moderately fast tempo. Although the song is credited to the whole band, it was bassist Brad Smith who wrote the greater part of “No Rain”. He said: “The song is about not being able to get out of bed and find excuses to face the day when you have really, in a way, nothing.” At the time, Smith had been dating a girl who was going through depression (she would sleep through sunny days and complain when it didn’t rain), and for a while he told himself that he was writing the song from her perspective, though Smith later realized that he was also writing about it himself.
SONG FACTS — A hallmark of Brad Smith’s lyrics is a feeling of melancholy, which doesn’t always match the music he puts to the song. He describes the music to this song as a “jaunty little happy halfway island beat,” which sounds like “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” He explained: “A lot of my songs come from a darker place. And if you just met me walking down the street, you’d say, ‘Oh, you’re such a happy guy, Brad. Why the dark songs?’ I’m like, ‘I don’t know.’ For me, it just has more meaning if you can get inside someone’s soul and identify with them on a heavier level and try to connect with them on that level. Because when you’re sad and you’re down, you’re the most vulnerable, and you feel the most alone.”
I like Brad Smith’s description of the song. That’s exactly how I hear it.
My second song today is another song that just does something for me. It’s goofy, odd and also hard for me to explain the allure it has for me. It’s a one hit wonder called “Ariel” by Dean Friedman.
I won’t be writing nearly as much about this song. It’s not in my all time Top 150 songs played. (I haven’t gone any further with the list.) It is, however, in my Top 50 played this year.
This is just another feel good song for me, just like “No Rain”… it’s also a bit hypnotic in a different way… and I LOVE the “honkin’ sax solo” that starts at nearly the exact midpoint of the song. I believe the solo is only on the album version.
I do remember this song well from the summer of 1977. I was 13 at the time. The song has an interesting story and chart run…
The last song today was a huge hit in 1996 and another song that I remember hearing A LOT over the Muzak system. It spent 9 weeks at #2, the entire time being blocked by a horrible song called “Macarena”. This song, “I Love You Always and Forever” is another hypnotic song for me. Lewis’ voice is the sole cause of the hypnotism. It’s another happy, feel good, catchy song for me.
These songs total 12 minutes worth of music. You probably won’t have a better 12 minutes today. As “No Rain” says … “it’s not sane, it’s not sane”… but I believe sometimes hypnotic feel good music will help keep your sanity.
I Love You