Just over a year ago, I posted a playlist that I didn’t create. I wrote then about how I was doing a bunch of driving, was looking for a good long Spotify playlist to stream in the car, and finally settled on one my friend Tim had made. He created it using a countdown of the “Best 1002 songs of all time” as voted by CFNY (aka EDGE) 102’s alternative rock radio listeners way back in 1999. Then, not long after, well before I managed to get all way through the 900+ songs on the playlist, I switched my streaming service allegiances from Spotify to Apple Music*.
Then, a few months ago, I decided I wanted to finish listening to the playlist and to do so, started building my own version of the playlist on Apple Music. I really got an appreciation for the patience Tim must have had in building the original Spotify playlist because it took me quite a bit of time and searching to find the right versions of all these tunes. Interestingly, Apple Music was only missing 9 of the 1002 songs, whereas Tim’s Spotify version is a good 28 tracks shy, though I am sure Spotify’s catalogue has expanded some in the years since he originally put it together.
Another interesting point: I noticed while compiling this playlist something that didn’t really strike me while listening to the original. This list of the “best songs of all time” really is of its time and place.
The Tragically Hip is the artist with the most songs (22) on the list, outpacing iconic alt rock groups like U2 (19), R.E.M. (16), and Depeche Mode (14). And though The Hip are a pretty great band, pretty much universally loved here in Canada, they are largely unknown everywhere else in the world.
The list is also pretty heavy on the 90s grunge and post-grunge side of alt rock. Bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, and Smashing Pumpkins all have more songs on the list than The Clash, David Bowie, The Smiths, and New Order.
Nevertheless, it was fun to put this list together and has been fun revisiting it with my earphones over the last month or so. It’s a great selection of alternative/indie rock spanning from the 60s and 70s, through the 80s, and right up to heyday and wane of alternative in the 90s. Plenty of my favourites, as well as songs I don’t get to hear all that often but love, just the same.
If you’re curious, here’s the top 25 songs on the list and the rest can be found here:
|1||Nirvana||Smells Like Teen Spirit|
|2||The Smiths||How Soon Is Now?|
|4||U2||Pride (In The Name Of Love)|
|5||Nine Inch Nails||Closer|
|6||The Tragically Hip||New Orleans Is Sinking|
|7||The Cult||She Sells Sanctuary|
|8||Soft Cell||Tainted Love|
|9||R.E.M.||Losing My Religion|
|11||U2||With Or Without You|
|12||The Smashing Pumpkins||Today|
|13||The Tragically Hip||Blow At High Dough|
|14||Stone Temple Pilots||Plush|
|16||Talking Heads||Once In A Lifetime|
|17||Soundgarden||Black Hole Sun|
|18||U2||I Will Follow|
|19||Pearl Jam||Even Flow|
|20||Peter Gabriel||Games Without Frontiers|
|21||Tears For Fears||Shout|
|22||New Order||Bizarre Love Triangle|
|23||The Tragically Hip||Little Bones|
|24||The Violent Femmes||Add It Up|
|25||The Smashing Pumpkins||Disarm|
*I spoke a little bit about the reasons for making this change on one of my other playlist posts from last year.
If you’re interested in checking out any of the playlists I myself have created and shared on these pages, you can peruse them here.