Historically Great Music Playlist

The gauntlet has been thrown down by Ben Greenman, of the New Yorker, who crafted their holiday party playlist containing one hit song from 1925 to the present, or every year of the New Yorker’s existence.

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!). It was rumored, though never proven, that party guests were leaving right around the songs that marked their birth years.

His is a well-curated list of songs, with some not-obvious choices, and excellent flow.  Entire list after the jump if you’re curious.  It poses an interesting thought experiment to attempt selecting a song to represent every year of music.  Sometimes there are obvious choices like Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” (though he went with JT’s “Sexyback” in 2006) and sometimes you just go with what feels right.  The battle between Outkast’s “Hey Ya!” and Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love” in 2003 was pretty legendary.

1925: “Collegiate,” by Fred Waring’s Pennsylvanians
1926: “Fat Meat and Greens,” by Jelly Roll Morton
1927: “Struttin’ With Some Barbecue,” by Louis Armstrong
1928: “Statesboro Blues,” by Blind Willie McTell
1929: “That’s How I Feel Today,” by The Little Chocolate Dandies
1930: “It Happened in Monterey,” by Ruth Etting
1931: “Farewell Blues,” by Cab Calloway
1932: “Night And Day,” by Fred Astaire
1933: “Tea for Two,” by Art Tatum
1934: “Moonglow,” by Benny Goodman
1935: “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter,” by Fats Waller
1936: “Summertime,” by Billie Holiday
1937: “Sweet Home Chicago,” by Robert Johnson
1938: “Begin The Beguine,” by Artie Shaw
1939: “Moonlight Serenade,” by Glenn Miller Orchestra
1940: “New San Antonio Rose,” by Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys
1941: “Jumpin’ Punkins,” by Duke Ellington
1942: “Sleepy Lagoon,” by Harry James
1943: “Paper Doll,” by The Mills Brothers
1944: “Swinging on a Star (Single),” by Bing Crosby
1945: “Scorpio,” by Mary Lou Williams
1946: “Choo Choo Ch’boogie,” by Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five
1947: “Serenade of the Bells,” by Jo Stafford
1948: “Nature Boy,” by Nat King Cole
1949: “Just Friends,” by Charlie Parker
1950: “The Fat Man,” by Fats Domino
1951: “Rocket 88,” by Jackie Brenston
1952: “Lawdy Miss Clawdy,” by Lloyd Price
1953: “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” by Hank Williams
1954: “Work With Me Annie,” by Hank Ballard & The Midnighters
1955: “Folsom Prison Blues,” by Johnny Cash
1956: “Strode Rode,” by Sonny Rollins
1957: “Mona (I Need You Baby),” by Bo Diddley
1958: “Rock Billy Boogie,” by Johnny Burnette
1959: “Along Came Jones,” by The Coasters
1960: “Walk Don’t Run,” by The Ventures
1961: “Shout Bamalama,” by Otis Redding
1962: “Return To Sender,” by Elvis Presley
1963: “Be My Baby,” by The Ronettes
1964: “Nadine (Is It You?),” by Chuck Berry
1965: “I Can’t Explain,” by The Who
1966: “Day Tripper,” by The Beatles
1967: “I Heard it Through The Grapevine,” by Gladys Knight & The Pips
1968: “White Light / White Heat,” by The Velvet Underground
1969: “Israelites,” by Desmond Dekker
1970: “Spirit in the Sky,” by Norman Greenbaum
1971: “Family Affair,” by Sly & The Family Stone
1972: “Superfly,” by Curtis Mayfield
1973: “The Payback,” by James Brown
1974: “You Haven’t Done Nothin’,” by Stevie Wonder
1975: “The Ballroom Blitz,” by The Sweet
1976: “Give Up The Funk (Tear The Roof Off The Sucker),” by Parliament
1977: “Got To Give It Up—Pt 1,” by Marvin Gaye
1978: “Miss You,” by Rolling Stones
1979: “Rock Lobster,” by The B-52’s
1980: “Cars,” by Gary Numan
1981: “Rapture,” by Blondie
1982: “Buffalo Gals,” by Malcolm McLaren
1983: “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’,” by Michael Jackson
1984: “Head Over Heels,” by The Go-Go’s
1985: “Perfect Way,” by Scritti Politti
1986: “Walk This Way,” by Run-DMC
1987: “Housequake,” by Prince
1988: “Express Yourself ,” by N.W.A.
1989: “Me Myself And I,” by De La Soul
1990: “Love Will Never Do Without You,” by Janet Jackson
1991: “Mama Said Knock You Out,” by LL Cool J
1992: “Rump Shaker,” by Wreckx-N-Effect
1993: “Return of the Crazy One,” by Digital Underground
1994: “Whatta Man,” by Salt-N-Pepa
1995: “California Love,” by 2Pac
1996: “Where It’s At,” by Beck
1997: “Hypnotize,” by The Notorious B.I.G.
1998: “Intergalactic,” by Beastie Boys
1999: “Vivrant Thing,” by Q-Tip
2000: “Music,” by Madonna
2001: “Get Ur Freak On,” by Missy Elliot
2002: “Without Me,” by Eminem
2003: “Crazy In Love Feat Jay-Z,” by Beyonce
2004: “Yeah,” by Usher, featuring Lil Jon and Ludacris
2005: “Daft Punk Is Playing At My House,” by LCD Soundsystem
2006: “SexyBack,” by Justin Timberlake
2007: “Umbrella,” by Rihanna
2008: “Paper Planes,” by M.I.A.
2009: “Heads Will Roll,” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
2010: “Monster,” by Kanye West, featuring Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj and Bon Iver

Read more http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2010/12/ben-greenman-songs.html#ixzz17oadfCIS

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