The Apple iBook I bought last year came with iTunes. As far as I was concerned when I got the computer, iTunes was a service to buy songs online. And iTunes does facilitate that. But I didn’t get that it was also an application to manage your music library, listen to MP3 streams online, and do other things I haven’t figured out yet.
One of the things iTunes does in its library-managing function is keep track of how often you’ve listened to your music tracks; based on that, it builds your own personal Top 25 list. I don’t have a big collection of stuff on my machine — fewer than 100 songs. That’s OK, because I grew up in the AM Top 40 era and got in the habit, never broken, of listening to favorite songs over and over and over again. So that’s why my timing on that little break and screams on The Young Rascals’ “Good Lovin'” (6th grade, June 1966) was so perfect when I sang along. I played the 45 about 500 times in a week and listened for it nonstop on the radio. So having fewer than 100 tunes to listen to — no problem. Many are handpicked for obsessive repeat listening.
So here’s what the Top 10 (edited to omit artist repeats) of my Top 25 looks like, according to iTunes. It’s an odd collection. I’ll only explain that what has gotten the Number One song played as much as it has is the studio band, especially the bass player, James Jamerson. Oh, yeah, the Prokofiev thing, sandwiched between Shuggie Otis and Aretha Franklin: That’s the only classical stuff I have on my machine. It’s good, though.
1, I Was Made to Love Her — Stevie Wonder
2. Gardening At Night — R.E.M.
3. Strawberry Letter 23 — Shuggie Otis
4. Alexander Nevsky, Op. 78 — Prokofiev/Chicago Symphony Orchestra
5. Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do) — Aretha Franklin
6. Crazy — Seal
7. The Pretender — Jackson Browne
8. Ray Of Light — Madonna
9. Daughters — John Mayer
10. Happy Valentine’s Day — Outkast/Andre 3000