iTunes does not lie

Stephen King writes a column on the last page of Entertainment Weekly, I think it’s every other week, called “The Pop of King.”

Yes, I read and even subscribe to that degenerate and hedonistic periodical — and the print version at that. Hey, I work in publishing. I’m watching an entire industry, once noble, vital and relevant, spin down the toilet and more than 25 years of my life with it.

I know that my lonely subscriptions to Entertainment Weekly or Rolling Stone or DigitalPhotoPro or even National Geographic are not going to save those organizations from their ultimate and inevitable demise. But I would bet that the people who pour their hearts into and make a living from the publication of those print products appreciate the fact that there are still some people who like to drape it over their knees and thumb through the pages while riding the bus or sipping coffee or while seated on their personal, porcelain thrones.

This weeks King column refers to a previous column he wrote about his top-20 favorite rock songs of all time. He mentions that Connie Francis’ “Stupid Cupid” is actually on his list and that some of his readers thought that to be “insane.”

So this week he revisits the topic (can he not find anything else to write about? I mean he’s Stephen freaking King, c’mon, our industry is dying here!) and looked at his iTunes library, sorted it by playcount and gave us the REAL list along with the number of times each song was played.

So, I did that.

Don’t give me any grief here, I don’t write this blog as a way to make a living and I earn not a nickel from doing it so I’m not doing my own industry any harm by regurgitating less-than-original ideas. And no trees, that I know of, were harmed in the publishing of this content. If you can call it that.

On to the list!

I surprised myself a little bit.

I guess I’m a bit of a Bruce Cockburn fan. The screenshot above actually shows the top 36 most played songs in my iTunes library and Cockburn occupies 6 of those slots.

If you are reading this on a 13-inch monitor on your MacBook or your resolution does not allow you to read the actual list, below is the top 25.

By the way, I like the number 25 better than 20. I don’t know where King gets off thinking that 20 is a good round number. 25 is one-quarter of the way to 100 and it’s just a milestone number. It has far more weight than boring, old 20.

The number in parentheses is the number of plays.


  1. Waiting The Devlins (35)
  2. Night Train Bruce Cockburn (31)
  3. Pacing the Cage Bruce Cockburn (29)
  4. Transatlanticism Death Cab For Cutie (25)
  5. Sometimes James (25)
  6. TheĀ Angels Have Gone David Bowie (24)
  7. Hooded Kiss Ben Christophers (23)
  8. Forever Ben Harper (22)
  9. She Loves Me Black Lab (22)
  10. Call It Democracy Bruce Cockburn (22)
  11. Sleeping Lessons The Shins (22)
  12. Bleeding Heart Show The New Pornographers (21)
  13. Come Back Pearl Jam (20)
  14. Her Dress So Green in the Moonlight Peter Krebs and Gossamer Wings (20)
  15. egotrippingatthegatesofhell The Flaming Lips (19)
  16. Mockingbirds Grant Lee Buffalo (19)
  17. Are You Gonna Be My Girl Jet (19)
  18. It’s My Life No Doubt (19)
  19. Hard To Find The American Analog Set (18)
  20. Into Temptation Crowded House (18)
  21. Baba O’Reily Pearl Jam (18)
  22. Wires and Waves Rilo Kiley (18)
  23. Bright Sky Bruce Cockburn (16)
  24. I Know Fiona Apple (16)
  25. California Joni Mitchell (16)


So, admittedly, some of these songs get played more often because they live on playlists in iTunes and it’s easier to play a lot of music for hours at a time if you have saved playlists. But of course I did put them on playlists and I did play those playlists, a lot.

Also, the number one song, Waiting, by The Devlins might get played more often because I love the CMaj, EMaj, AMin chord progression and I’m learning, or actually have learned it on the guitar, because, well, it’s REALLY easy.

Also, I’m a major Beatles fan so I was totally surprised that they didn’t show up in the top 25, or even 36. I assure you they are all over the place below 36 along with more Pearl Jam, a lot of Jack Johnson, Porcupine Tree, Jimi Hendrix and, surprisingly, Bruce Cockburn.

Now, I challenge anyone who may have gotten all the way down to this part of this post, to list your iTunes library by playcount and take a look at it.

You might be surprised too.

Better still, as a comment, post your top whatever number you like. 25? 20? 5?

How about just your MOST played song.

Here’s a copped version of the list for proof, iTunes does not lie.

What’s Neil Sedaka doing there?


2 thoughts on “iTunes does not lie

  1. Here’s my top 12.5 (Since I’m not getting 25 in here by hand)

    1. “It ain’t me babe” – Joaquin Phoenix & Reese Witherspoon Walk the line Soundtrack
    2. “I’ve just seen a face” – The Beatles
    3. “Lulu-vise” – Sondre Lerche and The Faces Down Quartet
    4. “I’ve been everywhere” – Johnny Cash
    5. “(Night Time Is) The Right Time” – Mr. Ray Charles
    “Another Nail For My Heart” – Squeeze
    6. “Cry, Cry, Cry” – Johnny Cash
    7. “Walkin’ After Midnight” – Patsy Cline
    8. “Better Way” Ben Harper
    9. “Breakout” Foo Fighters
    10. “Bold as Love” – Jimi Hendrix
    11. “Victoria” – The Kinks
    12. “The List” – Metric
    12.5 “(I Know) I’m Losing You” – Rod Stewart

    I really need more music on my ipod!

  2. What IS Neil Sedaka doing there? Hey, you’re a well_heard, music listener.

    Funny, since you’re pretty much the DJ in our house, this reflects what I’ve been listening to as well. Doing a great job, keep up the good work honey!

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