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2021 sounded a lot like 1973…

Today’s post is just a quickie. I have been wondering to myself what music I listened to most often in 2021 and decided to research it… quite a lot of it was NOT released in 2021… or even since the 2000s actually. More that I had expected and so it was fun to take a quick swing through the decades via my listening habits (though, the randomness of it all makes me think I night need Xanax)…

I read somewhere (and I apologize for not noting exactly where) that a lot of people were listening to “comfort” music this past year. With a pandemic raging around us and multiple interruptions to daily life, school, work, production, shipping… no wonder people curled up under the blankets with music they were already familiar with, foregoing the effort of getting to know any new music.

It was pretty similar for me, despite the fact that life here in Taiwan has essentially continued as normal throughout most of the Pandemic. Our lockdown consisted of only a few weeks, and except for being unable to send mail to most countries because of the shipping problems, I wasn’t particularly affected by the stress that most people had to endure… and yet, I am definitely starting to feel some kind of strain and malaise.

A lot of what I was listening to in 2021 was determined by what I was choosing to write about for this website, and vice-versa, but not everything that I wrote about became regular staples on my high-rotation play lists.

I mostly found myself exploring a lot of older music that, although unfamiliar to me, perhaps felt comfortable because of its production and structure. I found myself looking for albums from artists that I was aware of, but hadn’t really listened to before. In particular, I dove into some early Donovan, an artist I’d heard of, but never really listened to. I also dug deep into the discographies of The Alan Parsons Project, The Doobie Brothers, Electric Light Orchestra, and The Moody Blues. I also found myself buying albums from The 1910 Fruitgum Company, The Box Tops, The Dave Clark Five and The Grass Roots in an effort to complete my collection of their discographies.

That doesn’t mean that no newer artists ended up getting played. On the contrary, I really got into Curtis Harding‘s first two albums while I awaited his recently released 3rd and when I was in the mood for something heavier than usual, I delved into Disturbed, purchasing all but two of their albums. I also got into Montreal psychedelic rockers Elephant Stone, going to some great lengths to complete my vinyl collection of their discography (and looking forward to their new EP coming in February)! There were quite a few new releases that got played a lot this year, but the purpose of brevity, I’ve eliminated anything that I didn’t play to death on multiple occasion.

A lot of reggae got played as well, but most specifically Bob Marley and the Wailers and Hornsman Coyote and Soulcraft, some brilliant reggae out of Serbia (of all places!).

In extremely high rotation since its release, Duran Duran‘s new album “Future Past” has been a staple for me at the gym, and Editors brilliant 2015 album “In Dream” has accompanied me to sleep most nights.

2021 was also the year that I decided that (maybe) I actually liked traditional sounding country music (not the pop crossover nonsense coming out nowadays). I spent a lot of time listening to Lynn Anderson (and searching for inexpensive copies of any of her 70s albums that I don’t own). Although she is best known for her huge crossover hit single “Rose Garden (I Beg Your Pardon)” from 1970, a lot of her output is really fun, feel good music. You know me, I prefer more upbeat songs, and so that’s what I tend to focus on when I listen to a particular artist, but Lynn Anderson also has a couple of slower and mid-tempo tracks that are great and I happily included them on some of my personal playlists this year.

Finally, no mention of what I was listening to in 2021 would be complete without mentioning Kylie Minogue. I was completely hooked on Kylie Minogue‘s “Disco” album from 2019, and played it to death; so much so that I ended up liking some songs that I had initially disliked immensely (Monday Blues) and started really disliking one that I had originally thought to be not that bad (Unstoppable). I liked this album so much that I realized this week that I’ve bought three copies of the damn thing. I pre-ordered the album and so the first copy I got was a lovely turquoise vinyl edition with the whole album on a single LP. Then, I realized that I actually liked the bonus tracks off the deluxe edition, so I bough a copy of the double album that included the 4 bonus tracks (I ended up with a glow-in-the-dark vinyl edition).

Finally, not satisfied with having taken my money for the same album twice already, Kylie released the “Guest List” edition on 3 LPs. The first LP is the regular album(my 3rd copy) and the second LP is the 4 bonus tracks (my 2nd copy) and some some remixes, then the third LP is a few more remixes and finally, the “guests”: a remixed version of “Real Groove” that featured a duet with Dua Lipa, and 3 brand new tracks featuring guest vocalists Years and Years(A Second to Midnight), Jessie Ware (Kiss of Life), and Gloria Gaynor (Can’t Stop Writing Songs About You)! All four of these tracks are, of course, brilliant, so I’m glad I got them!

Of course, being the completist that I am I was gonna buy it… but not just any old edition! NO! I got my hands on the gorgeous limited edition box set that came in a slip case and included and additional double LP: the “Extended Version” edition of the album (ie: every song on the original album, but in extended remixed form… technically my 4th copy of the album, but at least these ones are remixes!). Am I nuts? Maybe. But I certainly do like the album (and I *really* like the packaging on this box set)!

So here, in alphabetical order, is what I have been listening to mostly throughout all of 2021 and (so far) in 2022… as usual, scroll down to the bottom for a Spotify playlist!

1910 Fruitgum Company (1960s)

ABBA (1970s/2020s)

The Alan Parsons Project (1970s)

Albert Hammond (1970s)

Bob Marley and the Wailers (1970s)

The Box Tops (1960s)

Curtis Harding (2020s)

The Dave Clark Five (1960s)

Deep Forest (1990s)

Disturbed (2000s/2010s)

Donovan (1960s)

The Doobie Brothers (1970s)

Duran Duran (1980s/2020s)

Editors (2000s/2010s)

Electric Light Orchestra (1970s)

Elephant Stone (2010s/2020s))

Gloria Gaynor (1970s)

The Grass Roots (1970s)

Hornsman Coyote and Soulcraft (2010s/2020s)

Indochine (1980s/1990s)

INXS (1980s)

Kylie Monogue (2000s/2020s)

Lynn Anderson (1970s)

The Moody Blues (1960s/1970s)

The Rolling Stones (1960s/1970s)

Santa Esmeralda (1970s)

The Sweet (1970s)

Toots and the Maytals (1970s/2020s)

Wailing Souls (1980s/1990s)

As always, there is a curated playlist for your listening pleasure! I agonized over this one, adding and removing songs, finally settling on a nice batch of fun stuff that I hope you will enjoy as much as I did in 2021!

Have I missed anything? Are there any songs you think I should have included in our playlist? Drop me a line in the comment section below! Remember to subscribe so that you don’t miss our next monthly (ish) post (We’ll never bother you more than once a month). PLUS! subscribers get a discount on any purchase made from us.

We have received no remuneration or compensation for anything we have reviewed in this article and the opinions expressed are genuine at the time of publication. We are not affiliated in any way with any of the products or services that may be mentioned in this article. Any suggestions or links are for your convenience only!

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