A playlist of songs with years in the titles (and mostly with a year AS the title) leads to some interestingly different styles that actually blend nicely together. Many of these songs have an understandably nostalgic theme. I try to keep my playlists at about one hour (a good estimate for a workout or a bus commute) so obviously some songs were left out. Among the also-rans were New Order's "1963" and Patti Smith's "1959". Also given the George Orwell novel, the year 1984 had multiple candidates; I actually included two, but did omit David Bowie's "1984" (I assure you) not based on quality. I'm a tremendous Bowie fan, so I'm not too concerned as he'll appear in several future playlists I'm sure.
Playlist of Years
1) "1974" by Ryan Adams
2) "1984" by Van Halen
3) "1952 Vincent Black Lightning" by Richard Thompson *
4) "1979" by The Smashing Pumpkins
5) "1921" by The Who (off Tommy)
6) "December, 1963 (Oh What A Night)" by Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons
7) "Louisiana 1927" by Randy Newman **
8) "1941" by Harry Nilsson
9) "1985" by Manic Street Preachers
10) "1970" by The Stooges ***
11) "1977" by The Clash ****
12) "1984" by Spirit
13) "1992" by Blur
14) "1983...(A Merman I Should Turn To Be)" by Jimi Hendrix *****
15) "1999" by Prince ******
A Few Notes/Trivial Observances:
* - The synthesized instrumental "1984" (on Van Halen's album of the same name) normally transitions into the synth-opening of their hit "Jump", but here really transitions nicely into Richard Thompson's outstanding ballad of the motorcycle that brings two lovers together. This is one of my favorite Thompson songs in no small part to his incredible acoustic work.
** - Newman's song of the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 that ravaged Mississippi and Louisiana was made all the more poignant in the wake of the flooding caused by Hurricane Katrina. This song also echoes a government idleness here embodied by President Coolidge
*** - The Stooges interestingly have songs called "1969" (which appeared on their self-titled debut) and "1970" (from Funhouse)
**** - The Clash's "1977" was the B-side of their first single "White Riot" and contains that wonderful punk music lyric "No Elvis, Beatles or the Rolling Stones in 1977"
***** - First of all, the transition from Spirit to the ambient noise on Blur's "1992" to Hendrix really works here. Secondly, as amazing as many of the songs on Hendrix's album Electric Ladyland are, this 13-minute song may indeed be the album's masterpiece, a perfect (and trippy) synthesis of acid-fueled psychedelia, blues and hard rock.
****** - Prince's "1999". Well, duh...even I can't avoid the obvious choices :)