The Music I Listen To

 "Music is the literature of the heart; it commences where speech ends." 
~ Alphonse de Lamartine

I can't play any musical instruments and certainly cannot sing πŸ˜–. I no longer attend concerts and music isn't continuously in my ears, but I have dedicated over sixteen years to customizing my iTunes Library for my listening pleasure. I currently have enough music (over 4,400 songs) that I can listen for twelve days and not hear the same song twice. I had a few albums and a plethora of 45s as a teenager. The one artist that had a truly positive effect on a home life filled with disharmony was Tom Jones. I didn't start finding my musical saviors until I was 20 years old. That's when I allowed myself to listen and let the music influence my positive energy. That's also when I met my friend, Beth, who helped me tune my musical personality. I occasionally listen by the artist, but I generally prefer the element of surprise in my huge multi-genre playlists.

My grandmother attempted to teach me to play the piano very briefly when I was quite young (7? 8?), but she must have determined me a lost cause because I probably had only a handful of lessons before she called it quits. That was the extent of my musical guidance. πŸ™„

Fortunately, my daughter grew up wanting to learn "everything," including music. At ten years of age she started playing the clarinet. At eleven years she started piano lessons, and soon after she began teaching herself guitar. In 8th grade she enrolled in choir and began singing in school shows. With the addition of a PlayStation into our home came the rhythm game, RockBand. Then much singing, guitar playing, and learning the drums ensued. The extent of my involvement came with singing two songs: Just Breathe by Pearl Jam and Miss Independent by Kelly Clarkson. I wouldn't inflict that unpleasantness on her very often, let me tell you, but I surely loved watching and listening to my sweet girl perform. πŸ₯°

My musical daughter (11-14 years) | © All Rights Reserved

Although I enjoyed each and every concert I was lucky enough to attend, I feel a real concert deficit in my life. At this stage of my life, I think I would be totally up to seeing a much loved musical artist at a small outdoor venue; but I don't see that happening. The concerts I was extremely blessed to attend were:
My favorite genres are alternative rock, classic rock, rock, pop rock, and rhythm & blues. I have quite a few motion picture soundtracks, a little country, some easy listening (smooth jazz and piano), and a teeny-tiny number of classical songs.

I have three or more songs by the following artists

AC/DC, Adele, Aerosmith, Alanis Morissette, Alex Clare, Alexandre Desplat, The All-American Rejects, Amanda Marshall, Ambrosia, Arctic Monkeys, Aretha Franklin, Ashlee Simpson, Asia, Audioslave, Avril Lavigne, AWOLNATION 

The B-52's, Bachman Turner Overdrive, Bad Company, Badly Drawn Boy, Band of Skulls, The Beatles, BeyoncΓ©, Billy Joel, Billy Squier, The Black Crowes, The Black Keys, Blondie, Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band, Bonnie Raitt, Boston, Boz Scaggs, Broken Bells, Brooks & Dunn, Bruce Hornsby, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Buena Vista Social Club, Bryan Adams 

Carly Simon, Carolina Liar, Carrie Underwood, The Cars, Carter Burwell, Celine Dion, Chaka Khan, Cheap Trick, Civil Twilight, The Civil Wars, Colbie Caillat, Cold War Kids, Coldplay, Corey Hart, Corinne Bailey Rae, Counting Crows, Crash Kings, Creed, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Cyndi Lauper 

Dan Auerbach, Dashboard Confessional, Daughtry, David Bowie, David Cook, The Dead Weather, The Decemberists, Def Leppard, Dolly Parton, Don Henley, Duran Duran

The Eagles, Ed Sheeran, Eddie Money, Electric Light Orchestra, Elton John, Elvis Presley, Eric Clapton, Eurythmics, Evanescence 

Faith Hill, A Fine Frenzy, Five for Fighting, Fleetwood Mac, Florence + The Machine, Foo Fighters, Foreigner, The Fray, Fun. 

Garth Brooks, Gary Clark Jr., Gary Wright, Gavin DeGraw, Gavin Rossdale, George Benson, George Harrison, George Michael, Golden Earring, The Goo Goo Dolls, Gordon Lightfoot, Gotye, Grand Funk Railroad, Green Day, Griffin Peterson 

Hall & Oates, Harry Styles, Heart, The Heavy, Howard Shore, Howie Day, Hozier 

Imagine Dragons, INXS 

J. Geils Band, Jack White, Jackson Browne, James Blunt, Jane's Addiction, Jason Walker, Jeff Buckley, The Jeff Healey Band, Jefferson Airplane/Starship, Jewel, Jim Brickman, Jim Croce, Joan Jett and The Blackhearts, Joe Cocker, John Berry, John Denver, John Fogerty, John Mayer, John Mellencamp, John Waite, Journey 

KALEO, Kansas, Katy Perry, Keane, Keaton Simons, Kelly Clarkson, Kenny G, Kenny Loggins, The Killers, Kings of Leon, KT Tunstall 

Lady Gaga, Lana Del Rey, Layup, Lewis Capaldi, Lifehouse, Linkin Park, Little River Band, Loggins & Messina, Lorde, Loverboy, The Lumineers 

Macy Gray, Maroon 5, Marvin Gaye, Melissa Etheridge, Mumford & Sons, Muse 

Neon Trees, NO, Norah Jones, Nothing But Thieves 


P!nk, Paper Tongues, Pat Benatar, Pat Monahan, Patti Scialfa, Pearl Jam, Peter Frampton, The Police, Prince & the Revolution


R.E.M., The Raconteurs, Radiohead, Rag 'n' Bone Man, Rascal Flatts, Ray LaMontagne, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ringo Starr, Rob Thomas, Robbie Williams, Robert Plant, Rod Stewart, The Rolling Stones, Roy Orbison 

Sam Smith, Santana, Sara Bareilles, Sarah McLachlan, The Script, Seal, Shania Twain, Sheryl Crow, Shinedown, Sly & the Family Stone, Smash Mouth, Snow Patrol, Soundgarden, Stevie Nicks, Stevie Wonder, Sting, Supertramp, Switchfoot 

Taylor Swift, Temple of the Dog, Third Eye Blind, Three Dog Night, Thriving Ivory, Tina Turner, Tom Jones, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Tracy Chapman, Train, The Traveling Wilburys 


Van Morrison 

X Ambassadors 

You+Me, Younger Brother 

ZZ Top 

30 Seconds to Mars, .38 Special
How do you enjoy your music? Radio? Videos (YouTube)? Satellite stations? Streaming? Your own physical (vinyl, CDs) or digital music library? I went from being a child of radio with 8-track tapes to a teenager of radio with vinyl to an adult with cassettes followed by CDs and occasional concerts to a mature listener with solely a digital library. When I had a vehicle music was always playing. When I'm alone I listen via the speakers in my iPhone or laptop. If I'm with others I'll use my AirPods. I pretty much find out about "new" music from movies, shows, and books. I'm truly curious about how you find, organize, and enjoy your music. 

My modern day music players 😊

In the Spotlight
The music in my library that I feel the most uplifted by

Favorite Studio Albums (links open in their Wikipedia pages)
  • Brothers (Genre: Rock) - The Black Keys
  • Chariot (Genre: Pop Rock) - Gavin DeGraw
  • Dreaming Out Loud (Deluxe) (Genre: Pop Rock) - OneRepublic
  • The End of the Innocence (Genre: Rock) - Don Henley
  • Faces (Genre: Country) - John Berry (A recommendation from my dear friend, Roberta πŸ’”)
  • Hozier (Genre: Alternative) - Hozier
  • Human Touch (Genre: Rock) - Bruce Springsteen
  • Lucky Town (Genre: Rock) - Bruce Springsteen
  • 4 (Genre: Rock) - Foreigner (I always skipped the song, Luanne, on the cassette and the CD!)
  • 21 (Genre: Pop) - Adele
The criteria for this list is based wholly on my enjoying all of the songs on the album. I made an exception for Foreigner's 4 album because I freaking LOVE nine of the ten songs too much to leave it out!

Even though I generally listen by my large multi-genre playlists, these are the albums I switch to when one of the songs isn't enough. Five of the albums were purchased in their entirety from iTunes and the other five were ripped from CDs I had eons ago. 
My Favorite Studio Albums

Favorite Compilation Albums (links open in their Wikipedia or All Music pages)
The criteria for my choosing these compilation (greatest hits) albums as my favorites is that I kept every single song from each album in my iTunes Library. That means I liked them all enough to listen to them over and over for many years. 

My Favorite Compilation Albums

Favorite Live Album (links open in their Wikipedia pages)
My Favorite Live Album

Apparently I'm not a fan of LIVE recordings because I only have five entire albums (although the four others are multi-album/disc sets). They are:
  1. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band Live/1975-1985
  2. Eagles Live
  3. Frampton Comes Alive 
  4. Joe Cocker Live 
  5. Journey Time³ (a mix of studio and live music)
Of the artists above I was extremely fortunate to see two live in concert. Joe Cocker being the last. It was 19 Feb 1995 at Symphony Hall in San Diego, which was an extremely elegant venue. I planned the entire evening as a celebration for an anniversary, but because my partner considered this weeknight concert to be on a "school night" (work night, in actuality) they complained a great deal. I must have been insistent because I did not go alone. (I totally would have though because...JOE COCKER at SYMPHONY HALL! 😱) I was blown away by the entire presentation. There were cocktails and mingling in the lobby prior and super plush seating in the absolutely stunning hall. What I mostly remember about that night was how marvelous I felt. I was dressed to the nines and so happy to be there (my partner less so, even though they too loved Joe's music). I was (and still am) in awe of Joe Cocker's sound. Much of the crowd was made up of gentlemen much older than me. In fact, if memory serves, I was one of the few "youngsters" in attendance. 😊 The music and vital performance pushed me beyond my usual self-consciousness and I found myself standing, singing aloud, and even dancing in the aisle! I still can't believe I did that all these years later. I certainly hadn't danced at any of the other concerts I attended! This album has always inspired me to dance about though (which sure made my beloved doggies happy). After all of this, how could it not be my favorite live album by far? I just LOVE it so much! πŸ₯°

Favorite Songs by Genre
I'm somewhat skeptical about the accuracy of the following singles. I mean, my starter list had many more artists and songs in the first four genres, but to be reasonable I had to be ruthless. To get the lists down to the top ten artists in each genre I had to rely mostly on extremely personal and sentimental factors. That didn't leave room for a lot songs that have given me great joy over the years. 

Ugh, this genre thing is really absurd! Some artists/albums/songs are classified in like 3, 4, or 5 different genres! πŸ™„ I try to keep the number of distinct genres under control in my library. When I purchase new music with super specialized genres I'll end up deciding which of my standard genres they best fit into.

Also, my favorite songs are often (usually?) not the artist's more well known or popular songs. How to explain why my favorites songs are not the expected ones? I think ultimately the songs below just really set off a positive flood of feel-good emotions when I hear them. Most of them are immediately familiar when they pop up in my huge playlists. I smile instantly, start moving, and attempt to sing along. (As I've gotten older my mind just cannot remember most lyrics, but with these old friends...some of the lyrics have stayed with me.) 

I have absolutely no technical knowledge of music. I just know what I like. And since I don't know the intricacies of music, I am extremely curious why these particular songs grab and hold my attention and regard. What musical commonality do they all share? Or is my devotion really just based on unidentified personal and sentimental reasons?
All of the song links below open videos in the official YouTube channels of the artists or record companies. (That way they'll be the best quality and always remain available. 😊) Now that I've done the difficult part by choosing the songs...I made myself a playlist in my iTunes library, but I also made a public YouTube playlist. If you're interested, you may find it here: My Favorite Songs Playlist.





What does music mean to you? How do your favorites compare to mine? Is your music collection physical or digital? How and when do you listen to your music? I'm open to discussion and recommendations. Thank you!

Related Items

Music Resources

(rev. 05/20/2024)


Cyn said…
Ohhh noooo! (Cue Mr Bill!)
But V, I need titles! So many of these artists have catalogs that are enormous. Help?
Love Cyn
Virginia Hill said…
Cyn, I have over 4,000 songs so a spreadsheet is out of the question. Same for screen captures, I think. The only thing that comes to my mind at this moment would be to select the music label OR you can access them from the link at the bottom of this page’s body entitled, “All of My Music Entries.” If I think of a way for you to be able to see my entire library, I will see if you’d be interested. How’s that sweet friend?
Cyn said…
So how about Alanis Morissette, Alex Clare, Alexandre Desplat, The All-American Rejects, Amanda Marshall to start with? I'm familiar with Alanis but don't have any of her music, so that one I'd like to know more about. The others, I have not even heard of!
Thanks love.
Virginia Hill said…
Okay, Cyn, here is a spreadsheet with all of the songs I currently have by the artists you named.

I don't understand (or simply cannot believe) that you haven't heard of ANY of the remaining artists on the page though!

I've had the music you requested a list of for many years and have not kept up with any of their music that may have been released since. I was unable to purchase music for MANY years, as you know, and got drastically behind the times.

Cyn said…
Well okay, of course I've heard Alanis! I think I would have had to be living under a rock to avoid her, especially this album, it was huge. It's possible, even likely, I've heard some things by the other artists, and just don't recall their names. So--I wasn't expecting to see entire albums here, did these people (other than Alanis) have some songs that were, if not "hits", more popular than others? Around the time you downloaded them, I was listening to the SXM radio station The Loft, which played tons and tons of excellent music, so it's really likely I might have heard some of these there. Unfortunately SXM made the really crappy decision to kill The Loft and though it's still available by satellite only, it's no longer DJ-driven and therefore isn't near as good as it was back then. So--anyway--if you could narrow down the list to stuff you really like, or stuff they might have played somewhere?
Is this getting to be too much trouble? Please tell me if so, I don't want you to go to a big hassle!
Much love...
Virginia Hill said…
Well, let's see...

Alexandre Desplat is a composer of movie scores (

The All-American Rejects had a couple of songs that I heard somewhere on their Move Along album: Dirty Little Secret and the title song. I can't recall where I heard them but I thought they were catchy. I bought their album When the World Comes Down after hearing Gives You Hell, which I heard from several sources. Here is their YouTube Channel:

Amanda Marshall is a Canadian artist. I *think* I heard about her from an interview with the Canadian rocker, Jeff Healey, MANY years ago. Her debut self-titled album has several songs that I like a lot. I did a music meme back in 2011 and one of Amanda's songs fit the topic for one day.

Here is Amanda Marshall's VEVO channel on YouTube:

Amy L said…
I love all the variety! I am kind of stuck in the 80s. I love George Michael, The Cure, Cyndi Lauper, Deoeche Mode, all those. For newer artists, I love Anna Nalick. You might like some of her stuff.

And of course, Foo Fighters!

I was never really allowed to buy a lot of music. I did do the Columbia House thing once and got a lot os 89s alternative stuff. I think I still owe them some money…
Virginia Hill said…
Thanks for sharing, Amy! Did you notice some of your favorite artists mentioned above in the alphabetical listing toward the top? I have some George Michael, Cyndi Lauper, and Foo Fighters, but only a couple by Anna Nalick (which is why she is not listed). I need to catch up with more recent releases. Since I NEVER listen to the radio and only rarely listen to Apple Music or Amazon Music, I just don't know what's out there. I'm made aware of any "new" music when it's featured in movies and series or mentioned in books I read.

Did you ever watch the television series, Eli Stone ( George Michael made appearances throughout the show's seasons.

I shall make it a point to go listen to more Anna Nalick.

Thank you for your comments. I REALLY appreciate them!
Amy L said…
I see a lot of bands I like in your favorites list! Adele, Alanis, B-52s, Elton John, P!nk, Sarah MacLachlan, Tom Petty, Counting Crowd, Goo Goo Dolls, just to name a few!

I really love Anna Nalick, in fact Breathe is one of those perfect albums for me, where I love all the songs! Othersfor me are: Counting Crows, August and Everything After; George Michael, Faith; and any Chris Isaak CD. Love him!

I loved Eli Stone!!! I was so sad when it ended!
Mary Jo said…
I love the different music you listed and I like a lot that you do too. Well except the country never got into that much.. I guess ZZtop would be the most county and they were country Rock. Music I love most were from mid to late 60 through the 70s. I was lucky enough to see some of the great band of 60s due to my brothers want to pick up girls. so he would always take 2 us sisters so we could be chick magic. But Beatles of course, The Stones, Greatful Dead, The Doors Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, Steppenwold, Mamas and Papas. Led Zeppelin, Buffalo Springfield, Fleetwood Mac, CCR, Heart, Sex Pistols, Jethro Tull, G&Rm Iron Madian, Genesis, Van Halen,and Cheap Trick just to name a few.

Went to a lot of concerts, Van Halen, Beatles, Steppenwolf, CCR, KISS, Beach Boys, Cheap Trick, Metallica, Black Sabbath, Oz Fest,
Virginia Hill said…
Thanks, Amy! I was bummed when Eli Stone ended, too. It was such an entertaining and clever series. Hah! I have TWO Counting Crows songs, TWO Anna Nalick songs, and ONE Chris Isaak song, which is why I don't have them in my alphabetical listing. I had to limit the list to three songs or more because...INSANE! I have quite a lot of music by the rest you listed though. How, where, and when do you listen? You have CDs, right? I forgot to feature that important discussion and have added it right below the alphabetical artist listing.

Hey, MJ! Thanks for jumping in, I really appreciate it! I bet you were a VERY enthusiastic concert attendee! Hey, I forgot to add the HOW, WHERE, and WHEN discussion. (I have since remedied that and added it to the page directly under the alphabetical artist list.) So, how, when, and where do you listen to your music? I would really like to try to picture you rockin' out to your tunes! Thanks again for sharing. You are a true rock and roll aficionado!
Amy L. said…
I have CDs, and I had a lot of them loaded into iTunes, but I lost all that when we lost our Mac and then we didn't have internet for a long time. Our cars were old and didn't have bluetooth and then I got a CD stuck in mine, so I was stuck with the radio for a long time.

I have a really old iPod loaded with all the songs that I had bought, but none of the ones I had on CD, so I loaded that on to my phone. Now both of our cars have bluetooth, so there's that. But we normally listen to podcasts when we're driving together.

I asked for and got a little CD player for Christmas, so now I have a way to play my CDs. So I listen while I'm cleaning and hanging out. But normally when Jeff is home, we watch TV. LOL so bad.
Amy L. said…
Also - I still haven't got into buying songs instead of whole albums. It doesn't seem "right" to me. LOL
Virginia Hill said…
Hey Amy! Just look at all of the choices we have available to us these days! I can remember the high of buying CDs for myself purely because *I* loved listening to them. Now, of course, it's all digital for me, but I STILL feel so powerful! :)

You have a CD player. Good for you! Whenever you WANT to and CAN listen to what makes you happy is a great thing!

Enjoy and thanks so much for sharing!