Tuesday Ten: 026: Top Played Artists of 2007

A slightly different Tuesday Ten this week – and it will be the last 2007 retrospective. So what is this one? Well, it needs some explanation.

Thanks to the joys of Last.fm, I am able to analyse what I have been listening to during 2007. Obviously, this comes with some caveats – mainly in that this is only my listening at home for a good 51 weeks of the year – until I got my iPod recently my mobile listening was on a non-computer friendly Discman, which obviously wouldn't "scrobble".

A couple of stats to put this into perspective, first: since I registered on Last.fm back in Spring '05, I have "scrobbled" (i.e. registered on the site) over 33,000 plays. About 11,000 of those plays were during 2007 (an average of about 200 tracks or so per week), and the top 20 artists in the list counted for over 2000 of those. This helps to show one clear pattern – I have a really short attention span when it comes to music (and indeed my iTunes and iPod at present are more often than not on shuffle). Which helps to explain, perhaps, why the listens to even my top artists appears to be quite low…

So anyway: my most listened-to bands of 2007, according to Last.fm

01 Swans [200 listens]

Perhaps a surprising band to top the list, but then, perhaps not. I rediscovered my love of this band mainly in the past twelve months, particularly after Daisy somehow found an original copy of White Light From The Mouth of Infinity for me, and it is my incessant listening to that and Children of God that has moved this to the top of the list. I'm pretty certain that Daisy will be utterly sick of them soon enough, if she isn't already…

02 Cyanotic [172 listens]

Seeing as this lot are quite likely my favourite band of all, it really isn't surprising that I listen to these guys a lot. If you've not heard me ramble about them before…where have you been? US industrial-metal of the highest order, melding coldwave, industrial, drum'n'bass and a whole host of samples into a sound that despite the influences still sounds fresh and new. With a new album due in 2008, I don't doubt I'll be listening to them even more in the coming year – as I'm still not tired of the debut album, never mind the more recent re-release…

03 Stromkern [154 listens]

A rather unique band, there are not many bands that have mixed industrial and hip-hop to any great effect – in fact, this band is the only one I can think of to have had any great success. Most of my listening to Stromkern during 2007 was to tracks from Light It Up (it was my "most played album" according to Last.fm), which is by far their best and most successful album.

04 16Volt [132 listens]

Another coldwave-influenced band, but this time one that were actually part of the coldwave scene back in the '90s, they returned in 2007 with their first new album in nine years – and basically picked up where they left off. Which was clearly no problem to me!

05 Prometheus Burning [131 listens]

Interestingly, the only "noise" artist in the top 20, which perhaps shows how much my listening has been skewed in other directions in the past year. It's not that I am not listening to it, I think it is more a case of the listening being spread a lot thinner. Either way, pr0metheus buRning remain the most forward-looking of all the "noise" acts, and I'm really looking forward to new material.

06 The Young Gods [128 listens]

Again, much of this is thanks to a new album in 2007, but The Young Gods would likely be high up my listening anyway – I have been a fan for well over a decade, and seeing as most of their material appears to be ageless I think I'll be listening to them for many years to come yet.

07 KMFDM [118 listens]

Another where I've got some much of their stuff (ten, maybe twelve albums?) that in addition to the latest album they will always be high up the list. Interestingly, the last album Tohuvabohu has not held up as well as I had hoped, but it certainly still has it's moments.

08 The Birthday Massacre [115 listens]

There is something about this band that I love, but I can't quite put my finger on what it is. I'll keep listening to them, and report back with what it is if I ever put my finger on it!

09 Spahn Ranch [103 listens]

A long-defunct band (they split at least five, maybe six years ago?), but I'm still listening to them a lot. One of those bands that many people either love or hate, their approach to "industrial" included throwing dub and house influences into the mix, that made them sound different to say the least. Not everything worked – their earlier material sounds rather rough nowadays – but their later releases sounded fantastic, and it was a shame that they never took it further.

10 Paradise Lost [102 listens]

One of those bands that experienced a real critical resurgence during 2007, after releasing their best album in at least ten years, and the fact that I've listened to In Requiem an awful lot since it's release is probably the reason for it's appearance here. Again, though, I have an awful lot of PL material (it's only the really early stuff that I generally avoid) which means that it seems to crop up on "shuffle" a lot, too…

…and the rest of the top twenty looks like this:

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