Music of the Year for 2016

It is the end of the year, which means I like to crunch the numbers around my digital music collection and listening habits.

According to iTunes, out of 10,217 unique tracks in my collection, the one I played most often in 2016 was “Rey’s Theme,” composed by John Williams for Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015). I played this beautiful piece 21 times this year.

When it comes to music, 2016 was apparently the year of Star Wars for me. Out of my 40 most played tracks, a whopping 38 of them are by John Williams for various Star Wars films. For instance, I played “Princess Leia’s Theme” from Star Wars (1977) 14 times throughout the year.

I love Star Wars music, but even I was shocked at how it dominated considering the diverse amount of music to which I think I listen.

Cover of STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS soundtrack

Cover of STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS soundtrack

Elvis Presley was the only other individual to crack my top 40. “Burning Love” (1972) came in at #4 overall with 17 plays. “How The Web Was Woven” (1970) finished in a 4-way tie for #37 with 11 plays.

I listened to 6,083 Elvis songs using iTunes or my iPods in 2016 (including additional plays of the same song, such as “Promised Land” [1973] 10 times).

On average, that is nearly 17 Elvis songs a day. I listened to 2,231 different Elvis tracks during the year, out of 4,050 unique Elvis recordings in my collection.

I currently have 6,167 non-Elvis tracks in my collection. With 5,815 total plays, I listened to about 16 non-Elvis songs a day.

Overall, I listened to 11,898 music tracks using iTunes or my iPods this year. That works out to almost 33 recordings a day.

These counts exclude the additional time I spent listening to records and CDs. While not as many CDs, I definitely played a ton of records this year. The funny thing is, many of them were also Star Wars and Elvis Presley. I suppose I am nothing if not consistent.


Thank you for reading my little blog. Here’s hoping you have a wonderful 2017.

4 thoughts on “Music of the Year for 2016

    • Yes, he definitely is. My love of film music spawned almost entirely from hearing various John Williams soundtracks as I was growing up the in the late 1970s and 1980s.

      I am so glad he decided to return to score Episode VIII later this year. Apparently, writing more music for Rey was a primary reason he decided to commit to the new movie.

      Michael Giacchino’s score for Star Trek Beyond was incredible last year.
      Varèse Sarabande recently released an expanded version, which I’ve been enjoying. That is why I was surprised that I was underwhelmed with Giacchino’s work on Rogue One, the first major Star Wars movie that Williams did not score.

      Perhaps I will think otherwise when I listen to the actual Rogue One CD, which I hold in my hands but have not yet opened. Had I not pre-ordered this soundtrack, I probably would not have bothered buying it after seeing the movie. It appears I remain one of only two or three people in this galaxy who found Rogue One less than stellar. I am glad others are enjoying it, even though it did not connect with me.

      I do plan to listen to Giacchino’s score, though. I want to give another week or so to let the bad taste that the movie left wash away and to try to enjoy it as a musical experience despite the context.

      Thanks for commenting. Your two lines inspired almost an entire post’s worth of a reply from me. Happy 2017!

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      • The soundtrack for Rogue One didn’t stand out to me as I was watching the movie, but I too purchased the soundtrack and there’s actually some really good stuff in there, particularly Jyn’s theme. I hope you enjoy it!

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    • I was like that with The Force Awakens, if I remember correctly. Rey’s theme definitely stood out at the theater, but otherwise the music did not necessarily blow me away at first. Once I played the actual soundtrack CD through a few times, I finally “got it” and now love it.

      The only track I consistently skip is “Snoke.” It works within the context of the movie, but is not something I want to hear as a stand-alone listening experience.

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