Spotify is an app which has infiltrated our daily lives, like breakfast television or the early morning Facebook feed browse. The sheer volume of tracks at our disposal gives us the power to find a tune to match our mood or activity. Surprisingly, there are some classic albums and tracks not on Spotify, which in the quest for a never-ending personalised playlist, is a real buzz kill.
For a true music fan, Spotify is controversial. Musicians don’t get the best deal in royalties from the music streaming website but we convince ourselves that access to millions of potential listeners may financially make up for poor royalties and open their sound up to new markets. Also I’m convinced that if there’s something you can’t live without listening to, you’ll buy it in several mediums – just to be sure (having recently found Bill Hicks stand-up has been pulled from the site).
But Spotify is convenient. As a premium subscriber, you can take the music you love anywhere. However, don’t fall head over heels in love with the app, as they pull the rug from underneath you when tracks such as these are surprising missing in the UK:
Michelle Shocked – Short, Sharp, Shocked
It was Anchorage which brought her to the mainstream, which is a harmless tune set to some appealing lyrics but the rest of the album is much more powerful. Her traditional country folk style, her sweet, soft southern drawl matched with the traditional folk tales of life in her pocket of the world transports you to those ‘East Texas red clay back roads’.
B25s – Cosmic Thing
Early and later stuff is available but not the album which brought them to a new generation: Cosmic Thing. It features the dance floor favourite Love Shack but also an array of cosmically hypnotic pop beauties. Not being able to have Junebug on my summer playlist sucks but that’s the Spotify sucker punch.
2 unlimited – No Limit
For the record I came across this while putting together a school reunion playlist but it’s also a great workout track when you feel like some cheese. It was a bit strange to have it missing from the school disco playlist, as it was such a big hit but there is a mock version which just about made do.
The La’s – The La’s
I’ve been writing this post for so long now, they have actually added this album but only recently. By October 1990, the indie kids were born and had taken over every 6th form in the country after the second summer(s) of love. The 60s and 70s were a huge influence. Like many bands hailing from the North, The La’s retro sound combined the sounds of yesterday with the lyrics of tomorrow. There She Goes, the supposed ode to heroine which is strongly denied by the band, charted at 13 in the UK charts. If you never listened to the whole album now’s the chance.
Maybe it’s a copyright issue but I’m sorely missing some of the top tracks from my days in France. Billy Ze Kick et Les Gamins en Folie’s reggae trippy hit Mangez-moi, Mangez-moi cannot be found and French-Canadian artist MC Solaar has a handful of recent material and live albums, no timeless studio version of Le Nouveau Western or Bouge De La. More bad luck if you’re a fan of Francis Cabrel’s most of his top selling albums in French chart history are also not found.
Ok, you’ve never heard of them. That’s fine. So not really surprising they aren’t on Spotify. I’m not mates with them either. I just really, really love Welsh music from around 2004 and I love this album. There is lots of obscure music available on Spotify, even tunes which Shazam don’t recognise (the latter being promptly uninstalled) just not this gem of Welsh indie rock. Lots of shrieking and thumping guitars, lots of happy pogo music.
Know any more tracks which aren’t on Spotify (and not the obvious mega-avoiders like The Beatles) then comment below and add to our list!
(Oh and an original version of The Birdie Song isn’t on there either but you already knew that admit it.)
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