Mix Tapes and Playlists

This post is inspired by The Perfect Album from The Pastor Abides blog. More on that further down the post.

A few weeks back, I discussed starting off 2021 with a clean slate. I attempted to wipe clean and reboot just about everything that I had digital. It was an impossible task that never quite accomplished that ground floor mentality, but it was better than allowing things to continue to pile up. It allowed me to rebuild some of my digital life by only including that which I find important to me in 2021 and hopefully created enough space to discover new things.

One of my unspeakable actions was deleting all my Spotify playlists. I don’t even think I mentioned that in my blog because I knew that was the one that most people would say was a bit too far. I mean, how can you completely wipe out your entire music library? All that hard work accumulating massive playlists and finding rare songs. Why would you just start all over? Well, for the same reason I stated above, I wanted the opportunity to find new music and I thought there had to be a better way at organizing all these songs.

My playlists were a combination of genres, decades, and a few niche categories (Halloween, music from movie franchises, etc.) My default list was my 90’s list followed by the 80’s list and the several hundred songs just played on a loop.

If I wanted to listen to a specific song, I had to search for it. It was just too buried in my massive playlists. I never liked that and I remember how much pride I had in creating my mix-tapes back in the day. How meticulously I put everything together and how even today, I’ll hear a certain song end and think of a completely unrelated song because that was what I put next on the CD. I knew where to find every song and back then, my CDs were labeled for moods. I had Happy Mixes, Sad Mixes, Angry Mixes, Depressed Mixes, etc. It was my own curated musical therapy and I think it actually worked.

One of my thoughts for 2021 was to create shorter playlists. Create sixty-seventy minute lists that mimicked the mix-tapes of old. I wanted to put some passion and effort into these the way I used to, not just randomly add them to a list of hundreds of songs. I wanted to be intentional with music and I wanted to appreciate it a bit more.

That brings me to Jimmy’s post, The Perfect Album. When I read Jimmy’s post this morning, I was inspired. I recommend you read it for yourself, but basically he did what I have been thinking about doing. He sat down and put together a mix-tape. He kept it short like an old school tape/CD and put a little of his heart and soul into it. I absolutely love it. I quickly assembled his mix tape on my Spotify to listen to on my way home.

My initial goal was to assemble my own Perfect Album, but I quickly realized that it was going to take several days to probably put that together. So, I decided to start several Mix-Tape style playlists: Happy Mix-Tape 1, Depressed Mix-Tape 1, The Perfect Album, and Chill Mix-Tape 1. Slowly I started working on each playlist and my Happy Mix-Tape was the first one that I finished. So, that is the one I’m sharing first.

I decided to take up Jimmy’s challenge of only allowing one song per artist and I’m limiting each playlist to twelve songs.

  1. Blinding Light by The Weekend
  2. Middle of Nowhere by Hot Hot Heat
  3. Did I Say That Out Loud? By The Barenaked Ladies
  4. Africa by Weezer
  5. Scotty Doesn’t Know by Lustra
  6. The Middle by Jimmy Eat World
  7. The Safety Dance by Men Without Hats
  8. Somebody Told Me by The Killers
  9. Flagpole Sitta by Harvey Danger
  10. Superman by Goldfinger
  11. The Impression That I Get by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
  12. I Really Like You by Carly Rae Jepsen

I gotta say, I had a lot of time working on this playlist. I spent way more time than I thought I would trying to balance the songs and make sure it flowed like I wanted it to. I dug through my mind and some lists to try and assemble the best possible collection of songs to truly accomplish the mood and vibe I was going for. I put way more effort into this than I put into any playlist arguably ever.

It definitely brought out a feeling of nostalgia for me and I’m thrilled to continue working on my other playlists. You can check out this one on Spotify by clicking this link.


While on the topic of music, last May I finished a blog post that was over ten years in the making. It was titled The Soundtrack of My Life. I spent a long time assembling songs that provided the background music for my life over the years. It wasn’t my best written post, but a lot of effort was put into it and I figure if you are reading this, you might be interested in reading a little more about music. I’ve put up a copy you can read here: The Soundtrack of My Life.

2 thoughts on “Mix Tapes and Playlists

  1. I do that sort of with my youtube music video playlists. They can’t be larger than 100 videos. My spotify playlists are way too large. I do like one that I made that has a lot of songs that they used to play on my favorite CHR format station in the early 90s.

    1. That’s a great idea. I actually deleted all my YouTube playlists because I made them way too large as well. I should look to transition some of them into smaller playlists as well!

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