Statistics on My Music: The 2012 Update

Previously 2010 and 2011. (Both worth reading).

As has become a tradition of sorts, here I present the third and most recent update on my musical statistics. As always, I am indebted forever to the wonderful world of Last.fm, a site that has been tracking my music since August 2006, but properly since 2008 really. So, where are we as of August 2012?

I now have 65’214 plays on my account. That’s a massive 14’230 more scrobbles than this time last year. There’s a massive reason for this; I started to use an app called iScrob on my iPhone that in real time updates the Last.fm scribbler as to what I am listening to, over the data connection. It’s a godsend. If it weren’t for that, then I’d be probably down a substantial amount of plays. It also solves the problem of scrobbles on the move and in the car being lost to the ether. It has impacted my listening polling a lot.

Interestingly, between 2010 and 2011 I added almost 15’000 scrobbles. Meaning that in the last 13 months (whoops) I have actually added less than I normally would. I am actually unsure as to why this happened. It probably has been that I’ve had intermittent Spotify access. Who knows.

Onto the meat of the article!

Top Ten artists of all time
  1. Boards of Canada 1795 -EQUAL
  2. Belle and Sebastian 1487 -EQUAL
  3. The Walkmen 1339 -EQUAL
  4. The Twilight Sad 1121 -UP
  5. Idlewild 1065 -EQUAL
  6. Interpol 1044 -EQUAL
  7. The Smiths 1039 -DOWN
  8. Elbow 938 -UP
  9. Mogwai 891 -DOWN
  10. Arab Strap 853 -UP

So looking at that compared to 2011 there are a few big changes. The biggest is that when you look at the numbers… I’ve not really added that much to the artists’ totals. Boards of Canada were top last year with 1712, and in 12 months I’ve only added 83 plays – not even a full run through of their entire discography! Same for Belle and Sebastian – barely any plays more than 2011. It is worth noting too, however, that the number 3 artist has managed to close the gap a bit. The Walkmen have been able to post 284 plays in the year. A pretty impressive tally and putting them in touching distance of the second spot. Here’s the main thing to take away from the chart – The Smiths ended having no plays scrobbled all year. None. They’ve dropped from fourth to seventh in my all-time list with no plays. That’s impressive. And I noted last year that from 2010 to 2011 they only had 65 additional plays. So in 25 months they’ve been played 65 times. And are still in the top 10!

It points out something inherently wrong with my all-time list and it’s that it’s weighted with the past. Nothing on here shows my love for something recently. If something can be in the top 10 two years running with no additional plays, there is something wrong.

Note: Radiohead dropped out of the top ten this year. Interesting.

Top Ten albums of all time
  1. Boards of Canada – Geogaddi 549
  2. Boards of Canada – Music Has the Right to Children 533
  3. The Walkmen – You and Me 482
  4. The XX – xx 472
  5. The Phantom Band – The Wants 423
  6. Wild Beasts – Smother 386
  7. Modest Mouse – We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank 385
  8. The Twilight Sad – Forget the Night Ahead 333
  9. King Creosote – Bombshell 331
  10. Interpol – Turn on the Bright Lights 315

This list is redundant really. The only thing of note in this list is that it shows the presence of Wild Beasts. This list is so remarkably similar to 2011’s it’s quite disturbing. Hopefully some change will have happened in the other lists.

Top Ten artists from the last 12 months
  1. Errors 323
  2. Wild Beasts 307
  3. Tycho 304
  4. The Twilight Sad 300
  5. The Walkmen 269
  6. Liars 256
  7. Slow Club 252
  8. Beach House 247
  9. Why? 216
  10. The Mars Volta 164

So the above is a new list. The first two lists show that they have rarely changed. My listening habits have, but not yet with the impact needed to change dramatically the top listings on my list. Fun stat: only 20% of the “All Time” artists appear in the “12 months” lists, and all of the plays in the top 10 from the past 12 months make up only 80.4% of the plays of the top two “All time” artists. This shows you the weighting of the list.

Good to see some artists appearing in there; Beach House, Why?, Liars, and Errors – probably my most listened to 2012 album, and slowly becoming my favourite of the year.

If that’s the last 12 months… what does the last 6 months look like?

Top Ten artists from the last 6 months
  1. The Walkmen 266
  2. Beach House 246
  3. Liars 232
  4. Wild Beasts 208
  5. Slow Club 184
  6. Modest Mouse 155
  7. Why? 145
  8. The Twilight Sad 143
  9. The Antlers 130
  10. Arrange 119
So there’s a tiny bit of shuffling there, but mostly it’s interesting to see that a few other artists creeping into the lists – Arrange and Antlers for example.          

As I mentioned last year, this gives you a good idea of what I have bene listening to and what I actually like. Don’t believe the top 10 at the top of this post. I have listened to so much different music in the last few months – I actually think that for the first time in years, and maybe ever, my top five favourite albums are guitar devoid. Liars’ new album, Errors, Arrange’s New Memory, Twin Shadow… the guitar is less and less important in my listening habits. That said, The Walkmen still appear. It’s interesting though to see the shift.

These posts are always interesting to me, so I hope they are slightly interesting to you. I will be restarting the Wednesday Graveyard: “Live” in the coming weeks, so if you like my music taste then you should be listening to them when they are released.

Notes:
- Notice the propensity of artists that released music in 2012 - Mars Volta, Walkmen, Errors, Twilight Sad, Liars, Beach House, Antlers, Arrange...

See you in 2013.