Soundtrack of my Life

Soundtrack of my Life

Music is a very important part of my life. I’m sure that is the case for many people, yet I wanted to explicitly mention it in this post. I listen to music during almost my entire work day, I have been playing piano since I was 8 years old and I also write songs occasionally and produce a few things using tools like Cubase and such. So yesterday I had the thought of looking back and thinking about the songs that I have listened to over all the years, songs that may even have shaped me in a way. I asked myself whether I could determine a song for every year that I associate the most with that time in my life. Things like that are just something I’m interested in, for example I’ve also been keeping track of my musical listening habits through Last.fm since 2007. It was also very nice to take some time to dive into old memories. So in this post I’m putting the list of songs out there. This is kind of a very personal post in some cases; maybe you’re just interested in such things the same way as I am, or you are curious about music recommendations, or you would like to know me better. For me the reason of writing this is that I simply want to keep track – after all, people used to call blogs weblogs, and that’s what I’m doing here – logging my favorite songs for each year of my life. Well, not my entire life: I will start with the year 2000 (I was 10 years old then), since I can’t quite recall anything before that and it would mostly have been entirely charts music anyway – and you will notice that especially in the first years of the list, my musical taste was still evolving. 🙂 By the way, to start things off, I’m pretty sure that I can say that German band Rammstein has been the only constant for as long as I can remember: Although none of their songs is present in the following list, I have listened to them at the same time I listened to Britney Spears, and I still listen to them now from time to time. But now, here’s the list of my favorite songs for each year as far as I can remember. Some of the years I would say there was more than 1 song I could have put there, but I think what I have there is a pretty good representation of my taste in music and also events in my life. Please note in advance that the songs represent what I’ve listened to for each year – it doesn’t necessarily mean that it was released in that year.


2000: Michi Beck in Hell by Die Fantastischen Vier
That was long ago! I was still in elementary school, and I remember that at the time I used to write down a list of my Top 20 regularly, and that song was always ranked #1. If you’re not German, Die Fantastischen Vier are a German Hip Hop group that has been around for many years. I’m sure I just liked this song because I thought it was funny (listen to it till the end and you will understand how a child can find this funny). I haven’t listened to the song in years, but I still know most of the lyrics, and I kind of like its mood. And it still is kind of funny, just differently than it was back in the days.
2001: Ramp! (The Logical Song) by Scooter
As you can see I had a great taste in music as a kid. Again, if you’re not German, Scooter is the most amazingly crappy Eurodance-style-but-they-call-themselves-Hardcore-techno group in Germany. They have been selling records like crazy for the past more than 20 years although their music is bad and their lyrics are plain stupid. If you’re a native English speaker, I’m sure their lyrics will sound even dumber than they sound to us. I was a huge fan when I was young – and now I honestly still am, although only in a funny way. Their stuff is still tremendous party music you can laugh about, and I have respect for how they’ve remained successful over time, especially since they have admitted multiple times that their music is stupid, but they would continue as long as people bought it.
2002: Tainted Love by Marilyn Manson
First song in the list that I still listen to! I was never a fan of Marilyn Manson, but this song is just punchy and one of the few that I really was into. The song was also notably out of my usual musical scope. Things like Scooter were still huge for me at that time, so this was an exception. I listened to it a lot, really – so much better than the original in my opinion.
2003: Get Busy by Sean Paul
I’m sure everyone knows this song. Obviously that time still belongs to the charts music period of my life, and I loved Sean Paul’s music when I got to know it (when it came popular). At the time I had probably never listened to a song with that Jamaican style of speaking (sorry if it’s not Jamaican, I don’t know what this kind of language/dialect is actually called).
2004: Stay Together for The Kids by blink-182
Suddenly my musical taste of today started shaping. I would say it was end of 2003/early 2004 that I got into listening to pop-punk. Suddenly it was hardly any other genre. While bands like blink-182, The Offspring, Sum 41 etc were kind of at the end of their mainstream success, I just got started with their music. I listen to almost any genre as of today, but if you asked me, I would probably still say that pop-punk is my favorite. And even with 26 years I still love that teenage music although lyrics about first dates and parties are not really what I’m into now – I really like these songs for how easy-going they are, plus it might also be nostalgia, yeah I’m sure there’s some involved. This song in particular really mattered to me as it pretty much got me in contact with the girl I had a crush on at that time. Teenage stories, right?
2005: Denial, Revisited by The Offspring
The Offspring turned out to really become what I would call my favorite band, and similar to how pop-punk has always remained within my musical boundaries, I still consider The Offspring’s music my favorite. Although hardly anyone notices, they’re still active and put out releases occasionally each of which I really digged in some way. The song mentioned here was their only ballad, and these were often my favorites especially at that time. But their Um-Ta-Um-Ta-Aaaahs-and-Oooohs songs were outstanding as well, I certainly prefer those ones now.
2006: Supermassive Black Hole by Muse
This song. I listened to it so often. I think the sound of it is incredibly huge, I love the overall style of it. It was almost the only song I ever listened to by Muse (didn’t like most of their other stuff a lot), but I remember it used to be my most-played song on Winamp. I got to know the song from FIFA 07 (soccer video game) which I played a lot back then…
2007: Nothing in my Way by Keane
…and it is also the same game I got this very song from. Only in this case, it wasn’t specifially the song that I liked a lot. I started listening to Keane, bought their two albums, and they were on my playlists throughout the entire year (and a little bit beyond). I still love these two albums as of now, and it’s still a bummer for me that their musical style changed so much on the following albums (which I never bought because of that). That’s probably also the reason they’re rather a great memory than an act currently on my playlists. Their songs moved me very much in all kinds of moods, especially during and after my US exchange that took place that year. Ya I know it’s weird, they’re one of the very few non-American musicians in the list right?
2008: Forever by Chris Brown
Summer 2008 had me back in the US, and the time I spent there was not less amazing than during the exchange. This was a party song that is basically entirely a reminder of that time, and therefore it has a special place in my heart. I usually don’t like R’n’B at all, and I’m not even sure that I like this song. That doesn’t mean I do not sing the entirety of its lyrics along with it, in the same overly emotional way any time this comes on (which in most cases happens because I put it on, and people lose faith in my music choices).
2009: Break Stuff by Limp Bizkit
In this year Limp Bizkit who I had been listening to occasionally since 2003/2004 reunited after a few years of hiatus. So I started listening to their music and suddenly discovered how much I liked it. I went on to see them live at Rock am Ring, so this entire year was full of their music. I even gave a performance of that song alongside some friends’ metal band which occurred mostly because people said that I could imitate the voice and rapping style of the band’s singer Fred Durst pretty well.
2010: Enjoy by Kottonmouth Kings
An exchange student (and nowadays good friend) from the US who attended my school for about a year told me about that 420-kind of a rap group called Kottonmouth Kings. I’ve never been a stoner or anything like that, but I liked their sound immediately, especially how they regularly also do songs of completely different genres than rap. That song is probably my favorite by them, but they’re one of the few artists where I can listen to any of their albums in its entirety and not get bored. That’s also the reason I’m sure that they are the globally most-played artists on my Last.fm profile.
2011: Heaven by Angels & Airwaves
If you haven’t heard of that band, it’s the project that one of the blink-182 (ex-)members had started some years ago. While you can tell they have similarities to blink-182 (mostly because of his voice for sure), their music is completely different. It’s much more calm, kind of stadium rock, but with many SFX, for me their music is really moving. This particular song is certainly one of my all-time favorite songs. I can listen to it at any time: When things are good, it just expresses my mood in the best way possible, and when they aren’t, this song really has the power to change my mood by simply listening to it. In that particular year, I listened to it more than regularly though: It was a great year that some many changes happening, I moved out of my parents’ home, I was in a healthy relationship, I started going to university.
2012: Beez in the Trap by Nicki Minaj
Yes, you got that right. That year I started listening to Nicki Minaj, and I have been doing so ever since. She’s totally out of my usual musical habits, but I love her music. Her style of rapping is outstanding, although she only rarely uses it anymore since she turned mainstream just a little bit too much in my opinion. Still, I like a lot of her music, that song was her one I listened to the most in that year. If you don’t know what I’m talking about regarding her style of rapping, make sure to listen to her part in Kanye West’s Monster – I think it’s incredible. Nicki Minaj is definitely the artist where most people cannot understand how I like her music so much. So I was happy to know I’m not the only one when I learned that WordPress lead developer Helen Hou-Sandí is also into her music. By the way, 2012 was also the year I started with WordPress. But I don’t wanna talk about WordPress in this post, so that’s the only time, promise!
2013: Rosana by Wax
I listened to that song throughout all summer of 2013. It’s one of the songs that sounds childishly happy to me and great so sing along, not sure because or regardless of its dirty lyrics. This song is definitely what a German would call an “earworm” which denotes a song that is stuck in your head. I don’t listen to that song very often nowadays, but when I do, I do it a lot in a short period of time – that’s the only way to get rid of that earworm. 😀
2014: Bloodflows by SOHN
In that year I faced break-up from my long-time girlfriend, and it was also the year that many other couples I or we were friends with broke up. It’s really strange how that can suddenly happen at a similar time for so many people. The music I listened to in that year expressed that in a way, but I found a lot of hidden gems as I looked out for less known independent music quite a bit. The musicians SOHN and JMSN were the two I discovered that year, and I can totally recommend you to check out their interesting sound. While JMSN has more songs that I like, SOHN has a few that really stand out to me – the one mentioned for example. I got most of my new music input from a Spotify playlist called Future RNB – many great independent artists in there!
2015: Anomaly by Angels & Airwaves
Another song by Angels & Airwaves, this is distinct from most of their other songs as it is a basic setup without as many synths and effects, plus the singer’s voice sounds completely different. A very calm, but moving song – the accompanying album unfortunately was the first one I couldn’t really get anything out of, except for this song that I think is just marvelous.
2016: Like A Bitch by Zomboy
This year was made to escalate! If you had told me a few years back that I would listen to that kind of EDM regularly, I would have laughed at you. Totally out of range, I’m not sure how that happened, but I started enjoying dubstep this year. Although the tracks are obviously compositionally basic in almost every case, I really dig the sounds and the work that goes into these. The more I became interested, the more respect I had towards the people making that kind of music – while it’s not quite complex songwriting, there is simply another focus and challenge in making that music: While bands write their songs and then let other people take care of recording them and producing it, most of these DJs handle it all on their own. I never thought about it that way before, but this is certainly something I appreciate. I even started playing around with dubstep sounds in Cubase together with a friend, so let’s see where this is going in the future. That artist Zomboy is who I listened to the most, his sound is just huge. So, yeah, I enjoy dubstep – however, maybe that isn’t even so far off the road as I think the sound resembles more with acts like Limp Bizkit than let’s say David Guetta (punchiness-wise). I would totally understand if you shook your head now though. 🙂

So that’s it for my list of songs. How about you? Would you be able to get such a list together and be interested in doing it? If you do anything like it, make sure to ping me as I, like I said before, am interested in that stuff, and I’m always looking out for new musical inspiration and recommendations. So maybe I’ll be able to read a similar post from you at some point. 🙂