What would you put on a mixtape of your life?

I was born in 1962. This playlist begins in 1965 and ends in January of 2023 (though the song was actually released as a single in late 2022). I tried to think back to the first songs I remembered hearing that made some sort of impression on me. In compiling the entire list, with few exceptions, for the sake of variety I tried not to repeat artists. There was no clearcut criteria for what made the cut other than the song making some sort of impression me. Some are hit/signature songs, others are deep cuts. This is still a work in progress that once complete would go on a series of TDK SA 90s, my tape of choice back in the day.

Petula Clark “Downtown”

Jewel Akens “The Birds and the Bees”

Royal Guardsmen “Snoopy vs. the Red Baron”

Alice Cooper “Be My Lover”

Grand Funk Railroad “Rock n’ Roll Soul”

Black Sabbath “War Pigs”

Grateful Dead “Casey Jones”

Beatles “Should Have Known Better”

Kiss “Rock n’ Roll All Nite”

ZZ Top “Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers”

Waylon Jennings “Ain’t No God in Mexico”

Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen "Country Casanova”

David Allan Coe “Longhaired Redneck”

New Riders of the Purple Sage “Panama Red”

Old & In the Way “Midnight Moonlight”

Earl Scruggs Revue “Sally Gooding” (Live)

Goose Creek Symphony “Talk About Goose Creek and Other Important Places”

Pure Prairie League “Falling in and Out of Love/Amie”

Led Zeppelin “What Is and What Should Never Be”

Beach Boys “Good Vibrations”

Lynyrd Skynyrd “Swamp Music”

Jimmy Buffett “The Captain and the Kid”

John Prine “Bruised Orange (Chain of Sorrow)”

Mother’s Finest “Mickey’s Monkey”

Nantucket “Heartbreaker”

Cheap Trick “Surrender”

Rush “Xanadu”

Hank Wilson (Leon Russell) “Roll in My Sweet Baby’s Arms”

Little Feat “Willin’

Rolling Stones “Before They Make Me Run”

Van Halen “Eruption/You Really Got Me”

Peter Tosh & Mick Jagger “(You Gotta Walk and) Don’t Look Back”

Mike Cross “The Lord’ll Provide”

Fabulous Knobs “Long Dark Night”

Glass Moon “Solsbury Hill” (Peter Gabriel)

Arrogance “Your Sister Told Me”

Guy Clark “Texas Cookin’”

Dire Straits “Romeo and Juliet”

Neil Young and Crazy Horse “Thrasher”

John Lennon “(Just Like) Starting Over”

Bob Marley & the Wailers “Babylon System”

Toots and the Maytals “Pressure Drop”

Jimmy Cliff “The Harder They Come”

U2 “Two Hearts Beat as One”

R.E.M. “Laughing”

Elvis Costello and the Attractions “Everyday I Write the Book”

Lone Justice “Ways to Be Wicked”

Guadalcanal Diary “Trail of Tears”

Steve Earle “Someday”

10,000 Maniacs “Like the Weather”

The Connells “Fine Tuning”

10,000 Maniacs with Michael Stipe “Candy Everybody Wants”

The Replacements “Achin’ To Be”

World Party “Put the Message in the Box”

Pearl Jam “Black”

Edie Brickell and New Bohemians 'Circle"

Bob Dylan, Roger McGuinn, Tom Petty, Neil Young, Eric Clapton and George Harrison “My Back Pages”

Smashing Pumpkins “Cherub Rock”

Johnny Cash “Ring of Fire”

Counting Crows “Perfect Blue Buildings”

Southern Culture On the Skids “Voodoo Cadillac”

Dick Dale & the Del-Tones “Misirlou”

Donna the Buffalo “The Ones You Love”

Tony Joe White “Polk Salad Annie”

Whiskeytown “Dancing With the Women at the Bar”

Gourds “Meat Off the Bone”

Son Volt “Drown”

Wilco “She’s A Jar”

Uncle Tupelo “I Got Drunk”

Slobberbone “I Can Tell Your Love is Waning”

Billy Bragg & Wilco “Remember the Mountain Bed”

Trailer Bride “Graveyard”

Backsliders “Yep!”

Big Star “Thirteen”

Patty Hurst Shifter “For the Record”

Otis Redding “Shout Bamalama”

Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová “Falling Slowly”

Nada Surf “Your Legs Grow”

Ben Gibbard & Jay Farrar “These Roads Don’t Move”

Megafaun “Darkest Hour”

Mount Moriah “The Reckoning”

Ryan Gustafson “Soul Train”

Courtney Barnett “Avant Gardener”

Wussy “Teenage Wasteland”

Hiss Golden Messenger “Heart Like A Levee”

Lydia Loveless “Somewhere Else”

Angel Olsen “Sister”

Big Thief “Masterpiece”

Sharon Van Etten “Serpents”

Frazey Ford “Done”

Will Stewart “Dark Halls”

Erika Wennerstrom “Time”

Jake Xerxes Fussell “Raggy Levy”

Alvvays “Archie, Marry Me”

Margo Cilker “That River”

Julia Jacklin “Head Alone”

Drive-By Truckers “Wilder Days”

H.C. McEntire “Soft Crook”


I was born in 1959. My playlist begins from that year and ends at 2021. I haven’t had time to put it in proper chronological order.

Bernadette - The Four Tops
Stornelli Amorosi - Claudio Villa
Mr. Boganles - Jerry Jeff Walker
The Boat That I Row - Lulu (Neil Diamond cover)
Tar & Cement - Verdelle Smith
A Sign Of The Times - Petula Clark
Hey Joe - Jimmy Hendrix
You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me - Dusty Springfield
Yeh Yeh - Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames
Una Ragiona Di Piu - Ornella Vanoni
Maggie May - Rod Stewart
Wichita Lineman - Glen Campbell ( Jimmy Webb)
Io Vivro Senza Te - Lucio Battisti
Good Vibrations - The Beach Boys
Here Come the Sun - The Beatles
The Next Step Is Love - Elvis Presley
It’s Too Late - Carole King
Led Zeppelin - The Battle Of Evermore
Trans Europe Express - Kraftwerk
Heroin - The Velvet Underground
Riders On The Storm - The Doors
Living For The City - Stevie Wonder
Neil’s Fandango - The Doobie Brothers
Rocky Mountain High - John Denver
Help Me - Joni Mitchell
Like A Hurricane - Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Late For The Sky - Jackson Browne
Reelin’ In The Years - Steely Dan
The Jean Genie - David Bowie
Both Ends Burning - Roxy Music
Fantasy - Earth Wind & Fire
Lowdown - Boz Scaggs
Love Hang Over - Dianna Ross
Lilly, Rosemary & The Jack Of Hearts - Bob Dylan
No, Your Product - The Saints
I Feel Love - Donna Summer
We Belong Together - Rickie Lee Jones
Mirror In The Bathroom - The British Beat
Rock With You - Michael Jacskon
I Don’t Want To Know - Fleetwood Mac
Message In A Bottle - The Police
Ship Of Fools - World Party
Message Of Love - The Pretenders
Controversy - Prince
Atomic - Blondie
I Want You Back - The Hoodoo Gurus
Scorpio Rising - 10,000 Maniacs
Life & How To Live It - R.E.M.
Born To Run - Bruce Springsteen
Tunnel Of Love - Dire Straits
Flames Trees - Cold Chisel
Boys Don’t Cry - The Cure
The Paris Match - The Style Council
Pump Up The Jam - Technotronic
Until The End Of The World - U2
Fade Into You - Mazzy Star
The New Pollution - Beck
Weather With You - Crowded House
Invalid Litter Dept. - At The Drive-in
Waterfalls - TLC
Smile - Pearl Jam
Gone Pie - Patti Smith
The Day I Tried To Live - Soundgarden
Subterranean Home Sick Alien - Radiohead
In the Morning of the Magicians - The Flaming Lips
Held Down - De La Soul
National Holiday - The Herd
Ludicity - Tame Impala
Gem - Lilly Hiatt


Thanks for posting. Reading your list makes me think of more I could add to mine but I’m letting it be for now as it’s a list that would be constantly in flux. BTW, it’s not like the idea of a mixtape of our lives is a new idea but what prompted me to compile this one was learning of a book called The Mixtape of My Life: The Music That Made Me by Robert K. Elder. I haven’t read it (and am not sure if I ever will) but evidently it’s a work book full of prompts to help you create a mixtape of your life.

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I took me a while, and I struggled to choose just one song from bands or an artist I really love.

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In retrospect, if I was truly to make a soundtrack of my life, I’d choose multiple songs from one artist as more than a few have run through my life. I decided to chose just one (sometimes two) from one artist to add more variety but that approach isn’t really accurate. I’m also probably not going to go back and redo it. It was painstaking enough as it was just to put together the list that I did. Fun, but also painstaking. I eventually came to the realization that something’s going to get left out. In fact, in checking it just now, I noticed I didn’t include anything from David Lindley’s El Rayo-X album. This, despite the fact that that album has to be one of the ones I’ve listened to most in my lifetime. It was also definitely in heavy rotation in the early 80’s when I first discovered it. So, my list would be never ending and always a work in progress.

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This is all over the place, but here we go…

The Cure - “A Forest”
New Order - “Temptation” (1982 version)
U2 - “Out of Control”
INXS - “Don’t Change”
Echo and the Bunnymen - “Rescue”
Duran Duran - “Planet Earth”
David Bowie - “Sound and Vision”
The B-52’s - “52 Girls”
Pylon - “Cool”
Blondie - “Heart of Glass”
Eurythmics - “Love Is a Stranger”
Joy Division - “Transmission”
Depeche Mode - “Get the Balance Right!”
Simple Minds - “New Gold Dream (81/82/83/84)”
The Human League - “The Sound of the Crowd”
A Flock of Seagulls - “Space Age Love Song”
The Psychedelic Furs - “Heaven”
'Til Tuesday - “Voices Carry”
X - “Johny Hit and Run Paulene”
The Smiths - “William, It Was Really Nothing”
Sade - “Smooth Operator”
Stevie Wonder - “You are the Sunshine of My Life”
Al Green - “Let’s Stay Together”
Michael Jackson - “Billie Jean”
The Police - “Message in a Bottle”
Daryl Hall & John Oates - “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)”
Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark - “So In Love”
Prince - “Little Red Corvette”
Def Leppard - “Photograph”
R.E.M. - “Driver 8”
Marvin Gaye - “Sexual Healing”
Ronnie Milsap - “Smoky Mountain Rain”
The Go-Go’s - “Our Lips are Sealed”
Anita Baker - “Caught Up in the Rapture”
Crowded House - “Don’t Dream It’s Over”
General Public - “Tenderness”
The Chameleons - “Nostalgia”
Kraftwerk - “Computer World”
Melle Mel - “White Lines (Don’t Do It)”
The Church - “10,000 Miles”
The Cult - “She Sells Sanctuary”
Front 242 - “Headhunter”
Ride - “Like a Daydream”
Catherine Wheel - “Black Metallic”
Mogwai - “Helicon 1”
Interpol - “Untitled”
Crystal Castles - “Knights”
M83 - “Couleurs”
Boy Harsher - “Morphine”
The KVB - “On My Skin”
ACTORS - “We Don’t Have to Dance”
Drab Majesty - “Oxytocin”
LEATHERS - “Runaway”
Automatic - “Skyscraper”


These lists are more like boxed sets, not a mixtape :grinning:


I was originally going to try to whittle my playlist down to 90 minutes but soon realized that would make an already impossible task that much more impossible. So, I said fuck it.


I had a similar list for my 60th birthday celebration but I left some songs out that would have been obscure to my guests and included some of my favourite tracks that I assumed most would like. It didn’t work though, half way through the night the blue tooth got hijacked and people were playing their own favs, mostly top dance hits from the 70’s to 90’s.

Edit - I found my 60th music mix! This was 4 years ago, I should have included some of the songs on the first list I posted.


Cool thread. Reminded me of this article with Michael Stipe: Michael Stipe on the Music That Made Him | Pitchfork

I don’t know where to start with mine. I might have a go at doing one like Stipe’s in that article, with a song for each 5-year time period. But not tonight. It’s late. :slight_smile:


I devoted several days to mine, just adding songs as they came to me. Then, I just set it aside, mainly due to what an impossible task it is.