In my post last week, I mentioned that Billy Joel is one of the top played artists on my phone and that my “Fave Oldies” playlist is one of my top played playlists. I was surprised to find that those who commented on the post (that was not about music at all, but about how old I feel) chimed in to talk about some of his songs that they enjoy and asked me what my favorites are. In case you’re curious, my answer to that was “We Didn’t Start the Fire” has been my favorite since I was young, but “Vienna” moves me to tears every time I hear it and I’ve been listening to “Running on Ice” on repeat recently. We raved about the Billy Joel concerts we’ve been to (by the way, don’t ask me to sit down at a Billy Joel concert or you will get the stink eye and I will wish that all of your socks are wet until the end of time) and the nostalgic feelings his songs inspire in us.
After these comment convos, I thought it might be fun to share some of my favorite playlists that I’ve created with you. I really love creating playlists, and I was very tempted to work for Pandora or something like it just so I could learn their algorithm for creating playlists and try my hand at making a few of my own. I love combining similar songs and seeing how I can create a playlist that will flow seamlessly. In typical Renata fashion, I don’t create all of the playlists that I have in mind because I’m always afraid I’ll miss something that belongs on it in the first pass and my music library is just too extensive to go back through.
Yup, my perfectionism runs so deep that I can’t even create playlists for myself because I fear they won’t be complete and perfect. To paraphrase Jean-Paul Sartre, “hell, is my brain.”
Below, you’ll find some of my favorite playlists that I’ve ever created. If you have Apple Music and want to add them to your device, you should be able to search for my playlists with my handle (@renataoleo). I actually also recreated these playlists in Spotify because those are easier to embed in a WordPress blog…thanks for making that transfer process as painless as possible, SongShift app!
Note: these playlists have, of course, my favorite songs that I’ve found fit into the following categories. Many of these playlists have not been updated in years. They’re not complete lists by any means. Yes, I need to mention this because of the aforementioned perfectionism…
I hope you enjoy!
This is the most recent playlist that I decided to create, and it includes — you guessed it — an obscene amount of Billy Joel. These are some of my favorite songs from (around) the 70s and 80s. This has been my go-to playlist lately when I just want to bop along to some familiar hits.
In case you couldn’t tell, the last playlist was very much a *ahem* sausage fest. Sometimes I just want to listen to some talented womxn belt it out. Some of these songs are particularly empowering, some are just bops, but they’re all awesome.
The more you read on this list, the more that you’ll realize that I love upbeat music. Very rarely will I choose to listen to slower, quieter music, instead preferring songs that I can jam out to. This playlist is all about those songs that I listen to when I want to slow down or even when I’m just feeling melancholy and want to lean into it.
This is the playlist I created for when I want to feel like I could run through a brick wall or climb Mount Everest or make a phone call. It’s a great workout playlist if you’re the type of person who loves to get hype while working out. Or, alternatively, this works well if you’re having a bad day and need a reminder that you can power through.
This one’s on the shorter side because they are, on the whole, a bit slower and more thoughtful than the motivational music above. These aren’t quite songs that I want to listen to in order to get through a workout, but they’re still songs that can make me feel inspired. It’s just a slower inspiration, and at this point, you know that my motto is typically “faster is better” when it comes to music.
Mellow Base Lines ❤
No, I am not ashamed of the name of this playlist that I started several years ago. This playlist is full of pop songs that give me some early-childhood nostalgia. These are the songs that were playing on the “Top Hits” stations in the late 90s/early 2000s. In the movie Ted, the character Ted comments that you can sing any 90s song the same way, sing it with just vowels. While I agree with this sentiment, there’s also the mellow baselines aspect for me — pop songs in the 90s weren’t always the upbeat dance tracks of today. They had a vibe all their own.
Early 2000s Hip Hop
What? Another nostalgic playlist? No way! WAY! These awesome songs make anyone want to get up and dance. These are the songs I would’ve danced to in middle school if dancing wasn’t banned from our school as if it were the town in Footloose. If you’re hoping that this playlist will feature a lot of Sean Paul, you will not be disappointed.
I saved this one for last because it is probably the longest playlist on my phone. I made it way back when, so it is chock full of throwbacks. This list is full of poppy hits to listen to on your drive to the beach or to enjoy at a summer cookout. This is my default playlist when riding with my friends in the summer sun with the windows down!