My top ten artists for this year are as follows with play count this year in regular brackets and overall playcount ranking (extracted from my laptop in use since 2005) in square brackets:
- The Nova Echo (447 plays) 
- Joy Division (305) 
- Shihad (243) 
- The Sisters of Mercy (219) 
- The Killers (170) 
- Alison Weiss (168) 
- Kabuto the Python (165) 
- Rammstein (152) 
- Richard Cheese (127) [=27]
- Stabbing Westward [=27]; MC Frontalot  (both 115)
The Offspring , Shriekback , Carter USM  and The Cure  also had over 100 scrobbles each and another 34 artists had between 99 and 50 (including Oomph! (83) , The Dresden Dolls (58) , both of which artists get a lot of play on my Walkman). There was at least one occasion for all of the artists in the top ten on which I played their entire catalogue, except for the Sisters. I have so many odd live recordings and bootlegs that if I had done that once, they would have easily been first on this list, instead, they just come up a lot in my automatic playlists. Lordi has the fourth highest overall plays, but didn't get much love this year, only 22 plays.
My top album chart is filled with artists of which I don't have many albums, or who haven't released many albums:
- The Nova Echo - The Nova Echo (424)
- Allison Weiss – ...Was Right All Along (90)
- Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures (81)
- Joy Division – Substance (70)
- Kabuto the Python – Noncents Vol. 5 (69)
- Joy Division – Still (64)
- The Killers – Sawdust (59)
- K.Flay – MASHed Potatoes (57)
- Rammstein – Völkerball Disc 2 (50)
- MGMT – Oracular Spectacular (49)
The next twelve albums all have playcounts in the 40s. These include more Joy Division, Kabuto, and The Killers, and albums by The Cars, Shriekback, The Reborn Identity (mashups), Navi, Depeche Mode, one Shihad album (Ignite), and Dr Awkward. I only discovered The Nova Echo's second EP a couple of weeks ago or it might well have made it here as well. I'm sure it will get a lot of play as I work on Echoes.
Most of these albums are on this list because I played an album a lot at one time either on its own as an album, or as part of an entire catalogue playlist. Notably, this does not apply to the Rammstein album. I didn't really go on a Rammstein kick at any point last year, although I did finally buy Völkerball in 2010.
In the light of those numbers, it's no surprise that The Nova Echo's eponymous album dominates my list of most played tracks. In fact, the first fifteen of the chart comprises all the songs from that album plus two Allison Weiss tracks, 'Fingers Crossed' (2nd with 43 plays) and 'Try to Understand' (5th with 37) and Frightened Rabbit – 'Head Rolls Off' (13th with 26 plays). Scanning further down this chart shows me that there are a lot of songs that I discovered on thesixtyone.com; including, The Nova Echo and Allison Weiss, so to say that that site had a big influence on what I listened to in 2010 would be an understatement.
The statistics don't lie in that The Nova Echo were the band that blew me away in 2010. However, they do somewhat obscure the influence that mashups have continued to have on my listening habits since 2009. If Last.fm had a tag or genre chart, I suspect they would rank highly. I look forward to finding out what my big musical discovery of 2011 will be.
Writing this post has reminded me of a couple of contenders to be my first musical purchase of 2011: Amanda Palmer's album of Radiohead Covers and Schaffer the Darklord's Manslaughterer.
Recursivity abounds! This sort of post is exactly why I signed up for Last.fm (I love statistics!) but, credit where it's due, the proximal impetus was Mash's post on the same subject. Now he's gone into more detail: Follow-up Muzak.