Here we are, reading the first sentence of the second installment of a column where I'll give you a chartsweep of every hit song from 1956 to 1997. If you're wondering where this all comes from, I applied a shell script I wrote (that finds the maximum amplitude of an mp3 and cuts 10 seconds from that point) to one of the great treasures of WFMU's music library - that magical folder of mp3s called "Top 100 By Year". For this week, I will not wax philosophical on why I find these cutups so beautiful...they speak for themselves!
Also, check out these related bits of compilation/traversal art! Listener Fred sent me a video of Noe Soulier perform several dance pieces - among them are every ballet step in alphabetical order and (!!!) an exerpt from every 19th century ballet taken in chronological order. Fred also sent me a link to a Max/MSP patch called CataRT, which cuts up sound into tiny "grains", graphs them, and allows you to reconfigure those "grains" creatively. In the comments to my last post, listener Robert showed me his awesome blog that makes a statistical analysis of the most popular keys of pop songs throughout the decades. One major work that I should also mention is R Luke Dubois' piece Billboard, which finds the spectral "average" of every #1 billboard song and then plays each distilled hit in chronological order.
If you like all this nonsense, please support my radio show. Follow this link to my playlist where you can make a pledge to WFMU, which misguidedly allows me to cutup and reconfigure pop shlock for the entertainment of nincompoops such as yourself!
Find the complete tracklist of these songs below the fold!