One of the most common complaints against modern pop radio stations is that they always play the same ten songs all day, even long after everyone has tired of hearing them. The same type of problem plagued listeners as far back as the 70s, an era when disc jockeys could get away with such repetitious playlists. Listeners had very few alternatives to hear music, especially in their cars.
Now, though, one has to wonder how radio stations manage to pull off such limited variety. Everyone has MP3 players or iPods, in addition to phones that play music and iPads that have music apps like Pandora. Why do people even bother to turn to pop radio stations to hear the same ten songs?
As a music fan who is searching always for variety, I offer this playlist of songs from a variety of genre. All they really have in common is the fact that they all have the word “always” in their titles.
“Always” by John Gorka: The cheerful rhythm belies the stark message of this folk track from the singer-songwriter’s Old Futures Gone album, when he realizes “I will always be lonely, nothing’s ever going to change that.”
“Always on My Mind” by Willie Nelson: The country legend is still going strong with a new album at age 80, but he will always be most associated with this classic.
“Always Something There to Remind Me” by Naked Eyes: The song by Burt Bacharach and Hal David has been covered by many famous artists, but this 80s new wave band used a drum machine and pleading vocals to make theirs the most enduring version.
“You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by the Rolling Stones: The British Invasion group had an unlikely hit with this Let It Bleed number with a choir-like intro, a repetitious chorus, numerous drug references, and a lengthy running time.
“I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston: The late queen of pop slowed the tempo for this love ballad, which lives eternally through wedding receptions and Valentine Day requests.
“Always the Sun” by the Stranglers: After their British punk heyday, the quartet softened the rhythms with symphonic overdubs on Dreamtime, from which this single emerged.
“Tears Always Win” by Alicia Keys: The current pop sensation has won several Grammys, mainly on the strength of melodies like this one.
“I Always Knew” by the Vaccines: This tune was one of the singles from the English alternative band’s Come of Age album, though most people recognized it from the TV show New Girl.
“I’ve Always Been Crazy” by Waylon Jennings: This laid-back classic serves as the perfect testament for the country legend’s life and career.
“Always on Your Side” by Sheryl Crow: The folk-pop guitarist has been charting for decades, moving flawlessly from soft ballads like this one to more upbeat hits such as “Soak up the Sun.”
“She’s Always a Woman to Me” by Billy Joel: This mellow tribute, accompanied by”Just the Way You Are,” represents the soft side of The Stranger, which was the Piano Man’s most rocking album up to that point in his career.
“Near You Always” by Jewel: From the singer’s most successful album, Pieces of You, this underrated track should have been as well-liked as “You Were Meant for Me” and “Who Will Save You Soul?”
“The Sun Always Shines on TV” by A-Ha: There is a lot of truth in this title from the “Take on Me” band, considering nearly every show ends happily.
“Always a Friend” by Alejandro Escovedo: This Texas singer-songwriter has had a storied career, starting in a punk band before moving into southern rock to the pop found on this track from Real Animal.
“Why Does It Always Rain on Me?” by Travis: The alternative band has been justifiably compared to Coldplay, but this catchy tune s better than anything the latter group has ever released.