Music listening the alphabetical versus chronological way

Elliot Smith (1969-2003)

Well today I complete my sixth week in my new fitness regime. Weights today but yesterday it was a half hour run on the treadmill kept going by my trusty iPod alaphabetical song marathon. I’m now up to  L for L.A. My iPod took me through 24 songs from Elliot Smith’s L.A. to The Chemical Brothers’ Let Forever Be.

The Chemical Brothers

Without being too O.C.D., I wonder if you can think of 22 songs that would fit between those songs – in strict alphabetical order of course. It might sound like geekiness gone wild but it isn’t as dull as you might think, honestly. I like all the songs on my iPod or they wouldn’t be there but I have never  heard them as randomly and yet as precisely as this before. Unsurprizingly, last week and we’re talking about rock stars here, the letter ‘I’  was quite popular.

Now try to guess my list or, at least come up with your own. Mine is probably very revealing:

L.A.  – Elliot Smith
La Bayamesa  – Buena Vista Social Club
Ladies of the Canyon – Joni Mitchell
Lady Grinning Soul  – David Bowie
(The) Lady Is A Tramp  – Ella Fitzgerald
Lady Jane  – The Rolling Stones
Lady Stardust  – David Bowie
Ladytron  – Roxy Music
Lake Of Fire  – Nirvana
The Last Living Rose  – P J Harvey
Last Night  – Travelling Wilburys
(The) Last Time  – The Rolling Stones

(The) Last Time I Saw Richard  – Joni Mitchell
Laughing Stock  – Love
Lay Down  – Melanie
Lay Lady Lay  – Bob Dylan
Left To My Devices  – Pet Shop Boys
Leftover Wine  – Melanie
(A) Legal Matter  – The Who
Leopard And Lamb  – John Grant
Les Etoiles  – Melody Gardot
Let Down  – Radiohead
Let England Shake  – P J Harvey
Let Forever Be  – The Chemical Brothers

Franz Liszt (1811-1886)

Talking of lists, away from the iPod and a complete change of mood, now you really will think I’m a music fanatic, I am in 1877 in my chronological journey through classical music – see what I mean! – and, rather neatly in an O.C.D. way, today I have reached L for Liszt’s third piano suite called (LesAnnées de pèlerinage (Years of pilgrimage). Here is the fourth piece L for Les jeux d’eaux à la Villa d’Este (The Fountains of the Villa d’Este) which is not just about Italian fountains but also, according to the composer, eternal life. It is played by one of my favourite pianists, Claudio Arrau. L for lovely:


  1. Margaret Montet said: Annees de Pelerinage! I studied those with my favorite Music Theory professor many moons ago…around that time, Claudio Arrau walked into the sheet music store at which I was working. I didn't recognize him, and his manager/handler/assistant was overly demanding. I called my manager (as I had been instructed to do) to handle that pair while I took care of the rest of the customers. My manager could barely contain himself when he realized who the old guy was and never let me forget the funny scene. Claudio Arrau himself was quiet and pleasant, of course.

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