You Are What’s On Your Playlist

Anyone with the tiniest bit of interest in music has, at one time or another, compiled songs onto blank media. And since the days of reel-to-reel, people have been judged by their mix tapes. The songs you choose, the order of the tracks, the theme, even the design (or lack thereof) of the case, can reveal your inner psyche. By just looking at your tracklist, a music fan will likely comprehend you better than your parents, or your psychiatrist, ever will.

So if you’ve ever needed further proof that the rich and famous are pretty clueless, take a look at Apple Music Store’s Celebrity Playlist feature.

Is it really a surprise that Fred Durst has the same musical taste as a relatively unhip high school kid? Is it kind of creepy/sad that Beyoncé’s list includes several of her own recordings? Do we believe that Andrew W.K. listens to nothing but Parliament? Who would have guessed Ruben Stoddard really likes Luther Vandross? Is there a rule that all playlists must include OutKast? Does Ed Norton even own a stereo?

While many are flat-out obvious or weak, others try too hard. John Mayer appears to have stayed up all night toiling to create a list so diverse that it makes us wonder how such a wide range of influences could result in such utter mediocrity in his own work.

Quirks of the Apple Music Store add another level of scrutiny to the playlists, with unavailable songs replaced with subpar live versions or gaping holes. (Interpol’s list doesn’t include Joy Division? are they worried people might realize how derivative they are, or was Joy Division’s catalog not available when they posted?)

Of course there are good lists, too. Burt Bachrach chooses a set of top standards that would probably never see the day if licensing got in the way. Tom Petty compiled ten fantastic soul and blues tracks without being either obvious or obscure. Alice Cooper lists songs by both his influences and influencees. Phantom Planet, Sleater Kinney and the Flaming Lips’ mixes are convincing documents of what they’re probably actually listening to these days.

The point is, Celebrity Playlists are fascinating in so many ways, and we thought it’d be fun to choose some celebrities Apple hadn’t talked to yet, and guess what songs and themes and gimmicks they’d choose if confronted with such a task. Choose any celebrity, and explore their innermost thoughts and feelings, whether comical or sincere, by choosing songs from Apple Music Store. Post your list at and with the crew there, we’ll choose the winners based on how convincing your picks are.

We’re sure to find some good lists being assembled in Syracuse, NYC, Boston, Redding, LA, Santa Clara, Farmingville, Toronto, Mokena, Highland, Menlo Park, Houston, Ottawa, Fairview and Edwardsville.