A version of this article was originally posted on this site on January 9th, 2018. Although I've been tweaking and updating the text at various points in this four-part series of reposts, I'm going to quote the opening of this final part exactly as it stood nearly three years ago.
When historians look back at the deeply troubled period between 2010 and 2019, I suspect they'll say that one of its major problems was that we never really agreed what to call it.
Look at the decades we've covered in the rest of this series. The Eighties? The Nineties? Spectacularly uncontroversial: everybody calls them that. Things got a bit more uncertain at the turn of the millennium, but there was eventually an unspoken agreement that the cheeky double entendre of the Noughties would have to do. But what about now? We're four-fifths of the way through this garbage fire of a decade, and still nobody can come up with a name for it, other than the basic facepalm gesture. So I'm proposing the Tenties as the logical choice, even though it sounds bloody daft. Roll on 2020, when at least we're back into a pre-existing naming convention.
Just to recap: the Tenties was a garbage fire, and it will be a relief when 2020 comes around. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.
Anyway, the fourth and final part of this feature is structured in the same way as the other three, and this time round it includes details for 2018 and 2019, which I couldn't do on the previous occasion because of the linear nature of time. Once again, I've taken the Pick Of The Year CD compilations I've been creating every year, and attempted to recreate them as Spotify playlists. You'd assume that as Spotify's been running since 2008, pretty much every record released this decade would be on there, but you'd be wrong. The gaps on these last few playlists tend to fall into three categories: limited web-only releases via sites like Bandcamp, music from foreign parts (though Japan seems to have embraced international releasing for its bigger artists), and acts who've simply decided that streaming isn't something they want to do.
As always, I've noted the omissions for each year (including a few that have dropped off Spotify since January 2018), and included links to the original discussions of the tracks. The more alert of you may have realised that the playlists for 2014-2016 have been around for a while, and were set up specifically for MostlyFilm's end-of-year roundups (though the embedded players are all buggered now, as they were updated some time ago). The others, though, have been set up specifically for this page. Happy streaming, or whatever it is that the kids would say.
2010: On Your Way To Somewhere Else.
We're missing three from this particular playlist. The Blur song was a limited edition vinyl release for Record Store Day, and at least we should be grateful that they also put out a free download for people who didn't pick up one of the thousand copies pressed. Vanilla Beans are one of those Japanese acts who aren't big enough to justify much exposure outside their home country: curiously, Nicola was streaming here for a few years, but has now gone again. That leaves a track from the soundtrack of the film Gainsbourg, specifically Sara Forestier's unflattering impersonation of yé-yé singer France Gall.
2011: You've Done An Awesome Job Kevin.
This was around the time that I was discovering a lot of new music thanks to the free CDs given away with the late lamented Word magazine. Zoey Van Goey's You Told The Drunks I Knew Karate was one song I picked up from there - I subsequently bought their album Propeller Versus Wings, but nothing else on the record tickled me in quite the same way. It looks like the band split up a year later, and nobody seems particularly keen to put their legacy on Spotify.
2012: I Am My Own Demographic.
Quite a few omissions on this playlist. Surprisingly, Vanilla Beans aren't one of them in this case - their third album has somehow been deemed more worthy of global Spotification than their first one. Meanwhile, Limited Express (Has Gone?) have the double whammy of being Japanese and releasing their best song for free on their website: while The North Sea Scrolls is only streamable in the standard album version, not the special edition with the Scroll spoken word interludes. That leaves the mysterious case of The Chemical Brothers' Theme For Velodrome, which appears to have been completely deleted from all digital formats - you can't even buy the MP3 any more. I know it's a song that's specifically tied to the 2012 Olympics, but it seems odd that you can only hear it on YouTube video now.
2013: Hanging Out With Various Riff-Raff.
Two tracks missing here. David Byrne and St Vincent gave away a free download EP just to members of their mailing list, which didn't make it onto Spotify, which is fair enough. Less fair is the absence of Petula Clark, whose 2013 comeback album Lost In You was on streaming for a few years and then mysteriously pulled. Because I included a song from it on this playlist, Spotify's algorithm keeps chucking me songs from the cheesier end of her Sixties career, which is irritating. Still, it's pleasing to see Japan's own Love Psychedelico now appearing on UK streaming after several years of not appearing.
2014: Everywhere Is Monsters.
No gaps on this one, thanks to Soil&"Pimp"Sessions finally getting a UK streaming deal. Hooray!
2015: Fat Child In A Pushchair*
Just one small gap here, courtesy of Kid Carpet: the soundtrack to his Noisy Nativity theatre show was only released on Bandcamp, so streaming users can't enjoy the delights of his track Jesus Is A Hedgehog. Having said that, his subsequent albums have been released on all the regular digital platforms as well, though I believe he gets more cash if you buy the tracks from Bandcamp. Anyway, look out for him on the next two compilations.
2016: Täähä Menöö Hyvi!
Curiously, Kate Bush's Before The Dawn live album is the only one she's never made available for streaming, hence the non-appearance of King Of The Mountain here. As for Ylvis, despite all their international success with The Fox, they've made many of their subsequent songs almost impossible to get hold of unless you own a Norwegian credit card. Try it if you don't believe me. Happily, that changed in 2018 with the soundtrack of their TV show Stories From Norway, which I first heard about through Spotify.
2017: His Sonic Experiments With Robert Fripp.
This was the point where the previous version of this article stopped, because it was posted in early 2018. At that time, the Divine Comedy live album Loose Canon was only available from merch stands and the band's online shop, but by February of that year it was out on all major platforms, including Spotify. So the only absence here now is the Michael Legge track The Last Days, which was only released on 7" vinyl single and Bandcamp download. The single sold out ages ago, but the download's still available.
2018: First Let’s Kill All The Tailors.
This probably counts as confirmation bias, or something like that: as I use Spotify more and more to listen to music, the chances of a POTY track not being available on Spotify tend towards zero. So all the songs are currently available for 2018.
2019: Fearless. Ruthless. Cheerless. Clueless.
And 2019, for that matter.
So there you go: nearly four decades of my life summarised in a bunch of Spotify playlists. All done just in time for the 2020 POTY compilation... which includes a song that was pulled off Spotify just a few months after it was released. I'm going to be updating these sodding things forever, aren't I?