U of M data whiz reveals the artists, songs most played by The Current since 2009

A U of M tech librarian went through every song on The Current playlist over almost 10 years.
Publish date:
Minnesota's Atmosphere is No. 10 on the most-played artists list.

Minnesota's Atmosphere is No. 10 on the most-played artists list.

Ever since April 2009, The Current has live-tweeted its playlist as songs are broadcast on 89.3FM in the Twin Cities.

If you check out The Current Playlist Twitter account, you'll see that in the almost-10-years since, it has tweeted a massive 1.12 million times.

But which songs and artists have proved most popular over that time? That was a question that inspired University of Minnesota Libraries technology lead Shane Nackerud to find out.

Using the application Twint, Nackerud spent three weeks extracting and organizing the million-plus tweets from the account to come up with a list of which songs and artists have featured the most as of December 2018.

Unsurprisingly, given the increase in playtime they've had since their deaths, Minnesota's-own Prince was the most-played artist, with his songs featuring just shy of 7,000 times, followed by the late British rocker David Bowie.

Chicagoan Jeff Tweedy and his band Wilco were the third-most played, followed by Canadian-American group Arcade Fire and Texas-based Spoon.

The next appearance of a Minnesota artist is Atmosphere at 10th, followed by The Replacements in 17th, with Bob Dylan featuring at 20th and Trampled By Turtles 31st.

Minnesota groups feature more prominently on the most-played songs list, which is topped by St. Paul's Communist Daughter, with their track "Not The Kid."

That's followed by The National's "Bloodbuzz Ohio" and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros "Home," the latter of which was pretty much everywhere between 2010-12.

Minnesota's Dessa features at 14th with "Dixon's Girl," with Trampled By Turtles at 19th with "Wait So Long."

Nakerud notes that over the course of those nine-plus years, The Current featured 47,000 unique songs and around 13,000 unique artists.

Speaking with CityPages, he concedes his data may not be 100 percent flawless, noting that there may have been some impact from Twitter outages or problems in the extraction phase.

He had to re-post his findings as well after realizing an earlier error saw him include around 36,000 "renegade, duplicate tweets" that had to be removed before the final tally.

Nonetheless, it's an impressive body of work, which you can find in more detail at this Google Drive collection, which shows every song shared on The Current playlist Twitter account each year since 2009.

Next Up