Top 100 Playlists of 2011

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011 at 3:20pm | Comments

Top 100 Playlists of 2011

We've spent the last couple of weeks pouring through the tens of thousands of fantastic playlists that you've shared with us this year and we are proud to publish what we think are the Top 100 of 2011. We hope you enjoy them and if you think we've missed any out please let us know in the comments.

Record Mirror 1981 Year End Disco Chart

Want to know what artists were doing the business in 1981? Of course you do. Why wouldn't you. Click here for disco, funk and soul bangers from Gil Scott-Heron, Grace Jones, Kool & The Gang, Jackson 5, Smokey Robinson and more.

NuDisco Madness

Nu-disco with a smattering of electro thrown in for good measure, here. In particular, check out the Grum Remix of Rocket by Goldfrapp; Cassette Kids with Spin (Russ Chimes Big House Remix); Que Veux-Tu from Yelle; and Pink Computer's Inside My Soul, among others.

History of the 12inch (80's classics)

This is the most comprehensive collection of 80s 12inch records we've ever received. It's perhaps the only comprehensive collection of 80s 12inch records we've ever received, but it brilliant nonetheless. If it was acceptable in the 80s, it's here in extended form.


Lamont Dozier, Brian Holland and Edward Holland are the legendary songwriting and production team that helped define the Motown sound of the 1960s. Check out their tunes here.

Dirty Scratch

If it's turntablists you're after, look no further: Q-Bert, Cut Killer, C2C, DJ Yoda, Crazy B and loads more feature on this one. 500+ plays!

David Mancuso at The Loft

David Mancuso: there's a man who knew how to throw a party. A true dance music legend, Mancuso trailblazed invite only, underground parties, bringing music to the fore at his infamous New York nightclub, The loft. Get clicking here for tunes played and inspired by this fully-fledged Dance Music Hall of Famer.

Larry Levan at the Paradise Garage

From one legendary DJ to another, with an incredible playlist dedicated to true dance music hero, the near-mythical Larry Levan. This is a spectacular collection of music as played by Levan at the infamous Paradise Garage.

Poliziottesco: Italian Cop Movies

This gaggle of – largely unknown – themes from Italian cop thrillers from the 1970s, known as Poliziottesco or Poliziotteschi, is absolutely class. If you're looking for something a little different, give it a bash.

WBR Slow Jams Mix

Does exactly what it says on the tin, this mixtape from our friends over at Warner Bros. Records: lashing a down-tempo tunes from the smooch section of their back catalogue. Jill Scott, Alicia Keys, Macy Gray, Heather Headley, Anthony Hamilton and more.

Streetsounds Volumes One to Twenty

This mixtape is based on the British compilation record label that specialised in urban and electronic music in the mid-80s. The tunes here are taken from the core compilations Volumes 1 to 20 – and they're all ace.

Piano House

There's nothing quite like the sound of proper, funky, soul, groovy, piano-led house music, is there. IS THERE? No, there isn't, that's right. Frankie Knuckles, Inner City, Robin S, Primal Scream, K-Klass... Need we say anymore? NEED WE SAY ANYMORE? No, we needn't.

Blue Note Legends of Jazz

Next up, one of the best collections of classic jazz we've ever received. This superb mixtape features Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Duke Ellington, Chet Baker, Nat King Cole Trio, Louis Armstrong, Herbie Hancock and many more besides... Nice.

Jazzie B & the Soul II Soul Soundsystem

Jazzie B & the Soul II Soul Soundsystem is bursting at the seams with the finest, funkiest, jazziest, most soulful music in the around. Featured here: everyone from Roy Ayers, James Brown and Mr. Fingers; to Slick Rick, Public Enemy and Eric B. & Rakim. Eclectic and brilliant.

A Soundtrack for Coding

It has to be said, this was one of the surprise successes of 2011. It's not just as a soundtrack to the crepuscular activities of web developers and their ilk – over 10,000 of you have listened to it so far.

Broke Mogul Radio

This playlist – all 350+ tracks of it – is curated by the musical supervisor at Entourage. It's brilliantly ecclectic, too – with more twists than a Billy Walsh script. A must-hear mixtape for fans the brilliant HBO show.


This journey through the history of American music takes in a plethora of genres, through a stack of legendary artists. There's legendary bluesman in the shape of John Lee Hooker, Leadbelly and Howlin' Wolf; some of the greatest songwriters of all-time in Johnny Cash, Neil Young and Bob Dylan; and true musical revolutionaries, Gil Scott-Heron, James Brown, Miles Davis and Ray Charles.

PIXAR 25 Years On

No matter how old you are, you just can't beat a Disney film. Each movie is always scored with amazing music, too, which this playlist proves, "with songs taken from all your favourite films and featuring all your favourite characters." Chuck Berry, Sarah McLachlan, Robbie Williams, Randy Newman, Gipsy Kings and more are ready and waiting for you here.

Breakbot Presents...

Before releasing his own productions, Breakbot – Thibaut Berland – was best known for his killer remixes of artists like MGMT, Justice and Air, to name but a few. Click here to check out the tunes that are "influencing his fusion of Disco revivalism & modern electronica." Tracks from Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show, Deniece Williams, Norma Jean Wright, Metro Area, Bobby Caldwell and more.

A Rough Guide To... The Amen Break

One of many brilliant installments of syknyk's A Rough Guide To... series. This playlist is dedicated to the amen break, "probably the most famous sample of all time, the 6 second drum solo has gone on to appear in perhaps 1000's of recordings."

NME's Best Tracks Of 2011

That's pretty much it for 2011, but what an amazing year for music it was. And who better to create a comprehensive retrospective of the past 12 months than our mates over at NME magazine. The Horrors, PJ Harvey, M83, Arctic Monkeys, Bombay Bicycle Club and Ghostpoet – all featured here – produced our favourites. What were yours? Knock up a playlist and let us know. Ta.

Resident Advisor Poll: Top 50 tracks of 2011

Next up, a playlist for anyone that's planning a festive rave up this weekend. If you like your house deep and techy, let the Resident Advisor Poll: Top 50 tracks of 2011 soundtrack your weekend misadventures. In particular, check out bangers by Haze & Noir, M83, Todd Terje, Burial and Julio Bashmore.

Hipster Ballads

Because, like real humans, even hipsters fall in love... only their version involves lots of meretricious sentiments and black and white pictures of both parties feigning insouciance. Anyway, here's the very best Hipster Ballads: White Denim, The Japanese Popstars, Ryan Adams, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Regina Spektor, The xx, The Tallest Man On Earth and more.

BBC Sound of 2012

The shortlist for the BBC Sound of 2012 was released in December. Want to know who made it – and who will be joining previous nominees Bloc Party, Tom Vek, Plan B, Foals, Santigold and more? Click here. Whoever wins, they can't be as woeful as last year's winner... Jessie J.

SPIN's [PIAS] New for 2012

Right. Who's up for some indie? And not just any old indie, the best new music that'll have you pogoing in your pumps throughout 2012. Our friends over at [PIAS] have done the business once again, curating a playlist that features Frank Turner, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Zulu Winter, The Jezabels and more. Cracking mixtape.

Hitmakers: Benny Blanco

SMP user Clabbe is something of an expert at uncovering these lesser-known songsmiths. His Hitamker series features stacks of producers behind some of the biggest hits of the past few years. Like this chap, Benny Blanco. The American gained recognition for his work with Spank Rock, which led to jobs behind the desk for superstars like Britney Spears, Katy Perry and Ke$ha, Justin Bieber, Mike Posner and Taio Cruz. Check them all out here.

Please Please Somebody Else

We love this project from SMP user The Mammal. "Just for kicks," he says, "I've been working on putting together playlists which amount to cover versions of each Beatles album. Here's their first: Please Please Me." Check out the rest of his playlists here.

Strictly BASS... 26

Bass in the place, SMP! Strictly BASS... 26 to be precise. What's our premier bassman, syknyk, got in-store for you in this edition? Tracks and remixes from the likes of Deadmau5, Chase & Status, AC Slater, Noisia, Modestep, Skream, The Bloody Beetroots, Digitalism, Zomby, Nathan Fake, Fukkk Offf, Dillon Francis, Tiesto, Carl Cox and many more. Boom!

Unsigned Finds: The Next New Thing

This is definitely the most exciting playlist we received this year – highlighting just how important Spotify is to new and unsigned artists. There's over 50 tracks here – so play A&R man from the comfort of your own home: who's worth keeping an eye on? Who's the next big thing? And, more importantly, who's got the best name? (We're going for Fearless Vampire Killers.)

Turkish Psychedelic Folk

We love absurdly obscure mixtapes like this one here at SMP – and you clearly do too, as you went Like crazy for it on the SMP Facebook page... Turkish Psychedelic Folk ... What more can we say?

DJ History: 100 Greatest Dance Records

The 100 Greatest Dance Records as chosen by DJ History. This was always going to be a contentious collection, but, for what it's worth, our favourites from this list are French Kiss, I Feel Love, Blue Monday, Your love, Loaded and Born Slippy (Nuxx). What's your favourite? What's missing? What shouldn't have made this playlist? Leave a comment and let them know.

A Musical Alphabet - Volume 2

Next up, the second instalment of Daniel James Baroque's 26-song meander through the musical alphabet. From Adele to ZZ Top, this is wall-to-wall bangers: Björk, The Fratellis, Gnarls Barkley, Jet, Kasabian, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and more.

The Night that Changed Everything

It's May 2, 1977, Studio 54, New York. Alongside Mick Jagger, Liza Minelli, Andy Warhol, Rudolf Nureyev, Tina Turner, Truman Capote, you're out for Bianca Jagger's 32nd Birthday Party. Nicky Siano is about to play DJ set that will change dance music forever. Click here to check out his tunes.

Made In Chelsea Soundtrack

Made In Chelsea is the culmination of centuries of inbreeding, fused with a generation raised on Topshop and T4. It is car crash TV at its very worst/best – depending on your standpoint. The soundtrack, however, is pretty nifty. Foals, Ian Brown, The Zutons, Fleet Foxes, Miike Snow, Tom Vek, The National, Bombay Bicycle Club and more.

20 Best Tracks Of The Past 15 Years (NME)

Check out 20 Best Tracks Of The Past 15 Years (NME): Radiohead, Arcade Fire, The Strokes, The White Stripes, The Verve, The Libertines and more – with Missy Elliott, JAY-Z and OutKast holding up the hip-hop end. For more official playlists from NME Magazine click your mouse somewhere round about here!

Hipster International

Think of the defining moments in the internet's relatively brief history: Napster, Facebook, Spotify – they'd all be up there. Sean Parker had a hand in all of them. His proudest online achievement to date, however, came this year when the entrepreneur extraordinaire uploaded his first ever SMP mixtape. Check it out.

What is Northern Soul?

Right. Crack out your finest Italian suit, douse the dancefloor with talcum powder and get ready to bust some moves to one of the best collections of Northern Soul we've ever received. But... What is Northern Soul? Click here to find out – Frank Wilson, JJ Barnes, The Epitome Of Sound, Archie Bell and The Drells, Little Anthony & The Imperials, Reparta & The Delrons and more. Top mixtape.

Supercool Gypsy Jazz

Okay, if this conglomerate of words doesn't spike your curiosity, then you should probably retire from listening to mixtapes completely: Supercool Gypsy Jazz. What's not to like about that? "Gypsy jazz is thriving today," according to the user behind this one, *AJLW. If you want to know more about "Django", "la pompe" and the great gypsy guitarists, click here.

Funky USA - Welcome!

This is a mixtape from the genius Acid Jazz Hispano team. In July they welcomed the US to Spotify with this incredible collection of tunes, showcasing their impeccable taste for all things funk, soul, acid jazz, nu-jazz, electronica, house, disco and beyond.

93 Til Infinity

The SMP Facebook page is an infallible yardstick for quality when it comes to mixtapes, and this cracking collection of early 90s hip-hop was swimming in Likes this year. Featured here: the amazing Souls Of Mischief, the even better A Tribe Called Quest and the inimitable Nas, alongside Gang Starr, Nice & Smooth, Grand Puba, Funkdoobiest, Leaders Of The New School and more. Ah, this is how we chill from 93 'til...

Classical Music Used In Stanley Kubrick Films

Next, a playlist dedicated to one of the all-time great directors, auteur and general celluloid lunatic, Mr Stanley Kubrick. Specifically, in fact, it's a mixtape dedicated to the classical music used in his films: 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, The Shining and Eyes Wide Shut.

Dance Craze - 2 Tone Ska Classics

This playlist has also been showered with Likes over on the SMP Facebook page this year. Based on the 1981 documentary Dance Craze, it's a veritable feast of 2 tone and ska from the likes of The Specials, The Beat Bad Manners, The Body Snatchers, Madness, The Selecter and more. Well played Junius.

Music from, and inspired by the film DRIVE

Chibulls23 has taken the Drive soundtrack and put his own unique stamp on it – adding "other songs that fit the theme". Those tracks include the the brilliant M83, Swedish House Mafia stalwart Steve Angello, electro legends The Human League, trippy indie kids MGMT, as well as Mike Simonetti, Adrian Lux, Jupiter, Loose Shus Sbtrkt Gui Boratto and more.

The Best Of The Stone Roses

So. The Stone Roses, then? Opinion is divided as to whether they should or shouldn't have reformed. We think it's good thing. After all, Ian Brown couldn't sing in the first place, so how much worse could he have got? Check out this best of The Roses playlist to get you in the mood for one of the most eagerly anticipated comebacks of the past 20 years.

Film Classics

As well as being music boffins, we know all there is to know about movies. (Honestly. We're definitely not lying.) Put the two together and our knowledge is devastating. That's why we can name every singles track on this playlist and tell you what film soundtrack it's taken from. (Honestly. We're definitely not lying.) But... can you? (Honesty? Don't lie.)

I, Partridge: The Soundtrack

If you couldn't present a... cat, agree that you've got to laugh when you fall off a sofa and hate it when people get Bond wrong, this Alan Partridge themed playlist will be right up your pedestrianised street. Many thanks to Jenna for creating this mixtape in honour of Al's recently released autobiography, I, Partridge: We Need To Talk About Alan.

Music used by Apple Inc.

7,000+ plays for this mixtape this year, as you celebrated the life of Steve Jobs by listening to over 300 tracks used in Apple commercials. Everyone from Miles Davis, Elvis Presley and The Rolling Stones, to Daft Punk, N.E.R.D. and Wolfmother.

Mr. Scruff

We love Mr. Scruff for lots of reasons: he looks more like a plumber than a world-famous DJ; he draws ace little weird cartoons (as shown above); he brings a tea stall with him wherever he plays; and he has the most gloriously eclectic taste in music. Check out this superb playlist to sample that Scruffy sound.

40 of Kurt Cobain's favourite songs

This year marked the 20th anniversary of the release of Nirvana's seminal grunge album Nevermind. Iggy And The Stooges, Sonic Youth, PJ Harvey and Leadbelly: these are just some of Kurt Cobain's favourite bands, as heard at the recent In Bloom: The Nirvana Nevermind Exhibition this month. Great playlist. You should probably listen to it now and very, very loud.

Paul's Boutique Samples

Paul's Boutique Samples shows the incredible lengths the Beastie Boys went to to create their legendary second album, pilfering hooks by everyone from The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Johnny Cash and Sweet, to Donovan, Malcolm McLaren and Ramones. Brilliant.

The Best 35 Songs You've Never Heard

Part one of Chris Junkin's great opus of tunes you've never heard takes in unfamiliar tracks by familiar artists: U2, The Charlatans and TV On The Radio, to name but a few. Other must-hear acts include Band of Horses, The Beta Band, Midlake, Nada Surf, The Raconteurs and Wilco. Check out part two here.

Worst Songs Ever

Here at SMP, we love new music, up-and-coming bands, obscure genres, blah-blah-blah... But, sometimes, it's just far more entertaining to poke fun at really rubbish music. Step forward D Traver Adolphus. He's created a playlist simply and accurately entitled Worst Songs Ever. From novelty tracks The Ketchup Song, Macarena and Barbie Girl; to fist-pumpers such as Tubthumping, I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) and Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm; to one-hit wonders, I'll Be There For You, Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit Of...) and Whoomp! (There It Is), this playlist has it all.


Journalism Mix

Gentleman of the Press, hired geeks, hacks: who'd be one, eh? If you're a journo, or if you're a masochist and want to feel like you're one, give this playlist a go: "A musical narrative arc for reporters, producers, copy-editors, videographers, photographers, editors and anyone else that slogs through the day to get the news quickly out to everyone." Some top tunes here.

John Peel's favourites

We got tons of playlists dedicated to the great John Peel here at SMP – and rightly so. But we're of the opinion that you can never have too much of a good thing, and this one's really well put together. All of Peel's favourite bands are here: The Fall, The Undertones, Buzzcocks, The Cure, Jesus And Mary Chain, Cocteau Twins Cabaret Voltaire and more.

Inbetweeners (S1-S3 & Movie)

Who would have thought Chris Martin is a fan of Inbetweeners. OK, so it's not the Chris Martin, but this is still a great playlist, full of amazing music, from a top show. Have you seen the movie yet? It's terrible – in the best possible way.

Actors Turned Musicians

Actors Turned Musicians proved quite popular over on our Facebook page this year. If you want to hear the good, the bad and mad from the world of acting turn their hand to singing, then click here: Jeff Bridges, 30 Seconds To Mars, Juliette & The Licks and more.

The BEST BRITISH songs of all time

Rule Britannia, marmalade and jam, five Chinese crackers up your... Anyway, aside from that charming little ditty, the good people of Britain are responsible for some of the greatest music ever put to record. This is indisputable. But do you agree with bigbadlondon's selections for The BEST BRITISH songs of all time: Joy Division, The Clash, The Kinks, The Jam, The Smiths, The Stone Roses, Blur and Arctic Monkeys, to name but a few. Well, do you?

Barclaycard Mercury Prize: 1992-2011

Few could argue with decision to award PJ Harvey this year's Mercury Prize. She's also the first person to take the title for a second time – after wining in 2001 – getting the judges' vote for her incredible, strange, beautiful and eerily prescient album, Let England Shake. Click here for tracks by her and many of the artists nominated since the prize's inception in 1992.

Covers In a Different Genre

We get a lot of really good playlists dedicated to cover versions here at SMP. But this one is covers with a twist. All of the songs here have taken the original song and changed its respective genre. Featured: Marilyn Manson doing Personal Jesus, Alien Ant Farm's version of Smooth Criminal, Ben Folds take on Bitches Ain't Shit, Jimi Hendrix's brilliant All Along The Watchtower and stacks more covers from the likes of Iron And Wine, Nouvelle Vague, The Vines, Antony And The Johnsons, Patti Smith Group and more.

Big Lebowski Mix

This mixtape, as endorsed by The Dude himself, features the likes of Gipsy Kings, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Booker T. & The MG's, The Rolling Stones and Nina Simone, among others; all of which are begging for you to listen to while sipping on a Caucasian. The Dude abides...

Gotta Have More Cowbell!

Is it just us, or does every song ever written that has a cowbell in it sound absolutely amazing? RUN-DMC - King Of Rock, Beastie Boys – Hey Ladies, Talking Heads –Crosseyed And Painless, Lipps Inc. – Funky Town... Class, class, class and more class. We're lobbying to make the cowbell statutory for all music, by everyone, from now until forever. Join us.

Finger Playlist: Ricardo Villalobos

Our pals over at Finger Magazine have turned in a superb collection of mixtapes this year. The best of which is this little gem from THE best DJ in the world, Ricardo Villalobos. Ever wondered where the Chilean gets the inspiration for his incendiary sets and incredible productions? Click here.

Modern Balearic

Proving that Ibiza is so much more than sunburned beer boys singing football songs and vomiting to trance music, this mixtape is superb blend of modern Balearic and Balearic influenced sounds. Featured here: Hercules And Love Affair, Empire Of The Sun, Four Tet, Jamie xx, The Knife, Tame Impala and tons more. Crack out the vodka limons, close your eyes and dream of that sunset.

Gilles Peterson All Winners of 2011 #2

"Gilles has compiled 50 of his favourite tunes from the last 3-4 months and put them together for your listening pleasure." That's amazing music from the likes of Jamie xx, Sbtrkt, Michael Kiwanuka, Def Sound, Thundercats, Shabazz Palaces, Silkie, Marlow, Matthew Halsall and tons more. Superb playlist.

Disney's Greatest Love Songs

Disney's Greatest Love Songs is, as you may have guessed, a collection of the finest serenades ever scored through Disney movies. That’s ballads by Phil Collins, Peggy Lee, Louis Armstrong and Nancy Adams. But can you name which movies they’re from?

Janelle Monáe: The Playlist

Janelle Monáe was the star of this year's Glastonbury for us. Her performance was incendiary throughout, busting moves like James Brown and wailing like Ray Charles. Backed by the most incredible band, singers and dancers, Monáe's album sales went up over 4000% on Amazon as a result of her Glasto set. Check out this playlist of tracks from her album alongside music by artists that inspired her.

Thom Yorke's Secret DJ Set

Radiohead’s ‘secret’ Glastonbury performance on The Park stage at was, in truth, anything but a secret; Thome Yorke’s DJ set, on the another hand, was. Rarer than a complementary word about Beyoncé from Zane Lowe, Yorke’s mixese are nothing if not eclectic. Check out his full set list here, tunes by everyone from DJ Shadow, Public Enemy and Mos Def, to Felix Da Housecat, Nathan Fake and Sl2.

The sound of Jared Hess

Next up we have a playlist dedicated to seminal filmmaker Jared Hess. He’s the man behind such joyously weird flicks as Napoleon Dynamite, Nacho Libre and Gentlemen Broncos. He’s also a dab hand in the studio, producing tunes for the brilliant Postal Service and the not so brilliant Killers. Check out music from his movies here – tracks from The White Stripes, Cyndi Lauper, Jamiroquai, Black Sabbath and Bow Wow Wow, to name but a few.

Ron Hardy at The Music Box

More than worthy of a mention in the same breath as Larry Levan, Frankie Knuckles and the Belleville Three, Ron Hardy was a pioneering DJ and one of the true progenitors of dance music. Opening every set with Frankie Goes to Hollywood's Welcome To The Pleasure Dome, Hardy would speed his music up – as it sounded slower to him due to his heroin use – creating the blueprint for every DJ that would follow him. Check out this ace collection of tunes he'd spin at his infamous club, The Music Box.

100 Greatest Rock Debut Singles

100 Greatest Rock Debut Singles features tracks from such luminaries as The Clash, Bill Withers, John Lee Hooker, Etta James, The Doors, Howlin' Wolf, The Monkees, Donovan, Bo Diddley and, well, loads of others. Check them out for yourself here.

NME's 50 Best Summer Songs

Freddie Buddy's got into the summer spirit by putting together the NME's 50 Best Summer Songs"stick on this summery playlist whilst soaking up the rays," he said. Songs don't get much more summery than Bombay Bicycle Club's Always Like This, Sunny Afternoon by The Kinks, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince with their classic Summertime and A-Punk from Vampire Weekend, to name but a few. Pass the sun cream, fetch me a beer and meet me in the garden... in six months.

Burt Bacharach Songs 1952-1970

Best known for his cameos in Austin Powers, Burt Bacharach also likes to pen a tune or two in his spare time. He's been pretty successful with it, too. Just your 70 Top 40 hits in the US and 52 Top 40 in the UK – not bad, is it? Ray Newman is the man behind this playlist, piecing together over 130 Bacharach classics in near-perfect chronological order. Be sure to give him five stars, won't you.

Spaghetti Western Themes

"This is the best selection of original recordings of Italian western themes available on Spotify at the moment," says playlist creator Ray Newman. We'd have to agree with him. There's Ennio Morricone in abundance, a helping of Bruno Nicolai & His Orchestra, a touch of Luis Bacalov and a serving of Pino Donaggio. Ace.

Music from or inspired in David Lynch films

Arguably the most innovative director making movies today, David Lynch's mesmerising, often macabre creations are fleshed out through the music he interweaves with his visuals. If you want to delve into the Lynchian sound, click here – tracks by the like of Roy Orbison, Nina Simone, David Bowie, Marilyn Manson, Antony & The Johnsons, Danger Mouse and more.

The (almost) definitive Later with Jools

Quite simply one of the coolest music shows on TV today, Later... with Jools Holland has been showcasing the best up-and-coming and established artists from around the world for nearly two decades now. Click here to check out (almost) all of the tracks ever played on the show.

Gil Scott-Heron 1949-2011

Next, a superb tribute to the late, great Gil Scott-Heron. Check out Lady Day and John Coltrane, Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler), Johannesburg, Me And The Devil, On Coming From A Broken Home (Pt. 1 & Pt. 2) and, of course, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.

The Grow a Beard Playlist

Sometimes your playlists are so inexplicably bonkers, we can't help but be intrigued by them. The silly thing is, The Grow a Beard Playlist actually makes sense in a strange sort of way. Lindisfarne, Fleet Foxes, Iron And Wine, Bon Iver, The National, Midlake, Devendra Banhart, Grizzly Bear, The Decemberists: bet you can feel the old soup strainer growing all ready.

Carl Craig Remixes

Detroit DJ Carl Craig is a bona fide dance music legend. A proper techno pioneer, Craig is the most gifted artist to come from the city's 'second wave' – following in the footsteps of Belleville Three, Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson and Derrick May. This collection of remixes is class throughout; his reworkings of Falling Up, Drifting and Stoned Autopilot in particular are incredible.

1980's Greatest Hip Hop Singles

Darren Hemmings is peddling a mean line in old school hip-hop playlist – he’s got most of the genre's formative years covered (click here to check them out). If you want to sample the delights of 1980, click  here: track by the likes of The Sugarhill Gang, Harlem World Crew, Sicle Cell & Rhapazooty, Cosmic Force, Spoonie Gee and Kurtis Blow.

Public Enemy Samples...

One of the most incendiary hip-hop outfits all time, Public Enemy are responsible for the most spectacular sample work in music history. All of the songs on this mixtape feature in one way or another on their 1988 album It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold us Back.

Million Selling Singles

Simple this one: a collection of all the singles available on Spotify that have sold over one million copies. There's some obvious ones: Candle In The Wind 1997, Love Is All Around, My Heart Will Go On; some not so obvious ones: It's Like That, Spaceman and Heart Of Glass; and some downright shocking ones: Tragedy, Blue and Teletubbies Say "eh-oh".

Ultimate Ninja Tune Playlist

Music with the Ninja Tune Playlist seal of approval is guaranteed to be of the very highest order. Click here for over one whole week's worth of music from the likes of Mr.Scruff, Roots Manuva, The Herbaliser, Roots Manuva, Fink, The Qemists and label creator Coldcut. Hit shuffle and turn it up loud. Really loud.

British Royal Bank Holiday Wedding Playlist

Royalist or republican, we were all grateful for the extra time off work that wedding gave us this year – check out this collection of Great British noisesmiths created in its honour. Everyone from Joy Division, Happy Mondays and The Stone Roses, to The Libertines, Kasabian and Arctic Monkeys feature on this one.

Pete Tong's 43 Biggest Tunes in Dance

Pete Tong has been getting people's weekends started for 20 years on Radio 1, celebrating his double-decade anniversary this year. Based on Tongy's top 50 tunes, Pete Tong's 43 Biggest Tunes in Dance – the 43 that are on Spotify – is brimming with absolute club classics, from Underworld and The Chemical Brothers, to Oxia and the late DJ Mehdi. Get stuck in here.

Detroit vs Chicago

This one's right up our street: Chicago house against Detroit techno, as metayer pits the progenitors of electronic music against one another. It's classic tune after classic tune by the likes of Marshall Jefferson, Larry Heard and Ron Hardy; Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson and Kenny Larkin. Brilliant playlist.

Spoken-Word Songs*

Dead creative, this all-star line up of spoken word songs. There's everyone from Manc hero John Cooper Clarke and the late great Gil Scott-Heron, through to the inimitable Serge Gainsbourg and hip-hop poet Scroobius Pip. Class.

Dawn Of Dance

Dawn Of Dance includes everything from Chicago house and Detroit techno, to acid house and rave; from the likes of Frankie Knuckles, Inner City, A Guy Called Gerald and Orbital. Come on, everyone, let's have it large.

A Tribute To Nate Dogg

West coast hip-hop legend, Nathaniel Dwayne Hale (that's Nate Dogg to you and me), died aged 41 this year. SMP's very own rap aficionado Matt paid his tributes with this brilliant playlist, taking in the full breadth of the Long Beach man's career.

HMS Derbyshire: A Science-Fiction Story

A master stroke, this one from Afront. HMS Derbyshire: A Science-Fiction Story is an epic and unique playlist mixing science-fiction with "retro prog synth" to incredible effect. One of the most innovative playlists we've ever received, check it out here.

Hacienda Classics

Playlists dedicated the Madchester mecca, the Hacienda, always go down well here at SMP. Hacienda Classics is full of tunes from and inspired by one of the greatest nightclubs ever. In particular, check out tunes by Happy Mondays, Herbie Hancock, New Order and Eric B. & Rakim.

Bands Named After: Songs

Find out where everyone from Right Said Fred and The Kooks, to Stiff Little Fingers and The Sunshine Underground got their names from by clicking here.


This carefully curated playlist by ga8 showcases the talent of legendary producer Steve Lillywhite. He's the man behind the desk on tracks by artists like The Psychedelic Furs, Talking Heads, Morrissey, The Rolling Stones, The Pogues, The La's and a boatload more besides.


2011 also brought the crap news that the White Stripes, one of the most gifted and innovative bands this century, have called it a day. Here's a cracking tribute.

Ben Sherman New Music Playlist 1

Mint music, selected by people who make cool clobber. Namely, Ben Sherman. What's not to like?

Party like it's 1940

Yeah, we're sick of all this tech-house, nu-rave, deep disco – or whatever the latest cool sub-genre is. Let's party like it's olden days, eh?

Share My Playlisps

Speech impediments are cool, seriously. Don't believe us? Check out this corker of a playlist with classic tracks from such vocally impaired artists as The Notorious B.I.G., Bloc Party, Joe Strummer and, er, Gareth Gates – obviously. Best playlist title of 2011, too.

Radio Caroline - 1976

This genius series of playlists comes from Frisser who chronicles the tunes that defined lawless rock and roll merchants Radio Caroline.

Hipster for the Holidays

This one's been going down a treat on the old SMP Facebook page. You see, it turns out even hipsters celebrate Christmas – it gives them an excuse to wear extra-quirky jumpers and vintage mittens. They might also listen to festive tunes by Vampire Weekend, The Raveonettes, The Decemberists, She & Him, The Smashing Pumpkins, The Beach Boys and more. But we like all those bands, too. So that bit's fine.


If you're looking for a Christmas mixtape with a difference, look no further. This one features festive ditties from the likes of Lightnin' Hopkins, Lou Reed, LCD Soundsystem, Lee Perry, Albert King, The Ramones, The Flaming Lips and Tom Waits. One of the best yuletide playlists yet, this one.

100+ indie & alternative Christmas songs

Admittedly, Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without the old classics on the radio, blaring from the shops and, well, just about everywhere. But if you're looking for some new twists on classic compositions, as well as some brand spanking new festive tunes, this is the mixtape for you: Pete Philly, The Decemberists, The Specials, The Flaming Lips, Frightened Rabbit, Mogwai, Smith & Burrows, Richard Hawley, Fleet Foxes and stacks more.

SMP Christmas Cocktail Party

It was the SMP Christmas Party last week. A jolly time was had by all – and paid for, in full, with spectacular hangovers the next day. If you couldn't make it, check out the playlist that ensued the evening went with a swing, as curated by SMP boss Kieron. The perfect way to end the year and this – seemingly endless – countdown.

Thanks to everyone that uploaded playlists in 2011.

Long live the mixtape!

Gary Evans