Every August, students pack up their belongings, say goodbye to their loved ones, and head off to college. In addition to handbooks, maps of campus, and guides for getting acquainted, they’re usually given a list of required (or at least recommended) reading. Although summer reading may help in the classroom, it won’t save them in the dorm room when they no doubt find themselves in a conversation with a music nerd.
We’re those nerds. And we’re here to give you give you a well-rounded musical education across genres and decades of song. Check out our playlists and get up to speed. You never know when there’ll be a pop quiz!
Learn from artists like Led Zeppelin, Derek & the Dominos, The Beatles, Cream, The Eagles, Van Morrison, Animals, Guess Who, ZZ Top, Rolling Stones, Marshall Tucker Band, Jethro Tull, Steppenwolf, David Bowie and more.
Click here to hear Classic Vinyl’s “Required Listening” playlist.
Learn from artists like Chic, KC & The Sunshine Band, Sister Sledge, Silver Connection, Santa Esmerelda, Lipps Inc., Thelma Houston, BeeGees, Diana Ross and more!
Click here to hear Studio 54’s “Required Listening” playlist.
Learn from artists like Metallica, Korn, Linkin Park, Rage Against The Machine, Evanescence, Godsmack, Drowning Pool, Papa Roach, System of a Down, Puddle of Mudd, Rob Zombie, Limp Bizkit and more.
Click here to hear Turbo’s “Required Listening” playlist.
Learn from artists like Alan Jackson, Kenny Rogers, Reba McEntire, Brooks & Dunn, Trisha Yearwood, George Strait, Garth Brooks, Alabama, Shania Twain, Tim McGraw, Johnny Lee, Travis Tritt, Kathy Mattea and more!
Click here to hear Prime Country’s “Required Listening” playlist.
Learn from artists like 50 Cent, Bell Biv DeVoe, Boyz II Men, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Jay Z, Juvenile, Lil Wayne, LL Cool J, Mary J. Blige, Naughty By Nature, TLC, Tony! Toni! Tone!, UGK and more!
Click here to hear SiriusXM FLY’s “Required Listening” playlist.
The ‘90s saw the breakthrough of alternative rock in the mainstream. Effectively abolishing hair metal’s dominance, the Seattle Sound permeated airwaves and televisions thanks to a new found appetite for direct, unpolished rock music with a slacker attitude. These bands laid ground work for DIY recording and unconventional song structure while penning lyrics about angst, alienation and depression — relatable topics for a generation of drop-outs clad in baggy jeans, T-shirts, flannels and Doc Martens in search of an identity. Lithium (Ch. 34) brings you the smell of teen spirit with their loud and gritty playlist.
Learn from artists like Alice In Chains, Beck, Foo Fighters, Dave Matthews Band, Green Day, Everclear, Nirvana, No Doubt, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Oasis, Smashing Pumpkins, Soundgarden, Weezer, Stone Temple Pilots, Sublime and more!
Click here to hear Lithium’s “Required Listening” playlist.
Learn from artists like The Psychedelic Furs, Billy Idol, Flesh for Lulu, Thompson Twins, Ramones, Tears For Fears, Q-Feel, Peter Gabriel, New Order, Yello, Dave Edmunds, Oingo Boingo, Julie Brown, Simple Minds and more!
Click here to hear 1st Wave’s “Required Listening” playlist.
The 2000s, unlike the decades before it, did not see the emergence of countless new genres. Instead, the convergence of music styles defined the aughts. Technology was rapidly advancing, and new software changed the way music was recorded and distributed. The popularity of teen pop acts flowed over from the ‘90s into the 2000s, and rock continued to be a mainstay. But as the decade progressed, contemporary R&B and hip-hop began to dominate. The Internet allowed unprecedented access to music, and record labels were no longer vital to finding an audience. This vast new exposure to music allowed musicians to draw from a variety of influences and cross genres in their sound. Pop2K (Ch. 10) takes you back to the days of Limewire and vanity ringtones with their playlist of the millennium’s first pop hits.
Learn from artists like P!nk, Black Eyed Peas, Britney Spears, Staind, Jay Z, Dave Matthews Band, Kelis, Green Day, Madonna, Bon Jovi and more!
Click here to hear Pop2K’s “Required Listening” playlist.