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The B List

A Short History of the B List

Every week over 500 songs are nominated for the current topic at Readers Recommend. Sifting through these songs to find ten to make the final playlist is an ominous task. And usually the writer has to leave out a song he or she loves but, hey, you're limited to ten songs so what can you do?

The answer, of course, is the B List. Ten also rans that would have made the list if it was longer. The B List didn't get underway in earnest until 2007 but has been a fixture ever since (with the odd occasion when there is no B List - usually because a substitute writer was filling in.)

The pre-cursor to the B List was a Favorites List. Dorian Lynskey ran these on three occasions in 2006. They were, of course, the songs getting the most mentions in the blog. The three "Favorites" lists were for Cover Songs on Jan. 13, 2006, London on June 23, 2006, and Long Songs on Aug. 25, 2006. Some of the songs on those lists also made the final list.

In 2006, Dorian also issued two B Lists (though it wasn't called a B List at the time). The very first B List was for Storytelling Songs on July 21, 2006. The second one was for Mammals on Oct. 20, 2006.

B Lists became a regular feature with the topic of Dates on Jan. 5, 2007. But they still weren't called B Lists. For the fourth B List for the topic of Cold on Jan. 27, 2007, Dorian stopped naming the songs in the B List, just naming the groups. It wasn't until Songs Recorded for Movies (May 2, 2007) that he called it a B List though he was still listing just artists.

It wasn't until Walking and Running (April 12, 2007), that the B List as we now know and love it came into being - it's called a B List and it includes both the artist and song title.

The number of songs in the B List has varied. Often it is ten, the same as the A List. But it has been as short as two songs (Siblings) and as long as fifteen (Sexy Songs). And on one occasion, Dorian was so overhwhelmed with good song choices that he made not one, but two B Lists (Trains).

Here's some B Reel Trivia for you:

  1. What song has made the B List the most often without actually making the A List?

  2. Which group has made the B List the most often without ever making the A List?

Answers:

  1. Corcovado by Antonio Carlos Jobim has made the B List three times for Multilingual Songs, Night & Darkness, and Silence. The song as performed by Jobim along with Astrud & Joćo Gilberto and Stan Getz finally made the A List on June 25, 2010 for South America. Jobim wrote the song.

  2. The most number of times an artist has made the B List without ever making the A List is three. This has happened four times. The artists are Ride, Shack, Therapy?, and the Walker Brothers.

 

 

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