Mixtapes 2016 & Musical In Memoriam

Mixtapes 2016

Sound Opinions closes out 2016 with the year in song. Jim and Greg present a mixtape of tracks that helped define the past year. And they remember some of the many musicians who passed away in 2016.

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In Memoriam

The deaths of important rock musicians has been a constant theme in 2016. This is partially a factor of demographics, as the first and second generation of rockers are reaching old age. But the monumental losses of artists like David Bowie, Prince, and Leonard Cohen felt staggering. Even with all the coverage they've given this year, Jim and Greg felt there were still more musical losses that deserved attention.

Wayne Jackson

Trumpet player Wayne Jackson died in June at the age of 74. As part of the house band of Stax Records and as a member of The Mar-Keys and The Memphis Horns, he helped define the sound of Memphis  soul. Jackson played on an astounding number of iconic songs by artists like Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, U2, and Peter Gabriel.

Keith Emerson and Greg Lake

In 2016, we lost both Keith Emerson and Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, one of the cornerstone bands of progressive rock. Before forming that supergroup, Lake was lead vocalist and bassist on the first and possibly greatest of prog albums, In the Court of the Crimson King by King Crimson. Emerson started off as the flamboyant organist of The Nice and later turned the Moog synthesizer into an essential rock instrument.

Prince Buster

Songwriter and producer Prince Buster was at the ground floor of ska, rocksteady, and reggae. He produced "Oh Carolina" by The Folkes Brothers in 1960, sometimes credited as the first reggae song. He then gave us countless other classic Jamaican hits like "Madness," "One Step Beyond," and "Judge Dread." Prince Buster died this year at 78 after leaving a permanent imprint on reggae.

Richard Lyons

Richard Lyons, a founding member of the experimental plunderphonics collective Negativland, died at 57. This follows the deaths of two other members of the band, Ian Allen and Don Joyce, in 2015. Negativland was a groundbreaking band in the use of sound collage, cutting up strange audio and reassembling it in fascinating ways. The group is most notorious for its 1991 U2 EP, featuring a vulgar tape of Casey Kasem ranting about the Irish band while a rendition "I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For" plays underneath.

2016 in Song

As is tradition, Sound Opinions closes out the year with a mixtape that sums up the year. Generally, Jim and Gregeach dub a tape with their favorite tracks of the year. This time, Jim saw Greg's mix early and felt he couldn't compete. So this year's show is all Greg and the mixtape he titled: "How Many Times". Greg says these are the songs that "speak to the moment we live in", songs that touch on the Black Lives Matter movement and the desire to break away from societal ills which seem to repeat over and over.

The 2016 Mixtape

  • Eryn Allen Kane, "How Many Times"
  • Maxwell, "Lost"
  • Jamila Woods, "Blk Girl Soldier"
  • Michael Kiwanuka, "Black Man in a White World"
  • Mavis Staples, "History, Now"
  • PJ Harvey, "The Wheel"
  • Sir the Baptist, "Raise Hell"
  • William Bell, "Born Under a Bad Sign"
  • Radiohead, "Burn the Witch"
  • Eleanor Friedberger, "Does Turquoise Work?"
  • Handsome Family, "Gold"
  • Parquet Courts, "Human Performance"
  • Drive-By Truckers, "Ramon Casiano"
  • Alejandro Escovedo, "Luna de Miel"
  • Savages, "The Answer"
  • Beyonce, "Don't Hurt Yourself"
  • Helen Money, "Become Zero"
  • Wild Belle, "I'm Giving up on You"
  • Warpaint, "New Song"
  • Brian Eno, "I'm Set Free"

Listen to the mixtape

Dear Listeners,

For more than 15 years, Sound Opinions was a production of WBEZ, Chicago's public radio station. Now that the show is independent, we're inviting you to join the band and lend a hand! We need your support more than ever because now we have to do all the behind-the-scenes work that WBEZ handled before (like buying insurance and paying for podcast hosting, ugh). Plus, we have some exciting ideas we'd like to try now that there's no one to tell us no!