I didn’t want to celebrate 2016, nor was I excited to ring in 2017. The future looks bleak, and we lost so many greats. Especially the loss of David Bowie, which hit me harder than any celebrity death ever has, or likely ever will. So this year, instead of bringing you the best dance music of 2016, I’m offering up a retrospective dance mix comprised of musicians who died in 2016.
Honestly, I wasn’t all that hip to new music this year. I had David Bowie on repeat after his death in January, and with every unarmed black man shot by police, I put Louis Armstrong on repeat. It was a year for listening to Nina Simone and a lot more Louis Armstrong. With so many celebrity deaths, it felt like a year for looking back, not only to those who died, but to those living we might not be honoring because they have the nerve to keep breathing without releasing new albums.
If you’re looking for a retrospective mix, this one touches on most of the notable musical deaths of 2016. Download or stream it right here.
I think this tweeter put it best:
It is becoming increasingly obvious that David Bowie has established a better alternate universe and is populating it selectively one-by-one
— Miss Texas 1967 (@MsTexas1967) December 27, 2016
NOTE: If you are throw this on at a party, make sure you stop it on the next to the last track. The final track is a Leonard Cohen song read as a poem. It’s not remotely dance-able, and it’s grim enough to suck the cheer out of any room. But I felt it was the right tone to wrap up 2016 (on that note, lots of posts coming up about American fascism).
(right-click, “save as” to download mp3)
Playlist of songs below.
RIP 2016: Retrospective Playlist of Artists Who Died in 2016
- Prince – Let’s Go Crazy
- Tribe Called Quest – Can I Kick It?
- Wham! – Wake Me Up Before You Go Go
- David Bowie – Modern Love
- Prince – Seven
- Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings – Natural Born Lover
- George Michael – Freedom 90
- Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings – This Land Is Your Land (Woody Guthrie cover)
- George Michael – Faith
- Leonard Cohen – Partisan (Melle Kuil deep house mix)
- David Bowie – Young Americans (Impeach the President remix)
- George Michael – Too Funky
- Parliament – Flashlight
- Prince – Kiss
- Vanity 7 – Nasty Girl
- Jefferson Airplane – White Rabbit (Fuzzion remix)
- David Bowie vs Eric Prydz – Dunproofin’ (Let’s Dance)
- Leonard Cohen – Everybody Knows (Tiger Tooth Rerub)
- David Bowie – Space Oddity (Munk Machine remix)
- Wham! – Everything She Wants (’97 version)
- Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker (Paul Kalkbrenner remix)
- Leonard Cohen – Democracy (as a poem, Neil Gaiman with Amanda Palmer on piano)
Dance Along to RIP 2016 with Me
Staying home on New Year’s Eve was a big deal for me. I always go dancing, mostly because its’ the one day of the year I can rally my homebody pals into going out. Like David Bowie says in “Modern Love,” “I don’t want to go out, I want to stay in, get things done.” Since I’d been meaning to try out live-streaming, I decided to ring in the new year dancing to my retrospective playlist. It’s pretty silly, and yes, I’m three sheets to the wind in this video. But if you want some company, or if you just want to have a laugh, you can dance along with me.
This playlist is a little different than the one above. I made a second draft with a few artists I’d left out the first time (Phife Dawg of Tribe Called Quest, Signe Anderson of Jefferson Airplane and Vanity of Vanity 6). Also after the first song it stopped, so I started it anew from where we left off. I am hoping to upload a dancing video with the new edit over it, but LightWorks crashes whenever I open it so it seems unlikely.
Google flagged one of the Prince songs in the video for copyright, so that section is muted, and due to the other tracks, it forces the video to have commercials…I’m beginning to see why people prefer Vevo.
Watch it on Facebook to avoid ads, muted Prince.
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