We already know President Obama likes to listen to (and occasionally sing) Al Green songs. And he’s told us that his iPod has a bit of Jay-Z and Lil Wayne on it . But with the toughest re-election campaign of his career on the horizon, what music will Obama 2012 be using to pump up crowds at rallies?
Judging by a playlist uploaded to Spotify this week, it looks like a cheerful, noncontroversial mix of classic rock, country, soul and R&B, but, alas, no hip-hop.
Instead, in a clear bid to appeal to the broad middle, Obama chose songs by beloved soul acts like Booker T. & the MG’s (“Green Onions”), Earth Wind & Fire (“Got to Get You Into My Life”), The Impressions (“Keep on Pushing”) and, yes, Green (the pleading “Let’s Stay Together”).
From the rock pile, he went with Wilco (“I Got You”), Arcade Fire (“We Used to Wait”), U2 (“Even Better Than the Real Thing”) and the new blue-collar recession anthem from Bruce Springsteen (“We Take Care of Our Own”). For those visits to the heartland, he loaded up on country goodness from Sugarland (“Stand Up” and “Everyday America”), Darius Rucker (“This”), Zac Brown Band (“Keep Me in Mind”) and Dierks Bentley (“Home”).
There are a few oddball picks in there as well, including a deep cut from No Doubt (“Different People”), a very literal AM radio staple from REO Speedwagon (“Roll with the Changes”), a cover of the Band’s “The Weight” by Aretha Franklin, some indie rock from Noah and the Whale (“Tonight’s the Kind of Night”) and a Ricky Martin/ Joss Stone duet (“The Best Thing About Me Is You”).
While likely GOP opponent Mitt Romney takes the stage to the rousing strains of Kid Rock’s Americana anthem “Born Free,” Obama plans to get crowds pumped with the likes of modern R&B master Raphael Saadiq (“Keep Marchin’ “), Florence and the Machine (“You’ve Got the Love”) and afro-era prog popsters Electric Light Orchestra (“Mr. Blue Sky”).
Rounding out the list is obscure jam act AgesAndAges, whose “No Nostalgia” is a handclapping ditty that just begs for a group hug, Jennifer Hudson’s “Love You I Do,” Ledisi’s self-explanatory “Raise Up,” James Taylor’s feel-good “Your Smiling Face,” country duo Montgomery Gentry’s small-town homage “My Town” and Ray LaMontagne’s tear-in-your-beer lovefest “You Are the Best Thing.”
It might sound tame, but don’t forget that back in 2008 when he was still just Candidate Obama, the president’s taste in music was pretty similar. At the time, the future boomer-in-chief said he listened to everything from Bob Dylan, Elton John, Earth Wind & Fire and the Rolling Stones to Sheryl Crow, Springsteen and a number of jazz and classic giants, including Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Yo-Yo Ma.
What songs would you add to the president’s playlist? Let us know in comments below!
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