Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2019 Inductee: Roxy Music

Part 2 in a series on Spotify and LastFM Data for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2019 inductees.

Personally, I don’t understand the whole Roxy Music thing. I only know one song by them and I wasn’t impressed. But, then, I know a lot of people don’t understand why The Stooges should have been in a lot sooner and Judas Priest should be in at all.

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Figure 01: Keep in mind that dip in February and subsequent climb back up was almost universal among artists on Spotify (because their popularity score is relative) so you have to ignore everything between early Feb to late March. All that to say, once you remove that, they have moved consistently upward.

I should also point out, in case you haven’t noticed, that this graph has a range of Roxy Music’s lowest popularity score to their highest (in this time period) and not 0-100 like the group charts in the first post of this series.  While using this range can be extremely useful to examine relatively small changes, it can be both shocking and confusing if you’re not aware of it.

Above the line chart, we’ve got their “profile pic,” if you could call it that, brought in via the Spotify Web API. Next to that, their current stats as of yesterday (for LastFM) and today for Spotify. I definitely need to beat Bootstrap into submission because it took me a couple hours to get those two elements as pretty as they are — you should have seen some of the horrors I brought to life playing with the CSS.

The Followers, Listeners, and Playcount numbers are a much more quantifiable and useful bunch. I’ll be doing even more cool things with those stats in the near future.

The uselessness of Spotify’s popularity score due to it’s relativity isn’t quite so ugly in when applied to charts like comparing albums to each other. In their defense, Spotify’s popularity score wasn’t designed for my convenience — it does exactly what it was meant for … creating the “top tracks” for any given category and so on.

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Albums often appear twice because they have more than one version — the initial release and a remastered edition, for example.

I can’t even recall reading anything explaining (not that they need to justify anything) to me what made them special or how they influenced others. The only lists — not that that’s necessarily evidence of anything — I’ve seen them on are those mentioning their Country Life album cover as being among the best and most controversial covers.

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How Do Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominations Affect Popularity On Spotify?

Shout out to: Malcolm MacLean‘s book, Data Driven Documents D3.js Tips and Tricks v4 which made these really super easy.

See, this here is the endgame — the kind of thing I learned D3 and coding so that I could create. This is what makes programming fun. The following are based on data I collect using the Spotify API.

Here are the inductees in the class of 2019 for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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I was in a hurry. I’ll tweak the math for legend placement later.

Here are those who were nominated but not inducted.

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I was in a hurry. I’ll put the names in a container later. Maybe.

Nominations were released October 9. You can tell I wasn’t tracking a few of these artists (John Prine, Todd Rundgren, Roxy Music, Stevie Nicks, Janet Jackson) until that date because their lines don’t start until then. There seems to be a slight gain for each (maybe) but that’s total “correlation not causation” because these are Spotify’s very relative and ever-fluctuating “popularity” scores not playcounts.

Suppose the Beatles are higher than all these artists and John Lennon says something stupid like, say, “We’re more popular than Jesus” — the Beatles popularity goes down and since it’s a zero-sum game with Spotify Popularity, everyone who doesn’t put their foot in their mouth gets a bump.

Which, looking at the above graphs, begs the question, “What happened at the end of June to make everyone crash and in mid-July to cause everyone’s climb back up?”

Another, more intriguing point, is early April when the MC5, Radiohead, and the Cure all spiked up and right back down.

Spotify doesn’t answer any of my questions so we’ll never know.

Even if nominations don’t affect anything significantly, we can watch and see if the induction has any significant effect.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2018 Nominees

The latest nominees were announced in the last couple of days so I was in a sudden rush today to fix a bunch of stuff so I could get them into my database. Hence, I used the old, icky method. I’m not bummed out about that, though, because I did get a ton of stuff fixed that had become broken over time — including changing from PHP session variables to PHP cookies. I also fixed all the column-sorting links and related page-building functions that were jacked up. So, I can take screenshots of some the latest top tracks and albums for this years nominees.

Spotify, because they hate people, doesn’t make the number of plays available through their API — also not available in their web player. “Popularity” is relative to other artists, albums, and tracks on Spotify so the number may go up and down from day to day. So, from what I can guess, an artist’s top albums or tracks may not really be the top tracks or albums by that artist — because the numbers are calculated relative to all other albums and tracks — not like you’re ranking an artist’s songs by number of plays.

Yes, it’s stupid. It’s not just you.

Even more stupid is Last.fm‘s API which totally got my hopes up because you can access the number of plays! But … not the identifiers for the artists, tracks, or albums.

Because they’re stupid. That’s why.

But, in the words of Count Rogin, “Let’s work with what we have, shall we?”

Janet Jackson

janetTracks.png

janetAlbums

WordPress is ridiculously stupid. Depending on the browser and OS you’re using, the tools change. Sometimes you can control how large an image is when it’s placed. Sometimes, you can also make it so a user/reader can click it for a larger version. That seems to be increasingly rare so I apologize for how difficult to read some of these charts are.

John Prine

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Each column can be sorted in the app by clicking on “Album Name”, “Track”, or “Track Popularity”.

prineAlbums.png

Again, I apologize. When an artist has a ton of albums, it makes for lots of horizontal scrolling so, at some point, I’ll make the bars listed vertically so it doesn’t suck even on a desktop.

Roxy Music

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Eventually, I’ll have the years appear beneath the albums. The albums, by the way, are ordered chronologically by release date.

Stevie Nicks

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I included more tracks by Nicks because I thought it was interesting that “Rooms On Fire” made it into the top five while “Talk To Me”, the other single from Rock A Little was at #23.

nicksAlbums.png

Todd Rundgren

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I grabbed the top 11 tracks because, again, I was rather amused by the fact that four of the top 11 were all “Bang on the Drum All Day.”

I am currently working on an algorithm that would somehow combine all the scores for the same song across albums (including remasters and compilations but not live versions). Same for albums … I’d like a score that took into account several versions of the same album.

At some point, I realized I could take screenshots of the app’s “list” view for albums. In list view, I can sort them, just like the list view for tracks.

rundgrenAlbums.png

Def Leppard

defTracks.png

I grabbed so many more of theirs because, well, I cared more.

defAlbums.png

See how there’s two versions of so many of their albums? I find that irritating. It lowers the tide for all of the albums and tracks in question.

Devo

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More rows of Devo because, again, I cared more.

devoAlbums.png

 

Kraftwerk

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I like it when there are fewer albums. The screenshots are prettier.

LL Cool J

coolJtracks.png

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MC5

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Not a big surprise there for the #1 track.

mc5albums.png

Radiohead

radioTracks.png

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Rage Against the Machine

rageTracks.png

rageAlbums.png

Rufus

I know for a fact I didn’t add Rufus to my database until they were nominated last year so this line graph represents their popularity over the last year. You’re welcome.

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The Cure

cureTracks.png

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The Zombies

The Zombies are nominated again which makes me happy. I think they stand a better chance of getting in this year.

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No surprise in that list. I think what might hurt them is many people might be like me and can only name those top two tracks.

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I love that Still Got That Hunger is so high on their top albums list. It deserves it. Good on ya’, guys!