I’ve been meaning to do this for a while. If you have Spotify, this should work for you. If not, then probably not, and sorry about that, for now. (Plans are in the works to get around that; see note below.)
Okay, so, a few things to understand about this playlist. First, these songs are not in a definitive order—that was too difficult to do, and rather too pointless. What comes out here as the “number one song” is not necessarily my number-one favorite song. Ever out of step with the times, I don’t tend easily towards ranking and list-making. My concern is more a decent flow of music. The best I can say is that the ones nearer the top tend to among my most favorite favorites, but they are all terrific songs, as are hundreds I could not put on the list.
Second, note that the list originally contained 40 songs, but Spotify didn’t have four of the songs, so they are vanished (for now; again, see note below).
The cool thing about this list is that it allows me to revisit any number of songs I originally featured as free and legal downloads (or else they would not have been here), but have not been available free-and-legally, as MP3s, for quite some time. Going to a legal streaming service allows me to present them to you again with a clear conscience. (Or, at least, semi-clear; I know that Spotify has its own issues, but at least it’s legal.)
But because I ideally want all 40 songs to be part of the list and because my long-ago background as a free-form radio DJ compels me in that direction, I may yet attempt to make more of a podcast-like presentation out of this, including all 40 songs, complete with (one hopes) informative commentary. I will surely let you know if that happens and where to find it, which won’t be on Spotify.