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DPD Listeners Share Their ‘Required Listening’ Song Picks

Check out the playlist of songs our listeners told us they desperately wanted/needed to share with their guests at a party.

Image Credit: masha_tace / ThinkStock
Image Credit: masha_tace / ThinkStock

Last week, newly-minted “A Prairie Home Companion” host Chris Thile told us, “Here’s the one problem about me being in charge of a dinner party soundtrack: I loathe background music.”

And with that, he built us a party playlist filled with tunes he considered “required listening.” It got us thinking: which songs do our fans think of as “required listening”?

Well, we asked and many of you answered! We built out a special Spotify playlist featuring all your picks below!

Check out some responses below from a few of our passionate fans about why some of the songs were chosen. Got a song you want to add? Tell us in the comments:

“Required listening (for people in Massachusetts, where I am from): ‘Massachusetts’ by the Bee Gees. I love putting this on at dinner parties, mainly for the novelty factor, but it’s also an agreeable song. It’s not often our state gets mentioned in a song. And for anyone who only knows the Bee Gees as disco, it’s an extra fun surprise. (As I think about it, there’s “U-mass” by the Pixies, which is amazing but might be kind of disruptive for a dinner party.)”

– Alexandra in Cambridge, Massachusetts

“’Slow Dance with the Devil’ – Parson James. It brings that New Orleans feel into the room and sets the mood for good food and drink and conversation.”

– Lisa via Instagram

“My parents entertained a lot when I was a child, and music was always a big deal. My mother loved Frankie Beverly and Maze, and, to me, their music has always meant food and family. When I got to college, the Black Student Union often had parties to help black students, who were underrepresented on campus, connect and relax. The last song played was often Frankie Beverly and Maze’s “Before I Let Go,” also one of my mom’s favorites. To this day, that song signifies happiness and comfort. And I don’t know a human being who hears it and doesn’t want to dance. It’s essential pre-dinner listening for me whenever I entertain!”

– Christine in Wahiawa, Hawaii

“Charlie Hunter and Norah Jones’ cover of ‘More Than This’ by Roxy Music. Awesome cover of a great song that my parents played at many of their dinner parties in the 80s.”

– @jffrybldngr via Instagram

“I love a good storm. And Vivaldi’s “Summer” is the musical equivalent of fresh rain pounding the green earth on one of those unnaturally hot afternoons where clothes cling to you, and dense waves form in the air over hard urban surfaces. Violins, start off slow and languid, and then build to deafening crescendo. Violent strings invite you to come dance in the aural downpour, melting tension and irritation. The effect is totally revitalizing and refreshing. And complete relief. Like the prelude and aftermath of a good seduction.”

– Kristy in Sydney, Australia

“‘Inn of the Seventh Ray’ by Eleanor Friedberger! Has a really lovely ethereal quality that blends into dinner party background chatter, but it’s also a great song if anyone wants to listen closer.”

– Emily via Instagram

“George Shearing ‘Guilty’. I discovered it through the “Amélie” soundtrack. It’s ominous yet sweet, and makes your dinner feel a lot dreamier than you expected it could.”

– Isabelle via Instagram

  • Karen Ellery

    The “Putting It Together” version of “Being Alive.” The song is touching & beautiful to begin with, but when you add four harmonies, it’s transcendentally stunning. It’s a good thing to stop & listen to the beauty of the music & the passion of the lyrics. It’s also a good song for prompting stories from couples, about how they got together & what really took them over the brink of the relationship thing.

    • http://www.dinnerpartydownload.org Kristina Lopez

      How can we turn down anything by Sondheim? Added to the playlist. Thanks!

  • Allison

    “Love Will Tear Us Apart” by Nouvelle Vague. It is equally delicate and spirited, making for a lovely cover of this classic Joy Division song.

    • http://www.dinnerpartydownload.org Kristina Lopez

      We added it to the playlist! Thanks for the suggestion.

  • melgoza

    “Time Travellers” – Riverside