President Barack Obama has released his campaign playlist. The list includes 29 songs from a wide variety of artistes representing different genres, including ELO, Al Green, Wilco, Jennifer Hudson, and oldies such as Aretha Franklin's "The Weight."
The highly varied list is designed to help Obama reach out to different sections of voters. According to The Washington Post , Obama shared his Spotify playlist on his Facebook page on Thursday. The mix was subtitled on Spotify, “The official 2012 playlist includes picks by the campaign staff — including a few of President Obama’s favorites.” A spokesperson for the Obama campaign explained in an email that the president did not choose the songs, they were suggested to him by staff members and volunteers. The Washington Post reports the list, however, includes a few of Obama's favourites.
Inclusion of oldies such as Aretha Franklin’s “The Weight” and Booker T. & the M.G.’s’ “Green Onions” is heartwarming, and no one is surprised that Obama includes Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together,” a line of which Obama managed to sing at Harlem's Apollo Theater last month. The list also includes Earth Wind and Fire's, "Got to Get You Into My Life."
The Obama campaign said all the artistes were contacted before their songs were included in the mix. This was to avoid artistes protesting use of their songs in the presidential campaign. The Wall Street Journal reports, for instance, that when Republican candidate Mitt Romney featured “Wavin’ Flag” by Somali-Canadian rapper K’Naan, the artiste complained, saying he did not approve of use of his song because he doesn’t agree with the candidate’s politics. K'Naan said in a statement to CNN : “If I had been asked, I would certainly not have granted it. I would happily grant the Obama campaign use of my song without prejudice.”
Questions are being raised why the mix did not include any rap song. The Wall Street Journal wonders why Obama, who claims he is a fan of jay-Z, Nas and Lil Wanye, excluded rap from the list. The Washington Post reports rap stars mobilized in 2008 with songs celebrating Obama and encouraging young people to vote for him. But Obama may have reasons why he is wary of including rap music on the list. When Chicago rapper Common was invited to a poetry event last May, his anti-George W. Bush lyric was criticized by the media.
But many do not see any compelling reason to exclude a major genre from the playlist.
Shortlist provides a full list of the songs:Different People - No Doubt
Got to Get You Into My Life - Earth, Wind & Fire
Green Onions - Booker T & The MG’s
I Got You - Wilco
Keep on Pushing - The Impressions
Keep Reachin' Up - Nicole Willis & the Soul Investigators
Love You I Do? - Jennifer Hudson
No Nostalgia - AgesAndAges
Raise Up - Ledisi
Stand Up - Sugarland
This - Darius Rucker
We Used To Wait - Arcade Fire
You've Got the Love - Florence and the Machine
Your Smiling Face - James Taylor
Roll with the Change - REO Speedwagon
Everyday America - Sugarland
Learn to Live - Darius Rucker
Let’s Stay Together - Al Green
Mr. Blue Sky - Electric Light Orchestra
My Town - Montgomery Gentry
The Best Thing about Me Is You - Ricky Martin, featuring Joss Stone
You are the Best Thing - Ray Lamontagne
Keep Marchin - Raphael Saadiq
Tonight's The Kind of Night - Noah and the Whale
We Take Care of Our Own - Bruce Springsteen
Keep Me In Mind - Zac Brown Band
The Weight - Aretha Franklin cover of song by The Band
Even Better Than The Real Thing - U2
Home - Dierks Bentley
Listen to the songs here.