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No, we don’t have a music label. We’re talking about MaverickLabel’s label-making music. Our Production area has a lot of machinery – cutters, plotters, presses. Sometimes our press techs wear ear plugs (for big job lots, heavy-duty materials, etc.), but most days, they listen to music while moving from one machine to the next, checking the process and watching for issues.

Over the years, we’ve compiled a playlist that is long and eclectic, with more than 300 songs. Everyone in Production, and others with offices close to that area, have added to it. I thought it might be interesting to share some favorites with you. It’s a strong possibility that your labels were made to the sound of one or more of these!

Note: The music has to have a strong beat to be heard, so there are no soft sweet ballads here. And it’s a busy day in August, so some people didn’t have time to respond and others were on vacation. But I did get 21 favorite song titles from 6 different people. 

21 Songs To Make Labels By

Tristan prefers metal, and when his songs are playing, the Production area can sound like a foundry. Heavy, driving rhythms and an emphatic beat gets the blood pumping. His top five invigorators include X-Ray Visions (Clutch), Metal Machine (Sabaton), Superbeast (Rob Zombie), Fire Lances of the Ancient Hyperzephyrians (The Sword), and Awaken by Dethklok. It’s hard not to stand up straighter when you hear “I command you to rise, rise, rise, rise, rise, rise, rise, rise, rise, rise, rise, rise, rise, rise, rise, rise, and awaken.”

Peg has wide-ranging tastes and loves the unexpected and unusual – and trumpets. Her favorite picks include Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White (Perez Prado); everyone loves to hear that initial trumpet run. She also selected the Cuban-influenced In These Shoes? (Kirsty MacColl), and the haunting Ghost Town (The Specials) for her top three. Mambo, anyone? In these shoes? I don’t think so.

Traci’s top pick is the rock anthem Don’t Stop Believin’ (Journey); it always puts her in a good mood. And she loves it when Rainbow in the Dark (Dio) comes up in the rotation. Freedom ’90 (George Michael) rounds out her top three. Traci also frequently creates a year-end playlist, with songs honoring all the musicians who have died over the course of that year. The 2016 one in particular was long and sad, with tributes to David Bowie, Prince, and Leonard Cohen, among others. Those stay in the playlist.

Patrick chose the classic Hey, Jude (The Beatles) as his first pick; when it comes on, it’s time for a sing-along. Next is Nutshell (Alice in Chains) – what a guitar! His third pick is Forty Six & 2 (TOOL), for another great guitar, in a really complex setting. Industrial music, just right for label production. I’m selecting the TOOL song for this video, because someone put it together with Pan’s Labyrinth for the (creepy) win.

The first of Alison’s three favorites is Freedom (Dorothy), a beautiful bluesy song with a great chorus. (There’s a remix of Freedom out that sounds great, too; we’ll probably be adding that to the line-up soon.) Next is Truth Hurts (Lizzo); great lyrics and fun beat. Rounding out her three is The Importance of Cocaine (Dance Gavin Dance). This one is a little too close to “screamo” style music for me, but there’s no denying it puts you up on your toes.

When Alanna’s office was right outside the Production area, she was invited to add her choices to the extensive playlist. While she did request Life Sounds Like (Michael Franti) and some other upbeat tunes, she really likes those moody minor keys with heavy bass and percussion. Her top three include Do I Wanna Know (Arctic Monkeys), Papa Was a Rolling Stone (The Temptations), and Walk on the Wild Side (Lou Reed). It’s fun to watch people in Production go “Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo” along with the chorus…

The wildest music on the whole playlist? Probably Wolf Totem by The HU, a Mongolian metal band. Cool video, too.

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