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I Want My MTV! On the 40th anniversary of the music-television channel, one of its co-founders remembers the songs that started it all

Soul Stirrers Tracks to turn on your love-light and give you a soulful strut, from Aretha Franklin, Bobby Womack, Katie Webster, P. P. Arnold, and more

Songs with Atmosphere A selection of 14 songs that defy description

Tracks of Your Tears Feeling down even though things are looking up? You’re certainly not alone. Allow yourself some time to run the full gamut of emotions, with songs from Lana Del Rey, Roy Orbison, Julie London, Dr. John, and more

Mood-Swinging Songs to get you in the right frame of mind, from Billie Holiday, Sharon Van Etten, the Band, Sidney Bechet, and more

Cheer Up! Still finding yourself snared in despair? Slip loose with these tracks from Barbra Streisand, Charles Trenet, Lena Horne, Eydie Gormé, and more

The Name Game Sometimes, musicians make it personal. Herewith, tracks from Joni Mitchell, Elton John, Dave Edmunds, Chuck Berry, and more

Flowery Verses Music, like gardens, is often better when you don’t have to do the work yourself. Let Jerry Lee Lewis, Nina Simone, Bobby Vinton, the Wailin’ Jennys, and others do the heavy lifting this spring

Odes to the Office Dying to return to your place of work? (Or are you back in the office and doing your dying there?) Herewith, a collection of songs that will make you feel better in either case

On the Road Again Tunes to complement your wanderlust, from Willie Nelson, the Coasters, Laura Nyro and Labelle, Van Dyke Parks, and more

Stoop Slide Brush up on your boogying with these numbers from Brett Dennen, Mathien, Haim, Mayer Hawthorne, and more

Déjà Voodoo Reggae covers of non-reggae songs that will make you think twice, from John Holt, Peter Tosh, Marcia Griffiths, Alton Ellis, and more

World-Wise Songs about our precious planet, from Moondog, Nils Frahm, the Turtles, Rare Earth, Koko Taylor, and more

Emergency Exit Come out of hiding with these songs from the Animals, Junior Parker, Lyn Collins, Animal Collective, and more

Neon Dion The Bronx’s doo-wop prince is also a soulful rock ’n’ roller whose catalogue is as deep as it is vast

Sonic Cinema When you can’t make it to the movies (or just don’t want to), satisfy your filmic desires with these songs from Lou Reed, Lyle Lovett, Ellen Foley, and more

Lovers’ Season A soundtrack in homage, with music from the Lemonheads, Eddie Hazel, the Beatles, Elvis Costello & the Attractions, and more

Living for the City A restaurateur shares his tracks to rebuild New York City to, from Bruce Springsteen, Sister Nancy, Gary Clark Jr., and more

Tripping Out Lake Street Dive shares their collaborative road-trip playlist, with songs from Mavis Staples, Amber Mark, Diana Ross, Paul Simon, and more

Learning to Reed On the occasion of the birthday of one of rock ’n’ roll’s finest songwriters, a playlist of Lou Reed covers (and some that aren’t) from Bryan Ferry, Sandra Nkaké, David Bowie, Mink DeVille, and more

Divine Divas Music to celebrate the fairer sex with, from Jan Bradley, Mina, Bettye Swann, and Lucinda Williams

The Best Is Yet to Come Delighted that things seem to be looking up in 2021? Celebrate and remain hopeful with these songs from Cher, Harry Belafonte, Cat Stevens, and more

Funny Valentines Oh, the things we overlook for love. Herewith, honest tracks for faithful lovers, from Alvin Robinson, Ella Fitzgerald, Dorothy Lamour, and more

The Good Earth Stay grounded with songs from Tracy Chapman, John Denver, Bill Withers, and more