Compilation to Spotify

The other day while digging around in boxes of junk at a local charity shop to me looking for CDs to fill out my collection or to resell on Discogs I overheard a couple of friends standing in front of the DVD rack. They were picking out the vast array of DVDs that this shop has (then again what charity shop isn’t overfull with DVDs these days) – aah this film is great have you seen thisthis one is greatim not so sure about that one have you seen this one and wow I completely forgot about this one were all various things they were talking about to each other, is this one of the things that I love about physical media is that you can create conversations around it much easier than staring at a grid of thumbnails on Netflix or Plex etc. Then one of the gentlemen expressed oh I really want this but I don’t have anyway to play it and he returned the DVD back to the shelf. Shame in this day and age that most people have dumped their physical media players for preference of being at mercy of the mighty streaming gods; Spotify, Netflix, Amazon Video, TIDAL, Apple Music etc. Don’t get me wrong I think streaming services serve a good purpose but they simply cannot fulfil the hole left by physical media that a collector like myself takes enjoyment in.

I thought it was a shame overhearing that statement he made, and the audible disappointment in his voice when he realised he had no way to enjoy the movie – sure it might be on Netflix or any other service he subscribes to but recently more and more of the big studios have been rolling out their own streaming services or have been entering exclusivity contracts with services, meaning you’d probably be spending anywhere in the region of £50-100 a month to be subscribed to all of them. Film is tricky like that, less so with music – for some reason. For music these days there isn’t much between Spotify, TIDAL, Apple Music or YouTube Music – they all pretty much have the same library and will probably have all of the popular artists and records you enjoy. However not everything is on them (see this article where I cover missing content from the most popular service, Spotify) – small label ventures, self-published content, compilations, samplers, a lot of foreign or niche genres are missing. There is probably good reason for this, the publishers of those records are since long gone or maybe there are issues surrounding licensing issues as can be found a lot with uncleared samples in electronic music.

Now in the same way we can’t just add the missing content to film streaming services like Netflix, I can’t add in albums from local musicians to Spotify. But we can do something else to at least cover two types of format often left – compilations. Compilations are in their most raw format a selection of different tracks, usually from different performers and bands, following a basic “theme” to give the listener maybe a variety or maybe a taster (in the case of samplers) of different music. The compilations I will cover with my project, to be explained in the next paragraph, are all various artist compilations and can include everything from cover mount media with various music publications, samplers from various labels or commercially released compilations.

How It Works

There isn’t any skill or magic here, if anything this is something that other have been doing for years (or as long as public playlists have been available on Spotify). I create a public playlist on Spotify, set the name of the playlist to match that of the compilation, locate the tracks from original track-listing and add them to the playlist in the same order. I could leave it as that and people searching for those compilations would find them using the built in Spotify search engine, but I go one step further and create a post here on the website which includes an embedded Spotify player to the playlist. This also gives me the chance to provide a little bit of information about the compilation and state any tracks that are missing from the Spotify database.

For you the listener you can simply go ahead and listen to the compilations, which can sometimes be a good way to work out if you want to purchase it, and if you enjoy it you can follow it which adds it to your list of playlists.

And with that I present to you, Compilation to Spotify – a modern solution for a truly 1st world problem.

Listing Format

The listing format is pretty self-explanatory but in case you wonder this is how it works:

  • {Compilation Title} ({Year of Release}, {Label}, {Genre})

Compilation Title is well the title on the cover or spine of the CD. If there is a discrepancy between those two, then the title that is used on the Discogs listing will be used.

Year of Release is the year of release, specific dates can be found on the item page. We choose year as most compilations will at least state their year, where as not all will give a month or day of release.

Label this is the label the compilation was released under. If there are multiple labels it was released under then the most accurate one will be listed.

Genre this may be the most contentious element of a listing; pretty much this is the genre of music that has a majority hold over all of the rest of the tracks on a release. For example if most of the tracks are Alternative Indie, and one is Synth Pop then the listing will state the genre as Alternative Indie. If the listing states the genre is assorted then there is no one clear defining genre. Assorted does not equate to Pop; these will be marked as Pop.

Releases Covered

I’ll try and split these out in some kind of logical manner but if you’re hunting for something specific you can use the search function on the website to jump to it.

Global Television

Global Television (GTV) was a UK record label who pumped out a large amount of compilations over the period of 1994 to 2000. They were an immediate subsidiary of BMG Records (UK) Ltd. and released mostly pop compilations that followed an a loose theme. This theme could be a particular decade, emotion or genre of music. Releases were not too dissimilar to those being released by Universal TV or Polygram TV.

Kerrang! Magazine

Kerrang! is likely the most popular heavy metal magazine publication in the UK (sorry Metal Hammer) and saw what its siblings in the alternative/indie world were doing and began to also issue free CDs for its readers. These were very similar in style with a mixture of overviews of what was hot at the time, as well as some releases that were focused around a particular theme or genre. Much like NME the frequency of Kerrang! meant that not every issue came with such a great freebie as a music CD, so they were released where they could. Also, again much like NME and Q, Kerrang! would lend their name to commercially released compilations from Universal – which would often act as a yearly overview of music in the rock and metal worlds. Early releases were also distributed under the Radio Kerrang name, which was later rearranged to Kerrang Radio of which it took up as a being real radio station on FM and DAB frequencies until May 2018 when it was superseded by Absolute radio (who as far as I know have never released any physical media).


Now if this post has bought the attention of die-hard metal fans (who are at times, just as bad as hip-hop backpackers or indie hipsters with their militant taste-making skills and opinion sharing) I totally understand that Kerrang! covered a lot of different genres, mainly catering to whatever was pop at the time and that the publication would cover genres that were considered derivative (read lesser) of metal and punk such as emo or pop punk. I myself have never been a metal-head, even when I tried my hardest to be at the ripe age of 14, so I have never bought a copy of Metal Hammer and don’t actively seek their CDs when buying. I’m sorry if this upsets you but nothing is stopping you from doing the same as I, if anything I’d encourage it. And for arguments sake, yes – Metal Hammer probably is a better representation of true metal music than Kerrang! ever was.

Label Samplers

There is little else in the world of physical media that grabs my attention than a good label sampler. Label samplers are, as you guessed it, a collection of tracks from a record labels current roster. Some labels are quite well known for their samplers (such as Epitaph, Drive-Thru, Equal Vision, Moving Shadow) and were for the longest time considered the best source to find new material. I find this still holds true, even for modern samplers released by labels (although they take on a digital format these days), and I often keep most samplers in my collection longer than some cover mount CDs for the reason that they are often just great records. This section will be split by the label to help you find what you might be after, and I will give the general genre of the music that label covers.

Equal Vision Records

Burning Heart Records

Punk and rock label from Sweden. Sampler series was named Cheap Shots.


Everything else pretty much. Again like with Other Magazines items can come out from this section and find home under a new section but for now they are in the odd-ball and outcasts pit.

MOJO Magazine

MOJO followed the rhythm of its siblings in the UK music magazine scene by including a free cover mount CDs, however much like Uncut it has preserved this art even into the modern era of streaming everything that is 2019. The music covered is mostly that of alternative or indie performers, with most issues focusing on a particular genre or musical style than a general overview of current music. This can make the MOJO releases a little bit more desirable for those trying to get into a specific genre or style (such as dream pop, which they have (to date) released three compilations in 2010, 2014 and 2016).

NME Magazine

Maybe the UK’s answer to Rolling Stone, NME is a household name for even those who aren’t really into music. NME existed before many of the other publications on this page and with their weekly frequency it comes as no surprise they weren’t wanting to give away a CD 52 times a year. Also to muddy things further (although Q are also charged this with crime) NME would often release full priced compilations under the distribution of Universal Music. I will include all here, although the retail compilations will be split from the cover mounts. NME have over the years released on various formats including CD, cassette and vinyl. We have no prejudice here so all will be covered. Most of the cover mount CDs that were released would either follow a specific theme or simply present a selection of whats new at the time of publication. Unfortunately NME have since stopped producing print releases, but continue to operate as a digital entity.

Other Magazines

No “Other Magazines” is not a publication – yet. This section will cover other music (and non-music) publications which I feel didn’t put out enough material to have their own section. Worry not hardcore Rocksound reader, if I feel the need then I will split some of these titles into their own section and provide a description for them. Yes, this section does also include non-music publications who also wanted to give away something to their readers such as Cosmopolitan’s one and only cassette tape from 1993.

Q Magazine

For a number of years Q Magazine have been issuing cover mount media (mostly CDs with a few cassettes) with their magazine issues. Recently this has stopped with the last CDs being included with issues from 2017. Most of these compilations are a general reflection of indie and alternative music out at the time of the issue release, but some of them follow a theme (such as an album of covers from various performers.

  • QCD (1986, Q Magazine, Alternative)
  • Mmmmm… (1996, Q Magazine, Alternative)

Uncut Magazine

As with Q Magazine and MOJO Magazine, Uncut also issued cover mount media with every issue (of which the format has always been CD). Unlike some of their contemporaries, they are still at the time of writing this in 2019 issuing CDs with each issue. As with most of these magazine CDs they are often there to reflect highlights of the current alternative/indie music scene – although some issues do follow a theme such as a particular label showcase or genre.


Warner Music

It’s not surprise that media giant Warner would also be putting out compilations somewhere along their history. Compilations from Warner mostly concerned themselves with pop music and were more often than not released at full price and sold in your high-street record store or supermarket.