WXPN Radio

The premier guide for new and significant artists in rock, blues, and folk - including NPR-syndicated World Cafe

XPN2 - XPoNential Radio

24/7 Musical discovery. A unique mix of emerging and heritage blues, rock, world, folk, and alt-country artists.

World Cafe Archives

Join the World Cafe through performances and interviews with celebrated and emerging artists.

The Heart of XPN

From the tens of thousands of titles in its music library, WXPN asked you, our listeners to vote for the 885 quintessential XPN songs. These are the tracks that are at the heart of the XPN listening experience. The ones we could not be without.

View the 2008 list of the 885 Essential XPN Songs
(Printable PDF File)

The Final 885 Essential XPN Songs
(2008 Countdown)

1Richard Thompson1952 Vincent Black Lightning Buy
2David GrayBabylon Buy
3Jeff BuckleyHallelujah Buy
4Kirsty MaccollIn These Shoes Buy
5WilcoImpossible Germany Buy
6Lucinda WilliamsCar Wheels On A Gravel Road Buy
7Ray LamontagneTrouble Buy
8Amos LeeArms Of A Woman Buy
9Jeff BuckleyLast Goodbye Buy
10Jeb Loy NicholsHeaven Right Here Buy
11Bonnie Raitt & John PrineAngel From Montgomery Buy
12Back Door SlamCome Home Buy
13David GrayPlease Forgive Me Buy
14Old Crow Medicine ShowWagon Wheel Buy
15Citizen CopeBullet And A Target Buy
16Alexi MurdochOrange Sky Buy
17Richard ThompsonPersuasion Buy
18Sufjan StevensChicago Buy
19Death Cab For CutieI Will Possess Your Heart Buy
20Rufus WainwrightHallelujah Buy
21Glen Hansard & Marketa IrglovaFalling Slowly Buy
22Phil RoyMelt Buy
23Lyle LovettChurch Buy
24Brandi CarlileThe Story Buy
25Indigo GirlsCloser To Fine Buy
26Bob DylanTangled Up In Blue Buy
27Damien RiceVolcano Buy
28Dar WilliamsWhen I Was A Boy Buy
29The PooziesAnother Train Buy
30Peter GabrielSolsbury Hill Buy
31Vampire WeekendCape Cod Kwassa Kwassa Buy
32Jeffrey GainesIn Your Eyes Buy
33Gnarls BarkleyCrazy Buy
34Dar WilliamsAre You Out There Buy
35Grace Potter And The NocturnalsAh Mary Buy
36Norah JonesCome Away With Me Buy
37Josh RitterKathleen Buy
38Bruce SpringsteenThunder Road Buy
39Peter Bjorn And JohnYoung Folks Buy
40Richard ThompsonBeeswing Buy
41Indigo GirlsGalileo Buy
42Van MorrisonInto The Mystic Buy
43Vampire WeekendOxford Comma Buy
44Citizen CopeSon'S Gonna Rise Buy
45Beth OrtonCentral Reservation Buy
46Crash Test DummiesSuperman'S Song Buy
47Matthew SweetGirlfriend Buy
48Rodrigo Y GabrielaTamacun Buy
49Tori AmosSilent All These Years Buy
50Billy Bragg & WilcoCalifornia Stars Buy


What inspired the countdown playlist? Check out our Resources page, a treasure trove of information about the aural history of XPN - Artists to Watch, festival lineups, Featured Albums, and more!

885 Countdown Video

Watch a clever remake of the classic Bob Dylan "Subterranean Homesick Blues" video starring Jim McGuinn promoting the 885 Essential Songs Countdown. Click to watch and share

Watch the Video. Share it with a Friend. Listen to the Countdown. Become a Member.

Support for the 2021 All-Time Greatest Albums Countdown is Made Possible by