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)

501The Grateful DeadUncle John'S Band Buy
502DuffyWarwick Avenue Buy
503IndigenousThings We Do Buy
504Kasey ChambersThe Captain Buy
505Luka BloomI Need Love Buy
506Whiskeytown16 Days Buy
507The ReplacementsCan't Hardly Wait Buy
508Patty GriffinRain Buy
509The ShinsPhantom Limb Buy
510St. GermainRose Rouge Buy
511Old 97'sDance With Me Buy
512The Ting TingsGreat Dj Buy
513Yeasayer2080 Buy
514Sufjan StevensCome On Feel The Illinoise Buy
515October ProjectTake Me As I Am Buy
516Vienna TengHarbor Buy
517Blue MerleBurning In The Sun Buy
518Moxy FruvousMichigan Militia Buy
519Elvis CostelloPump It Up Buy
520Miles DavisSo What Buy
521U2Where The Streets Have No Name Buy
522The Dave Brubeck QuartetTake Five Buy
523NirvanaSmells Like Teen Spirit Buy
524CalexicoAlone Again Or Buy
525TrafficThe Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys Buy
526Bob DylanSubterranean Homesick Blues Buy
527Indigo GirlsHammer And A Nail Buy
528Van MorrisonBrown Eyed Girl Buy
529Sam CookeA Change Is Gonna Come Buy
530Patti SmithPeople Have The Power Buy
531The Grateful DeadSugar Magnolia Buy
532RadioheadParanoid Android Buy
533Peter Bjorn And JohnAmsterdam Buy
534The ClashTrain In Vain Buy
535Joseph ArthurEven Tho Buy
536Ben HarperSteal My Kisses Buy
537Dr DogWorst Trip Buy
538Lyle LovettHere I Am Buy
539Bob DylanShelter From The Storm Buy
540The JayhawksIm Gonna Make You Love Me Buy
541The Style CouncilMy Ever Changing Moods Buy
542Rilo KileyPortions For Foxes Buy
543Richard ThompsonTear Stained Letter Buy
544The RaconteursSteady As She Goes Buy
545Laurie AndersonO Superman Buy
546Sufjan StevensJacksonville Buy
547My Morning JacketI'M Amazed Buy
548Shawn ColvinPolaroids Buy
549John Butler TrioBetter Than Buy
550The FratellisWhistle For The Choir 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