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)

601Leonard CohenHallelujah Buy
602Bruce SpringsteenBadlands Buy
603Rhett MillerCome Around Buy
604The PoguesFairytale Of New York Buy
605Shawn ColvinSteady On Buy
606The ChurchUnder The Milky Way Buy
607Aimee MannThat's Just What You Are Buy
608King CrimsonIn The Court Of The Crimson King Buy
609Citizen CopeContact Buy
610West Indian GirlWhat Are You Afraid Of Buy
611Steve ForbertRomeos Tune Buy
612Ani DifrancoNot A Pretty Girl Buy
613Alejando EscovedoDear Head On The Wall Buy
614Bruce SpringsteenThe Rising Buy
615Desmond DeckerIsraelites Buy
616Warren ZevonCarmelita Buy
617Etta JamesAt Last Buy
618The ClashThe Magnificent Seven Buy
619Patty GriffinNo Bad News Buy
620Old 97'sTimebomb Buy
621The BeatlesNorwegian Wood Buy
622Joni MitchellBlue Buy
623Michael Franti And SpearheadEveryone Deserves Music Buy
624Jack JohnsonBreakdown Buy
625The La'sThere She Goes Buy
626Dar WilliamsWhat Do You Hear In These Sounds Buy
627Joan OsborneSpider Web Buy
628Little FeatDixie Chicken Buy
629Midnight OilBeds Are Burning Buy
630Kd LangConstant Craving Buy
631SpoonI Turn My Camera On Buy
632The Rolling StonesCan't You Hear Me Knocking Buy
633ColdplayFix You Buy
634Shemekia CopelandWho Stole My Radio? Buy
635The Grateful DeadChinacat Sunflower I Know You Rider Buy
636The WhoBaba O'Riley Buy
637The NationalMistaken For Strangers Buy
638WilcoSky Blue Sky Buy
639Jonatha BrookeBetter After All Buy
640Lyle LovettThis Old Porch Buy
641The ReplacementsLeft Of The Dial Buy
642Talking HeadsAnd She Was Buy
643Robert Plant & Alison KraussKilling The Blues Buy
644Bruce SpringsteenNew York City Serenade Buy
645StingFields Of Gold Buy
646Tom Waits(Looking For) The Heart Of Saturday Night Buy
64710,000 ManiacsWhat's The Matter Here? Buy
648Fountains Of WayneHackensack Buy
649David BrombergSharon Buy
650NRBQRidin' In My Car 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