Stereogum's 25 Most Downloaded MP3s of 2011

As they say, the last week of the calendar year is the most wonderful time of year to engage in the age old Stereogum tradition of finding out which compressed music files you most prolifically snatched. They are always saying that, every year, right around now. And we oblige: This is a purely data-driven rundown of our “most popular MP3s,” based on download counts, aside from our original tribute to Is This It, Stroked, which we are no longer hosting because we ran out of licenses. (If you missed it, go hit up the internet and see what happens — it might be worth, ahem, trying your luck, barely legal as that is this it in this modern age. Soma.)

The spread here says some interesting things about your downloading habits. And since ’tis the season of psychoanalyzing your IRL family for the decisions they made over the course of the year, I don’t expect you to treat your URL family any differently. Have at it! For instance, there are qualitatively great tracks by somewhat smaller artists that performed so well, you probably streamed them and realized this before grabbing; this means you tend to be judicious downloaders interested in preserving your hard drive space and keeping only quality goods. On the flip, there are MP3s here by massively popular artists whose appearance on a list like this was practically inevitable, which means some of you are less discriminating, but also fair enough, as if you weren’t gonna cop a “Ni**as In Paris” remix. There are some buzz acts whose hype probably preceded them, suggesting you nabbed them on the grounds of curiosity; and then there are the more gimmicky stunt tracks, which you probably hit up for their novelty factor, or just because you really love covers of Chris Isaak and/or the prospect of a saxless Bon Iver. In any event, this list has provided an interesting and perfectly respectable take on the Top 10 Tracks Of 2011, and for that, I applaud your use of your WiFi connections this year. As does Zola Jesus. Lo:

Drake and Zola, your Download Prom King & Queen of 2011. Internet, if you are listening, my new year’s resolution for you is that you orchestrate a celebratory photo commemorating this coupling, in real life, sometime very soon.

Thanks for downloading so much stuff, guys. It makes us feel like you really like us/free stuff, and that’s what the holidays are all about.

Comments (25)
  1. the picture says 50 but there are only 25 on the list …

  2. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  3. Zip file of all tracks would be sweet!

  4. Headline as #2. quietly walks away. SMH

  5. 1) so glad listmas season isn’t over

    2) thanks amrit for writing a really funny and well-put-together post when you could have just slapped the list on there and called it a day.

  6. Zola Jesus, huh? Interesting.

    • Stereogum’s Download Prom Queen of the Year? Not bad! Well, it’s the first time I’ve seen her on top of any best-of-2011 list. And it’s probably/unfortunately her last achievement.

  7. Sweet list!

    Although it seems more people need to download Balam Acab’s “My Boo” remix. Seriously, that remix is so so good.

    HYFR to “The Zone” !

  8. Nice to see I Break Horses – Hearts in that list. Definitely one of the best tracks of 2011. But I do miss the RAR remix of the same track, or I must have gotten it elsewhere. Equally brilliant yet sufficiently different. Anyway, you can get it from Soundcloud:

  9. Great list! – another good top twenty tracks of 2011 with videos list is located here.

  10. Drake and Waka Flocka did a song together?

  11. “Vomit” performed by Girls is a really great song!

  12. Finally, I Break Horses made it on a year end list!

  13. Why are James Vincent McMorrow and Other Lives being omitted on every list. Check our Hummingbird Award Winner all 13 of the Best New Bands for 2011:

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