Deep Cuts

I wonder if artists feel appreciated when Apple Music launches a “Deep Cuts” playlist dedicated to them.

Of course the artists might feel honored to have their own “Essentials” list and even more so to earn a “Next Steps” one, but anthology-wise, “Deep Cuts” is the third and final major badge of distinction.

Additionally, there are other dedicated playlists that artists can earn: “Influences”; “Inspired”, “Live”; “Songbook”, “Sampled”; “Remixed”; “Love Songs”; “Video Essentials” etc. but for now I will let them aside because then things get too dispersed. Talking about the Essential/Next/Deep ladder is more straightforward. 

I would love to read something about how Apple decides which artists deserve lists at each level, but I don’t think I ever saw any comment about this process. 

Besides earning three tiers, there is also the question of how many songs are included in each. Most lists have 25 or 15 songs each, but there are exceptions. Last time I checked Bruce Springsteen had 53 essential songs, Dolly Parton had 29 “next step” songs and Bob Dylan had 34 deep cuts. 

Overall, counting the three tiers, I found 110 songs for Bob Dylan, 106 for Bruce and 104 for The Beatles. Meanwhile, Dire Straits, The Police and Supertramp shared the dubious honor of scraping by with 15 songs each in every tier.

Another odd thing is that Apple makes it hard to search for all the lists in each tier. I would love to know how many artists there are in each.

Fortunately, there is one shortcut. There is one iOS music app that shows comprehensive search results for Apple Music. So, searching there for “deep cuts” playlists I can confidently infer that there are 986 results. Some results are genre-based lists (Classic Rock, Rock, Classic Reggae etc) and one or two are generic lists called Deep Cuts. There are also a few results for playlists that are titled “Next Steps”, which are usually old lists that have not been updated in the last couple of years.  

So, overall, there are a bit more than 900 hundred artists that have earned their own “Deep Cuts” playlist by Apple Music. Congratulations to all of them! Maybe you could ask Apple to make your lists easier to find!

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