The Great Unheard began in 2008, when 40 music lovers each made a CD containing ten under-appreciated songs. I collected those 400 songs and sent them around to the participants on a DVD. Around 2010, I figured out how to move the songs online, and TheGreatUnheard.com was born. In succeeding years, just over 100 people contributed playlists to the site, each of them pulling great songs from the awesome-but-overwhelming torrent of music available to us all.

The site has been stripped down for one final project: I’ve asked a few dozen people with whom I have long-time “musical relationships” to make playlists of their 100 all-time favorite songs. For people who love music, this is an impossibly cruel assignment. Almost everyone bitched about it, and each person came up with his or her own tortured method for identifying a Top 100. In the end, it has yielded exactly what I’d hoped it would: Extremely listenable playlists that mix hidden gems with some time-honored classics.

My plan is to post roughly one playlist per week throughout 2018. When the project concludes, I’ll make all the music collected by The Great Unheard over the last decade available to anyone who wants it, and the site will ride into the sunset.

If you’d like to participate in the project or if you’d like to be notified when a new playlist posts, please drop me a line at matthewbarthel@gmail.com, @TheGreatUnheard on Twitter, or friend me on FaceBook. I will loop you in.

Thanks, and happy listening!