Longbored Surfer

2005.04.22 Soundtrack of Your Life

This challenge is best accomplished with a friend doing it at the same time. The concept isn't that hard to follow, but there are a few guidelines, which can be bent or broken depending on the pre-arranged agreement.


The general concept is that a compilation of music be made which could accompany a film of the significant points in your life. You're the judge on what is "significant", you're the judge on what music you want to put on there. Follow these additional guidelines:

  • No artist/group/performer may have more than one song on the entire soundtrack
  • The compilation should be a comprehensive representation
  • The soundtrack must fit on 1 (one) CD
  • Create a unique name for the soundtrack
  • A completed soundtrack should not be shared with somebody who has not completed the challenge
  • A deadline should be set for the project, or else it will linger essentially forever
  • No cover is required
  • A track listing is required
  • The songs may be in any order
  • No explanation is required for the song selection or placement (although frequently provided)

Possible Areas of Confusion

If you have a song on there from The Smashing Pumpkins, and you want a song by Billy Corgan, and another song by Zwan, that's just fine (even though Billy Corgan is the lead singer in all 3 instances, it still technically follows the rules).

If you want a remake/cover of a song done by somebody else, that's fine. You might like the UB40 version of "Every Breath you Take" better than the Sting/Police version. If you do take the UB40 version of the song, it counts as UB40 song, not a Sting song.

An 80 minute CD is just as legal as a 74 minute CD. Generally people won't choose the latter, since 80 minutes is a tight enough squeeze.

The disc is done. There aren't any amendments, errata, or anything like that. If you'd like to complete the challenge again at another time, feel free; the original should still remain unchanged.

Tips & Tricks

How should you begin? You might be able to think of a song or two right off the bat. If you come to a halt in your ability to think of songs, just start listening to music. You'll get to a point where you'll have a fairly decent number of songs, probably more than will fit on the CD. So, sit down, figure out placement of them all, and start shortening. You might need to find alternate version, maybe radio edits, possibly live/studio versions. You might need to find the song performed by somebody else. You might just need to take the song off all together.

Another handy trick that could buy you a little bit more space on your disc is to shorten the time in between tracks. The default is that there is a 2 second gap in between tracks. You might be able to shorten that to 1 second or 1/2.

Sure, a deadline is provided, but don't procrastinate. Some people sit around and wait for the date to come, then they throw together their current favorites and call it a soundtrack. Having witnessed an experience like this, it was a sad display.

General History / Background

This challenge was originally extended to me in the spring of 2002 by my friend Brian Harris. Though seemingly opposite personalities in many fashions, we both really enjoyed music and could find ourselves in it.

I was glad to take on the challenge and we completed it shortly. Though another person was involved with this original challenge, their end product sucked.

I have since taken the challenge on to others, and willingly pass it on to you.

People who have taken the Soundtrack of your Life Challenge (and essentially passed):

  • Brian Harris
  • Mary
  • Sam
  • Jenn
  • Me (duh)

If you've taken the challenge and want to see what was on my soundtrack, let me know, and I'm happy to share, as long as you are.

6/10/09 Update: In case you're curious, you can see the list here. Sure it's just a simple box on this same page, but I kind of like the suspense.

Skip to My Lou

01You Can Call Me AlPaul Simon4:41
02Red Red WineUB405:21
03PoisonBel Biv Devoe4:20
04Runaway TrainSoul Asylum4:27
05Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small TownPearl Jam3:17
06Come Out and PlayOffspring3:18
08The More You Ignore MeMorrissey3:45
09Lightning CrashesLive5:26
11NameGoo Goo Dolls4:31
12BrickBen Folds Five4:32
13If You Could Only SeeTonic4:24
14What A Good BoyBarenaked Ladies3:55
15The DistanceCake3:01
16Going Out of my HeadFatboy Slim5:15
17Around the WorldDaft Punk4:02
18Can't Take My Eyes Off of YouLauryn Hill3:42
19GrannyDave Matthews & Tim Reynolds3:22

The songs are a mix between personal musical taste and personally significant (associated with an event or time period). They're roughly in chronological order, or close enough to count for my interests. Again, I'd be happy to hear about your version. Please feel free to share! :)

Tag(s): entertainment light_bulb

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