Tallying an entire year’s worth of airplay takes a little time, especially since KCRW famously has no playlists and over 20 DJs who handpick each and every song.

It’s a beautiful thing.  And the resulting list is a melange of all their unique tastes. It’s always so interesting to see which artists cross over on many DJ playlists. If you want to know, take a look below at  KCRW’S Top 100 Most Played Artists of 2012.

1) Santigold
2) Tame Impala
3) Alabama Shakes
4) The Shins
5) Hot Chip
6) Poolside
7) Lianne La Havas
8) Quantic & Alice Russell
9) Jack White
10) the xx
11) Miike Snow
12) Beach House
13) Michael Kiwanuka
14) Black Keys
15) Heartless Bastards
16) Robert Glasper Experience
17) Allah-Las
18) Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti
19) Divine Fits
20) Cat Power
21) Matthew Dear
22) Ting Tings
23) Antibalas
24) Electric Guest
25) First Aid Kit
26) Grizzly Bear
27) Ana Tijoux
28) Kimbra
29) T Rex vs. KCRW Soundclash
30) Gary Clark Jr.
31) Alt-J
32) Shigeto
33) Father John Misty
34) School of Seven Bells
35) Jessie Ware
36) Menahan Street Band
37) Band of Skulls
38) Cate Le Bon
39) Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
40) Air
41) Norah Jones
42) Lord Huron
43) Nite Jewel
44) Deadmau5
45) Mexican Institute of Sound
46) Flying Lotus
47) Bonobo
48) Django Django
49) Meshell Ndegeocello
50) Tomas Barfod
51) DJ Shadow
52) Anthony Valadez
53) Bonde Do Role
54) Benjamin Gibbard
55) Tennis
56) Best Coast
57) Bahamas
58) Andrew Bird
59) Stepkids
60) Fiona Apple
61) Hiatus Kiayote
62) Crazy P
63) Twin Shadow
64) Field Music
65) Yuna
66) Regina Spektor
67) Bloc Party
68) Clark
69) Here We Go Magic
70) Maga Bo
71) Yeasayer
72) Amy Winehouse
73) Raveonettes
74) Rhye
75) Dirty Projectors
76) Bamboos
77) Fleetwood Mac Tribute
78) Jake Bugg
79) John Tejada
80) LOL Boys
81) Sepalcure
82) Rufus Wainwright
83) M. Ward
84) Sharon Van Etten
85) Deerhoof
86) Orb & Lee Scratch Perry
87) Ane Brun
88) Curumin
89) Com Truise
90) Laetitia Sadier
91) Oberhofer
92) Frank Ocean
93) Chairlift
94) Kid Koala
95) Jimmy Cliff
96) Jose James
97) Mo Kolours
98) Simian Mobile Disco
99) Meiko
100) Liam Bailey

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  • Margot said:

    The title is "Most Played Records", but this is a list of artists. Is it possible to see the specific album for each artist?

  • Jan said:

    Or if there is a specific song on the album, it would be nice to know what it is.

  • Mark said:


  • AM said:

    please, the song titles would be great! thanks….

  • Czarlos said:

    One of their DJs played all these songs on the air, and KCRW has made it almost impossible to find that show now (Jan 013…). Little help!

  • Eric J. Lawrence said:

    Hey everybody! EJL from the KCRW music library here. Yeah, we went with Artists for this list, instead of Albums (songs are too hard to summarize, as we play several different songs from each record, not to mention various remixes, live in the studio versions, etc.). Were you to do a Google/Amazon/iTunes/Spotify/etc search on these artists, it would be their most recent or 2012 release that this list would represent. As for the playlist of the show I hosted that counted down the Top 30, you can find it here:

    I played a track from each of the Top 30 albums – not necessarily THE most played track from those records, but in most cases it was. Hopefully this can serve as a psuedo-Top 30 Songs list.

    Thanks for your comments!


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