The collection of songs includes plenty of predictable artists choices for a 58-year-old boomer — Bob Dylan, David Bowie, and Bruce Springsteen, for instance — but some more unusual song choices by those artists: Though Kaine went with the Kinks’ iconic “Waterloo Sunset,” he settled on deeper cuts from their British peers. Instead of going with the version of “Young Man Blues” on the Who’s vaunted Live at Leeds, he picked a take of the cut — already a relative obscurity in the band’s catalog — from Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970, recorded in the same year as its more famous Leeds counterpart. And though Kaine selected Bowie’s “Rebel Rebel,” he included the re-recorded 2003 song that appeared on Reality, instead of the standard 1974 version from Diamond Dogs.
The rest of Kaine’s playlist is even more eclectic. He chose Springsteen’s “Local Hero,” off 1992’s Lucky Town, rather than one of the Boss’ many classic rock staples. Kaine included two Replacements songs, one apiece from their two studio masterpieces Let It Be (“I Will Dare”) and Tim (“Bastards of Young”). He also pays homage to soul (Stevie Wonder), jazz (Charlie Parker), vintage country (The Carter Family), and contemporary indie rock (Alabama Shakes, Lucy Dacus). The playlist also acknowledges recent Nobel laureate Bob Dylan (“Buckets of Rain”) and Kaine’s time as a Latin American missionary (Panamanian singer-songwriter Rubén Blades).
Kaine’s musical interests have played a colorful role in this fall’s election season, from his campaigning with rapper Pusha T last month to playing harmonica on The Late Show in August. ““I’ve been on a string of music books, so I read Elvis Costello’s autobiography,” Kaine told The New Yorker recently. “I read this book by Bob Mehr — who worked for the Memphis Appeal — called Trouble Boys, about the Replacements, a band that I really love.”
Of course, Kaine isn’t the only music enthusiast in the Democratic Party’s upper ranks. Later this week, Hillary Clinton will campaign with Jay Z in Cleveland. And President Barack Obama, in addition to inviting scores of musicians to the White House, pioneered the art of the politician-constructed playlist.
Check out Kaine’s playlist via Spotify below.