Today’s playlists are yesterday’s mixtapes.

Back in the day, you would grab a blank cassette, put it in your tape player, fill it up with your favorite songs (down to the very last second left), write down the track list, lovingly design the cover and hand it to the love of your life.

Now you gather up all your favorite songs on Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, etc., and share your playlists with the world. It’s not as romantic, but hey, it’s the 21st century and you learn to adapt. has always loved playlists, whether it’s the weekly roundup of New Songs, the long-running Shoulda-Been-Hits list or random playlists like “365 Days of Power Pop.”

It’s in that spirit that we introduce the Pause-and-Playlist. Each week (more or less), we will serve up a themed playlist, sprinkle in a few music videos and share the playlist on Spotify.

Here’s our first playlist:

They’ve been around for decades, they’re still touring, they’re still very popular and they’re among the Top 500 artists of all-time (according to Billboard), but you might be surprised when these artists last had a Top 40 hit.

Elton John – “Written in the Stars,” with LeAnn Rimes (1999)

The Rolling Stones – “Rock and a Hard Place” (1989)

Aretha Franklin – “A Rose Is Still a Rose” (1998)

Rod Stewart – “Ooh La La” (1998)

Paul McCartney – “FourFiveSeconds,” with Rihanna and Kanye West (2015)

Chicago – “Chasin’ the Wind” (1991)

Paul Anka – “Hold Me ‘Til the Mornin’ Comes” (1983)

Frankie Valli and The 4 Seasons – “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)” (1994, dance remix version)

Olivia Newton-John – “Soul Kiss” (1985)

Billy Joel – “All About Soul” (1993)

Daryl Hall & John Oates – “So Close” (1991)

Diana Ross – “Missing You” (1984)

Kenny Rogers – “Buy Me a Rose,” with Alison Krauss and Billy Dean (1999)

Barbra Streisand – “I Finally Found Someone,” with Bryan Adams (1996)

Gladys Knight – “Missing You,” with Brandy, Tamia and Chaka Khan (1996)

Bryan Adams – “I Finally Found Someone,” with Barbra Streisand (1996)

John Mellencamp – “Key West Intermezzo (I Saw You First)” (1996)

Boyz II Men – “I Will Get There” (1999)

Johnny Mathis – “Friends in Love,” with Dionne Warwick (1982)

Kool & The Gang – “Stone Love” (1987)

Tim McGraw – “Humble and Kind” (2016)

Celine Dion – “A New Day Has Come” (2002)

Neil Sedaka – “Should’ve Never Let You Go,” with Dara Sedaka (1980)

Heart – “Will You Be There (In the Morning)” (1993)

Lionel Richie – “Don’t Wanna Lose You” (1996)

Beyoncé – “Sorry” (2016)

Aerosmith – “Jaded” (2001)

Earth, Wind & Fire – “Fall in Love with Me” (1983)

Santana – “Into the Night,” feat. Chad Kroeger (2007)

Ludacris – “My Chick Bad,” feat, Nicki Minaj (2007)

Huey Lewis and the News – “It Hit Me Like a Hammer” (1991)

Foreigner – “I Don’t Want to Live Without You” (1988)

Bruce Springsteen – “Secret Garden” (1997)

Duran Duran – “Too Much Information” (1993)

Tom Jones – “Kiss,” with The Art of Noise (1988)

Commodores – “Nightshift” (1985)

Kenny Chesney – “American Kids” (2014)

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