The Buzz And The Edge

After bouncing around the dial a couple of times, Houston’s Buzz eventually landed back on 94.5 FM. The current Buzz playlist includes new bands like Imagine Dragons and Twenty One Pilots. But their new playlist is based on the same hits that have stayed in rotation for more than twenty years. Here are a few items from their ‘recently played’ list for Feb 13, 2021:

• Never Too Late / Three Days Grace
• Semi-Charmed Life / Third Eye Blind
• Machinehead / Bush
• By the Way / RHCP
• My Hero / Foo Fighters
• Enter Sandman / Metallica
• Hows It Going To Be / Third
• Heavy / Collective Soul
• Under the Bridge / RHCP
• Learn To Fly / Foo Fighters
• Love Song / 311
• Are You Gonna Be My Girl / Jet
• Two Princes / Spin Doctors
• Clint Eastwood / Gorillaz
• Uprising / Muse
• Interstate Love Song / Stone Temple Pilot
• So Cold / Breaking Benjamin
• Longview / Greenday
• All the Small Things / Blink 182
• Seven Nation Army / White Stripes
• Waiting on a War / Foo Fighters
• Nothing Else Matters / Metallica
• Wonderwall / Oasis
• All My Life / Foo Fighters
• About A Girl / Nirvana
• Plush / Stone Temple Pilots
• Bittersweet Symphony / verve
• When I’m Gone / 3 Doors Down
• Iris / Goo Goo Dolls

Houston’s ‘Buzz’ was based on the format pioneered in Dallas on 94.5 FM, ‘The Edge,’ starting in the early 1990s. The foundations of the early Edge playlists included The Pretenders, Elvis Costello, INXS, U2, The Squeeze, The Knack, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Nirvana.

The Edge playlist is the basis for many cover band song lists. The most popular cover bands for clubs, parties, weddings, and events are classic rock, 80s, and country, in that order. Classic rock and 80s rock are about tied in popularity. Even though 80s music has a distinct sound, many classic rock bands play a mix of covers from the 60s through the 80s.

Cover bands that want deep cuts sure to hit sweet spots in the collective memory of live audience should take examples from the Edge playlists on iTunes, Spotify, etc. Here is a playlist for KDGE 94.5 from 1991, based on my recollection.