Symfo Mania Playlist Archive
Symfo Mania was the weekly special covering symphonic and progressive rock music, broadcast every Tuesday evening on Dutch website/DAB+ Arrow Bluesrock Radio.
The show originated (🏛) on Dutch national radio station Arrow Classic Rock around 2001, but had to move after their specials were cancelled per December 8, 2020.
Presented by Maarten Goossensen through June 2022, and by Marcel Debets from September that same year until June 2023, it covered recent releases as well as classics and rarities from the genre's rich history. The future of Symfo Mania is currently uncertain.
This site collects the show's playlists from 2016 onwards, and aims to (eventually) provide browsing, searching and statistics features to the show's fans, in
(eventually) a modern responsive layout. And it'll be appear in Dutch too (eventually ).
(in)Frequently Asked & Anticipated Questions
- Why this site?
- A Symfo Mania fan since the early days with host Kees Baars, during 2017 I started to wonder which tracks were among the show's most popular and which bands seemed underrepresented. But I also noticed some tracks were repeated multiple times within mere months. This called for a database to allow running queries and generating statistics, but such a database would also enable a fan website to document the show's history. The Symfo Mania Playlist Archive is that site, since 2018.
It is also the kind of site I enjoy designing and developing, and a lot more development is indeed planned. Besides, if local radio show Xymphonia has a comprehensive playlist archive, then surely nation-wide Symfo Mania should have one too.
- What happened to Symfo Mania in 2023?
- After his last show on June 6, host Marcel Debets was unable to continue compiling and presenting Symfo Mania because of personal circumstances. The station kept this quiet and instead declared the show to go on early, extended summer recess. Sibling special High Voltage was shut down on August 28 as well. Thus the future of Symfo Mania is currently uncertain.
- Were published playlists imported verbatim?
- No, unfortunately they contain mistakes and typos with some (ir)regularity. E.g. the November 17, 2020 list is missing the Rush track and uses the wrong title for the Lifesigns album (local list). Or try and spot the four typos in the March 15, 2022 list (local list). These are just two examples but it has been occurring fairly often since this site archives the playlists. Therefore playlists here use correct names and titles per the official and encyclopedic sources.
Originally, published use of capitals on all words was preserved, but late January 2023 relevant words in artists, albums, and tracks were lowercased according to English convention.
- Which playlist sources were used?
- Playlists between 2016 and 2018 were scavenged off the old Arrow Classic Rock website (some of which can still be found in the Wayback Machine), as well as the Facebook feed and, sporadically, Playlist24. Few lists from 2015 seemed to have survived, so this archive uses January 1, 2016 for a clean start. From Spring 2018 onwards, each week's list was (usually) easily obtained and stored.
By then Arrow – and later Arrow Bluesrock – adopted a single page where each new playlist superseded the previous one, and the Facebook feed also didn't post playlists after January 19, 2021 until October 5 (with one exception). That makes this site even more relevant as a permanent record of the show's history.
- Why all these links to other sites?
- Just lists of artists, albums and tracks would, let's be honest, a bit dull. The links increase the site's usefulness to visitors, who can look up encyclopedic information on Wikipedia for notable artists and albums, while Prog Archives covers nearly all bands ever played on the show and offers user reviews. Bandcamp and Spotify complement both sites and (usually) allow listening to entire albums.
- What about track and show lengths?
- Track lengths are taken from Prog Archives or – if not available there – from Wikipedia, Bandcamp, Discogs, Google, or elsewhere. Lengths can vary between sources. A show's music length is the sum of the tracks' lengths and differs from the actual amount of music due to fade in/out, variations between recordings, etc. And of course the total show length, not tracked on this site, includes presentation by the host and (sometimes) commercial breaks.
- Why an English site about a Dutch programme?
- Because all sites and tools I build or am involved with are in English, it is just second nature. The long-term plan is to make the site bi-lingual, but that also requires changing the technology under the hood. Don't hold your breath.
- What about 'Parts 6-9'?
- Parts of what? Shine On You Crazy Diamond, naturally. In the playlist of December 15, 2020, it is unclear which section of this classic Pink Floyd song was played: the frequently featured 'Parts 1-5', or 'Parts 6-9' which wasn't played in the show before. This is uncertain because it was the first show after the move to Arrow Bluesrock and their website crashed under the strain that evening, so it is the only show I missed myself. Regrettably an MP3 (podcast) wasn't made available afterwards either, and questions per e-mail went unanswered. Update on September 19, 2022: new host Marcel was able to confirm 'Parts 1-5' were played. Thanks for clearing this up.
- With or without 'In'?
- The most popular King Crimson track originates from the album In the Court of the Crimson King and is always named that way on the show. But the song's title doesn't start with 'In', and is "just" The Court of the Crimson King. Update on October 18, 2022: the distinction was clarified during this year's Top 25.
- What else is planned?
- Data browsers and charts, additional statistics, searching, and more. But don't hold... right.
- Why is site development taking so long?
- Development commenced in November 2018 and individual features are quick to add. But in between, I spend most of my available time on other projects, primarily the Doom Wiki, so there are long periods of idleness here.
- Is Xymph connected to Xymphonia?
- No, I picked my alias independently in 1994 and am using it everywhere since, but both are derived from – and can be considered puns on – Symphonic Rock.