Phish for Beginners: A Playlist

For Phish fans, the musical gold shines brightest during the band’s serpentine, long-form arrangements on the concert stage. But the bridge for newcomers to appreciating Phish lies across the quartet’s more melodic, straightforward songs, which are best accessed on its studio albums. Here’s a playlist for new arrivals to Phish world:


Twinkling keyboards suit this dreamy voyage through “tunnels and channels and chasms and rifts.”

Greg Kot is the editorial director of The Coda Collection. He is also the cohost of the nationally syndicated public-radio show and podcast “Sound Opinions” with Jim DeRogatis, and previously the music critic at the Chicago Tribune for 30 years. His books include acclaimed biographies of Mavis Staples (“I’ll Take You There”) and Wilco (“Learning How to Die”) and a history of the digital music revolution (“Ripped”). He also coauthored “The Beatles vs. the Rolling Stones: Sound Opinions on the Great Rock ‘N’ Roll Rivalry” and has written extensively for Rolling Stone, BBC Culture and Encyclopedia Britannica. When he takes off the headphones, Kot coaches in his Chicago-based youth travel basketball program ( In addition, he has coauthored two best-selling editions of the book “Survival Guide to Coaching Youth Basketball.”

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