Apple Music is showcasing classic albums in a new “Essential Anniversaries” section

The Essential Anniversaries list on Apple Music, curated by human experts, celebrates classic albums and the very best of an artist.

The Essential Anniversaries list that showcases classic albums is shown in this screenshot taken from Apple's Music app on macOS
  • Apple Music has always provided Essentials, a human-curated selection of artists and their top songs as viewed by a typical fan.
  • And now, there’s a new list on Apple Music, called Essentials Anniversaries, populated with a list of classic albums cherry-picked by human editors.
  • Radiohead’s classic “OK Computer” is showcased along with an audio show titled “Essential Album: OK Computer” about the story of the album’s making.

Apple Music highlights essential album anniversaries

“It’s been 25 years since Radiohead released ‘OK Computer,’ and now that album is showcased along with many other classics in a special Apple Music collection called ‘Essential Anniversaries’,” notes AppleInsider. That album is accompanied by an audio show featuring selections from the album and the story of its making. Read: How to transfer your liked songs and playlists from Spotify to Apple Music

The publication notes that the show sounds “as if it’s been culled from an Apple One radio streaming session.” and that’s exactly right given the show’s high production value. “It’s also seemingly only available for the currently promoted album, not the whole range of Essentials,” reads the article. Wait, would anyone be so kind as to explain the difference between Essentials and Essential Anniversaries?

Essentials vs. Essential Anniversaries: What’s the difference?

Apple Music has a little-known list, titled Essentials, which you may have seen recommended in the For You section. The idea is to provide a list of essential music from an artist that someone new to them should be familiar with.

According to Apple itself:

Essential albums are the ones you come home to, the ones you swear by. They’re classics and game-changers—records that’ve defined eras, careers, movements and moments in tie. This is the place on Apple Music where we celebrate Essentials as they approach milestone anniversaries, with exclusive artist interviews, live events and extended Editors’ Notes.

Rather than being based on an artist’s sales or greatest hits, the Essential lists are manually compiled by human experts from a fan’s perspective. You can use Siri to play an artist’s essentials (i.e. “Hey, Siri, play Aerosmith essentials”). If there’s a collection for that artist in the Essentials section, Siri will start playing music from it. Contrast the Essentials collections with the new Essential Anniversaries list, which highlights cherry-picked classic albums nearing their anniversaries. So that’s the key difference between the Essentials and Essential Anniversaries collections on Apple Music. Read: How to display song lyrics in the Music app