I believe the only way to come to understand the tango is by listening a lot to tango music. Music appreciation classes are all great, but no substitute for putting in hours and hours of listening. For our beginning classes we have always encouraged our students to start listening to tango music right away. We used to give them a free cd, but while feeling quite ok about this morally, it was a bit on the gray side, legally. We tried suggesting emusic as a cheap and quick introduction to tango music, but nowadays Spotify is all the rage.
Hence, in what will hopefully turn out to be a resource for my community (and others, maybe) in the future, I started putting together songs from Stephen Brown’s excellent list Classics of Tango Dance Music as Spotify playlists. It is by no means finished, but since these playlists are all collaborative playlists, you may give me a hand :-) Any help is very much appreciated. Please note that several tangos are available in multiple versions, and Stephen Brown doesn’t specify the version, so it’s a good idea to consult tango.info for cross-referencing whenever in doubt. At the time of writing, the playlists for Milonga, Vals and Early Golden Age are mostly done.
I got a few Spotify Free invites to spare, let me know if you need one. Spotify Free is currently available in Sweden, Norway, Finland, the UK, France, Spain and The Netherlands.
Personally, I use Spotify almost exclusively for non-tango music, and it works incredibly well with my Squeezebox setup.