Lithium (Sirius XM)
|Broadcast area||United States and Canada|
|Frequency||Sirius XM Radio 34
Dish Network 6034
|First air date||February 1, 2004 (as Lucy)
November 12, 2008 (as the new Lithium)
|Format||1990s & 2000s alternative rock|
|Class||Satellite Radio Station|
|Owner||Sirius XM Radio|
The new incarnation of Lithium is a 1990s grunge and alternative rock channel airing on Sirius Satellite Radio channel 34 (previously 24), XM Satellite Radio channel 34 (previously 54), and Dish Network channel 6034. Until February 9, 2010, it was on Direct TV channel 838, but all of Sirius XM programming was dropped in favor of SonicTap.
While the primary focus is grunge and alternative rock, the channel also plays bands from the late '90s wave of alternative metal, such as Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails, as well as adult album alternative artists from Crash Test Dummies and The Cranberries, and punk rock artists from The Offspring and Green Day. The channel's title is widely understood to be a nod to the Nirvana song of the same name.
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The channel premiered on XM, on channel 54 as Lucy on February 1, 2004 describing itself as Alternative music is nearing its 25th year and where XM's Fred mines the library for the deep stuff, Lucy will focus solely on the biggest, most important songs in Alternative's history. 100% hits from the late 70's Bowie through the New Wave and Grunge eras to the defining songs of the late 90's. The channel was programmed largely under the watch of Music Director Bill Hutton who pulled most of the music from the hits of the alternative rock music genre of the late 1980s through now. Lucy was a DJ-free (and commercial-free) channel that relies on quick humorous promos that often poke light fun at their target audience: "One after another... nothing but the monsters of Alternative." The first song played on Lucy was World Party's "Ship of Fools", the last under the Lucy branding was the Tori Amos cover of Smells Like Teen Spirit.
On Sirius, the Lithium airing on both Sirius and XM today began on Sirius channel 24 in 2007. It was "Grunge And 90s Alternative" Like Lucy on XM, Lithium never had DJs.
XM 54 Playlist modifications
In January 2006 XM began to alter the sound of the channel by adding current modern rock hits to its playlists and referring to the channel as a work in progress. The change was not warmly embraced by the majority of the audience and by June 2006 XM abandoned the changes, changing the channel to 1990s-leaning alternative rock.
In June 2007, as part of an overall XM management shift in philosophy toward the biggest hit songs on their channels, the playlist was altered so that the biggest hits that aired on Lucy went from a repeat cycle of 60–72 hours to 30–36 hours.
Sirius and XM Merger
On November 12, 2008, both channels simulcast Sirius's "Lithium" which features 90s Alternative and grunge, although it began carrying Lucy's old playlist, which aired more than '90s alternative & grunge music but dropped the 2000s songs. As of 2010, Lithium is beginning to add 2000s alternative rock, mainly from the early 2000s, and carrying the playlist of the old Lucy channel.