Sunday, August 05, 2012

The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time

Ah, you know how it goes.  I love lists (as you might have read recently).  Can't get enough of them.  Love to break them down and debate them.

So here we go again.  Rolling Stone says these are the 500 greatest albums.

I haven't read the whole thing, but I have read the top 10.  They are...
10) The Beatles (The White Album) - The Beatles
9) Blonde on Blonde - Bob Dylan
8) London Calling - The Clash
7) Exile on Main Street - Rolling Stones
6) What's Going On - Marvin Gaye
5) Rubber Soul - The Beatles
4) Highway 61 Revisited - Bob Dylan
3) Revolver - The Beatles
2) Pet Sounds - The Beach Boys
1) Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - The Beatles

I have a hard time arguing with that group.  My personal taste would lean towards Revolver over Sgt. Pepper, but I can understand how people look at the whole picture, and consider what an achievement Sgt. Pepper was (and is).  It is certainly among the most influential records ever, and that is what likely gets it the top spot.

I think the only album in that group that I don't own is What's Going On, which is not to say I don't like Marvin Gaye.  I do, and own other stuff of his.

This list does take other genres of  music into account, which is how Kind of Blue by Miles Davis is here.  Incidentally, Kind of Blue should be the first jazz album that you ever buy.  It is is Jazz 101.  Easy Listening (Frank Sinatra, people!), hip hop, Rap, R&B, country, blues, and a lot more are represented.

The Beatles, Bob Dylan, and the Rolling Stones place the most albums on the list, with 10 each.  Ahem...Bruce Springsteen is next, with eight, followed by The Who, with seven.  Huey Lewis and the News didn't have any, which must purely be an oversight, or there was the recognition that their work is so stellar that it wouldn't be fair to include them*.

*OK, I'm not being serious, but I do think they get overlooked quite often, and disregarded.  Sports and Fore! were among the most popular albums of the 1980's.  Now popularity doesn't speak to what's best, but still.  I think Sports is still a damn good album.  You mileage, of course, may vary.  That being said, I didn't expect to find any of their work in the top 500.

To me, I'm not sure there is much to debate after the top 10.  Is somebody being left out entirely?  Is the list too highbrow?  Is it just typical Rolling Stone bull spit?  Should hits collections be included?

I'm still breaking it all down, and there are no correct answers, but I don't find myself outraged.  That's highly unusual.

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