Sunday, March 23, 2008

Best Albums Ever?

Music snobs love lists. Especially “Best Of All Time” lists. They can validate our choices or cause us to erupt in fits of uncontrollable rage. “How the HELL could they leave (insert your favorite album here) off of the list?”, or “What? THAT’S the #1 album of all time?” Almost all of these lists contain top notch records, there is no debating that. It’s the order they’re in that’s debatable.

Below you’ll find two lists, one from an English music periodical (The NME) and one from America’s own Rolling Stone magazine of the top 20 rock albums of all time. My top 20 list, although no doubt containing some of the selections below, is very different.

Is yours?

From the New Musical Express (Great Britain):
1. The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses
2. Pixies – Doolittle
3. The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds
4. Television – Marquee Moon
5. The Beatles – Revolver
6. Love – Forever Changes
7. The Strokes – Is This It
8. The Smiths – The Queen In Dead
9. The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground
10. Sex Pistols – Never Mind The Bollocks…
11. My Bloody Valentine – Loveless
12. The Clash – London Calling
13. Oasis – Definitely Maybe
14. Joy Division – Closer
15. Nirvana – In Utero
16. Radiohead – Ok Computer
17. Spritualized – Ladies And Gentleman We Are Floating In Space
18. Blondie – Parallel Lines
19. Nirvana – Nevermind
20. The White Stripes – White Blood Cells

From Rolling Stone (U.S.A.):
1. Beatles - Revolver (1966)
2. Nirvana - Nevermind (1991)
3. Beatles - Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
4. U2 - The Joshua Tree (1987)
5. Beatles - The Beatles (The White Album) (1968)
6. Beatles - Abbey Road (1969)
7. Guns N' Roses - Appetite For Destruction (1987)
8. Radiohead - Ok Computer (1997)
9. Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin 4 (1971)
10. U2 - Achtung Baby (1991)
11. Pink Floyd - Dark Side Of The Moon (1973)
12. Michael Jackson -Thriller (1982)
13. Rolling Stones - Exile On Main Street (1972)
14. Clash - London Calling (1979)
15. U2 - All That You Can't Leave Behind (2000)
16. Weezer - Pinkerton (1996)
17. Radiohead - The Bends (1995)
18. Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness (1995)
19. Pearl Jam - Ten (1991)
20. Beach Boys - Pet Sounds (1966)

The differences are astounding, yes? Love him or hate him, omitting Dylan is a travesty. Right, Philbert? And U2's All That You Can't Leave Behind, Weezer, Smashing Pumpkins and Pearl Jam certainly do not derserve to be on this list! Someday, when I gather up the nerve, I'll print my own top 20.

Have you thrown your computer down the stairs yet?


ThomG said...

Rolling Stone has become a pandering pile of shite. That's why I gave up my subscription in college. But Stone Roses No.1 and NME? I mean, I like em, I own it, but best all-time? I dunno.

Oh, and I dare you for your list. Dare you.

Uncle E said...

I love the Stone Roses debut, but not for the #1 slot, I'm with ya on that.
Make you a deal, Thom. You bring in that Hoodoo Gurus disc for me to borrow and I promise you a list in a week.

Queen Of The Valkyries said...

I am definitely grooving on the Brit list.
So can I brag for a second? I actually saw the Hoodoo Gurus live once, at the Stone in SF in 1984, in what I believe may have been their first US appearance - I went for Wall of Voodoo (had no idea Stan Ridgeway wasn't with them any more and was devastated), but ended up charmed by the HGs, who, as a big surprise, brought onstage Cyril Jordan, of the Flamin' Groovies to play a tune or two. That was the best concert ever.

Franko6677 said...

Rolling Stone's list is complete crap, in my opinion. That's not to say there aren't some great albums on there, but come on. It's like they raided the CD collection of a really boring person who just buys whatever everyone else likes and put the titles in print.

Phil Fountain said...

You knew you'd suck me into this, didn't you? OK, here you go...The NME list is just...stupid. The Rolling Stone list is lame too. (That wasn't the top 20 from their 500 greatest albums of all time, when did this list come out?)
Let's get a couple of things straight...most of these lists are published to try and convince people how "hip" the listee is. Indie crap and "classic" albums they never listen to. My challenge: Show me one fucking thing Kurt Cobain ever did that was "original" or "innovative." I liked "Nevermind," but it was just regurgitated Laura Nyro angst backed by a Crazy Horse tribute band. The coolest thing Cobain ever did was to go all Hemingway on his own head (thanks again, Kurt.)The NME list is just so laughable, the English should not be allowed to write about rock and roll. Those pantywaists think Blondie made a 'great' album? I guess, if you like warm beer and eels in your pie you probably think The Strokes are God's gift to the terminally banal. I'm sorry you were born too late to have your own Beatles, but to put Oasis on their level is just...well, fucking stupid. I love Television's "Marquee Moon," love it to death. But, the 4th best album of all-time? I'm just glad I don't have this cross-dressing-banger-breathed-simp's record collection. I know they just put "Forever Changes" on the list because there's a dusty old Senior Editor in the corner they're trying to placate.
God Save The Queen, Because Her Music Critics Have Their Heads Up Their Arse.
Love & Smoochies,

Uncle E said...

Dear Philbert,

I am sorry to hear the psycho therapy isn't going well. If there is anything me or my family could do to help during this obviously trying time, please let me know.
We're here for ya, buddy!


Uncle E

Holly A Hughes said...

You've got to admit he's entertaining. And in this case, pretty much totally right. The whole concept of a Top 20 list is pretty hard to take, like some kind of imprimatur; who needs it? Like I'm supposed to go out and buy these records just because they're on this bogus list?(A single person's subjective list of Top 20 favorites is another matter altogether, though, so you go right ahead and put yours together, Uncle E -- I look forward to seeing it).

BTW, NME is by no means representative of all UK music journalism. They outwank everybody else over there.

Uncle E said...

Holly I totlly agree about the subjective nature of lists and the total irrelevance od said lists; however, that being said, I still get a kick out of them. They're good catalysts for some heated debates, and I am willing to put my eclectic list out there for the inevitable ridicule.

Franko6677 said...

Just came back to this - yikes, did someone get his gerbil run over by a Brit or something?

I didn't think the Brit list was that offensive. I'd personally put the Smiths and Blondie albums on a list over most of the RS picks, but that's just me. To each his own, I suppose.