I'm really bad at making lists. All sorts of lists, really. When asked to name my favorite albums, I tend to list about a dozen and say they're all in my top five. Typically, people are nice enough not to point out that twelve doesn't fit into five very well. Other times, I can only come up with two-ish and can only say they're in the top ten (and that I'm sure there's some other really good stuff in that list as well).
But, randomly, I decided that it's time to really flesh out my list of the best albums of all time. You know, decide what really is the best and work from there. But, before I do that, I decided to talk a little about what it means to be one of the best albums of all time and apologize to a couple artists that obviously should be on the list but aren't, largely because I'm lame.
So, my first rule was that no group gets to have more than one album in my greatest albums of all time list. It's just not fair to everyone else when you give The Beatles four of the top ten slots, it just takes away all the fun. I mean, yes, I know it's The Beatles, but still. Seriously, this is for fun, and who wants to just talk about The Beatles (don't answer that)?
Second, I'm nixing live albums and greatest hits collections as well. I'm kind of a purist and really believe in the idea of a cohesive, unified experience of an album. This makes me distrustful of greatest hits because there is no such unity. I also believe that albums should be carefully engineered and so I prefer the studio. I know, it's not fair to all the great live albums out there. Trust me, it hurts me just as much as it hurts you (except I can break my rules and bring up some great live albums if I so desire).
Third, anything that was so indie that the general public never really learned of its existence, is automatically disqualified. Sorry, but being one of the greatest albums of all time requires a fairly significant amount of success and/or recognition. That's just the way it goes. Also, obviously, I get to decide whether stuff qualifies. So, if you've never heard of the artist or CD, well, then it's probably your own fault, because plenty of other people certainly did (by my definition of plenty, of course).
Now, a couple apologies. Bob, I'm sorry. I know you're pretty much the greatest song writer of popular music history. I can't deny Blond on Blond and I know it deserves to be on the list. The problem is, well, it's not. I like you man, but I don't, you know...love...you. That's just the way it is. You're a hero and all, but, in the end, you're also Bob Dylan. And, well, that kind of works against you. No hard feelings, alright?
Same to you, Bruce. I know you just wanted to be like Bobby over there, and well, this is the result. It probably doesn't help that I'm too young to totally get your music from the eighties. It probably also doesn't help that your 9/11 CD was freaking boring and the best thing you did prior to singing bunches of 200 year old songs was 41 Shots (yeah, I know you call it American Skin, but whatever) but I'll go on record as saying that's definitely one of the most powerful songs I've heard to this day (but, darn, it's on a live album, and still definitely not enough to earn you a slot). Anyways, moving on...
To Led Zeppelin: Look, I know you guys are, like, up there with The Beatles in terms of relevance to today's music. I get that. And I admit that you're a lot better than a lot of the stuff you inspired, and your super bluesy rock is still something special and distinctive. But, you know what, I really just don't like your music. I mean, I can't even get behind Stairway for goodness sake. And I've tried, seriously, I've tried.
To The Rolling Stones: I'm not even sorry for this one. You guys are totally over-rated. I remember the first time I heard Exile on Main Street and I was like: "Dude, this music sucks." Yeah, that's pretty much how it goes. I will admit that your satisfaction song is pretty neat and I do like that children's choir version of You Can't Always Get What You Want that they play on House (and on the eighties TV show Moonlighting, as I recently discovered).
To Elton John: I'm sorry, but apparently, I'm homophobic or something. Obviously, there's at least, like, three of your CDs that deserve consideration for one of my top ten albums of all time, but instead I threw you into the apology section. I mean, seriously, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road is awesome, and I'd totally respect Don't Shoot Me, I'm Just the Piano Player even if it didn't have Daniel on it. But, I think my personal favorite is Madman Across the Water. So, yeah, I'm sorry, because it should be up there. You seriously deserve the recognition, I'm just a terrible, terrible person.
To all female artists: I know I acted like I was joking about this in those other posts, but, apparently, I was only half joking when I said that I'm sexist. Yep, that's right. None of you were even considered. Honestly. I think the closest you get to even feeling like you're represented on the list is through Meg White of The White Stripes (and well, I think they're ending up in the honorable mentions section, although I'd like to think they would still end up there even if the group was all male, but we know that's not true, don't we?). What can I say, beyond pointing out that I've already made it clear that I'm sexist (and homophobic as well, now, I'm on a roll aren't I)?
To basically all non-white artists: Yeah, I'm sorry... but I swear I'm not racist. Unlike female artists and Elton John, I'm throwing you guys out just because I don't like your music. It has nothing to do with the color of your skin or your ethnicity or whatever. I mean, I like Bob Marley's music, and he made it in (but I like Elton John's music and he didn't make it in, so, don't complain about being persecuted or anything, alright?). I'm glad we could reach an understanding.
Oh, I feel just like a founding father...
Hmm, those are the people who get singled out. Obviously, I can't help but admit that there's many other (Caucasian male) artists from long before I was born that made very good music that I will never really listen to simply because I'm a terrible person. It's not easy getting onto a top ten list when the author has only really paid attention to the last 10-15 years of music and is a fan of alternative rock.
Well, that's that. I've made my apologies. I'll actually get to the top ten list up tomorrow.
That is all.