Lists of the best ever, the greatest, the most influential are usually great fodder for arguments. And in the arena of music, it is especially venom inducing.
The Telegraph in the UK published well-known music writer Neil McCormick’s (who also has a show on the UK’s Vintage TV) views on the greatest albums ever by genre:
When Kanye West proudly proclaimed on Twitter last month that his forthcoming album, Waves, would be “the greatest album of all time” he was greeted with widespread ridicule. It was not just going to be “album of the year”, boasted the American hip-hop star, but “album of the life”.
Days later, West downgraded his claim, conceding that his seventh album, to be released this Friday, would merely be “one of the greatest” – which leaves that ultimate top position intriguingly unclaimed once again.
The album format has been around for more than 70 years and, despite declining sales, is still regarded as the pinnacle of pop’s artistic expression. There have been millions released, across all musical genres, with many thousands acclaimed by fans and critics.
Most lists run to hundreds and constitute what has become almost an official canon, predominately drawn from rock, pop and soul and including the likes of The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds, The Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust, Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On and Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours.
A few examples of his genre-based list:
– Electronic – Massive Attack Protection
– Jazz – Miles Davis Bitches Brew
– Pop – Michael Jackson Thriller
– Indie – The Smiths The Queen Is Dead
– Hip Hop – Kanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
– Rock – Led Zepplin IV
And his absolute, all-time, greatest album ever?
The Beatles Abbey Road
So, would you agree with that list? Not sure why alternative wasn’t a subject area. And so many artists without their due? Does The Clash, Bowie, Talking Heads, Frank Sinatra, Elvis, Pink Floyd, Adele and a myriad more not have a voice in this? Are these lists too subjective? Is it fair to even try?
Check out his full list here and please share your thoughts in the comments section!