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The Mother of All Lists
October 13, 2005 9:58 AM   Subscribe

WXPN listeners have picked the 885 best albums of all time. In a follow-up to last year's list of the 885 best songs of all time (commented on here), Philadelphia's WXPN has polled its listeners to come up with the top 885 albums and is playing three tracks from each. The countdown is continuing as I type this. I have no doubt the entire Metafilter community will agree on the selections. Here's my prediction for #1.
posted by Man-Thing (125 comments total)

 
# 92 – THE SMITHS – The Queen Is Dead
# 95 – THE BAND – Music From Big Pink


The Smiths above The Band? They've lost me.
posted by jonmc at 10:04 AM on October 13, 2005


Paging jonmc, paging jonmc......

Personal favorite album of all-time is probably Cake's Fashion Nugget. But there are a whole bunch of other albums that are screaming bloody murder in my head right now so maybe that decision was premature.

On Preview: Dang, that was fast!
posted by fenriq at 10:05 AM on October 13, 2005


They lost me with # 885 – RY COODER – Paradise And Lunch
posted by fenriq at 10:08 AM on October 13, 2005


Personal favorite album of all-time is probably Cake's Fashion Nugget.

Interesting choice, although "Rock And Roll Lifestyle," will always be my favorite by them.

My top 10 albums (in no particular order):

Who's Next - The Who
Exile On Mainstreet - The Stones
Rocket To Russia - Ramones
Stand! - Sly & the Family Stone
What's Going On - Marvin Gaye
Let It Be - Replacements
Rubber Soul - Beatles
The Band - The Band
Master Of Puppets - Metallica
Bloodbrothers - Dictators
posted by jonmc at 10:11 AM on October 13, 2005


It's hard to believe that an individual's personal list of favourite albums might differ from one compiled from hundreds of submissions!
posted by you just lost the game at 10:16 AM on October 13, 2005


So I'm wondering, when it came time to play three songs from Close to the Edge by Yes (#81), did they play the whole album?
posted by barjo at 10:19 AM on October 13, 2005


As usual, such discussion and lists are fundamentally flawed. What is "best" is so subjective that it renders them impossible. The appreciation of Music is an emotional response. One cannot possibly be objective about it.

When I am sad, the best album of all time is one thing; if I a happy it's another. There are moods when Lightnin' Hopkins may be the greatest ever. There are moods when he might be worst.

And by what definition are we using? The greatest album of music ever written from a technical musical standpoint is probably some Beethoven or Rachmaninov "album." If you go by the "that's the coolest!" standard, then the best album of all time might be The Pyschdelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators.

By what standard could Dave Matthews Band be ahead of John Coltrane?

And I'll tell you this: if anything from the last 5-10 years is in the top 50, then you know this is a waste of time. If we see something like the Coldplay being ahead of Blood on the Tracks, then we might as well start picking these things by throwing darts at a list.

I find such discussion impossible but addictive.
posted by dios at 10:23 AM on October 13, 2005


*agrees with dios*

I mean, ___________ ahead of ___________? They've lost me!
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:26 AM on October 13, 2005


They lost me at "Hello."
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:26 AM on October 13, 2005


Yea. Lists. Wooo!
posted by basicchannel at 10:28 AM on October 13, 2005


I think the Smiths should have been even further ahead of the Band.

But hey, Morrissey makes me feel all tingly down there.
posted by hummus at 10:29 AM on October 13, 2005


Truly, now, where is John Tesh?
posted by rolypolyman at 10:32 AM on October 13, 2005


I love lists... I love looking at this. But Jesus, what a fucking Boomer circle jerk they have going on there.
posted by cadastral at 10:32 AM on October 13, 2005


The Smiths above The Band? They've lost me.

I.. um... wait you and I have had this discussion before. Never mind.

*buys jon a beer*
posted by eyeballkid at 10:33 AM on October 13, 2005


"Metal Machine Music" as #1, Man-Thing?

Right on.

When I used to make mixed tapes (remember those?), I always filled up any blank space at the end with MMM. You can never have enough...Lou should have just retired after that album.
posted by stinkycheese at 10:34 AM on October 13, 2005


This is uncanny - the list matches my 885 best albums exactly! How did they know? Finally someone gets it right...incredible!

One second look, they got #230 and #231 wrong - it should be the other way around. Fuck them - this list is totally subjective!
posted by hellbient at 10:36 AM on October 13, 2005


OHNOES! POPULAR CULTURE!

I glanced through the list and saw John Mayer. I glanced no more.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:38 AM on October 13, 2005


Thanks for this. This list proves that the public is too stupid to make decisions and democracy is a bad idea.
posted by Mayor Curley at 10:42 AM on October 13, 2005


So I'm wondering, when it came time to play three songs from Close to the Edge by Yes (#81), did they play the whole album?
I Get Up! I Get Down!
I'm guessing they played 3 of the radio edits.
posted by muddgirl at 10:42 AM on October 13, 2005


My pick for #1.
posted by cillit bang at 10:44 AM on October 13, 2005


EVERY ALBUM ON THIS LIST SUCKS!

There. Aren't you glad we got that over with?
posted by mr_roboto at 10:46 AM on October 13, 2005


And I'll tell you this: if anything from the last 5-10 years is in the top 50, then you know this is a waste of time. If we see something like the Coldplay being ahead of Blood on the Tracks, then we might as well start picking these things by throwing darts at a list.

If they compiled a list of the best albums of all time in 1974, would you have said "Man, Blood on the Tracks is on this list! How can that be one of the greatest albums of all time, it just came out?"

Or are you saying that no album in the last 10 years can compete with the best albums up to 1995?
posted by 23skidoo at 10:48 AM on October 13, 2005


Leaving aside James Taylor and why the Band isn't above the Smiths, since this album isn't even on the list that radio station and everyone in Philly is now on my double secret revenge list.


posted by Divine_Wino at 10:50 AM on October 13, 2005


Man-Thing, thanks for posting this. I thought about posting it, but I already reached my XPN-link, objective/subjective-arguments, your-favorite-band-sucks!, lists-rock, lists-suck, oh lighten-up, make-me! discussion quota.
posted by mmahaffie at 10:53 AM on October 13, 2005


cillit bang, I'd hit it.

Divine_Wino, I wonder if ol Millie regrets this cover yet? That is just incredibly trashy looking and the sneer isn't helping (or is that a grunt moment captured?).
posted by fenriq at 10:59 AM on October 13, 2005


By what standard could Dave Matthews Band be ahead of John Coltrane?

you can sing along to dave matthews ... (i know, i know, you're right, but that's how it is)

really surprised and pleased to see laura nyro on this list ... these listeners have broad tastes and i suppose we should be thankful that coltrane's on this list

my prediction for no 1 is led zeppelin 4 ... or whatever they call it ... some things are just inevitable
posted by pyramid termite at 11:03 AM on October 13, 2005


If they compiled a list of the best albums of all time in 1974, would you have said "Man, Blood on the Tracks is on this list! How can that be one of the greatest albums of all time, it just came out?"

Or are you saying that no album in the last 10 years can compete with the best albums up to 1995?


Isn't it more a case of waiting to evaluate whether an album stands up outside of its original context? I've liked/loved hundreds of albums when they came out and gone back to them a few years later and thought "Good God! I must have been a cloth-eared idiot to have thought this was brilliant!"

Conversely, there are albums which I've been indifferent to when I first heard them, and now love as if they were my own plastic, disc-shaped progeny.
posted by Len at 11:04 AM on October 13, 2005


You say trashy, I say so fucking trashy and grunty as to be a brilliant punk moment. Ah infinite points of view, without you we have nothing but James Taylor and John Denver.
posted by Divine_Wino at 11:04 AM on October 13, 2005


Enh. I'm listening in, but rather bitterly. I live in Philly, but their broadcast area seems to be about ten feet - when I lived a half mile from their studio I couldn't even get the station in clearly, so I'm stuck with the edited stream.

It's all a stunt to gain more listeners/subscribers - this kicked off the end of their latest fund drive (IIRC). They know it's a totally subjective thing, but the DJ's seem to be having fun anyway.
posted by kalimac at 11:21 AM on October 13, 2005


The Smiths above The Band? They've lost me.

I.. um... wait you and I have had this discussion before. Never mind.

*buys jon a beer*


Oh, I've come to terms with the fact that liking or not liking the Smiths is a matter of subjective taste, but I think it's fair to say that The Band's impact on popular music has been much more profound than that of Moz & co.
posted by jonmc at 11:21 AM on October 13, 2005


*drinks beer*
posted by jonmc at 11:22 AM on October 13, 2005


Yes, Mahavishnu Orchestra, and Jethro Tull?

I tell ya, the prog revival is on its way. Mark my words, in a year or two people will be involved in a full-on reasessment of the genre.
posted by jokeefe at 11:23 AM on October 13, 2005


M.M.M. Sweet. I bought one of the only two copies the local store had when they put it on CD a few years back.

Metafilter: I must have been a cloth-eared idiot
posted by edgeways at 11:23 AM on October 13, 2005


ONLINE LISTENERS - PLEASE NOTE: During the playback there may be times when we must switch from the countdown to an alternate music stream in order to comply with the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA). This act restricts the number of songs we’re permitted to webcast from any one artist over a specific amount of time.

Darn you, Recording Industry, not letting me listen to that Dave Matthews/Coldplay/John Mayer song for the 5,374th time. *shakes fist*
posted by sarahnade at 11:24 AM on October 13, 2005


Yes, Mahavishnu Orchestra, and Jethro Tull?

Mahavishnu was more Jazz/Fusion, and Tull rocked a lot harder than many of their prog brethren, so they've had better staying power than (the incredibly overrated) Yes.
posted by jonmc at 11:25 AM on October 13, 2005


It's not even a boomer circle jerk, it's a classic-rock-marketing-niche circle jerk. (One that obviously doesn't include the Circle Jerks.)
posted by scratch at 11:29 AM on October 13, 2005


EVERY ALBUM ON THIS LIST SUCKS!

There. Aren't you glad we got that over with?
posted by
mr_roboto at 10:46 AM PST on October 13 [!]

Oh the irony!

it's fair to say that The Band's impact on popular music has been much more profound than that of Moz & co

Yep.
posted by eyeballkid at 11:30 AM on October 13, 2005


Aw, they're playing REM now.

Mahavishnu was more Jazz/Fusion, and Tull rocked a lot harder than many of their prog brethren, so they've had better staying power than (the incredibly overrated) Yes

Fair enough about Mahavishnu; I just tend to lump them in with the bands who Saved My Life in High School, amond them Yes. But jon, considering that the entire prog genre has been treated as anathema for the last 25 years or so, how can you say Yes is overrated? Unless you believe that the conventional wisdom that they were bloated and pretentious is actually too kind a description.
posted by jokeefe at 11:38 AM on October 13, 2005


^^
among
posted by jokeefe at 11:40 AM on October 13, 2005


Of course everyone's view of the order of the list is going to be different, but as far as content... not bad, some missing stuff, but that is not surprising. I am surprised there has not been more Louis Armstrong (only 1 album so far and that was a duo-artist album, unless I missed something) perhaps he'll get more play uplist.

If I was forced to bet on one and only one, I would guess Dark Side of the Moon makes #1. (this is not MY choice, only an educated guess)
posted by edgeways at 11:44 AM on October 13, 2005


But jon, considering that the entire prog genre has been treated as anathema for the last 25 years or so, how can you say Yes is overrated?

They are overrated by the radio programmers who insist on playing "Roundabout," and "Long Distance Runaround," 4 times a day. And while punk and post-punk listeners often find prog an anathema, classic-rock ( a term I loathe with a passion) listeners venerate it still. I, myself have mixed feelings about it. On the one the one hand, it's great to see experimentation and some of the results (Tull, King Crimson, Can, Amon Duul, Procol Harum, Genesis) were great listening. On the other, it's very existence seems to imply that rock and roll needs "improving," or "elevating," before it's worthwhile, which I can assure you is not the case. Even if rock had never gon beyond Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly, it would still outstrip all the prog rock ever made.
posted by jonmc at 11:46 AM on October 13, 2005


Ooh, they just fired up Eat A Peach. Sometimes life is OK. I wish I had a beer & a joint.
posted by jonmc at 11:49 AM on October 13, 2005


I'm sorry. They've listed Tori Amos and Dave Matthews above Led fucking Zeppelin, John Coltrane, and others.



This list is hereby null-and-void. Thank you. That is all.
posted by stenseng at 11:49 AM on October 13, 2005


ditto stenseng. fuckin' posers.
posted by NationalKato at 11:52 AM on October 13, 2005


At first, I was dismayed that "HEX ENDUCTION HOUR" by the FALL was not on this list. Then, I realised that they hadn't gotten to the top 60 yet.

Here's hoping.

jonmc: "Oh, I've come to terms with the fact that liking or not liking the Smiths is a matter of subjective taste, but I think it's fair to say that The Band's impact on popular music has been much more profound than that of Moz & co."

Well, yeah. But isn't "influential" a pretty dodgy standard for judging music? Plenty of shit has had a large impact. (Leaving aside the fact that the Band have more determination and devotion in their pinkies than the Smiths have in their whole skinny little bodies, and the fact that the Smiths are just a sappy rehash of all the interesting happening in Manchester and the rest of England during the '80's.) The point is GREATNESS, man.

The two things I'm most happy about as far as this list is concerned are (1) the fact that WHO'S NEXT will probably be near the top and (2) the fact that Bob Dylan is on it so much. This dismal list shows that our parents didn't really understand Dylan anyway; he was way ahead of all this folkie-purist bullshit or the hippie-dippie 'let's-all-have-our-own-movement' bullshit. (One of the reasons WHO'S NEXT is so great is because the Who saw past all that, too.) Anyone and all of the Dylan-worshippers who came up with this list should be forced to listen to the Fall's "Grotesque" and Dylan's "John Wesley Harding" in sequence. There's another side of Bob Dylan in Mark E. Smith, believe me.

dios: "The appreciation of Music is an emotional response. One cannot possibly be objective about it."

Our constant experience of feeling the need to say certain musicians, poets, or artists rise above the tide and achieve some sort of greatness is one of the pieces of evidence that lead me to a certain conclusion: the attempt to be objective about our emotional and spiritual experiences is one of the projects closest to our human hearts.
posted by koeselitz at 11:54 AM on October 13, 2005


Ah... the Allman Brothers.

In my mind, it's summer, I'm sitting on the front porch, and I have a glass of cold white wine in my hand.
posted by jokeefe at 11:56 AM on October 13, 2005


Well, yeah. But isn't "influential" a pretty dodgy standard for judging music? Plenty of shit has had a large impact. (Leaving aside the fact that the Band have more determination and devotion in their pinkies than the Smiths have in their whole skinny little bodies, and the fact that the Smiths are just a sappy rehash of all the interesting happening in Manchester and the rest of England during the '80's.) The point is GREATNESS, man.

Well, yeah, but I was trying to be diplomatic for once. But run with it dude. (I could make a similar point about The Allman Brothers vs. Phish, but Muckster would have my head)
posted by jonmc at 11:57 AM on October 13, 2005


On the other, it's very existence seems to imply that rock and roll needs "improving," or "elevating," before it's worthwhile, which I can assure you is not the case.

There's nothing I'd like better than to pursue this, but I can't really spend all day on Mefi right now... *curses stupid work*
posted by jokeefe at 11:58 AM on October 13, 2005


What, no Ultimate Spinach!?!?
And they're completely ignoring The Turtles profound influence on Western Civilization.
This list is poop.
posted by Floydd at 11:59 AM on October 13, 2005


Or are you saying that no album in the last 10 years can compete with the best albums up to 1995?
posted by 23skidoo at 12:48 PM CST on October 13


Absolutely. There hasn't been anything but shit in the last ten years, or at least, we haven't let it age long enough for the shine to come off and let us know if it is gold or not. I can't think of anything I heard recently in popular music that seems timeless. Coldplay? White Stripes? Phish? Ferdinand? Whatever that band is in Garden State that is supposed to "change your life." At this nascent stage, it's all shit with a shelf-life as long as Right Said Fred.

Case in point. Here on this list they have Coldplay at #295. Now, maybe it is that good right now, but do you think it will stand the test of time? Are people going to still be buying this album decades from now?
Look at some of the albums listed below Coldplay... albums which are classics and will always be classic instead of derivative garbage:
# 344 – CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL – Cosmo’s Factory includes such classics as "Travelin Band" "Who'll Stop the Rain", "Lookin' Out my Back Door" and "I Heard it Through the Grapevine."
# 307 – WILLIE NELSON – Red-Headed Stranger - a classic album with "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain," "Remember Me" and "Redheaded Stranger"
# 298 – THE BEATLES – Help!, Ticket to Ride, Yesterday.
# 756 – RAY CHARLES – Modern Sounds In Country And Western - full of classics and a landmark album.
# 406 – FRANK SINATRA – Songs For Swingin’ Lovers. It's Sinatra.

My point isn't to say that these albums are objectively better; they are just 5 randomly picked albums beneath the Coldplay one that all are well known and venerated 30-40+ years later (there is a plethora of albums I could have picked in addition to these 5). But, looking at those albums and knowing their long term appreciation that remains today, I suspect that is strong indication of their value. I don't know how, right now in time, you can say that Coldplay is better than any of those albums.
posted by dios at 12:02 PM on October 13, 2005


The lists at the bottom were pretty spot on.

A top ten is hard - but I define it as albums I can listen to top to bottom over and over and never get sick of them:

My list.

#10 Talking Heads - Remain in Light
#9 The Beattles - Rubber Soul
#8 AC/DC - Back in Black
#7 The Clash - London Calling
#6 Johnny Cash - At Folsom Prison
#5 Billy Brag & Wilco - Mermaid Avenue
#4 The Replacements - Let it Be
#2 The Pixies - Doolittle
#1 Elvis Costello - My Aim is True
posted by tkchrist at 12:02 PM on October 13, 2005


All these bands have a debt to the greek guy who used to rock out in the agora.
posted by srboisvert at 12:05 PM on October 13, 2005


One doesn't need to look far to see how utterly devoid of objectivity these lists are. I look down at people's top ten we have on that page, and we come to this gem of a Top Ten List:

Keller Williams
1. Grateful Dead - Reckoning
2. Grateful Dead - Blues For Allah
3. Grateful Dead - American Beauty One Side Working Mans Dead On The Other on special edition cassette
4. Fela Kuti - Live With Ginger Baker
5. Phish - Rift
6. Thievery Corp. - Abductions & Reconstructions
7. Old & In The Way - Old & In The Way
8. Bela Fleck & The Flecktones - Flight Of The Cosmic Hippo
9. Beatles - Let It Be
10. Mother Hips - Later Days

That is suppose to be a Top Ten list of all time. Now, I don't doubt that this guy likes that kind of music (though, I suspect if he could get his head out of a bong long enough, we might be able to clear out his brain and clear out his ears with a shower so that he could hear and understand music). But how anyone could sit down to make a concerted effort to say what the Top Ten albums of all time are and come up with THIS list is beyond me.

On preview:
The lists at the bottom were pretty spot on.
posted by tkchrist at 2:02 PM CST on October 13


What??? Granted there are some good lists, but some of them don't even appear to be an attempt at listing the top ten albums of all time.
posted by dios at 12:11 PM on October 13, 2005


See, I can't do that. I may be able to give you my twenty or thirty most fav. albums but I would not be able to put them in any order as that shifts about from listen to listen. there is no way MY list would match this list.
But I like this list from a, 'this is not bad music to be playing on the radio' pov.
as per new vs. old albums. I certainly understand the point people are making that a piece of music needs to have time to settle in before we can judge it. But that is an ideal, almost academic POV which while valid is useless in this type of format. We we hear here is current statistics of favorite albums. not necessarily the GREATEST albums, just favorites. Would have been radically different if a top 40 station was doing it. Would be NO Coltraine, or Led Zep.
posted by edgeways at 12:11 PM on October 13, 2005


They lost me at <html>
posted by cl at 12:13 PM on October 13, 2005


In shorter terms:
Top Ten Greatest Albums of All Time =/= My favorite albums of all time.

One can attempt to be objective when compiling a list. Just as Shakespeare belongs on the top ten Writers of all time even though you hate him; Chuck Palahniuk doesn't.
posted by dios at 12:13 PM on October 13, 2005


What a weak list; I feel like I'm going to the frozen food section of my neighborhood critics picks.
posted by Peter H at 12:14 PM on October 13, 2005


What's Going On!

Oh yes yes yes.

Nothing else to say. *grooves*
posted by jokeefe at 12:16 PM on October 13, 2005


One doesn't need to look far to see how utterly devoid of objectivity these lists are.

That's usually the point. Do you also complain about lack of objectivity in reviews?

And wtf has Coldplay to do with great albums recorded after 1995?
posted by mr.marx at 12:17 PM on October 13, 2005


What's Going On!...Nothing else to say. *grooves*

*passes jokeefe snifter of Hennessey*

Right there with you, baby...
posted by jonmc at 12:19 PM on October 13, 2005


*doesn't agree with dios*

*this time*
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:20 PM on October 13, 2005


*dances with jonmc*

It's a beautiful thing.
posted by jokeefe at 12:22 PM on October 13, 2005


One cannot possibly be objective about it.
posted by dios at 12:23 PM CST on October 13


One can attempt to be objective when compiling a list.
posted by dios at 2:13 PM CST on October 13


Hypocrite!
(By way of explanation, my points were that we cannot be objective about what we like, but when compiling a list, we can try to be objective. I didn't like Citizen Kane, so if we were making a list of favorite movies, I couldn't put it on there. But I can appreciate how great a movie it is and can acknowledge its place on a list of great movies, even though I didn't like it.)
posted by dios at 12:22 PM on October 13, 2005


But that would be a really boring list.
posted by mr.marx at 12:24 PM on October 13, 2005


I have a feeling by the time this gets to the top 20 or 30 we will be able to figure out what it will be. perhaps not the exact order, but the general content.
posted by edgeways at 12:24 PM on October 13, 2005


Darkness On The Edge Of Town!! Great Album! But Depressing as Fuck!

*cheers, sticks head in oven*
posted by jonmc at 12:28 PM on October 13, 2005


Yeah, it's gonna look a lot like jonmc's list way up there, only without the Dictators album.
posted by you just lost the game at 12:29 PM on October 13, 2005


Bruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuce!
posted by jokeefe at 12:30 PM on October 13, 2005


Dios outing himself...?

tsk, tsk. For shame
posted by jsavimbi at 12:30 PM on October 13, 2005


Is that a bad thing, bro? (and I doubt the 'Mats album will make it that high either)
posted by jonmc at 12:31 PM on October 13, 2005


jonmc, if you think this is a depressing album, you must love Nebraska!
posted by dios at 12:35 PM on October 13, 2005


No, not really...I like most of those albums, too. It's just kind of predictable. The problem with this sort of classic rock veneration is that it coats the music in kind of a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-esque patina.
posted by you just lost the game at 12:35 PM on October 13, 2005


Yeah, it's gonna look a lot like jonmc's list way up there, only without the Dictators album.
posted by you just lost the game at 2:29 PM CST on October 13


And probably without the Marvin Gaye album, since we just had that at #57 ;)
posted by dios at 12:37 PM on October 13, 2005


It is cosmically annoying to me that Death Cab for Cutie is on this list while The Bonzo Dog Band, who performed the song that their name comes from, is not.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 12:39 PM on October 13, 2005


Yes, it would have made more sense if they had called this "Our 885 Favorite Albums," instead of the greatest. Because that's obviously what this represents, a cross-section of what XPN listeners like. I mean, Norah Jones in the top 100? Maybe on a list of the "885 Most Pleasant Albums You Don't Really Need to Listen To," but greatest? And don't get me started on Dave Matthews. His stuff is like a buffet made up entirely of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

But I didn't vote, so I can't complain. If I had voted I would have included Kirsty MacColl's Kite, The Good Earth by the Feelies, For the Country by Dumptruck, the Soft Boys' Underwater Moonlight, either Sinatra/Jobim or A Swingin' Affair. And, of course, a lot of stuff that did make the list. But not Dave Matthews.

I predict that either Born to Run or Abbey Road edges out Metal Machine Music to make #1. Sgt. Pepper will be up there too, and maybe Blonde on Blonde. Led Zep 4 might reach a pretty high spot as well.
posted by Man-Thing at 12:42 PM on October 13, 2005


Top 10 will have some combination of The Beetles(at least 2x), Pink Floyd, possibly The Who, Bob Dylan, Rolling Stones, The Clash?, and a few boarderines like Graceland, something U2, with a modern dark horse or two
posted by edgeways at 12:47 PM on October 13, 2005


The Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby will be on there still, since pretty much everything else U2 has ever done has already been listed and those two are undoubtedly the two most popular albums.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 12:50 PM on October 13, 2005


Man-Thing: "The Good Earth by the Feelies"

I just want to add: what a great record. What a really beautifully great record. Everyone go out and buy this, now. It's one of the best things that happened in the 80s.

posted by koeselitz at 1:03 PM on October 13, 2005


Now that jonmc has stuck his head in the oven, I call dibs on his record collection. (I've been waiting for this moment for years)
posted by reidfleming at 1:06 PM on October 13, 2005


OK Computer has yet to show up, as well, and seeing as all of Radiohead's albums except the first are listed, it's a pretty easy call that it's somewhere in the top twenty or thirty or whatever's left...

And just to add to the complaints: I'm a pretty serious RH fan, but Hail to the Thief listed over the Gang of Four's Entertainment? Even I know that this is wrong.
posted by jokeefe at 1:09 PM on October 13, 2005


No Back in Black yet, either. That's just wrong.
posted by jonmc at 1:16 PM on October 13, 2005


or Iron Fist. Jeez.
posted by jonmc at 1:16 PM on October 13, 2005


There hasn't been anything but shit in the last ten years
jokeefe just gave it - Radiohead.
Come on dude, if you haven't found anything worth listening to in a decade, you're not digging deep enough. There is amazing music being made all the time.
posted by hellbient at 1:20 PM on October 13, 2005


There hasn't been anything but shit in the last ten years
Crap to that. there has been plenty of great stuff. perhaps not on the top 40 or whatever, but the amount of good music is pleasently high nowadays. just gotta find it instead of having it spoon fed to ya.
posted by edgeways at 1:24 PM on October 13, 2005


I'm willing to bet that the Ten Greatest Albums Of All Time, as picked by listeners to one particular Philadelphia radio station and therefore inherently and irredeemably subjective, turn out to differ significantly from the personal lists of various MeFi music obsessives.

That said, I'm also willing to bet that most MeFi music obsessives will concede that they get off on lists like this in large part because it's one of the favourite pastimes of music obsessives to debate their subjective passions using objective criteria (and, usually, to obstinately refuse to admit their subjective opinions differ in any real way from Objective Truth).

And now that the deconstruction's done, I have to admit I have a hard time even figuring out my own (nakedly subjective) Top Ten. Exile On Main St.'s on there, and so is Revolver. A Wilco album - probably Being There. Dylan's Blood On The Tracks. OK Computer. Nirvana's Nevermind. A Replacements album. Doolittle by The Pixies. Something by Springsteen. Check Your Head by the Beasties. The Soft Bulletin by The Flaming Lips. I've gone over ten already.

London Calling by The Clash. Odelay by Beck. Pet Sounds for chrissake. Another Wilco album.Creedence for chrissake . . .
posted by gompa at 1:26 PM on October 13, 2005


Who the hell still listens to radio?

And BTW, your favorite band sucks. And I don't see no Squarepusher, Fugazi, or Bikini Kill, so suck it hatas.
posted by bardic at 1:27 PM on October 13, 2005


Man-Thing, that Norah Jones album is greater than every album you own. You need to listen to it.
posted by cillit bang at 1:30 PM on October 13, 2005


My comment is the 88th. Wish there was a way to make 0.5 comments.
posted by selfmedicating at 1:39 PM on October 13, 2005


I wouldn't even attempt to make a top ten list, unless it was just my favourite albums, which of course change over time, like everybody else's. But here goes: Kid A/Amnesiac. Kind of Blue. Hissing of Summer Lawns. London Calling. Surfer Rosa. What's Going On. PJ Harvey's Dry. The Decemberists' Castaways and Cutouts, Sufjan Stevens' Illinois, and Arcade Fire's Funeral, just to mention three recent albums... and Harvest, of course.

And I have no idea how they'll sound to me a year from now, let alone how they might be remembered in five years, but at the moment I'd have to put The Libertines' Up the Bracket in there too. Hell, both albums, actually.

Off the top of my head, and I'm leaving out a lot. So it goes.
posted by jokeefe at 1:48 PM on October 13, 2005


thank you bardic, i was just going to mention the lack of electronic stuff on there - Aphex Twin, Autechre, on and on. But I remember when The Cure or Fugazi would've never been on one of these lists.
Oh, and Fugazi's in there...
posted by hellbient at 1:49 PM on October 13, 2005


*slaps forehead*

Missy Eliot.

Oy.
posted by jokeefe at 2:03 PM on October 13, 2005


They played Straight Outta Compton on, I think, the first day. Apparently accompanied by a lot of apologies from the DJ.
posted by kalimac at 2:18 PM on October 13, 2005


They lost me with # 885 – RY COODER – Paradise And Lunch

Ditto. Just so happens I'm in a Ry Cooder mood today. Listened to Boomer's Story about an hour ago, and am listening to Paradise and Lunch right this second. Much underrated musician.

Synchronicity.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 2:36 PM on October 13, 2005


"If you haven't found anything worth listening to in a decade, you're not digging deep enough. There is amazing music being made all the time."

Yeah, and almost none of it reaches the radio. Out of the 20-30 FM stations you can pick up in Philly and the surrounding area, none of them are playing anything 'amazing'. If I hear another slow rock tune with violins I'm going to puke.

I dont' think it's a surprise to see some of the older bands up there on the list. Most people that listen to XPN are, in fact, old heads. XPN isn't a really a college radio station, like PRB.

Aside from Funky Fridays - which are always good - and possibly the Blues show on Sat nights - XPN's set list is really horrible more often than not. Slow, folk oriented, acoustic based boredom is the norm at XPN.

I suppose it's a great station if your chick just dumped you.

These lists aren't going to change anything at XPN. If all of their listeners told them they liked AC/DC the best, you'd still never hear it. They are stuck on boring and I don't see that changing anytime soon.
posted by j.p. Hung at 2:48 PM on October 13, 2005


Well, they're playing the Band now, so I'm happy, although it ought to be higher on the list than #49 or whatever it is. This might be a little more interesting if they could only do one album per band - even though it's hard to pick. Does anyone know if Joni Mitchell Blue has been done yet? That deserves to be in the top ten or at least twenty.

Actually I really like the garbled traffic reports which for some reason sound like they're being broadcast underwater. I'm getting enormous satisfaction from not being on the PA turnpike right now.
posted by mygothlaundry at 2:56 PM on October 13, 2005


Yeah, and almost none of it reaches the radio.

true indeed. It's been that way since as long as I can remember.
posted by hellbient at 2:58 PM on October 13, 2005


jonmc: but I think it's fair to say that The Band's impact on popular music has been much more profound than that of Moz & co.

Since The Smiths Neil Diamond hasn't played anyone's last gig. If only The Band could say the same.
posted by vbfg at 3:25 PM on October 13, 2005


The irony for Philadelphians is that XPN will never play 99.9% of the songs on this list ever, ever again.
posted by Rothko at 3:46 PM on October 13, 2005


Now that jonmc has stuck his head in the oven ...

I'm gonna pass him that joint he wanted during the Allman Brothers ...
posted by mrgrimm at 5:18 PM on October 13, 2005


Wow, jonmc's top 8 could perfectly well be mine. I'd add, I dunno, another Stones album and some Creedence, or maybe London Calling or New York Dolls, depending on mood. Listening to Stevie Wonder right now. This is fun. Suck it, haters!
posted by languagehat at 5:20 PM on October 13, 2005


Tsar's Band Girls Money isn't on the list?
posted by tsarfan at 5:56 PM on October 13, 2005


Rothko is more or less right...most of XPN's kind of music is probably not in the top 250, or even the top 500 (one of my favorite albums that I heard through the station, Kirsty MacColl's Tropical Brainstorm, is #514).

I have hope; London Calling isn't on the list yet.
posted by graymouser at 6:33 PM on October 13, 2005


Absolutely. There hasn't been anything but shit in the last ten years, or at least, we haven't let it age long enough for the shine to come off and let us know if it is gold or not. I can't think of anything I heard recently in popular music that seems timeless.

Fun to predict I guess, here are five albums from the last five years I'd expect to hold up fairly well:

Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2001/2002)
Doves - The Last Broadcast (2002)
Wrens - The Meadowlands (2003)
Death Cab For Cutie - Transatlanticism (2003)
Arcade Fire - Funeral (2004)
posted by marlowe at 7:00 PM on October 13, 2005


They forgot Fannypack.
posted by bardic at 7:00 PM on October 13, 2005


Wow. I guess I must be old. That's cool.
posted by mmahaffie at 7:22 PM on October 13, 2005


do you have to listen to the station to find out what's progressing? The page has been stuck at #84 - GnR for awhile now.
posted by hellbient at 7:59 PM on October 13, 2005


I'll second Rothko. If XPN drew its playlist randomly from this list, I might actually listen to it once in awhile. Although it could use some more XTC, and Pixies. And less Wilco. Ahem.
posted by mollweide at 8:31 PM on October 13, 2005


They forgot Fannypack.

THANK YOU - HEY MAMA!

Umm Hmm That’s right Uh Huh Oh No Fix yourself girl You got a Ca--
posted by Peter H at 9:06 PM on October 13, 2005


hellbient, scroll down the page.
posted by edgeways at 9:53 PM on October 13, 2005


duh. sorry.
posted by hellbient at 6:22 AM on October 14, 2005


Metafilter: This is fun. Suck it, haters!

I'm sulking because it appears that they aren't going to play the top 25 albums over the stream because of some stupid regulations blah blah blah.

On the other hand, they are playing My Morning Jacket right now, so I might be able to forgive them. For a little while.
posted by jokeefe at 9:13 AM on October 14, 2005


I'll second Rothko. If XPN drew its playlist randomly from this list, I might actually listen to it once in awhile. Although it could use some more XTC, and Pixies. And less Wilco. Ahem.
posted by mollweide at 11:31 PM EST on October 13 [!]


XPN's problem is that they try way, way too hard to be hip, and will play whatever horrible stuff is absolutely necessary to reinforce their "cred", or thier identity as such. It's pretty sad, really.
posted by Rothko at 9:39 AM on October 14, 2005


Roffles. Counting Crows' 1993 album is at #25. A couple spots ahead of Led Zepplin (IV).... the fourth highest selling album of all time. A couple spots ahead of Pink Floyd's The Wall.... the third highest selling album of all time. A couple spots ahead of Nirvana's Nevermind, which I think was out at around the same time and certainly had a more lasting impact in such a short time period.

At this rate, I'm expect Hootie and the Blowfish to be in the top ten, just ahead of Alanis Morrisette and Foo Fighters, and bumping The Beatles completely out of the top ten along with Highway 61 Revisited and Pet Sounds.
posted by dios at 10:21 AM on October 14, 2005


they lost me at HTTP/1.1 200 OK
posted by mfbridges at 12:12 PM on October 14, 2005


But dios, do you really want them to use record sales as the criteria *shudder*?
posted by edgeways at 3:16 PM on October 14, 2005


There they are
posted by edgeways at 3:18 PM on October 14, 2005


wow, they're really dragging this out...
posted by hellbient at 10:34 AM on October 15, 2005


it makes sense that there's so much 70's stuff in there. Not only has the stuff passed the time-test, but it seems the album as art-form really peaked in that decade. Sure there are exceptions, but holding a 90's album to the same standard as a 70's album doesn't give the 90's much of a chance (it doesn't helped the 90's sucked for popular music (or am i just getting old?)).
posted by hellbient at 10:45 AM on October 15, 2005


i'm really shocked that led zep iv was only number 28 ... i figured it would be at least in the top 10

it's not in my personal top 10, btw ... i was really trying to be objective

i guess it's probably going to be sgt pepper then at no 1 ... again, not my personal choice
posted by pyramid termite at 8:23 PM on October 15, 2005


15 more to go. 5 from the Beatles: Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt Peppers, the White Album and Abbey Road from the Beatles. Add to that Blood on the Tracks, Born to Run, What's Going On and London Calling as givens. They've also included 9 Grateful Dead albums but no American Beauty (although I'm probably just proving my ignorance of the Dead). They also have lots of of U2, Joni Mitchell and the Who without Joshua Tree, Blue or Who's Next. Based on the Rolling Stone list, I'll put The Sun Sessions by Elvis and Kind of Blue by Miles Davis in there to finish it off. Not in that order though.
posted by Gary at 3:43 AM on October 16, 2005


# 15 – RADIOHEAD – OK Computer
# 14 – MILES DAVIS – Kind Of Blue
# 13 – JONI MITCHELL – Blue
# 12 – THE GRATEFUL DEAD – American Beauty
# 11 – THE WHO – Who’s Next

they sure are dragging this out, aren't they? ... and american beauty's probably the best dead studio album ... they're my favorite band and i love the album ... but better than exile on main st (#17)?

no, i don't think so
posted by pyramid termite at 5:52 PM on October 16, 2005


I'm assuming they're dragging it out so they can do the top 10 during drive-time hours?

They used a special character ’ instead of a ', so I didn't notice What's Going On was already in there at #57. The only wild card possibility I see is if they decide not to include Elvis' Sun Sessions. Or maybe they'll include the new White Stripes album instead of Abbey Road just to generate lots more attention.
posted by Gary at 8:51 PM on October 16, 2005


well, there's only one album to go, so it's pretty obvious what number one will be now.
posted by hellbient at 3:49 PM on October 17, 2005


What? Abbey Road? Biz got took!
posted by hellbient at 4:22 PM on October 17, 2005


abbey road?? ... the shaggs got robbed!! ... (i think both the white album and sgt pepper are better ... and born to run no 4? ... i don't think so)
posted by pyramid termite at 9:56 PM on October 24, 2005


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