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The Music Lists
July 27, 2008 4:35 PM   Subscribe

The Greatest Frontmen of Rock
The Greatest Acoustic Guitar Albums
The Greatest Punk Rock Songs
The Greatest Britpop Artists
The Greatest 'Live' Blues Albums
The Top 10 Songs by the Greatest Jazz Artists
The 50 Greatest Classical Tone Poems
The Greatest Glam/Hair Metal Songs
The Greatest Country Love Songs
The Top 100 Songs of 1967
The Greatest Underrated Rock Artists
The Greatest Girl-Group Songs
The Greatest Rap/Hip-Hop Lyricists/Emcees
More: The Music Lists
posted by carsonb (83 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
That'll show my girlfriend once and for all that 2pac is better than Nas.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 4:41 PM on July 27, 2008


It's true. Really.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 4:42 PM on July 27, 2008


How to be the greatest front man in rock:

1). Don't be in a rock band.
2). Don't play rock & roll

Hmm.
posted by Bookhouse at 4:43 PM on July 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


Can you give me a list of the greatest of these lists?
posted by found missing at 4:43 PM on July 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


The Greatest "But what about -- ?!" Thread Of All Time.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:44 PM on July 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Uh? James Brown?
posted by xmutex at 4:45 PM on July 27, 2008


The Greatest Arguably Unsubstantiated "Best Of" Lists List
posted by kuujjuarapik at 4:47 PM on July 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Okay, obviously lists like these were meant to be picked apart and debated, but putting "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?" over "Be My Baby" strikes me as a soul-deep perversion.
posted by Bookhouse at 4:48 PM on July 27, 2008


Mick Jagger at 3? You must be joking...
posted by rodgerd at 4:53 PM on July 27, 2008


Greatest list about Greatest Lists

1. "greatest lists suck butt"
2. "why do people feel the need to tell people who's better than other people"
3. "but what about?"
4. "any greatest list by Rolling Stone magazine sucks two butts"
5. "this list sucks butt"
posted by BrnP84 at 5:00 PM on July 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yea well, you know, that's just like your opinion, man.
posted by clearly at 5:04 PM on July 27, 2008 [4 favorites]


"Top 10 Songs By The Greatest Jazz Artists"

I don't get this list.

If it means "top 10 compositions by the greatest jazz artists", then many of the compositions listed aren't by the artist they're associated with. If it means "top 10 song performances by the greatest jazz artists", then it's meaningless without an associated version, as jazz artists can record the same song several times across different albums.
posted by milnak at 5:06 PM on July 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


At least you don't have to scroll through 50 pages finding out that their favorite band sucks.

I will give them that.
posted by clearly at 5:07 PM on July 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


Your favorite band sucks, my favorite band sucks, this will not end well.
posted by fixedgear at 5:09 PM on July 27, 2008


They caught and drowned the front man
Of the world's worst rock & roll band.
He was out of luck, because nobody gave a fuck.
The jury gathered all around the aqueduct.
Drinking and laughing and lighting up.
Reminiscing just how bad he sucked, singing

Throw him in the river.
Throw him in the river.
Throw him in the river.
Throw the bastard in the river.

And way up in the sky,
Is the leader of the greatest band of all time.
Blasted from a plane,
Heading back home to the u. s. a.
The people gathered all around the radio.
To hear the transmissions from the devil's soul.
Locked and stunned and sick and cold.

Toasting to their hero.
Toasting to their hero.
Toasting to their hero.
A toast to their dead hero.

The underground is overcrowded. (4 times)

The people gathered all around the radio.
To hear the transmissions from the devil's soul.
Locked and stunned and sick and cold.

Toasting their dead hero.
Toasting their dead hero.
Toasting their dead hero.
A toast to thier dead hero.

posted by sadiehawkinstein at 5:15 PM on July 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


One thing I know. People love list.
posted by Senator at 5:17 PM on July 27, 2008


I do not see Haircut 100 on the "Greatest Britpop Artists" list, so I'm afraid this is pants.
posted by trip and a half at 5:22 PM on July 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


I only made it through one list -- the acoustic guitar one -- when I already came across a problem. There are three Steve Tibbetts albums on it. Well, guess what? I'm a Steve Tibbetts fanatic. The man's a genius. I have everything he ever released, and even sent him fan mail once (which he sweetly answered). But three Tibbets albums (in the wrong order, but nevermind) -- and no listing for the first Crosby, Stills, and Nash album, which launched an entire movement (for better and worse) of primarily acoustic singer-songwriters? Is this the strictly no-vocals list or something? Well, nooo, because Jorma Kaukonen's great album Quah is on it, which features Jorma's vocals as well as guitar.

I'll sift the list for recommendations I've never heard of, but I dunno.
posted by digaman at 5:25 PM on July 27, 2008


Someone get me off this listing ship.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:25 PM on July 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


I do not see Haircut 100 on the "Greatest Britpop Artists" list, so I'm afraid this is pants.

I'm pleased to see that matt allows the deaf and retarded to post here. Yay, equality.
posted by jonmc at 5:32 PM on July 27, 2008


Hilarious, flap.
posted by digaman at 5:33 PM on July 27, 2008


Shenanigans! I call shenanigans!

That greatest punk rock list blows fat chunks.
posted by Max Power at 5:35 PM on July 27, 2008


I have gone through each and every list and checked out each and every entry. I agree with everything on every list. thanks.
posted by Postroad at 5:38 PM on July 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


/me cues up the ol' Cabos.
posted by furtive at 5:39 PM on July 27, 2008


That greatest punk rock list blows fat chunks.

yeah. Only one Dictators song and it's at #69 and it's 'Weekend' instead of 'Next Big Thing,' or 'Master race Rock.'
posted by jonmc at 5:41 PM on July 27, 2008


I do not see Haircut 100 on the "Greatest Britpop Artists" list, so I'm afraid this is pants.

I'm pleased to see that matt allows the deaf and retarded to post here. Yay, equality.


I'm pleased to see that those without a sense of sarcasm are welcome, too!
posted by trip and a half at 5:42 PM on July 27, 2008


and the hair metal list dosen't include 'Bathroom Wall" by faster Pussycat. These people have shit for brains.
posted by jonmc at 5:43 PM on July 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


Robert Plant is on the frontmen list below Bruce Dickinson, Axl Rose, Ian Anderson, Eddie Vedder, David Lee Roth, David Byrne, Stephen Tyler, and Iggy Pop.

Next. Post. Please.
posted by deadmessenger at 5:58 PM on July 27, 2008


I'm pleased to see that those without a sense of sarcasm are welcome, too!

or maybe you're just not all that good at sarcasm, shecky.
posted by jonmc at 5:59 PM on July 27, 2008


Fly High Michelle and New Thing are not in the top 10 for hair metal pop jazz rap list. Enuff Z'Nuff shall not be denied.
posted by Senator at 6:05 PM on July 27, 2008


Disclaimer: There is nothing 'Official' about these lists.

Wow, good thing they let us know. And here I was thinking this was the internationally-sanctioned standard by which all Hair/Glam Metal Songs were ranked. Courtesy of L'Académie Hair/Glam Metal.
posted by decagon at 6:07 PM on July 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm pleased to see that those without a sense of sarcasm are welcome, too!

or maybe you're just not all that good at sarcasm, shecky.


Could be. Probably so.
posted by trip and a half at 6:13 PM on July 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


Paul Weller only ranks #18 on the list of Greatest Britpop Artists, yet Oasis ranks #1? The irony being, of course, that Oasis wouldn't freakin' exist without Weller's influence (and who, it must be said, wouldn't have been the influence he was without the Kinks or the Small Faces). Seriously, you can trace about half of What's the Story, Morning Glory to Weller's guitar break in "Hung Up" from Wild Wood. But I digress in that silly fangirl way.

Hmph.
posted by scody at 6:15 PM on July 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


1st link
Ctrl + F "zander"
not even in the top 100. bah!
posted by glycolized at 6:19 PM on July 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


i will say the best songs of 1967 list was good - i'd have a hard time coming up with a better list than that

however any list that puts charlie watts as #53 in the best rock drummer category is really missing it
posted by pyramid termite at 6:20 PM on July 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


They've got Alternative Ulster but not Suspect Device on the Greatest Punk Songs list, which is a mistake. Otherwise, dead solid perfect on all counts!
posted by stargell at 6:36 PM on July 27, 2008


however any list that puts charlie watts as #53 in the best rock drummer category is really missing it

I agree - that's waaaay too high.

I kid- kinda. The Stones were/are great, but Charlie doesn't have exactly have the biggest bag of chops ...
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:37 PM on July 27, 2008


Lyricists like Dr. Dre, The Furious Five, and the Sugar Hill Gang are excluded from the list

Can anyone give me an explanation as to why this would be?
posted by Navelgazer at 6:38 PM on July 27, 2008


Bjork #57 for 100 Greatest Female Pop Vocalists? Uh.

These lists can tongue donkey balls.
posted by bjork24 at 6:51 PM on July 27, 2008


Greatest Britpop Artists:

Bush, Mercury Rev, Texas, Jamiroquai.


Can someone give the list a whack, it seems to be broken.
posted by meech at 6:51 PM on July 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


1st link
Ctrl + F "zander"
not even in the top 100. bah!


See, trip and a half...that's how you do sarcasm.
posted by rocket88 at 6:54 PM on July 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


[MY FAVORITE | LEAST FAVORITE ARTIST] ranked #[1-100] on the [LIST NAME]?! That's way too [HIGH | LOW]! These lists are retarded!!!!!1
posted by (bb|[^b]{2}) at 6:56 PM on July 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


I know that the mother of all music list posts is going to cause the mother of all music list backlash, but honestly if your 100 greatest rock frontmen list doesn't include John Bell of Widespread Panic, the list is completely worthless.
posted by baphomet at 7:08 PM on July 27, 2008


Charlie doesn't have exactly have the biggest bag of chops

with a beat like his, he doesn't need a big bag of chops and neither do the stones - he's way underappreciated as a drummer - his major talent is playing the right thing, not the fancy thing - and that's a lot harder than it sounds
posted by pyramid termite at 7:18 PM on July 27, 2008 [10 favorites]


if i could I'd favorite pyramid termite's comment a thousand times. I'll take charlie's rock solid backbeat over all the showoff pyrotechnics of some Buddy Rich wannabe anyday.
posted by jonmc at 7:26 PM on July 27, 2008


The punk rock list is no good without at least one Stranglers song - preferably Hanging Around or Life In The Sewer.
posted by rfs at 7:46 PM on July 27, 2008


By the Blackout and Love at First Sting albums the Scorpions had obviously fallen from the grace of the In Trance/Virgin Killer/Taken by Force years but, come on, they weren't hair metal.
posted by The Straightener at 7:56 PM on July 27, 2008


Lyricists like Dr. Dre, The Furious Five, and the Sugar Hill Gang are excluded from the list

It's right before that part that you copied:

Note: Emcees that didn't write their own lyrics are excluded from the list.

If you're just now learning that those folks didn't write a lot of their own stuff, I know the feeling. Dre's stuff just seemed so uniquely him that when I found out earlier this year that he had ghostwriting, it was a big shock.

Ra is #1 on that list, so I'm kind of happy about that. Tone Loc at #57 is suspect though.
posted by cashman at 8:09 PM on July 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Top 10 Songs By The Greatest Jazz Artists"
I don't get this list.


I don't either. It appears horribly inconsistent to me, in many ways.

As milnak pointed out, there are many well-known versions of the classic jazz repertoire, but to me the list compiler didn't appear to make much effort to link a particular tune with what is popularly considered the (or at least a) performer of a definitive version of it.

Secondly: "Criteria: - Songs were chosen for their musical & lyrical quality and lasting popularity in jazz music." Really?? Some of the songs listed are pure list-filler chaff as far as I can tell.

Finally, they tack on Gershwin (technically, not a "jazz artist" per se anyway if you ask me which nobody did)...but none of the other show-tune composers who made equally crucial contributions to the pool of Standards from which came so many truly classic jazz tunes?

In short, this list is a mess.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:14 PM on July 27, 2008


"Top 10 Songs By The Greatest Jazz Artists"
I don't get this list.


I don't either. It appears horribly inconsistent to me, in many ways.

As milnak pointed out, there are many well-known versions of the classic jazz repertoire, but to me the list compiler didn't appear to make much effort to link a particular tune with what is popularly considered the (or at least a) performer of a definitive version of it.

Secondly: "Criteria: - Songs were chosen for their musical & lyrical quality and lasting popularity in jazz music." Really?? Some of the songs listed are pure list-filler chaff as far as I can tell.

Finally, they tack on Gershwin (technically, not a "jazz artist" per se anyway if you ask me which nobody did)...but none of the other show-tune composers who made equally crucial contributions to the pool of Standards from which came so many truly classic jazz tunes?

In short, this list is a mess.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:16 PM on July 27, 2008


The Lemonheads weren't British! Also, Oasis weren't the number one Britpop group (Blur were)!! Two mistakes in one list!!
posted by Mael Oui at 8:19 PM on July 27, 2008


Thanks Cashman. I read the two statements to mean that emcees, in the one corner, who didn't write their own material, would be excluded, which makes sense, and that lyricists (which generally refers to people who write lyrics) of some type I was unaware of which included Dre, the Furious Five, and the Sugar Hill Gang.

In the Sugar Hill Gang's case particularly, I'd always been under the belief that those guys were brought into the studio together by Sylvia Robinson, who herself didn't know much about rap aside from the fact that there might be some money to be made in it, and just let the guys go wild with their own freestyle and/or previous material.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:20 PM on July 27, 2008



Where's Captain Beefheart? Damn.
posted by bukharin at 8:30 PM on July 27, 2008


The punk rock list does not include "We're Desperate" by X, which is objectively the best punk rock song ever.

I have proof.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:09 PM on July 27, 2008


Who the hell are Emerson Lake & Powell?

Maybe I don't want to know.
posted by jokeefe at 9:29 PM on July 27, 2008


I thought the top songs of 1967 list was pretty good.

As far as "greatest frontman" goes, I'm kind of shocked to see Scott Weiland ranked well above both Chris Cornell and Layne Staley. Back in the day my Seattle-ite buddies and I used to call the Stone Temple Pilots the Stone Gossard Pirates.
posted by Tube at 9:30 PM on July 27, 2008


if i could I'd favorite pyramid termite's comment a thousand times. I'll take charlie's rock solid backbeat over all the showoff pyrotechnics of some Buddy Rich wannabe anyday.

Seconded. "Rocks Off," coming out of that murky bridge section, the half-second fill that catapults the whole band back into the groove and sets up a line that sits very close to the top of the Greatest Single Lines in Rock list (the sunshine bores the daylights outta me). Subtle, almost understated, but effective as a blast from a tommy gun.
posted by gompa at 10:03 PM on July 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


if i could I'd favorite pyramid termite's comment a thousand times. I'll take charlie's rock solid backbeat over all the showoff pyrotechnics of some Buddy Rich wannabe anyday.

I'm all for solid and simple beats, that's what made Ringo the man but that doesn't mean someone's a "top" drummer. Shit, might as well give that chick from the White Stripes a top ten spot than. Charlie could hold a grove that's for sure but so can my sister.
posted by BrnP84 at 10:18 PM on July 27, 2008


Where's Captain Beefheart? Damn.

#69 on the Greatest Underrated Rock Artists. Note that Glass Tiger is #66.

By the by, I'm starting a class war in this corporation's parking lot at 9:00 next Tuesday morning. There will be no lists. There will be but the blood of the Useless flowing freely across hot tarmac. Coffee afterwards, maybe.
posted by jimmythefish at 10:54 PM on July 27, 2008


I'm all for solid and simple beats ... but that doesn't mean someone's a "top" drummer.

Well, I guess it all depends on exactly what you're looking for in a drummer. To my way of thinking, "solid" is pretty much the defining principle in determining "top".

... might as well give that chick from the White Stripes a top ten spot ...

Now there's a drummer with a lot of spirit and energy, and she's probably perfect for the duo she plays in, but solid? You gotta be kidding! She can hardly play two bars in the same tempo! She's the original Russian Dragon*...

*That's "rushing" and "dragging" for you uninitiated into the 36 Mystical Chambers of Rhythm.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:56 PM on July 27, 2008


Well now we're just talking symantics. When I think of a top drummer I'm thinking technical, guys like Terry Bosio, Thomas Pridgen, Carter Beauford, and the 100's of other guys I'm leaving out. But sometimes the best thing for a band or a song is just telling the drummer to shut the hell up and become a drum machine, yea than go grab that Charlie Watts guy for that. And I didn't mean that chick was "solid" but she's simple that's for sure, but that's not a bad thing. I guess I don't listen to enough White Stripes to metronome to see how her tempo is but it's never been anything I've really ever noticed. Talking about music sucks ass.
posted by BrnP84 at 11:17 PM on July 27, 2008


all in all, the site has a respectable section on the history of hip hop. Despite being underlined by the very juvenile "listing" theme, at least it got it's history facts straight.
posted by Student of Man at 12:10 AM on July 28, 2008


so by "Britpop" they mean any British band since 1988, plus the Lemonheads for some reason? Here's my top five Bali Beat bands:

1. Radiohead
2. Rage Against the Machine
3. The Beatles
4. Beyonce
5. The Lemonheads
posted by minifigs at 12:55 AM on July 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


I was disappointed that Lieutenant Kije Suite - Serge Prokofiev only made to #39 on the '50 Greatest Tone Poems". I would have ranked in somewhere in the 20s, but no higher than #22.
posted by vac2003 at 1:56 AM on July 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


While you can always argue about individual placements being too high/low, in general these are not bad lists at all.
posted by salmacis at 4:54 AM on July 28, 2008


While you can always argue about individual placements being too high/low, in general these are not bad lists at all

By nature any "greatest" list is a bad list
posted by BrnP84 at 5:28 AM on July 28, 2008


Oh yeah? Well, I think you're wrong.
posted by grubi at 5:39 AM on July 28, 2008


Yea well, you know, that's just like your opinion man
posted by BrnP84 at 5:52 AM on July 28, 2008


Oh, yeah?
posted by grubi at 6:46 AM on July 28, 2008


Talking about music sucks ass.

why don't you try it sometime?
posted by jonmc at 6:51 AM on July 28, 2008


Oh dear lordy, that Britpop list is hysterically stupid. I mean, quite apart from the bit where they include a bunch of American bands, and the bit where they suggest that Britpop lasted from 1988 to the present day (spring 1992 to autumn 1997, you fools), and the bits where they include Babylon Zoo and Toploader and Jamfuckingirofuckingquai, and the fact that they put Kula Fucking Shaker at number 10... there's no Kenickie.

Seriously. A best of Britpop list without Kenickie. Somebody needs to read Phonogram.
posted by flashboy at 7:06 AM on July 28, 2008


Kwine's List of Top TV Theme Songs, by Kwine

1. Airwolf
2. Charlie Watts
3. Masterpiece Theater
4. Return of the Jedi
5. Chapelle's show...dum da dem dum dum....Chapelle's show.
6. You Can't Do That On Television!
7. *removes sunglasses, YEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH*
8. The Lemonheads
posted by Kwine at 7:56 AM on July 28, 2008 [4 favorites]


Anyone dissing Charlie Watts doesn't understand drumming...or music, for that matter. CW is anything but a "drum machine".
We say a song has "groove" when the beat is just a hair ahead, or a hair behind where we expect it to be. It's what drives a song forward like a freight train or makes it mellow and laid back like a summer's breeze. And it's an exceedingly subtle quality...too much and you're just off-beat and erratic. Charlie is a master at it.
posted by rocket88 at 7:59 AM on July 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


Anyone dissing Charlie Watts doesn't understand drumming...or music, for that matter.

Since I made the original comment, I hafta respond.

I played the drums for thirty years. I took formal lessons for more than ten years; I know flams and paradiddles and rolls, etc. I know about playing with the music and against it. Charlie Watts is a good and accomplished drummer - certainly better than most out there. But I don't think he'd make my top 100.

Of course, that's just personal opinion.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:15 AM on July 28, 2008


Hey, hi! I'm looking for the Charlie Watts thread? And someone said it was here?

Watts plays the right thing at the right time. He's a hell of a jazz drummer, and if you don't know this, you don't know his work. When I was learning to play drums, I would put on Stones and Beatles and Who albums and play along until I was hitting stuff the same way as those guys. (In Moon's case that was no easy task most of the time.) I am still playing the drums after more than 40 years, and I still think Watts is one of the ones to listen to. That said, no, he is no Papa Joe, but y'know what? He is Charlie Watts. Yes, he would most certainly be in my Top 100 drummers.

"I don't love rock and roll, but I love playing with the Stones." -- Charlie Watts
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 9:39 AM on July 28, 2008


(Snark not directed at you, Benny.)
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 9:42 AM on July 28, 2008


Your favorite list sucks.
posted by yoink at 9:43 AM on July 28, 2008


How could Uriah Heep possibly be considered underrated ? That boggles the mind.
posted by y2karl at 2:22 PM on July 28, 2008


and the hair metal list dosen't include 'Bathroom Wall"

It also doesn't have "Freight Train" by Nitro which is clearly the pinnacle of hair-metal as an art form.

That said, and unlike so many of these lists, I actually found myself agreeing with a lot of their choices.
posted by quin at 3:23 PM on July 28, 2008



How could Uriah Heep possibly be considered underrated ? That boggles the mind.


'Easy Livin'' is a fine bar song.
posted by jonmc at 3:28 PM on July 28, 2008


Punk, back in the fuckin' day, was all about wrecking things like "top 100 lists".

*starts riot*
posted by telstar at 3:10 AM on July 29, 2008


Ok, the girl groups list makes up for the "top 100 punk" list.

*attempts to stop riot, fails, joins riot in progress*
posted by telstar at 3:29 AM on July 29, 2008


*ignores riot, goes back to listening to Inuit throat singers*
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:31 AM on July 29, 2008


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