A slight departure this week.
In some alternate universe where I didn’t get into publishing, I’m pretty sure I ended up working in the music industry. Not sure if I was at a label or I was a reviewer or I ran a record shop in Des Moines, but somehow my income would be dependent on the music world. As it stands now, it’s a one way street because I spend a lot of money on music, but in this fictional world where I have fantasy re-booked my life, I'd get paid by music, too.
(Do you ever play the "what if" game with your life? The lives of your characters?)
I assume many of you are also music fans and that a large percentage of folks write while listening to favorite albums or Pandora stations or something like that. I’ve got a list of favorite albums I listen to while I write, my listening choice usually heavily influenced by the mood of whatever I'm writing. I can write to songs with singing, though I’ve met my fair share of people who get tripped up by lyrics and can only listen to instrumental albums (to those people, I often suggest checking out the genre of music called “post-rock” because of its evocative soundscapes and lack of singing).
(What do you listen to when you write?)
Basically, all of that set up above was just ballast so I could get into a loftier discussion of Rolling Stone's newest heat seeking list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All-Time. I’d like to discuss.
I’d begin that discussion by saying that 6 out of the top 10 albums listed are either The Beatles or Bob Dylan. Reiterated--60% of what Rolling Stone is labeling the top 500 albums OF ALL TIME EVER RECORDED were recorded by ONE of TWO acts.
Credibility is out the window.
I realize that music is a totally subjective thing, but I'm here to say, scientifically speaking, this list is terrible. Criminally so. Can any of you mount a defense of a top 10 being so skewed to two different acts?
I'm a huge music fan across a bunch of genres. I'd say I own somewhere around 50-75 albums on the total list. I would also say that many of my personal Top Ten don't make an appearance.
Of the top 10 on Rolling Stone's list, I own 3, none of which are Dylan or The Beatles. (Marvin Gaye, The Clash, Beach Boys). I couldn't really be more in touch and out of touch with this list at the same time.
Here are some of the other albums that make an appearance on their list and my collection that are big influences, especially when writing.
# 488 Husker Du—New Day Rising
#272 Sleater Kinney – Dig Me Out
#226 Bruce Springsteen—Nebraska
#218 The Smiths—The Queen is Dead
#211 Pink Floyd—Wish You Were Here
#200 AC/DC—Highway to Hell
#144 NWA—Straight Outta Compton
#137 The Replacements—Tim
#95 Miles Davis—Bitches Brew
#87 Pink Floyd—The Wall
Let's discuss. Where am I wrong? Right? What's missing from your collection that really should be on the list?