Sunday, January 27, 2013

100 (Allegedly) Influential Albums

There's a list of 100 Influential Albums making the rounds on Facebook. While it has a lot of great records, there are also a bunch of really weird inclusions, bizarre choices for the represented artists, and ridiculous oversights. For example, there are no Black Sabbath albums and no hardcore of any sort. Plus, there's a massive single jazz album; either list a few or list none!

Here's the entire list, in the order it is presented; the ones I own are highlighted.

  1. The Pretty Things S.F. Sorrow
  2. Ride Nowhere
  3. Wire Chairs Missing
  4. The Jesus and Mary Chain Psychocandy
  5. Jimi Hendrix Axis: Bold as Love
  6. New Order Technique
  7. Harry Nilsson Nilsson Schmilsson
  8. Mazzy Star So Tonight That I Might See
  9. Captain Beefheart Trout Mask Replica
  10. Elliott Smith Roman Candle
  11. Devo Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!
  12. Tim Buckley Goodbye and Hello
  13. Big Star Third/Sister Lovers
  14. Incredible String Band The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter
  15. Public Enemy It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
  16. Van Morrison Astral Weeks
  17. Yes Close to the Edge
  18. Pink Floyd The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
  19. T·Rex Electric Warrior
  20. Talking Heads Remain in Light
  21. Bloc Party Silent Alarm
  22. The Flying Burrito Brothers The Gilded Palace of Sin
  23. The Fall Perverted by Language
  24. Blur Parklife
  25. The Stooges Fun House
  26. Love Forever Changes
  27. Cocteau Twins Heaven or Las Vegas
  28. Magazine Real Life
  29. Slint Spiderland
  30. XTC Drums and Wires
  31. Donovan A Gift from a Flower to a Garden
  32. The The Soul Mining
  33. Nirvana Nevermind
  34. Dexy's Midnight Runners Searching for the Young Soul Rebels
  35. Nick Drake Five Leaves Left
  36. Sonic Youth Daydream Nation
  37. Lou Reed Transformer
  38. The Stone Roses The Stone Roses
  39. AC/DC Back in Black
  40. Joy Division Closer
  41. Bert Jansch Bert Jansch
  42. The Go-Betweens Before Hollywood
  43. The Cure Disintegration
  44. Jeff Buckley Grace
  45. Pere Ubu The Modern Dance
  46. Bob Dylan Blonde on Blonde
  47. Belle and Sebastian If You're Feeling Sinister
  48. The Beach Boys Pet Sounds
  49. The Breeders Last Splash
  50. Stevie Wonder Innervisions
  51. David Bowie Hunky Dory
  52. Ramones Ramones
  53. Oasis (What's the Story) Morning Glory
  54. King Crimson In the Court of the Crimson King
  55. Johnny Cash The Man Comes Around
  56. Neil Young After the Gold Rush
  57. Sufjan Stevens Illinoise
  58. The Strokes Is This It?
  59. My Bloody Valentine Loveless
  60. Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin IV
  61. Massive Attack Blue Lines
  62. Slowdive Souvlaki
  63. REM Automatic for the People
  64. Mercury Rev Deserter's Songs
  65. Sex Pistols Never Mind the Bollocks
  66. Patti Smith Horses
  67. Gerry Rafferty City to City
  68. The Chameleons Script of the Bridge
  69. Brian Eno Here Come the Warm Jets
  70. Roy Harper Stormcock
  71. John Cale Paris 1919
  72. The Velvet Underground The Velvet Underground
  73. Spritualized Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space
  74. The White Stripes Elephant
  75. Leonard Cohen Songs of Leonard Cohen
  76. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
  77. Felt The Strange Idols Pattern and Other Short Stories
  78. The Clash London Calling
  79. Arcade Fire Funeral
  80. Marvin Gaye What's Going On?
  81. John Martyn Solid Air
  82. The Delgados Peloton
  83. Bon Iver For Emma, Forever Ago
  84. Super Furry Animals Radiator
  85. Cream Disraeli Gears
  86. I Am Kloot Gods and Monsters
  87. Pixies Doolittle
  88. The Wedding Present George Best
  89. Dave Brubeck Quartet Time Out
  90. The Smiths The Queen Is Dead
  91. The Beatles Revolver
  92. The Kinks Face to Face
  93. Television Marquee Moon
  94. Can Tago Mago
  95. Radiohead OK Computer
  96. The Smashing Pumpkins Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
  97. The Rolling Stones Exile on Main Street
  98. Joni Mitchell Hejira
  99. Kraftwerk Computer World
  100. Primal Scream Screamadelica

NOTA BENE: The Devo album actually belongs to my husband, but I probably listen to it more than he does.

8 biased opinions:

K. R. Seward said...

Even a hundred albums full is a small net to cast over such a large category (which, yeah, mysteriously includes one jazz record--tho' Time Out, popularizing time signatures other than 3 and 4/4, does make a splash). Ultimately, any such is the reflection of someone's taste. Many if not all of the bolds--likewise. Interesting that Hejira's on here. An old favorite but didn't know it was "influential". Now I do . . .

horrox said...

Weird. Seems like this list was put on the internet originally as a sneaky ad for some music streaming service or something. Definitely unclear WHAT these are all influential on, and especially if the ranking means anything at all.

Otaku said...

I was surprised at the lack of Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith, and dare I say it, Elvis. Rag time really changed the face of American music, and not one of them are listed, no Scott Joplin, no Jelly Roll Morton.....

As per usual, I was massively disappointed with this list of 100. However, honestly how can one truly quantify what is influential? Does one gage it by a monetary yardstick? Or the influence counted by the rush of "copy cats" that soon to follow? Could it be that after a while the artist is seen as an artist in their medium and not just another faceless musician? As much as I dislike rap there are several influential rappers missing from that list as well.



Biki said...

sorry i was logged into my other account, otaku is me, yeah?

WARPed said...

Long time no comment...

Hey...I saw Bert Jansch a few years ago...he's still pretty darn good!

:-)

-Andy

Lightning Baltimore said...

Sadly, Bert passed away on Oct. 5, 2011. On a related note, when I get this blog thing going again, I have a Bert rarity to post.

Anonymous said...

What a strange list.
Many big-selling-but-not-neccessarily-influential records & plenty for which the opposite is true. Many strange omissions, (Zappa, Dylan, Sabbath, The Doors etc.), and it's all very caucasian in it's nature too. No James Brown? Prince? Public Enemy?
Seems more like 'a list of records which people who write lists of records think are influential because they've read that in other lists of records that are supposed to be influential'.
Blinkered & short-sighted.
The blind leading the cross-eyed into a revisionist ditch.
What was it fz said?
Something like, 'Writing about music is like dancing about architecture'.
He was a smart one was Frank, i miss him.
Put more crudely, opinions are like arseholes. Everyone has one & most of 'em stink.
On a more upbeat note, there's some really interesting music on your blog, many thanks to you for the sterling work you're doing here.
BFK

Anonymous said...

Okay, so i missed the Public Enemy & Dylan records when i first scanned that list, but what i said above still stands.
And only 4 black acts in a list of 100 records?
How very suburban of them.