Do You Agree With The "1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die" list?

“Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book.” Marcus Tullius Cicero


The 2005 book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die seems to have a most unusual selection of titles listed...with relatively little justification of why they were selected by its author.

For instance, while considering the genre "glam rock" and the list of best-selling albums, you'll find that the intersection of those two attributes is in fact a null set. However, the artist with the most albums listed in the book (a total of 7 albums) is the artist David Bowie--for which I personally know no one that actually owns and is one of the raisons d'être for writing this.

This is merely a tip-of-the-iceberg observation on this book’s core premise: its list of essential music albums. After reviewing the book’s album list in detail, I find significant gaps in the selections: there are many titles listed that I certainly wouldn't call "essential" (perhaps correlatable to certain music and literary genres) and--more importantly--many more albums not in the list that can easily be called "essential" many different measures.

I'm apparently not alone in questioning the author’s preferences. In particular, there seems to be a focus on aspects other than the music itself, preferences that seem to typify herd mentality thinking of “what’s cool”--rather than a list that actual music lovers might favor.

Below is plotted the percentage by music genre by decade compiled from the book's list of 1001 albums:


As you might notice upon closer inspection, the listing of genres by decade varies somewhat haphazardly to most prevalent and defendable musical tastes of each decade--which was another clue to the oddity of this book's list of albums.

My question: is there a better accepted list of “classic” albums favored by the audio or audiophile community found here?

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That's Rolling Stone...yet again. The comment about "herd mentality" applies.

Any other album lists that are a little broader in scope? Rock-n-roll is good, but it isn't the only thing going. There are many other genres that are not addressed by Rolling Stone (...and its herd--like the author of the book listed above...)



2005-05-15 9:51 am
it might be rock-n-rock but I like it
those lists are in fact the cultural touch stones of our (western) era, like it or not. That is why they made 'the list' so you use it to join the conversation, and take it from there!
witness those old guys playing in Havana recently?

herd? not sure what would make you happy... a book with lists of obscure groups that never could "make it" on the charts. good luck finding those collections
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