Rolling Stone's Top 500 Albums is Not The End All Be All

Friday, September 25, 2020
Rolling Stone updated their Top 500 Best Albums of all time list and that means the fighting over what is the best album of all time is happening again.

First off, we don't, as a culture, listen to albums the same way anymore. I am known to play an album straight through, no skips, but most of the time I listen to music, it's a playlist I put on shuffle.

And since we are in the age of the single being the most important for an artist, when considering an album's quality you have to think about all of the tracks and not just the ones that were deemed good enough for promotion and radio play.

Now for the actual list. Of course you're not gonna like everything that made it and where it was placed. I'm excited for the gains made in the top of the list by female artists, since art made by women has historically not been considered with the same merit as men. There is no way that every person has listened to every album on that list and know the proper qualitative order that they should appear in. Art is subjective and there is art that speaks to us more than others. I can tell you that as someone who has not listened to a lot of rap, I would not know where to begin to place those albums.

It's important to know that this list was compiled in a big ranked ballot system, so it's not like one person sat there ranking them. This was the result of a lot of people doing their own ranking and seeing what had the most votes. The next time this list is made, it'll look different. There will be new albums released that blow your mind, the classics get evaluated again, and maybe some older albums are rediscovered and gain a new burst of appreciation.

What I like to do whenever these massive best of lists are published is make my own list. My favorite albums of all time and ask those I know to do their own list and compare those. I also like to use this as a big rec list to find something that is new to me that I may enjoy.

There will never be a definitive "best album of all time". But it's fun to see what shakes out every time we try to find it.

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