Rolling Stone, still in business after 52 years, took a poll of 300 people in the music business to create a new “500 Greatest Albums” list. They polled 271 people in 2003 to do the same.
I’ll offer no opinion, except to note that hundreds of people supposedly submitted lists of their Top 50 albums, from which the magazine generated the Top 500. How did Rolling Stone find 300 people willing to make that kind of effort? Did they let their kids or dogs weigh in?
Anyway, it’s interesting that albums by Marvin Gaye and the Beach Boys were the only ones to stay in the Top 10 between 2003 to 2020. The Beach Boys stayed at #2 and Marvin Gaye rose from #6 to #1.
Everything else in 2003’s Top 10 went down, although none of them fell out of the Top 40.
In the 2020 list, Abbey Road jumped ahead of four Beatles albums from the 2003 list. Three albums on the 2020 list didn’t even make the Top 50 in 2003. Lauryn Hill’s 1998 album went from #312 to #10. That’s quite a jump. (And Rumours, Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 mega-seller, is more popular now than it was in 2003? That’s just weird.)
|1||The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper||24||1||Marvin Gaye, What’s Going On||6|
|2||The Beach Boys, Pet Sounds||2||2||The Beach Boys, Pet Sounds||2|
|3||The Beatles, Revolver||11||3||Joni Mitchell, Blue||30|
|4||Bob Dylan, Highway 61 Revisited||18||4||Stevie Wonder, Songs in the Key of Life||57|
|5||The Beatles, Rubber Soul||35||5||The Beatles, Abbey Road||14|
|6||Marvin Gaye, What’s Going On||1||6||Nirvana, Nevermind||17|
|7||The Rolling Stones, Exile on Main St.||14||7||Fleetwood Mac, Rumours||26|
|8||The Clash, London Calling||16||8||Prince and the Revolution, Purple Rain||72|
|9||Bob Dylan, Blonde on Blonde||38||9||Bob Dylan, Blood on the Tracks||16|
|10||The Beatles, The White Album||29||10||Lauryn Hill, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill||312|
Someone kindly made a YouTube playlist for Marvin Gaye’s 1971 album What’s Going On. The title track sure fits 2020:
Making Pet Sounds playlists is a cottage industry. I’d forgotten that I made one comprising stereo versions of the original 13 tracks three years ago. It’s been viewed 400,000 times.
On the other hand, the one I did called “If Pet Sounds Was, God Forbid, an EP”, which only includes four tracks, has been viewed 7 times. That sounds right.
PS: If enough of us vote for our favorite candidates this year, not our favorite albums, we can damage the Republican Party for decades. Wouldn’t that be wonderful, not just nice?