Top 10 Greatest And Most Essential Music Lists Of All Time

From The Houston Press:

Any fan of music journalism, well hell any sort of journalism in the past five years has seen a massive amount of top 10, 20, or 31 lists all over the Internets. They help cull information into one meaty morsel for you to swallow without, you know, have to type shit. Pretty cool, huh?

As a music writer, I get to do plenty of lists, mostly aiming to at least educate and not bore, and to always enlighten and possibly agitate. I’m no fool. Making a music list, especially one involving a broad topic, is maddening. You will always forget something major, and you will end up even accidentally leaving off something that you love yourself, even after days of research.

Most of the time, these are frivolous undertaking which only the most involved music fan could ever understand the mania underneath. It takes a special sickness to try to narrow down 10 measly rock bands as the ten best of all time. Or the best rap lyricists. Or the best backing bands. It seems to me that the magic isn’t in the list, it’s in the response to the list, because it’s a window into everyone’s embarrassing soul.


Everything, and I mean everything, is just your humble opinion. In making definitive lists you must end conceding publicly that some things, even things that you hate, are more influential or better than what you love personally. I like Aerosmith’s Nine Lives more than Toys In The Attic, but I won’t reflect on a list of the best Aerosmith albums, now will I?

The “So-And-So Died This Week Or 25 Years Ago, So Here Are Their Best Songs” List
It always happens, a huge landmark artist has just died or we are coming up on the anniversary of their passing, and we try to compress what was probably a long and illustrious career into 10 songs that you will only listen to for 30 seconds at a time. Always make sure to leave out one of their undisputed classics to cheese off someone who found the blog through a fan forum. What’s this “We Will Rock You” you speak of?

The “Intricate Stuff That Only Us Nerds Know Or Care About” List
I think I have seen about 10 “Songs Featuring The Use Of A Homemade Theremin” lists clogging my Twitter feed. OK, not really, but you get the idea. Even better on these are the comments where music geeks fight to the virtual death to win dominance over their boneheaded brethren. “1965? It was 1966 you dipshit. Don’t quit your day job.”

The “Uninformed Writer Seeks To Encapsulate A Whole Genre” List
​There is a big punk show coming to town, so a music writer makes a vague connection to the concert by making a “Best Punk Bands Of All Time” list. This can only invite trouble, especially if the writer takes a bold step and puts Green Day on said list. Oh boy. Even if you add a disclaimer saying these are your own favorites, you will incur the wrath of thousands who didn’t read your dumb little intro.

Continue reading the rest of the story from The Houston Press