Friday, March 16, 2007

The Best (Selling) 200 Albums Of All Time

Thanks to Roger Friedman of who has been covering the meltdown at the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. His column was the first place I read that the voting was rigged for this year's nominees to the Hall -- final voting put the Dave Clark Five into the Hall, but Jann Wenner ignored that, kept them out and put Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five in instead. Now Wenner was right that it was embarassing that the Hall had no hip-hop, but that doesn't mean you cna just ignore the votes. Including six inductees was a very reasonable option but he just ignored it. That makes the Hall a joke. Personally, I don't think the Dave Clark Five belong in the Hall Of Fame, but if they got the votes, they got the votes.

Now Friedman tells me the Hall has shamelessly tied itself to a record store promo on The Definitive 200 best Albums Of All Time, an absurd list created by the National Association of Record Manufacturers. All lists are silly, of course, but this one is so shameless, pretending to be a list of great albums but really only highlighting bestsellers. Among the 200 best albums of all time are dreck like the "Top Gun" soundtrack (really, one of the best albums of all time? It's not even the best soundtrack for a Tom Cruise movie, which would be Risky Business, of course.) I think about the only cast album is "The Phantom of the Opera" but they don't even include the legendary, best-selling double album, they include the single CD "Highlights From...." You've got a couple of Bob Dylan albums (but not Blonde on Blonde) and certainly a lot of the albums are great, but it's just so transparent. Barbra Streisand's "A Star Is Born" instead of one of her truly great (and equally best-selling albums)? And surely this is the only list where Kenny G will be cheek by jowl with NWA. (#107 and 108, respectively.) And it's all so unnecessary. Why didn't NARM just release a list of the 200 Best-selling Albums Of All Time, asking consumers "How Many Do You Own?" Many of these albums would have repeated and it would have been a lot more honest and no one could have mocked them.

No comments: