Let The Debates Begin: A List of Lists

(via Culture Sonar) by JEFF POLLACK

In all my years around music (and now documentaries) I’ve viewed “best” lists with skepticism. How is it possible for so many people to get it wrong? My guess is that politics and friendship play a role in many selections. I also think that “legendary status” places some bands much higher in people’s esteem because it’s almost expected that they belong there. John Ford said, “When you have to choose between history and legend, print the legend.” It reminds me of the prodigy in Thomas Mann’s classic Das Wunderkind, a boy who knew his “legend” was more important than his performance. And so it is with many good — but not great — artists, whose body of work doesn’t survive close scrutiny, nor compare favorably to other artists.

Ten years ago, I wrote a column for Huff Post about what I considered the 10 best bands of all time. At the time I wrote the piece, I stated that the selection for a slot on a top 10 list “has to be more than that you grew up listening to them, saw them live in concert at a formative age, that the critics think they’re great or that you just like them.”

I created criteria for establishing a particular artist or band’s place on any all-time list: the body of work, originality, lyrics that matter, some commercial success, ability to play live, and most importantly, music that stands the test of time. Nostalgia doesn’t have a seat at this table nor does “legendary” status. So several bands from my original list have fallen off this new one because there are other, better bands.

Here are the best of all time. Let the arguments begin…

Read more: https://www.culturesonar.com/list-of-lists/?mc_cid=ea45826574&mc_eid=b43e532c6f

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