Thursday, January 14, 2010

Jack's thoughts on the top 50

This list seems to be significantly more interesting than the song list we did a couple years back. While the contents of the list were not necessarily surprising, a few things struck me:

The Clash debut narrowly beat London Calling.

This was actually a pleasant surprise. I had them at #2 and #4, respectively.

The Sex Pistols beat the first Ramones LP.

This appeared to be a situation of great records canceling each other out. All five 1970s Ramones LPs received votes, while Swindle deservedly received none.

Big Star batted a thousand.

The 3 Big Star records placed in chronological order at #27, #29 and #33. They were the only artist to claim 3 spots. This is quite impressive considering Rocket to Russia, Live at Leeds, Some Girls and Give ‘Em Enough Rope didn’t chart.

VU definitely benefited from the 70s letdown.

If Loaded had been released 9 months earlier, things would have been different. While there is no doubt that it’s a great record (I had it at #9), there is absolutely no way that it would place #6 in a best of 1960s list. My guess is that it would fall somewhere between 30 and 40. Would the third record (just as good if not better than Loaded) crack the top 25 of the 1960s?

The Beatles are still the best.

All 4 Beatles received votes for their solo work with Harrison and Lennon charting. McCartney received several votes for various records. Conversely, neither of Bill Wyman’s solo records nor Mick Taylor’s solo record received any votes.

Soundtracks and Excess:

Saturday Night Fever charted at #47. In addition, several other soundtracks received votes including those from The Harder They Come, The Kids are Alright, Jaws, Star Wars and Superfly.

Six of the top fifty are double LPs (including two in the top five) and one is a triple LP. It was not a subtle decade.

The following well respected LPs failed to receive even one vote:

Five Leaves Left – Nick Drake
No Dice – Badfinger
Damned Damned Damned – The Damned
Plastic Letters – Blondie
Go Girl Crazy – The Dictators
In the City – The Jam
All Mod Cons – The Jam
The Cry of Love – Jimi Hendrix
The Madcap Laughs – Syd Barrett
Tumbleweed Connection – Elton John
(GI) – Germs
The Last Waltz – The Band
Shake Some Action – Flamin’ Groovies
Teenage Head – Flamin’ Groovies
All six of Tom Waits’ 70s LPs.

While top honors could go to Big Star (3 selections) or The Clash (two in the top five), I begrudgingly have to give it to Bob Dylan. In addition to Blood on the Tracks charting at #3, six more LPs received votes (it could be seven; I’m assuming that all of the votes for At Budokan were meant for Cheap Trick). This is pretty impressive considering the 70s may very well not even be Dylan’s second best decade.


Marley said...

I was pleased to see The Cars and Talking Heads make the list, though I chose two different discs for each band.

Two records that I thought would have made a bigger splash were Eat to the Beat by Blondie and Tom Petty's Damn the Torpedoes.

Sentimentality accounts for my disappointment at the absence of Thin Lizzy (Jailbreak), Badfinger (Straight Up) and Bad Company (Bad Company).

rip shaughnessy said...

Eat to the Beat got screwed mostly because of Parallel Lines. I'm also surprised that Damn the Torpedoes didn't fare better as there was essentially nothing to compete with it.

Badfinger should have done better across the board. Great band.

The Talking Heads record was one of the LPs (along with Transformer)that ended up replacing Hotel California and Joni Mitchell due to the last entry.

Lux said...

I thought Teenage Head was a Hayday record?!?!

Who's Bob Dylan?

rip shaughnessy said...

I didn't know who he was either, but his name kept popping up so I googled him.

Turns out he's huge! There is a ton of information at

The only Hayday record that I know of is the one with the "bear country" sign on the cover, and I've been a fan since high school.

Xmastime said...

right on, Lux!! good eye!! :)

(though, you obviously know, since you rocked on it, that was THE HAPPY SCENE, a pre-curse to Hayday)


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Sheila D. said...

Surprised to see that Springsteen's Darkness beat out BOTH of his first two LPs. Also impressed with the UK's presence on the list, given the decade in question.