Ok, so I realize the futility of trying to post a Top 5 of anything. The amount of subjectivity involved in the process naturally calls the resulting list into question. However, my friend over at Coffee Shop Soundtrack has thrown down the gauntlet, and the challenge will not go unheeded.
So, I took a gander at Rolling Stones Top 5:
1. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles
2. Pet Sounds, The Beach Boys
3. Revolver, The Beatles
4. Highway 61 Revisited, Bob Dylan
5. Rubber Soul, The Beatles
Not really what I had in mind. So, like Taylor, I’ll opt for best albums in somewhat recent history.
– I agree with Taylor that Dave Matthews Band deserves to be somewhere on the list. My vote would probably be for Crash.
– Also ditto on Coldplay, and while I appreciate every album, I think their 2003 Live Album might be most quintessentially Coldplay.
– Now, with three left where to turn? Radiohead certainly deserves a nod. I am continually amazed at the number of musicians that without hesitation fall over themselves to acknowledge Thom and crew as a formative influence. Sort of like how actors are about Sean Penn. If one’s peers are any indication on who is great, Radiohead certainly is up there. I loved nearly every track on In Rainbows.
– Since we are moving more down the track of lifetime achievement awards, U2 has their place on the podium as well. Joshua Tree would be something of an instinctive choice, but I think it was Achtung Baby that turned me into a lifetime fan.
– Leaving only one spot left… doesn’t seem fair. So I think, I’ll go with Sufjan Stevens. Not necessarily because he is my very favorite, but because he represents the much larger indie genre that is my sweet spot these days. Illinois is the standard here.
Ok, so it wasn’t all that difficult. As far as the world of music is concerned, I would venture to guess that many would see these folks as among the most influential musical artists. Of course, entire genres were left out – Country (which may not even qualify as music), Rap (Jay-Z, Dr. Dre, Tupac, Snoop all hold a special place in my heart), Pop (really? Miley Cyrus? I just can’t get there). I also recognize that my list is grossly male-centric. There are many women artists that I can appreciate, but they just didn’t make the Top 5 cut.
As for my list, the very act of typing their names creates a longing in me to go find some of their music to listen to. And in my opinion, that’s what the best of anything should do… leave you yearning for more.