Wednesday, March 07, 2007


There are 4,146 songs in our iTunes library. Enough music to last nearly 12 days -- in other words, not quite as long as a power outage from an ice storm, but close. Most of it is pop music because, as friend and former colleague Jenny Franklin used to say, it's sweet, sweet ear candy.

Mmm. Ears.

On Wednesday the National Association of Record Merchandisers and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced a retail campaign designed to get you to buy more CDs. The rollout was couched in more polite terms -- NARM president Jim Donio said the announcement is "to highlight music that has enduring popularity among fans. This is to celebrate the album" -- but it's also a push against single-song downloads.

The new campaign is the Definitive 200, a list of "albums every music lover should own." Retailers compiled the list, so you know it's sales-friendly.

The top five "definitive" albums:
1) "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" by The Beatles (1967)

2) "Dark Side of the Moon," Pink Floyd (1973)

3) "Thriller," Michael Jackson (1982)

4) "IV," Led Zeppelin (1971)

5) "The Joshua Tree," U2 (1987)
Like any list, there's plenty of one human's meat, another person's poison. The Definitive 200 is all about the familiar; influences or early works are generally ignored. Big Star, the definitive power-pop band, isn't on the list. A Big Star-inspired band -- REM -- is there with "Automatic for the People" (No. 73), and even Michael Stipe would probably admit it's not his band's best effort.

Nirvana's "Nevermind" comes in at No. 10. Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run" is No. 15. The Beatles' "White Album" comes in at No. 39, two slots behind the soundtrack from "Grease," a movie that never led to the intentional death of anyone.

Check out the list and tell us what's missing, what's puzzling, what you'd jettison. Besides Matchbox Twenty.


Anonymous said...

#15: Bruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuce!

...roseykrh said...

I'm way too lazy to look at the list of 200. But I will say that on my ipod I already have album #'s 1, 2, 3, & 5. So, I guess I have great taste in music. Except that I don't have much interest in Led Zeppelin (no offense to all you old people - LOL!)

oddjob60 said...

4,146 songs? That's all? Sometimes my 11,226 still doesn't seem like enough.

Among all of that, there are very few albums I would consider indispensable. They include:

La Bottine Souriante -- Anthologie 1976-2001
Cheryl Wheeler -- Circles & Arrows
Joe Jackson -- Look Sharp
Paul Simon -- Graceland
Stevie Wonder -- Original Musiquarium I and II
Talking Heads -- 77
dB's -- Sound of Music
Doc Watson -- Old Timey Concert
Southern Culture on the Skids -- Plastic Seat Sweat

Dan said...

What sort of screwed up list ranks anything by Shania Twain, Faith Hill, or The Dixie Chicks above anything done by Pink Floyd or RHCP?

Yeah, yeah... it's my opinion... but it's "The Right Opinion TM"!!!

On a more serious note though, I have a hard time considering any Neo-country music definitive. It all ranks right in there with the vapid drivel produced by people like Britney Spears or Justin Timberlake.

I would also say putting 50 Cent in there is quite a stretch as well. Dre's "The Chronic" has to be in there, as does "License to Ill"... but 50 Cent? Definitive? Seriously?

I don't have a problem with other people's opinions as long as they are comfortable with the fact that if it doesn't agree with mine it is wrong... just kidding.... but seriously.

wuddog said...

Um...."License to Ill over Paul's Boutique......PUH-LEASE!!!!!!!!!!!

Richard said...

Faith Hill? Shania Twain? Dxie Chicks? Usher? Titanic soundtrack? Beyonce?


Where are the groups like Styx, REO, Chicago, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, The Doobie Brothers...etc? They made their share of great music, and sold millions of albums.

How about some love for them as well?

Anonymous said...

Hey, no Slim Whitman?

Doug said...

Ya can't even get the #1 album thru ITunes. And until they come out with that so-called Beatles pre-loaded IPod, I'm stickin' with my trusty 8-track-cassette combo.