Monday, 21 December 2009

One hundred albums of the decade

There was a mountain to climb.

Itunes informs me that I have in my digital possession 1813 albums released between the dates of January 1st 2000 and December 31 2009, and I am pretty sure that I have listened to them all at least once over the past ten years. But how the hell to organise them into some semblence of hierarchal placement? Here's how:

I made a shortlist of 300 albums which I recollected as being particularly good, over and above the norm. I then rated each song out of ten, which wasn't quite as onerous is it might sound as over the years I have rated most of my favourite tracks anyway, utilising the iTunes "half star" hack. Having assembled these all of these albums in a playlist, I exported to excel and applied a top secret mathematical formula which involved averaging out the value of all song ratings, whilst compensating for the fact that albums with more tracks are likely to have more filler. The resulting spreadsheet gave me my top 100 albums. I'm a freaking geek, I know, get over it - I have.

DISCLAIMER(S). These are not necessarily the "most important" or "most influential" records of the decade. I wouldn't be so presumptious as to make such a declaration. What I am going to share with you are the one hundred albums that I have personally enjoyed listening to the most, that's all.

Some demographics to give you forewarning of my unconscious predelictions:
- Over half of my top 100 are by US artists. Of the remainder, 24 are English, 8 Canadian, 4 French,
3 Swedish, 2 Scottish, 2 Welsh, 2 Japanese, 1 Icelandic, 1 Danish and 1 Australian.
- Only ten are by female or predominantly female artists - though many are mixed groups.
- Only ten are from artists of black or asian origin.
- about two thirds of this music is made by people with guitars.

So if you are interested in the musical tastes of a sexist, racist, stars and stripes waving grebo, then read on (joke!). To be honest, I am not entirely sure why more R&B and Hip Hop didn't make the top 100, as there is plenty in my collection. Perhaps the albums just contain more filler, or perhaps it has been a poor decade for these genres, or perhaps I haven't been looking hard enough. Note to self: listen to more world music next decade.

Before I get going, this is a list of some of the records that narrowly missed the cut:

LCD Soundsystem "Sounds of Silver", Angels of Light "How I Loved You", Air "Talkie Walkie", The Veils "The Runaway Found", Lykke Li "Youth Novels", Spoon "Kill The Moonlight", Wilco "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot", Wolf Parade "Apologies to The Queen Mary", Jens Lekman "Night Falls Over Kortedala", Boris "Pink", Rob "Satyred Love", Phoenix "Untitled", Lambchop "Nixon", !!! "Louden Up Now", Jason Molina "Let Me Go, Let Me Go, Let Me Go", Stars of The Lid "And Their Reinforcement of The Decline", Robyn "Robyn", The Strokes "Is This It", Be Your Own Pet "Be Your Own Pet", Joanna Newsom "Ys", Giant Drag "Hearts & Unicorns", TV On The Radio "Dear Science", Tom Vek "We Have Sound", Cannibal Ox "The Cold Vein", Saturday Looks Good To Me "All Your Summer Songs", Broadcast "Tender Buttons", Adem "Homesongs", Santogold "Santogold", Abe Vigoda "Skeleton", Bat For Lashes "Fur and Gold", Fleet Foxes "Fleet Foxes", Interpol "Turn on The Bright Lights", The Knife "Silent Shout", El-P "Fantastic Damage", Cat Power "Your Are Free", Burial "Untrue", The Dismemberment Plan "Change", Ariel Pink's Haunted Grafiti "The Doldrums", The Blood Brothers "Young Machetes", Panda Bear "Person Pitch", Patrick Wolf "Wind in the Wires", MGMT "Oracular Spectacular", DNTEL "Life is Full of Possibilities", Bonnie Prince Billy "The Letting Go", Iran "The Moon Boys", Eluvium "Talk Amongst The Trees", Manitoba "Start Breaking My Heart", The Field "From Here We Go To Sublime", M.I.A. "Arular", At The Drive In "Relationship of Command", The Acorn "Glory Hope Mountain", Sons & Daughters "This Gift", Felix Da Housecat "Kittenz and Thee Glitz", The Streets "Original Pirate Material", Digitalism "Idealism", Fennesz "Venice", Grizzly Bear "Yellow House", Animal Collective "Feels", Madvillain "Madvillainy", King Geedorah "Take Me To Your Leader", Amy Winehouse "Back to Black".....

You get the picture.

No comments: