Wednesday, March 07, 2007
A really infuriating top 200 list
Sometime around 1980, I purchased a book called "Rock Critics' Choice: The 200 Greatest Albums of All Time." The book, compiled by British music writer Paul Gambaccini, surveyed three dozen rock critics and radio personalities of the era and had them pick a personal top 10, which was then assembled into the top 200.

For a 15-year-old Beatles freak expanding his horizons, the book was revelatory. It was from "200 Greatest Albums" I learned about Love's "Forever Changes," the Velvet Underground, "The Harder They Come" soundtrack, the Mothers of Invention and several others.

More important, I found out about Robert Christgau, Greil Marcus, Dave Marsh, Ed Ward and the other contentious cornerstones of pop music criticism, which has led me on my merry way down the sunny freeways, darkened alleys and dead ends of pop music.

I don't know if "200 Greatest Albums" was the first attempt at a comprehensive pop music album list, but I do know there have been countless others since. (Rolling Stone seems to do one every five years.) The most recent is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and National Association of Recording Merchandisers' "Definitive 200."

The "Definitive 200" is also one of the worst.

Sure, it hits the usual highlights. "Sgt. Pepper" is No. 1. "Pet Sounds" is in the top 10. "What's Going On" is in there somewhere.

But both as a "definitive" list and as a ranking of the top 200, the Rock Hall's selections are about as dopey as the Grammys' yearly irritation-fest. Santana's "Supernatural" at No. 13? Shania Twain at No. 21? 1976's "Sparkle" as Aretha Franklin's one entry? "Blonde on Blonde," Elvis Costello, the Kinks and the Velvet Underground nowhere to be found?

And, because the list appears to ignore singles artists completely, there's no Phil Spector, virtually no Motown or Stax/Volt and little classic country music. (You Patsy Cline fans can move along.)

If the "Definitive 200" is a marketing gimmick (which, of course, it is), it's a bad one -- everyone either owns these albums already or has decided they never will. (And if my own suggestions are too canonical, I won't squawk if you want to include the Roots, Tahiti 80 or the Detroit Cobras.)

Normally I would have fumed about this for about five minutes and forgotten it. But the "Definitive 200," thanks to the Rock Hall and its many sponsors, is getting a big push -- I've seen at least one wire story and received two list-related press releases since it came out.

So, if you're even considering browsing the "Definitive 200," do yourself a favor: glance, fume and leave. You're being shortchanged. For some real food for thought, check out Christgau's Web site and Marsh's "Rock Lists" books. Scout for old Rolling Stone Record Buyer's Guides. Look at the List of Bests compilations.

But don't bother with the "Definitive 200." And the record industry wonders why it's having such problems.
I agree but are they justified because they're "Rock" critics which explains their choices?
The main reason why I believe these lists never work are because a.) the lists are always too small and b.) they are ranked. A "best of" list or "definitive" list or "whatever" list, to even approach any kind of real meaning should include at least 2 to 5 thousand entries. I know, it sounds crazy, who in there right mind would put that much time and effort toward these types of lists?

Considering how long recorded music has been around and how many truly brilliant recordings there are, a lengthy list is required if it is to have any merit. And there should certainly be no ranking of these recordings.
Shania Twain and Santana CD's are classic? What planet am I on! As usual, sales figures seem to influence critics and some fans more than actual talent! Witness the Grammies-popularity most often wins out before talent, and almost always does. As talented as folks might think artists such as Nelly, Shakira and Outkast are, I completely doubt in 10 years there will be anything of lasting, and memorable quailty to speak of! Not that they are bad, but essential? I don't think so! I am as sick as anyone of Sgt. Pepper, Pet Sounds, and Stevie Wonder, but to avoid acts like Cheap Trick, Wildhearts, Henry Mancini, or the Dave Clark Five, is shameless!
I'm with you all of the way on the critique of this list. When I heard about a new top list, I admit, my excitment was mounting, but then to see it... I think I almost fell off of my chair with their choices for their definitive 200. Especially as being sponsored by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; you'd think they'd have some higher standards for this compilation. I often reference to the Rolling Stone top 500 list, and I'm also quite fond of the BBC top 100 List that came out a year or two back. The Definitive 200 made me laugh, then want to cry, but instead I just closed my browser.
I do agree that the list shouldn't be ranked, but I really don't think the list is that bad.

I feel that all the albums on the list are deserving. I agree that there are a lot of albums that should be on the list but are not. But so what? It's all just for fun.
I have a very difficult time with the Grease Soundtrack being rated higher than Revolver by The Beatles.
dude, what do you want? our culture is in the toilet. paris hilton is a star. anna nicole smith, who has contributed absolutely NOTHING of any societal value, has ruled the news for weeks. the advent of MP3's have killed the album format. "mind of mencia" is considered funny. we live in a dumbed-down society where intellectualism is mocked and scorned, and arguments are boiled down to sound-bites and buzzwords. against the war? you don't "support the troops", never mind the VA Hospitals, i have a yellow ribbon magnet on my Explorer!!

let it go, you can't win.
What was actually the basis for list , if sales, I doubt S.Pepper would be in top 10. SO - S. Twain was the top country album ? absurd. Norah Jones ?
IF it was based on ' talent, or impact' Miles Davis should have two in top 20. Also Dylan.
But it started a few arguments, got publicity, so that's that.
Why does it matter?
It's just someone else's opinion.
If you don't agree with it.. oh well..

That's how they feel and you feel different...
U2, Prince, Shania Twain, all personal favorites. Oh, because they're more recent they're not worthy?

Please.

Maybe you should listen to some more contemporary music, instead of music for dinosaurs.
Funny - a guy I work with showed me this list the other day and I thought it was a joke. The Top Gun soundtrack? Highlights from Phantom of the Opera? What? My advice: Go to any online music service and start clicking. Start with someone you like, check out "related artists," click click click, and within minutes you'll have a list 100 times more meaningful than this wrong-headed "Definitive 200."
WAHHHHHHHHHHHH! God, what a baby.
This should be exhibit #1 as to why the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame should never, ever be taken seriously.

London Calling lower than Matchbox 20? Great, I can't wait until the RRHOF has its big Rob Thomas exhibit. This list is worse than useless. I usually have big disagreements with lists like this, but this one is far and away the most ridiculous.
For a really fun list, read John Sanford's novel "Broken Prey." A great story with a great protagonist; one of the sub-plots involves the development of a list of the 100 best rock songs ever. You can find the list at http://www.johnsandford.org/prey16x1.html.

But, read the book, too!
Heres a novel idea get an original thought like the music you like not the music someone gets paid to tell youto like Go to local clubs hear indie music on college radiio or the intenet theres a wide world of entertainment out there stop wait for ted turner,rupert mudoch,simon cowell or someother media tpye tell you whats hot
Kid Rock's horrible album rated higher then Ziggy Stardust????!!!!!!! And only ONE Bowie album? No Elvis Costello and the Dirty Dancing soundtrack is on there? Linkin Park higher then Willie Nelson?.....This list is so bad it makes my head hurt. As a matter of fact I'm going to print it out so I can put it in the garbage where it belongs.

p.s. 2 Dixie Chicks albums????????
Lists built from qualitative data are only valuable to the one who agrees with the subjects creating said data.

Lists built from quantitative data are only valuable to the one who makes music purchases based on said data.
Todd

This is amazing. You are the only other guy I know who bought and studied the top 200 book. Like you, I studied the book, argued with it but did learn about a heap of good discs. But oh, the ommissions. I never thought anyone would ever remember that book. Sadly you did!
Bravo! I could not agree with you more. I was stunned by the amount of garbage on the list. BTW...where is my hero, Todd Rundgren? Oh right, he can't even get in to the RR Hall of Fame
How lame. this cesspool goes to show some folks dont deserve an opinion.
The list contains several soundtracks, need you say more?

OK, I will say more... Aviril Lavinge? 50 Cent? Please.
I saw that Creed is on there... that's enough proof for me to laugh this list off as worthless
It's good to know I'm not the only one who was "fuming" over the list. As soon as I started reading it my jaw dropped in disbelief.
New rule: Any top 10, top 100, or top 200 list from now on may only contain 1 beatles album at the most. And no metallica.
I'll simply make one brief comment. Music is my one big love in life. But, I rarely listen to the radio or watch music tv or watch music award shows as they are pretty much across the board, horrible. Something must be wrong somewhere. My local "classic rock" station really plays only Pink Floyd, AC/DC and Zeps stairway to heaven, making me so sick of those two bands and that song that I can't stand to listen to them. Thank goodness I have a good music collection!
You're out of your mind. I thought the list was quite daring. I counted 24 R&B albums, 8 Country, 20 Hip Hop, and 12 Jazz albums (that's 32% total that were not rock albums).
Wow, these lists sure make it easy to know which albums to pirate of the internet! Thanks!!!
The National Association of Record Manufacturers (NARM) compiled this list not rock critics. This is supposed to represent what people are consistently buying/requesting...not necessarily what is good.
Dixie Chicks at #33???? I mean Dixie Chicks in the top 200 would be rediculous! That's all I needed to see to convince me that is definitively the worst record ranking list of all time. No need to waste any more time.
The list is riddled with inaccuracies. I might be able to take it more seriously if the website hadn't, for example, put the wrong cover art with Led Zeppelin (I), left Neil Young out of Deja Vu, and claimed "Aja" came out in 1991 (the middle of a twenty-year studio hiatus for Steely Dan). While there's no accounting for tastes, it's not surprising that the list's compilers seem to have put the same scant amount of care into the selection process.
Also, how can these not be considered must have albums?

Deep Purple: Machine Head and/or Made In Japan

Frampton: Frampton Comes Alive

These albums were huge, and all played a very important role in the evolution of rock music. I never take lists like this too seriously, since musical tastes are so varied, but when you make a list called the 200 "Must Have" albums", I take it as a list of albums someone who wasn't into music all that much but was deciding to venture into it, would reference as a suggestive list. But even if I'm wrong in my assumption of the list's intentions, the above albums should definately be included IMO.
Given that the Rock and Roll Hall of Shame yearly snubs Rush it's a miracle that Rush's best album of all time (2112) is even on the list though it is ranked #198th on the list. That alone shows how totally rediculous this particular list is and the inherent problem with lists like this in the first place. There is always a deserving band or person who is left out and unworthy bands or people are included.
seriously anyone willing to make a top albums list where beyonce has more albums on it than radiohead should die. omg, shania twain above radiohead??? at least the clash is on there. where's the love for joy division. we'd be nowhere if it hadnt been for ian, bernard, stephen, and the greatest bass lines of all time from mr. peter hook. that list made me wanna vomit.
I wonder why you find this surprising. The cogs in the wheels of the music industry are the people who run it. They are accountancts and business executives with no idea what talent is.
i thought perhaps you were exagerating, but then i saw the list......it's a complete joke - including both kenny g and the footloose soundtrack...
I read the list yesterday and I was truly disgusted. First Born To Run being so low. Second Highway 61 not being in the top 3. Third Blood On The Tracks being in the triple digits. I mean Shania Twain and some rap artists beat out some of the greatest of all time, please. That list should be reconsidered and whoever composed the list should be banned from ever writing anything about music again.
This is just one more thing wrong with music recognition today. What is popular on the radio seems to get recognized depending on the time of the year and who just happens to be on. Shania Twain?? Carlos Santana?? I wish people would really get past the mainstream crap that we are being fed daily and expand their horizons. Take a look at some of the great struggling artists out there that are doing new and incredibly unique things. We have modern day storytellers, song writers and all out musical geniuses that fail to be recognized in these lists the majority of the time. I wish more often you could see mention of Jeff Buckley's "Grace" or Adrian Belew's "Op Zop Too Wah". Looking at music today, people need to listen to the sounds of Neko Case & M. Ward who with their nostalgic song writing and incredible lyrics are being ignored by the masses. What about classics like Billie Holiday? What happened to real music?? We are consumed by "pop" music and the good stuff just gets filtered out. Lists like this do nothing to help.
As a serious music fan and musician myself, I am disappointed that so many meaningful artists have been left out of the book. To leave out Phil Spector and Patsy Cline is a real shame -- two of the most influential artists in all of popular music history. (Not to mention the omissions of such masterworks as "Blonde on Blonde" and the other works mentioned.

However, there are a couple of ways of remedying the situation:

1) Leave the original edition of the book intact, but ADD entries in a final section to reflect the changes in the music industry since the original edition came out; or

2) Simply label the first edition as Number 1, etc. Then the info will more accurately reflect the additions and subtractions in further volumes.

I hope readers will do themselves a favor and check out the great links you included in your article.
Shania Twain in the top 20, yet Queen and David Bowie are no where to be found until you hit the 150's??

Glanced, fumed, and left.
This list is a mess. And Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation and Velvet Rope cd should have made that list.
Let's put this in perspective, shall we? The list in question was sanctioned by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the same institution that has its hallowed corridors graced by none other than the likes of Dusty Springfield, and which will soon add Grandmaster Flash to its honored inductees, but has yet to recognize John Mayall, Jethro Tull, Yes, Deep Purple, Ted Nugent (I'm not even a Nugent fan, per se, but if Ted doesn't know how to rock, then no one does) . . . do I really need to go on? Sure Traffic was a great band, but how come they're in, and REM is being put in, while The Guess Who and Todd Rundgren keep getting the cold shoulder? Next year, Stevie Ray Vaughan will be eligible, but don't hold your breath. I just checked a website listing possible future inductees where I found such rock powerhouses as Kenny G. and Bananarama among the names that could be considered. For cryin' out loud! Kenny G? Has anyone ever even heard of Robin Trower? Let's face it: beyond the plainly obvious choices (Elvis, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, etc.), the powers that be at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame wouldn't know relevant rock if it smashed a Stratocaster right on their heads.
I agree - the list is lacking.
Where is Eric Clapton ??!!!
I actually have that Shania Twain album - but the Top 20? don't think so. And, why is there no Eric Clapton as a solo artist or with one of the many groups with which he was a member???
Who cares about popular music?!? Get a life! Unplug your music-generating devices!! I drove an old car for almost 20 years WITHOUT A RADIO. I did not miss a thing! Listen to: the ocean, the wind in the trees, the birds and bees!
Good Lord, get a life!
This is just a list, just some peoples opionions and if you don't agree with it that's your choice but who cares?

I'm sure every single one of you could come up with a top 200 list and find hundreds of people who responded with "I just can't believe they placed this album at such and such position and didn't include this!"

Music is subjective, there's no definitive way to rank what's "good" and what's "bad"
The best?

Shania Twain and Faith Hill ahead of Johnny Cash, "At Folsom Prison."
I bought Gambaccini's book myself about 30 years ago. It certainly helped me try new music. Perhaps this new list isn't to your liking, but it will prove to be helpful to a younger audience. Certainly, you're tastes have matured (you're older!), the list isn't aimed at you. That book so long ago helped turn me into a music junkie with 200,000 records currently & 25 years in tnhe music business. gojohnnygo.com
I agree with the above poster. That Rush BARELY made an appearance on this joke of a list is nothing short of a miracle. The fact that the Hall hasn't recognized this amazing and talented group even with 30 years under its belt now just further proves the Hall's irrelevance.
What is wrong with Dusty Springfield? To suggest Ted Nugent deserves to get in ahead of her is nuts.

Lists like these always look the same. They're either focusing on obvious canonical picks like the Beatles or Rolling Stones, or they're going with the popular flow. There's nothing wrong with people liking the music listed in this top 200, but it doesn't tell anyone anything new. Who needs to see a list with these albums on it? We've seen it before and it's not exactly encouraging anyone to explore new music. If the RNR HOF really cared about music, they'd bring in some people who know a TON about it and tell them to create a deep, interesting list filled with more obscure stuff that people might not have heard about before. The Stones and U2 are all good and well, but tell us about Royal Trux, Cluster, Boredoms, Cage, etc. If we're told to like the same stuff over and over again, it starts to feel like some weird fascist patriarchy is running things and telling us what's good.

I'm just glad there isn't a similarly suffocating canon applied to books or movies (well ok, maybe there is sort of one with movies).
In looking at the list, I see a bunch of really great albums (some of which I own, some I should) and some that may not belong on the list.

In defence of the list, it does say that these are 200 albums you should own, not necessarily the best 200 of all time. Besides, all of these lists are very very subjective. Every person commenting on this could make a list and there wouldn't be a single one that would have the same albums on it (for instance, I would add Santana's "Lotus"; "Friday Night in San Fransisco" by DiMeola, McLaughlin, & de Lucia; and Maceo Parker's "Life on Planet Groove" to mine).

You should jsut take what you like from the list and move on. No need to fume.
What? "Hangin' Tough" by New Kids on the Block isn't on the list? What a travesty!
It is obvious that the rock 'n roll hall of fame list was compiled by people trying to sell CD's. It is kind of like the people that try to sell us on "nuclear waste" not being dangerous..but you wouldn't catch them with any near their house.
Everyone knows these lists are compiled based on who pays the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame the most. It is absolutely absurd to think that Shania Twain is considered an essential album, she's a Canadian who sings country music! I always have problems with these lists because they perpetuate the idea that a "popular" album with the general public makes it essential rather than the talent behind the album. I for one NEVER listen to the radio because it's all crap anyway.
I, too, discovered some great music thanks to that slim book compiled by Paul Gambaccini almost 30 years ago. The back of the book provides each of the American and British contributors' top ten lists plus their brief comments. If you already like all of the familiar albums on an individual list, you should try the more obscure albums on that list. That's how I, too, discovered Love's "Forever Changes" (ranked #16) and it's still one of my favorite albums despite its modest sales. Most of the top 20 in the book consists of bestselling albums by the Beatles, Dylan, Rolling Stones, Beach Boys (Pet Sounds), etc., but commercial flops by the Velvet Underground & Nico and Van Morrison are there too.

No albums ranked eighth or lower qualified for the list of 200 if only one critic chose them, so the lists in the back give you many additional albums to investigate.

Also, using the individual lists, you can determine how many critics selected a particular album. If you have mainstream tastes, an album ranked #1 by one critic but not chosen by anyone else is probably less worthwhile than an album ranked lower by several critics.

The book's main list does have some flaws, though. Since the U.S. and England often had somewhat different greatest hits albums for the same artist, votes for Chuck Berry (for example) were counted separately for different, but very similar, albums. I think the book has aged well, but obviously it only covers the first two decades of the rock era.

I'm yet to take a look at the National Association of Recording Merchandisers' list. I probably won't bother...
Oh yeah, there is a LOT of stuff on this list that definitly does not belong on a "Top 200" list, with MANY notable absences. Where is Iggy's "Raw Power", The Velvet Underground's first, Roxy Music (first, "For Your Pleasure", "Stranded"), Motorhead's "Ace of Spades"? Just to name a few.
Bon Jovi, Creed, Eminem, Celine Dion... these are some of the worst "artists" of all time, so yes, this list is just the market pushing product again. A lot of people complain that this is no big deal, but best-of lists are usually meant to HELP consumers navigate the triumphs and troughs of an art form. No genuine literary critic ranks Danielle Steele alongside Nikolai Gogol, so why put Shania Twain in the same list as Aretha Franklin? This list was not assembled by critics, but shareholders.
I just dont get it. Avril, ColdPlay, Will Smith, Shania, Dixie Chix..what did they do for their albums to become definative...these albums define nothing. They have no attributes that make them stand above the other recordings of their time. The Cure, Hank Williams, Queen, Buddy Holly all did more to DEFINE their legacy and shape music.
No matter how many "Greatest lists" or "Definitive Lists" are introduced every so often, everyone will always have differing opinions over what albums should be on which lists and how they compare with others. Personally, I dont believe Sgt. Pepper is the greatest album despite being a huge Beatles fan. I think lists that rank are too exclusive and always leave out many other important albums. To each his own, everyone's tastes are different, so to rank albums according to ten critics is lame and does not reflect the general public.
rock is dead
As a fan of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame I was looking forward to the Definitive 200. I think it is the worst "best" list I have ever seen. True talent is ignored. Where is Dusty Springfield? One Joni Mitchell CD? One late-in-career Aretha Franklin CD? Give me a break! Someone wanted to make money. This has nothing to do with real talent. At all.
The whole thing is laughable. Forget about the whole Shania Twain thing, which, by the overwhelming response of those posting comments, is really the gold standard as far as how stupid the list is. Did anyone happen to see that Get Rich or Die Tryin' by 50 Cent is listed higher than Paranoid? Just so I'm clear about that, let me say it again. On the list of the Definitive 200 Rock Albums as compiled by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Get Rich or Die Tryin' by 50 Cent is listed higher than Paranoid. I'd say that speaks for itself.

Gotta disagree with the person who called the guy nuts for suggesting Nugent deserves membership in the R&R HOF more than Dusty Springfield. I've always had a problem with this, too, and I'm not a Nugent fan, either. I would certainly agree that it would make much more sense for him to be in the HOF than her. She did Son of a Preacher Man and what else? The Look of Love or something like that? If I want Rock and Roll, give me Ted's solo in Stranglehold. If I want Easy Listening, give me Dusty Springfield.
Petty at 101?
Rush at 198?
No Clapton!

Wow - as stated above..Rock is dead!
My nine year old daughter eagerly looked at the list as she saw names like Avril and Shania- names she recognized. Me? I curled up on my bed and listened to The Velvet Underground & Nico for the millionth time in twenty years.
Lists like these make my job as a parent harder. No wonder she makes that sick face when I play Dylan. Every " authority" she accesses on the internet feeds her bull.
I'm gonna cry now.
Radiohead is not in the top 100. Creed is! What music critic/musician/serious music fan would even try to defend that? The creators of this list should apologize.
The Sex Pistols influenced an entire generation of artists is not in the Top100 - but Norah Jones is. wtf????
No genre forming artist like the Ramones, Replacements, Smiths, Elvis Costello, or The Cure recognized. Shameful.
To quote Stan on South Park, "Disintegration is the greatest album ever". Well, maybe not the greatest but worthy of inclusion.
hey Carl, dig deep and pick up a Dusty Springfield compilation sometime. She is widely regarded as a terrific artist, one who laid down dozens of amazing sides over a ten-year span from the '60s and into the '70s. Nugent is loud and plays guitar, which is why the guitar dude fangeeks gotta roll with him I suppose, but Dusty was better at her peak. And if you think she's easy listening, you need to hear more.

If you love music, you're not concerned about how much someone "rocks". This is why the Rock n Roll hall is corrupt and why the any canon which places rock music at the top and anything different on a level below is utter b.s. Miles Davis, Fela Kuti, and James Brown smoke any "rock" band into oblivion.
I looked at the list once and never will again. It's insane - not only is Aretha Franklin too low - she has several albums that are better. (I Never Loved A Man, Lady Soul, Amazing Grace, Young, Gifted and Black ) Supernatural by Santana #9 ? Abraxsis(sp) is much better. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame should be embarassed.
Jimmy (Chicago, IL),

It's SUPPOSED to be about rock. That's why it's called the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Miles and James are actually inductees, too, but that's because rock is an amalgam of so many different styles. Okay, so maybe Bryan and I haven't educated ourselves as to the pivotal importance of Dusty Springfield as a noteworthy figure in rock as a whole. But having been a passionate fan of rock, proper, for more than four decades, going to concerts, hanging with scores of others who all have had varying tastes and favorite bands and artists, not once do I ever recall her name coming up in discussions of the music. No one has ever stopped the party for one of her albums to be thrown on so everyone could to jam out to her. And while it might not be the ultimate gauge of what truly is essential rock music, although it's certainly more accurate than this stupid 200 list, Dusty Springfield gets no airplay on rock radio. None. Zilch. Oldies stations? Okay, sure. So does Bobbie Gentry, though, but does Tallahachee Bridge warrant her being a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee? Of course not. Maybe Dusty is widely regarded, but again, not nearly as widely in the rock community as so many others whose presence in the Hall as ROCK AND ROLL performers would be more fitting.

I do love music more than I can possibly express in this forum. Give me Beethoven's Eroica symphony performed by a world class orchestra, and you'll make me a happy man. But it's not rock. And how much someone "rocks" is of absolute importance when considering whether he or she should be placed alongside the likes of Jimi Hendrix, The Who, or The Grateful Dead. Whatever credibility the Rock and Roll Hall of fame retains at this point erodes even further when that standard is disregarded, and the 200 list shows just how little credibility remains at that barn.

Celine Dion, Jewel, Beyonce', Barbara Streisand, and a slew of rap and hip hop flavors of the month---these people do not belong on a list of the 200 essential rock albums of all time. Look at the ones I cite and you could mistakenly draw the conclusion that I am both sexist and racist. But I am giving glaring examples of how the compilation, touted as essential "rock" albums, could only be more flawed if they actually did include Beethoven's Greatest Hits, because, again Beethoven ain't rock and neither is the music of these other people.

The reason the Rock and Hall of Fame is "corrupt," as you say, is exactly because the voting committee is NOT concerned with how much someone rocks. They are far too concerned with making hyper-intellectual, overly sophisticated, elitist choices as to who should be enshrined, which is why Patti Smith will become a member and why Alice Cooper probably never will. Here and there they throw a bone to the AC/DC's in the business. But you shouldn't disregard Nugent's fans as being "geeks" simply because you're hip to Fela Kuti. Like I said at the top, it is supposed to be about rock. If there is a campaign for anything other than that, than why even have a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? When they open a World Music Hall of Fame, then get in the front of the line to lobby for Fela Kuti. Until then, we still are faced with the question, "How come this 'Essential 200' list has two albums from the Dixie Chicks but nothing from Eric Clapton?"
At best,this list helps those who don't know how to listen to "good" music. And Im not sure where the brains were when "Definitely Maybe" by Oasis was completely left off of this list..at least opinion is still king in the USA..in the words of Neil Young(another one left off the list)..Keep on Rockin' in the Free World!!
It is quite obvious they chose these albums to sell product at the various retailers sponsoring the list. Why include an esoteric album that won't sell when they can include 50 Cent, which will bring them in some cash? I agree with you totally. The list is insulting to any music fan.
Whatever you think of the artists on the list, I would like to point out why this list is trash:

There are THREE Dixie Chicks albums on the list. And they are ranked pages ahead of Elton's Goobye Yellow Brick Road.

'Nuff said.
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