Us vs. Them: Two "Definitive" Rock Lists Battle It Out


The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame came up with their "200 Definitive Albums" list today. Too bad we did our own version of it -- at more than double the length-- four years ago. But we ain't mad atcha, HoF! Especially since you confirmed what we already knew: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is the number one album of all time.

We compared HoF's top 25 side by side with ours and found more than a few places our paths diverged. Check out some key differences:

  • The Hall of Fame appreciates a woman's touch: Where there are two female artists listed in the HoF's top 25 -- Carole King's Tapestry came in at #7 and Shania Twain's Come On Over scored #21 -- our list is more of a boys' club. Then again...uh...SHANIA TWAIN. Need we say more? (FYI: our #21 was Chuck Berry's The Great Twenty-Eight. What was HoF's criteria here?)
  • The HoF fails to recognize the granddaddies of soul like we do: Neither James Brown nor Marvin Gaye crack their top 25. What?!
  • The Hall of Fame doesn't seem as stoked on the Sixties as as we are -- their list's top 25 has a decidedly more modern slant: 19 of the albums they call out were released post-1970 (Santana's 1999 disc Supernatural and Pearl Jam's 1991 opus Ten among them), while ours bows down to an older generation of geniuses (only ten of our top 25 came out after 1970).
  • The Beatles dominate our top 25, showing up five times: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club came in at # 1, Revolver was #3, Rubber Soul at #5, The White Album at #10 and Abbey Road at #14; The HoF honors them just twice in their top 25. Hmmm.

At the end of the day, it's all a matter of opinion and taste, and it's all relevant, right? WRONG. It comes down to the empirical, hard and fast rules of ROCK & ROLL! And who wrote those rules? Why, we did of course!

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