Thursday, January 2, 2014

Sales v critics v fans 2.3: Critics top 100 albums of all time - years

Which years were most prolific according to critics, based on their top 100 albums of all time?

The chart tells the story (click to enlarge):

This is very different to the sales chart, with the biggest group of releases coming in the period 1965-1973.
  • The first entry is older than the sales chart - 1959 - Miles Davis with Kind of Blue. Still no Sinatra. 
  • The biggest years are 1968 and 1971, each with 6 entries:
Aretha Franklin Lady Soul
The Band Music From Big Pink
Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison
The Beatles The Beatles (White Album)
The Rolling Stones Beggars Banquet
Van Morrison Astral Weeks

Carole King Tapestry
David Bowie Hunky Dory
Joni Mitchell Blue
Marvin Gaye What's Going On
The Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers
The Who Who's Next

  • The median is 1977 - ten years older than the sales list. 
  • The 2000s are not as barren as in the sales list - there are seven entries after 2001, including two in 2011 - 21 by Adele, and the wonderful Let England Shake by PJ Harvey. There are 12 entries from 2000 and beyond.
The age of the blockbuster album may be pretty well over from a sales perspective - but as a creative form it is still far from dead.

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