Saturday, January 11, 2014

Sales v critics v fans 3.3: Fans top 100 albums of all time - years

Here's the chart for the fans top 100 albums of all time. (Click to enlarge.)

The structure is similar to the critics chart - but even more concentrated in the golden era. In the critics chart 1968 and 1971 were the biggest years with 6 entries each. Those are also big years for the fans with 7 and 8 entries respectively. But the biggest year is 1969 - with 10 entries!

Rank Artist Album

5 The Beatles  Abbey Road
7 King Crimson  In the Court of the Crimson King
40 Led Zeppelin  Led Zeppelin
44 Led Zeppelin  Led Zeppelin II
51 The Velvet Underground  The Velvet Underground
60 Miles Davis  In a Silent Way
67 The Rolling Stones  Let It Bleed
74 Nick Drake  Five Leaves Left
81 Neil Young Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
84 Frank Zappa  Hot Rats

This is by far the oldest chart - the median release date is 1971! (vs 1977 for the critics and 1987 for sales)

There are only 4 entries from 2000 and beyond - two of them belonging to Radiohead. The latest entry is In Rainbows in 2007. No Adele.

On the face of it, this could suggest the fans on RYM are older and more conservative than the critics or the record buying public. But that theory is shot down when you look at the charts for recent years on RYM. The preponderance of death metal, speed metal, shoegaze, etc suggests this is not an old audience. Maybe the oldies on RYM just outnumber the youngsters - so the old stuff tends to get more votes than the new stuff? But then how to explain the popularity of Radiohead? Maybe Radiohead just has the greatness to cross demographic boundaries and appeals to the oldies as well as the kids. Maybe they don't make 'em like they used to, but Radiohead is a rare exception - a genuinely great band that will stand the test of time.

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