Given that people keep ranking music in lists, do you think it would be a good idea if some magazine or website did a music equivalent of The Sight & Sound poll?
In other words, rather than just have an editorial team bashing a bunch of well-known albums into a vaguely controversial yet ultimately safe order (like the NME did this week), they’d ask several-hundred musicians and critics to submit a list of their top 10 albums of all time, then rank them on a weighted points basis? Certainly nobody’s done this on the scale that Sight & Sound do it with films each decade.
I dunno. I’m inclined to think that, from a reader’s point of view, it would be more interesting than the usual ‘top 100 albums as decided by the shoutiest people in our office’ type of list. It wouldn’t feature some wag like Peter Robinson putting Kylie Minogue at #21 just to troll people. Presumably the final list would be more interesting the more diverse the polling group was. From the magazine’s POV, they could drag it out from week-to-week with individual musicians top 10s (i.e. here’s a look at Nick Cave’s top 10, here’s a look at ?uestlove’s, etc.).
On the other hand, it might be a bit stuffy, I suppose. I’m one of those dull people who generally wishes that music criticism was a bit more like film criticism (i.e. fairer, more thorough, better researched, less fickle). But I accept that, for a lot of people, the troll/hipster Spinal Tap absurdity circus is part of what keeps them interested in music.