Creating the Impossible List January 9, 2012Posted by Matt in music.
Tags: 50 years, most influential albums
There are a lot of things in life that I love, tons of things that I could regale with songs of affection and desire, but only a handful that I would point to as objects of obsession, those things that burrow themselves into my brain, invading my every thought until I find some way of dealing with them. This source of obsession is not a new one. It’s one that has always followed me around, tugging at my mind like an insistent toddler with untold numbers of nonsensical questions. So, you may be asking, “What is this neural parasite from which there is no release?”
Lists and music. Each of them are debilitating to my everyday mental function, but when combined they are an insurmountable force. Like John Cusack and Jack Black in the great film (and book) High Fidelity, I tabulate enumerated catalogs in my brain, searching for the perfect song or album for every situation. Make no mistake, there are few things I enjoy doing more than creating lists of music, but the accompanying neurosis is undeniable.
Anyway, a few days ago I was honored by a good friend of mine who also happens to be an instructor at my alma mater, Harding University. He is teaching a course that, when I took it some 15 years ago, was incredibly influential to me and led me to the point where I am today. Without going into too much detail, the class deals with culture and his request was for a list of the most culturally significant albums of the past 50 years.
Of course I agreed to take on the challenge, despite its incredibly daunting subject matter. Over the weekend I pondered and pondered over this assignment, measuring artists and albums against each other, thinking about world events of those times and futilely attempting to put together the best possible list. After hours of listening and thinking, I decided to bring it to you before compiling my final choices. What would you include on the list.
Some choices are obvious: Sgt. Pepper’s, Exile on Main Street, What’s Goin’ On?, Nevermind, Fear of a Black Planet, etc., and those will certainly merit inclusion, but I’m sure I would forget something and interested to hear what you would include as well.