Has The Guardian Finally Come Up With A Best Albums List It’s Impossible To Argue About?

Nov 19th, 2007 // 7 Comments

‘Course not. But while it may or may not be the biggest list of “must hear” albums ever assembled, the size of the project The Guardian has undertaken this week certainly makes the inescapable “100 Greatest Whatever” list look lazier than usual (at least until you start reading the entries, then we’re back on listy terra firma).

Welcome to our special project in which the Guardian’s music team – after much debate, some of it bitter – suggest albums that you should listen to before you shuffle off your mortal coil. What it’s not is the best 1000 albums of all time. Instead, it’s a cross-genre, cross-era look at some great music.

They also ask readers to debate what’s been left out on their blog, but of course, you can’t really argue lack of breadth with a list that includes 1,000 albums as disparate as Duke Ellington’s Newport ’56 and Culture Club’s Colour By Numbers, except by digging into the minutiae, the quality of the writing on each individual micro-blurb, etc. And even if you feel like getting picky about the individual inclusions, something this broad is designed to ensure no genre stone is left unturned, that no one can point and say “I can’t believe you left out hip-hop/rai/gabba/klezmer,” which of course won’t stop anyone from kvetching, cuz it’s the Internet. As a buyers guide for someone who just crash-landed on planet Earth, which is clearly the Guardian‘s intention, the size of the thing kinda works in its favor, even if said shopper would need a stupid amount of discretionary income to even make a dent.

1000 Albums [Guardian]


  1. zapfdingbats

    How about we, as a culture, agree to stop making lists of any kind.

  2. The Notorious T

    Hopefully, Blender won’t take this as a throwing down of the gauntlet and respond with their own epic “10,000 Records You Must Listen To Or We Will Come To Your House, Kill You, And Eat All Of Your Bananas~!!!” list.

  3. natepatrin

    @mpbx: I’m not convinced. Could you lay out a few reasons? Preferably numbered?

  4. Ned Raggett

    Someone’s creating the mp3 blog entry linking to rars of all these as we type, I’ll bet.

  5. Jfrankparnell

    I need to listen to A-ha’s Hunting High And Low before I die?

    That’s how I will die.

  6. Whigged

    I too did not make it past the A’s upon seeing the lack of ‘Afghan Whigs.’ Fuck you Guardian – you waste my time no more!

  7. CarsmileSteve

    the really annoying thing is the lack of by-lines on the capsule reviews, they mayaswellhave just c&ped them from wikipedia, a rly odd choice i thought…

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