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Rolling Stone: Top 500 All Time


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Special Edition is out.

Even for the ones you don't care about, it's a great list for rounding out a collection.

Has a couple I'm surprised with this time around.
Cash - I Walk The Line at #30 and Ring of Fire in the top 100 - about time these two classics are given their due.
Beatles - Hey Jude - has always been far and away my favorite Beatles song and is the top rated song by them here.

You can check it out on your Mac here.

Head to the Zinio app on your iDevices.

Where did some of your favorites come in?

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Including the Johnny Cash song in the top 500 is great...but #30 seems awfully high on the list!

Who the heck was doing the voting in this survey...did they have a even distribution of age groups? I seriously don't think there are that many Johnny Cash fans that are under 40...maybe even under 50 year's old...so how the heck did "I Walk the Line" get to be #30?

Another example...All of the songs in the top 20 are from the 50's & 60's...yet Nirvana has a song at #9...seems like some strange results!

BTW...I like a lot of the songs in the top 20...I'm just being realistic that 19 songs in the top 20 are from the 50's & 60's seems a little "skewed"...when you have a lot of folks in the 18-40 age range that would be voting for a lot of songs MUCH newer in age.

I agree...it's a great list...I just have a bit of a "beef" with the results.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobtomay View Post
Cash - I Walk The Line at #30 and Ring of Fire in the top 100 - about time these two classics are given their due.
Amen! I am a HUGE Johnny Cash fan.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
...when you have a lot of folks in the 18-40 age range that would be voting for a lot of songs MUCH newer in age.

I agree...it's a great list...I just have a bit of a "beef" with the results.

- Nick
Doubt anyone is going to agree with the list. But, would you really want folks voting for "all-time greats" that have never even heard of Jimi, Chuck, Jerry, Bob, Marvin, Sam, Ray and a whole host of others? or never heard of Buffalo Springfield, GFR, The Who... Wanna talk about skewed results...

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Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
Who the heck was doing the voting in this survey...did they have a even distribution of age groups? I seriously don't think there are that many Johnny Cash fans that are under 40...maybe even under 50 year's old...so how the heck did "I Walk the Line" get to be #30?
I'm in my 20s and my favourite bands include Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and The Doors. While I do have some favourites that only started in the '90s or '00s, I do have a great appreciation for music before my time. So I probably would vote for some newer songs but I can easily include older songs on that list.

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Originally Posted by bobtomay View Post
Doubt anyone is going to agree with the list. But, would you really want folks voting for "all-time greats" that have never even heard of Jimi, Chuck, Jerry, Bob, Marvin, Sam, Ray and a whole host of others? or never heard of Buffalo Springfield, GFR, The Who... Wanna talk about skewed results...
Of course all of those artists belong in the list. But whenever you see these sort of Top 100, Top 500, etc. lists...assuming the voters are folks from all age groups (18-80 years-old)...I would expect a much more diverse mix of "genre" throughout the list.

With 19 out of the top 20 songs being from the 50's & 60's seems a bit lob-sided. There are lot & lots of folks out there in the 18-25 age group that don't have much "history" (and frankly interest) with songs from the 50's & 60's.

Someone in 2010 who is 18 years old voting for a 1950's song (to be #1) is about as likely as someone who was 18 in 1970 voting for a song from the 1930's.

Of course this is assuming that the voters were from all age groups...and that these voters are what someone might term "average music lovers". Not music lovers who may be REALLY into music...and REALLY into older music or music history.

An 18-25 year old person who is into Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Bill Haley, Connie Francis, The Monkees, Beach Boys, etc....would certainly not be considered an "average" music lover. I would certainly expect someone on the 18-25 age range to vote for much more contemporary music...say music from within the last 10-15 years.

On the other hand...maybe older folks interested in 50's & 60's music...may have been MUCH more "aligned" in the music they thought belongs on the list (many folks voting for the same songs). Maybe younger folks (interested in 80's, 90's, and beyond music) were much more diverse in their voting (and thus fragmented the voting)...and that's why less more recent songs were in the top 20.

It just seems very strange that given all of the songs in the top 20...that a Nirvana song was #9.

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I haven't seen that list but I'm going to assume that the Nirvana song is Smells Like Teen Spirit which I do believe deserves to be on that list. Perhaps not #9 but somewhere in the top 50. Regardless, I do agree that younger people may vote newer songs but at least from personal experience, quite a few people in my age group like a lot of older music (especially those who like rock music). So, they might be more likely to include newer music but they would easily acknowledge older music. I say this because it's amazing how often I hear people my age discuss how bad contemporary music is. I like some newer bands for instance but I believe that much of the music on the top 100 lists these days is synthesized garbage.

People my age tend to appreciate the older music because it not only influenced bands of our generation but also because those musicians made great music and did most, if not all of it, by themselves. I'm sure if you did this list in 40 years, people my age would be adamant that music of our generation was the best and young people would love their music and the music we listen to now (as an influence of their favourite bands).

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Quote:
Originally Posted by vansmith View Post
I'm in my 20s and my favourite bands include Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and The Doors. While I do have some favourites that only started in the '90s or '00s, I do have a great appreciation for music before my time. So I probably would vote for some newer songs but I can easily include older songs on that list.
Ooh I definitely agree that folks in their late teens and/or 20's can definitely be interested in older music (from the 60's & 70's)...but that the vast majority would not be. They would be much more interested in music from the last 5 years...maybe 10 years at the most. Folks will vote for what they are most familiar with...and what they like. And if that's music from the last 5-10 years...then that's the "genre" that they will vote for.

Let's face it...popular music plays a much bigger role in a younger persons life than it does with "older" folks (30's, 40's, 50's, etc.). That's why if you ask a person who is 20 years old to name 5 current popular songs...they can "rattle" them off no problem. But ask a person who's 45 years-old to name 5 popular current songs...and all you'll get is a blank stare! Ha ha!

Us "older" folks are just too busy with work, marriage, raising kids, mowing the lawn, etc....to keep up with popular music!

So with these "truths"...I would have expected a much more diverse top 20 songs in the list. I didn't review the whole list...and I'm sure it does get much more diverse as the list goes on. I just would have expected more diversity in the top 20. At least one song from the 1970's, 1980's, etc...if not more.

I'm basically questioning the voting process (statistics & potential bias) that went into creating the list.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
Ooh I definitely agree that folks in their late teens and/or 20's can definitely be interested in older music (from the 60's & 70's)...but that the vast majority would not be. They would be much more interested in music from the last 5 years...maybe 10 years at the most. Folks will vote for what they are most familiar with...and what they like. And if that's music from the last 5-10 years...then that's the "genre" that they will vote for.
True and as much as I don't like to generalize, especially along gender lines, I believe that males are more likely to vote for older music (perhaps because of their tendency towards rock music which has a much richer history). Part of it is also how you're raised (which plays into the familiarity) - if you're raised in a house that celebrates the history and evolution of music, you'll have a larger "pool" from which to select bands/artists/songs.

Quote:
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I'm basically questioning the voting process (statistics & potential bias) that went into creating the list.
As you should and the social scientist/academic in me wants to know the methodology behind this list.

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True and as much as I don't like to generalize, especially along gender lines...
I'm the same way. I try not to generalize too much along age or gender lines...because honestly who really knows how the rest of world thinks or lives.

But...when it comes to music...all you have to do (for us older folks, or not so old folks) is remember what the popular music was in high school or college...and for many folks...that's what they will consider to be the "best" music ever or best genre of music. It's the VERY rare 50 or 60 year-old person who thinks music from 2010 is the "Best Music Ever"!

So what I'm saying is...recruit 100 folks in the 18-25 age group to vote on what they consider to be the #1 song of all time. If the group is "bias free"...I would bet that a majority of them would most likely vote for a song from the last 0-10 years. Clearly not songs from the 1950's or 1960's.

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I just asked the guy next to me who is in his 20s and he says that his favourite time-era for music is the 70s and 80s. That was because of his environment (parents played it in the house).

Yes, my parents think music from this generation is terrible. My mom just calls it noise.

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I just asked the guy next to me who is in his 20s and he says that his favourite time-era for music is the 70s and 80s.
I was actually thinking of this "test" or "experiment" (while I was writing my last post) of asking a random person next to you what they thought the #1 song of all time was (obviously it's not a bias-free test).

I'm guessing that if someone is in their 2010 high school algebra class...and they turn to a classmate & say..."Wow...that 1950's Johnny Be Good song from Chuck Berry is a REALLY great song...I think that it should be #1 on the 500 Best songs of All Time list".

I'm thinking that it's much more likely you're going to get punched in the eye...then for that person to agree with you!

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You're still talking about a list of favorites when you start talking about voters only familiar with the last 5, 10, 15 or 20 years of music. You're not talking about an 'all-time great' list.

The voters in this one were 100 people "in the business" from editors to critics to musicians to record label ceos. There is no way to put together an "all-time" list unless you deal with people familiar with and knowledgeable about music of the past 70-80 years at least.

Aside from that, this is all way off-topic... and don't really understand why every topic has to be a debate here lately.

The question was...

Where did some of your favorites come in?

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The voters in this one were 100 people "in the business" from editors to critics to musicians to record label ceos.

...and don't really understand why everything has to be a debate here lately.
This makes a lot more sense...and knowing this, I can definitely understand how the songs (at least in the top 20) came out as they did. 100 knowledgeable editors, critics, and musicians is certainly going to be pulling from a MUCH different knowledge base than the general public.

As far as the debate. Never really wanted to sound like a debate...just some confusion on who the voters were.

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Never intended this to be a debate nor tried to direct this conversation that way. There's always bound to be disagreements in a conversation though .

Truthfully though, you can't have an 'all-time' best list. Doing so is impossible because asserting so would imply that you've been privy to music from all generations, many of which would be far removed from your own. For instance, I'm going to guess that Beethoven isn't on that list. But I'm going to stop for I am getting way off topic and only problematizing a thread which has nothing to do with the inability to make sweeping judgments like that.

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