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Any Major Top 75 Acts (18-34)

March 18th, 2021 Leave a comment Go to comments

We’re now breaking into the Top 20 in the series of the Top 75 pop acts, as compiled by me and my trusty assistants at Rolling Stone magazine, compiled according to the system I explained in the first part. To jog your memory, it’s a combination of Rolling Stone magazine’s Top 100, my own Top 75, plus bonus points for the level of influence an act has had on pop history or their genre, and more bonus points for how many albums of each at I own (because the list should skew in some way to my taste).

The listed acts are accompanied by a notional “favourite song”. As discussed last time, there usually isn’t such a thing as one “favourite” song. I also made concessions. In this lot, for example, I chose as AC/DC’s song the live version of A Whole Lotta Rosie. If pressed, I’d say Ride On is my favourite track of the group, because it has been that for the past 40 years. But Ride On, a slow blues-rock number, is not really representative of AC/DC. So Rosie it was.

Choosing a track for Chuck Berry also required consideration. It might have been School Days or Too Much Monkey Business or You Never Can Tell, but I opted for the one with the lyrics that frightened the WASP establishment (until people like #32 covered it, and drew that sting).

The Rock & Roll pioneers who ranked highly in the RS list dropped down on mine perhaps a little unfairly, losing crucial points in the category of albums by particular artists I own. I tend to have collections of their works, rather than albums (the same quirk pulled Hendrix and Ray Charles down, and gave Queen a rather unfair boost, thanks to the esteem I used to hold them when I accumulated their earlier LPs).

The rankings are subjective, of course. I acknowledge that most people will regard Cooke, Holly or Little Richard to be greater and certainly more influential acts than, say, Gil Scott-Heron (though impact was considered in the points allocation). But the points fell as they fell…

And they fell favourably towards John Lennon, who is featuring here purely on form of his solo output. Rolling Stone ranked him far too highly at #38 (and McCartney not at all); on my list he even crept up a few places, on strength of the great number of Lennon LPs I own (which reminds me that I once owned a Japanese pressing of the Wedding Album, with all the inserts. It’s worth about $99 now).

I’m glad that I have been able to give relief to the absurd ranking Rolling Stone gave Michael Jackson. Much as I think Thriller is overrated, and everything after Thriller substandard, Off The Wall is a near-perfect album, and his work with The Jackson 5/The Jacksons is superb. But, of course, the sum of his music isn’t the total of his career. Jackson’s influence was arguably third only to that of Elvis and The Beatles; that merited more than 35th place — and perhaps more than #18, especially when you see in the final instalment next month who’s at #17.

Here are places 34 to 18 (Rolling Stone Top 100 ranking in brackets), and featured track. The playlist follows a more logical sequence. As always, CD-R length, home-ranked covers, PW in comments. Plus: as before, the text here is included in PDF format for future reference.

34 (—-) Isaac Hayes – I Stand Accused (1970)
33 (16) Sam Cooke – A Change Is Gonna Come (1964)
32 (13) Buddy Holly – That’ll Be The Day (1957)
31  (8)  Little Richard – Ooh! My Soul (1958)
30 (38) John Lennon – Instant Karma (1970)
29 (—-) Kris Kristofferson – Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down (1970)
28 (—-) Gil Scott-Heron – The Needle’s Eye (1971)
27 (72) AC/DC – Whole Lotta Rosie (live, 1978)
26 (52) Queen – Don’t Stop Me Now (1978)
25 (39) David Bowie – Changes (1971)
24 (21) Otis Redding – I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (1965)
23 (10) Ray Charles – What’d I Say (1959)
22  (6)  Jimi Hendrix – The Wind Cries Mary (1967)
21  (5)  Chuck Berry – Brown Eyed Handsome Man (1956)
20 (42) Van Morrison – And It Stoned Me (1970)
19 (—-) Earth, Wind & Fire – Reasons (live, 1975)
18 (35) Michael Jackson – Rock With You (1979)

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  1. amdwhah
    March 18th, 2021 at 09:24 | #1

    PW = amdwhah

  2. puternut
    March 23rd, 2021 at 17:53 | #2

    Enjoying this series. As you would expect there are, for me, some in I wouldn’t have and some missing but that’s personal taste.

    Just a query.

    The track listing on the back graphic doesn’t agree with the list here – which is reversed for some reason. And also the graphic also wrong on the edge saying its tracks 57-75..

    Thanks sir!

  3. amdwhah
    March 23rd, 2021 at 22:57 | #3

    Oh, how annoying to see that I didn’t change the title on the back-cover. The playlist jumbles up the rankings in the sequence of tracks to allow for a better flow.

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