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Any Major Top 75 Acts (1-17)

April 29th, 2021 Leave a comment Go to comments


We’re hitting the top in Any Major Dude’s Top 75 acts, a list compiled with my assistance at Rolling Stone magazine. The previous three volumes covered positions 18-34 and 35-56 and 56-75. The system was explained in the first instalment of this 4-part series.

Much as the final Top 75 rankings differed from the Rolling Stone list of Top 100 acts, the Top 3 is non-negotiable, though I think my order of those three makes better sense than that arrived at by my assistants.

Several acts that failed to make the Rolling Stone list made it onto my list. The highest-placed entries of those 19 acts are ABBA and Steely Dan, coming in at 11 and 15 respectively. One may explain the absence of ABBA in the Rolling Stone list by the Swedes’ relative lack of success in the US; a European list of any merit, however, would not exclude them. Steely Dan’s presence in my Top 20… well, look at the name of this blog!

A combination of the way in which the assistants overrated U2 and the circumstance that I have several of their albums (for which points were allocated) kept Bono and pals in the Top 20, a place ahead of Michael Jackson. That guy was hurt by being undervalued by RS — #35, Rolling Stone? Really? — and the fact that I own only three MJ solo albums. But that’s the way these lists work: they are by definition subjective. Though, as mentioned, the Top 3 are pretty much science and gospel.

I’ve also explained the method of song-selection on the playlists before — basically a favourite act per act. The Top two get two tracks here, one from those acts’ early and late periods. Number 3’s later period track didn’t fit on the CD-R length mix, so I’m including it as a bonus track. The chosen tracks are supposed to be my favourites of these acts, but for most, how can there be one, or two, or even five? So for #6, I chose the song that first turned me on to him four decades ago. The early period tracks for #1 and #2 have been my nominal favourites of theirs since I was 12.

The comments on the previous three parts don’t suggest that this was the most beloved series on Any Major Dude yet. I’m hoping that everybody waited for the final part to tell me how much they agree or disagree…

As I said, the mix is time to fit on a standard CD-R, includes home-hyped covers, and the above text and full Top 75 in an illustrated PDF booklet. And I include an updated back cover for the last mix (the blue cover), which had the incorrect title on the spine. PW in comments.

Here is the countdown from #17 to the first place, with RS rankings in brackets. Featured songs in parenthesis (on the playlist they follow a more logical sequence)

17 (22)  U2 (Bad, 1984)
16 (18)  Marvin Gaye (What’s Going On, 1971)
15 (—)  Steely Dan (Any Major Dude Will Tell You, 1974)
14 (12)  The Beach Boys (Wouldn’t It Be Nice, 1966)
13 (11)   Bob Marley (Trenchtown Rock [live], 1975)
12 (7)    James Brown (Get Up I Feel Like Being A Sex Machine, 1970)
11 (—)  ABBA (The Name Of The Game, 1977)
10 (31)  Johnny Cash (Hurt, 2002)
9 (27)    Prince (Baby I’m A Star, 1984)
8 (4)     The Rolling Stones (Wild Horses, 1971)
7 (9)     Aretha Franklin (Rock Steady, 1972)
6 (23)   Bruce Springsteen (The Ties That Bind, 1980)
5 (40)   Simon & Garfunkel (America, 1968)
4 (15)    Stevie Wonder (As, 1976)
3 (2)     Bob Dylan (Positively 4th Street, 1965)
2 (3)     Elvis Presley (I Want To Be Free, 1957 / In The Ghetto, 1969)
1 (1)     The Beatles (You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away / Strawberry Fields Forever, 1967)


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  1. amdwhah
    April 29th, 2021 at 09:31 | #1

    PW = amdwhah

  2. Jens Martens
    April 29th, 2021 at 19:32 | #2

    Hey Dude,

    I suppose most of your commenters simply were in awe of this immense bulk of work (as I was myself). A labour of love, indeed. “Das muss man erst mal sacken lassen”

    As with all lists purporting to be definitive or “best” – they are debatable in any case … but as always, lots of good stuff inside, at first sight.

    Thank you!

  3. iammike
    May 1st, 2021 at 02:25 | #3

    I agree with the previous poster.


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