It’s Consequence’s 15th anniversary, and all September long we’ll be publishing a series of retrospective pieces encompassing our publication’s own history — and the entertainment landscape in general. Today, we’re kicking it off with our new and improved 100 Greatest Albums of All Time list.
Oh my God, we’re back again. It’s been over a decade since we first took a shot at boiling down all of popular music history into the 100 greatest albums of all time. Forget about how opinions have changed over those 12 years — the entire culture has shifted. Even the people taking part in this exercise are different, as only two staff members who were part of the OG list, published in 2010, remain with Consequence today.
Understandably, things are going to be different this time. Tastes have been reshaped, genres have been born and died away, and the way we divvy up importance through history has been altered by the very nature of the present. All of this factors into putting together a behemoth like this, which means records that weren’t considered — or even released — the last time we undertook this challenge now have prominent placement. In turn, other great works have been bumped off, or down, or up.
One thing remains the same, however: You’re going to disagree about as much as you agree with what we’ve done here. You’re going to wonder how album X didn’t warrant mention, or why album Y is higher than album Z. Or where the heck is artist W?! We’re not even going to argue with you. Believe us, we wondered that too, and talked about them, and made hard choices, often against personal convictions.
Now, maybe that doesn’t impress you much. Maybe you, dear reader, believe there is a definitive, eternal, unimpeachable ranking of records that could be pulled from the ether with just the right methodology. Who knows, maybe you’re right. This isn’t that list.
This is a list compiled through hours of debate, frustration, laughter, acquiescence, and epiphany. It’s one that assessed the mercurial value attached to art, from perceptions at the moment of creation, to retrospective consideration, to the impact on ever-evolving fashions. It’s also one that allowed joy to be a factor of greatness.
So, go ahead, lob your criticisms. Voice your feelings about how your favorite artists were left off, or how we skipped over that iconic LP. We welcome it! And when the dust settles, the staff of Consequence will stand proud behind our list of the 100 greatest albums of all time. Until the next time.
— Ben Kaye
Ed. note: Select blurbs from the original list held up; whenever they’re included here, they are denoted with (2010).