A brilliant companion piece to last year’s Top 500 Songs, Martin delivers the goods yet again. The format is virtually identical to that book with only a small change in size to accommodate more material.
For those who are unfamiliar, Popoff conducted a global internet survey of fans favorite albums and compiled the results with lots of interviews, pictures, and insightful analysis.
The results are bound to inspire endless debate, it already has in my circle (“That’s ranked way too high!”, “That’s should not even BE there!” etc…) One of the most interesting parts were quotes from the people who actually made those albums. In some instances the comments were very insightful and at others the individual could hardly remember the album. It was disconcerting to read the quote of a hero who doesn’t like the CD that you happen to love!
Using the same reading technique, I used with the last book, I read the Top 500 from #500 and counted down. I enjoyed this book slightly less than the top 500 songs for a couple of reasons. I own 98% of the top 500 albums and because they are the elite, it seems that everything that needs to be said about these CD’s has already been said. The other reason was the list was…well… painfully predictable.
Statistics show that the more extreme results of any survey will get pushed to the fringes and that a generally flattening of opinion will occur. You could chart these results on a classic bell-curve they are so predictable. There were a few little fun surprises of course and I’ll share a few quick observations with you.
• 90’s metal: 192 of the Top 500 albums were released in 1990 or later helping further disprove the myths that metal was strictly an 80’s phenomena and that the 80’s were the so-called ‘Golden Era’ of metal.
• Best newcomer: Rhapsody. All of the bands three albums make the Top 500 in less than five years in existence.
• Bands with the most releases in the Top 500.
Motorhead / Iron Maiden (tie) –10
Rush-8 (This effectively ends the debate if Rush is metal or not)
Deep Purple / Savatage / Scorpions / Slayer / Van Halen (tie) -7
Death / Manowar / Metallica / Ozzy / Testament (tie) -6
• Top 5 most consistent performers: Bands with highest percentage (75 %+) of studio albums that made the Top 500.
1. Death -100% (six out of six)
2. Slayer- 87% (seven out of eight)
3. Opeth- 80% (four out of five)
4. (tie) Manowar- 75% (six out of eight) / Iron Maiden-75% (nine out of twelve)
Overall the book has enormous value in being the first statistically significant survey of it’s kind. Normally ‘Top-whatever’ lists are a few people (magazine editors usually) who sit around talking about their favorite records. Enough people participated, without agendas to make this credible and worthy, if only to help define the genre; who makes into the club and who doesn’t.
Highly entertaining, a great reference and a fun read; I can only hope for the inevitable Part III, The Top 500 Bands of all time! Visit http://www.martinpopoff.com
for more info.