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I've tried to ask this question in round about ways in other threads, so I'm just going to flat out ask it; What ranking in acclaimedmusic denotes (in your opinion) that critics consider an album a classic? Top 100? Top 250? Top 500? Top 1000?
The consensus around here seems to be top 500, but I might be wrong...any discussion would be great.
I base this on the artist, and, indirectly through the artist, the year, era and all the other stuff.
E.g. A Hard Day's Night is ranked #175 but is by The Beatles from 1964, so is not really considered a classic.
Blood Sugar Sex Magik is ranked #211 and is the highest ranked album from the Chili Peppers, a relatively modern artist.
Therefore, although the straight ranking says otherwise, Blood Sugar Sex Magik is more likely to be considered a classic among critical circles than A Hard Day's Night.
I could see that, though I don't exactly agree with the examples, and usually use the opposite method (i.e. I consider The Silent Shout just "decent" and "well acclaimed" while I consider Neil Young's On The Beach a classic of great importance.)
I also see a genre bias needing to be rectified a bit there are only 10 country albums in the top 500, and about 80 alternative albums. Does that mean there are only 5 classic country albums? I don't think so at all.
So while a #800 album like Emmylou Harris's Wreckingball could be considered a classic, I wouldn't necessarily consider a new album that happens to get top 3 of the year ratings a classic; that doesn't take into account a possible dip in quality in the music.
Ideally all classics would all fall into a top 500 that adequately represents a wide array of genres extensively and focuses on new ideas being presented over buzz cuts.
But again that's subjective.
I'm talking about critics. If you want my personal opinion about the examples I gave, I wouldn't go near Blood Sugar Sex Magik, whereas A Hard Day's Night is one of my favourite Beatles albums which I think gets rated considerably lower than the "big five" unfairly.
My idea doesn't work universally, it was just an off-the-cuff response to an interesting topic. I do think, however, than one-album-wonders do tend (a little unjustifiably on occasion) to get lumped in with the big boys; an artist's 4th/5th best album, on the other hand, while it ranks highly through year/decade end lists, may be ignored when it comes to giving it classic status purely because that artist has a few albums supposedly better than it.
Of course, when you're not a professional critic of music, it's completely different; and, in my opinion, when those not doing it for a living try and be objective about it, they succeed a lot more than the pros. The crits always have a pragmatic approach; when it comes down to it, being fair comes second to making their voice the one that's heard, their article the one that's read, and the result is often data science to the point of grandiose stereotyping.
So that country thing, I'm just speculating but I'd say most critics look at the epochs of modern music and go, "Where does country fit in? Well Hank Williams had a say in Rock 'n' Roll, maybe some influence on Dylan and The Byrds, and that's about it." Now, since I'm not really a country fan, I wouldn't go much further than that myself. But if it was my job to look at all music objectively, then that attitude wouldn't seem fair to me.
NME are the worst culprits of this, I feel. They like stuff just because it's weird, and they often hate stuff just because it isn't. Also the Cool List and its connections seem to have a big say.
You weren't there, man. 2004 NME awards, The Libs won best band having released a grand total of one single all year, and proceeded to recite a Siegfried Sassoon poem to great bemusement. Of course, NME lapped it up, it's what they're all about - turning reverence into irreverence or vice versa. Prophetic poets who would all be gone in a year or two, and in with MCR or Nu Rave, or whatever else gets the jumped up indie-posh through each day. I don't hate NME, and am not prone to ranting, but since I momentarily got into judging them I thought I may as well go the whole hog.
Going back to the 'classics' debate, it's heavily subjective. Lots of older critics will have grown up with A Hard Day's Night - as an example - and it's had nearly 50 years to garner acclaim so it's high up.
In The Aeroplane Over The Sea, though having now grown in stature, was a small release at the time by a small artist on a small label. It's still widely unknown outside music aficionados and alt types.
But you ask people who have heard both records which is more a 'classic', and I'm quite confident Neutral Milk Hotel, despite not being a top 500 record (or top 200 for that matter) will stick in the minds of most.
This is an interesting question, and one I find no satisfying answer to. For instance, Modern Life is Rubbish is ranked #1351 but in my mind it is an absolute 90s classic and one of the most important Britpop records. It helped kick-start the whole movement.
On the other hand, I would never call Oracular Spectacular a classic, and it's ranked #598 right now.
Kind of silly when you think about it.
Modern Life Is Rubbish is Blur's best album in my view, and seems to get more recognition in the UK than the US, where Parklife effectively launched them.
Classic is subjective, but I'd argue that with the amount of records released since in the past 75 years, any record in the AM 3000 should be considered a classic if you're just going on critical acclaim alone.
Also, when it comes to new records, it might seem silly to call a new record classic but they will be. Even if you think they aren't up to the standard of the 60's and 70's albums these are the albums that will be passed down to other generations and become classics. Lost classics that were never truly appreciated are rare so the albums making the grade now will very soon be considered classic albums.
I consider 500 a magic number for some reason, though with the number of great albums that come out every year, it doesn't mean the old albums that drop out of the top 500 are automatically no longer "classics."
For example, Basement Jaxx Remedy, Wilco's Summerteeth, and Teenage Fanclub's Bandwagonesque all dropped out of the A.M. top 500 last update. AMG didn't suddenly strip them of their 5 star ratings, and people didn't automatically forget about them.
I'd be curious to know how far apart the albums ranked between 400 and 600 are as there seems to be a lot of motion in that tier every time there's a new acclaimed update.