Henrik, this should appeal to the statisician in you (I work in Data Analysis myself). When I found this list, I was trying to prove a point that 1971 was the best year for albums. I created an aggregate score for each year by summing the all time ranks of the top ten albums of that year. So 1971 did come out on top. What do you think of this methodology? I can't find the paper on I did it on, but I am sure you could write a little code. I think I had 1971 as around 841, and the next closest year was like 1100.
When looking at the top 10's, 1971 is certainly in the top, with 9 albums in the all-time top 100. But then the positions increase rapidly. For example, album number 20 of 1971 is at all-time place 532, while album number 20 of 1969 is only at all-time place 277. 1971 also has fewer albums in the top 2500 than 1969, 1970, 1972 and 1973.
Certainly some code could be written to create a ranking list of the years. The question is what information should go into the formula?