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I remarked in another thread that an album recommended by Loophole sounded like a lost classic. I looked it up on Allmusic and it's a five star album. Now, I realize that Allmusic is a bit loose with its 4.5 star ratings, but they're pretty stingy with the 5 star ratings. I guess my question is: What are the lost classics, and I'm not sure how I would define that. An album like Odessey & Oracle comes to mind, as it's truly a life-changing album, albeit not lost. But it is only 383 all-time and not really known outside music geek circles. What I'm looking for are albums that, while highly acclaimed have sorta fallen through the cracks. I'm not really looking for personal favs in this thread. I'll start with one I think is sort of a lost classic: Shake Some Action by the Flaming Groovies, 1,329 all-time.
My choice is Nina Simone's 1965 album "Pastel Blues".
I think "Sinnerman" has some of the greatest first two minutes of any song ever. Too bad it goes on for 10 minutes.
The other songs are neat too, except for the first one.
Take the top 1000 albums on RYM, compare it to the top 1000 albums on AM, take off the metal/prog bias of RYM and then you've got a nice list of lost classics.
"Odessey and oracle" is probably the number one but there are so many others.
Allmusic is very stingy with the 5 star ratings, after 1997.
Before 1997, not so much. They're very proud to sport 20/20 hindsight.
Also allmusic (Correctly) has reviews done by people who focus on specific genres, so any niche of music will probably have at least a few five star records on that site. Because they're not being compared to the absolute classics, they're being compared to the rest of their own niche.
That's kinda what I want from Allmusic. I want them to give me an idea of the "consensus" on an album. I don't think I would use the site as much if they were to give Astral Weeks 4 stars. I think Allmusic tries to rate older albums based on a general consensus.
The one I recommended is not even in the AM top 3000, but the reason is the strong bias against anything that is both sort-of twangy and also non-commercial. And it was not released as a proper album until many years after the recordings were made, so it had no chance to be named record of the year or have an immediate impact on other bands. In ten years it will be acclaimed.
Quote from AMG site
Our experts use a 1 to 5 star system (5 is the highest rating). It is important to note that we rate albums only within the scope of an artist’s own work -- we only compare a release to other releases by the same artist. We won't compare a Britney Spears album to the latest release by Incubus.
The record Loophole is referencing to is Flatlanders' "More A Legend Than A Band". I think.
Compare Brittany Spears and Incubus? Hahaha, would that be like comparing airline food to hospital food?
Yes. Sorry. Flatlanders.
nicolas - The all music explanation doesn't make any sense. If it were literally true, then every artist with only one release would have to rate a 3. And every new release would require all prior ratings to be reconsidered.
I'm on that site all the time. There are some artists will consistent 4/5 ratings and others with consistent 3's. There must be some comparison between artists going on.
There's probably comparison like: Well, this sounds like "insert album/artist" but it's not as good. Or vice versa.
One album I think will become a lost classic is Brian Wilson's SMiLE. I know every people with a minimum knowlegde of pop music history knows it and critics in general consider it a great record, but because it's an '00s album that belongs to the sixties it seems like having had gone to a limbo and has received much less value than it deserved. Do you really think it deserves being considered only the 17th best album of this decade?
Surely the lack of the historical value it could have had if it had been released in the sixties will reduce the probability of it going away from this "lost classic" level. And remember that it was out even of our top 100 albums poll, which contained a considerable number of '00s records...
"Pop Tatari" by Boredoms
"Tadpoles" by the Bonzo Dog Band
"Soundtracks" by Can
Probably many more
NYKOTB: Step By Step... once again. awesumpp.
I think SMiLE was a little overrated. The songs are good but I think the album doesn't sound right with the personnel that is singing the songs. The backing group sounds corny in my opinion, it almost reminds me of a PBS musical revue show.
I think SMiLE is pretty great and I can only imagine how fantastic it would have been if the Beach Boys had done it.
I just listened to Flatlanders, and that is one of the best country albums I've ever heard.
Lou Christie's Paint America Love. If The Beach Boys of Brian Wilson had released this, and not a washed-up bubblegum artist, it'd be in the AM 100, I'm convinced.
I'll add another to the list. 16 Lovers Lane by the Go-Betweens. It has 10 good songs out of 10 songs. I own it and recommend it. If you're tired of listening to "challenging" music because you think you have to and just want to throw on an album that's just purely enjoyable but at the same time literate with high artistic merit, this is a good one. The AMG rating compares it to "Rumours."
Yeah; back to the AMG rating; it's been pointed out on here that AMG only rates artists' albums based on their own body of work, but I agree with Loophole. It just doesn't make sense. Not every artist gets a five star rating, but at the same time, a band like "Winger" does get a 4.5 star rating, which can only be explained by saying "this is THEIR best album." Not sure; I think they try to have their cake and eat it to. The editor, Steven Thomas Erlewine wrote a pretty scathing review of Bright Eyes' "I'm Wide Awake It's Morning." I would say that most would consider that one of Bright Eyes' best.
In my site at geirology.blogspot.com, I have made a list out of 50 IMO most excellent albums that are generally ignored or hated by critics or hipsters. However, mostly not because they are overlooked, but rather because they don't fit into the kind of criteria that rock critique usually seems to build upon.
Most of those 50 albums are not in the Acclaimed Music Top 50.
Not even in the top 3000, I mean :)
Great list GeirH !
It's cool to see some Jellyfish, ELO, Dodgy and many others lost classics