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The Top X Artists

Despite being a fantastic site, I think that there is a problem with AM's Top 1000 artists list. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the top artists are decided based on weighted averages of how acclaimed each artists songs and albums go. While a good system, this does have some flaws. Mainly this favors 70s and 80s rockers at the expense of the early greats.

Chuck Berry is the 70th greatest artist of all-time? Little Richard is in the 90s? James Brown is 30 something, as opposed to T10, and Elvis Presley may belong a tad higher. I love Bowie and the Boss, but aren't 4th and 6th a little high?

One possible solution is the weighted averaging of AM's current list with other critics "greatest artists" lists. These might be somewhat harder to find, and I don't know how it would work with the spreadsheets. But what do people think? Agree? Disagree? No Opinion?

Re: The Top X Artists

SR, I fully agree with you that "pre-albums-era" artists are underestimated in the list of top artists. I have thought about compiling a list based on critics' lists of best/greatest artists, but I have never had the time to do it. Instead, I should probably add some explanation, like

"The top artists list is not an attempt to rank artists based on their 'overall acclaim'. It is simply calculated from each artist's positions in the top albums and songs lists, which might underestimate pre-albums-era artists and famous live acts, etc."

You're most welcome to make additions or changes to those sentences.

Re: The Top X Artists

Plus, keep in mind there's separate singles and albums lists. Chuck Berry is #14 in singles, and Little Richard is #33. Elvis goes all the way up to #3.

And it's hard to argue Bowie and Springsteen aren't better *albums* artists. If Elvis came after the Beatles instead of before, he'd have recorded better albums, because before 1970 or so singles were kept off albums.

Re: The Top X Artists

Now that I think about it, that is a little unfair. Artists who put their best singles on albums are kind of getting double credit for them.