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Peak thread

A comment from schleuse about 1967 being the peak of John Lennon made me realize that every artist has a peak on his/her inspiration. And also on his/her acclaim. Using the mighty Henrik formula I calculated the value of the acclaim of every year of the first 12 artist and I put it on a graphic. I know that it’s insane to reduce an artist career to a graphic like it was the balance of a company, but anyway it fits the spirit of the site, being able to measure in any way something not measurable like art.

1. THE BEATLES: up, up and away
The Beatles began really high in 1963 (they place 2 albums and 6 songs on AM list) but they continued going higher and higher achieving their peak in 1967 with an album on the Top 10 (their acclaimed “Sgt. Pepper’s” and two songs on the Top 20. In fact they arrived so far that planted the seeds of their disintegration. Anyway during the “away” period they were able to release enough brilliant (and acclaimed) works that allowed them to retain high positions in AM lists.

2. THE ROLLING STONES: the best 5 year stretch
The five year period of 1968 to 1972 (with the relative down of “Get Year Ya-Ya’s Out” in the middle) marked the golden period of The Stones, with a high peak before (1965, the “Satisfaction” year) and less pointed peaks after (1978 “Some Girls” and 1981 “Tattoo You” . And after 1983 nothing…

3. BOB DYLAN: the long distance runner
Yes, Dylan is the only artist with acclaim from 1962 to 2006. But moreover Bob Dylan was the Everest too. The highest peak for any artist on Acclaimed Music lists is 1965 for Bob Dylan, with a total points of 16.94, two albums and 10 songs on the list including the all-time #1 “Like a Rolling Stone”. By the way the next five positions were:
#2 1967 for The Beatles (17.14)
#3 1966 for The Beach Boys (17.61)
#4 1965 for The Beatles (17.74)
#5 1956 for Elvis Presley (17.87)
#6 1967 for Jimi Hendrix (17.92)

4. DAVID BOWIE: golden years
The golden years for Bowie were not a decade but exactly 12 years, I mean the 70s plus a year before (1969 and “Space Oddity” and after (1980 and “Ashes to Ashes” with the same character, the Major Tom, opening and closing the golden period. And two high peaks, the glam-rock peak of 1972 and the Berlin peak of 1977.

5. LED ZEPPELIN: brief splendour
The only acclaimed period of Led Zeppelin is the 6 year period from 1969 to 1975 (neither “Presence” nor “In Through the Out Door” were on the list). But this was a highly acclaimed period, with the one-two punch of 1969 and 1971.

The scattered delivery of Springsteen works makes the graphic look somehow like a saw-tooth, but with tooth every time less pointed. Anyway it’s remarkable that Bruce is the second long distance runner after Dylan, receiving acclaim from 1973 to 2007.

7. PRINCE: twin peaks.
Two almost identical peaks define the graphic of Prince (1984’s “Purple Rain” and 1987’s “Sign ‘O’ the Times” , with a previous tower (the 1982’s “1999” one) not as high as the other two (sorry, Moonbeam).

8. THE WHO: ’s next.
The peak year of The Who was 1965 according to AM but they get really near in 1971 with “Who’s Next”. Like other artists on the Top 10 (Bowie or The Stones for instance), the latter career received little acclaim.

9. ELVIS PRESLEY: distant peaks.
Probably he was the artist with the widest separation between the first peak (the astonishing 1956 when he reinvented popular music) and the second peak (his comeback in 1969), with a dry valley in the middle.

10. JIMI HENDRIX: free falling.
He began high as the sky in 1967 (he even kissed it) but, after maintaining somehow the momentum with “Electric Ladyland”, he began a quick fall that ended with his premature death in 1970.

11. RADIOHEAD: the tooth of a shark.
As Springsteen, the separation between the album releases gives the graphic a teeth look. The tooth from the last years surely will get sharper when the end of the decade lists begin to come.

12. THE BEACH BOYS: rise and fall.
The acclaim for The Beach Boys increased quickly until they reached their peak in 1966 with “Pet Sounds” (#1 album) and “Good Vibrations” (#3 song). And, after the breakdown of unstable Brian during the sessions for “Smile”, it came the fall. Even quicker than the rise.

Hope you like it…

Re: Peak thread

Thank you Henrik, I find this very interesting. I assume that the graphs with 6 lines are marked by .1, and the graphs with 4 lines (beatles, bob, elvis, bb, jimi) are marked by 1, right? After your top6 artists/years (dylan/65, beatles/67, boys/66, beatles/65, elvis/56, jimi/67) are the best artists/years belonging to artists outside the T12? I would imagine Niravana/91 would be incredibly high, as well as Gaye/71.

Also, can we use this to determine which years are most acclaimed? From what I can gather, the top years by acclaim would look like 65-67-66-68-69-71-75 though that's primarily guess work. Once again, thanks for taking the time to do this.

Re: Peak thread

Very cool, Honorio. I've clearly been surpassed as a mad scientist...

Re: Peak thread

Also, can we use this to determine which years are most acclaimed?

SR, have a look at this thread: http://pub37.bravenet.com/forum/3172289350/show/824155.

Re: Peak thread

Maybe you should put John Lennon's solo stuff from 1970 at the end of the Beatles graph, eh? Just to see what it looks like

Re: Peak thread

Yeah Alex, that would be interesting. Also probably include 71 'cause of Imagine. Also, sorry Honorio, I accidentally credited Henrik for the graphs.

Also thak you for the link Andre.

Re: Peak thread

Many thanks for your compliments. I’ll try to answer:
- SR, all the graphics are shaped to the shorter scale (for instance example Dylan goes from 16.5 to 20 while David Bowie from 18.5 to 20.5) to showcase the characteristic of every artist not comparing different artists.
- SR, thanks to your suggestion I’ve calculated all the years/artist with less than 19 points (lower is better in Henrik’s formula). Next I post the complete list (although it’s possible I could have miss someone, please notice me if it’s the case).
- Alex, I’ve added the points coming from the solo careers of every Beatle to the graphic, you can see the results next. 1971 points come basically from Lennon but 1973 came basically from McCartney. You can notice that adding the Harrison and Lennon works 1970 was a great year for The Beatles, almost as good as 1966 and 1968.
- And schleuse, that’s not true, you will always be our mad scientist.

The best year of their lives

1. Bob Dylan 1965 (16.94)
2. The Beatles 1967 (17.14)
3. The Beach Boys 1966 (17.61)
4. The Beatles 1965 (17.74)
5. Elvis Presley 1956 (17.87)
6. Jimi Hendrix 1967 (17.92)
7. The Beatles 1966 (17.94)
8. Nirvana 1991 (17.95)
(tie) The Beatles 1968 (17.95)
10. The Sex Pistols 1977 (18.14)

11. The Rolling Stones 1968 (18.16)
12. The Doors 1967(18.17)
13. Creedence Clearwater Revival 1969 (18.1
14. Marvin Gaye 1971 (18.26)
(tie) Aretha Franklin 1967(18.26)
16. Led Zeppelin 1969 (18.30)
17. The Velvet Underground 1967 (18.33)
(tie) The Clash 1979 (18.33)
19. The Beatles 1963 (18.37)
(tie) Bruce Springsteen 1975 (18.37)
21. Led Zeppelin 1971 (18.39)
22. Jimi Hendrix 1968 (18.43)
(tie) Michael Jackson 1982 (18.43)
24. The Rolling Stones 1969 (18.49)
25. Bob Dylan 1966 (18.53)
(tie) Bob Dylan 1975 (18.53)
27. The Rolling Stones 1965 (18.55)
28. David Bowie 1977 (18.63)
29. Joy Division 1980 (18.66)
30. David Bowie 1972 (18.67)
31. Radiohead 1997 (18.70)
32. Prince 1984 (18.71)
33. The Who 1965 (18.74)
(tie) The Beatles 1969 (18.74)
(tie) Prince 1987 (18.74)
36. Buddy Holly 1957 (18.75)
37. U2 1987 (18.76)
38. The Rolling Stones 1972 (18.7
(tie) Stevie Wonder 1972 (18.7
40. The Stone Roses 1989 (18.79)
41. The Smiths 1986 (18.80)
42. The Rolling Stones 1971 (18.82)
43. Guns ‘n Roses 1987 (18.83)
44. The Who 1971 (18.84)
(tie) Massive Attack 1991 (18.84)
46. Lou Reed 1972 (18.85)
47. Van Morrison 1968 (18.87)
48. John Lennon 1971 (18.8
(tie) Oasis 1994 (18.8
50. The Byrds 1965 (18.89)
(tie) Black Sabbath 1970 (18.89)
52. John Lennon 1970 (18.90)
53. David Bowie 1971 (18.91)
(tie) Elvis Costello 1978 (18.91)
55. Oasis 1995 (18.92)
56. Bob Marley 1973 (18.93)
57. The Smiths 1984 (18.94)
(tie) Pixies 1989 (18.94)
59. Talking Heads 1980 (18.95)
(tie) Public Enemy 1988 (18.95)
61. Patti Smith 1975 (18.97)
62. R.E.M. 1992 (18.9
63. Derek & The Dominos 1970 (18.99)
(tie) Ramones 1976 (18.99)
65. Television 1977 (19.00)

Re: Peak thread

I love it when the AM data is explored in new ways. Great, great stuff, Honorio!

Re: Peak thread

Many thanks, Henrik!