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I want to commit to a time period or a range of AM entries for a year to familiarize myself with all of the insides and outs of a certain number of classic albums.
Here are the choices:
AM All-Time top 500
1960s top 200
1970s top 200
1980s top 200
1990s top 200
2000s top 200
Also the choice of chronologically, ascending (from 200-1) or descending order (from 1-200). Thanks guys.
Definitely the AM Top 500. I've been doing this exact same thing over the last year and I've discovered many great albums and it opened up entire new genres for me. And let's face it, it's good to know you've at least listened to the 500 'best' albums ever made.
Ah yes, I forgot about that part. I personally just started at #1 and moved down the list until I found a bunch of albums I hadn't heard and then found and listened to those. When that batch was done, I moved down to find more and more albums. In the beginning I had to listen to maybe one per 50 on the list, in the end I had to listen to 2-3 per 10.
The downside to this is that (perhaps obviously) there is a slight decrease in overall quality as you progress. I suppose it might be more fun to start at 500 and work your way to the highest ranked album you haven't heard yet. I personally wouldn't do it chronologically since it's more fun to mix all the genres up, which happens less if you simply start at 1940.
Ironically, I'd already thrown on Pet Sounds.
I did the top 100 all in a row this past spring. This list has changed in order, but not really in terms of which albums, as there was only one change.
Instead of only focusing on albums I haven't heard (which are few in the top 500) I might focus on ones I've only heard a few times...and ones I haven't worn out.
If you've already heard most everything in the top 500, why not listen to those remaining few and then explore the rest of the top 1000 you haven't yet heard? I realize that wasn't an option, but I'm picking it anyway.
I would root for #1 of each dedade, then # of each decade etc... just an idea, you would get a more varied "marathon". Also, better than AM top 500 might be last forum all time poll top 500. A large part of my favorite albums I discovered through AM came from the forum (thus indirectly from the site, but still!)