I feel a deep urge to vent my spleen. Despite being a babyboomer whose personal tastes in rock/pop music coincide to some extent with the voters in the Normblog poll that Sophie Masson blogged about immediately below, I find myself getting mightily irritated by the extraordinary “oldies but goldies” focus of Norm Geras’ readers’ top 100 list. As I rather sourly commented:
It resembles a playlist from one of those 60s/70s “golden hits” nostalgia radio stations. There’s almost nothing from the last decade, and very little from the decade before that. Did good pop songs really stop being made in the early 1980s, or did Norm’s readers’ tastes just start to ossify then?
But rather than just bitch about it, I’ve decided to take the bit between the teeth and run a poll of my own. I’m now taking nominations for readers’ Top 20 pop/rock list of the last 20 years. That is, all your nominations must have been released for the first time in 1985 or later. So that pretty much leaves out the Rolling Stones, Beatles, Bob Dylan, Eagles and most of the others who dominated Norm’s list. Of course, Dylan and the Strolling Bones continued releasing albums after 1985, but I’d be fairly surprised if anyone nominated anything they’ve done in that time.
Please nominate only your top
3 10 song choices in the comment box, otherwise it’s probably going to be too hard to collate and weight your votes. Also note that although I’m calling it a pop/rock poll, that includes rap, hip hop, house etc. Moreover, given that some of these genres commonly involve remixes containing sampled riffs from older works, the fact that samples in a remix may have been released in their original form before 1985 doesn’t disqualify a song from being nominated. On the other hand, mere cover versions of older songs (e.g. that appalling version of “Come on Aussie come on” by the turkey from Australian Idol, if anyone had the audacity to nominate it) are a no no.
Update – midstream rule change – Perusal of nominations so far shows there’s only one song with more than a single vote (Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana, with 3). If it carries on like this, it’s going to be impossible to compile a Top Twenty ranking because we’ll end up with about a zillion songs each with a single vote. It occurs to me that it might actually work better if I allow/encourage readers to nominate up to 10 song selections (not just 3). Anyone who has already voted can feel free to nominate another 7. Moreover, I’ll treat every nomination as having equal weight i.e. I won’t give them different weighting depending on their ranking/order within your nomination, I’ll simply count up the total number of votes for a particular song.
Further update – Another perusal shows that there are very few songs so far nominated that are post-1995. No doubt (like Norm’s blog) it’s a reflection of the reader demographic, but again I severely doubt that good pop/rock songs stopped being written and released a decade ago. I’m not going to run a separate contest, but I think I’ll publish a separate Top 10 Songs of the Last Decade list, so readers might want to focus especially on that period. It probably means that you’ll have to embrace the possibility that rap, hip hop etc can actually be good, a leap that some may find difficult.