Here is wee pastime just about anybody can play to amuse themselves during lockdown and maybe even expand one's musical horizons. Rolling Stone
has created a list of the 500 best albums of all time. Use a random three-digit number generator on your phone and whatever number it gives you, you have to listen to the corresponding album on the list. You can use Spotify to listen. It's a bit like inoperative Russian roulette. No blood will be shed, although if you happen upon some thrash metal, you should keep the volume low and close your windows.
If you are willing to endure and/or enjoy a wide variety of music, this could be just the catalyst you have been waiting for and the perfect icebreaker when you finally get to meet folk you haven't seen for ages. Even the elderly can play. Imagine the conversation between two nonagenarian ladies.
'Hi Margaret what have you been up to since we last met, did ye get yer jab?'
'Aye, we both got our jabs. I've been listening to a lot of music.'
'Aye, well ye've always been a bit partial to Patsy Cline, I remember you singing Crazy
at your New Year parties.'
'Aye Betty, I do like Patsy, but I've been listening to different music. Tell me, do you think the Wu-Tang Clan's first album was their best one? Personally, I think Forever
is better that 36 Chambers
as it's got more socially-conscious lyrics.'
So how did Rolling Stone
make the list and who voted?: 'When we first did the RS 500 in 2003, people were talking about the "death of the album". The album – and especially the album release – is more relevant than ever. (As in 2003, we allowed votes for compilations and greatest-hits albums, mainly because a well-made compilation can be just as coherent and significant as an LP, because compilations helped shaped music history, and because many hugely important artists recorded their best work before the album had arrived as a prominent format.)
'Of course, it could still be argued that embarking on a project like this is increasingly difficult in an era of streaming and fragmented taste. But that was part of what made rebooting the RS 500 fascinating and fun; 86 of the albums on the list are from this century, and 154 are new additions that weren't on the 2003 or 2012 versions. The classics are still the classics, but the canon keeps getting bigger and better.'
So far, I have listened to Guns N' Roses and Fiona Apple, and lived to tell the tale. Why not have a go at this list and impress your friends with your new found knowledge? Maybe you could even write about your experience in SR.
Click here for
Rolling Stone's 'The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time'
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