Those "Influential" Albums Being Discussed on Facebook? They're Garbage

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The Chameleons: more influential than Ray Charles and James Brown combined
Influentialalbums.com is a "quiz" one of your Facebook friends might've posted, boasting "Very few people own 70 or more. How many have you got?" and listing 100 albums ranging from the duh (Blonde on Blonde, Pet Sounds) to the hmmm (Gerry Rafferty? Felt??) to the genuinely bizarre (well, see below). The most obvious thing that stands out is the list doesn't claim to be only "rock" albums, but other genres are represented with just one thing apiece. The staggering amount of white people makes a Rolling Stone list look like a Complex list. No one knows where this thing comes from, although selections like Super Furry Animals are a dead giveaway that the "quiz"/list/viralbait is probably of British origin. Still, it's a pretty astonishingly bloodless compendium (hint: the jazz album ain't Miles, Monk or Coltrane). So here's a futile attempt to corral the most bizarre inclusions and exclusions. Hopefully chanting "For Emma, Forever Ago" three times at a mirror will banish this thing from whence it came.

1. No rap.
Don't do what I did and attempt to count how many artists of color there are on here. Public Enemy of course, the What's Going On of token rap albums (What's Going On is here too, although no Kind of Blue???) is a safe bet for the afterthought section of any white rockist's pantheon. But instead of Biggie you get Bloc Party and a member of Massive Attack. Not even the OutKast album with noted not-even-a-rap-song "Hey Ya!" is reporting for duty. Even Gen. Wesley Clark was influenced by "Hey Ya!" But clearly we have been duped and implanted with false memories. We were listening to the Delgados the whole time.

See also: The Ten Best New York City Rap Albums of 2012


2. No...well anything else except rock and uh, post-rock.
Country, r&b, jazz and rap share the same number of albums on this list as Slint. Electronic and "world" music, forget it. There's not even Moby. There's not even fucking Bob Marley's Legend. Zero blues. Even the only jazz performer on here, Dave Brubeck, could only have been included for completely depressing "white" and "just died" reasons. Total Grammy Illuminati garbage.

3. Mazzy Star - So That Tonight I May See
Did I mention there are no women on this thing? Even for a token female spot, Mazzy Star is completely puzzling over PJ Harvey, Janis Joplin, Liz Phair, Bjork....Hoping for Aretha or Missy would be inane, of course. The more important artists would've been even lazier and easier to include, so someone at like Bizarro Zynga or whatever hellmouth spawned this thing would've had to work to lobby for Mazzy fucking Star. Look, "Fade Into You" was slow and pretty. I bet the rest of this album is too, except I don't actually know because no one in history has ever urgently demanded that their hardcore music buddy drop everything and throw on a Mazzy Star album.

See also: How Not To Write About Female Musicians: A Handy Guide


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