Friday, April 10, 2015

Five (Consistency Has to Count for Something)

As far as halls of fame go, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has to be one of the most subjective, because it's impossible -- or at least pretty hard -- to qualify art. To quantify art is simpler, and in which case top-selling artists like Celine Dion and Justin Bieber are first ballot, but nobody wants that. So a happy medium occurs. If you can sell a bazillion records, you might be considered. Similarly, if you can be culturally significant or groundbreaking, with or without massive sales, you might get in (see: Zappa, Frank).

But I think consistency in music does need to be qualified (and, to a lesser extent, quantified; people can be pretty dumb, but if you like something for a number of years, there must be something inherently alluring there*), and so I've created this admittedly subjective -- but also based on general consensus! -- list of rock gods.

I call it the Pantheon. Shit, that's taken? When? Okay, let's call it

I Got 5 on It

The induction rules are simple: You have to have had five consecutive albums that are considered -- creatively and commercially -- as great.

First Ballot

The Beatles (Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The White Album, Abbey Road)

Outkast (Southernplayalisticadillacmuzic, ATLiens, Aquemeni, Stankonia, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below

The Beastie Boys (License to Ill, Paul's Boutique, Check Your Head, Ill Communication, Hello Nasty)

Kanye West (The College Dropout, Late Registration, Graduation, 808s and Heartbreak**, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Yeezus)

On the Cusp

Arcade Fire (Funeral, Neon Bible, The Suburbs, Reflektor)

So Close, No Cigar

Radiohead (The Bends, OK Computer, Kid A...)

Radiohead is out because Amnesiac was a bit shaky, and Hail to the Thief started an avalanche. They rebuilt that mountain, but you need five straight to enter the joint.

Led Zeppelin (I, II...)

III killed the momentum. IV is outstanding, and Houses of the Holy and Physical Graffiti are similarly great, but rules.

* see: Of Nazareth, Jesus; Big Bang Theory, The; Twizzlers

** This is very arguable.

No comments: