Rolling Stone has had a bit of a checkered history with music listeners. For as many great bands that they've put on pedestals like the Beatles and Led Zeppelin, a lot of genuine talent has since fallen by the wayside. Even in a musically active year, some of the hot takes for this magazine have made for many debates amongst music fans. However, hindsight can often be 20/20. So in the year that is literally listed in as that number, Rolling Stone has come out with a revision of their previous top 500 albums, with some glaring revisions. Now that we live in a different world than we did just a few years ago, how do these new recruits stack up when compared to the old school?
Granted, we can’t really look at this new list without acknowledging the previous list that was updated in 2012. Primarily known as a rock magazine at the time, Rolling Stone had a practical who’s who of classic rock dominating the list, with subtle nods to styles like jazz, soul, and folk here and there. For as many acts like Miles Davis or James Brown had an impressive, most of the top 10 was previously littered with a bunch of guys with guitars that most people born before 1980 would claim to be “the best,” from the Beatles to the Stones to Bob Dylan.
While each of those acts have made exceptional work that became the foundation for their genres, there was always more to it than that. So, what are the missing links that set these fresh faces apart from the seasoned veterans?
Right off the bat, there’s a lot more diversity of material on display in the running. Compared to the previous lists, this new revision came back strong with a lot more picks from the metal, pop, and even jazz world than the previous few decades. A lot of people may have felt betrayed by letting the sounds of the Beatles and Dylan fall lower down the list, but this speaks to a greater change in what’s happening in music right now.
Continued on next page...