the midlife 150: favourite music 1970-2009
January 28, 2010
Compiling an extensive ranked list, in one’s idle moments, of favourite music from the last 40 years surely signals some kind of crisis. The conceit that it somehow matters whether that Pixies track is three, seven or 13 places ahead of that Ekkehard Ehlers track dissolves under the mildest scrutiny – it is one of the least important pieces of data ever captured.
To persevere anyway requires a cognitive dissonance that is only three, seven or 13 steps away from full acceptance of the fact that, from here on in, an increasing percentage of your thoughts will not only not matter to anyone else – they won’t matter much to you either. Once these thoughts reach 100%, well …
The flip side to this is the certainty that the individual pieces music contained in such a list not only matter to you, they matter to lots of other people too. And when you collect them together and associate them with all the other artefacts of humanly organised sound that have ever existed things don’t seem so bad after all.
So welcome to the midlife 150.
Like any list worth its name, there are rules:
- It covers music first made available between the beginning of 1970 and the end of 2009, though please make allowances for mild inaccuracies at the edges
- Artists can only appear more than once as part of different ‘acts’. For example, Lou Reed can appear as a solo artist and as a member of the Velvet Underground
- Tracks that constitute whole albums have reluctantly been excluded. It didn’t seem fair, though it is mortifying that The Necks‘ Drive By doesn’t make it as a result
- It represents my opinion only at the precise moment it was compiled, and entries and their rankings may well have changed by the time they are published, particularly in the lower reaches of the chart
I’ll update this post as each entry is published; the plan is to get to number one
by the end of 2010 2011 2012. I hope you find something new that you like.