Apple Music tempts fate / goes full engagement growth hack by releasing a list of the top 100 ‘greatest albums ever made’.

To save you clicking, the top three are:

3: Abbey Road by The Beatles

2: Thriller by Michael Jackson

1: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill by Lauryn Hill

Predictably, certain sections of the internet explode in indignant rage at the absence of their preferred artists or genres (or at its least pleasant, that the number 1 album wasn’t recorded by a White man). Personally, I’m finding a few gems amongst them that I haven’t previously given a go, so it’s certainly not all bad.

I believe the list was voted for by a set of people deemed to have some above average insight into the topic, using these criteria:

  • Albums that represented a cultural moment for the artist or genre.
  • Albums that were complete thoughts, not just collections of hit songs.
  • Albums that thoroughly represent culture in production and lyrics.
  • Albums that inspired a generation to want to create more music.
  • Albums that represent the BEST in storytelling, musicianship, recording and production.
  • Albums that are timeless and reached far beyond the genre categorization.

But of course taste is a personal thing. No one else’s top 100 list is going to be yours. Not to mention that your favourites are probably not predicated on whether they ‘reached far beyond the genre categorisation’.

Apple is far from the only company to attempt such a feat. Rolling Stone has done a top 500 which they’ve updated on multiple occasions.

It’s quite fascinating to see how the ‘best ever’ list changes, or doesn’t, over time and over judging panels. The Pudding has made a fascinating interactive visual essay about this, highly recommended.