Nerd alert: a mathematical approach to my ten favourite albums.

The list of my 100 favourite films was chosen deliberately. With the help of the IMDb, I looked at a list of every movie I had ever seen and sorted out all the dreck. I was left with about 400 films which I had given either an 8, 9 or 10. And I picked 100 of these.

For some unknown reason, I decided to come up with a list of my ten favourite albums in a much more mathematical fashion. Using Winamp, I was able to rate each song on a 1-5 scale. As I've been listening to songs while doing my work and surfing the web, I've slowly been rating 1000s of songs. I took all these ratings and plugged them into a spreadsheet. Then, I simply made a formula that averaged all the song ratings. After sorting them and was a bit surprised. I wouldn't have picked these 10 albums as my favourites, because there are obviously other considerations in what makes something someone's favourite. Some albums introduced me to an entirely new genre of music (The Chemical Brother'sDig Your Own Hole) or were played over and over on my tape deck (Phil Collin's No Jacket Required) or inspired me to make music (Yaz's Upstairs at Eric's), but these are all absent from the list because of minor missteps. This list really pinpoints those albums that I think are fantastic all the way through, not albums that inspired me, although many of them did.

Some criteria for this list:
1. Must have at least eight (8) songs.
2. Must not be a greatest hits, best of, or live album.
3. Must all be by one artist (i.e. no compilations or soundtracks)
4. US and UK releases are ranked separately.
5. In two-disc sets, the discs are ranked separately.
6. All songs must have a rating, including crappy intros, outros and interludes.

10. Elastica - Elastica
This album has 16 tracks (six of which clock in at under two minutes) and so many of them are simply amazing pop gems.

9. The Cars - The Cars
None of their other albums were anywhere near this consistently good.

8. Weezer - Weezer (the blue album)
I would never pick this album as one of my 10 favourites, though I do think it's a truly fantastic collection of songs.

7. Talking Heads - More Songs About Buildings and Food
I want Even More Songs About Buildings and Food.

6. The Radio Dept. - Pet Grief
I think I'd pick their other album "Lesser Matters" over this one simply because I heard it first.

5. Television - Marquee Moon
Would be higher on the list, but one track is simply really good as opposed to great.

4. The Prodigy - Fat of the Land
Yeah, seriously.

3. Klute - No One's Listening Anymore (disc 2)
Disc two sounds nothing like disc one. Disc two is some of the best drum and bass I have ever heard. Disc one is shit.

2. Orbital - Middle of Nowhere
I found this album in the drama room at school and it's utterly listenable all the way through.

1. The Beatles - Rubber Soul (UK)
I was surprised, but when I listened to this album again, it was hard to turn off because every song truly is great.


3 comment(s).:

August 11, 2008 at 8:32 AM MPU said...

What no Barry Manilow? No Sinatra (Nancy or Frank)?

Rubber Soul is a great album.

August 14, 2008 at 8:51 PM Anonymous said...

this is amazing and inspiring!

August 14, 2008 at 9:00 PM Lee said...

Seriously? Why do you say that?