A blog about world events, history, politics, technology, music, movies, and sports as well as anything else I may enjoy writing about.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

How

Here is how I made the list... First of all I want to go through how I ranked specific albums. There was no numerical or tangible system used. I ranked individual songs in iTunes, but I really only used that for reference for albums that I didn't listen to for a while to help me remember the album. Considered in ranking (in no order) were as follows: Album Time Enjoyable & Great Listening Time to Mediocre and Unenjoyable Listening Time Ratio Track Count Very Good and Great Track to Good, OK, and Bad Track Ratio Ownage Factor These factors all added up to generate an overall enjoyment rating. Again, this rating was neither numeric nor tangible. It was just me sitting there comparing two albums in my head and saying based on all these factors, do I enjoy album A overall more or less than album B. Now that you know how I rated albums, here is how the ranking process went... I looked through my list of about 1300 albums and picked any that I felt on first glance might be one of my top 100 albums. I came up with approximately 350 albums from that iteration and put them in a spreadsheet. I had a section specifically for the top 100 albums and I put albums I was sure would be in the list there...there were about 80 of these, quite a few of which did not end up making the cut. After the lists were created and some predictions made, it was time to start listening to some music. Albums that I felt were obviously not top 100 material were eliminated. This level was pretty easy because I was identifying albums that had more than a couple of songs that I don't really care for and albums that were good but not very good or great. Also at this level, if I felt an album was certainly top 100 worthy I threw it into the top 100 section, and if it was potentially top 100 I left it in the possibles list. At this phase I moved some albums I initially placed in the top 100 into the possibles list. I did my most random listening during this time period. I jumped around through the possibles and certain sections. I went in alphabetical order for a while. Through the various methods I was able to listen to just about every album in the spreadsheet during this time. I started the list in March 06, and by August or September 06 I had elimated albums I was certain didn't belong in the top 100. There were weeks at a time that I didn't get to work on the list otherwise I would've been through this phase much faster. It was at this point that things started getting difficult. I was able to eliminate some more albums after listening again, but there were still almost 200 left and I knew I needed to develop a system to better rank these. So here's what I did... I started listening to all of the possibles one after another and determining how this album ranked compared to the last one. This enabled me to order the possibles list very well. The only problem was over time after doing 40 or 50 albums, if I found one that was better than the 10 I had listened to over the last few days, I had to go back and listen to albums higher in the list again to compare them in present listening context with the album I was considering. This obviously made the list compilation process lengthier, but it was necessary to make fair assessments. The dates I'm giving are approximate based on the best of my recollection (unlike Alberto Gonzalez who is not willing to approximate what he ate for breakfast 3 days ago). Around early November I had finished going through the possibles list and it was pretty well ordered. I now had to go through the albums I had already put into the top 100 list and rank these against the possibles list (and each other of course). This worked out pretty well as for the most part whatever was in the top 100 stayed in the top 100. I got down to about 120 albums by the end of November. The extras in the possibles list were ones I liked a lot and wanted to hear again to make sure the top 100 was as true as I could possibly make it. After the first week or so of December, I was down to 110 albums...this was getting really fucking tough because those 10 extra albums all seemed to belong in the top 100. At this point I had it in my mind that I was going to complete the list and post it on New Year's 2007, so I decided to take the existing top 100 and do a thorough ranking, then return to the 10 extra possibles and compare those to the bottom of the list. The next 4 weeks were the hardest of the entire list making process. I listened to the albums from 100-1 and made decisions. There were changes, there was controversy, and my god were there re-listens. The hardest decision for me to make on the whole list was Appetite for Destruction vs Master of Puppets...I spent every night for close to a week going back and forth between the two. I wanted to just call it a tie and be done with it, but I wasn't going to pussy out so I finally made a decision which you can read about in the actual list. I spent a lot of time at work and pretty much all of my free time in December (I know I'm a loser already, no need for you to tell me) getting the top 100 finished, and on New Year's I unveiled the unofficial top 100 for a few of my close friends at Casa de Paras, but it was made clear that this list was unofficial and I would be making another pass. There was no way I was comfortable releasing the list yet after all the effort I had already put in: I wanted to make sure it was as good as I could possibly make it. In the first couple of weeks of January I made my final decisions about the borderline albums, and the top 100 albums were now set. They were not officially ordered, but the 100 that would be in the final list were there. The rest of January and the beginning of February was spent making another pass through the list and making sure everything was ordered as accurately as possible. I wish I marked the date when I finally set the list in stone because I'd like to look back on that as a milestone in my life, but it was some time in the middle of February. I know this because as soon as I was done I went on a new music binge since I had been locked into listening to the same albums for almost a full year, and I got into Stadium Arcadium in mid February (that album will undoubtedly be in the first edit after the official release of the list). The list wasnt posted at that time because I still had to do all the write-ups for the albums, style the blog, and write the ancillary pages. This is the final ancillary page and the list, in all aspects and components, is now officially done and I am fucking ecstatic! I have never been prouder of anything else I've done in my life. I hope you enjoy (or have enjoyed) reading the list and find something you never heard of before that merges with your soul.

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