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Tag: Listmania! (1-10 of 43)

Serious question: What was the last truly great rock album?

By now, you’ve probably combed through Entertainment Weekly‘s All Time Greatest issue, which features our humble picks for the 100 best albums ever made. (Within certain paremeters—the lack of jazz or, you know, Beethoven should have tipped you off to the list’s limitations.)

Though I’m proud of the amount of hip-hop, R&B, and pop featured on the final tally of 100, the list is dominated by rock albums. That’s to be expected, as rock music (and particularly the albums made by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Bob Dylan) set the template for what an album was and what it could be, and there have been few variations on that template since the ’60s. (For all its forward-thinking and genre-hopping, Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is structured and paced an awful lot like a Beatles LP.)

Plus, traditional rock music had a few decades’ worth of a jump on other genres we incorporated into our list, so Rubber Soul and Blonde On Blonde have had an extra 20 years to constantly re-entrench themselves, while the legacies of the first wave of great hip-hop albums are only now just being established.

But another pattern emerged as we were putting the list together: As we considered newer albums to incorporate into the conversation, fewer and fewer of them were rock albums. READ FULL STORY

Barack Obama is on Spotify, and he put together a playlist

There have been any number of deep dives into President Barack Obama’s iPod, and we’ve even heard what the First Lady grooves to when she’s doing Pilates. But because he’s progressive, the President has shifted his focus to the streaming service that is Spotify.

It’s hard to imagine the leader of the free world cobbling together playlists in the Oval Office while he laments the lack of available Metallica songs, but President Obama — or more likely, his helpful staff — has put together a list of songs that seem to be a mix of songs he genuinely loves, current cool things he’s paying lip service to, and tongue-in-cheek references to his re-election campaign.

Take a look at the whole thing below: READ FULL STORY

Axl Rose is 50 years old today, so here's one recording for every one of those years

Five decades ago in a small Indiana town, William Bruce Rose, Jr. was born. Though he ended up answering to many names over the course of his life, he is best known as Axl Rose, frontman of Guns N’ Roses and one of the bigger lightning rods in the history of rock music.

That’s right: Axl Rose is 50. 50 years old! Considering how many of his hair-metal brethren didn’t make it out of the Reagan administration, it’s no small feat that Rose can blow that many candles out on his cake.

Of all the eccentric rock stars we know and love, he’s had perhaps the most bipolar career — rarely has a man been so loved (the Appetite for Destruction era) and so hated (basically any time that wasn’t the Appetite for Destruction era). He’s a singular icon and a firebrand, and he wouldn’t have stayed as famous as he has been without both sides of his personality.

Over the course of his career with Guns N’ Roses, Rose has released a total of six albums (five if you count Use Your Illusion as a single entity) and a handful of one-offs, which contain a grand total of 79 songs (though 18 of those are covers, and a couple are alternate versions of the same song). Here are the top 50 Axl Rose recordings, from worst to first: READ FULL STORY

The 10 top music-video directors of 2011: Watch their best clips here

Looking back at the best music videos of 2011, one thing leaped out: All of the best clips were made by the same six or seven people.

So rather than call out individual entries for their greatness, we’re going to reward the directors who put together the best portfolios this year. Anybody can make one excellent video, but it takes serious jiujitsu to knock out three great ones. That left a lot of awesome videos on the table (all apologies to excellent entries like Foo Fighters’ “Walk,” Beyoncé’s “Countdown,” and Ke$ha’s “Blow”), but this is a pretty good sum-up of the year in music videos.

1) Spike Jonze
Jonze only stood behind the camera for two videos this year, but they were both game-changers. Beastie Boys’ “Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win” was a sandbox revelation that was way better than the actual feature film based on GI Joe, while Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “Otis” turned that pair’s obsession with commercialism into a bombastic brand of Americana. Pour one out for the fallen Maybach, and raise your glass to Jonze, who proved that no amount of directing polarizing adaptations of beloved books for children can take away his four-minute spark. READ FULL STORY

Adele, Florence and The Machine, Bon Iver, or Fleet Foxes: Who made EW's album of the year?

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There are only a handful of days left in 2011, which means it’s time to sum up the year that was in various cultural formats.

Entertainment Weekly‘s Best and Worst of 2011 issue hits newsstands today, and inside you’ll find music critic Melissa Maerz’s list of the 10 greatest albums of the year, along with our staff’s picks for the 10 best singles, the five worst, our favorite soundbites, and a look at some key breakout performances. It’s a good way to reflect, look back on the previous 12 months, and remember, “Oh yeah, Limp Bizkit did put an album out–and it was terrible!”

The most important question, of course, is who scored the coveted number-one spot? The debate among the music aficionados here at EW was fierce, but it ultimately came down to a quartet of sophomore albums: Adele’s 21, Florence + the Machine’s Ceremonials, Bon Iver’s Bon Iver, and Fleet Foxes’ Helplessness Blues. Check out the video below for the arguments made for each of these stellar releases. READ FULL STORY

Rebecca Black tops '50 Worst Music Videos Ever' -- Who else made the list?

No surprises here: In a list of the “50 Worst Music Videos Ever,” U.K. music mag NME gives Rebecca Black and her viral assault on music otherwise known as “Friday” the dubious top honor.

Though the list had its share of Brit-tastrophes, there is no shortage of American cheese. Some inclusions make absolute sense (Paris Hilton and Steel Panther, anyone?), though other artists who made the cut (Lady Gaga, Britney Spears) might cause more than a few internet mutinies.

Keep reading to see Black’s video and judge for yourself, then see which other guilty-pleasure highlights made the list: READ FULL STORY

Who is the greatest guitarist of all time? Prepare to be unsurprised!

For decades, the question of who exactly is the greatest guitarist of all-time has occupied countless music fans — if not drummers, like myself, who are usually too exhausted from doing all the real work to debate such an inconsequential matter.

Regardless, Rolling Stone has just released a new list which ranks history’s top 100 fretmeisters and which was voted on by a veritable army of guitarists including Billy Corgan, Eddie Van Halen, Alex Lifeson, Ritchie Blackmore, Mick Mars, Robbie Robertson, Melissa Etheridge, and Kirk Hammett.

The list is packed with what can only be described as the usual, legendary, suspects. Jimi Hendrix tops the 100 and he is very much not the only featured musician currently jamming at the great gig in the sky.

Indeed, while such young-ish turks as Slash, Jack White, Derek Trucks, and Radiohead‘s Jonny Greeenwood are included, the entire top ten is made up of either the deceased or guitarists who, with the arguable exception of Jeff Beck, haven’t recorded anything of real note in a long time.

Take a look at the list yourself by clicking here and tell us what you think. Does the 100 merely reflect the electorate’s own often very “venerable” nature or is the golden age of the great, innovative, guitar hero now just a distant memory? And who is your pick for the best guitarist of all-time?

Read more:
The best bassline of all time? One (silly) poll gives Muse’s ‘Hysteria’ the top spot
Our take on this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees: Should the Beastie Boys, Guns ‘N Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and others get in?
Slash talks about his tour with Ozzy, the search for Velvet Revolver’s singer, and Axl’s latest accolade
Keith Richards: Music’s most influential character?

The best bassline of all time? One (silly) poll gives Muse's 'Hysteria' the top spot

Earlier today, a link got passed around the EW music department that made everybody chuckle a little bit: an article that appeared on the website for venerable British music weekly NME, and declared “Muse’s ‘Hysteria’ voted best bassline of all time.”

That declaration came from another website called Music Radar, who held a poll that Muse fans obviously blitzed to push “Hysteria” to the top spot, beating out such iconic low-end parts as Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust,” Rush’s “YYZ,” and Pink Floyd’s “Money.” Honestly, we had trouble thinking of the bassline to “Hysteria,” and every time we thought we had it, we realized that we were thinking of the part from “Uprising.” Or “Time Is Running Out.”

The point is, they’ve got a ton of great songs with killer basslines (courtesy of four-stringer Chris Wolstenholme), and quite a few of them are way, way better than “Hysteria.” And in no way, shape, or form should Muse be considered better than Queen at anything, which is why a whole new list is necessary.

Being a bass player is tough, because you’re either playing stuff that nobody notices (95% of bassists fall into this category) or you’re being showy to the point of being obnoxious (the Les Claypools and Stings of the world). Being great requires incredible artistic balance (and quite a bit of manual dexterity), and it’s a very elusive sort of greatness.

So in addition to some of the clear winners on the Music Radar list — Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean,” David Bowie & Queen’s “Under Pressure,” Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Give It Away” — here are some other overlooked moments of low-end excellence. READ FULL STORY

What's on your workout playlist? For Michele Obama, it's a whole lot of Beyonce

It’s not exactly clear why the listening habits of political figures are so fascinating. But they are fascinating, aren’t they?

Thanks to inquiring minds, we now know that Barack Obama is into Lil Wayne and Bill Clinton has a weakness for Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel.”

The latest iPod revelation comes from First Lady Michelle Obama, who while promoting her “Let’s Move” campaign (which encourages young people to exercise and eat right), noted that when it comes to her own workouts, Beyoncé is tops.

“I always love Beyoncé, so anything that’s fast-paced that she’s doing is a good one for me,” the First Lady noted in response to a Twitter question during a video Q&A. “I have very eclectic taste, so my playlist on my iPod runs from fast-paced to a little more mellow.”

Of course, Bey’s “Move Your Body” is one of the big anthems for “Let’s Move,” and in the past has inspired both the First Lady’s Dougie and a Beyoncé-assisted flash mob. And if it’s a faster pace she’s looking for, it’s likely that Mrs. Obama’s favorite 4 tracks include “Countdown” and “Party.”

As somebody who is occasionally maniacal about working out, I can tell you that a gym-related playlist is pretty serious business. Some people prefer the adrenaline spike of hard rap or metal, while I’ve talked to others who prefer something they can get lost in (I knew one guy who swore that Air’s Moon Safari was the best workout album he had ever heard).

My personal playlist includes a lot of ’90s R&B, like Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” and Bel Biv Devoe’s “Poison.” However, when I get into really serious running, I end up listening to a lot of Guns N’ Roses and Eminem. In fact, looking at my workout playlists on my iPod, I see that the two most-played songs are both Slim Shady tunes: the Pink-assisted “Won’t Back Down” and the Ja Rule dis “Go to Sleep.”

So on this Friday, we here at the Music Mix wonder: What songs help you blast your glutes and push you through the end of that 5K? Leave your favorite workout tracks in the comments below.

Read more:
Beyoncé Leads the Bé-Boys in ‘Love On Top’: Watch it Here
Bill Clinton’s favorite music — check out his presidential playlist
Seth Meyers cracks up the White House Correspondents’ Dinner

U2, Rihanna, Amy Winehouse, Foo Fighters fill out VH1's '100 Greatest Songs of the '00s': An EW Exclusive!

While nobody seems to know exactly what to call the first decade of the 21st century (we refuse to say “the aughts” out of an unwillingness to sound like Grandpa Simpson), but it’s certainly safe to start collecting and collating 10 years’ worth of culture.

That’s exactly what VH1 is up to with their 100 Greatest Songs of the ’00s special, which counts down the finest tunes the post-Y2K era had to offer.

Last week, we pulled the curtain back on the first 11 songs on the list, and now we can exclusively reveal the full 100 (headed up by Beyoncé’s “Crazy in Love,” which is basically inarguable). Follow the jump for the complete list. READ FULL STORY

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