To me, when it comes to art there is no “best,” “better,” “greatest,” etc. It’s art, not a sporting event. People often refer to these lists as “clickbait” but publications like Rolling Stone were doing them long before the internet. Yes, they bring a lot of clicks and create debate but I don’t know that they’re clickbait. I always thought clickbait was an article with a deceiving headline that would prompt you to click on the article to read it. Also, some lists are based on radio airplay or sales, not what some writer considers their favorites. Prior to going online in the late 90’s I’d never made any sort of music based list. However, I’d read many lists in publications like Rolling Stone as well as The Book of Rock Lists by Dave Marsh and Kevin Stein. Once I did go online and joined some music based communities, I noticed that lots of members loved ranking albums, songs, concerts, etc. Only then, did I participate. Eventually, I grew tired of it. It seemed new again when FB came along. Then, I tired of it again.
I still haven’t read whatever Rolling Stone’s latest “greatest” list is. If I read any list it’s more apt to be from fellow music nerds but in all honesty, I skip over those the majority of the time as well. As mentioned previously, I do have favorites but as far as ranking albums, songs, etc. I haven’t done that in forever. A few years ago, I made a list of 100 of my favorite albums because I got tired of always having to leave so many of my favorite albums out when doing Top 10, Top 20, etc. lists. Even then, it’s only the first 25 or so albums that are listed in any sort of order. After that, they’re listed at random. Also, as soon as I posted the list I thought of a bunch more albums I should have included. Since posting, several albums have also been released that I feel would be worthy of inclusion but it’s doubtful I’ll ever make such a list again.