These are my current favorite 100 albums!
I used to do this every two years, but I skipped 2014 because I didn’t think the list would look much different than 2012’s. Initially I was thinking the same thing about this year, but there are a few new records in there and there’s been a lot of movement. So, let’s do it!
They were chosen from a pool of 160+ albums which was made up of the winners from the 2012 list, plus things I’ve discovered since then, and additionally any records that I thought needed to be given a chance.
From that pool, I did four rounds of pairwise voting. First round was all 160+, randomly paired. Then, I ranked all entries by win-loss record, and eliminated all records with a record of -5 or worse. This left 112 entries. These were then paired randomly for a few hundred votes. The votes from that were used to generate an Elo score for each. Then, a few hundred votes where records were paired against records with similar Elo scores. And then another few hundred votes with the ‘similarity’ criteria tightened up. 2000 votes total. The selection algorithm would, every so often, choose the record with the fewest matches to be in the next match, to ensure that all records got plenty of action.
They’re ranked either in order of “which would I rather hear right now” or “which is objectively better” – whichever I felt like using at the time. Yes, that’s right, I can judge music objectively; I’m special like that.
As soon as I hit that 2000th vote and looked at the results, I was dismayed to discover that a bunch of perennial favorites didn’t make it (Revolver? Rubber Soul? The Replacements’ Let It Be? and Pleased To Meet Me?). Worse, upon checking, I discovered these weren’t even in the pool to begin with. I guess I assumed they must’ve been in the 2012 winners and didn’t bother to check. Oh well. I’m not going to do it all again for a few records that, frankly, would probably end up in the bottom half anyway.
Unlike last time, I’m not going to say anything about them for the first few batches. What’s left to say?
And here they are…