139 unique records submitted; 14,000 votes cast. Here are the results of the 2011 Readers' Favorite Record Poll!

First, the top 20, as scored by the Elo ranking algorithm:

Rank Band Album Score Wins Ties Losses
1 Rolling Stones Exile On Main Street 1002 225 18 76
2 David Bowie Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars 925 243 15 31
3 Big Star #1 Record 891 166 22 43
4 Beatles Revolver 865 115 10 11
5 Talking Heads Stop Making Sense 854 201 21 45
6 Bob Dylan Highway 61 Revisited 851 212 21 38
7 Spoon Girls Can Tell 844 146 12 100
8 Talking Heads Remain In Light 842 240 9 30
9 Talking Heads The Name Of The Band Is Talking Heads 834 254 31 38
10 The Cure Staring at the Sea: The Singles 825 169 11 79
11 The Replacements Let It Be 815 117 11 34
12 Pavement Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain 811 135 11 94
13 Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here 805 70 9 24
14 The Smiths The Queen is Dead 799 162 15 117
15 Miles Davis Kind Of Blue 798 146 7 72
16 The White Stripes White Blood Cells 751 149 23 99
17 Husker Du New Day Rising 745 106 12 60
18 Yo La Tengo Elecr-O-Pura 744 93 15 42
19 Clash Sandinista! 730 173 11 61
20 REM Reckoning 720 191 23 80

Note that the Elo ranking system counts a win against a higher-ranked opponent as being worth more for your Score than beating a lower-ranked opponent; and a loss to a lower ranked opponent hurts your own Score more than a loss to a higher-ranked opponent. The change in Score is all about the relative rankings of the two competitors. In case you were wondering why the Wins and the Scores don't follow each other exactly. ..

And now, the top 20 based on number of Wins:

Rank Band Album Score Wins Ties Losses
1 Talking Heads The Name Of The Band Is Talking Heads 834 254 31 38
2 David Bowie Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars 925 243 15 31
3 Talking Heads Remain In Light 842 240 9 30
4 Rolling Stones Exile On Main Street 1002 225 18 76
5 Neil Young & Crazy Horse Rust Never Sleeps 629 220 22 67
6 Jimi Hendrix Electric Ladyland 678 220 11 71
7 R.E.M. Murmur 700 215 12 61
8 Beatles A Hard Day's Night 707 214 17 58
9 Bob Dylan Highway 61 Revisited 851 212 21 38
10 Rolling Stones Hot Rocks 1964-1971 464 211 18 71
11 Talking Heads Stop Making Sense 854 201 21 45
12 REM Reckoning 720 191 23 80
13 Beach Boys Pet Sounds 495 176 16 79
14 Radiohead OK Computer 659 174 20 74
15 Bob Dylan Blood On The Tracks 579 174 17 78
16 Clash Sandinista! 730 173 11 61
17 Neil Young Harvest 594 171 23 82
18 The Smiths Meat is Murder 500 171 14 92
19 Radiohead The Bends 536 169 18 71
20 The Cure Staring at the Sea: The Singles 825 169 11 79

More details to follow!

51 thoughts on “Done

  1. MikeJ

    Exile, Ziggy, and #1 record all came out in 1972.

    Here’s where the tippy top finishers wound up in Rolling Stone’s 500 best:
    7 Rolling Stones Exile On Main Street
    35 David Bowie Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars
    438 Big Star #1 Record
    3 Beatles Revolver
    345 Talking Heads Stop Making Sense
    4 Bob Dylan Highway 61 Revisited

  2. cleek

    multiples were:
    3x Talking Heads – The name of this band is..
    3x David Bowie – Ziggy Stardust
    2x Gang of Four – Entertainment!
    2x Radiohead – OK Computer
    2x Bob Dylan – Highway 61 revisited
    2x The Smiths – The Queen Is Dead
    2x Pavement – Wowee Zowee
    2x Big Star – #1 Record

    and, i just discovered that i Fucked Up and combined the one Big Star – Radio City entry with the two Big Star – #1 Record entries (sorry, pat m). so… ummm. it’s all voided ? wanna do it again? :)

  3. cleek

    that Spoon record really stands out in the first list: lots of losses.

    at vote 11000 or so, it had a score of 200-ish (which probably put its rank in the low 100’s). then it got a big burst of support towards the end, and climbed into the top 10.

    also, based on Wins, Revolver would be very low in the rankings (because it came in about 1/2-way through). but, based on Score, it makes the top 10.

    it’s all about who you beat.

    1. Mr. Blandings

      Interesting. The matchups really do overwhelm the win-loss record.
      Exile: 225-76-18, #1
      Hot Rocks: 211-71-18, #71

      Also, The Call, Reconciled: 48-125-3, #27

        1. Cris

          No no, I didn’t have five (only two of the bottom 15 were mine, to my surprise) — I was noting that the bottom five actually had a negative ELO. That’s ignominy.

          1. cleek

            i think in many real life, Elo systems, there’s a bottom limit (no negatives, for example).

            but one cool thing about this system is that the number of points in the system is constant; it’s the sum of the initial scores of each contestant (62690, in our case). after a match, points basically move from one contestant to the other.

            but if you stop a contestant from going below zero you are, in effect, adding points into the system (if A is supposed to go to -10, but you set it to 0, you’ve added 10 points into the system). and that causes … inflation (duh duh DUMMMM).

              1. cleek

                definitely agree with that #1.

                i hate it so much i can’t even laugh at it when i hear it – unlike some of the others on that list.

                  1. cleek

                    i liked 7 and 8.

                    and the Rick Astley thing has to be just Rickroll backlash. there are far worse songs than that.

                    (woah, diggin the stripes!)

  4. Parallel 5ths (Psychedelic Steel)

    I am surprised by Astral Weeks poor showing (92). It is the only unequivocal masterpiece I had on my list.*

    Is it that folks are unfamiliar with this album or they just don’t think it’s that good?

    *3 Feet High And Rising probably qualifies for the masterpiece list too but is a little over long and contains some chaff.

    1. cleek

      personally, i’m not that familiar with AW. i know i’ve heard it a few times, but i don’t own it.

      i gave it a loss or two, when it was up against something i absolutely knew i preferred, and a couple of wins when it was against something i absolutely don’t like. but mostly i just skipped it.

      3 Feet High And Rising is a tough one. like you said: chaff. the good stuff is great, but i find it hard to get through the whole thing without skipping 1/3 of the tracks.

      1. Parallel 5ths (Psychedelic Steel)

        Right, the stats bear that general pattern out.

        It’s one of the few records I feel no hesitation evangelizing on behalf of. I’m pretty sure it’s inaccurate to call it “rock” of any stripe. If anything it’s a jazz album. I encourage everyone to get a copy and find your way in.

      1. Parallel 5ths (Psychedelic Steel)

        Dude, my old business partner and I used to have to travel around the county on some days. He would drive and as we would chat he let that Three Mile Pilot album play. At first I was underwhelmed by its angular indie rock vibe. *yawn*

        After a couple of months some of those songs began invading my consciousness. I went out and bought the album and played it unto sick-of-it-ness. I think it still holds up magnificently after some 12 or 13 years. Big, beautiful orchestral gestures. Bass and keyboard driven rather than by guitars.

        Their bass player plays the bass the way I play classical guitar. Melody+ accompaniment+even counterpoint! He is a revelation to see live.

        1. cleek

          i like that 3 MP record. surprised i’ve never heard of them before.

          to me, they sound a lot like a less-metronomic Pinback – and i really like Pinback. i have no idea what to call the genre, tho. is that some “emo” variant ?

          1. Parallel 5ths (Psychedelic Steel)

            Yeah, Pinback is is fab. And metronomic, I agree. It sounds like they are trying to make a virtue of that click track. The Black Heart Procession also grew out of 3mp. I think their 2nd album is almost as good as Another Desert. They are comically goth.

            I’ve heard both Pinback and 3mp described as emo too. I’ve never liked one emo band (too old?) so I don’t know if this can be true.

      2. cleek

        i am happy!

        i certainly didn’t expect them to win, and i’m surprised they did as well as they did, in this.

        going to see them 11/11/11

  5. platosearwax

    I am surprised that I had a couple in the top ten and none in the bottom ten. I thought for sure Coil would end up there but perhaps it was my own voting that gave it a boost. I was surprised I guess that my Sisters of Mercy selection was my lowest ranking. I was blasting that in the car this week.

    Can we see who submitted what? I want to see if my guesses match reality.

        1. MikeJ

          I was actually pondering the list the other day and sort of mentally dividing it into body music and mind music. There are some head music bands I like, some quite a lot (Steely Dan for instance.) However, I tend to come down pretty heavily on the body end of the scale. Floyd isn’t really my cuppa. Some of it I appreciate, but don’t particularly like.

  6. Derek

    Can’t believe Kathleen Edwards did so poorly. Not sure if its because she’s Canadian and not as well known in the States, or whether you guys have heard her and just dont like her music?

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