So Rolling Stone did one of their big ol' lists recently. Because, I guess, they hadn't done one in almost two issues.
Not that I object. I love Top Whatever lists. Love 'em. Fun to make, fun to fight over, fun to demonstrate my complete and total superiority on the subject. (Top Five Yak Herders All-Time? Don't even test me.)
But almost as good are the letters to the editor that tend to come flooding in afterwards. "How could you leave X off the list?" "What the--?! Y as your Number One choice? Are you insane?" Many of them make valid points. And even when they don't—"John Mayer is so much better than Jimi Hendrix!"—they're generally enjoyable. Because what's more pleasant than watching some idiot rant and spew spittle? I mean, isn't that why y'all keep coming back to Left of the Dial?
Predictably, the Rolling Stone list of The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time—which, perhaps in an attempt to disguise that it was yet another List, had as its judges not just its regular cadres of critics, but such luminaries as B.B. King, Steve Cropper, Keith Richards, Bruce Springsteen, James Hetfield and Paul Westerberg—drew just such responses. My favorite?
"The voters were distinguished, but I urge you to let the voters decide next time. How could a list of singers from the rock era exclude Grace Slick, Ann Wilson or Cat Stevens?"
The obvious answer: seriously? Are you kidding?
I'll give you the importance of Grace Slick and Ann Wilson, and I'll certainly grant you Wilson's pipes. But Cat Stevens? Cat Stevens?!
This is why I love Lists.
Which leads me to the following vidyo which pal Diana sent this to me. It's a collection of musicians from around the world singing the same song, and then mixed together. As flamboozled as I am by the notion that someone would seem to seriously consider Cat Stevens one of the all-time greats, I am even more overwhelmed by the beauty of things such as this.