Thursday, March 17, 2016

Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums and Songs of All Time

Below is an interactive visualization of the Rolling Stone Magazine's Greatest 500 Songs and Albums. You can type in an artist's name in the Search Artist Box in the middle of the left hand side to filter the results. If you click on an artist, it will highlight their work in the graph and show you their albums and songs appearing on the list. You can also narrow down the results by clicking on an album or song. You can refresh the page to start over or there are also undo and reset buttons on the bottom left. You can switch to the Greatest 500 Albums section by using the gray box or arrow above the chart.

 There are two big spikes on the chart of the Greatest 500 Songs of All Time. The first is during the mid to late 50s as rock and roll was in its infancy led by American artists like Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, and Buddy Holly. The biggest concentration of songs on the list were in the 60s and early 70s led by the British Invasion with artists like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Animals, and the Who. On the chart of the Greatest 500 Albums, there is a noticeable concentration of albums from the mid-60s through the 70s as artists started pushing the envelope with albums. Rolling Stone Magazine has this to say about the Beatles' Rubber Soul released in 1965:
You can say this represents "maturity," call it "art" or credit it for moving rock away from singles to album-length statements — but regardless Rubber Soul accelerated popular music's creative arms race, driving competitors like the Stones, the Beach Boys and Dylan to dismantle expectations and create new ones.
Bob Dylan released rock and roll's first double album, Blonde on Blonde, a year later in 1966. Also in 1966, the Beach Boys released their concept album, Pet Sounds. There were many other notable concept albums released in that era such as the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Who's rock opera, Tommy, Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, and David Bowie's The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars.

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