Pretty Much Pop #115: So-Called Greatest Albums

How does canonization work in popular music? Is Rolling Stone’s 500 Best Albums of All Time list just a modest record of the favorite albums of people associated with Rolling Stone? Is it a statement of what “experts” in popular music enjoy? Does it reflect English-American popularity, and what responsibility to list-makers have to experience and include world music, indie music, and other music by those not powerful enough to have promotional backing?

Mark is joined by  journalist Noah Berlatsky (who just published The Best Greatest Albums of All Time Ever), musical artist Mobley, and The Hustle podcast host Jon Lamoreaux to discuss the album as a format, music curation, the subjectivity of taste, and our childhood love affairs with particular albums.

We refer to this 2017 NPR list of 150 greatest albums by women. There’s also a greatest albums list by PopVortex.

Follow my guests @mobleywho, @thehustlepod, and @nberlat.

Hear Noah on PMP#36 on criticism, and hear Jon on PMP#99 on the music of your youth.

The supporter version of this episode includes our bonus aftershow featuring all of our guests. Get it at, or now you can sign up directly via Apple Podcasts for a subscription for ad-free and bonus material for three of Mark’s podcasts together on the Mark Lintertainment Podcasts Channel.

This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network and is curated by

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