Best, Top & Greatest Lists

What do you think when you see an article or post that begins with:

What do words such as “best” and “greatest” even mean in this context? No matter what sort of list somebody compiles, it’s for certain that you’ll read the list and think one (or more) of the following:

“There’s no way _____ belongs on that list!”

“How the heck did they forget about _____?”

These lists are designed for one of two purposes. Either they are going with the most popular, best known, most favorite, or highest-selling names (artists, bands, songs, albums, concerts, tours, festivals — take your pick), or they are just trying to drive readership. And ranked lists? Incredibly subjective. Because we ALL are.

“Man, can you believe what Ruling Stooge wrote about female singers?”

Let’s just take these lists as jumping-off points for great discussion. For example, those lists of the greatest guitarists in rock. If you were to compare five of those lists from different publications, they would all differ a good bit, at least after Hendrix (who shouldn’t count since he was clearly an extraterrestrial). There are millions of incredible guitarists all over the globe, past and present. How many of these three dozen have you seen? Know about? Heard of?

Ollie Halsall, Adam November, Danny Kalb, Ellen McIlwayne, Charlie Hunter, John Cipollina, David Michael, Robben Ford, Shawn Kellerman, Charlie Hitchcock, Gary Kurz, Coco Montoya, Willis Gore, April Lawton, Danny Gatton, Kelly Rickey, Rodrigo, Mickey Jones, Gabriela, Eddie Hazel, Marcus Rezak, Bobby Lee Rodgers, Pete Carr, Ryan Liatsis, Eric McFadden, David Vega, Chuck Garvey, T.J. Parker, Fareed Haque, Blackbyrd McKnight, Matt Jalbert, Fuzz, Al Schnier, D.J. Williams, Ernie Isley, Scott Hachey, Jahlonious Monk

See what we mean? And that’s just one quick list. So enjoy your Top-10 and Best-Ever lists, but don’t take them too seriously!

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