It is, like all such lists, deeply flawed, and there’s always the suspicion that there are criteria other than musical merit for the ranking. (There is, for example, no planet in this solar system where Pink Floyd and the Dixie Chicks have comparable musical importance.)
For those who asked, or will ask:
- Number of these I have: 47
- Number of the top 10 I have: 7
- Earliest: Frank Sinatra, In the Wee Small Hours (1954)
- Latest: Shania Twain, Come On Over (1997)
- Most embarrassing revelation: I originally wrote down for “Latest” Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill (1995), then sorted the list by date to be sure, and: “Wait a minute. Do I have that damn Shania album?”
Also, anybody who prefers Sparkle to Young, Gifted and Black doesn’t know squat about Aretha. I’m just saying.