Saturday, January 2, 2010

Top Albums of the Decade Stats

Happy 2010 everyone. To celebrate, I'm giving you all some statistics.

I'm a little (read: very) nerdy when it comes to numbers and stuff. So I naturally made a spreadsheet of my 150 favorite albums, on which I tracked the year of release, record label, country of origin, and general genre of each album. (Yes, it took a while, and, yes, this is why I might not have done so well on those exams.) So anyways, here's the information I gathered. I think it's interesting...

First, I looked at what years the albums on the list came out in. I also took the average placing on the list for each year, which is semi-irrelevant but interesting nonetheless.

Year: # of albums from year (average placement on list)
2000: 15 (44.9)
2001: 12 (71.1)
2002: 14 (70.9)
2003: 19 (83.2)
2004: 14 (69.3)
2005: 12 (92.3)
2006: 13 (72.6)
2007: 16 (79.5)
2008: 16 (82.6)
2009: 19 (81.2)

We see here that 2009 and 2003 were the best represented on my list with 19 albums each, but 2009 actually takes the cake with the better average placement. But I'm gonna give best year of music to 2000 due to that crazy-low average. Also, five albums from 2000 cracked my top 20, including three in the top 10. The worst year: 2005 by a landslide.

Next, I looked at the record label that each album was released on. This stat was interesting and factored into my choices for My Favorite Labels of The Decade list. There were a ton of different labels represented, but I'll only list the ones with at least three albums on my list.

Label name: # of albums on list
Warp: 7
Domino: 7
DFA: 5
Fat Cat: 4
Kranky: 4
Carpark: 4

The following labels all had 3:
Rough Trade, Interscope, Matador, Merge, Parlophone, Mute, Sub Pop, Tomlab, Kill Rock Stars, Drag City, Hyperdub, Southern Lord

This data makes pretty good sense. I went into this knowing I liked DFA, Warp, Domino, and Fat Cat, and, well, this data proves that.

Next, I looked at country of origin. Granted, I knew that most of the albums were American and the largest minority would be those from England. But I thought it'd be interesting to crunch the numbers nonetheless.

Country: # of albums on list (percentage of total)
USA: 89 (59.3%)
England: 29 (19.3%)
Canada: 11 (7.3%)

The rest of the albums (129 or 14%) came from the following countries:
France, Finland, Belgium, Norway, Germany, Iceland, Whales, Japan, Scotland, Austria, Sweden, Australia

No real surprises here. Most of the music I'm exposed to is from America. It probably has something to do with my being from America.

Next, I looked at the genres of each album. I understand that genre is frequently impossible to define, so I made very very general bubbles in which to put the albums. Those bubbles were: Rock/Pop/Folk, which is basically anything semi-conventional that uses guitars and stuff; Electronic/Dance/Pop, which is basically anything semi-conventional that uses synthesizers and computers and stuff; Urban, which is anything hip-hop, funk, or R&B (I hate to lump these together, but I just don't have too much of this stuff, and I wanted to be very general); and Experimental, which is anything that doesn't fit into any of the other categories and isn't too conventional. So here it is.

Genre: # of albums (percent)
Rock/Pop/Folk: 61 (40.7%)
Electronic: 39 (26%)
Experimental: 34 (22.7%)
Urban: 16 (10.7%)

Not a big surprise. I've loved rock and rock-oriented music most throughout this whole decade, but I've recently been loving electronic and experimental more and more. I really like hip-hop and soul, but I'm not exposed to it as much, so I don't buy many albums.

As far as artists go, I just counted which artists have the most albums on the list.

Artist name: # of albums on list
Animal Collective: 5
Dirty Projectors: 4
The White Stripes: 3
TV On The Radio: 3
Liars: 3
The Books: 3

No other band got three, and there are too many with two for me to list them. (I just used three different spellings of the same word in one sentence. Neat.) Seeing Animal Collective at the top is no surprise, and seeing those other groups following AC isn't much of a surprise either.

Well. I'm not sure that was worth making a whole spreadsheet, but I think it's pretty darn interesting, and I hope you do, too.

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