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Do stats equate to classicness (if there is such a word - and there probably isn't), though?
Kenny G's Breathless shifted 12 million units while the Velvet Underground's first album sold by the handful. I'd like to think that most of us would point to The VU & Nico as being the classic of the pair.
Well.. we can each have our own personal favourites and classics, but we can also accept that certain ones can count as a classic, even if we personally don't rate them, just on account of their popularity and influence. Call it two different types of classics, if you will, but either is fair enough in context. Tapestry is one of he best selling records of all time, and it's Billboard listings are second only to Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon. I don't think it's unfair to call it a classic - even though I personally wasn't that enamoured of it.
I agree it has to go beyond a question of taste, and for that matter, quality.
I think there are various different types of classic
1) The impact record: Let's take Never Mind the Wotsits - a country mile short of being the best of its genre and era but it had such a seismic effect that it's impossible to ignore.
2) The hit record: Something so undeniably wonderful that the whole world gets it and buys into it - Sergeant Pepper, Dark Side, Ziggy Stardust and Bat Out of Hell are all good examples.
3) The seminal record: Rarely big sellers at the outset but things that influence other musicians for decades to come - Kind of Blue, The VU and Nico, Unknown Pleasures.
4) The cult classic: Records that never really sell in quantity but are adored by the relatively small portion of people that know them across the generations - Nick Drake's Bryter Layter is a fine example, it makes me really happy every time I come across a 20-something who has just fallen in love with it for the first time.
5) The ephemeral hit: A sub-set of #2 which is where it seems to belong for a while but time isn't terribly kind to it. Yes, it's good and it spends a fair old period on the best-seller list but it hasn't quite got enough going on to attract the attention of subsequent generations and it ultimately becomes something of a staple at car-boot sales. I'd probably place Tapestry in that category along with anything by The Police or Oasis.
I'm not sure I could come up with 1000 albums at all, without having to browse though my collections (plastic and electrons).
No order, but:
Pink Floyd: Dark side of the moon
Mike Oldfield: Tubular bells
AC/DC: Highway to Hell
Iron Maiden: The Number of the Beast
The Wailers: Catch a Fire
Queen: A Night at the Opera
Jimi Hendrix: Electric Ladyland
Patti Smith: Horses
The Band: The Last Waltz
Jimmy Scott: The Definitive Someone to Watch Over Me
Blue Oyster Cult: Agents of Fortune
Laurie Anderson: Big Science
... Maybe I could get to 1000 ...
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Other than a PJ Harvey one or two, I can't think of many this century that I'd rate as "classic". Trouble is, to us old timers, we really have heard it all before. This maybe why I listen to Asian (Japanese and Korean) rock nowadays more than any other when I want something refreshing - even if it's still just rock, they bring a different energy to it. There really isn't much "Western" music that does it for me these days. PJ, as I mentioned... and Deerhoof... there are a few others, but although I like them none of their stuff can really be called "classic" (yet).