I notice that my friend Matt Gallagher has posted his top 20 albums for the last year so I thought I would take a look at my Last.fm charts and do the same. On that page you can see a list of all 299 albums I have listened to at least one track from over the last year and below are my top ten:
- Jake Shimabukuro – Peace Love Ukulele
- James Hill – Man With A Love Song
- Lucy Van Dael – CORELLI: Violin Sonatas Nos. 1-6, Op. 5
- Nova Schola Gregoriana – Gregorian Chant For Meditation
- Rend Collective Experiment – Homemade Worship By Handmade People
- The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain – The Secret of Life
- AC/DC – For Those About to Rock We Salute You
- Renaud García-Fons – Méditerraneées
- Lyle Ritz – How About Uke?
- Joni Mitchell – Blue
Given that this has been the year I took up the ukulele (about a year ago in fact) it isn’t surprising that a number of uke albums are in the chart (#1, #2, #6 and #9). Most of the others are albums I’ve either bought or been given. I like to familiarise myself with new albums and burn them into my mind by repeated listening.
It does reveal a weakness of the methodology though. The violin sonatas rise up the list because each individual track is short; I’ve only picked the album as a whole a couple of times. I’ve listened to some of the albums in the Steve Lawson / Daniel Berkman Fingerpainting set more than that but they suffer on track count because they average about 6 tracks rather than 30 per individual album and, to some extent, should probably be considered as one large album with separate disks; they would be much nearer the top on either listening time or sensible grouping as influences on the metrics.
Then again, even more “accurate” stats still wouldn’t capture the level on influence, how often a song or phrase comes to mind. A chart will take you only so far in understanding (but, nonetheless, is interesting for some measure of comparision).