I've posted previously about Rate Your Music's nice feature that allows you to customize charts. It's cool enough that it's worth revisiting. A commenter inquired a while ago about my top 500 songs of the 1980s list. It didn't have the pop music the commenter was looking for. I had, myself, commented on the way that a lot of hardcore unexpectedly rose to the top of that list. I know it's a minority opinion that hardcore punk was among the best and most lasting contributions to music in the 80s, but what if we take that as a given? Did my list at least match the opinions of others who rate hardcore highly?
Here's a chart I made, with the make your own chart feature. Instead of just having albums or singles or eps on the chart, I chose the "everything" options. I decided to limit it to the 1980s for comparison with my own 80s list. I selected the genre "hardcore punk". We just called it hardcore in the 80s, but I guess other people have called other subgenres hardcore this or hardcore that, so I'm forced to use the term "hardcore punk" even though that term was never ever in use in my recollection. It sounds dorky. I also selected on ratings by users from the United States.
Here's the top 10 as of October 21st, 2012
1. Misfits - Misfits
2. Minor Threat - Complete Discography
3. Minor Threat - Minor Threat (1984 compilation with 12 songs)
4. Dead Kennedys - Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables
5. Black Flag - The First Four Years
6. Minor Threat - Minor Threat (1981 ep with 8 songs)
7. Dead Kennedys - Holiday in Cambodia/Police Truck
8. Husker Du - Zen Arcade
9. Descendants - Two Things at Once
10. Misfits - Legacy of Brutality
It was really interesting to see that 4 of the top 5 releases and 6 of the top 10 are compilations. I think that reflects the uneven nature of hardcore releases and also the difficulty in obtaining some of the rarer singles, such that "best of" collections are necessary if you want all the best songs.
Apparently I left the Misfits off of my 1980s list. It's possible I got confused about what was really released in the late 70s versus the early 80s and inadvertently left them off of both lists, or its possible that I just forgot about them because I wasn't really into them during the 1980s. It was an oversight. It happens.
Minor Threat's Salad Days comes in at #3 on my 80s list and Minor Threat's Minor Threat comes in at #43, coming in outside of the top 40 only because of my one-song-per-band-inside-the-top-40 rule. The DK's Holiday in Cambodia is at #25 on my list, and Husker Du's Zen Arcade include my #1 song of the 1980s, Turn on the News.
Black Flag's "TV Party" made my top 100, but not my top 40. The Descendants, like the Misfits, got left off of my list. I can see now that the problem is that I've never gotten around to copying Two Things at Once into my iTunes library, which is the starting point of all my lists. I'll fix that today.
My list had the Bad Brains "I Against I" at #5. Although the Bad Brains, in general, do well on the Rate Your Music list, coming in at #11 with their 1982 release and #28 with their 1983 release, their 1985 release on which "I Against I" is the title track is all the way down at #92.
The Minutemen are lower than I think they ought to be at Rate Your Music, and I'm disappointed the Rat Music for Rat People compilation (including my #19 song "Cheap Tragedies" by the Avengers) doesn't show up. I was pleased, on the other hand, to see the Repo Man soundtrack at #25 at Rate Your Music.
Government Issue had 3 songs on my top 500, but none in the top 100, so maybe it's fitting that they don't show up until #255 on the Rate Your Music list. I'm guessing the rankings down that low are more volatile than the rankings at the top, so don't be surprised if it's no longer at #255 if you look for it yourself.
What's that? You aren't going to look yourself? OK - fine, but you should still make your own chart. It's fun, and it's easy.