Pop Goes the Library

Using Pop Culture to Make Libraries Better.

by Sophie Brookover, Liz Burns, Melissa Rabey, Susan Quinn, John Klima, Carlie Webber, Karen Corday, and Eli Neiburger. We're librarians. We're pop culture mavens. We're Pop Culture Librarians.


Best albums of the decade: What do you own?

My favorite New York radio station, 92.3 K-Rock, is holding an online battle for the best albums of the decade so far. Of course, a rock station is going to have a very different opinion on what the best albums of the decade are so far than a Top 40 or a country station would, but there's an important point here: These are albums that make up the hard rock/metal canon of 2000-2010 (with a little alternative thrown in), and the top vote-getters are probably good bets for libraries to buy if you don't already own them. As of the writing of this post there are 150 albums up for voting. If I could only buy five of them for my library, I'd pick:

Stadium Arcadium by the Red Hot Chili Peppers
Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace by the Foo Fighters
American Idiot by Green Day
Hot Fuss by the Killers
How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb by U2

Are these my personal favorites from the list? No, save for Stadium Arcadium, but they are the ones with wide appeal, good reviews, Grammy nominations and wins, and the ones with the songs the average radio listener is likely to recognize and therefore request from the library. As rock fans look back on the 1990s and remember albums like Nevermind, Metallica, Automatic for the People, Ten, and The Downward Spiral, these are five albums that I think will be remembered a decade from now.

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  • At 12:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    When I lived in the New York area (up until 1991) K-Rock was all "classic rock" and pretty much would have ranked Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti as the best album of the decade, any decade. I'm glad too see that they allow more recent music for airplay now.

  • At 3:26 PM, Blogger andrew the a/v guy said…

    A nice list, and I'd agree a good place to measure how the library collection is meeting the needs of our rockers.

    It would be tough for me to compile a top five, but I would include Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory, currently # 6 on K-Rock's list. It has hits, hooks, meshed rock & rap (that's nu-metal, so they tell me), and won a Grammy although that doesn't mean much to most music listeners. I recently discovered that the CD had a hold list of over 30 patrons on our two remaining (and battered) copies, not bad for an 8-year old release.

  • At 5:53 PM, Blogger Eri said…

    Weird Al Yankovic:
    Poodle Hat.
    Straight Outta Lynnwood

    If all the world listened to more parody, there would never be any more war.

  • At 8:24 PM, Blogger Lazygal said…

    I'm really surprised: working in a school, I've never heard students excited over a specific album (they are excited about, and share, songs). As for me, I don't know if I could name one album released since 2000... I must know some, but the title/artist escape me. Perhaps this is indicative of the future of music?


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