No matter what the subject, counting down the top 10, 25, 100 best of anything will always lead to dispute. I’ve always tried to remind myself that “good” music is relative. Ask any number of people who they think is the greatest artist of all time and you’re sure to get just as many responses. Being more of a country music guy, I’m not a huge fan of Fifty Cent, but I have to admit, you will find some of his stuff on my iPod. I can appreciate all types of music from rock, pop, rap and even a little techno. So why can’t one of America’s leading authorities in the music business show country some love?
Rolling Stone magazine recently published their list of the 100 Greatest Debut Albums of All Time, featuring artists from almost every genre imaginable. Legends such as Jimi Hendrix, Run DMC and The Beatles all rightfully made the list. Even some of today’s artists like Lady Gaga were well represented and as mentioned above, Fifty Cent’s Get Rich or Die Tryin’ makes the cut at #67. But according to Rolling Stone, no artist in country music was worthy of such an honor. Here comes the dispute.
In 1989, Garth Brooks released his debut, self-titled album. It featured 10 tracks including two chart-topping singles in “If Tomorrow Never Comes” and what many still consider his greatest hit, “The Dance.” The album itself reached #2 on the Billboard country charts, and since its release has been certified Diamond (10 million copies sold). Surely, Rolling Stone couldn’t have simply overlooked one of the biggest albums in history from the face of an entire genre. They simply chose to ignore it. I can’t say where on the list of 100 Greatest Debut Albums Garth Brooks should have landed, I just know it deserves to be there, and there’s no dispute about that.
Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Debut Albums