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Thread: Why do you rank?

  1. #1

    Why do you rank?

    This came up for me on another form where people are obsessively "ranking" King Crimson albums.

    Art is not a sport where one wins at the expense of another; it is not a zero-sum game. Why does Gentle Giant have to be "better" than King Crimson (or vice versa)? Is ITCOTKC objectively "better" or "worse" than , say, Islands or Discipline or LTIA? Can't I just say, it's all good, and enjoy it without having to rank-and-rate like they were employees and I had to decide on their bonuses/raises?

    I've been seeing rashes of this on PE over the years. One seems to be going on right now.

    Admittedly: One woman's mead is another woman's poisson. For example: I don't happen to like The Eagles - indeed, they are to me the distilled essence of everything bad in music. But millions of people take joy in their, uh, songs, so more power to them. Perhaps some of you take joy in applying silly arbitrary numeric values and treating art like a contest. I don't know.

    I just don't get it.
    Maka ki ecela tehani yanke lo!

  2. #2
    The eons are closing
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    Do you review books? Do you ever state your preference for certain of his/her work over others? Do you hold a novel/story above others as an 'example' of how it 'should' be?

    Ranking is only preference writ large.
    No one plans to take the path that brings you lower

  3. #3
    'aang 'hoot' Don Arnold's Avatar
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    I find ranking can be useful if I wish to pick up an album from a band that I'm not that familiar with (or, if I am familiar, already own one album and want to explore the band's discography further). Take the Pineapple Thief thread as an example. I have Dissolution which I really like, and would like to dive deeper into their catalogue. This thread can be a tool for me in choosing where I go next. Now, it's no absolute, because we're talking about other's subjective opinions. However, if one particular album gets ranked high multiple times, it will become a serious contender for my next purchase, especially if reasons given for the album being a favourite coincide with my tastes.

  4. #4
    Member since March 2004 mozo-pg's Avatar
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    We rank everything in life. music is no different. I know the mod's view threads with rankings a low priority. There is a separate thread on ranking but it's hardly used.
    What can this strange device be? When I touch it, it brings forth a sound.

  5. #5
    Why rank? Out of curiosity to see where peoples' tastes are in relation to my own. As a way to communicate and join in on the conversation. Not everyone is knowledgeable enough about music to join in a discussion technically describing and breaking down albums and songs. Not everyone has the ability or the inclination to write long album or concert reviews. Also it's not as if most of us can walk out in the street or go to work and find people with whom we can discuss progressive rock. Internet forums, and this forum in particular for us who don't use Facebook, are our only means to do this. If we had people to discuss this music with face to face in our lives there is a good chance we'd be sharing our rankings and preferences for albums and bands, so doing it on an Internet forum is an extension of and a substitution for that.

  6. #6
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mozo-pg View Post
    We rank everything in life.
    SOME people do. Others of us don't see the point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sturgeon's Lawyer
    I've been seeing rashes of this on PE over the years.
    SOME people have too much time on their hands, and have run out of things to say about Yes and Genesis and Rush.

  7. #7
    This thread is a six.

  8. #8
    ^^A six? Where does it rank up against the Rush songs ranked thread?

  9. #9
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    This is my #5 Least Favorite thread so far.

    Seriously though, I have grown tired of some of the Prog groups I joined on Facebook because of the constant stream of posts asking people say what their favorite Song by such and such band is, or their favorite band besides Marillion is, etc.

  10. #10
    Pikachupacabra spellbound's Avatar
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    I prefer reviews to rankings. Both are opinions, but I get more information from a review. If you are familiar with a reviewer, you can get even more information. For example, I know what a local movie reviewer likes and dislikes and why, so I can even tell which movies he dislikes that I will like, and vice versa. Also, he gives reasons for panning or glorifying a movie, while not including spoilers. Anyone can rank things according to their own preference, but their preference is likely to be different than someone else's. You can have consensus rankings that supposedly average all the individual rankings, but I'm not really a consensus guy. These days, many forums have a large TLDR audience, hence the popularity of rankings.

    I have a music collection, but I have never ranked albums by an individual artist. Never really thought about it.
    Can this be the swan song? The final elbow?

  11. #11
    Member Camelogue's Avatar
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    7th least favorite thread.

  12. #12
    I will try to take this another way.

    I find that for many of the bands I'm into, there is one album that does it for me. Whether it is Dark Matter by IQ or The Visitor by Arena, or whatever. At that point I am constantly trying to find the album that recreates that feeling. I tend to rank the other albums by how much they inspire the same passion as that holy-grail album.

    It is why ranking Neil Young is silly to me, because I have different emotions about the entire collection and I can't really compare them. But yet, I could put together a ranking of The Kinks because there are eras I like more than others and a holy-grail in each era for me (Something Else By and Give The People What They Want).

  13. #13
    Member since March 2004 mozo-pg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    SOME people do. Others of us don't see the point.

    Like YOU ranked Bladerunner 2049 as the top ten movies you've ever seen in another thread.
    What can this strange device be? When I touch it, it brings forth a sound.

  14. #14
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Busted

  15. #15
    Now this thread is an eight.

  16. #16
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    I have grown tired of some of the Prog groups I joined on Facebook because of the constant stream of posts asking people say what their favorite Song by such and such band is, or their favorite band besides Marillion is, etc.
    This is a symptom of today's social media culture. Selfies, blogs, lists, followers, likes, Nosedive. It *looks* a little bit like communication, but in reality it's all about endlessly telling the world about yourself, obsessively, narcissistically. It reminds me of looking in the toilet before you flush.

  17. #17
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sturgeon's Lawyer View Post
    This came up for me on another form where people are obsessively "ranking" King Crimson albums.

    Art is not a sport where one wins at the expense of another; it is not a zero-sum game. Why does Gentle Giant have to be "better" than King Crimson (or vice versa)? Is ITCOTKC objectively "better" or "worse" than , say, Islands or Discipline or LTIA? Can't I just say, it's all good, and enjoy it without having to rank-and-rate like they were employees and I had to decide on their bonuses/raises?

    I've been seeing rashes of this on PE over the years. One seems to be going on right now.

    Admittedly: One woman's mead is another woman's poisson. For example: I don't happen to like The Eagles - indeed, they are to me the distilled essence of everything bad in music. But millions of people take joy in their, uh, songs, so more power to them. Perhaps some of you take joy in applying silly arbitrary numeric values and treating art like a contest. I don't know.

    I just don't get it.
    We get paid to fill out surveys.

  18. #18
    Member Garyhead's Avatar
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    I agree with the OP. I do not feel the need to "Rank" or "list" groups / songs / books.... They are all just opinions....either mine or someone elses. I look at a bands output as I would look at an authors....they are telling a story....sometimes it a sequel, sometimes is a completely new story.

    Some folks can't help themselves....take the Rolling Stones 2019 thread....it started out about the tour / MJ's health concerns then devolved into a series of lists and rankings of 50+ years of output. Maybe some folks can't make it to live gigs....don't have a budget to purchase media and feel like the only way they can contribute to a thread is to make endless lists / rankings..... It's one of the endless aspects of PE.....Like Yes & Genesis Threads......

    I sure wish we could personally "Block" Threads on here.....The "Chaff" is starting to pile up among the diminishing Wheat of informative / entertaining Threads. Again, thats my Opinion!
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  19. #19
    Member Staun's Avatar
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    Hey, I don't rank. I took a shower this morning
    The older I get, the better I was.

  20. #20
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    I used to like lists, creating them and arguing about them. But my enthusiasm has somewhat waned over the years. We've done just about every conceivable list on PE several times over. The Rush list is kinda fun because the writer really screwed up (IMHO).
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

  21. #21
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    I'm a hardcore ranker.
    Prog's Not Dead

  22. #22
    I don't have a favorite, I have many favorites. I could never compile a Top Ten, or even a Top Hundred. I like something or I don't; anything beyond that is a waste of my time.

  23. #23
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    This is a symptom of today's social media culture. Selfies, blogs, lists, followers, likes, Nosedive. It *looks* a little bit like communication, but in reality it's all about endlessly telling the world about yourself, obsessively, narcissistically. It reminds me of looking in the toilet before you flush.
    I think you are on to something there.

  24. #24
    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mozo-pg View Post
    We rank everything in life. music is no different. I know the mod's view threads with rankings a low priority. There is a separate thread on ranking but it's hardly used.
    To clarify, Sean is fond of saying that list threads are not “front page news”, but not low priority. I like list threads personally, though it’s often better when there is some substance to them as well. I’ve often gotten recommendations from such threads, which is a part of what this site is about.
    WANTED: Sig-worthy quote.

  25. #25
    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sturgeon's Lawyer View Post
    Admittedly: One woman's mead is another woman's poisson. For example: I don't happen to like The Eagles - indeed, they are to me the distilled essence of everything bad in music.
    I’m going to reply in spite of the fact that I enjoy The Eagles.

    But millions of people take joy in their, uh, songs, so more power to them. Perhaps some of you take joy in applying silly arbitrary numeric values and treating art like a contest. I don't know.

    I just don't get it.

    Thank you for sharing your point of view.

    Let me put it this way, it’s just a discussion tool and a boredom exercise. I don’t see it as treating art like a contest. Frankly I find that kind of thinking pretentious. It’s just music after all.

    The longest running thread on this site is a word association thread. Are we devaluing the “art” by trivializing it down to some stupid exercise? FWIW, I don’t participate in that thread, but it’s just a fun exercise for many.

    But while lists can be an exaggeration, we all come to this site and discuss music through the lens of what we like and what we don’t. Should we eliminate any discussion that starts with “so what’s your favorite album by ____” because it risks devaluing art?
    WANTED: Sig-worthy quote.

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