The greatest?

I’m often puzzled by discussions about the “greatest” band of all time, or the “best” guitarist/drummer/bassist/etc., or the “top ten” albums, and in general with the obsession with ranking everything.

When it comes to music, I have my preferences like everyone of course, but I often have troubles defining what I love “best” or what I find to be the “greatest”. I’ve found that for me, it varies greatly with time and mood.

I have spent most of my life listening to all sorts of music in various phases, and if I’ve started by listening classical music, then rock, then hard rock, then punk, then blues, then pop, then folk, then progressive rock, then jazz-rock fusion, then jazz, then classic rock, then ambient, then… I have a hard time listing them all and in a specific order - let alone ranking these genres.

It might come from the fact that I had most of my musical awakening in the seventies, where eclectism was the norm, and also the fact that I wanted to be a session musician and wanted to be able to play in any style, so I studied them all and I tried to absorb as much as I could from any style: I was a musical glutton, and it helped me shape my own music I believe.

Today it would seem like everyone is obsessed with ranking, and I wonder: does music really needs to be a competition?

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