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Apple Music launches a top 100 Best Albums list guaranteed to be controversial

Apple Music's 100 Best Albums microsite

Starting Monday, Apple Music is unveiling its countdown of the best 100 albums as selected by its team plus artists and industry professionals.

It's not as if Apple Music's list of the best albums is likely to end with Apple apologizing for them as it has with the "Crush" ad. But it's certain to be heavily criticized for it, in part because all such lists are, and partly because of what it has already revealed about the list.

"100 Best brings together all the things that make Apple Music the ultimate service for music lovers," Rachel Newman, Apple Music's senior director of content and editorial, said in a statement, "human curation at its peak, an appreciation for the art of storytelling, and unparalleled knowledge of music and an even deeper love for it."

"We have been working on this for a very long time, and it's something we are all incredibly proud of and excited to share with the world," she continued.

In revealing the first ten from the list — numbers 100 down to 91 — Apple Music has also given an idea of just where its tastes lie. Seven of the this first ten are albums from the 21st century, two from the 1990s, just a single one from the 1970s, and none from the 1980s.

"Putting this list together was a true labor of love, both in that it was incredibly difficult to do and in that we are all so passionate about it," Zane Lowe, Apple Music's global creative director and lead anchor for Apple Music 1 said . "We were tasked with selecting the 100 best — that's practically mission impossible."

"But as music fans, it was also amazing to really take a minute and sit and think about the music and albums and artists that we love so much in this context," he continued. "If this list sparks more debate among fans outside of Apple Music and gets people talking passionately about the music they love, then we've done what we set out to do."

It's not as if this is uncharted territory. BBC Radio got listeners to vote on a top 100, for instance, and Rolling Stone regularly updates its top 500.

But Apple Music's version is being teased out daily on a dedicated micro site. It's presumably done this so that non-subscribers can see the list and argue about it too.

For now, the rows can start over how number 100 is Robyn's Body Talk. Hotel California by the Eagles just beats it at 999, while George Michael's Listen without Prejudice vol 1 is at 91. For the full list, Apple wants you to check today and daily until May 22, 2024.