(I wish I originally thought of this but I didn’t)
List your favorite record from every year you’ve been alive.
You can do it based purely on hindsight, or you can do it by listing the answer you would’ve given in that year (assuming you were aware of pop music at the time).
1977: Exodus – Bob Marley and the Wailers
1978: Here My Dear – Marvin Gaye
1979: Off the Wall - Michael Jackson
1980: Hotter than July – Stevie Wonder
1981: Controversy – Prince
1982: Thriller – Michael Jackson
1983: Madonna – Madonna
1984: Purple Rain – Prince and the Revolution
1985: Diamond Life – Sade
1986: Slippery When Wet – Bon Jovi
1987: Sign O’ The Times - Prince
1988: The Great Adventures of Slick Rick – Slick Rick
1989: Disintegration – The Cure
1990: People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm – A Tribe Called Quest
1991: The Low End Theory – A Tribe Called Quest
1992: Love Deluxe – Sade
1993: Midnight Marauders - A Tribe Called Quest
1994: Illmatic – Nas
1995: Jagged Little Pill – Alanis Morissette
1996: Reasonable Doubt – Jay-Z
1997: OK Computer – Radiohead
1998: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill – Lauryn Hill
1999: Bitter – Me’shell Ndegeocello
2000: Voodoo - D’Angelo
2001: The Blueprint - Jay-Z
2002: About a Boy soundtrack – Badly Drawn Boy
2003: Speakerboxxx/The Love Below – Outkast
2004: More Adventurous – Rilo Kiley
2005: Late Registration – Kanye West
2006: Rabbit Fur Coat – Jenny Lewis with The Watson Twins
2007: In Rainbows – Radiohead
2008 (so far): Third – Portishead
Ok, this was really fucking hard. Especially 1991-1997. I had to settle on picking on what was my favorite album ignoring albums that were clearly superior.
I was going to do a movie list but I don’t think I have it in me. This list took up most of my day and I’m really heartbroken about some of the cuts I had to make.
If you want to try it, my best advice is to use Wikipedia which lists every album released by year.