The concept of rating albums and comparing it to others..

The Nomad

This is something I personally find a bit inappropriate for the following reasons..
In this age we have lived in for well over a decade where most of us have the songs on our computers and portable players, where we can make a playlist of songs we want to listen and the ones that we don't I find the concept of 'rating an album' when it's done with the purpose of comparing it to another album strange.

When I first started listening to Maiden I listened to a list of songs scattered throughout their discography recommended by people on forums. When using this particular listening method, it feels by comparing albums you do injustice to entire albums that are branded sour and bad because of a few stinkers. Every album has this, almost. Even NotB and Powerslave which is mostly filler and bad noise in my opinion. I think judging albums on their entirity and comparing it to others may sour your experience and view of Maiden's catalogue.

If I can give an example, when I think of the SsoaSs album the thoughts that come to my mind is that it's badass and deep, when you have songs like SsoaSs, The Clairvoyant and Only the Good Die Young. Then there's the fact that the album art and cover is legendary iconic, a pretty sight to look at.
But then I am reminded that I dislike quite a few songs of that album, like Moonchild, Can I Play, Infinite Dreams and The Prophecy. My dislike for these songs is at such a level that it may make me brand the album as mostly bad. But by doing this you subliminally label the good songs as bad as well. A few lackluster songs tarnish the reputation of an entire album.
But because I find the song SsoaSs such a monstrously great song I tend to label the album a masterpiece. Just cause of that song alone. Going by this I find the practice of rating albums and comparing it to others wrong. The effect of one single song can be epic in judging an album in your mind.
Therefor I think just stating songs you like and dislike is a better way of discussing their music.

Can some of you understand and find yourself agreeing with what I tried to make clear?

Black Bart

Ancient Mariner
I guess a lot of it (i.e giving meaning to comparing the albums) depends on whether you have discovered the songs they contain BEFORE the Internet or not.
For example, I was born in 1981 (during the Ides of March by the way! :) ), I discovered IM in the first half of 1993 and I got my first PC in 2001 (and broadband Internet 5 years later).

For these reasons among others, listening to IM means putting on a CD or a vinyl to me- and cassettes up to the mid-2000s.
The concept of playlist is rather recent and not much frequent for me, unless you consider making compilation tapes (CD-R have long been too expensive to do this in my opinion) tantamount to making media-player playlists, which I wouldn't because the effort is not comparable.

Consequently, as far as I am concerned, for a long time, albums have functioned as whole collections of songs, with a precise order and thus a precise dynamic ("22 Acacia Avenue" comes AFTER "The Prisoner" - that is the way it goes ;) . That is why - in somebody else's opinion- I may underrate good songs from albums I like less and overrate fillers to a great album. It doesn't mean that I reproach anybody for making single songs playlists, it is just that it is not a reflex I have. However, I tend to make them more easily with albums released after the reunion.