Pazz & Jop
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The Pazz & Jop critics' poll is a highly influential poll of music critics run by The Village Voice newspaper. It is compiled every year from the top ten lists of hundreds of music critics (roughly 800 in the 2004 poll). Albums have been voted upon every year since 1974 (voting also took place in 1971), and votes for singles have been tabulated since 1979.
Since the poll's inception, critics have been invited to award their ten albums a total of 100 points, with each album receiving a maximum of 30 points and a minimum of 5. Lists submitted without points are given 10 points per album by the poll's editors. Singles lists have always been unweighted.
Through the years, other lists have been elicited from poll respondents, including local bands (early 80s), EP's ('80s), videos (much of the 80s), reissues (late 80s-early 90s) and compilations (mid-90s). As of the late 90s, the poll again consists of only albums and singles.
Music critic Robert Christgau was in charge of the poll for 33 years, and wrote an essay every year that accompanied and framed the list. Christgau was dismissed from the Village Voice in August 2006, but the paper has continued the feature. Christgau continues to submit his Top Ten list and to encourage other eligible critics to do so.
The poll was jokingly given the spoonerism name "Pazz & Jop" rather than the more obvious "Jazz & Pop" because, inevitably, some detractor will claim that a nominated work is ineligible or undeserving on the grounds that it isn't "really" jazz or pop. Since there are no formal definitions for the made-up terms "pazz" and "jop", voters will concentrate on the actual merits of a work rather than arguing over whether it fits into this or that genre.
"Best Album" winners
- 1971 - The Who - Who's Next
- 1974 - Joni Mitchell - Court and Spark
- 1975 - Bob Dylan & The Band - The Basement Tapes
- 1976 - Stevie Wonder - Songs in the Key of Life
- 1977 - Sex Pistols - Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols
- 1978 - Elvis Costello - This Year's Model
- 1979 - Graham Parker - Squeezing Out Sparks
- 1980 - The Clash - London Calling
- 1981 - The Clash - Sandinista!
- 1982 - Elvis Costello - Imperial Bedroom
- 1983 - Michael Jackson - Thriller
- 1984 - Bruce Springsteen - Born in the U.S.A.
- 1985 - Talking Heads - Little Creatures
- 1986 - Paul Simon - Graceland
- 1987 - Prince - Sign 'O' the Times
- 1988 - Public Enemy - It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
- 1989 - De La Soul - 3 Feet High and Rising
- 1990 - Neil Young - Ragged Glory
- 1991 - Nirvana - Nevermind
- 1992 - Arrested Development - 3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days in the Life Of...
- 1993 - Liz Phair - Exile in Guyville
- 1994 - Hole - Live Through This
- 1995 - PJ Harvey - To Bring You My Love
- 1996 - Beck - Odelay
- 1997 - Bob Dylan - Time Out of Mind
- 1998 - Lucinda Williams - Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
- 1999 - Moby - Play
- 2000 - OutKast - Stankonia
- 2001 - Bob Dylan - Love and Theft
- 2002 - Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
- 2003 - OutKast - Speakerboxxx/The Love Below
- 2004 - Kanye West - The College Dropout
- 2005 - Kanye West - Late Registration
- 2006 - Bob Dylan - Modern Times
- 2007 - LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver
"Best Single" winners
- 1979 - Ian Dury - "Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick"
- 1980 - Kurtis Blow - "The Breaks"
- 1981 - Laurie Anderson - "O Superman"
- 1982 - Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five - "The Message"
- 1983 - Michael Jackson - "Billie Jean"
- 1984 - Prince - "When Doves Cry"
- 1985 - Artists United Against Apartheid - "Sun City"
- 1986 - Run-DMC - "Walk This Way"
- 1987 - Prince - "Sign 'O' the Times"
- 1988 - Tracy Chapman - "Fast Car"
- 1989 - Public Enemy - "Fight the Power"
- 1990 - Deee-Lite - "Groove is in the Heart"
- 1991 - Nirvana - "Smells Like Teen Spirit"
- 1992 - Arrested Development - "Tennessee"
- 1993 - The Breeders - "Cannonball"
- 1994 - Beck - "Loser"
- 1995 - Coolio - "Gangsta's Paradise"
- 1996 - Quad City DJ's - "C'mon Ride It (The Train)"
- 1997 - Hanson - "MMMBop"
- 1998 - Fatboy Slim - "The Rockafeller Skank"
- 1999 - TLC - "No Scrubs"
- 2000 - OutKast - "Ms. Jackson"
- 2001 - Missy Elliott - "Get Ur Freak On"
- 2002 - Missy Elliott - "Work It"
- 2003 - OutKast - "Hey Ya!"
- 2004 - Franz Ferdinand - "Take Me Out"
- 2005 - Kanye West - "Gold Digger"
- 2006 - Gnarls Barkley - "Crazy"
- 2007 - Amy Winehouse - "Rehab"