The Zeitgeist is here! Our annual roundup of the 50 most-discussed artists, albums, and songs of 2010 launches today. We’ll reveal 10 every day this week, with the Top 10 being released on Friday. Here’s how we made it:
Top 50 Artists: We’ve tabulated the total number of songs from each band posted in 2010 by blogs on The Hype Machine, and invited 50 visual artists to create illustrations for the musicians. You can view them in glorious full-screen resolution while you sample a track from the band. AND! This year, you can send each gorgeous piece of artwork as a postcard to your friends. It’s the closest you can get to hugging a pixel.
Top 50 Albums: We’ve pored over 950 blogger Top 10 lists (the most to date!) and thousands of albums to calculate the final ranking. Grooveshark kindly provided the full album streams, and we’ve used CC-licensed Flickr Photos for the graphics.
Top 50 Songs: We’re excited to present five new mixes of the year’s top songs, created for us by the artists who were dominating the Popular charts in 2010. We’ll also publish the full list of Top 50 tracks on Friday.
As always, the Zeitgeist is one big community effort. Big thanks to all the music bloggers, who make finding the best new music easier; the illustrators and photographers, who make the Zeitgeist look so good; Jeff from Heart On A Stick, who passed the torch a few years back; David from Largehearted Boy, who is the best at collecting best-of lists; Grooveshark (and @bwc), who power the full album streams, SoundCloud, who power the Hype Machine Radio Show; our incredible friends Cain Norris, Michael Bringardner, Lisa Zuniga, Morgan Kelton, and Emma Tangoren for helping us with data slicing and dicing; the entire Hype Machine team, for working through Christmas and New Year’s, every year, to bring you the Zeitgeist. And you: thank you for always looking for new music to fall in love with.
JAN 8 UPDATE: You can now download the entire data set (in a CSV file) we gathered to make the Top 50 albums list this year. The compiled set [CC License] is a more expanded version of our top 50 list that includes some extras, like the average rank given to an album in each post. The raw set [CC License] has the list of all blog posts we’ve indexed and the albums they’ve selected. Enjoy!