Like most high school boys of my generation, I was a huge Pink Floyd fan. I knew most of their albums by heart, especially the run between 1971’s Meddle and 1983’s The Final Cut. By muscle memory alone, I can still sing or air guitar along to every note of Wish You Were Here, Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall.
If I’d made this list in 1990, this album might have occupied the top spot. That’s in part because I hadn’t yet discovered many of the albums to come on this list. But it’s mostly because Pink Floyd meant the world to me when I was in high school.
In terms of sales, Dark Side is fourth on the all-time worldwide list, having sold more than 45 million copies while spending over 900 weeks on Billboard’s Top 200. It’s really pretty amazing that an album full of sound effects and instrumentals, and so few traditional songs, is nestled among Michael Jackson’s Thriller, The Eagles’ Greatest Hits, the Saturday Night Live soundtrack and Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours as one of the most popular albums of all time.
Few films in recent years have received as much lavish praise as Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma. A compilation of critics’ top ten lists has it in the #1 spot with a 200-point lead over the next title. It has been repeatedly called a masterpiece and even, by more than a few writers, one of the greatest films ever made.
Can any movie possibly be worthy of all that hype? Can Roma live up to those expectations?
My answer: It doesn’t, until it does. And then it somehow surpasses them.
My high school self would have had no problem with this choice, as I pretty much lived and breathed Pink Floyd in those years (not to mention that Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig was in pre-K).