Bruce Springsteen’s 1975 breakthrough album “Born To Run” (Columbia) ranks No. 1 on the most popular albums list in Zagat Survey’s first Music Guide.
Best known for its surveys of restaurants, hotels and other leisure pursuits in major cities, Zagat queried more than 10,000 listeners to create a list of the 1,000 top albums of all time, as well as dozens of other tallies across more than 20 genres and eight decades of music.
Four albums by the Beatles, two by U2, another by Springsteen and releases by Miles Davis and Pink Floyd round out Zagat’s top 10 most popular albums.
“Born To Run,” which peaked at No. 3 and spent 110 weeks on Billboard’s album chart, is also on top of the rock and classic rock lists and No. 5 on Zagat’s overall quality tally. Springsteen & the E Street Band rank eighth on the list of most influential artists, which is led by the Beatles.
Davis’ 1959 release “Kind of Blue” (Columbia/Legacy), No. 6 on the most popular list, is the No. 1 album for overall quality and the top jazz album.
The top hip-hop album is Public Enemy’s 1988 classic “It Takes a Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back” (Def Jam). The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s 1972 set “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” leads country albums, Massive Attack’s “Protection” ranks as the favorite electronica set and Howlin’ Wolf’s “Moanin’ in the Moonlight” is at the front of the blues class.
“We knew this survey would be especially challenging since musical taste is so personal and top picks of all time stir passionate arguments,” publishers Tim and Nina Zagat said in a statement. “To our delight, participants showcased their tastes with a depth of knowledge that stands up to the most critical musical ear — these are people who know chapter and verse on their preferred genres and they avidly shared memories and associations that their favorite recordings evoke.”
The Zagat survey found that fans listen to music 24 hours each week, more than five of which is conducted on computers and MP3 players. Participants spend an average $343 per year on music to stock an average collection of 516 titles; 53 percent download music from the Internet and 55 percent burn their own CDs.