by John Ellis
One of the things that should prompt a thankful pride in all Americans is how our country’s presidents so often and so willingly reach for the hot handle of responsibility. In fact, a famous president once said, “The buck stops here.” This series, “The Pop Presidents,” seeks to honor an aspect of the last eleven president’s responsibilities that is often overlooked – presiding over the growth of pop music, specifically the genre known as Rock and Roll. Over the course of the first eleven articles, the ten best albums released under each of the eleven administrations’ oversight will be briefly discussed. In the final article of the series, the eleven presidents will be ranked based on the music released during their time in the Oval Office.
The presidential election of 2000 was as hotly contested and fraught with controversy as the ranking of Bush’s best albums will undoubtedly be. President Bush, himself, still generates controversy; his fans declaring him one of the greatest presidents of all time; his detractors declaring W as one of the worst presidents of all time, if not the worst. Likewise, fans of the music from the new millennium’s first decade are quick to declare that bands like The Strokes deserve to be seated at the musical table with the greats from yesteryear. And, others turn their nose up at the offerings from the musical acts of the 2000s. Of course, superlatives actually need distance. Perspective is hard to have while still so close.