I use Google Chrome both at home and at work. One of its features that I like is being able to pin tabs so I can keep some frequently used websites open all the time. Stereogum in one. My TNOCS spreadsheet is another.
And another is Google News. That’s been one of my pinned tabs for years. It has sections for top stories, US news, world news, technology, health, science, and entertainment news. There’s also a section called “For You.” This is where Google posts links to news items its algorithm thinks I’ll like. Unsurprisingly, they usually have to do with music.
I generally don’t read them because most had clickbaity titles. “Why Bob Dylan Won’t Sing This Song Ever Again.” “You Won’t Believe What This Go-Go Looks Like Now.” “Top Ten Rock Star Meltdowns – #3 Will Shock You”
But in 2018, I started seeing titles that started with “The Number Ones.” I finally clicked one and it took me to a really interesting article about a song I liked when I was in junior high school. I don’t remember now what song it was, but it was a well-written and well-researched article.
When “The Number Ones” showed up in my “For You” section again, I clicked it. And again the next day. And then I pinned the Stereogum tab. I was hooked. The articles were always a good read, and the comments below the article were often funny or insightful or both.
I went back to “Poor Little Fool” and read all the articles from the beginning. At some point, I started recognizing avatars/usernames and mentally connecting them to each person’s personality. I’m pretty sure my first comment was on The Fifth Dimension’s “Aquarius/Let The Sun Shine In.” Tom gave it a 4 and I said the bass part alone is a 10.
So, my questions for all you TNOCS aficionados are, how did you learn about The Number Ones, when did you start reading it, had you been to Stereogum before that, did you read all the articles from 1958 forward, and when did you first comment?