Three years ago, I devised a sort of interesting, sort of ludicrous rubric for determining musical greatness called the Five-Albums Test, which rewards artists who are able to sustain excellence over the course of five consecutive records. Many of the artists you would expect to be classified as “great” pass the Five-Albums Test. The Beatles obviously make it. So do Led Zeppelin, Al Green, the Talking Heads, Pavement, and Kanye West. But the Five-Albums Test also flunks out a lot of geniuses. The Rolling Stones, for instance, never put out five great records in a row. Nor did Bob Dylan or Guided by Voices. Now, you could say this is based on subjective opinion, and any rubric that declares the Stones, Dylan, and GBV as not great is clearly flawed. And I would agree, as the Stones, Dylan, and GBV are my three favorite musical acts of all time. Frankly, the Five-Albums Test pisses me off sometimes, and I’m the one who invented it. But the Five-Albums Test is unforgiving in that way.