While recently entering my favorite five new albums released in 2006 for the KEXP Top 90.3 countdown, I realized that the B-Side Records annual four-page best-of list extravaganza was likely out and on the shop’s counter. Indeed, Madison’s most jam-packed end-of-the-year list — its sixteenth edition — was ready for reading.
The State Street record store’s formula is relatively simple; every current employee and as many past employees as possible are solicited to submit their best-of-2006 list. There are no constricting guidelines, as the lists can be as short as nine albums to nearly as long as one hundred, not counting the supplementary songs and live shows that can listed as well. Then there’s always a guest, one person who is invited by B-Side to submit their favorites too. In the end, everything gets tallied up, and the four-page thicket of lists is condensed to their collected “favorite things,” with any album receiving three or more picks featured and framed.