#1 things that truly deserve it

I heard a radio ad recently for Les Miz stating that it was the world’s #1 musical. And it struck me that of musicals that are currently touring around, I definitely think it’s the best. It’s the rare case of something that is The Most Popular of its genre that I think truly deserves it.
What other works/groups/performers are (via ticket sales/attendance or any other measure of mass popularity) both the most popular and, in your opinion, the best?

Obvious ones:

  • The Beatles as the #1 rock band
  • Jimi Hendrix as the #1 rock guitarist

As I type these, I think I am realizing that there needs to be a quantified number involved - such as Shania Twain selling the most albums, but clearly doesn’t hold a candle to other rock/country women…

I’m having trouble thinking of specific examples, but I would say that the majority of “famous” classical music is famous for a reason. Beethoven and Mozart are the most popular composers and also the greatest.

(Actually I don’t have any hard data about them being the most popular. As for the best, that’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it.)

Well, I’ve heard that the Pachelbel Canon is the most popular classical composition ever, as measured by record sales. No cite on it.

And while it’s a truly lovely piece, it’s certainly not The Greatest.
Beethoven’s 9th, on the other hand, is probably the “marquee” piece of classical music, and I can’t think of one that I think is superior. Heck, I’d go so far as to say that it’s the greatest work in the history of human art.

I’m quite fond of it.
But as it’s not measurably #1 (as far as I know) in any way, it doesn’t really fit this category.

Curses. I think you’re right about Pachelbel.

Okay, I got nuttin. So many of the things I can say, “This is really famous/popular/whatever” about aren’t quantified.

Well, here’s one intresting case: The bestselling novel of all time, at least in the US, as far as I know, is still Valley of the Dolls. And not only have I never read this book, I have never heard it mentioned in any context other than seeing it on all-time bestseller lists. Thus, I will confidently state that it is NOT the greatest novel of all time.

Similarly, the highest grossing movie of all time (adjusted for inflation), by a HUGE margin, is Gone With The Wind. Again, few would call it the greatest movie of all time.

I’m seeing mention of Valley, GWtW, Peyton Place, The Godfather, and Quo Vadis? as the worldwide bestseller. I have no idea how to confirm any of them.

And none are the greatest novel of all time either. Though I haven’t read any of them, so I shouldn’t be making snap judgments like that!

Well I’d say that Pachelbel is the #1 One Hit Wonder of classical music. I’ve heard much of his catalouge, and he was a struggler…

The Kitchenaid standing mixer is the best-selling in America, and I would agree that it deserves it. But regardless of the quantifier, the latter is still only my opinion.