Wednesday 04/22/2015 by Icculus


Phish.Net user Matt Burnham (@TheRealBurnham) is in the process of taking votes from fans on Phish's "Hall of Fame" jams. Surely you've listened to a lot of Phish over the years, yes? They're a highly improvisational band, as you are well-aware, and their versions of certain songs (as attested to ad nauseum in this site's Jam Charts) can differ in spectacular ways----harmonically, melodically, rhythmically, hilariously----week to week and tour to tour. You probably wouldn't be reading this if you didn't already have thoughtful opinions on The Greatest Jams In Phish History, right? Here's more information about what Matt is up to, in Matt's own words, and how you can help determine which jams should be in the "Hall of Fame":

"A Hall of Fame is a symbol of a truly upper echelon of achievement. I love all sorts of Hall of Fames because they separate the dichotomy of 'best' and 'favorite.' For instance, I've grown up a Red Sox fan and, as a 31 year old, I can say that (until last year) Derek Jeter has pretty much been my nemesis in all things baseball-related. However, if I had a 'Baseball Hall of Fame vote,' Jeter would have to be in the first ballot easily. Although he's not my favorite, he was clearly one of the best of his time period. And if I was being truly honest, I'd have to select him over anyone other than Pedro Martinez on those fun Red Sox teams, even though they were filled with some of my favorite players. But that's me. Others may choose to just select their favorites, and that's fine too.

"So,naturally, this led me to start thinking about a Phish Hall of Fame. Specifically, for all versions of songs, are there any jams that are so universally acclaimed that they would be elected on a first ballot? And would those jams reach a 75% threshold like there is in baseball? What other fair ways are there to slice the data to try to determine what jams (and to what extent) are loved by everyone? Are there any jams that are incredbly underrated? How many jams from 2.0 and 3.0 should be included? Is everyone going to vote for only 1997 songs? What attendance biases will be put into play?

"Personally, I don't think that using that high of a bar (75%) will allow for any songs to get in. But how low does that bar need to be in order to let in 10 songs? Or 15? To be elected into the inaugural class, a high criteria should be met, of course, but no-one likes a Hall of Fame with no members. So to that, I created a simple poll for the voters (that's all of you) to fill out with up to ten (10) songs/jams that you feel are Hall of Fame worthy. If you don't have ten songs, that's fine. Just leave the remaining spots blank. Here's the link:

--Matt Burnham

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