Well, break down the criteria. Actually, first let's take another album way above If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears that came out around the same time and in the same basic folk-rock style, the first Buffalo Springfield album. Popularity - M&P #1 and on the charts for two full years, 105 weeks in all. BS - made just #80 and was on the charts only 16 weeks. Lasting popularity, M&P sold far more, it went gold, BS never did.
It may beat the BS album in lasting popularity, as neither album was even in print after the early 1970s until recent years. I can tell you this though. The first BS album was in demand in the mid-70s while nobody was looking for the M&P album. I was selling out of print albums then and sold dozens of copies of the BS album. Nobody ever asked for the M&P album.
Since you never used lasting popularity as part of your lists and i was the one who made it part of a criteria, let me tell you this. You don't use total sales to determine lasting popularity. Yes, the M&P album went gold, but that was ALL from its initial popularity. The album was not even in print after about 1970 until at least the 1990s, maybe later. There's no way that it has been as popular, as an album, as the VU album has been over the past 25 years or so.
Influence - M&P. The production on that, the vocal arrangements, the songwriting were all influential. BS - little. There was nothing groundbreaking about the album. It's good, but it's pretty standard for the time. Plus the fact that the M&P came first, and since both are essentially folk-rock albums, it stands to reason that the earlier one had more influence.
I don't consider the M&P to be folk rock. It's much more pop than anything else. "Go Where You Wanna Go" is not a folk rock song. "Do You Wanna Dance" and "I Call Your Name" are not folk rock. More than half the songs are remakes so that negates songwriting. which I thought that you did not include when ranking artists anyway?
Lastly, impact. M&P. Not even close. All of the aforementioned things, the production, vocal arrangements and songs themselves turned everybody's head in 1966. They were being viewed as serious rivals to the Beatles at the time.
Once again, are you insane? Serious rivals to the Beatles?
The image of their music changed the entire focus of the West Coast rock scene at the time, from the upbeat styles of Jan & Dean, The Beach Boys and the like to downcast and introspective. Love, The Doors, etc. all followed that lead, even though their styles were different, the overall mood changed. Springfield were well regarded within music, but still known mostly locally after their debut. It had one hit on it and only two other songs that could be called Springfield staples. It was their follow-up album that was the most acclaimed by other artists because it had the far more adventurish songs on it.
Actually, "For What It's Worth" was not on the album at first. It was added and another song was dropped, but only after "For What It's Worth" became a big hit single.
The original song lineup:
A1 Go and Say Goodbye 2:20
A2 Sit Down I Think I Love You 2:32
A3 Leave 2:42
A4 Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing 3:25
A5 Hot Dusty Roads 2:50
A6 Everybody's Wrong 2:23
B1 Flying on the Ground Is Wrong 2:40
B2 Burned 2:16
B3 Do I Have to Come Right Out and Say It 3:01
B4 Baby Don't Scold Me 3:04
B5 Out of My Mind 3:05
B6 Pay the Price 2:36
Just how did the Doors follow the lead of the M&P ? Do you think that "Back Door Man" and "The End" were influenced by the M&P album?
So If You Can Believe Your Eyes & Ears blows Springfield away in every single criteria, yet is twenty-five spots lower? Explain that, I don't get it.
It probably means that the BS is too high rather than the M&P being too low. Especially if you consider the BS album as first released, without the big hit single.
You can do the same with VU & Nico. That album wins influence, absolutely. Nothing else.
It also wins lasting popularity. The album is now a well known classic with millions around the world who were not even born until the 1970s or 1980s or later, while very few people who were not around at the time even know the M&P album. They know a few songs FROM the album, but not the album specifically.
The Velvet Underground & Nico hit #171 on the charts. Or, 171 spots behind the M&P to put it in perspective.
I guess math is not your strong suit. 171 is 170 spots behind #1, not 171 spots behind #1.
The VU album still has sold under five hundred thousand copies, much less than the M&P, so you can't possibly give it lasting popularity when it's sold fewer copies over 45 years.
A - Yes you can. If the other album had all of its sales during its initial chart run, then it has no lasting popularity.
B - The under 500,000 number is only for the USA. Worldwide by now it's probably over a million copies. It has clearly sold more and been much more popular over the last 25-30 years than the M&P album.
The M&P album is currently #32,908 on Amazon. The VU and Nico album is #618.