What are the criteria for each category?

The main criteria for the whole review is that only albums released in that calendar year qualify. None of this "October-through-October" nonsense that the Grammys use. As far as the subsections go, here's the intent:

I may not have all of these sections in each year's review. It depends on that year's crop of releases.

Do you ever go back and revise old lists?

Nope. Never. For instance, I feel I blew the '88 poll's top two. In retrospect, I should've had Midnight Oil's Diesel And Dust as #1, but what's done is done. I'd love to say this is a deeply rooted integrity thing, but the truth is that if I went back, I'd probably end up tweaking list after list. I figured it was better to just leave it as a snapshot of my opinion at the time.

However, I will go back and clean up formatting, typos, graphic quality, broken links, etc. I'm not changing the content of the reviews, just making it look a little better.

Why do you put out the new list at the end of January instead of December?

Four reasons:

  1. I always find it weird to see "year end" lists come out at the beginning of December. The year isn't over yet!
  2. I want to give myself a little slop time to give me a chance to hear something I might have missed out on.
  3. It takes time to put these together. I usually start in December, but Christmas shopping and such usually takes more time than I expect, so I give myself January to finish off the list.
  4. It's a chance to build the drama and give everyone time to waste countless hours pondering exactly what my list is going to to be.

OK … I don't actually believe #4. It sounded good though, didn't it?

Were these questions really asked frequently?

Yep. With my readership base, being asked ONCE qualifies as "frequently".