Tuesday, June 21, 2005


Yet Another Greatest List That's Worthless

Spin Magazine, one of those rags that I usually only open if there's an excessive line at my local Borders has put out it's idea of the 100 Greatest Albums of the last 20 years. Needless to say, I was a bit surprised at the Top Ten, with Radiohead's "OK Computer" taking the top slot. I should note that I rather liked Radiohead's "The Bends", not that there was anything that hummable or memorable on it, but it was a decent piece of guitar rock at a time when there was precious little of it out there. "OK Computer", well, I think it's just the same "bleep blorp" stuff that European music has been descending into since Kraftwerk and Klaus Schulze were in their heyday - the "life is getting too mechanical so why not protest it by locking us into incessant beats and spacey sounding riffs" shtick is getting old fast.

That said, I think Radiohead could be a modern day Roxy Music - all of the elements are there (save of course those great album covers) if Thom Yorke would simply get it - Bryan Ferry knows when to be pretentious and when to head for the pelvis.

I was completely surprised at not seeing any U2 albums in the top ten. As much as they can be a touch pretentious, there's been a lot of great music out of them, far more so than anyone in the top ten, and the only other album in the top 10 which can even come close for staying power and influence is Nirvana's "Nevermind". And of course another egregious omission is "Appetite For Destruction" - the only album in the last two decades that said, yes, it's OK to play a Les Paul through a dimed Marshall.

As the list isn't fully available yet at this point, I can't do a line item dissection. I understand about 20-25% of the list is in the rap/hip hop classification, which'll earn a simple abstention from me (it's simply not my groove, a lot of it turns me off, and rather than expound on something that's tough for me to relate to, I'll leave it to the cognoscenti).


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