Friday, November 23, 2007

1000 Albums to Hear Before You Die: "What, No Camera Obscura?"

That's a great headline, and sums up one of my first responses on starting to read the Guardian's recent list of "1000 Albums to Hear Before You Die". With Friday here, their regular day for 'Film and Music', they've printed a number of suggestions for items they missed.

Being something of a list-y geek myself (hey, you wouldn't believe the level of pleasure I got from filing into alphabetical order all the CDs last weekend...), this sort of thing always interests me - even if it also infuriates as well. Of course there are plenty out there who think that its Just Another Bloody List, and you can't help but sympathise with in such a list-overloaded age (whose sketch was it about the bloke in a hospital bed with only a week to live whose family/friends kept reeling off and trying to set him up to watch a number of films he hadn't yet seen? "You've never seen 'Taxi Driver'? you have to see THAT before you die!!"). Nevertheless, I'm a girl who likes a list, so for me it brings up my inner geek.

In response, Skuds has come up with a further 27 items (kinda one for each letter) that he felt should be on the list, and nicely links to Jonathan at Assistant Blog who runs through some of the Guardian list identifying from each alphabet letter (A-M first) one CD he already loved and recommended, one he had heard about but not actually heard, and one that was new but sounded interesting. Both approaches offer a helpful slant on appraising the list. And you probably WON'T be surprised to know that I went through each days listings with a pencil ticking off those we had, and starting to log on eMusic a list of those I could download from there.

Just a thought, mind, of at least four artistes that were missing that I would have put on there:

Einsturzende Neubauten
GodSpeed You! Black Emperor
Rufus Wainwright (God, I mean there weren't ANY Wainwrights on there! Except by default Kate McGarrigle was included)

There were plenty more and you may well get bored with some of my rants on this.

I'd also personally have taken a leaf from the Guardian's supposed criteria of "where there was a good alternative to the blindingly obvious album, we went for the alternative" - why 'Different Class' instead of say 'His 'n' Hers'? I know DC is possibly IN a different class to other works in the Pulp discography - its certainly their most consistent album - but H&H really sets the tone for DC. And in that respect - and bearing in mind the Guardian's own criteria - they could have gone for H&H instead.


George Walks said...

Hey Rulls, this seems like the wrong blog for this post!! Glad you explained the headline though; I saw it at lunch but couldn't go and investigate. 'Let's' should be in there for a fact!!


Lisa Rullsenberg said...

In my defence I DID do another post for "Music is..." and linked to this one. Can't have Music nicking ALL my best post ideas!!!!

The additional album was actually "Underachievers Please Try Harder" - all together now "I should be suspended from claass, I don't know my elbow from my a(r)sss..."

AnnaWaits said...

My reaction was: Wot, no Wainwrights?!

And what did you think of them putting in Best Ofs? I mean, if you decide you're only going to include one album by each artist, it's a bit of cop-out to then include Best Of, isn't it?!!

Skuds said...

Oh yes. Best ofs were a real cop-out.

Not too bad if its someone who never made a great album but had enough decent tracks to make a splendid best of. (Still a cop out. Any candidates for that description?)

But to do that for Rolling Stones, Pet Shop Boys, John Lee Hooker is just dodging the bullet. And to pick an 88-track box set from Bob Dylan was rank cowardice.

(Still recovering from the inclusion of Lt Pigeon over Gogol Bordello!)

Rob said...

Heck, they could have gone for "This Is Hardcore" - under-rated IMO.