Tuesday, May 11, 2010

By way of introduction

There are probably better ways for me to launch into a music blog than to engage in the blasphemy and effrontery that I am about to articulate, but I think there are some things you should know about my musical tastes. They will help the one or two of you who decide to read this blog understand where I'm coming from.

For the most part, I will be focusing on music that means the world to me. But to do that, I need to get something off my chest: unpopular music opinions I have. I haven't actually tested that in a crowd, but based upon music books and reviewers I've read, I think I am in the minority on some of the following items. So at the risk of offending every music fan who lives, here we go:

> With very few exceptions, but without naming names, the freak folk movement of recent years produced a lot of hippy-dippy infantile shite.

> Joni Mitchell hasn't made an album worth a damn since the mid-70s.

> I am not a Bruce Springsteen fan. For me, the Rising was his worst album.

> Early Beatles up to Revolver > Later Beatles starting with Pepper.

> Apart from Lennon's solo debut, neither Paul nor John made much very much essential music as individual composers. And Ringo's greatest hits album is more fun than either Paul's or John's.

> When I want to hear a Beatles song, I generally cue up Fats Domino doing Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except for Me & My Monkey. Or Don Ellis doing Hey Jude.

> Rush isn't that bad. Nor is Toto. Or the first Chicago LP. Or Jim Steinman's songs.

> Today's punk is little more than third-rate, power pop Tommy Tutone wannabes that can't even manage to come up with one song half as enjoyable as 867-5309/Jenny.

> Cut the Crap is crap, but This is England is one of the best songs ever released under The Clash' name.

> David Gilmour's About Face > Roger Waters' solo albums/The Final Cut.

> Nick Mason's Fictitious Sports solo album > Roger Waters' solo albums.

> Syd Barrett and/or Syd Barrett's Pink Floyd > all other forms of Floyd/solo Floyd.

> Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd > Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd.

> Led Zeppelin never made a five-star bona-fide classic album.

> Stairway to Heaven is the worst song Led Zeppelin ever recorded. No Quarter is a close second.

> The Doors have nothing to offer me and represent the 60s at its worst. Though I like The Mosquito as wrong headed fun.

> Nelly Furtado only caught my ear when Timbaland hooked her up with some beats.

> Timbaland-produced artists > Timbaland's albums.

> Bjork was more fun on the Sugarcubes' first album. Most of her ballads are as gooey as Celine Dion's; they're just afforded more respect because they are less catchy. And I'm saying that as someone who owns all of them.

> You wish you could have written a pop song half as wonderful as Debbie Gibson's Only in My Dreams.

> I have no use for Sammy Hagar, yet I have a copy of 5150, mainly because it is so impeccably produced.

> I have no use for David Lee Roth, but I have fond memories of Eat 'em and Smile. And 1984.

> My Drum by the Osmonds is awesome.

> Off the Wall > Thriller.

> Some of Prince's failures - Parade, Around the World in a Day, Chaos & Disorder - are more interesting than his successes.

> Christine McVie > Stevie Nicks, and not just musically.

> Tusk would have been phenomenal if it had been Lindsey's solo album. And everyone would be comparing it to Modest Mouse.

> I listen to Friends of Distinction and the 5th D, and not ironically. Same for Herb Alpert. And Glenn Campbell's Rhinestone Cowboy.

> Philly Soul is perhaps the music that warms my heart the most, even if it did contribute to the decline of R&B.

> The pop producer who best knew how to use strings 'n things to angelic effect was Thom Bell.

> Emo left me cold.

> Compilations generally suck, but they help me to appreciate overrated talents like The Police by distilling their work down to the singles, some of which weren't even that great.

> Thanks to Bono, I can barely stomach U2, who were never that great to begin with.

> Though some of Andre 3000's contributions rankled me (particularly those toward the end of the album) Idlewild is a great album, thanks to Big Boi.

> .38 Special and Foreigner have both put out great anthologies. In fact, Urgent is one of the best singles ever recorded, and I file it under funk in my iPod.

> Though I live in Canada, I can say I never need to hear another Blue Rodeo or Tragically Hip song.

> Apart from Isolation Drills, Guided By Voices never made a front-to-back great album, and even their anthology is a hard slog at times.

> Sonic Youth never did much for me. Even less so when Kim took the mike.

> Diana Ross was probably the worst singer on the Motown label.

> Lou Reed's best solo album is New Sensations. New York is the most overrated.

> I dislike Bob Dylan's first album, don't think he was truly great till he went electric and I rate Blood on the Tracks over and above all of his work.

> Though I have little use for him, Elvis' late sixties Memphis recordings are damn near essential, and his best, and even they are compromised by poor judgment in tunes (In the Ghetto?).

> Charlie Rich (up till 1972) > Elvis.

> I don't listen to R.E.M. any more.

> Who's Next is the only Who album I own. And I don't even like it all the way through.

> R&B means more to me than Rock & Roll.

> Though I've found a lot of great music thanks to them, I don't like Dave Marsh or Robert Christgau at all. I especially dislike Christgau rating albums as bombs, but without a rationale. That's lazy.

Ta da!

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