BARBELITH underground

Subcultural engagement for the 21st Century...
Barbelith is a new kind of community (find out more)...
You can login or register.

Albums that you shouldn't own

17:51 / 22.07.02
Boing Boing mentioned this little site. This is what they had to say about it:

"The thing I like about this list of records-to-shun is that it avoids the obvious targets (Manilow, Kenny G) and goes after worshipped bands like Nirvana and Green Day. I pretty much stopped buying music from any band formed after 1980, so I don't think I own any of albums on this list"

What are your thoughts?
Ethan Hawke
18:02 / 22.07.02
It just proves my theory: Germans love David Hasselhoff.

Wait, wrong theory. And that's not mine -

Here we go.

It just proves my theory - Bloggers make the WORST music critics (in fact, the worst critics of ANYTHING). For all of the horrible writers published in Rolling Stone, the Village Voice, SPIN, etc., they're a million times better than readings some doofus with a blog's record reviews.

I'm stickin' with the corporate run media, thank you very much. I mean, what blogger has the pull to get Shatner to host "100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders of All Time?" Now that's music criticism.
rizla mission
18:25 / 22.07.02
Of the top 50 there, I own and enjoy 9. Why I feel it's necessary to tell you that, I don't know.

Why are all the music writers in America being all "aaah, we don't like all the generally accepted classic albums that *you* like, aren't we cool and individual?" at the moment?

so about-5-years-ago.. admitting they're "probably quite good actually" and then shutting the fuck up is the wave of the future.
Jack Fear
18:33 / 22.07.02
The writer has a snarky style, yeah, and some of his entries go out of their way to be "shocking." But there's a common-sense core to a lot of it: many albums don't really hold up as albums, and often you will find yourself just listening to one or two songs and ignoring the rest... and sometimes it is better to just get the "greatest hits" collection instead.

Of those 100, I have owned 13. In my last cull, I gave away 3 of those 13—after ripping the best cuts, the only cuts I ever listened to anymore—to MP3s.
The Sinister Haiku Bureau
22:19 / 22.07.02
Weirdly, i stumbled across this the other day, and came this close to posting a link to it. I mean- nevermind? trout mask replica? daydream nation? come on die young?
Although the comment about "And "Smells Like Teen Spirit" IS the "Stairway to Heaven" of our generation, folks. This is the record you will embarrass your children with. " terrifies me in so many different ways.... And a good chunk of the rest are more than adequete, fun albums, which are only embarrassing-if-you-look-at-it-from-that-particular-angle...I mean, dookie and Smash, are both good, fun, albums if you don't care about any notion of punk rock credibility, and Sgt Pepper's still a fucking amazing album, as long as you fast forward 'when I'm 64'.
And I reckon i own about 25 of those albums, but to be fair, some of them I got purely because they were supposed to be classics.
Murray Hamhandler
00:32 / 23.07.02
Going by Jack Fear's take, the writer kind of has a point. He'd have much more of a point and would hold a lot more water if he wasn't such an ass about it.

Although I like a lot of the albums that he listed, I can see where he's coming from. A lot of them don't hold up as whole albums. But I refuse to allow him Trout Mask Replica, Daydream Nation, or Midnight Vultures. He's cracked on those counts.
The Return Of Rothkoid
04:21 / 23.07.02
It just proves my theory - Bloggers make the WORST music critics (in fact, the worst critics of ANYTHING). For all of the horrible writers published in Rolling Stone, the Village Voice, SPIN, etc., they're a million times better than readings some doofus with a blog's record reviews.

Oi. Fucking watch it. I do both, and I think I'm relatively sharp. Ahem. It's also selling short a lot of people's writing to reflexively dismiss them 'cos it appears on a weblog: both Flux and Videodrome leap to mind as being credible (mostly) non-fanboy responses to gigs and recordings. There's some voices out there that I trust more to give me the good oil on music more than yer average pulp-printed scribe.

The problem I have with this kind of list, though is that it seems to be written more with an eye to creating traffic and controversy than with having any sort of real critical analysis of the works in question. The desire for traffic is something that's characteristic of almost all blogs, no matter how much their creators (myself included, I think) say that they only do it for themselves, or that the traffic doesn't matter, or... you know? It's a search for popularity and affirmation-via-numbers in a vasdtly overpopulated arena. Thankfully, a lot of the writing - a lot - turns out to be eminently disposable on the fucktard basis, as is this one. So while I'd like to just forget it and move on, the fact that this is popularity-seeking passing itself off as some kind of canonical list really sticks in my craw.

Like my fist will in theirs.

Sorry. Outside voice again. Damn.

Of course, there is probably a big whack of "hey! Being a critic's not as easy as you think!" in there. But (although it can be more difficult than imagined) it probably is as easy as people think. Hoom.
Professor Silly
18:50 / 24.07.02
I got seven of 'em in my collection...which I will defend shortly. I also saw a lot of albums on there that I've bought and quickly sold again: "Tommy" by The Who ranks as one of the worst CD purchases I've ever made, and I sold it again quickly. Now that I've got a healthy Melvins selection, I have no need for Nirvana...and I see no excuse for Grateful Dead...ever.

Now my seven, in order of least to most favorite:

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Blood Sugar Sex Magick (1991): Two words--Rick Rubin. While this album does have the ever annoying A.K. it also has some of the most soulful guitar playing I've heard. Released in the last days of hair metal and Motley Crue, it turned a lot of folk onto the idea of exploring different sounds. Granted, I don't listen to it very often lately, but it remains the one RHCP album I'll hold on to.

Jane's Addiction - Nothing's Shocking (1988): One of the few interesting acts from the horrible 80's. Ditto to everything I said about RHCP above, only eleven years earlier. Back in that time most metalheads were extremely homophobic--Jane's made them confront the fear by pushing bisexuality into their faces. Eric A. remains one of my favorite bassists of all time--and the current reunion (with all but him) seems the biggest waste of time ever. He only wrote most of the original songs, for crying out loud!

Police - Synchronicity (1983): I admit that half of this album (all Sting) annoys the hell out of me...but Sychronicity I and II alone make the album worthwhile. Incredible for a mere three-piece. King of Pain would seem perfect if not for the cheery tacked-on coda, and Mother (the only song written by guitarist Summers without help) still cracks me up. I still lobby my band to take a gander at the two title tracks--we could make them sooooo heavy....

Beatles - Sgt. Pepper (1967): First off, I refuse to own Let It Be. In my mind Abbey Road remains their defining closing statement (Let It Be was shelved to create Abbey Road, then reproduced by Phil Spector, not Epstein, after the breakup). That said, of the Beatles albums I do own (everything between Revolver and Abbey Road) Sgt. Pepper has become my least favorite. Too much Paul overall--but it does have "A Day in the Life." Also "She's Leaving Home" has some great lyrics. Considered by many to be the first rock concept album (others point to Zappa's 1966 Freak Out for this distinction, which purportedly influenced Paul to start working on Sgt. Pepper) it contains some wicked production for the day. This is before synthesizers were used in rock (Zappa started that trend around 1971). We're talking totally analog recording techniques on 8 tracks (16 track didn't come around until around 1969). Granted, I'll take Revolver over Sgt. Pepper any day.

Miles Davis - Bitches Brew (1969): In my mind, one of the best recordings to have sex to...totally pornographic organic music that goes on and on and on.... Not as sublime as Kind of Blue, but way more fun; BREAK OUT THE LUBE!!!!

Radiohead - I Might Be Wrong Live Recordings (2001): While not as good as either Kid A or Amnesiac (from which the songs originally appeared) IMBWLR does capture the live spirit of these tunes. My only complaint is that it seems too short; a live album of a complete show (including Lucky, Airbag.,) like the one I saw at Red Rocks would tickle me more.

and finally,
The Mothers of Invention - We're Only In It For The Money (1968): Of course it sounds like the "acid rock they're making fun of," as Zappa's band lived in L.A. at the time. Imagine: in L.A. you have The Doors and The Mothers--dark acid-laden music...vs. San Fran with Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, and all that other hippy shit. I'd have made fun of it too! Zappa lyrically rips into the hippy culture (which he thought was shit) as well as the hypocritical parents of the misguided youth. Throughout he also has his band playing in the techniques of all of the popular trends of the time (hippy/psychodelic, surf, heavy art-rock)...better than the originals in most cases! This album, like Sgt. Pepper, has no digital trickery--and it shows who is better between Epstein and Zappa when it comes to production (E replied with "Revolution No. 9" on the White Album). The first time I heard this album I laughed and cried all the way's that fucking hilarious.
"What's there to live for, who needs the Peace Corps?...I'll go to Frisco...get the crabs and take a bus back home."

So that's my take on this list...damn I get long winded sometimes.
Matthew Fluxington
19:26 / 24.07.02
I'm in agreement with Rothkoid that there are a lot of blogs out there which feature really well-written, insightful, thoughtful music criticism, most of which is far better than the best regarded published music critics that I know of. To get a sampling of some of the best blog music critics out there, I recommend trying out these blogs:

Badger Minor

Josh Blog

New York London Paris Munich

Freezing To Death in the Nuclear Bunker

The War Against Silence


Ethan Hawke
19:49 / 24.07.02
Sure, there are plenty of non-mainstream sources of "good" music criticism. But what tends to get attention is crap like this 100 Albums you shouldn't own , and the Vice Magazine list - both of which were linked on Plastic and other link-clearing houses. Who's going to be interested in, say, my live review of Cornershop(for example) when there are people writing "controversial" prose out there.
Matthew Fluxington
20:05 / 24.07.02
But no one takes those lists seriously. People go to those links to laugh at them, or bitch about them on their message boards or blogs. It's the Knodge of music criticism. Your writing is really good, and deserves attention. I've noticed some folks linking to you, and getting linked and namechecked on other blogs is the easiest way to know that yr audience is expanding, and that people like your stuff. This is a case where I think that quality vs quantity is unimportant. Even still, Glenn McDonald gets way more daily hits for The War Against Silence, and certainly outpaces silly crap like those lists. The cream does usually rise to the top in the blogging world, and it shouldn't be confused with "hey look at this" links of the week.
Add Your Reply