Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Definitely Maybe This Is NOT The Best Album Ever (Music)

Recently, I saw a list of the best albums ever, as determined by a British music website, NME.com, and the book of British Hit Singles and Albums. I love lists, especially when they spark conversion, and this one was unbelievable, so much so that I had to go buy one the CD’s to see what the fuss was all about (specifically, I bought number five on the list). So let’s take a look at the list:

1. 'Definitely Maybe', Oasis
2. 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band', The Beatles
3. 'Revolver', The Beatles
4. 'OK Computer', Radiohead
5. '(What's The Story) Morning Glory?', Oasis
6. 'Nevermind', Nirvana
7. 'The Stone Roses', The Stone Roses
8. 'Dark Side Of The Moon', Pink Floyd
9. 'The Queen Is Dead', Smiths
10. 'The Bends', Radiohead
11. 'The Joshua Tree', U2
12. 'London Calling', The Clash
13. 'The Beatles (The White Album)', The Beatles
14. 'Abbey Road', The Beatles
15. 'Up The Bracket', The Libertines
16. 'Never Mind The Bollocks Here's The Sex Pistols', Sex Pistols
17. 'Four Symbols (Led Zeppelin IV)', Led Zeppelin
18. 'The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars', David Bowie
19. 'A Night At The Opera', Queen
20. 'Is This It', The Strokes

Let’s start with only one American album, “Nevermind” from Nirvana. Brilliant stuff, I readily admit, and probably my first choice when I’m feeling angry, but is it better than “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen, or The Eagles “Hotel California?” We can debate that all day, and I’m OK with that. So off the bat, this list is tainted by it’s decidedly un-American leaning. So then I look at the twenty and can see where my buddy Sean is seething. No “Who’s Next” or “Quadrophenia” or anything else by Pete, Roger and the boys.

So let’s examine what is there. For the love of God, please stop telling me how good “The Joshua Tree” is. I get it, it’s a great album, but I would NEVER (and I don’t use that word unless I mean it) put it on my iPod over “War” or “Boy”, two far-superior U2 CD’s. Would you take “Led Zeppelin IV” over “Physical Graffiti?” I’m just asking here, because I’m not sure either. “Zep 4” has been flat out worn out over the years, and I’m of the opinion that there should be a moratorium on the playing of “Stairway to Heaven.” Great song, but those in charge of music radio stations should have their licenses revoked if they play that or ANYTHING by Aerosmith. Give me at least a year off, and I’ll be back.
While I’m yelling at radio programmers, let me also thank you. You see, I was once a big Zeppelin and Pink Floyd fan. I own as many of their CD’s as I can. However, you figured that a day shouldn’t go by without playing them, along with the aforementioned Aerosmith at least once an hour. Thus those Zep and Floyd CD’s are just collecting dust these days, and that’s just a shame. I dare you to play something different. This is why my music radio station is The Peak, 107.1 from White Plains, NY. An old boss of mine, Peter Mutino, works there and they have done a great job. I haven’t been a DJ in years, but I’d go work there in a heartbeat.

Back to the list. I think Radiohead is brilliant, and “OK Computer” and “The Bends” are two of the best CD’s that I’ve ever heard. I can’t complain about those two because one is as good as the other. Can’t complain about “A Night At The Opera” either, though I’m partial to “News of the World” or “The Game” from Queen. By the way – NEWS FLASH, America!! – Queen is much more than just “We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions.” I’ll spare you my “chapter and verse” analysis on the rest of this list.

Now let’s get to the heart of my beef – the Beatles angle. Firstly (that’s very British, I might add), I don’t think “Sgt. Pepper” is the Fab Four’s best album. I might be inclined to go with “Revolver”, “The White Album”, or “Rubber Soul.” But to say that “Definitely Maybe” is better than anything by The Beatles is, well, one fools opinion. I told you recently that I bought “(What’s The Story) Morning Glory” by Oasis (number five above) to see what the fuss was about. Yes it is quite good, as is “Definitely Maybe” but let’s take “Sgt. Pepper” for instance. There had never been anything like it before. Inspired by The Beach Boys “Pet Sounds”, “Pepper” is amazing and still holds up.

Again, I’ll spare you the breakdown analysis but have come to a very simple conclusion. In sports, there is the Most Valuable Player Award, given to the player who is, well, most valuable to his team’s success. Quite often, more than one player from a particular team is up for the MVP, and votes commonly get split between those players. That’s what happened here. With so many brilliant Beatles albums to go from, voters were split. Oasis fine CD, “Definitely Maybe” snuck in stole the top spot. Of course, it’s not a crime, and creates fine discussion. Guaranteed, some future pole will get it right and return The Beatles to where they belong. Oh, and The Who will get some respect as well. Have to look out for my mate Sean.

I get by with a little help from my friends.


Steve DeFelice said...

Honeeeeey! Sgt Pepper? That reminds me of my favorite dish.

Sean G. Kilkelly said...

Do my eyes deceive me? No Rolling Stones?!!!!! No Who?!!!! Sometimes these lists are done just to spark debate and lack credibility, I think!

Jon said...

Physical Graffiti. Definitely my favorite Led Zeppelin album.

Harold said...

Any list that deosn't include Motorhead can not be that good!!