Monday, June 4, 2007

The top 500 albums, reviewed by me

I own a lot of CDs and I consider myself something of a "music guy."

It was a longtime goal of mine to
  • work in the industry (not a musician, because I have no skills)

  • work in radio

  • review records for a magazine

This fell to the side when I actually interned at a professional radio station between my junior and senior years of college. It gave me a pretty negative view of radio and radio was really the only avenue for me to reach any of those goals (I didn't work for our college magazine and I'd worked at our radio station all four years, including 2.5 on the exec staff). A friend has offered me some freelance work in writeing about music, but I'm not very good at writing.


A favorite conversation of mine is to slam "Forrest Gump," as I find it to be a two-hour masturbation session for baby boomers. The entire film is based around boomers saying "hey, look at all this shit we've endured. Aren't we an awesome generation? Without us, you wouldn't have rock n' roll, drugs or political protests. Plus, our stuff was the best."

And they have a point in a lot of ways. The Beatles are probably the greatest rock 'n roll band ever. They're certainly the template by which all later bands are compared (and rightfully).

And rock 'n roll (a largely dead genre, but the way) blossomed under the boomers' care. But there were certainly political protests before and after the boomers were around and there were lots of drugs, as well.

The boomers were lucky to have come of age when television was finally getting traction in the homes of nearly every American. This makes the Vietnam war that much more powerful, because the networks and the U.S. government didn't have a beat on how to control the official war message as the government has since the 80s (a lesson learned from Vietnam). Similarly, the political activision was still news and interesting in the 60s. Since then, that stuff doesn't make for good Tv; We're used to it.

Again, that's not to say that the boomers didn't do a lot of great stuff, aided by TV. The women's movement and the civil rights movement both were big feats because of the way boomers used TV to their advantage. And that's great.


Baby boomers run, basically, everything nowadays and they have run radio since the mid to late sixties. They believe everything they experienced during their heyday. They don't hammer the Beatles, Stones and Zeppelin down our throats like they did 10 and 15 years ago, but the general thought remains that boomer music is the do-all and end-all.

Rolling Stone magazine is the pinnacle of this. They have a few bands/artists that they love (Springsteen, Dylan, etc.) and whenever a new release comes out by these artists -- no matter the quality -- they give it four stars.

A few years ago, the magazine put out a list of the 500 "greatest" albums of all time. What "greatest" means is pretty nebulous. I've got several pet peeves about the list (the prevalence of greatest hits records being the operative complaint of mine) outside of the normal Rolling Stone complaints. These complaints will bear themselves in this project.

What is the project? I'm trying to buy and write about (in short form) each of the 500 albums. This is the purpose of this blog. I currently own over 200 of these records in one form or another and I will certainly have all of them by the time I get to them (I'm going in order and I have 71 of the top 100).

I'm going to do two each weekday. Each post will be about each album, with me writing a paragraph or two about the album and then filling out this list:
  • Best song:
  • Why Rolling Stone gets it right:
  • Why Rolling Stone gets it wrong:
  • Best song:
  • Worst song:
  • Is it awesome?:

I start today, with the first two albums on the list. I will be doing two each day.


Vid Digger said...

Cool project R.J.

Just blogrolled ya.

Anonymous said...

A friend is doing the same thing with the 500 songs on their list:

(But he's being a bit sporadic).

I'm just trying to listen to every album in my collection:

Good luck