Find Me On:
But would you boycott a friend or family member’s funeral because you didn’t believe in glorifying cigarette smoking? Hoffman is dead, he isn’t asking for your sympathy. You’re not proving a point about the dangers of drug use by condemning expressions of grief. You’re basically arguing that the most talented actor of his generation is not worthy of our remembrance because he had demons.
Just realized that I forgot to edit the front end of this sentence. I’m pretty sure lung cancer is not sexually transmitted, not even by Catherine Zeta Jones.
So I guess syphilis, AIDS, and lung cancer should actually be referred to as ST”D”s.
On a certain level I’m with you. But I would argue that commemorating and glorifying are two different methods of grief. Hoffman’s death in no way glorifies heroin. He was a universally respected actor with a young family who died because he succumbed to an addiction he had been battling for most of his adult life. I don’t think anyone is picking up the magazine and thinking, “man, I want to get famous and then be found dead with a needle in my arm so I can make the cover of Rolling Stone” (do people even have that as a dream any more?). If anything, the tragedy of Hoffman’s death is going to keep people from trying heroin, not convince people that there is some glory behind it.
Beside that, the worst thing about us is not what defines us as individuals. Hoffman’s death was a tragic waste, but his life is something worth remembering and honoring – at least as much as a the career of a rich kid rapper bitching about how he didn’t get a text after losing an award.
“Look you guys! How great is it that I’m so humble!?!?!?”
I don’t know if I agree with that. I mean, there is a pretty broad spectrum of cathartic self-confessional albums, and Plastic Ono Band is so angry while Benji is very resigned. I think that’s a function of Kozelek being almost twenty years older than Lennon was when he recorded Plastic Ono.
However, I can absolutely see Benji reminding someone of the imaginary album John Lennon would have recorded around 1992. It’s not too hard to imagine Lennon releasing a raw, self-confessional album about growing old and facing mortality that would fit in there nicely with Bone Machine, Harvest Moon, Time Out of Mind and others. And it would be great.
[Mark David Chapman remains such a fucking cunt.]
I don’t know. That was definitely the most dour, bleary and turgid version of “Silly Love Songs” I ever heard.
a) Women writers are very under-represented on that list, but hardly absent.
b) The list was for the best 100 best novels originally published in the English language in the 20th century. So the whole lack of non-English speakers was less a function of narrow-mindedness than a function of ability to understand instructions. Might as well complain about them leaving off Tolstoy.
c) Say what you will about the utility of ranking things, but that list is hardly an embarrassment (the public list – yes, but people are fucking idiots). Sure, there are some omissions that I would like to see on there. But there really is nothing really close to saying the Arctic Monkeys wrote one of the best 10 songs of all time.
Yeah, I like Jeff Buckley too, but his version is a cover of a John Cale arrangement (and slight lyrical re-working) of a Leonard Cohen song. At a certain point, how many degrees of removal is too much? How could they forget John Eliot Gardiner’s “Agnus Dei” from Bach’s Mass in B minor.
Oh, and if they were going to include a Cohen song, it should have been “Famous Blue Raincoat.”
Nice list. I’ve kinda left the Dead with the remnants of my jamband past, although I’ll still breakout Europe ’72 once or twice a year. But I can still appreciate. And I can still recall how pissed off I would get in college when my less informed friends would compare Panic to the Dead (I was an angry, opinionated stoner).
I think my top 10 list would just include songs with Pigpen on lead vocals. I might have to put three or four versions of “Good Morning, Little Schoolgirl” on there to make it work, but it would be worth it. Oh, and “Jack Straw” too. Shout out to the UK for having a Foreign Secretary with the same name as a perhaps mythical leader of a medieval peasant revolt and my old piece of glass.
I’ve had this argument several times, and I think that both R.E.M. and the Ramones need to be mentioned. But the group that I usually argue for (yet almost never convince anybody that I’m right) is the Supremes.
I don’t know. Dylan has talked (maybe still) about how baffled he is about how much people enjoy Blood on the Tracks. Well, Bob, maybe because you masked such stark and emotionally raw lyrics with a lot of cheery, exuberant musical arrangements. So while the New York sessions may not be as polished or universally appealing, they do a better job of capturing the essence of the songs.
Not that I’m complaining, Tracks is probably one of my 10 favorite albums. But I think the New York sessions hit with the musical force of Plastic Ono Band or Tonight’s the Night. Raw power.
I’m convinced that the “Rolling Thunder Revue” bootleg series release is the most well-assembled archival album ever. Especially when you consider how listless the official release from that tour, Hard Rain, was.
That version of “Isis” is pure fire though. I don’t love Desire as much as others, because I first encountered most of those songs through “Rolling Thunder” and prefer the live versions.
Nice. Your “I’m Not There” made me realize that “I’ll Keep It With Mine” and “Goin’ to Acapulco” absolutely deserve spots on my list.
I love the supposed story behind that song. John Lennon consciously aped Dylan on “Norwegian Wood.” So Dylan takes the melody of that song (you can really hear it on Bootleg Vol. 4) and tosses out something as effortlessly brilliant as “Fourth Time Around.” Lennon admitted that Dylan’s response made him “paranoid,” and he never again really tried to do a ‘Dylan number.’
So, basically “Fourth Time Around” is the 1966 equivalent of Kendrick Lamar’s verse on “Control.”
Yeah, that’s one a good point. My “favorite” list would be more diverse, but I just don’t think you can name the “best” Dylan songs without it being heavy on his 60s output. and “Sign on the Window” is is the one favorite that I can’t help elevating to best. It’s a weakness.
For the sake of argument, here are my 10 favorite Dylan songs that I wouldn’t necessarily call his best:
1. “Blind Willie McTell”
2. “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight”
3. “Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands”
4. “Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window”
5. “Not Dark Yet”
7. “Boots of Spanish Leather”
9. “Billy 4″
i’m not sure how “interesting” this list is. I’m okay with making arguments for esoteric choices, but this list does include “Tangled” and “Gotta Serve Somebody,” which are probably two of the bigger classic-rock radio friendly Bob songs in his catalogue.
If you’re gonna go unconventional, make an argument that “Wigwam” is the best Dylan song. I’d be willing to consider that.
If we’re going to call if “best” as opposed to favorite, let’s just agree to something more like this (and only consider studio releases because this is hard enough).
1. “Visions of Johanna”
2. “Like a Rolling Stone”
3. “Simple Twist of Fate” or “Tangled Up in Blue” or “Shelter From the Storm” (it changes day to day)
4. “Mr. Tambourine Man”
5. “Positively 4th Street”
6. “Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again”
7. “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right”
8. “Ballad of a Thin Man”
9. “Sign on the Window”
10. “Maggie’s Farm”
The “New York versions” of “Tangled Up in Blue” and (especially) “Idiot Wind” off Bootleg Series 1-3 are vastly superior to the Blood on the Tracks versions, in my opinion.
I’d like to throw in an extra RIP to Stereogum covering other outlets end of the year lists. Nothing like the annual comments bemoaning the lack of death metal on Paste’s list, or the prevalence of a couple dinosaurs on Rolling Stone’s. The tradition is especially missed today. Oh, kind soul who posted a link to mp3s of the Pitchfork 100, you are sorely missed. And for old time’s sake, one last time: no Bon Iver?
It doesn’t make sense to type, but sometimes an album can have some of the best songs a band recorded and not be that great of an album. Magical Mystery Tour has always felt like a hodgepodge collection of really great songs than a single defining statement. Plus, the part that does fit together most coherently (the EP side), isn’t their best work. I know I’m picking nits, but this is supposed to be a list of the best albums, and albums are more than a collection of songs. Ideally, the whole should be greater than the sum of its parts, especially when talking about Beatles albums. I’m not sure that’s the case with Magical Mystery Tour.
I’m assuming you know that Meet the Beatles was a US LP that combined various album tracks and singles. I know that album’s dear to a lot of peoples hearts because that was how they originally encountered the Beatles if they lived in the US in the ’60s. But, the EMI albums has been the accepted Beatles ‘cannon’ since the late 80s. (I know they released the old Capitol albums several years back, but how many Beatles neophytes bought that?) So if you formed opinions about the Beatles music sometime in the past two and a half decades, chances are you are only familiar with the EMI releases (and probably haven’t heard the Capitol releases, I am a fanatic and haven’t listened to them)
I think this is okay, because the band had no input on how Capitol cut up and sequenced their US albums. That’s okay with the early records, but what Capitol did to Rubber Soul and Revolver was a travesty.
I will say this about Sgt. Peppers: if they had included “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane” like they originally intended instead of releasing them as a single worlds would have collapsed. That’s the amazing thing about the Beatles. Not only did they released this many amazing albums in just over seven years, but they didn’t put their best singles on the albums.
I wouldn’t even say the album as a whole is psychedelic. Or rather, I would say that it’s psychedelic in ethos but not in sound, sorta akin to the way people use the term “indie rock.” But that’ll get you sucked into the wormhole of classifying popular music genes. Which is something we’re pretty bad at.
You’re right that there is a HUGE difference between the two – what Cracker is doing is much worse. Cracker, to all appearances, is using trademarked images and copy-righted characters as promotional material, presumably without the IP holders permission. That weakens the IP’s brand power which lessens the value of the IP. It is also unfair to those who lawfully license such intellectual property because it cheapens the IP’s promotional value.
So Cracker and lyric sites are dirty rotten thieves. But at least the lyric sites aren’t causing any active harm by their thievery. They are generating revenue by providing a fan service that is clearly in demand which hasn’t been attempted to be provided by legitimate outlets. Cracker, on the other hand, is okay with freeloading off others work, decreasing their earning potential, as long as no one does it to them.[start hyperbole font] i.e. They are destroying the economy. Thanks, Obama![end hyperbole font]
c) Legal Philosophy: Copyright was founded as a right in equity, not in property. The law decided that it wasn’t fair that a artist would lose all rights of control over a creative work once he sold a copy of that work, so it gave the copyright holder a series of rights lasting for a period beyond the original sale. However, over the previous century as the entertainment industry has gotten more and more powerful, that initial sense of an equity driven right has been grievously warped. Copyrights are now treated as concrete property rights rather than abstract theoretical rights (and that’s without diving into the realm of work for hire). Copyrights now last wayyy too long for any equity-based justification, and give holders such stringent rights that they can somewhat overwhelm a property holders rights. What started out as a method to give some sort of fairness to the producer of creative work has devolved into a supervening property right that is often out of the hands of the person who provided any “spark of creativity.”
which leads us to
d) being a self-righteous, greedy douche: It’s one thing thing if someone is profiting by violating your copyright and taking money out of your pocket, but that’s not what’s happening here. There’s no record industry alternative to Metrolyrics or Rap Genius that has a database of song lyrics. Know why? Probably because there isn’t enough money in it. The official sites that do provide fan lyrics (like the excellent bobdylan.com and if Dylan is okay with giving away his lyrics, who the fuck is Lowrey to raise a stink over it?) do so as a fan service. So Lowery is pitching a fit because sites that are providing a service for consumers whose support allows artists to make a living (who, let’s assume, bought the music) make a few book a year from ad revenue by hosting content that (kinda, maybe) appropriates his copyright. It’s not just greed, it’s a solipsistic greed.