I had a brief discussion with my friend HG regarding my comments on yesterday's post about Bob Marley and his early singles versus his Island output. To sum it all up, we like what we like and we don't like what we don't like. We can't fake it, yet there is still plenty to discuss. If you like the early Studio One singles but none of the Island output, does that mean you like rock steady but don't like reggae?
Just an hour or so later, I found myself tagged in a post by my friend Dusty. Here's what he had to say:
"Five Canonical Albums You Just Don’t Get!
This isn’t to say that they’re bad records, but maybe a bit overrated and/or inordinately over-praised. Cite your choices and reasons. I typically tend to stay away from albums I dislike and bands that made them. However, this is a fun exercise. There are plenty of albums I don't get, especially the too-numerous-to-mention new acts who've been lavished with praised as releasing albums that will "stand the test of time" or "5 out of 5 stars." Sometimes artists get lazy and release crap to fulfill their contract with their label."
I figured two friends, two similar yet unrelated discussions hours apart, might as well run with it.
First Up, Dusty's choices.
1. NEVERMIND by Nirvana - I prefer their "MTV Unplugged" album. Much more interesting album. Better songs, too.
2. APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION by GnR - I never cared for them. Saw them live, too. Boring! Give me the Faces, The Black Crowes, even Hanoi Rocks over them any day of the week.
3. DIFFERENT CLASS by Pulp - Okay, so I love the single "Common People," but I could give a toss about the rest of the album. Must be a Brit thing.
4. ABACAB by Genesis - After Peter Gabriel left it was slow slide into sugar pop land. Why some claim this to be the pinnacle of their post-Gabriel era... must be on the FM radio promo payola plan... and please don't get me started on Phil Collins' "neo-soul routine. Uncle!!!!
5. YANKEE HOTEL FOXTROT by Wilco - When was the last time any of you listened to this album top to bottom and crowed that it was a masterwork? Not me. And I hail Wilco. I don't believe they will ever top the track "Impossible Germany." Nels Cline is a revelation on it. In fact, Mr. Tweedy is damn lucky to have one of the best guitar players in the entire expanding universe in his band!
To answer Dusty's Wilco question, not long after seeing Wilco in October, I pulled out YHF and thought, this is a masterwork. So go figure! Also, regarding Genesis, I don't mind "Abacab," or any of their MTV-era records, except for maybe the "Invisible Touch" album which really threw in the towel. But I disagree about their post-Gabriel output being a "slow slide into sugar pop land." As a matter of fact, the first release post-Gabriel, "A Trick Of The Tail" is arguably their best record, and the two that followed, "Wind & Wuthering" and "And Then There Were Three" are also solid and smart, combining the early art rock of the Peter Gabriel years with a slightly more accessible pop feel that got them airplay for the first time in their careers. And before this turns into a Genesis post, "Duke" is pretty damn good, too.
Next up, my choices.
1. Trout Mask Replica
I've tried too many times. I love records before and aft--"Safe As Milk," "The Spotlight Kid," & my very fave, "Clear Spot." But "Trout Mask Replica" feels like a joke I am just not part of. The only thing more annoying to me than this record, are the endless articles and videos dissecting all the complicated chords and notes and augmented 9ths that you could only play with eleven fingers, some toes, and your tongue. Might as well read "David Copperfield," it's about as musical and as much fun.
2. The White Album
I'll keep this brief, since we've discussed The Fabs and this album a number of times. I love "The White Album." But I like nine Beatles albums a lot more.
3. Exile In Guyville
To be fair, I haven't heard this record in ages. But I heard it too many times when it was released, and it never took. It feels amateurish, with weak vocals and instrumentation. It's that "indie" thing that I just won't buy.
4. Bitches Brew
I know, I know! I don't hate it, but even as far as Miles fusion goes, I prefer "In A Silent Way" and "Jack Johnson." Listening to music should never be a chore. Even the heaviest records that couldn't be further away from pop music, should have something, and yes "Bitches Brew" has something. It's just takes too long to get there for my purposes. Again, I don't hate it.
Apologies for copying Dusty but, I've had Kurt Cobain/Genius issues since "Nevermind" was released. It's half good. Really good. So was "In Utero," about half good. And "Bleach," about half good. And dat's dat. Three and done. Meh.
Care to weigh in?