Top-Ten Album Lists

    Two album-related memes have been doing the rounds on Facebook lately. Both involve posting cover images of ten favourite albums across ten days. One involves doing so without any comment, but the more interesting one to me involves the poster writing about their thoughts on each album. I was nominated by my friend Peter to join in with the long-form version.

    I’m all about owning my own content, as you know, and not having it locked away in Facebook’s walled garden. So my plan is to write about ten albums, but to do so here, on my blog. Links to the posts will automatically be crossposted to Facebook anyway.

    I started compiling a list of possibles, and thinking about starting to write posts. First I decided to restrict it one per artist. Otherwise I could just pick five by The Beatles and five by The Clash.

    But then I played some albums, and thought some more.

    See, I knew right up front that it was going to be almost entirely a white-guy fest. I wanted to approach it honestly, and not try to appear to be anything I’m not, so that’s how it would have to be. It would be reflecting my life as a music fan. As it stands the long list has one woman and no non-white people.

    But as I played those albums — albums I love — and as I thought about them, I realised two things:

    1. I know these albums too well. I’m not bored of them, but they can drift past without me really being aware of them, through overfamiliarity.
    2. This won’t be very interesting, and certainly won’t have any surprises for anyone who knows me.

    So I’ve come to a decision, I think: I’m going to do it slightly differently. I’m going to write about ten albums that I like now. Ones that I’ve discovered in the last few years, maybe, or that I’ve known for a while but have listened to a lot more in recent years.

    I’m not entirely sure what that list is going to look like. I only have two, maybe three definites on it at the moment, and it’s going to take a while to construct it. But I think it could be a much more interesting list — certainly for me — when it’s done.

    And I’ll do a post with a rundown of what the original list would have been, just for completeness.

    So watch out for those in the next few days.

    88 Lines About The End Of Reasons To Leave The Elements

    Back when John Peel was still with us he played a song called '88 Lines About 44 Women'. I only heard it maybe twice, and never caught the name of the band. Later, when it became easy to find things out, I discovered they were called The Nails. I've recently been rediscovering that very fine song, which I like as much as ever; and I'm pleased to find that there are couple of different versions of it.

    (According to the Wikipedia article on the band, Jello Biafra was their roadie, which was a strange and surprising discovery.)

    It reminded me that I have a fondness for list songs, which as you can see from the link, is a sufficiently real genre, or class, that it has its own entry.

    So I made a Spotify playlist of some I like. Click that link if you have Spotify, or this one if you don’t. Unfortunately it won’t show the contents of the list – there doesn’t seem to be an easy way to do that. It will just prompt you to sign up.

    There’s a song on there by The Beautiful South which, if I remember correctly, was intended to mock the use of women’s names in songs. I wonder what they’d think of ‘88 Lines About 44 Women’.