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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

"Never Knowingly Listened to" List of well regarded albums

Thanks to Spotify and my search for great music of which I have no knowledge, I have discovered that there are 27 albums in Q's top 100 albums (from 2006) that I have no knowledge of ever having listened to.

The high number shocked me, I thought I was a decent all rounder in my chosen sport.

There four basic subsections of these 27 albums

  1. Some which I am really surprised that I haven’t ever listened to (Bowie - The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, Joy Division - Closer, etc ). These are album titles which I can name from the top of my head; these are by artists I think I like. In my youth they may have never been in stock at West Bromwich or Walsall libraries, weren’t anywhere to be found in my family or friends collections and weren’t highly placed in the competition for my limited spending money. By the time music became more affordable or accessible to me I had moved on to something else and never quite looked back at them.
  1. Albums by artists from whom I listened to another album or albums and those sufficed as all I needed from that artist (in both good and bad ways). Here we have Neil Young – After the Goldrush, Prince - Sign 'O' the times, Kraftwerk - The Man Machine, Nirvana - In Utero etc etc. This seems to be the largest subsection.
  1. Albums that my prejudices regarding the artists caused me to avoid. Coldplay, Morrissey to name the top two.
  1. Albums by artists who that for one reason or another just never really reached my radar. Jeff Buckley, Wilco, Muse... I have pretty much not preconceptions about these.

There are albums in the Q top 100 which I don't feel that I have given a proper chance and would maybe like to revisit. The Clash - London Calling is the top contender here, people love it, I might love it... I have listened to it and not really bothered to get to know it. Maybe I should, maybe I will in future and it will become a temporary obsession. Or maybe it will always be one of those just out of reach albums. One thing is for sure, this category of albums is also excluded from the 'Never Knowingly Listened to List'

The albums on my 'Never Knowingly Listened To' list do not include stuff that I know I have heard, either through someone else playing them, a borrowed CD, a mostly ignored a tape, an mp3 etc etc. I know I have listened to them, just not very much. This could be through my prejudice or my gut reaction, who knows? I just know that I have given them a day in court (however swift my judgment may have been) and therefore don't want to add them to the 'Never Knowingly Listened To' list. (Most noticeable contenders here are the Oasis albums)

So the plan is to go through each album the twenty eight unheard albums and listen to them at least twice. First, in a background sort of way (essentially quietly at my desk through a pair of reasonable sounding Bose PC speakers) then again at home properly at proper volume through full sized speakers. Then to write down what I honestly think about each of the albums. A one line first impression, and maybe a full breakdown after a proper listen.

My 'Never Knowingly Listened To' list of albums from Q's top 100

  1. Jeff Buckley - Grace
  2. Travis - The Man Who
  3. Coldplay - Parachutes
  4. Prince - Sign 'O' the times
  5. Lauryn Hill - The Miseducation of Lauren Hill
  6. Mercury Rev - Deserter's Songs
  7. Badly Drawn Boy - The Hour of the Bewilderbeast
  8. Macy Gray - Macy Gray on How Life Is
  9. Public Enemy - It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
  10. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band - Tunnel of Love
  11. Nirvana - In Utero
  12. Coldplay - A Rush of Blood to the Head
  13. The Strokes - Is This It
  14. Joy Division - Closer
  15. David Bowie - Hunky Dory
  16. David Bowie - The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
  17. Van Morrison - Astral Weeks
  18. Muse - Origin of Symmetry
  19. The Clash - The Clash
  20. The Jam - Setting Sons
  21. David Bowie - Low
  22. Stevie Wonder - Songs in the Key of Life
  23. PJ Harvey - Stories from the City, Stories From the Sea
  24. Neil Young - After the Goldrush
  25. Morrissey - Vauxhall And I
  26. Kraftwerk - The Man Machine
  27. Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
(Not sure why the number which blogger inserted for me were turned into little flowers when published, but they are sweet, so I won't correct them)

3 Comments:

Blogger Russ said...

Brave of you. There albums on that list I wouldn't entertain as I know I wouldn't like them so why waste my time (Coldplay, Lauryn Hill, Macy Gray), there are some I'm surprised you've never heard (Setting Sons, Closer) and there's at least one I'm shocked was in the top 100 (much as I love Springsteen, Tunnel of Love is not his finest hour). I'll look forward to hearing what you think.

10:48 AM  
Blogger thehellhecould said...

Nothing really essential in your list Wil!! Apart from Bowie - always worth returning too. The only problem is context now. Ziggy Stardust was amazing when it was released but may have dated for those who have never heard it.

11:02 AM  
Blogger theboywil said...

the first Coldplay album was heavy going, and Lauryn Hill was (so far) the only album to have been skipped. Irritating droney voice :-( complimented with messy, busy, meaningless layers of voices and noises.

Quite enjoying Macy Gray though. Bouncy late afternoon stuff...

It's fun to listen to some stuff with no preconceptions.

Macy Gray & Mercury Rev so far today have been the two acts today which have impressed me, without my having any clue of their background, release dates, chart popularity, even country of origins etc etc. I've heard both their names but that's about it. (because of Mercury Rev I figured it would be fun if I made an effort not to dig into and find anything out about anyof the albums/artists that I know little about until I have decided what I think.)

Setting Sons & Closer surprised me, I know I came late to the Jam and therefore was more of a 'best of' kinda person. And the only Joy Division I ever owned was an unknown tape, (which may turn out to be Closer)

I enjoyed Ziggy, but you're right Bes, it's difficult to sometimes appreciate how the context changes the content. And also bearing in mind that there are albums on the top 100 just because they were fan favourites in 2006 (ie Travis, really not sure why that's so high up the list, it was inoffensive on first listen, but I'm pretty sure even five years later that it would feature.)

4:21 PM  

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