Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Book You Have to Read

I'm taking a break this week of Album of the Week and Band of the Week, so I thought I'd write a little bit about a book I read.

It is generally regarded by music fans and critics that certain albums are untouchable to criticism. Led Zeppelin IV, Tommy, and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band are generally put in this category. Well, I have found the book that challenges these sentiments.

Kill Your Idols: A New Generation of Rock Writers Reconsiders the Classics asks the burning question: Are these albums as good as advertised? I had always asked myself that question when listening to albums that were regarded as classics that I didn't really dig. I agreed with sentiments posed in this book, but also disagreed with many.

The critics can be a bit critical however. On some occasions, the music is regarded by them as total crap, which is most likely not true.

Kill Your Idols covers the following albums:

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles
Pet Sounds – The Beach Boys
Smile – The Beach Boys
Tommy – The Who
Kick Out the Jams – The MC5
Sweetheart of the Rodeo – The Byrds
Trout Mask Replica – Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band
Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs – Derek and the Dominoes
Untitled ("IV") – Led Zeppelin
Harvest – Neil Young
Exile on Main St. – The Rolling Stones
Desperado – The Eagles
Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd – Lynyrd Skynyrd
GP / Grievous Angel – Gram Parsons
The Best of the Doors – The Doors
The Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd
Blood on the Tracks – Bob Dylan
Horses – Patti Smith
Exodus – Bob Marley & the Wailers
Rumours – Fleetwood Mac
Ram – Paul & Linda McCartney
Double Fantasy – John Lennon / Yoko Ono
Never Mind the Bollocks . . . Here's the Sex Pistols – The Sex Pistols
Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables – Dead Kennedys
Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen
Born in the U.S.A. – Bruce Springsteen
My Greatest Exes – Various Artists
Imperial Bedroom – Elvis Costello and the Attractions
The Joshua Tree – U2
It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back – Public Enemy
Nevermind – Nirvana
Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness – The Smashing Pumpkins
OK Computer – Radiohead
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot – Wilco

If you read this book, you have to be tolerant. Some of you diehards out there might get a bit offended by the flaws in the albums being pointed out. I have only heard a few of the albums on the list, and I'm sure some of you have heard most of them. But reading this totally makes you re-examine your opinions on the music. You probably aren't going to like the book, but it is an entertaining and humorous read. Not to mention informative.

Give it a chance. You might like it.

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