Being Beta

Exercises in the higher banter with One of 26. Elsewhere called 'poet of adland'. By a whipple-squeezer. Find out why being beta is the new alpha: betarish at googlemail dot com

Thursday, July 13, 2006

In flew an essence

Observer. Another list. Albums. This time those that are most influential. Twopenn'orth here, and below. I think 'Music For Airports' should definitely be there as well. What's the modern R'n'B one? 'Off The Wall' is disco, so... 'New Edition', maybe?

Just three:

My Bloody Valentine - Loveless. Effectively innovation in guitar-driven 'pop' music ended here, the omega to the alpha begun by Hendrix. It's no coincidence that every major guitar music scene since has been backwards looking in inspiration and intent - you can't go anywhere else after this album. The avant garde spirit in music alighted elsewhere, within the manipulation of breakbeats primarily.

The Velvet Underground - The Velvet Undergound and Nico. Because the cliche that it sold nothing and yet everyone who heard it started a band is true. Because high art and low culture didn't elide again so elegantly for years. Because (as a trip to see Tom Stoppard's 'Rock 'N' Roll' will confirm) it is the misfits that create the spaces of freedom in which we can revel.

and most importantly:

Frank Sinatra - In The Wee Small Hours of The Morning. Because the very idea of an 'album', and an album as a concept, a collection of songs that can be thematically linked together, started here. And it essayed the fact that the best pop music would be first, foremost and most directly about and related to the verities of love, in whatever its forms.


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