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How do you qualify to be a music critic? I suspect it's something to do with being a wanker.

Do you need to know a treble clef from an ampersand? Or does a desperate editor merely fix his eye on the the youngest person in the office and say "you're it"?

Probably the latter. It takes a person with a degree in idiocy to come up with lines like "The polyharmonies in Pink Floyd are reminiscent of Boccherini at his neo-baroque best."* And you don't see that sort of nonsense in the papers. Still, some of the best critics were musicians (G B Shaw on opera is pretty good, if you can get hold of him).

Also - no Frank Zappa??!?

*Yes, I'm afraid I'm one of them.

Command and control types, music critics.

"Zeez are de records we shall be listening to!"

I've been reading shit reviews of Elton John all over the country on the internet. Saw him last night, brilliant. The old bloke can sing better now than he ever has, not to mention the piano playing.

Freddie, The Gilo, KP and Knack-knee Vaughan all spotted too. "This one's for Freddy and the boys," said Reggie, introducing Rocket Man.


Just on this:

Still, some of the best critics were musicians (G B Shaw on opera is pretty good, if you can get hold of him).

I should have said that Shaw was also a good amateur musician, which would have made thjat sentence make more sense.

Disappointed Mathieson didn't slip in a "corruscating" or a "searing" but you can't have everything.

Those Poms seem to be spending a lot of time at concerts. Cue the obligatory "they should be practicing instead".

Tony, that hipster guide has made me feel ill.

17 bits of junk mail
I'm claiming the record
(But anyone else is welcome to it)

Alistair: You know why I feel ill? Because when I see these lists and see the same old same olds, I despair that I just don't much like them anymore.

Sorry, Chris, I don't get it.

First off The Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground and Nico and Captain Beefheart - Trout Mask Replica must be asteriscised in triplicate i.e. ***there's diamonds in this shit - don't blame me if you always look at the CDs and burn with indignation that you shelled out for this when you could have bought Alice Cooper's Love it to Death. I believe if memory serves me correct even you admitted that Nico sounds worse than a cow giving birth out its arse. And except for the first half of Veteran's Day Poppy that CD still makes me angry.

I would make way in compilation's for Queen's Best Of - the first release, NOT the one with "seven seas of rye" which came a year or so later with exactly the same cover. It is brilliant - not one bad song.

I'd swap Hunners Frailty for 42 Wheels original vinyl version (not the rejigged mess) - absolutely foot stompin beer drinkin glass smashin album. Maybe throw in Hoodoo Gurus Stoneage Romeos.

Glad to see Odelay gets a gurnsey but I'd also throw in Sea Change and Mutations.

Sgt. Peppers is the best Beatles for mine - and White Album just shouldn't be rated as an album. Great songs and some real crap as well - Martha My Dear, Honey Pie, Don't Pass Me By, Savoy Truffle, Piggies, Why Don't we Do it in the Road, Rocky Raccoon and even Lennon comes a gutsa with Bungalow Bill. Remove these and you have a great "album" - with them thank god for CD's otherwise you'd be up and down removing and replacing the needle.

Not 42 wheels Jaws of Life.

I add, Still the 12th Man by the 12th Man to the Domestic Harmony list.

I would also put "Domestic Harmony" by Do Re Mi in the "Domestic Harmony" category.

Hats off for including the Hummingbirds.

Yeah I liked The Hummingbirds reference. I feel slightly less than a total loser now, at least in the eyes of the music Nazis.

Worst CD from Current Stash: Rod Stewart - Vagabond Heart

Mind you a lot of my friends bought Vanilla Ice's album around the same time, so I got off easy.

Since when is dreariness an obstacle to greatness? Nevertheless, including The Smiths and Interpol while failing to include Leonard Cohen and Joy Division, or including Television while neglecting the Ramones is a reductio ad absurdum, thereby proving rigorously and conclusively that the entire article is crap.

Just sitting here enjoying the Christmas cheer (no heckling neighbours or wildlife - actually observing a possum on the deck

right now) I have given this subject much thought, as it deserves. Let me make this allowance from the start; I humble myself

before your musical erudition. From a musical plebian I make these adjustments/observations:

1) Shabooh Shoobah - THE best INXS album. Though I rate Kick highly, this album started the whole thing and still

rocks today.

2) Compilations: New Order Substance is great but Power, Corruption and Lies is the seminal New Order album. I

made love to a girl from OLMC in the backseat of a Datsun 200B to this album and,

3) OMD (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark ) - Junk Culture. Seemingly a bunch of pom poofs but actually full-on, hard

core lotharios.

**Double Asterisk Alert!!

This one for the tape deck looking for waves on the Northern Beaches

Side 1: Midnight Oil - Place Without a Postcard
Side 2: The Cure - Seventeen Seconds

Anger Management:

1) Alice In Chains - Dirt. This is rage from start to end and must be up full blast.

2) Rage Against the Machine - Rage Against the Machine. This goes to 11 on the dial. A solid sub woofer a must.

3) Slipknot - Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) Fuck me! but this needs to be heard by all teenage men entering


Loving, tight, ooze:

1) Air - Moon Safari. But as an added bonus add Run from Talkie Walkie

2) Groove Armada - split between Vertigo and Lovebox. Tuning In is one of my top 10 songs of all time.

3) Morcheeba - Big Calm. The music and most of all Skye Edwards voice - long slow barring and thrust guaranteed.

Mental Anguish:

1) Janes Addiction - Ritual de lo Habitual from the Spanish intro this is unsettling, rock hard, melancholy,


2) The The - Infected. So much self doubt. So much left-tardism. So much excellent.

3) The Stranglers - Aural Sculpture. They set a goal - they achieved it.

3*) XTC - English Settlement. People need to hear this double album.


1) No one does it better than Beck - Sea Change or Mutations. This is an artist hurting and facing it.

2) Radiohead - OK Computer You know it. Makes me want to weep like Seachange

3) Godley & Creme - Cry The single. Just keep on repeating it, over and over, and over and over and.....

4) Cry's not an album so: Cowboy Junkies - Trinity Session. These people need some loving hugs.

Just Rocking:

1) Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin This is where it all began and I mean it.all! They caaaaaaall me the Hunter...that's mah naame!

2) Foo Fighters - The Colour and the Shape. This is up, this is fun, this rocks.

3) The Police - Outlandos d'Amour or Reggatta de Blanc Take your pick.

Feeling wired and drowsy aka ripped:

1) The Doors - LA Woman C'mon, this is the best thing from the 60's and 70's combined. I first heard this album off my face at a bonfire in the middle of the bush up Armidale way. I cannot believe this album doesn't rate top 10 always - it just has everything.

2) Hunters & Collectors - Talking to A Stranger Each song lasts a lifetime and each song is so complicated that it still has something new to give.

3) Frankie Goes to Hollywood - Welcome to the Pleasuredome Pull some cones, get in a fast car with a good stereo and drive from the M4 toll gates to whenever you hit a tree. This is the soundtrack.

What!? No Talking Heads?!

Speaking In Tongues
Remain In Light
Fear of Music

I'm tilting towards the latter. As Ingeborg Schober from Bayerischer Rundfunk says "There is no number one - they're all number ones."

So much to choose from:

The Pretenders - Pretenders
Gang of Four - Entertainment
Michelle Shocked - Short Sharp Shocked
The Pogues - Rum, Sodomy and the Lash
Fat Boy Slim - You've Come a Long Way
Models - Pleasure of Your Company

I will one day go on with this list. Each album has a mood and can be listened to from go to end. Not all of them are considered classics but I'd recommend each one to anyone.

For my denouement I have revised my #1 Beatles selection and upon reflection it is without a doubt......drum roll....

Magical Mystery Tour - check it out.

Impressive list, Pat. Do you realise I wouldn't know New Order from Flock of Seagulls? When the eighties were in full swing, I was living in the Pilbara. Doing the rounds on 6KA and 6NW were Bananarama, J. Geils Band (The Shit Years), Spandau Ballet, Human League and Stars on 45. At least they played XTC.

Right now I'm playing this.

Sad but true: my oldest daughter loves Centrefold. I had to surreptitiously remove it in case questions started to be asked about what it meant.

The 80's were great musically. Tacky but great. And I now vote Devo's Freedom of Choice as the best album of the 80's. Just read on wiki "Devo remained popular in countries such as Australia, where the nationally broadcast '70s-'80s pop TV show Countdown was one of the first programs in the world to broadcast their video clips. They were given consistent radio support by Sydney-based noncommercial rock station Double Jay (2JJ), one of the first rock stations outside America to play their recordings. The late-night music program Nightmoves aired The Truth About De-Evolution."

Another Australian claim to fame. Not sure if it was Nightmoves or Sounds but I remember the host "Donny Sutherland" interviewing Iggy Pop and his asian girlfriend at the time. Being young I wondered what the hell was wrong with this Pop fella - he was up and down on the seat, jumping around, manic and quite - well, mental. It was later that my brother explained he was on drugs. Wow. It blew my mind. I also remember Donnie interviewing Marilyn Chambers and Donnie being pretty hot and bothered (as was I). Now its all just video rotation and a bunch of heavily made up skanks with tramp stamps shaking their arse - with no class.

Re. The Who, I'm ashamed to say I've only ever bought their best of. I will rectify it if I can download an album from Limewire.

The J. Geil's Band's live album Full House was one of my first favourite albums. It rocked. Or so I thought. I heard it recently and it sounded tinny.

Mark Mothersbaugh, the main man from Devo, is the guy whot dun all the music for Wes Anderson's fillums. Any soundtrack he's involved with is worth a listen. The Royal Tenenbaums is a shit movie but it at least contains some fine songs. And Rushmore contains Making Time by Creation, Ooh La La by The Faces AND A Quick One While He's Away by The Who. Get it.

For best album of the eighties you can't to go past David & David's Boomtown. Well, you can go past it, but I like it all the same. Swallowed By The Cracks is one of my favourite songs.

I've always thought the soundtrack to The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou was particularly good. Mothersbaugh's music really blends quite well with the Brazillian stuff.

Hrm, Brazilian, even.

Good stuff, Harry. I didn't mention The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou because I wanted to see if Pat would jump in because he loves the fillum. Or even Paul Bickford who hates it "the most turgid, pointless, self-indulgent and utterly spastic waste of celluloid I've seen in many a day- not just a waste, but a total destruction of over two hours of my life". Bloody canetoad, wouldn't know a good movie if it bit him on the second unit.

I really loved it, and in fact, bought the DVD last week.

Tell you the truth, I've only ever heard the soundtrack! Though I am quite enjoying Bill Murray's sad old man phase, so I may check it out if the mood strikes me.

I would've commented but have been too distracted by an absolutely massive storm and torrential rain that has hit the mountains. If this is heading to Sydney then tomorrow's toss will be another good one to lose. It will be seaming all over the place - a McGrath made track.

I also noticed on that list of films Mothersbaugh has scored Rugrats in Paris which gets heavy rotation here. I'll now have something to keep my interest on the next viewing. Song of note in that movie is Sinead O'Connor's When You Love - at the beginning when all the kids are dancing with their mums but Chuckie has no mum as she died when he was a babe so he stands there watching - quite a tear jerker (sob,sob).

Which reminds me of another tear jerker movie moment and song - Sarah McLachlan's When She Loved Me from Toy Story II on Jessie's backstory. Heartbreaking.

Back OT. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Great film made even better by the soundtrack. I had no idea about the Devo/Mothersbaugh connection so now that I do it makes sense that I liked it so much.

Re. Mothersbaugh. It is amazing how "four dead in Ohio," have inspired so much great music.

Some subsequent thoughts upon reading your list that have come to mind are the impact of the producer on any bands artistry and success. Producers that come to mind are Bob Ezrin, Brian Eno, Nigel Godrich and Phil Spector.

Ezrin produced:
from your list Kiss's Destroyer
not on my list but mentioned earlier Alice Cooper's Love it to Death and everything up to Lace and Whiskey.
Other notable albums being Pink Floyd's The Wall, Lou Reed's Berlin, and Jane's Addiction Strays.

Eno obviously with Roxy Music but also Devo, Talking Heads - two being Remain in Light and Fear of Music, U2's The Joshua Tree (in my top 100 albums for sure). The Eno tune Sky Saw from Another Green World is excellent as is the album. I first heard this on the Dogs in Space soundtrack which also led me to Iggy Pop's New Values - in my top 100.

Nigel Godrich:
Radiohead producer and from your list Ok Computer
Beck Sea Change and Mutations and the last two.
Re-created McCartney on Chaos and Creation in the Backyard which I haven't heard.

Spector's influence is legend. Two albums on my top 100 being Lennon's Imagine and Plastic Ono Band.

Just listening now to Love the George Martin and his son recreation of Beatles tunes for Cirque De Soleil and again I'm struck by how integral he was to their success. Definitely the 5th Beatle, as corny as that sounds. The reworking of Strawberry Fields is worth the price of a another Beatles compilation.

Just asked the mrs if we could borrow Life Aquatic and watch it tonight - rolling eyes, silence, contempt. "I liked the music but...". Sigh.

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