Delenda Est Carthago

Why not delve into a twisted mind? Thoughts on the world, history, politics, entertainment, comics, and why all shall call me master!

Name:
Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

I plan on being the supreme dictator of the country, if not the world. Therefore, you might want to stay on my good side. Just a hint: ABBA rules!

19.7.05

I'm cooler than I thought I was!

I mentioned that I'm a sucker for lists, and so when Spin magazine's latest issue was celebrating Spin's 20 year by listing the 100 best albums of the past 20 years, I was all over it like Prince on a short model. I must have my album purchases validated by the hipster doofuses (doofi?) at Spin, after all!

It turns out the Spin-meisters would think I'm somewhat cool (possibly, unless they're more elitist than I think - but that couldn't be, could it?). Here's their list, with the albums I own in bold (and some comments when I feel like it):

1. Radiohead - OK Computer (1997). I never liked Radiohead. They're freaky.
2. Public Enemy - It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988). I should own this, shouldn't I?
3. Nirvana - Nevermind (1991). I bought this before it exploded. That makes me cutting-edge, man!
4. Pavement - Slanted and Enchanted (1992). I don't think I've ever heard a Pavement song.
5. The Smiths - The Queen is Dead (1986). I hate the Smiths. HATE THEM! Johnny Marr is the only reason to listen to them. Morrissey can go jump in a lake.
6. Pixies - Surfer Rosa (1988). Ditto. I hate the Pixies. God how I hate them.
7. De La Soul - 3 Feet High and Rising (1989).
8. Prince - Sign O' the Times (1987). Everyone picks this as Prince's best album. They're probably right, but "The Gold Experience" is close.
9. PJ Harvey - Rid of Me (1993). The title track is better on "4-Track Demos," released soon after this. Man, it's good on that.
10. N.W.A. - Straight Outta Compton (1988).
11. U2 - Achtung Baby (1991). I was thinking about buying this, and the first time I heard "One" on the radio, it made my decision for me.
12. Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique (1989). Best rap album ever?
13. Hüsker Dü - New Day Rising (1985). I own "Zen Arcade" and don't like it very much. Therefore, I have no desire to buy this.
14. Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation (1988). I never liked Sonic Youth. Does this make me a bad person?
15. Liz Phair - Exile in Guyville (1993).
16. Beck - Odelay (1996). I didn't like "Loser" when it came out, but then I heard "New Pollution" and decided to give this album a chance. I'm glad I did.
17. Nas - Illmatic (1994). Wow. Is that really 11 years old?
18. Guns N' Roses - Appetite for Destruction (1987). The most overrated band in history?
19. Hole - Live Through This (1994). I'm curious about this album just to hear the meltdown of Courtney.
20. Wu-Tang Clan - Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) (1993).
21. Public Enemy - Fear of a Black Planet (1990). Not a bad album (my roommate in college had it, so I've heard it a lot), but I never got around to buying it.
22. My Bloody Valentine - Loveless (1991). No idea. I've never heard them.
23. Outkast - Stankonia (2000).
24. Sleater-Kinney - Dig Me Out (1997). I have driven past the road from where they took their name! Does that make it okay that I don't own any of their albums?
25. Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral (1994). Boy, this is a good album.
26. Björk - Post (1995).
27. The Cure - The Head on the Door (1985). Like the Smiths, this is another flaky '80s band I don't get. I do like the Cure more than the Smiths, though.
28. Oasis - Definitely Maybe (1994). I will definitely maybe buy this one day.
29. Fugazi - 13 Songs (1989). I admire Ian MacKaye's pricing policy, but I never liked the band.
30. The Notorious B.I.G. - Ready to Die (1994). Turns out he was. (Sorry, that's a cheap shot.)
31. Dinosaur Jr. - You're Living All Over Me (1987). Another "genius" I hate. I challenge anyone to listen to J Mascis and not gouge their eardrums out with a dirty spoon.
32. The Replacements - Tim (1985). I hate the Replacements. Except for "Androgynous." That's a fun song.
33. Ice Cube - AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted (1990). Cube sure is subtle, isn't he?
34. Elliot Smith - Either/Or (1997). I should buy this. I like Elliot Smith.
35. Dr. Dre - The Chronic (1992).
36. Pixies - Doolittle (1989).
37. Guided By Voices - Bee Thousand (1994).
38. A Tribe Called Quest - The Low End Theory (1991). I'm glad I bought this, even though I bought it because I thought it would sound like "I Left My Wallet in El Segundo." It doesn't, but it's really good.
39. Lucinda Williams - Lucinda Williams (1988). I just bought "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road." It's a really good album. I like country more and more as I get older. I don't know what that says about me.
40. Run-D.M.C. - Raising Hell (1986). Another album I should own. Oh well.
41. Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream (1993). I think I like "Gish" better.
42. Jane's Addiction - Nothing's Shocking (1988). Damn, this is a good hard rock album.
43. Boogie Down Productions - Criminal Minded (1987).
44. Green Day - Dookie (1994). Another band I don't like a lot.
45. Kanye West - College Dropout (2004). I think I would like this.
46. The Fall - The Nation's Saving Grace (1985).
47. Eric B. & Rakim - Paid in Full (1987).
48. Radiohead - Kid A (2000).
49. Lauryn Hill - The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998). I should like this more. It's okay, but not great.
50. New Order - Low-Life (1985).
51. Nirvana - In Utero (1993).
52. Beastie Boys - Licensed to Ill (1986).
53. Rage Against the Machine - The Battle of Los Angeles (1999).
54. The Breeders - Last Splash (1993).
55. The Chemical Brothers - Dig Your Own Hole (1997).
56. PJ Harvey - To Bring You My Love (1995). This is better than "Rid of Me."
57. The White Stripes - White Blood Cells (2001). Is this their peak?
58. Metallica - Master of Puppets (1986). I have "Ride the Lightning," but that's all for Metallica.
59. Modest Mouse - The Lonesome Crowded West (1997). I still don't think I've ever heard a Modest Mouse song.
60. De La Soul - De La Soul is Dead (1991).
61. Weezer - Pinkerton (1996).
62. Missy Elliott - Supa Dupa Fly (1997).
63. Pavement - Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain (1994).
64. Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP (2000). I never liked Eminem.
65. Basement Jaxx - Remedy (1999).
66. Outkast - Aquemini (1998).
67. Slayer - Reign in Blood (1986). Slayer? Really?
68. Tricky - Maxiquaye (1995). I like Massive Attack okay, but not enough to buy more stuff like it.
69. DJ Shadow - Entroducing DJ Shadow (1996).
70. Jay-Z - The Blueprint (2001).
71. The Jesus and Mary Chain - Psychocandy (1985). All their songs sound the same. How can they make a great album?
72. Raekwon - Only Built 4 Cuban Linx (1995).
73. Pulp - Different Class (1995). This is another album that's okay, but nothing great.
74. Portishead - Dummy (1994).
75. Le Tigre - Le Tigre (1999). Now that I've heard a Le Tigre song, I might have to go buy more. They're pretty good.
76. Belle and Sebastian - If You're Feeling Sinister (1997). Never heard of them.
77. Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002).
78. The Stone Roses - The Stone Roses (1989). This is a pretty good album, actually. I've heard it plenty of times, but don't own it.
79. Moby - Everything is Wrong (1995). Krys owns "Play." Eh.
80. D'Angelo - Voodoo (2000). Whatever happened to D'Angelo? He was supposed to be the next huge thing. Is he still around?
81. Beck - Mellow Gold (1994).
82. Jeff Buckley - Grace (1994). I hear Buckley is really good. I wouldn't know.
83. At the Drive-In - Relationship of Command (2000).
84. Soundgarden - Superunknown (1994). I don't like "Black Hole Sun," so I didn't buy this album.
85. R.E.M. - Automatic for the People (1992). This is Krys's. It's okay, I suppose - I've never been the biggest fan of R.E.M., although I like them.
86. Meat Puppets - Up on the Sun (1985). Despite Kurt Cobain's love for them, I've never been a fan.
87. Blur - Parklife (1994).
88. Stereolab - Emperor Tomato Ketchup (1996).
89. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Fever to Tell (2003). This is also Krys's. I don't like it.
90. Sonic Youth - Sister (1987).
91. XTC - Skylarking (1986).
92. Big Black - Atomizer (1986).
93. Pearl Jam - Ten (1991).
94. Slint - Spiderland (1991).
95. Elastica - Elastica (1995).
96. The Pogues - Rum, Sodomy and the Lash (1985). I would have put "If I Should Fall From Grace With God" as a better Pogues album, but this is a very close second.
97. Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Aeroplane Over the Sea (1998).
98. Cornershop - When I Was Born for the 7th Time (1997).
99. Afghan Whigs - Gentlemen (1993).
100. The Strokes - This is It (2001).

I own 20 of them, which isn't a bad percentage. Considering it's a completely subjective list and each person's would be completely different and why are they the stinkin' experts anyway, I think I'm qualified to hang with the cool kids at Spin. Are you?

27 Comments:

Blogger Nik said...

Well Greg, I think I have to remove you from my links page. You hate the Smiths, The Pixies, Dinosaur Jr., The Replacements, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Radiohead? I think you should let your wife write the music stuff from now on. You're dead to me. Dead!

19/7/05 2:20 PM  
Blogger Nik said...

Oh, and of the 100, ones I own or have owned (is that cheating? Ha ha ha)
1. Radiohead - OK Computer (1997).
3. Nirvana - Nevermind (1991)
4. Pavement - Slanted and Enchanted (1992)
6. Pixies - Surfer Rosa (1988)
9. PJ Harvey - Rid of Me (1993)
11. U2 - Achtung Baby (1991).
12. Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique (1989
13. Hüsker Dü - New Day Rising (1985)
14. Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation (1988)
16. Beck - Odelay (1996)
18. Guns N' Roses - Appetite for Destruction (1987)
19. Hole - Live Through This (1994)
23. Outkast - Stankonia (2000)
24. Sleater-Kinney - Dig Me Out (1997)
25. Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral (1994).
26. Björk - Post (1995).
32. The Replacements - Tim (1985)
34. Elliot Smith - Either/Or (1997). I should buy this. I like Elliot Smith.
36. Pixies - Doolittle (1989).
37. Guided By Voices - Bee Thousand (1994).
39. Lucinda Williams - Lucinda Williams (1988)
41. Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream (1993)
42. Jane's Addiction - Nothing's Shocking (1988)
44. Green Day - Dookie (1994). Another band I don't like a lot.
48. Radiohead - Kid A (2000).
49. Lauryn Hill - The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998)
51. Nirvana - In Utero (1993).
52. Beastie Boys - Licensed to Ill (1986).
54. The Breeders - Last Splash (1993).
56. PJ Harvey - To Bring You My Love (1995)
57. The White Stripes - White Blood Cells (2001)
61. Weezer - Pinkerton (1996).
63. Pavement - Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain (1994).
76. Belle and Sebastian - If You're Feeling Sinister (1997)
77. Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002).
81. Beck - Mellow Gold (1994)
82. Jeff Buckley - Grace (1994)
84. Soundgarden - Superunknown (1994)
85. R.E.M. - Automatic for the People (1992).
86. Meat Puppets - Up on the Sun
87. Blur - Parklife (1994).
89. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Fever to Tell (2003)
90. Sonic Youth - Sister (1987).
91. XTC - Skylarking (1986).
93. Pearl Jam - Ten (1991).
100. The Strokes - This is It (2001).

19/7/05 2:26 PM  
Blogger Nik said...

That's 46! Bow down before my superiority! Kneel before Zod!

Damn, just noticed I left your comments in some of those. Ah well.

19/7/05 2:27 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Wow. I will kneel before Zod. You're much cooler than I am.

I apologize for my lack of musical taste. I suck. If you'll excuse me, I have to go listen to "Slippery When Wet" now.

19/7/05 2:50 PM  
Blogger Nik said...

No no no, see, Bon Jovi is PART of the problem, not the solution! ;)

19/7/05 3:02 PM  
Blogger N said...

I own a lot of those --- not gonna count, but more'n twenty.

Everyone should at least hear Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. I'm not saying you're gonna like it. But you ought to listen to it.

19/7/05 5:33 PM  
Blogger layne said...

I second the Neutal Milk Hotel AOTS recomendation; listening to it never fails to make me happy. Ever.

That being said, Yeah Yeah Yeahs? Liz Phair? The Strokes? Lauren Hill? No Tom Waits? No Tragically Hip? No Magnetic Fields? No Uncle Tupelo? No Blue Rodeo?
Piffle and bosh my friends, piffle and bosh...

19/7/05 6:24 PM  
Blogger tomthedog said...

I may have to steal this idea for my page. By the way, I agree with you on a lot of the stuff I never got into -- Radiohead, Pavement, Dinosaur Jr. Feh!

19/7/05 8:15 PM  
Blogger Thomas said...

I officially own none of these albums. And on-the-record I have not illegally downloaded any of them either.

19/7/05 8:17 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Hmmm ... Now I may have to track down Neutral Milk Hotel. According to Spin, they fell apart quickly, but made a nice album.

And yeah, there's a lot missing from the list, but that's why we must bow down to the great people at Spin? How can we know what's cool if we're listening to Magnetic Fields and, I don't know, Sinead O'Connor?

Tom - steal away! Might I have started ... a meme? (If so, I apologize.)

Thomas - you are not cool. Spin rejects you!

19/7/05 8:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How old are you?

19/7/05 10:03 PM  
Blogger Superfrankenstein said...

I tie with you at 20, Greg. Six urgent observations:

1. I'd stick up for The Smiths, but I guess it's about 20 years too late.

2. My favorite that's on both our lists is probably White Blood Cells, and, sadly, it probably was their peak. Oh, well.

3. I like the Pulp album more than you do. It does have some dull stretches, though.

4. The ones you don't own that I'd recommend as masterpieces are Liz Phair, DJ Shadow, Oasis, the Chemical Brothers, and yes, OK Computer.

5. Get the Kanye West.

6. SPIN is no Delenda Est Carthago.

19/7/05 11:49 PM  
Blogger Roger Owen Green said...

I'm not as cool as you. I own only 15. Boo hoo, boo hoo.

Lists are fun, but they're silly. I do remember a RS list of the best 1980s albums, and I had ALL of the Top 10, (the last acquired: the last Richard & Linda Thompson album), which says sonmething, but I don't know what.

20/7/05 3:56 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

I love the weird questions I get from Anonymous. I'm 34.

I also love getting suggestions for which music to buy. Very cool.

20/7/05 6:40 AM  
Blogger Johnny B said...

You don't like the Replacements. THE. REPLACEMENTS.

Tsk.

20/7/05 7:06 AM  
Anonymous A Different Anonymous said...

I wouldn't worry about Spin's list. I think a lot of the albums are cliched and expected. Here are some artists I'd recommend (My choices are far cooler than Spin's, mind you):
Bloc Party
Eightball & MJG
Queens of the Stone Age (every album)
Dennis Wilson
Eagles of Death Metal (a country band. Really!)
Mondo Generator
Kool Keith (especially the "Deisel Truckers" album)
Desert Sessions (volumes 7&8 and 9&10 for sure)

20/7/05 12:25 PM  
Blogger Nik said...

Really, all these lists are pretty silly things, although the funniest part about them IMHO is seeing people at various message boards get all worked up about them. They're hardly authoritative and probably just a sampling of the staff's tastes.

20/7/05 12:48 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

I've heard Queens of the Stone Age and Eagles of Death Metal, and I like them both. See? I get excellent musical suggestions.

And I still love me the lists, Nik, partly because people get so worked up over them. And also the vaguely elitist sentiments behind them, like the people at Spin (or Rolling Stone, or any other publication that does these) are better than we peons. I dig that.

20/7/05 1:14 PM  
Anonymous a different anonymous said...

Shit. I forgot to mention Alexisonfire. Download the song "No Transitory".
Check out Billy Talent. "This Is How It Goes" and "Nothing To Lose".
Also Danko Jones. The lyrics are better than the music for Danko, but the music's still pretty good.

20/7/05 2:14 PM  
Blogger David Fiore said...

I've got 30 of them...

Greg--you don't like the Pixies? I thought everyone had to like the Pixies...

Dave

21/7/05 8:20 AM  
Blogger Roger Owen Green said...

You've been ripped off. TWICE. First by Tom the Dog, then by me. I wouldn't have if I had known Tom was going to, but as Chaka Khan once said: Once you get started, it's so hard to stop!

21/7/05 11:06 AM  
Blogger Roxy said...

Ok - since you berated me for not commenting on this post, I went through and counted the ones I own (and/or owned - multiple moves are not good for the CD collection. Neither are sticky fingered housemates...)

I own 35. I'll probably post mine on roxynelvis...

And if you want to borrow Love's "Live Through This," I'll send it to you.

24/7/05 10:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I own like 70-75. And I would never buy:
New Order - Low-Life, you only need the singles
Rage Against the Machine - The Battle of Los Angeles, you only need the first record
N.W.A. - Straight Outta Compton Nas - Illmatic
Ice Cube - AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted (1990)
Dr. Dre - The Chronic (1992)
Why do people listen to mediocre hip-hop? Where are The Ultramagnetic MCs, Jurassic 5, Mos Def, Dr. Octagon, Common Sense, The Roots, The Streets, Dizzie Rascal, etc. on this list?

Still, where is Neutral Milk Hotel, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, The Fiery Furnaces, all those great The Fall records, Tom Waits, Aphex Twin, Autechre, Amon Tobin (for that matter, Warp and Ninja Tune Records), Yo La Tengo!!!...?

Lists suck, and that´s normal, but this one was terrible.

Greetings, nice blog, btw,
Chimba

27/7/05 6:36 AM  
Anonymous Cole Odell said...

Lists are silly, and they always leave off personal favorites and a no-brainer or two, but they're easily digestible, and they're a nice opportunity to reassess records that came out years ago--showing how critical opinion has changed over time, and introducing new audiences to stuff they might not have heard. If you really like music, your reaction to an unfamiliar band critics love shouldn't be derision because that band clearly wasn't good enough to make itself known to *you*, it should be excitement that there's something potentially cool you haven't heard yet.

That's why I come to defend elitism, not to bury it.

I'm sure I sound like a dick saying this, but critics who have listened to 100 times as many records as you, and who know 100 times as much about music, do have more informed opinions than you. You're free to like or dislike whatever you want, but if you don't have same the breadth or depth of knowledge as a critic, your opinion doesn't count as much. Roger Ebert knows more about movies than you. Jay Parini is better qualified to review books. What they have to say matters more. They've invested the time, and they've thought about it seriously. That's just how it is.

The content of Spin's list should not be shocking to anyone who has picked up an issue of that magazine in the last 20 years. Yes, Spin has an editorial slant. So what? Who doesn't? The Source doesn't cover Diamanda Galas records, and country music magazines don't write up the latest Cannibal Corpse album. It's not a flaw, it's a choice.

And Chimba, of your list of omissions, a few aren't good enough, a few are too new for any kind of serious evaluation of their place in the "canon" and a handful actually are on the list--Neutral Milk Hotel, The Fall. (Still, I'm as mystified by the lack of Dr. Octagon as anyone.)

Since everyone is doing it, I own 54 of the listed records. I've heard about 30 more, and I'd be willing to own about half of those, though I'm in no rush. It's funny how easily people are chased away by dissonance and complicated structure. Is there a band more loved by critics and less loved by mainstream fans than Sonic Youth? Personally, I adore the Dinosaur/Pavement/SY/Pixies distorted-guitar rock axis; I was a college DJ from 1989-93, and that's my music. Of course, so is Duke Ellington, Hank Williams, early Elton John, Bon Jovi and Beyonce.

2/8/05 9:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Critics... yeah, we need them to act as a filter. There´s too much music nowadays, I can´t really be bothered to listen to it all, and still keep track of those amazing records I might have skipped before, due to age or lack of information. Its their work to give us suggestions, we benefit from it.

And ok, ok... I get it. I didn´t see the Neutral Milk Hotel album, my mistake. And I used the plural on The Fall, cuz they have like 3-4 records better than a lot of albums featured on the list. And ok, some of my suggestions might have been too new to get it, but I won´t accept that for "Blueberry Boat" by The Fiery Furnaces. That´s our own Sgt. Pepper, our great one for the future. Also The Strokes... they deserve a higher place, people punished them for the hype, but they only need to listen to the music. And sorry but which artists that I mentioned weren´t that good? They only need to be better than the ones featured on the list to deserve inclusion.

I do really love Pavement. Like Pixies a lot. Sonic Youth has my respect, and are really good ones, but I´m not into them. But I don´t get why are they all included on the same package. And I have to get some Dino records.

Chimba

3/8/05 8:47 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

I do like these lists, because it does give me a chance to see if there's music I would like to get. I ran out and bought Lucinda Williams (not the one on the list, but "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road") just because of this list. It's fun to rip it apart, but Anonymous is right - I would never think to call myself a music critic or movie critic because I don't see enough. That's why I save my criticism for comic books!

4/8/05 9:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy shit, you think Gish is a better album than Siamese Dream? What the fuck kind of drugs are you on, man?

14/6/11 12:29 PM  

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