First of all, when it comes to movies, I can’t believe I forgot Down By Law. So what gets bumped from the top 5? Probably The Long Goodbye, if anything. Sorry, Mr. Altman.
I knew it would come to this. All along, I knew PF aimed to bring up the music question, and, truthfully, I sort of dreaded it. Choosing my favourite movies was hard enough. Books, tougher still. But choosing my favourite albums? Of ALL TIME? I was tempted not to even try. But in the spirit of challenges met, I’ve decided to decide, to be the decider, to here and now name my ten favourite albums, my choices for the best, or most affecting, or most personally significant recordings.
Or, that was the idea, anyway… I am perhaps constitutionally unequal to the task. Over the course of several evenings, through round after round of cutting and debating and double-guessing, I simply couldn’t get below 20 – a terribly bloated top ten. Fat had to be trimmed.
So: I’m going to embark upon a campaign to decide. A quasi-scientific approach. I’m going to immerse myself in these albums over the next 10 days, and each day I will confirm one album, passing it into the Final 10, and eliminate one album, casting it forever into obscurity. I will make arguments for both. I hope the results are entertaining, or at the very least readable. Root for your favourites!
Here, in alphabetical order, are the twenty candidates:
Ryan Adams, Heartbreaker
Albert Ayler, Spiritual Unity
JS Bach, Cello Concertos
The Clash, London Calling
John Coltrane, The Complete Live at the Village Vanguard (4CD)
Miles Davis, In a Silent Way
Dirty Three, Ocean Songs
Bob Dylan, Blood on the Tracks
Henryk Gorecki, Symphony No. 3
Guided By Voices, Alien Lanes
John Handy, Live at Monterrey, 1965
The Nation of Ulysses, Plays Pretty for Baby
Pernice Brothers, Overcome by Happiness
Pixies, Surfer Rosa/Come On Pilgrim
R.E.M., Automatic for the People
Scud Mountain Boys, Massachusetts
The Spinanes, Arches and Aisles
Bruce Springsteen, Born to Run
Sugar, Copper Blue
Yo La Tengo, I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One