Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Blame it upon a rush of blood to the head (Coldplay)

Radio 2 is a great British institution and a national treasure, but it's not infallible.

On April 1 (ha ha) they published a top ten greatest albums of all time list using a listener's choice method.

What a joke it turned out to be (not a merman to be seen - sorry, obscure Hendrix allusion)

Here's the fool list

1 Coldplay Rush Of Blood To The Head (2002)
2 Keane Hopes and Fears (2004)
3 Duran Duran Rio (1982)
4 Pink Floyd The Dark Side Of The Moon (1973)
5 Dido No Angel (1999)
6 The Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers (1971)
7 The Pet Shop Boys Actually (1987)
8 The Beatles Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
9 U2 The Joshua Tree (1987)
10 Queen A Night At The Opera (1975)

Okay, so let's spose for a minute that it wasn't an April Fools' joke: it's nice in a way not to see the usual suspects in the top ten but is anyone with a musical brain listening to Radio 2 anymore?  Pet Shop Boys? Duran Duran? Keane?


What the...??

The absentees are what intrigue me. Americans for one - no American bands or singers make the list. None nada zip zilch.  Even given the British bias there is still no room for Stone Roses, Van Morrison, The Clash, or David Bowie to name a few. They have all been steady performers in various top tens over the years but not for Radio 2 listeners? I don't believe it.

Rolling Stone magazine makes a habit of doing top ten best of all time lists. Here's their latest one taking in the 1950s to the 2010s.

1 The Beatles Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
Beach Boys Pet Sounds (1966)
The Beatles Revolver(1966)
Bob Dylan Highway 61 Revisited (1965)
The Beatles Rubber Soul (1965)
6 Marvin Gaye What's Going On (1971)
The Rolling Stones Exile On Main Street (1972)
The Clash London Calling (1980)
Bob Dylan Blonde On Blonde (1966)
10 The Beatles The Beatles (1968)

Only Sgt Pepper makes the Radio 2 poll!

In comparison, here's a Rolling Stone taking in 1967-1987 best of list

1 The Beatles Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
2 Sex Pistols Never Mind The Bollocks (1977)
3 The Rolling Stones Exile on Main Street (1972)
4 John Lennon Plastic Ono Band (1970)
Jimi Hendrix Are You Experienced? (1967)
David Bowie The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust (1972)
Van Morrison Astral weeks (1968)
Bruce Springsteen Born to Run (1975)
The Beatles The Beatles (1968)
10 Marvin Gaye What's Going On (1971)

Still only one of that list makes the Radio 2 poll - yup - Sgt Pepper's.

I know these lists aren't to be taken too seriously but how can an album consistently named the best album ever (at least by Rolling Stone from 1967 when the magazine began, until now) suddenly at the whim of radio 2 pollsters slip to number 8 behind Dido?

The end of Radio 2 as we knew and loved her? I suspect so.

As to Coldplay being judged the best ever? I like the album (like). It contains some excellent songs, which it would because Chris Martin is a good (good) songwriter and an emotive singer.

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