Slaughtering rock's sacred cows

The Beatles, Pink Floyd and Nirvana all get a smack-down from fellow musicians in a recent Guardian feature.

By Salon Staff
June 19, 2007 4:19PM (UTC)
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A very cheeky article in England's Guardian newspaper recently asked some leading rock musicians to pick the "supposedly great albums they'd gladly never hear again." Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos, the Hold Steady's Craig Finn, the Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne and others took shots at old standbys such as "Sgt. Pepper" and "Pet Sounds" as well as newer classics like Nirvana's "Nevermind," the Strokes' "Is This It" and Arcade Fire's "Neon Bible."

No one makes much in the way of an actual argument against his chosen album, but the piece is still a fun read, mostly because of the obvious pleasure the contributors get from slaughtering some sacred cows. Take a deep breath, then check out the following excerpts:


Wayne Coyne on "Nevermind": "If you think you're going to hear an utterly original, powerful and freaky record when you put on 'Nevermind,' as a young kid might, Christ you're going to be disappointed. You're going to think, 'Who is this band that sounds just like Nickelback? What are these drug addicts going on about?'"

Cornershop's Tjinder Singh on Pink Floyd's "The Dark Side of the Moon": "I'm amazed that it's up there in the pantheon, because I can't see any virtue in it whatsoever. Lyrically, it's banal and doesn't say anything beyond 'greed is bad.' Radiohead are the 21st-century Floyd, which says it all really."

Craig Finn on the Doors' "L.A. Woman": "In America when you're growing up, you're subjected to the Doors as soon as you start going to parties and smoking weed. People think of Jim Morrison as a brilliant rock 'n' roll poet, but to me it's unlistenable. The music meanders, and Morrison was more like a drunk asshole than an intelligent poet."


Billy Childish on "Sgt. Pepper": "I was a big Beatles fan -- I had a Beatles wig and Beatles guitar when I was four -- so I know what I'm talking about, but 'Sgt. Pepper' signaled the death of rock 'n' roll. Rock 'n' roll is meant to be full of vitality and energy, and this album isn't. It sounds like it took six months to shit out. The Beatles were the victims of their success. This is middle-of-the-road rock music for plumbers. Or people who drive round in Citroens -- the sort of corporate hippies who ruined rock music."

Albums from the Smiths, the Beach Boys and the Velvet Underground also earned a smack-down. But aside from wondering what, exactly, Coyne's been smoking, Audiofile wants to know which "classic" albums you can't stand. Are you bored by "Born to Run"? So over "OK Computer"? Had enough of "Highway 61 Revisited"?

Just leave Journey's "Escape" out of this.


-- David Marchese

Salon Staff

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