The BBC reports on a new trend amongst music lovers for sitting down on big sofas and armchairs, putting a whole album on to the turntable and listening. In silence. No talking. No going to the toilet. No phones. No tweeting.
Lights down and a pint to hand, appreciating the nuances of Ziggy Stardust or Dark Side of the Moon or the first Stone Roses album.
The idea comes from a sense that the pick n mix approach to music means that your daily soundtrack becomes an endless stream of random tunes thrown up by the shuffle button or a background noise while you update your facebook status, chat to your mates in the bar and check the footie scores. Down with music as part of your multi-tasking day!
So, if you were to join the Harringay Classic Album Appreciation Society, what would you pop on the turntable first?
For me, I think I'd start with The Beatles Revolver, but where would we go from there...over to you.
Joy Division - Closer
Kraftwerk - Trans-Europe Express
+1 for Remain in Light and Bob Marley Live at the Rainbow
Oh so many to choose from: Revolver, The Gang of Four, Joy Division Bob Marley & Kraftwerk..etc., etc., all great
But for me the top three are:
3/. Elton John Captain Fantastic & the Brown Dirt Cowboy 1975
An appreciation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLT7RqBCHvg
2/. Joni Mitchell The Hissing of Summer Lawns 1975
and No.1 must be for me.
1/. David Bowie - Heroes /Helden 1978
Until last year I lived in the house in Berlin that Bowie and Iggy Pop lived together when the Heroes album was recorded. The German version is thought by many fans to be the better version. (see comments on clip).
A song about tearing down the Berlin Wall: Wir können sie schlagen für alle Zeiten - Dann sind wir Helden!
From the BBC report, it seems there are two main parts to this. Colleen Murphy is quoted asking: "Everyone, stop multi-tasking, sit down, open your ears and do some heavy listening". Fair enough if it means music is not just background noise. And, sure, pay attention to the album, the whole album, and nothing but the album. But why the strong disapproval of pick & mix?
Laura Barton in her column Hail, Hail Rock'n'Roll shares her delight about particular bands, singers, and songs. She's like a thoughtful generous friend who brings pick 'n' mix musical presents: "Hey! Do you know this? Well don't miss it!"
"Heavy listening?" No. But most definitely open ears and intent listening. For the same reason I sometimes read, watch and listen to Alex Ross, of the New Yorker. He's both a guide and an explorer who sends us sound pictures.This week Laura Barton introduced me — not to Caetano Veloso whose music I'd met before — but to his version of Cucurrucucú. And having explored a bit of the history, background and words of the song, she decided that the music itself was enough.
ten - pearl jam
nevermind - nirvana
metallica - the black album
led zeppelin - mothership (I know it's not technically an album, but it's one hell of a compilation)
Iron maiden - number of the beast
metallica - kill 'em all