Thursday, 16 July 2009

The Emperors New Clothes

Some time ago I wanted to start a regular thread where I review music and films, but I think it would be a little pointless and somewhat arid. After all, if people are fed up with Channel Four’s “The Hundred Greatest” Series, then what hope have I got? However, I wanted to take the opportunity of dispelling some myths that have annoyed me for some time now – those albums that regularly feature as being amongst the greatest ever, but in all reality are an absolute load of drivel.

I am going to select three here – ignoring a whole host of other quite valid contenders. My specification is that they have been produced by bands who have offered better content elsewhere, or who have simply just gone for the commercial option with their particular effort. The first is the self-titled debut album by the Stone Roses. Bland, boring, meandering Mancunian pop. A complete waste of time and money – their second offering was marginally better, despite it being slated by the music press. The second is the Oasis album What’s the Story Morning Glory. Crap! This is the only cd I’ve ever given away, which says something. Perhaps it is fitting that they stole the vocal idea for the first track from Gary Glitter, because that album really should be locked away for the good of our souls.

And finally, ladies and gentlemen, my number one “over-rated album of all time” is the one and only, bucket of pointless, bland gibberish that masquerades as their defining work. Well, if that was their defining work, then I would have long since discarded the other records I own by them. Of course, I can only be talking about the eternally awful Exile on Main Street by the Stones. Sandwiched between two genuinely class efforts in Sticky Fingers and Goats Head Soup, this absolute cowpat of an album has irked me for many years and indeed, I’ve often felt like the little boy who shouted “he’s not wearing anything” in the street whilst the Emperor proudly showed off his naked torso, believing himself to be adjourned with the finest clobber available. Fleeced is the word Id used. I shall not blame the albums turgidity upon Keith Richards drug taking (as he was a user before and even more heavily afterwards, yet managed to produce better offerings) – simply the legion of elevator fans they have seemed to acquire since the mid seventies, who are conditioned by the self-proclaimed Glimmer Twins to believe that they have got better with age. No they have not! They have got worse! And Exile on Main Street is the worst example of their predilection for pap which has become more apparent since Brian Jones departed (and when one considers that was forty years ago, what a lot of rubbish they have fashioned in the meantime!). With Exile, not even the talented Mick Taylor could save them.

So can I boldly state, ladies and gentlemen, that Exile on Main Street gets my award for most overrated album of all time. Some achievement!

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