1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die: And 10,001 You Must Download (Anglais) Relié – 2 novembre 2010
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- Instrumentals were omitted to narrow the millions of choices. It's not a decision I necessarily support, but there was a rationale behind it.
- The index - while unconventional - is perfectly comprehensible, and the arranging of artists by first initials will be instantly recognizable to anyone familiar with iTunes.
- While I wouldn't dispute the worth of The Allman Brothers, they weren't a big deal in Britain (where the book was produced), so I'm afraid they didn't make the shortlist. (However, our US publishers didn't suggest them either.)
- The ten artists that you've highlighted are all represented in the book; some with, in our view, more interesting choices from the same album (e.g. "War Pigs," from Paranoid, "When the Levee Breaks," from Led Zeppelin IV, and "Bring the Noise" from It Takes A Nation of Millions...).
- I take full responsibility for including "Amazing" and not campaigning for "Dream On." As a long-time Aerosmith fan, I think "Amazing" is a much better song!
- Inevitably, given the millions of available choices, we were never going to satisfy every reader. However, as the book ranges from commercial smashes to cult hits, and from Mississippi to Mali, there's plenty to discover. I would urge you to listen to Elvis Presley's "Tomorrow is a Long Time" and Oumou Sangare's "Diaraby Nene" - both featured in the book, and both songs that I'm very happy to have heard before I die!
As I said, thank you for taking the time to comment, and I hope you find something of value in the book.
I'd caution against expecting either the 1001 or "10,001 to Download" to be a definitive "best" song list. The variety of editors bring some great choices together, however such a task is just not possible, nor the intent, but this does mean that you will find some expected songs missing. Not making either list includes some of my personal favorites from Michael Jackson (Billie Jean), the Rolling Stones (Gimme Shelter), though about 30 Stones' songs make the 10,001, or Allman Brothers (Midnight Rider), or Joy Division (New Dawn Fades), while room for five Spice Girls songs on the 10,001 seemed generous in this context.
All in all, this doesn't knock it down from 5-stars for me, I know and listen to the songs I like without this book, but it gives me plenty to explore and enjoy, which is just what I had hoped for.
This completely subjective report (as Dimery gladly admits) is a veritable jukebox in book form. Spanning the decades from the pre-50's to the 00's, Dimery and his contributors have compiled a list ranging from the obvious (R.E.S.P.E.C.T.) to the obscure (Captain Beefheart's "Big Eyed Beans from Venus") to hundreds of musical slices in between.
Each of the selections are accompanied by a story of the history, the behind the scenes and/or the influence the song had on others. In addition to full credits, there are boxes on certain entries that indicate cover versions and which songs influenced which others. In all cases, the original releases provide the template, with later credits (samples, etc) added where appropriate. There is also an intro by famed Bowie producer, Tony Visconti.
The book concludes with a list of 10,000 songs (listings only) that you must download before you die. Though the book has a bit of an international lean in places (many songs from the UK, France, Africa, etc. are simply unknown in the states) it serves as both a treasure trove of great songs you may have forgotten from the past, as well as a jumping off point for a wide berth of new musical territory to explore for quite a while. Pure fun.
I saw this in the book store and scanned through it. It seemed like a worthwhile effort. Am I going to agree with everything here? Certainly not. I won't like some of the songs selected. Is this book going to have every song I selected? No way.
Why would I want it to. This book is a great resource for someone like me who spends his life chasing down great music. If I find 500 good songs I didn't know about out of the 10001 then this will be one of the greatest things I've ever spent money on. Heck, if I find 100 I'll jump for joy.
The fact that this book isn't in lockstep with what'd I'd pick is what makes it compelling to me. It's also a beautifully done book. I'll be buying come payday and I bet my personal list gets a little bit longer.
Some of what you hear you'll like a lot, while some of it will make you wonder what the authors were smoking. But then, that's the nature of "best of" collections. For sure, you will be annoyed by the omission of some of your personal favorites. I found many such omissions. Here's just one as an example: there is mention of only one song by Hall & Oates, in the "music to download" index, and that song is an obscure, just-okay tune called "I Don't Wanna Lose You." Considering that Hall & Oates is the best selling duo of all time, they could have worked a little harder to include several of their gigantic hits (my favorite would be "She's Gone," although "One on One," "Private Eyes," "Rich Girl," "Sara Smile," "Wait for Me," "Method of Modern Love," etc. etc. would have been fine too).
Another glaring failure is the paltry representation of vocal harmony groups (doo-wop) in the 1950's section. With the exception of a few standouts, e.g., "Blue Moon" by the Marcels, this genre is almost entirely missing. Maybe doo wop wasn't big in England, I don't know. But any best-of music survey that covers the 1950's and leaves out the Spaniels, the Five Satins, the Channels, etc. is just incomplete. Also there's a preponderance of songs and artists that have come to prominence in the past decade, many of whom I believe will not stand the test of time. This is understandable, but makes the choices less credible. On the other hand, if you're like me and not particularly impressed with the direction of pop music in general in the 2000's, you will find that things are not as bad as you thought, and your range will be expanded.
To be fair, the authors cover much of the great stuff, and often they get it just right. Included in the "1001 songs you must hear before you die" are some great but obscure tunes like "Piss Factory" by Patti Smith and "River Song" by Dennis Wilson. Overall, this is an eclectic collection, covering not just rock and pop but standards (Frank Sinatra, Nat Cole, Ella Fitzgerald) and country (Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash) as well.
Yes. Many of your favorite artists and/or songs will be missing. How could they not be? Just don't take the title too seriously, and you'll get a lot of pleasure from discovering new artists and songs and learning some back story about those performers and songs you already know and love.