Listed: Nick Hornby + Mark Perry
Author Nick Hornby achieved the dream of rock critics everywhere when, in addition to being a successful critic, he became a successful novelist as well. He then achieved the dream of novelists everywhere when his work drew critical acclaim and tremendous popularity. 1996's High Fidelity (in which characters frequently made musical lists) and 1998's About A Boy were made into popular movies, both of which contained equally popular soundtracks. Hornby continues to write both as a critic and as a novelist. His latest work, Songbook, is a collection of essays about his favorite songs and songwriters. It includes a CD with 11 songs discussed in the book, and is available from the infallible McSweeney's publishing house.
13 records in no particular order but numbered by Dusted editors:
1) Badly Drawn Boy - Have You Fed The Fish? (Artist Direct)
Mark Perry is, without question, one of the most important figures in punk history. After seeing the Ramones play in 1976, he started the seminal Sniffin’ Glue fanzine, which largely determined the direction of the UK movement punk. Perry’s zine was the first to cover acts like the Sex Pistols, Subway Sect, and the Clash, and soon garnered national attention. NME went as far as deeming Perry the “Poet Laureate of the Blank Generation.” After just 12 issues, however, Perry stopped publishing the rag, claiming punk was dead (in 1977!), and concentrated more on his band Alternative TV and his label Step Forward Records, which released early records by The Fall and Chelsea and the Cortinas. Perry continues to play with ATV, switching genres every couple years to keep things fresh (check out 1991’s My Life as a Child Star), and Sniffin’ Glue was recently commemorated in 2000 when Sanctuary Books published Sniffin’ Glue: The Essential Punk Accessory, which collects all 12 issues. For more information on this vastly unappreciated groundbreaker, check out http://www.markperry.freeuk.com.
10 things I am currently listing to:
1) Bob Dylan - Live 1975 (Columbia) - This is just out on Columbia. Recorded on the Rolling Thunder Revue tour of 1975. Two CDs of utter brilliance. It’s hard, sometimes, to pin down why Dylan is so good. This set is a good starting point - listen to the version of “It Ain't Be Babe” for proof - with Mick Ronson on lead guitar as well!
2) Bob Dylan - Hard Rain (Columbia) - After getting the above, I had to dig this out again! Hard Rain is recorded in 1976 - the second Rolling Thunder tour. Dylan sings as though his heart, and soul, depends on it and, in a way, it did. The version of "Idiot Wind" is the most exciting rock recording, ever! Genius.
3) Prince Buster - Fabulous Greatest Hits (Trojan) – It’s great to have this on CD. The ultimate ska/rock steady collection. A good helping of bonus tracks as well, including “Madness” and “Enjoy Yourself”.
4) The Who - My Generation (Universal) - The UK version finally available on CD, with plenty of bonus A’s, B’s and rarities on a second CD. This is the best of the great 60’s debuts. Explodes at you with an attitude that was rarely matched by the band. "My Generation," the song, still excites, and the rest are just as strong. It’s great to have “I Can’t Explain” plus B-sides as well.
5) Love - Four Sail (Elektra) - The album that followed Forever Changes finally remastered! How could they follow Changes? Arthur Lee didn’t try. Instead, he reshuffled the line-up and produced a great band album which is a classic in its own right.
6) Jackson Browne - The Naked Ride Home (Elektra) - The new album. It’s not Late For The Sky or The Pretender but, in its own way, this is classic Browne. No pretensions on stances. Just great songs in a great musical wrapping.
7) U Roy - Version Galore (Frontline) - This is the one! Two CDs of the very best of the ace deejay and his pals. Someone should of thought of this before. The first disc has all the great U Roy Treasure Isle sides, the second has the original songs. A great idea and probably the best ever of the new Trojan reissues. This is up there with the gods!
8) ELP - Live At The Isle Of Wight (Manticore) - Why ELP get so much stick from, so called, rock music fans, I don’t know. Sure, they got overblown, but that has happened to everyone since Elvis. This CD is a live recording of their second gig and is a great document of their early sound. Listen to Emerson’s Moog! This is prog, as played by punk rockers! Remember, at the time, they were the young Turks. The version of “Pictures At An Exhibition” is brilliant and so bold for the time.
9) Whitehouse - Wriggle Like Fucking Eel (Susan Lawly) - Industrial noise art. This is the single of their new album which is coming out in January. This is where Emerson’s moog ended up! Wonderful stuff, the most important new music being made. Still scary, still loud - they’re getting better as well. Like an arrow to the heart of the fake new NME fad wannabees. Hail the death of rock and pop. It’s all been said and done!
10) Rolling Stones - Beggars Banquet (ABKCO) - This was made when rock was alive and well - cutting edge, important and full of great ideas and tunes. At last, remastered properly for CD, it sounds wonderful. But...the packaging is shit, the booklet notes - there’s not any. It’s got me listening to the Stones again, so it works for me. "Street Fighting Man," "Sympathy For The Devil," "Stray Cat Blues." Has a rock band ever been this great? I doubt it...
By Dusted Magazine