SPIN: OK Computer = #1

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Jiggle Billy
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SPIN: OK Computer = #1

Postby Jiggle Billy » Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:30 am

Anyone got anything better? I think I may agree with SPIN on this one, but I can be swayed. I'm usually not too good at remembering great albums, ie. top ten lists, etc.

from CNN: The top album of the last 20 years is ...
Spin magazine puts Radiohead above Nirvana, Public Enemy

NEW YORK (AP) -- Spin magazine named Radiohead's "OK Computer" the top album of the past 20 years, praising a futuristic sound that manages to feel alive "even when its words are spoken by a robot."

The British band's album edged out Public Enemy's "It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back" and Nirvana's "Nevermind" on a list in Spin's 20th anniversary issue, currently on newsstands.

"Between Thom Yorke's orange-alert worldview and the band's meld of epic guitar rock and electronic glitch, ('OK Computer') not only forecast a decade of music but uncannily predicted our global culture of communal distress," reads the editorial note on what separated the 1997 disc from the other 99 ranked albums.

Sandwiched between Radiohead's straight-ahead rock disc "The Bends" and the more experimental, electronic "Kid A," "OK Computer" was the album that propelled Radiohead to worldwide, stadium-sized popularity. Though it never went higher than No. 21 on the Billboard charts, it won critical raves and a Grammy for best alternative music performance.

Spin's Chuck Klosterman says the album "manages to sound how the future will feel. ... It's a mechanical album that always feels alive, even when its words are spoken by a robot."

Years earlier, Spin ranked Nirvana's "Nevermind" the greatest album of the nineties. In the time since, however, editor-in-chief Sia Michel and others simply found they were reaching for "OK Computer" more than the slightly less relevant "Nevermind."

"Whereas when Nirvana came out, everybody was talking about negation and slackers and everything like that -- seven years later, it was the dot-com boom and 22-year-olds were making $80,000 on Web sites," Michel recently told The Associated Press.

Also in the top 10, in order, are Pavement's "Slanted and Enchanted," The Smiths' "The Queen is Dead," Pixies' "Surfer Rosa," De La Soul's "3 Feet High and Rising," Prince's "Sign 'O' the Times," PJ Harvey's "Rid of Me" and N.W.A's "Straight Outta Compton."

The entire list of 100 is just as eclectic; a photograph of an atypical trio of Dr. Dre, Bono and Beck dons the issue's cover.

The amount of hip-hop on the list may surprise some (25 albums in all -- 26 if you count Rage Against the Machine), given that Spin is predominantly a rock magazine. Michel, however, points out that Spin started several years before hip-hop mag Source was founded: "We put hip-hop on the cover before anyone else did."

"Because we started this list in 1985, we pretty much hit hip-hop in its golden age," she says. "There were so many important, groundbreaking albums coming out right about that time."

After gathering suggestions from everyone at the magazine, a tribunal of Michel and editors Jon Dolan and Charles Aaron sorted out the ultimate records of "the Spin era." Their criteria, Michel says, was the basic brilliance of the record, its innovation and its overall relevance.

"Relevance doesn't have to mean it sold 10 million copies," she says. "Someone like the Pixies never really sold records, but Nirvana has said it wouldn't exist without the Pixies."

Both the approach and content stands in stark contrast to fellow rock magazine Rolling Stone's 2003 issue on the top 500 albums of all time. Topping that collection was the more hallowed (and less surprising) like of the Beatles, the Beach Boys, Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones.

Some of the most recent entries to Spin's list are 2004's "College Dropout" by Kanye West, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' 2003 "Fever to Tell" and Wilco's 2002 "Yankee Foxtrot Hotel."

Of course, judgments of these kind are always subject to debate.

"The art department was just railing against us all the time and campaigning against things," says Michel. The lack of inclusion of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, she says, pushed them to the brink: "That was a band that the art department was like, 'You guys are crazy! Don't even talk to us!' "

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

booker
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Postby booker » Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:37 am

Not a fan of OK Computer. I much prefer Kid A and Hail to the Thief. Amnesiac is decent, too.

Maarten
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Postby Maarten » Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:58 am

ugh. lists like these always seem to be put together in a very arbitrary matter. sure, we'll stick in some rap records, but let's keep our heads in the sand when it comes to electronic music.
i wouldn't be surprised if nevermind has completely tumbled out of the upper regions of such a list in a matter of let's say, 20 years. i haven't felt the need to put it on for years and years now. there's so many more exciting and stronger (guitar)records than that.

russ
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Postby russ » Mon Jun 20, 2005 12:25 pm

Oy. These lists are always so dumb because its all just peoples opinions.
Who really can say what the BEST or TOP music of any time period is?
Do you base it on sales? Noteriety? Cultural changes?
Its impossible.
These lists only purpose is for the people who like to pat themselves on the back when they see their taste is reflected on the list, or grumble when someone they hate or like isn't reflected the way said person thinks they should.
Then again, these lists could just be a way of getting people to buy music by making them appear more signifigant now that they are highly ranked.

too much coffee.

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Postby steve-o » Mon Jun 20, 2005 12:29 pm

Maarten wrote:i wouldn't be surprised if nevermind has completely tumbled out of the upper regions of such a list in a matter of let's say, 20 years. i haven't felt the need to put it on for years and years now. there's so many more exciting and stronger (guitar)records than that.


You're absolutely right, in that these albums end up being canonized to the point to where they're more an ideal than an actual album you can sit down and listen to. I mean, I know Revolver was such a great, revolutionary album, etc, etc, but how many people still listen to it on a regular basis? Not me.

I only worry that sort of thing is going to happen to Ok Computer if these rock critics keep fawning over it. Personally, I do think it is an amazing album, but people could do better discovering it on their own, rather than simply being told how great it is over and over again. I would hate to see it fall into the realm of rock cliche that so many great Beatles records did.

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Postby worpswede » Mon Jun 20, 2005 1:16 pm

Maarten wrote:i wouldn't be surprised if nevermind has completely tumbled out of the upper regions of such a list in a matter of let's say, 20 years. i haven't felt the need to put it on for years and years now. there's so many more exciting and stronger (guitar)records than that.

I disagree. I haven't listened to "Nevermind" for years and experience fatigue with most things Nirvana related. At the same time, I can't doubt the influence that I hear from that band that continues to make farm league rock bands into gold selling artists. The same is true for Radiohead. I just let XM radio expire and scanned a few commercial rock stations before saving public radio to the FM tuner again. What I found is that there are still countless of unfamiliar bands to me that navigate the Wishkah, even if the water level is almost dried up. Regardless of the album's listenability, I think it will still find itself at the top of critic's lists 20 years from now simply because of it's cultural relevance and for the same reasons that have already been posted.
As for "Revolver," it's still my most listened to Beatles record and it amazes me to this day.

russ
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Postby russ » Mon Jun 20, 2005 1:35 pm

Hey, I still listen to Meatloaf's "Bat Out Of Hell" album.....
It never gets old.

thinsafetypin
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Postby thinsafetypin » Mon Jun 20, 2005 1:41 pm

the real oddity to me there is surfer rosa over doolittle. i'd love to hear their argument for that.

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Postby hebrew hammer » Mon Jun 20, 2005 1:53 pm

I discredit everything SPIN says, unless Chuck Klosterman says it. I love that mofo. Anyway, I think SPIN is trying desperately to seem "indie", so they put radiohead at number one. I would too, but so I'm not saying it doesn't deserve to be #1, but they want "indie cred" so they chose radiohead instead of another choice. I don't believe those assholes for a sec.

grounded5am
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Postby grounded5am » Mon Jun 20, 2005 2:27 pm

actually hebrew, i tend to agree with spin for the most part. they seem to be one of the few music magazines that gets it right. they rarely let me down and their reviews are pretty spot on. it's rolling stone that has gone down in the shitter. nothing about them is relevant anymore. whereas spin, to me, never lost the relevancy. i'll still buy a cd based on where it ranked with them, especially older ones.


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