Any list of “albums you must hear before you die” is pointless

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mat.bez.lima
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Any list of “albums you must hear before you die” is pointless

Post by mat.bez.lima » Wed May 31, 2017 4:30 am

Any list of “albums you must hear before you die” is pointless
I’ve come to this conclusion because of the reasons below:

1-I have seen many people in web trying to review all albums in one of these lists and saying what albums of the list are truly “must hear before you die” or not. The answer? There is no consensus, tough The Beatles albums come closer to a consensus than anything else. But the truth is: we all have our personal tastes of genres and styles. The albums that we must hear before we die generally don’t need any list saying to us that we must hear that before we die: we simply will listen to them by ourselves will. I am not saying here that we only must hear before we die albums of artists and genres that we already like, nothing could be further from what I say. I am really trying to say that among tries in many another genres and styles far from our listening habits can lead to great discoveries, but also things that we can’t like. People many times criticize the lack of albums of certain genres and artists in these lists, but many people would criticize the presence of the same albums and artists. For example, country fans will criticize the lack of many important albums of a important and very popular genre, but people that dislike country will very easily dismiss almost all country albums as being “not must hear before you die” or saying that all sounds the same and every kind of critic, some very absurd and full of prejudice. To discover a new genre or artist, the best thing to do is go to people that are fans of it and know also the great records and albums that are almost completely unknown. Aside from this, even tough we can objectively admire and recognize till a certain limit the qualities and appeal of a genre or artist that is not my taste by any way, this does not means that I must listen to maybe even a single album of that genre or artist before I die. For example: I admire Led Zeppelin, know and understand perfectly their appeal and quality merits, but I surely don’t need to hear a whole album by them before I die. A review written by me of any of their albums would be at least unfair with the band, the albums, their fans and their legacy. I can only enjoy hard rock very occasionally or when played in movies or just background, but it is not a genre that I will go to listen whole albums. I have absolutely nothing against Led Zeppelin.

2.Another thing about these lists is that many people will complain about the lack of albums by some specific artist or genre and the excess of albums by some other artists and genres. This is very subjective. I, as a Sinatra fan, would easily at least put four or five albums of his albums as “must hear before you die”. Another people that aren’t fans of the standards genre maybe wouldn’t put even a single album of standards, this includes Sinatra’s work obviously, even tough they can recognize and see the immense merits and artistry of his work. What would be the solution? Put only one album of each artist? Definitively no. Genres and artists are very wide, having inside many sub-genres and very contrasting styles. I will pick standards as a example: the list 1001 albums you must hear before you die by Robert Dimery have two Sinatra albums: In The Wee Small Hours and Songs For Swingin’ Lovers! These two albums are so opposite as night and day: The former is an albums of very sad and slow ballads, the latter is a swing, joyful album. What is more important? What is better? Sinatra’s singing and style is so different in these two albums that he almost sounds as two completely different singers. My ask is: what Sinatra the reader will like more? Some readers discovering Sinatra and standards can perfectly love In The Wee Small Hours and be indifferent to Songs For Swingin’ Lovers, or they can love Songs For Swingin’ Lovers and be indifferent to In The Wee Small Hours, even tough both albums are still of the same genre and artist, they are still radically different and simplify Sinatra’s career and style to just one of them is impossible. And I did not even talk about the very common fact that many fans of an specific artist and genre can like a almost unknown album of the artist and genre more than a widely famous and acclaimed album of the same genre, artist, intention and style.

3-To end my commentary, I will say that not even The Beatles albums are must hear before die for everyone. I have a friend that is a Adele fan and loves her voice, that is a great and very distinctive voice without a shadow of doubt, and songs so much that he once said to me: “Adele never recorded a bad song, I love all”. At same time, he really dislikes rock in all possible and imaginable ways. I showed some great Beatles songs that are not even really rock and he disliked still. I played for him the song “For No One”, that I absolutely love and is one of the greatest songs ever written by Paul McCartney, the lyrics are great, the melody is wonderful, arrangement and his performance are perfect, all is perfect. And I hardly could believe when he said to me: “I disliked it”. Especially being The Beatles he does not feel well in dislike, but also don’t feels the need to like. In fact, he seems indifferent, while if Adele releases a new song today, he will download that new song so fast as possible, and almost 100% sure that he will love it. So for him, no Beatles album is must hear before he dies. Many people will point Bob Dylan albums as must hear before die, but other no, some maybe even saying that can’t stand or saying “overrated”. And this happens with every artist, album, genre, all! This is why I don’t think that it is fair some people making lists of “artists, songs and albums that live to the hype or not”, and I saw many of these kind of lists in web.
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Henrik
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Re: Any list of “albums you must hear before you die” is pointless

Post by Henrik » Wed May 31, 2017 6:03 am

It's just a popular expression, that tend to engage people into discussion. It should not be taken too seriously.
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Re: Any list of “albums you must hear before you die” is pointless

Post by Henrik » Wed May 31, 2017 10:46 am

Sorry mat.bez.lima if it seems like I'm making fun of your topic, but I can't resist posting this:

Q: How could people survive during the stone age, when they were not able to listen to The Beatles?




































































A: They didn't. None of them are still alive.
Everyone you meet fights a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.

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Re: Any list of “albums you must hear before you die” is pointless

Post by mat.bez.lima » Wed May 31, 2017 11:47 am

I LOVED THE JOKE!
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Re: Any list of “albums you must hear before you die” is pointless

Post by Nassim » Wed May 31, 2017 9:03 pm

I don't agree with your statement, such a list should be in my opinion a guidebook saying "here are the 500 albums you should listen to to have a good overview of modern music". That doesn't mean the albums are the best but the most representative, influential and impactful ones, and if I made such a list myself I would include a lot of albums I don't like (like It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back or David Bowie's Low). The small issues I have with the 1001 albums book is not that I dislike some of the albums in it (on the contrary, the opposite would be abnormal), but that some music genres are relatively forgotten (the one I took most offense is all the indie rock from the North Pacific coast, but metal, world music and some electronic subgenres are not enough represented either) and the fact that while the 60s to 90s selections usually "make sense", the ones for most recent years are sometimes dumbfounding.
Ideally the idea would be that once you have listened to all those albums, you have a clearer idea of the history of modern music and will now be able to navigate your way through the thousands and thousands albums available, and I think the list mostly succeeds in giving a good overview of the 60s to 90s period (safe for the "extreme" genres).

So to come back to your Frank Sinatra example, to decide how many of his albums you put, the author probably didn't think "how many Sinatra albums are there in my top 1001" but "how many albums of Sinatra should I include to properly reflect its most significant contributions to music, its influence and the music of its era". It still is subjective of course, but less, and at least is (or should be) the result of an honest reflection. So I'm more disappointed when a genre is completely shunned out (slowcore for instance), because you miss a whole fringe or music with its esthetic, ambition and traits, than because I think, say, Brutal Youth is not a necessary entry when you already have 5 Elvis Costello albums.

The only thing that would make any of those lists "pointless" to a certain extent is that it is a snapshot at a specific moment in time and becomes more and more obsolete as time passes.

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Re: Any list of “albums you must hear before you die” is pointless

Post by bootsy » Thu Jun 01, 2017 1:48 am

What I've always wanted to know about all of the 'albums you must hear before you die', which one is like the definitive, go-to for those types of lists. I see so many of them but which one is considered THE one.

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Re: Any list of “albums you must hear before you die” is pointless

Post by panam » Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:06 am

“albums you must hear before you die” is pointless.

You're taking everything too serious...it's not like everybody must hear those albums before to die, itsn't?

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Re: Any list of “albums you must hear before you die” is pointless

Post by PlasticRam » Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:36 am

I do think when people title a list like that, it has an air of pretension.
I feel like that

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Re: Any list of “albums you must hear before you die” is pointless

Post by BleuPanda » Thu Jun 01, 2017 3:08 am

So, which one of the 1001 albums is everybody planning to never listen to, thus achieving immortality?

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Re: Any list of “albums you must hear before you die” is pointless

Post by Jirin » Thu Jun 01, 2017 12:39 pm

It's fun. Nobody takes it seriously. It's a way to give your 'best albums' list more shelf appeal.

Every Michael Buble Christmas album is on my list of albums I must die before I hear.

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Re: Any list of “albums you must hear before you die” is pointless

Post by bootsy » Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:57 pm

bootsy wrote:What I've always wanted to know about all of the 'albums you must hear before you die', which one is like the definitive, go-to for those types of lists. I see so many of them but which one is considered THE one.
I'm still waiting/hoping for someone to answer this, please.

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Re: Any list of “albums you must hear before you die” is pointless

Post by prosecutorgodot » Fri Jun 02, 2017 1:28 am

bootsy wrote:
bootsy wrote:What I've always wanted to know about all of the 'albums you must hear before you die', which one is like the definitive, go-to for those types of lists. I see so many of them but which one is considered THE one.
I'm still waiting/hoping for someone to answer this, please.
Me personally, Robert Dimery's is the one I consider most, but that's not saying much.

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Re: Any list of “albums you must hear before you die” is pointless

Post by StevieFan13 » Fri Jun 02, 2017 1:46 am

Not album-related, but I got the Dimery 1001 Songs book back in 2014 and I'm 99.99% positive I wouldn't be half the music nerd I am now if it weren't for that book. Still haven't finished it, but whether or not it's definitive, I definitely feel like a more well-rounded person for having heard the majority of the songs in that book.
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Re: Any list of “albums you must hear before you die” is pointless

Post by sonofsamiam » Fri Jun 02, 2017 2:23 am

prosecutorgodot wrote:
bootsy wrote:
bootsy wrote:What I've always wanted to know about all of the 'albums you must hear before you die', which one is like the definitive, go-to for those types of lists. I see so many of them but which one is considered THE one.
I'm still waiting/hoping for someone to answer this, please.
Me personally, Robert Dimery's is the one I consider most, but that's not saying much.
I prefer Tom Moon's. He's not my favorite writer, but the range of genres and selection is top notch.

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Re: Any list of “albums you must hear before you die” is pointless

Post by bootsy » Fri Jun 02, 2017 2:51 am

sonofsamiam wrote:
prosecutorgodot wrote:
bootsy wrote:
I'm still waiting/hoping for someone to answer this, please.
Me personally, Robert Dimery's is the one I consider most, but that's not saying much.
I prefer Tom Moon's. He's not my favorite writer, but the range of genres and selection is top notch.
OK thanks Stevie, son, and pros. This gives me something to go off of. I've briefly skimmed through both lists but never looked at them much in detail because it seemed like there were so many of those type lists. Now I will.

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Re: Any list of “albums you must hear before you die” is pointless

Post by StevieFan13 » Fri Jun 02, 2017 3:40 am

There are plenty of songs in these so-called "all-time" lists that I think are crapola (Come to Daddy (Pappy Mix) still does absolutely nothing for me), but the good outweighs the bad most of the time. Right from the get-go, I don't think 15-year-old me was ready for a song like Atencion na SIDA, but I listened to all 26 minutes of it and feel better for having done so.
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Re: Any list of “albums you must hear before you die” is pointless

Post by mat.bez.lima » Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:58 am

Nassim wrote:I don't agree with your statement, such a list should be in my opinion a guidebook saying "here are the 500 albums you should listen to to have a good overview of modern music". That doesn't mean the albums are the best but the most representative, influential and impactful ones, and if I made such a list myself I would include a lot of albums I don't like (like It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back or David Bowie's Low). The small issues I have with the 1001 albums book is not that I dislike some of the albums in it (on the contrary, the opposite would be abnormal), but that some music genres are relatively forgotten (the one I took most offense is all the indie rock from the North Pacific coast, but metal, world music and some electronic subgenres are not enough represented either) and the fact that while the 60s to 90s selections usually "make sense", the ones for most recent years are sometimes dumbfounding.
Ideally the idea would be that once you have listened to all those albums, you have a clearer idea of the history of modern music and will now be able to navigate your way through the thousands and thousands albums available, and I think the list mostly succeeds in giving a good overview of the 60s to 90s period (safe for the "extreme" genres).

So to come back to your Frank Sinatra example, to decide how many of his albums you put, the author probably didn't think "how many Sinatra albums are there in my top 1001" but "how many albums of Sinatra should I include to properly reflect its most significant contributions to music, its influence and the music of its era". It still is subjective of course, but less, and at least is (or should be) the result of an honest reflection. So I'm more disappointed when a genre is completely shunned out (slowcore for instance), because you miss a whole fringe or music with its esthetic, ambition and traits, than because I think, say, Brutal Youth is not a necessary entry when you already have 5 Elvis Costello albums.

The only thing that would make any of those lists "pointless" to a certain extent is that it is a snapshot at a specific moment in time and becomes more and more obsolete as time passes.
You convinced me! Thanks for your great commentary!
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