Books, movies and records of the year

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Honorio
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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:35 pm

1975



Record of 1975 | Born to Run | Bruce Springsteen | USA | 45 rpm single | all time #13
"With Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen achieved the perfect balance between working-class reality and rock & roll mythology. A blue-collar fairy tale evoking Phil Spector in its romanticized grandeur and Bob Dylan in its street-corner poetic grit. Born to Run is teen melodrama in excelsis, overblown and histrionic in ways Spector never imagined; it smacks of the kind of palpable, life-or-death desperation which threads its way through everything from Romeo and Juliet to Rebel Without a Cause, where every action, every thought, and every word bears the complete weight of the world. Born to Run is first and foremost a celebration of the rock & roll spirit, capturing the music's youthful abandon, delirious passion, and extraordinary promise with cinematic exhilaration." (Jason Ankeny, All Music)

Movie of 1975 | Zerkalo (The Mirror) | Andrei Tarkovsky | USSR | all time #30
"Tarkovsky goes for the great white whale of politicised art —no less than a history of his country in this century seen in terms of the personal— and succeeds. Intercutting a fragmented series of autobiographical episodes, which have only the internal logic of dream and memory, with startling documentary footage, he lovingly builds a world where the domestic expands into the political and crisscrosses back again. Unique its form, unique its vision." (Chris Peachment, Time Out)

Book of 1975 | Humboldt's Gift | Saul Bellow | USA | all time #370
""If there is literature (and this proves there is) this is where it's at” (John Cheever). Saul Bellow's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel explores the long friendship between Charlie Citrine, a young man with an intense passion for literature, and the great poet Von Humboldt Dleisher. At the time of Humboldt's death, Charlie's life is falling apart: his career is at a standstill, and he's enmeshed in an acrimonious divorce, infatuated with a highly unsuitable young woman, and involved with a neurotic Mafioso. And then Humboldt acts from beyond the grave, bestowing upon Charlie an unexpected legacy that may just help him turn his life around." (Publisher)


Books of 1975:
1 | Complete Tales & Poems | Edgar Allan Poe | USA | collection | #55
2 | Humboldt's Gift | Saul Bellow | USA | #370
3 | Ragtime | E. L. Doctorow | USA | #546
4 | World of Wonders | Robertson Davies | Canada | #603


Movies of 1975:
1 | Zerkalo (The Mirror) | Andrei Tarkovsky | USSR | #30
2 | Barry Lyndon | Stanley Kubrick | UK | USA | #50
3 | Nashville | Robert Altman | USA | #85


Albums of 1975:
1 | Born to Run | Bruce Springsteen | USA | #17
2 | Blood on the Tracks | Bob Dylan | USA | #21
3 | Horses | Patti Smith | USA | #23


Songs of 1975:
1 | Born to Run | Bruce Springsteen | USA | #13
2 | Bohemian Rhapsody | Queen | UK | #39
3 | Thunder Road | Bruce Springsteen | USA | #92

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Honorio
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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Sat Apr 27, 2019 5:16 pm

1976



Movie of 1976 | Taxi Driver | Martin Scorsese | USA | all time #15
"Martin Scorsese's searing portrait of loneliness and violence on the mean streets of New York, is an American original. Robert De Niro's Travis Bickle, the insomniac taxi driver of the title, is an angry, alienated Vietnam veteran who takes a job driving a taxi on the night shift. It remains one of the quintessential films of 1970s American cinema, a brooding blast of modern gothic cinema that boils over in madness and self destruction. Scorsese's uncompromising vision and vivid direction and a fierce, fearless performance by De Niro have inspired countless young filmmakers and actors in the decades since its release." (Sean Axmaker, TCM)

Record of 1976 | Anarchy in the U.K. | Sex Pistols | UK | 45 rpm single | all time #15
"The song was chiefly composed by Glen Matlock (except, of course, for Johnny Rotten's lyrics) and hammered into final shape by Steve Jones. It relies on simple, descending power-chord riffs for its anthemic impact, kicking off with a run down the A minor scale and punctuating its verses with a descending progression based on the fourth, third, and first notes of the C major scale. Rotten's performance is supremely brash and snotty, playing up the harsh, abrasive qualities of his voice as well as his personality; yet there's also a subtle playfulness to his lyrics, which indicates that even if he is intent on delivering real social commentary, he never takes the song's anarchist pose all that seriously, instead reveling in —and laughing at— the resulting provocation. Decades later, some combination of those attitudes still defines punk rock; moreover, the song and the band helped return rebelliousness and do-it-yourself egalitarianism to rock & roll in general." (Steve Huey, All Music)

Book of 1976 | Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry | Mildred D. Taylor | USA | all time #732
"Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is the classic story of a girl growing up in the deep South. Set in Mississippi at the height of the American Depression, this is the story of a family's struggle to maintain their integrity, pride and independence against the forces of a cruelly racist society. The Mississippi of the 1930s was a hard place for a black child to grow up in, but still Cassie didn't understand why farming his own land meant so much to her father. During that year, though, when the night riders were carrying hatred and destruction among her people, she learned about the great differences that divided them, and when it was worth fighting for a principle even if it brought terrible hardships." (Publisher)


Books of 1976:
1 | Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry | Mildred D. Taylor | USA | #732
2 | Interview with the Vampire | Anne Rice | USA | #750
3 | The Education of Little Tree | Forrest Carter | USA | #753


Movies of 1976:
1 | Taxi Driver | Martin Scorsese | USA | #15
2 | Im Lauf der Zeit (Kings of the Road) | Wim Wenders | West Germany | #282
3 | Ai no korîda (In the Realm of the Senses) | Nagisa Ôshima | Japan | #320


Albums of 1976:
1 | Ramones | Ramones | USA | #39
2 | Songs in the Key of Life | Stevie Wonder | USA | #43
3 | Hotel California | Eagles | USA | #113


Songs of 1976:
1 | Anarchy in the U.K. | Sex Pistols | UK | #15
2 | Blitzkrieg Bop | Ramones | USA | #39
3 | Hotel California | Eagles | USA | #65


Classical work of 1976 | Small Town | Peter Sculthorpe | Australia | #46

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Cold Butterfly » Sun Apr 28, 2019 1:52 am

1975:

Movie Of 1975 - The Mirror (Andrei Tarkovsky, USSR)
"Tarkovsky's fascinating meditation on his life, on memory and on time is narrated and witnessed by a quasi-fictional self who never appears on camera. The whole is represented in such a way as to attempt the erosion or even abolition of the distinction between past and present. His boyhood in the countryside - to which his family was evacuated from Moscow during the war - is juxtaposed with an adulthood scarred by the bitterness of a failed marriage, and the director provocatively elides the figures of mother and wife by using the same actress: Margarita Terekhova, among other cast doubling. The voice of his poet father, Arseni Tarkovsky, is used in voiceover: "All are immortal, everything's immortal; don't be afraid of death at 17, nor at 70, for there is just reality and light.". The images and sequences - some in colour, others monochrome, some newsreel footage of wartime Russia, Germany and China - are presented in a collage. Very often, these images are transcendentally brilliant, particularly those shot in crystalline black and white. Others, like the slaughtering of the cockerel scene, sit rather more heavily on the screen. But it is a startling piece of film-making, floating free of the conventional demands of period and narrative. And the mysterious opening sequence, in which a teenage boy is cured of his stammer by a hypnotist, eludes explanation and classification. It's simply inspired." (Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian)

Book Of 1975 - Ecotopia (Ernest Callenbach, United States)
"Sometimes a book, or an idea, can be obscure and widely influential at the same time. That’s the case with “Ecotopia,” a 1970s cult novel, originally self-published by its author, Ernest Callenbach, that has seeped into the American groundwater without becoming well known. The novel, now being rediscovered, speaks to our ecological present: in the flush of a financial crisis, the Pacific Northwest secedes from the United States, and its citizens establish a sustainable economy, a cross between Scandinavian socialism and Northern California back-to-the-landism, with the custom — years before the environmental writer Michael Pollan began his campaign — to eat local. White bicycles sit in public places, to be borrowed at will. A creek runs down Market Street in San Francisco. Strange receptacles called “recycle bins” sit on trains, along with “hanging ferns and small plants.” A female president, more Hillary Clinton than Sarah Palin, rules this nation, from Northern California up through Oregon and Washington. “ ‘Ecotopia’ became almost immediately absorbed into the popular culture,” said Scott Slovic, a professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, and a pioneer of the growing literature-and-the-environment movement. “You hear people talking about the idea of Ecotopia, or about the Northwest as Ecotopia. But a lot of them don’t know where the term came from.” (Scott Timberg, The New York Times)

Album Of 1975 - Mothership Connection (Parliament, United States)
"The definitive Parliament-Funkadelic album, Mothership Connection is where George Clinton's revolving band lineups, differing musical approaches, and increasingly thematic album statements reached an ideal state, one that resulted in enormous commercial success as well as a timeless legacy that would be compounded by hip-hop postmodernists, most memorably Dr. Dre on his landmark album The Chronic (1992). The musical lineup assembled for Mothership Connection is peerless: in addition to keyboard wizard Bernie Worrell; Bootsy Collins, who plays not only bass but also drums and guitar; the guitar trio of Gary Shider, Michael Hampton, and Glen Goins; and the Brecker Brothers (Michael and Randy) on horns; there are former J.B.'s Fred Wesley and Maceo Parker (also on horns), who were the latest additions to the P-Funk stable. Besides the dazzling array of musicians, Mothership Connection boasts a trio of hands-down classics -- "P-Funk (Wants to Get Funked Up)," "Mothership Connection (Star Child)," "Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof off the Sucker)" -- that are among the best to ever arise from the funk era, each sampled and interpolated time and time again by rap producers; in particular, Dr. Dre pays homage to the former two on The Chronic (on "The Roach" and "Let Me Ride," respectively). The remaining four songs on Mothership Connection are all great also, if less canonical. Lastly, there's the overlapping outer-space theme, which ties the album together into a loose escapist narrative. There's no better starting point in the enormous P-Funk catalog than Mothership Connection, which, like its trio of classic songs, is undoubtedly among the best of the funk era." (Jason Birchmeier, AllMusic)

Song Of 1975 - No Woman, No Cry - Live! version (Bob Marley And The Wailers, Jamaica)
"It’s hard to think that there was ever a time in his career when Bob Marley was not a major international name, but 27 September 1975 — fully 11 years after the Wailers’ first No. 1 in Jamaica with ‘Simmer Down’ — brought a real landmark. That was when the live single ‘No Woman, No Cry’ put the name of Bob Marley and the Wailers onto the UK charts for the very first time. The group’s debut international hit is a rare case of a song that’s much more famous in its live version than the studio one. ‘No Woman No Cry’ was first recorded for the Wailers’ 1974 album Natty Dread, but the single was the recording made at the band’s famous concert at the Lyceum Theatre in London in July 1975, which then became the Live! album, released in December. ‘No Woman No Cry’ was an undiluted piece of Jamaican culture, with its vivid lyrics about a poor upbringing in Trench Town. A letter from Island boss Chris Blackwell to the future reggae superstar, written on 20 August 1975, provides a fascinating glimpse into those developing times. “Dear Bob,” he writes, “have now done a mix of the recording we made at the Lyceum of ‘No Woman No Cry’ and ‘Kinky Reggae.’ They have turned out great, everybody likes them and we are releasing a single here with ‘No Woman No Cry’ as the A-side and ‘Kinky Reggae’ as the B-side. “Will let you have stampers and some samples,” Blackwell continues, “in case you want to release it in Jamaica. Should be in Jamaica for a few days around September 9th, so will see you then.”. The single would climb to No. 22 in the UK chart, also becoming a top 30 hit in Holland and New Zealand, as Marley’s fame grew around the world as a brilliant live performer and as the new global ambassador of reggae music." (Paul Sexton, uDiscoverMusic)

Movies Of 1975:
1. The Mirror - Andrei Tarkovsky (USSR)
2. Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom - Pier Paolo Pasolini (Italy)
3. Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles - Chantal Akerman (Belgium)
4. Barry Lyndon - Stanley Kubrick (United Kingdom)
5. One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest - Milos Forman (United States)

Books Of 1975:
1. Ecotopia - Ernest Callenbach (United States)
2. Ragtime - E.L. Doctorow (United States)
3. J.R. - William Gaddis (United States)
4. Fatelessness - Imre Kertesz (Hungary)
5. The Periodic Table - Primo Levi (Italy)

Albums Of 1975:
1. Mothership Connection - Parliament (United States)
2. Blood On The Tracks - Bob Dylan (United States)
3. That’s The Way Of The World - Earth, Wind & Fire (United States)
4. Native Dancer - Wayne Shorter (United States)
5. Live! - Bob Marley And The Wailers (United Kingdom)
6. Go Girl Crazy! - The Dictators (United States)
7. Marcus Garvey - Burning Spear (Jamaica)
8. Horses - Patti Smith (United States)
9. There’s No Place Like America Today - Curtis Mayfield (United States)
10. Siren - Roxy Music (United Kingdom)

Songs Of 1975:
1. No Woman, No Cry (Live Version) - Bob Marley And The Wailers (Jamaica)
2. Shining Star - Earth, Wind & Fire (United States)
3. Love To Love You Baby - Donna Summer (United States)
4. Tear The Roof Off The Sucker (Give Up The Funk) - Parliament (United States)
5. I Want You - Marvin Gaye (United States)
6. I’m Not In Love - 10cc (United Kingdom)
7. Crazy On You - Heart (United States)
8. Legalize It - Peter Tosh (Jamaica)
9. Simple Twist Of Fate - Bob Dylan (United States)
10. Low Rider - War (United States)

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Cold Butterfly » Sun Apr 28, 2019 1:53 am

I just remembered this looking at my list, but I actually read Roll Of Thunder, Hear Me Cry when I was nine years old (it was in my classroom library). It's interesting looking back on it because I didn't understand it at the time, but now it's one of my favorite books. Time is funny that way :mrgreen:

1976:

Movie Of 1976 - Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, United States)
"Taxi Driver is the fevered story of an outsider in New York—a man who can’t find any point of entry into human society. Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro), the protagonist of Martin Scorsese’s new film, from a script by Paul Schrader, can’t find a life. He’s an ex-Marine from the Midwest who takes a job driving a cab nights, because he can’t sleep anyway, and he is surrounded by the night world of the uprooted—whores, pimps, transients. Schrader, who grew up in Michigan, in the Christian Reformed Church, a zealous Calvinist splinter (he didn’t see a movie until he was seventeen), has created a protagonist who is an ascetic not by choice but out of fear. And Scorsese, with his sultry moodiness and his appetite for the pulp sensationalism of forties movies, is just the director to define an American underground man’s resentment. Travis wants to conform, but he can’t find a group pattern to conform to. So he sits and drives in the stupefied languor of anomie. He hates New York with a Biblical fury; it gives off the stench of Hell, and its filth and smut obsess him. He manages to get a date with Betsy (Cybill Shepherd), a political campaigner whose blondness and white clothes represent purity to him, but he is so out of touch that he inadvertently offends her and she won’t have anything more to do with him. When he fumblingly asks advice from Wizard (Peter Boyle), an older cabdriver, and indicates the pressure building up in him, Wizard doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Travis becomes sick with loneliness and frustration, and then, like a commando preparing for a raid, he purifies his body and goes into training to kill. “Taxi Driver” is a movie in heat, a raw, tabloid version of “Notes from Underground,” and we stay with the protagonist’s hatreds all the way." (Pauline Kael, The New Yorker)

Book Of 1976 - Roll Of Thunder, Hear Me Cry (Mildred D. Taylor, United States)
"Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is a 1976 novel by Mildred D. Taylor, sequel to her 1975 novella Song of the Trees. It is a book about racism in America during the Great Depression and Jim Crow era. The novel won the 1977 Newbery Medal. It is followed by two more sequels, Let the Circle Be Unbroken (1981), The Road to Memphis (1990), and a prequel to the Logan family saga, The Land (2001). The novel explores life in southern Mississippi in a climate of racism where many are persecuted for the color of their skin. Throughout the book, the reader learns about the importance of land and the effects of racism, at the same time as Cassie Logan (the narrator) learns 'the way things are'. It is key to this story that the narrator is a child as it adds emphasis upon what it was like to grow up in "The South", and it also helps the reader to understand the true impact of racism at this time." (Wikipedia)

Album Of 1976 - Songs In The Key Of Life (Stevie Wonder, United States)
“You can’t please everybody” is one of the oldest clichés in show business, but it’s more that just a salve for bruised egos—it’s an obvious truism that applies to practically everything. One of the few exceptions is Songs In The Key Of Life, a double album packaged with a four-song EP that was released on Sept. 28, 1976 after (what was considered at the time anyway) an interminable two-year wait. Wonder was already on a major roll; his recognition as the No. 1 guy in pop music came in the form of Album Of The Year Grammys for Innervisions in 1974 and Fulfillingness’ First Finale in ’75, and a lucrative $37 million record contract with Motown, the biggest for an artist at that time. Wonder’s elevated status was acknowledged by his fellow luminaries: When Paul Simon won an Album Of The Year Grammy in 1976 for Still Crazy After All These Years, he famously thanked Wonder for not putting out a record that year. Songs is a hard, bold swing for the fences, employing more than 100 backing musicians and working on a canvas that incorporated pop, jazz, rock, and classical music. Wonder fearlessly wrote about inner-city degradation, both with a stately synthesized string-based backing on “Village Ghetto Land” and a relentlessly funky snap on “Black Man.” He’s religiously pious on “Have A Talk With God,” and lightly romantic on “Knocks Me Off My Feet.” He delves into jazz-rock jamming on “Contusion,” and then pulls back for the disciplined, feel-good pop of “Sir Duke.” Many of the songs leisurely run into the six, seven, or even eight-minute range, but they’re always guided by Wonder’s unerring sense for hooks. Wonder had the power and prestige to fully bend the ’70s superstar machine to satisfy his every creative whim, and he was determined to pull off a supremely grand gesture on a very large and public stage. Songs was the rarest of beasts: It was expected to be nothing short of a masterpiece that also did blockbuster numbers, and it absolutely delivered on both counts. The album went to the top of the Billboard pop albums chart for 14 weeks, sold 10 million copies, spun off two No. 1 singles (“I Wish” and “Sir Duke”), won the Grammy for Album Of The Year (Wonder’s third in four years), and took the top spot in the Village Voice’s annual “Pazz & Jop” critics’ poll." (Steven Hyden, The A.V. Club)

Song Of 1976 - Anarchy In The U.K. (Sex Pistols, United Kingdom)
"Until “Anarchy in the U.K.”, Punk Rock did not necessarily have a political context. Notably, in its New York City ideation (1973 – 1976), Punk Rock seemed actually apolitical, occasionally touching on nihilism, but not current events. Also, many of its early heroes (Television, Patti Smith, Talking Heads, Blondie, Pere Ubu) made work that reflected intellectual, poetic, or collegiate backgrounds. Therefore, it had relatively little explicit connection to the working class, and did not reflect working-class concerns. I am not criticizing this, I’m just noting it. This is important, because it is not possible to truly understand the Sex Pistols and the initial U.K. punk movement without understanding its working class ties, and what it meant to be working class in Great Britain in the mid-1970s. In Great Britain circa 1976, there was an encoded discrimination against the lower class (and the lower middle class) that was, in many ways, unrecognizable and foreign to Americans. Likewise, people were regularly deprived of educational and economic opportunities because of their class. I recall being shocked by this when I first visited London. As an American, I was “accustomed to” the atrocity of people being treated differently because of the color of their skin; it was shocking to see “white” people snarled at because of their working-class, Irish, or North English accents. The standard-bearers for Punk Rock, the Sex Pistols, were defiantly and adamantly working class. Likewise, many first-generation British punk bands wore their working-class or lower-middle-class roots proudly. Since the British working class was a group that was an active target of economic and social discrimination, this gave British punk an implied politicism that American punk rock lacked." (Tim Sommer, The Observer)

Movies Of 1976:
1. Taxi Driver - Martin Scorsese (United States)
2. In The Realm Of The Senses - Nagisa Oshima (Japan)
3. All The President’s Men - Alan J. Pakula (United States)
4. Kings Of The Road - Wim Wenders (West Germany)
5. Rocky - John G. Avildsen (United States)

Books Of 1976:
1. Roll Of Thunder, Hear Me Cry - Mildred D. Taylor (United States)
2. A Tomb For Boris Davidovich - Danilo Kis (Serbia)
3. Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? - Raymond Carver (United States)
4. The Children Of Dynmouth - William Trevor (United Kingdom)
5. The Oranging Of America - Max Apple (United States)

Albums Of 1976:
1. Songs In The Key Of Life - Stevie Wonder (United States)
2. Ramones - Ramones (United States)
3. The Modern Lovers - The Modern Lovers (United States)
4. Shake Some Action - Flamin’ Groovies (United States)
5. Legalize It - Peter Tosh (Jamaica)
6. Zombie - Fela And Africa 70 (Nigeria)
7. Africa Brasil - Jorge Ben (Brazil)
8. Station To Station - David Bowie (United Kingdom)
9. Super Ape - The Upsetters (Jamaica)
10. The Wild Tchoupitoulas - The Wild Tchoupitoulas (United States)

Songs Of 1976:
1. Anarchy In The U.K. - Sex Pistols (United Kingdom)
2. Dancing Queen - ABBA (Sweden)
3. New Rose - The Damned (United Kingdom)
4. Politicians In My Eyes - Death (United States)
5. Shake Some Action - Flamin’ Groovies (United States)
6. Blitzkrieg Bop - Ramones (United States)
7. (Don’t Fear) The Reaper - Blue Oyster Cult (United States)
8. Roadrunner - The Modern Lovers (United States)
9. More Than A Feeling - Boston (United States)
10. Police & Thieves - Junior Murvin (Jamaica)

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Sun Apr 28, 2019 4:40 pm

1977



Record of 1977 | Never Mind the Bollocks Here's the Sex Pistols | Sex Pistols | UK | album (vinyl LP) | all time #12
"Get this straight: no matter what the chicmongers want to believe, to call this band dangerous is more than a suave existentialist compliment. They mean no good. It won't do to pass off Rotten's hatred and disgust as role-playing —the gusto of the performance is too convincing. Which is why this is such an impressive record. The forbidden ideas from which Rotten makes songs take on undeniable truth value, whether one is sympathetic ("Holidays in the Sun" is a hysterically frightening vision of global economics) or filled with loathing ("Bodies," an indictment from which Rotten doesn't altogether exclude himself, is effectively anti-abortion, anti-woman, and anti-sex). These ideas must be dealt with, and can be expected to affect the way fans think and behave. The only real question is how many American kids might feel the way Rotten does, and where he and they will go next. I wonder —but I also worry." (Robert Christgau, Christgau's Record Guide, 1981)

Movie of 1977 | Annie Hall | Woody Allen | USA | all time #89
"Woody Allen's sublime comic drama, the story of a fracturing love affair between just-turned-40 comic Alvy Singer (Allen) and his la-dee-dah gal pal Annie (Diane Keaton), was a massive critical and commercial success, even trouncing that box-office behemoth Star Wars at the Academy Awards. As the story toggles between punch lines involving Marshall McLuhan and The Sorrow and the Pity and gut punches like Annie's heartrending rendition of "Seems Like Old Times" or some half-recalled joke about eggs, you delight in the seeming effortlessness of a movie born out of turmoil. This is the link between Allen's "earlier, funnier" stuff and more probing works like Interiors and Manhattan. Would that we all could build such masterful bridges." (Keith Uhlich, Time Out)

Book of 1977 | The Thorn Birds | Colleen McCullough | Australia | all time #396
"The Thorn Birds is a robust, romantic saga of a singular family, the Clearys. It begins in the early part of this century, when Paddy Cleary moves his wife, Fiona, and their seven children to Drogheda, the vast Australian sheep station owned by his autocratic and childless older sister; and it ends more than half a century later, when the only survivor of the third generation, the brilliant actress Justine O'Neill, sets a course of life and love halfway around the world from her roots. Wonderful characters people this book… And the land itself; stark, relentless in its demands, brilliant in its flowering, prey to gigantic cycles of drought and flood, rich when nature is bountiful, surreal like no other place on earth." (Publisher)


Books of 1977:
1 | The Thorn Birds | Colleen McCullough | Australia | #396
2 | Song of Solomon | Toni Morrison| USA | #417
3 | La tía Julia y el escribidor (Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter) | Mario Vargas Llosa | Spain | Peru | #621


Movies of 1977:
1 | Annie Hall | Woody Allen | USA | #89
2 | Star Wars | George Lucas | USA | #115
3 | Close Encounters of the Third Kind | Steven Spielberg | USA | #203


Albums of 1977:
1 | Never Mind the Bollocks Here's the Sex Pistols | Sex Pistols | UK | #12
2 | Marquee Moon | Television | USA | #24
3 | Rumours | Fleetwood Mac | USA | UK/USA | #60


Songs of 1977:
1 | God Save the Queen | Sex Pistols | UK | #25
2 | "Heroes" | David Bowie | UK | #26
3 | I Feel Love | Donna Summer | USA | #53


Classical works of 1977:
1 | III Symfonia, "Symfonia pieśni żałosnych" (Symphony No. 3, "Symphony of Sorrowful Songs") | Henryk Górecki | France | Poland | #14
2 | Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten | Arvo Pärt | USSR | #56

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Mon Apr 29, 2019 4:55 pm

1978



Record of 1978 | This Year's Model | Elvis Costello | UK | album (vinyl LP) | all time #88
"Where My Aim Is True implied punk rock with its lyrics and stripped-down production, This Year's Model sounds like punk. After releasing My Aim Is True, Costello assembled a backing band called the Attractions. The Attractions were a rock & roll band, which gives This Year's Model a reckless, careening feel. It's nervous, amphetamine-fueled, nearly paranoid music — the group sounds like they're spinning out of control as soon as they crash in on the brief opener, "No Action," and they never get completely back on track, even on the slower numbers. Costello and the Attractions speed through This Year's Model at a blinding pace, which gives his songs a nastier edge. The most remarkable thing about the album is the sound — Costello and the Attractions never rocked this hard, or this vengefully, ever again." (Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Allmusic)

Movie of 1978 | Days of Heaven | Terrence Malick | USA | all time #149
"One-of-a-kind filmmaker-philosopher Terrence Malick has created some of the most visually arresting films of the twentieth century, and his glorious period tragedy Days of Heaven, featuring Oscar-winning cinematography by Nestor Almendros, stands out among them. In 1910, a Chicago steelworker (Richard Gere) accidentally kills his supervisor, and he, his girlfriend (Brooke Adams), and his little sister (Linda Manz) flee to the Texas panhandle, where they find work harvesting wheat in the fields of a stoic farmer (Sam Shepard). A love triangle, a swarm of locusts, a hellish fire —Malick captures it all with dreamlike authenticity, creating a timeless American idyll that is also a gritty evocation of turn-of-the-century labor." (The Criterion Collection)

Book of 1978 | The Stand | Stephen King | USA | all time #173
"Stephen King's apocalyptic vision of a world blasted by plague and tangled in an elemental struggle between good and evil remains as riveting and eerily plausible as when it was first published. A patient escapes from a biological testing facility, unknowingly carrying a deadly weapon: a mutated strain of super-flu that will wipe out 99 percent of the world's population within a few weeks. Those who remain are scared, bewildered, and in need of a leader. Two emerge —Mother Abagail, the benevolent 108-year-old woman who urges them to build a peaceful community in Boulder, Colorado; and Randall Flagg, the nefarious "Dark Man," who delights in chaos and violence. As the dark man and the peaceful woman gather power, the survivors will have to choose between them —and ultimately decide the fate of all humanity." (Publisher)


Books of 1978:
1 | The Stories of John Cheever | John Cheever | USA | collection | #158
2 | The Stand | Stephen King | USA | #173
3 | The World According to Garp | John Irving | USA | #215
4 | The Sea, the Sea | Iris Murdoch | UK | Ireland | #360


Movies of 1978:
1 | Days of Heaven | Terrence Malick | USA | #149
2 | The Deer Hunter | Michael Cimino | USA | #162
3 | Dawn of the Dead | George A. Romero | USA | #314


Albums of 1978:
1 | This Year's Model | Elvis Costello | UK | #88
2 | Parallel Lines | Blondie | USA | #112
3 | Darkness on the Edge of Town | Bruce Springsteen | USA | #114


Songs of 1978:
1 | Heart of Glass | Blondie | USA | #107
2 | Teenage Kicks | The Undertones | UK | #161
3 | Wuthering Heights | Kate Bush | UK | #164


Classical work of 1978 | Spiegel im Spiegel (Mirror in the mirror) | Arvo Pärt | USSR |

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Tue Apr 30, 2019 7:30 pm

1979



Record of 1979 | London Calling | The Clash | UK | album (double vinyl LP) | all time #6
"The Clash originally wanted to call the album The Last Testament, the idea being that this double LP would close a chapter in music history that had begun with Elvis Presley's RCA debut. The band scrapped the title but kept the general concept, ripping off the King's cover art and creating a record that referenced all of the coolest sounds committed to tape since 1956. It was a revolutionary strategy for a group that had sprung from the U.K. punk scene, which was all about disavowing the past. Even the Clash had gotten into the "don't look back" thing, singing "No Elvis, Beatles or The Rolling Stones!" on "1977," one of its early punk classics. On London Calling, the foursome of Strummer, guitarist Mick Jones, bassist Paul Simonon and drummer Topper Headon tipped their natty fedoras —part of their new greaser-gangster image— to all three of those artists, and they didn't stop there. Over the course of 19 tracks, The Clash goes careening through rockabilly, reggae, soul, R&B, ska and Phil Spector pop." (Kenneth Partridge, Billboard)

Movie of 1979 | Apocalypse Now | Francis Coppola | USA | all time #11
"Brief, brutal and seemingly unconnected incidents work together to drive the film forward: in their very randomness, they build a picture of a war being fought without strategy or clear intent. In contrast to Coppola's earlier The Godfather Part II and The Conversation, Apocalypse Now isn't a conspicuously 'smart' film: literary references aside, there are no intellectual pretensions here. Instead, as befits both its tortuous hand-to-mouth genesis and the devastating conflict it reflects, this is a film of pure sensation, dazzling audiences with light and noise, laying bare the stark horror — and unimaginable thrill — of combat. And therein lies the true heart of darkness: if war is hell and heaven intertwined, where does morality fit in? And, in the final apocalyptic analysis, will any of it matter?" (Tom Huddleston, Time Out)

Book of 1979 | Se una notte d'inverno un viaggiatore (If on a Winter's Night a Traveller) | Italo Calvino | Italy | all time #251
"If on a Winter's Night a Traveler is a marvel of ingenuity, an experimental text that looks longingly back to the great age of narration. You go into a bookshop and buy If on a Winter's Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino. You like it. But alas there is a printer's error in your copy. You take it back to the shop and get a replacement. But the replacement seems to be a totally different story. You try to track down the original book you were reading but end up with a different narrative again. This remarkable novel leads you through many different books including a detective adventure, a romance, a satire, an erotic story, a diary and a quest. But the real hero is you, the reader." (Publisher)


Books of 1979:
1 | Se una notte d'inverno un viaggiatore (If on a Winter's Night a Traveller) | Italo Calvino | Italy | #251
2 | The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy | Douglas Adams | UK | #281
3 | Sophie's Choice | William Styron | USA | #405


Movies of 1979:
1 | Apocalypse Now | Francis Coppola | USA | #11
2 | Stalker (Stalker) | Andrei Tarkovsky | USSR | #52
3 | Manhattan | Woody Allen | USA | #111


Albums of 1979:
1 | London Calling | The Clash | UK | #6
2 | Unknown Pleasures | Joy Division | UK | #67
3 | Off the Wall | Michael Jackson | USA | #107


Songs of 1979:
1 | London Calling | The Clash | UK | #19
2 | Good Times | Chic | USA | #110
3 | Rapper's Delight | Sugarhill Gang | USA | #120

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Wed May 01, 2019 4:49 pm

The 1970s



Record of the 1970s | London Calling | The Clash | UK | album (double vinyl LP) | 1979 | all time #6
"The Clash originally wanted to call the album The Last Testament, the idea being that this double LP would close a chapter in music history that had begun with Elvis Presley's RCA debut. The band scrapped the title but kept the general concept, ripping off the King's cover art and creating a record that referenced all of the coolest sounds committed to tape since 1956. It was a revolutionary strategy for a group that had sprung from the U.K. punk scene, which was all about disavowing the past. Even the Clash had gotten into the "don't look back" thing, singing "No Elvis, Beatles or The Rolling Stones!" on "1977," one of its early punk classics. On London Calling, the foursome of Strummer, guitarist Mick Jones, bassist Paul Simonon and drummer Topper Headon tipped their natty fedoras —part of their new greaser-gangster image— to all three of those artists, and they didn't stop there. Over the course of 19 tracks, The Clash goes careening through rockabilly, reggae, soul, R&B, ska and Phil Spector pop." (Kenneth Partridge, Billboard)

Movie of the 1970s | The Godfather | Francis Ford Coppola | USA | 1972 | all time #7
"The Godfather is just about as great as a movie's ever gonna be. The 1972 best picture Oscar-winner is a great pulp drama co-authored for the screen by Coppola and novelist Mario Puzo. And all the while, we think we're watching a Mafia crime story but we're actually watching one of the great American family melodramas. As for the storytelling, The Godfather is an intricately constructed gem that simultaneously kicks ass. The casting is nothing to sneeze at either with Marlon Brando delivering one of the signature performances of his career (he, too, won an Oscar) and the very young Al Pacino seizing his screen destiny. So many great roles and characters in this movie and then there's that eternally haunting Nino Rota score." (Marjorie Baumgarten, The Austin Chronicle)

Book of the 1970s | The Stand | Stephen King | USA | 1978 | all time #173
"Stephen King's apocalyptic vision of a world blasted by plague and tangled in an elemental struggle between good and evil remains as riveting and eerily plausible as when it was first published. A patient escapes from a biological testing facility, unknowingly carrying a deadly weapon: a mutated strain of super-flu that will wipe out 99 percent of the world's population within a few weeks. Those who remain are scared, bewildered, and in need of a leader. Two emerge —Mother Abagail, the benevolent 108-year-old woman who urges them to build a peaceful community in Boulder, Colorado; and Randall Flagg, the nefarious "Dark Man," who delights in chaos and violence. As the dark man and the peaceful woman gather power, the survivors will have to choose between them —and ultimately decide the fate of all humanity." (Publisher)


Books of the 1970s:
1 | The Complete Stories | Franz Kafka | USA | Czechoslovakia | 1971 | collection | #51
2 | Complete Tales & Poems | Edgar Allan Poe | USA | 1975 | collection | #55
3 | The Complete Stories | Flannery O'Connor | USA | 1971 | collection | #102
4 | The Stories of John Cheever | John Cheever | USA | 1978 | collection | #158
5 | The Stand | Stephen King | USA | 1978 | #173
6 | The World According to Garp | John Irving | USA | 1978 | #215
7 | Rabbit Redux | John Updike | USA | 1971 | #221
8 | Se una notte d'inverno un viaggiatore (If on a Winter's Night a Traveller) | Italo Calvino | Italy | 1979 | #251
9 | The Killer Angels | Michael Shaara | USA | 1974 | #265


Movies of the 1970s:
1 | The Godfather | Francis Ford Coppola | USA | 1972 | #7
2 | Apocalypse Now | Francis Coppola | USA | 1979 | #11
3 | Taxi Driver | Martin Scorsese | USA | 1976 | #15
4 | The Godfather: Part II | Francis Ford Coppola | USA | 1974 | #22
5 | Zerkalo (The Mirror) | Andrei Tarkovsky | USSR | 1975 | #30


Albums of the 1970s:
1 | London Calling | The Clash | UK | 1979 | #6
2 | What's Going On | Marvin Gaye | USA | 1971 | #7
3 | Exile on Main St. | The Rolling Stones | UK | 1972 | #9
4 | Never Mind the Bollocks Here's the Sex Pistols | Sex Pistols | UK | 1977 | #12
5 | The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars | David Bowie | UK | 1972 | #16


Songs of the 1970s:
1 | What's Going On | Marvin Gaye | USA | 1971 | #9
2 | Born to Run | Bruce Springsteen | USA | 1975 | #13
3 | Anarchy in the U.K. | Sex Pistols | UK | 1976 | #15
4 | London Calling | The Clash | UK | 1979 | #19
5 | Stairway to Heaven | Led Zeppelin | UK | 1971 | #21


Classical works of the 1970s:
1 | III Symfonia, "Symfonia pieśni żałosnych" (Symphony No. 3, "Symphony of Sorrowful Songs") | Henryk Górecki | France | Poland | #14
2 | Spiegel im Spiegel (Mirror in the mirror) | Arvo Pärt | USSR | #16
3 | Small Town | Peter Sculthorpe | Australia | #46
4 | Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten | Arvo Pärt | USSR | #56


I'm sorry but now I need to take a break on this thread for a while. Sometime life gets in the way and May is going to be a month for me with many unexpected activities that will take most of my spare time. I don't know how long it will take for me to resume my work on the thread. Two weeks at least, maybe three. But I'll be back, don't worry, I'm enjoying this a lot.

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:57 am

Well, finally it was not two weeks but a whole month. Sorry for that. Anyway, here I go again…

1980



Record of 1980 | Love Will Tear Us Apart | Joy Division | UK | 45 rpm single | all time #12
"Hitting record store shelves as a 7" vinyl release not long before the band's singer Ian Curtis took his own life on May 18, 1980, Love Will Tear Us Apart became a totemic record in the aftermath of that tragedy, widely taken as the last will and testament of a riveting yet tormented frontman. Rendered coldly distant by Martin Hannett's trademark production, Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook restrict themselves to repeating their personalized variations of the main melody riff on keyboard and bass, respectively, while Ian Curtis delivers half-hearted stabs of guitar throughout. Aside from Stephen Morris' ever-frenetic drum rhythms, the band sounds sapped of strength on the final recording, as if it has succumbed to solemnly accepting its fated demise. Inhabiting that ghostly, funereal production, Curtis' emotionally-numb crooning instills his words with pervading sense of regret. Curtis lays his soul bare, documenting his failings and offering no excuses, illustrating a collapsing relationship where "routine bits hard" and "ambitions are low"." (AJ Ramirez, PopMatters)

Movie of 1980 | Raging Bull | Martin Scorsese | USA | all time #24
"Revivals of this great film cannot come around often enough for me. This is the high-water mark of the Scorsese/De Niro partnership. De Niro plays the fanatically aggressive middleweight boxer, paranoid, driven and unhappy, who alienates everyone around him as he descends into self-loathing and loneliness. Joe Pesci and Cathy Moriarty are superb as his brother and wife. Its editor, Thelma Schoonmaker, established the movie as a classic example of her art, and the monochrome cinematography is superb. Unmissable." (Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian)

Book of 1980 | A Confederacy of Dunces | John Kennedy Toole | USA | all time #151
"Ignatius J. Reilly: fat, flatulent, eloquent and almost unemployable. By the standards of ordinary folk he is pretty much unhinged, too. But is he bothered by this? No. For this misanthropic crusader against an America fallen into vice and ignorance has a mission: to rescue a naked female philosopher in distress. And he has a pirate costume and hot-dog cart to do it with… John Kennedy Toole was born in New Orleans in 1937. He wrote A Confederacy of Dunces in the early sixties and tried unsuccessfully to get the novel published; depressed, at least in part by his failure to place the book, he committed suicide in 1969. It was only through the tenacity of his mother that her son's book was eventually published and went on to win the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction." (Publisher)


Books of 1980:
1 | A Confederacy of Dunces | John Kennedy Toole | USA | #151
2 | So Long, See You Tomorrow | William Maxwell | USA | #314
3 | Il nome della rosa (The Name of the Rose) | Umberto Eco | Italy | #482


Movies of 1980:
1 | Raging Bull | Martin Scorsese | USA | #24
2 | The Shining | Stanley Kubrick | UK/USA | #96
3 | Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back | Irvin Kershner | USA | #274


Albums of 1980:
1 | Remain in Light | Talking Heads | USA | #34
2 | Closer | Joy Division | UK | #45
3 | Back in Black | AC/DC | Australia | #110


Songs of 1980:
1 | Love Will Tear Us Apart | Joy Division | UK | #12
2 | Once in a Lifetime | Talking Heads | USA | #67
3 | Ace of Spades | Motörhead | UK | #254

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Sun Jun 02, 2019 6:46 pm

1981



Book of 1981 | Midnight's Children | Salman Rushdie | UK | all time #54
"Born at the stroke of midnight, at the precise moment of India's independence, Saleem Sinai is destined from birth to be special. For he is one of 1,001 children born in the midnight hour, children who all have special gifts, children with whom Saleem is telepathically linked. But there has been a terrible mix up at birth, and Saleem's life takes some unexpected twists and turns. As he grows up amidst a whirlwind of triumphs and disasters, Saleem must learn the ominous consequences of his gift, for the course of his life is inseparably linked to that of his motherland, and his every act is mirrored and magnified in the events that shape the newborn nation of India. It is a great gift, and a terrible burden. Inextricably linked to his nation, Saleem's story mirrors the course of modern India at its most impossible and glorious." (Publisher)

Record of 1981 | Ghost Town | The Specials | UK | 45 rpm single | all time #88
"Ghost Town is a remarkable time capsule of a song that showcases early 80's UK turmoil and dilapidation in both Government, Unemployment, Urban Decay and the overall mood of the country through second wave Two-Tone Ska. Sad times happened in 1980 and 1981 (many riots!) and this song hit at the right moment. Band leader Jerry Dammers wrote the lyrics as a response to all the essence that was draining before him. People were losing jobs and living on the streets, the government was in shambles, recession swept through, businesses were closing with boarded up windows to show, clubs that once housed young adults on the weekends were empty, frustration, anger, doom, and so on and so on. Lyrically Ghost Town is so well written that it needs to be studied in creative writing courses in regards to prose and use of imagery." (eatdogs, PunkNews.org)

Movie of 1981 | Raiders of the Lost Ark | Steven Spielberg | USA | all time #220
"Released in 1981, Raiders of the Lost Ark puts Ford in search of the Ark of the Covenant, racing against Nazis who would use it for their own purposes, and bulldozing through one action-packed episode after another. Much of the blame for the all-action-all-the-time approach of current summer blockbusters can be placed on Raiders, but if any of the copycats had Spielberg's command of storytelling and visual gags, it wouldn't matter. Raiders finds the right balance between reverence and wit, and the sight of Ford outrunning that giant boulder thrills as much on the 14th viewing as the first." (Keith Phipps, A.V. Club)


Books of 1981:
1 | Midnight's Children | Salman Rushdie | UK | #54
2 | Rabbit Is Rich | John Updike | USA | #179
3 | La guerra del fin del mundo (The War of the End of the World) | Mario Vargas Llosa | Spain | Peru | #400


Movies of 1981:
1 | Raiders of the Lost Ark | Steven Spielberg | USA | #220
2 | Mad Max 2 | George Miller | Australia | #494
3 | Possession | Andrzej Żuławski | France | Poland | #621


Albums of 1981:
1 | Dare | The Human League | UK | #267
2 | My Life in the Bush of Ghosts | Brian Eno-David Byrne | USA | UK/USA | #322
3 | Damaged | Black Flag | USA | #370


Songs of 1981:
1 | Ghost Town | The Specials | UK | #88
2 | Tainted Love | Soft Cell | UK | #156
3 | Don't You Want Me | The Human League | UK | #252

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:53 pm

1982



Record of 1982 | Billie Jean | Michael Jackson | USA | 45 rpm single | all time #18
"Though it may not sound like it today, Billie Jean is one of the most revolutionary songs in the history of popular music. This is not, however, because its lyrics tell the story of a well-meaning paranoid being stalked by a woman who claims that he has impregnated her, although that in itself was certainly an unusual theme for a pop song at the time. No, Billie Jean was groundbreaking because it introduced the idea that a single must be accompanied by a high-production video thereby transforming a run-of-the-mill song release into an "event". Billie Jean introduced the pasty-faced number-crunchers who ran MTV to the concept that white viewers would respond enthusiastically to videos featuring a black performer, something they had not previously believed. Back in those days, a lot of people in the entertainment business were still racists. Thank goodness that's over." (Joe Queenan, The Guardian)

Movie of 1982 | Blade Runner | Ridley Scott | USA | UK | all time #38
"Even as it deliberately harks back to '40s pulp fiction and many of its elements now appear creakily dated byproducts of the '80s, the radiant image and sound clarity helps reconfirm Blade Runner (loosely based on Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?) as a landmark achievement in inventive prognostication. Whether it be its narrative fatalism or its haunting evocation of its urban setting, a multicultural techno-grunge hellhole drenched in rain, infested with advertising and shrouded in mist, the film continues to be the mother of modern sci-fi, blending disparate genres with philosophical queries to produce a work that remains, 25 years and reams of critical analysis later, the style-over-substance Scott's only substantive text." (Nick Schager, Slant Magazine)

Book of 1982 | The Color Purple | Alice Walker | USA | all time #107
"Set in the deep American South between the wars, The Color Purple is the classic tale of Celie. Celie is a poor black woman whose letters tell the story of 20 years of her life, beginning at age 14 when she is being abused and raped by her father and attempting to protect her sister from the same fate, and continuing over the course of her marriage to "Mister," a brutal man who terrorizes her. Celie eventually learns that her abusive husband has been keeping her sister's letters from her and the rage she feels, combined with an example of love and independence provided by her close friend Shug, pushes her finally toward an awakening of her creative and loving self." (Publisher)


Books of 1982:
1 | The Color Purple | Alice Walker | USA | #107
2 | La casa de los espíritus (The House of the Spirits) | Isabel Allende | Spain | Chile | #252
3 | Livro do Desassossego (The Book of Disquiet) | Fernando Pessoa | Portugal | #255


Movies of 1982:
1 | Blade Runner | Ridley Scott | USA | UK | #38
2 | Fanny och Alexander (Fanny and Alexander) | Ingmar Bergman | Sweden | #51
3 | E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial | Steven Spielberg | USA | #119


Albums of 1982:
1 | Thriller | Michael Jackson | USA | #25
2 | Nebraska | Bruce Springsteen | USA | #131
3 | 1999 | Prince | USA | #212


Songs of 1982:
1 | Billie Jean | Michael Jackson | USA | #18
2 | The Message | Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five | USA | #24
3 | Little Red Corvette | Prince | USA | #181

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:23 pm

1983



Record of 1983 | Blue Monday | New Order | UK | Vinyl 12" | all time #38
"In the pop world, the 12" single was all about zero imagination. The average extended mix consisted of the 7" with an extra minute of drum fills stuffed in the middle. Blue Monday realised the possibilities of the form: you could bankrupt yourself with a die-cut sleeve! But you could also write a song fit for purpose, a sprawling monster that could only be accommodated on a massive slab of vinyl. New Order took a practical clubber's format and turned it into an artistic statement. Even the gloomiest overcoat-sporting rockist could cut a rug to Blue Monday without risking indie points — and that might be its greatest achievement. Indie-dance, baggy, whatever, it's entirely in hock to New Order's game-changer. Blue Monday set the parameters and its Manchester scions filled the space, welcoming sequenced beats into their repertoire and getting sexy. Getting rock kids to dance. There's no cause more noble than that." (Matthew Horton, NME)

Movie of 1983 | L'argent (L'Argent) | Robert Bresson | France | all time #163
"Robert Bresson's final film —made when he was 81— is a harrowing scour of ideological cinema, based on a sermonic Tolstoy story about greed but turned by Bresson into a pantomime stations of the cross, so completely focused on sensuous minutiae, moral interrogation, and the fastidious lasering away of movie bullshit (like acting and action) that it comes as close as any movie has to 15th-century Christian icons. Except the film's not expressly Christian —Bresson is far less a spiritualist than a precision pragmatist— and it is totally modern. Bresson may stand as the most elusive master filmmaker; the large corpus of critical scholarship hasn't fully sussed him out, or fully translated his intensely particular strategies into an unimpeachable aesthetic." (Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice)

Book of 1983 | Cathedral | Raymond Carver | USA | all time #560
"Raymond Carver said it was possible 'to write about commonplace things and objects using commonplace but precise language and endow these things - a chair, a window curtain, a fork, a stone, a woman's earring - with immense, even startling power.' Nowhere is this alchemy more striking than in the title story of Cathedral in which a blind man guides the hand of a sighted man as together they draw the cathedral the blind man can never see. Many view this story, and indeed this collection, as a watershed in the maturing of Carver's work to a more confidently poetic style. These twelve stories mark a turning point in Carver's work and overflow with the danger, excitement, mystery and possibility of life." (Publisher)


Books of 1983:
1 | The Complete Poems: 1927–1979 | Elizabeth Bishop | USA | collection | #413
2 | Cathedral | Raymond Carver | USA | #560
3 | The Times Are Never So Bad | Andre Dubus | USA | #701
4 | The Mists of Avalon | Marion Zimmer Bradley | USA | #730


Movies of 1983:
1 | Sans soleil (Sans Soleil) | Chris. Marker | France | documentary | #100
2 | L'argent (L'Argent) | Robert Bresson | France | #163
3 | Videodrome | David Cronenberg | Canada | #292
4 | Nostalghia (Nostalgia) | Andrey Tarkovsky | Italy | USSR | #367


Albums of 1983:
1 | Murmur | R.E.M. | USA | #69
2 | Swordfishtrombones | Tom Waits | USA | #126
3 | Synchronicity | The Police | UK | #288


Songs of 1983:
1 | Blue Monday | New Order | UK | #38
2 | This Charming Man | The Smiths | UK | #96
3 | Every Breath You Take | The Police | UK | #112

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Rob » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:13 am

I'm a little confused as to why you mention L'Argent as the film of the year, but later posit Sans Soleil as the best?

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by BobPatience » Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:13 pm

Rob wrote:I'm a little confused as to why you mention L'Argent as the film of the year, but later posit Sans Soleil as the best?
propbably because Sans Soleil is a documentary (which also seems to be the reason why the top 4 'movies' are listed)
The same occurs with the books
Festina Lente

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:25 pm

BobPatience wrote:
Rob wrote:I'm a little confused as to why you mention L'Argent as the film of the year, but later posit Sans Soleil as the best?
propbably because Sans Soleil is a documentary (which also seems to be the reason why the top 4 'movies' are listed)
The same occurs with the books
Exactly, BobPatience! I've decided not to include as books or movies of the year the collections and the documentaries in order to give some homogeneity to the lists. I copy and paste my comment on the first post of this thread:
"In order to give some homogeneity of the criteria I've included some restrictions to make the lists more compatible:
- On Acclaimed Music the compilations are not included but The Greatest Books include some "compilations" (I think "collections" is a more correct term talking about literature). I've decided to leave out these collections on the category of "book of the year" but it will be mentioned on the Top 3 of the year. I'm doing this because otherwise excellent books of short stories or poetry won't get mentioned.
- On The Greatest Books.org there are separate lists for fiction and non-fiction books while in TSPDT both fiction and documentary movies are included together. So I've decided not to include documentaries as movie of the year (something that is going to happen on 6 occasions) while it will get mentioned on the Top 3s."


1984



Record of 1984 | When Doves Cry | Prince | USA | 45rpm single | all time #29
"When Doves Cry marked Prince's first number one hit in the summer of 1984, and it stayed on top for five consecutive weeks, selling over two million copies as a single. It's not difficult to see why When Doves Cry peaked so high. The song's solid combination of a lenient yet steady dancefloor rhythm and a smattering of pop/rock grandiosity is both attractive and savvy, not to mention a tad sexy, which is one trademark that followed Prince throughout his career. When all the elements are put together —the perky keyboard dabs, the motor-revved guitar riffs, and the uniform drum beats— the result is a single that is well worth its number one status. Prince's vocals are dramatic but not exaggerated, and the production of the song is far from overdone yet it instills enough expressiveness to relate firmly to the movie while standing solidly on its own as a catchy radio tune." (Mike DeGagne, Allmusic)

Movie of 1984 | Once Upon a Time in America | Sergio Leone | USA | Italy | all time #101
"A hallucinatory, melancholic meditation on grief, ambition, and betrayal, Leone's film purports to be a gangster film but, in reality, is something more like a romantic evocation of a gangster film. Leone uses familiar genre tropes as a means of creating a dream-like collage of images and sounds that seek to convey an emotion, a passion, rather than a traditional narrative logic. Leone marries a European art-film sensibility to his flamboyant and slightly cartoonish trademark cinematic mannerisms. The result is a haunting, thematically complex movie that, instead of a straightforward genre film, works like an elegiac poem about the cost one pays for dreaming big and trusting blindly. It's an entrancing and stirring epic from one of the cinema's most expressionistic artists, and one of the most consistently fascinating films I've ever seen." (Nick Schager, Lessons of Darkness)

Book of 1984 | L'insoutenable légèreté de l'être (The Unbearable Lightness of Being) | Milan Kundera | France | all time #270
"In this novel Milan Kundera addresses himself to the nature of twentieth-century 'Being.' In a world in which lives are shaped by irrevocable choices and by fortuitous events, a world in which everything occurs but once, existence seems to lose its substance, its weight. We feel, says the novelist, 'the unbearable lightness of being' — not only as the consequence of our private acts but also in the public sphere, and the two inevitably intertwine. Juxtaposing Prague, Geneva, Thailand and the United States, this masterly novel encompasses the extremes of comedy and tragedy, and embraces, it seems, all aspects of human existence. In this classic novel Kundera draws together the Czechoslovakia of the Prague Spring and the Russian invasion, the philosophy of Nietzsche, and the love affairs of a number of heartbreakingly familiar characters." (Publisher)


Books of 1984:
1 | L'insoutenable légèreté de l'être (The Unbearable Lightness of Being) | Milan Kundera | France | #270
2 | Cold Sassy Tree | Olive Ann Burns | USA | #489
3 | Money | Martin Amis | UK | #507


Movies of 1984:
1 | Once Upon a Time in America | Sergio Leone | USA | Italy | #101
2 | Paris, Texas | Wim Wenders | USA | West Germany | #231
3 | Love Streams | John Cassavetes | USA | #271


Albums of 1984:
1 | Purple Rain | Prince and The Revolution | USA | #49
2 | Born in the U.S.A. | Bruce Springsteen | USA | #156
3 | The Smiths | The Smiths | UK | #163


Songs of 1984:
1 | When Doves Cry | Prince | USA | #29
2 | How Soon Is Now? | The Smiths | UK | #71
3 | Purple Rain | Prince and The Revolution | USA | #142


Classical work of 1984 | Akhnaten | Philip Glass | Germany | USA | #82

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:58 pm

1985



Record of 1985 | Psychocandy | The Jesus and Mary Chain | UK | album (vinyl LP) | all time #81
"A cocktail of speed and hallucinogens mixed with equal parts Beach Boys' melody and Velvets' minimalism, all dressed in leather and back-combed hair; suddenly rock seemed as confrontational as it had ten years before. Heralding their vinyl arrival with a series of provocatively short gigs (average length: ten minutes) staged by nascent scene-maker Alan McGee, the brothers Reid —aided by the brain-dead stomp of a young Bobby Gillespie on drums— set forth their stall of proto-shoegazing. Sheets of feedback over inept tribalism and sweetened by doleful, yet amazingly sweet vocals; Psychocandy was everything the hype promised. It still sounds distinctly antisocial, but it was to be possibly the single hugest influence on the next generation of guitar bands." (Chris Jones, BBC)

Book of 1985 | The Handmaid's Tale | Margaret Atwood | Canada | all time #139
"Offred is a Handmaid in The Republic of Gilead, a religious totalitarian state in what was formerly known as the United States. She is placed in the household of The Commander, Fred Waterford — her assigned name, Offred, means 'of Fred'. She has only one function: to breed. If Offred refuses to enter into sexual servitude to repopulate a devastated world, she will be hanged. Yet even a repressive state cannot eradicate hope and desire. As she recalls her pre-revolution life in flashbacks, Offred must navigate through the terrifying landscape of torture and persecution in the present day, and between two men upon which her future hangs. Masterfully conceived and executed, this haunting vision of the future places Margaret Atwood at the forefront of dystopian fiction." (Publisher)

Movie of 1985 | Idi i smotri (Come and See) | Elem Klimov | USSR | all time #141
"It is, of course, impossible for cinema to accurately portray the horrors of life during wartime, though that never seems to stop directors from trying. In a century of harrowing, brutally realistic war pictures, from The Battle of the Somme to Saving Private Ryan, no one has come closer to achieving this goal than Elem Klimov in Come and See. It achieves precisely what it intends: to honestly illustrate, within the confines of a 142-minute narrative film, the devastation that war, and in this case genocide, wreaks upon a helpless populace." (Tom Huddleston, Time Out)


Books of 1985:
1 | The Handmaid's Tale | Margaret Atwood | Canada | #139
2 | Blood Meridian or The Evening Redness in the West | Cormac McCarthy | USA | #143
3 | El amor en los tiempos del cólera (Love in the Time of Cholera) | Gabriel García Márquez | Colombia | #244


Movies of 1985:
1 | Shoah (Shoah) | Claude Lanzmann | France | documentary | #69
2 | Idi i smotri (Come and See) | Elem Klimov | USSR | #141
3 | Brazil | Terry Gilliam | UK | USA | #183
4 | Ran (Ran) | Akira Kurosawa | Japan | #202


Albums of 1985:
1 | Psychocandy | The Jesus and Mary Chain | UK | #81
2 | Rain Dogs | Tom Waits | USA | #92
3 | Hounds of Love | Kate Bush | UK | #157


Songs of 1985:
1 | Into the Groove | Madonna | USA | #173
2 | Running Up That Hill | Kate Bush | UK | #261
3 | Just Like Honey | The Jesus and Mary Chain | UK | #343


Classical work of 1985 | Requiem | Andrew Lloyd Webber | USA | UK | #91

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Fri Jun 07, 2019 5:54 pm

1986



Record of 1986 | The Queen Is Dead | The Smiths | UK | album (vinyl LP) | all time #22
"From the excitement and rush of the title track, which was the Smiths' utmost combination of garage rock assault and music hall to the closing "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others," this was the Smiths working tightly as a unit, breaking new ground, with Morrissey taking his moment in the full glare of the limelight to act up accordingly, with puns ever more daring, sexual politics ever more ambivalent, his heart and his art on his sleeve. Johnny Marr obsessively worked on the sound and texture of the music. Together, it proves an irresistible combination. Biographer Johnny Rogan said that with The Queen Is Dead, Morrissey emerged as 'the most interesting songwriter of his generation.' Few people can switch between high- and low-brow, vulgar comedy and poignant self doubt so convincingly and rapidly over 36 minutes." (Daryl Easlea, BBC)

Movie of 1986 | Blue Velvet | David Lynch | USA | all time #82
"The last real earthquake to hit cinema was David Lynch's Blue Velvet —I'm sure directors throughout the film world felt the earth move beneath their feet and couldn't sleep the night of their first encounter with it back in 1986— and screens trembled again and again with diminishing aftershocks over the next decade as these picture makers attempted to mount their own exhilarating psychic cataclysms. But no one could quite match the traumatizing combination of horrific, comedic, aural, and subliminal effects Lynch rumbled out in this masterpiece—not even Lynch himself in the fun-filled years that followed before he recombined with himself to invent The Straight Story and Mulholland Drive." (Guy Maddin, The Village Voice)

Book of 1986 | The Prince of Tides | Pat Conroy | USA | all time #476
"Tom Wingo has lost his job, and is on the verge of losing his marriage, when he learns that his twin sister, Savannah, has attempted suicide again. At the behest of Savannah's psychiatrist, Tom reluctantly leaves his home in South Carolina to travel to New York City and aid in his sister's therapy. As Tom's relationship with her psychiatrist deepens, he reveals to her the turbulent history of the Wingo family, and exposes the truth behind the fateful day that changed their lives forever. Drawing richly from Pat Conroy's own troubled upbringing, The Prince of Tides is a sweeping and powerful story of how unlocking the past can be the secret to overcoming the darkest of personal demons." (Publisher)


Books of 1986:
1 | The Prince of Tides | Pat Conroy | USA | #476
2 | The Progress of Love | Alice Munro | Canada | #609
3 | A Jangada de Pedra (The Stone Raft) | José Saramago | Portugal | #906


Movies of 1986:
1 | Blue Velvet | David Lynch | USA | #82
2 | Offret (The Sacrifice) | Andrei Tarkovskij | France | Italy | #297
3 | Aliens | James Cameron | USA | Canada | #341


Albums of 1986:
1 | The Queen Is Dead | The Smiths | UK | #22
2 | Graceland | Paul Simon | USA | #73
3 | Master of Puppets | Metallica | USA | #169


Songs of 1986:
1 | There Is a Light That Never Goes Out | The Smiths | UK | #49
2 | Walk This Way | Run-D.M.C. | USA | #108
3 | Kiss | Prince and The Revolution | USA | #227


Classical works of 1986:
1 | The Mission | Ennio Morricone | France | Italy | #36
2 | The Chairman Dances, Foxtrot for Orchestra | John Adams | USA | #100

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Sat Jun 08, 2019 5:34 pm

1987



Record of 1987 | Sign "☮" the Times | Prince | USA | album (double vinyl LP) | all time #29
"Merely the most gifted pop musician of his generation proving what a motherfucker he is for two discs start to finish. With helpmate turns from Camille, Susannah, Sheila E., Sheena Easton, he's back to his one-man-band tricks, so collective creation fans should be grateful that at least the second-hottest groove here, after the galvanic "U Got the Look," is Revolution live. Elsewhere Prince-the-rhythm section works on his r&b so Prince-the-harmony-group can show off vocal chops that make Stevie Wonder sound like a struggling ventriloquist. Yet the voices put over real emotions — studio solitude hasn't reactivated his solipsism. The objects of his desire are also objects of interest, affection, and respect. Some of them he may not even fuck." (Robert Christgau)

Book of 1987 | Beloved | Toni Morrison | USA | all time #41
"Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe's new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement. The book's epigraph reads: "Sixty Million and more," by which Morrison refers to the estimated number of slaves who died in the slave trade." (Publisher)

Movie of 1987 | Der Himmel über Berlin (Wings of Desire) | Wim Wenders | West Germany | all time #215
"Wings of Desire is one of cinema's loveliest city symphonies. Bruno Ganz is Damiel, an angel perched atop buildings high over Berlin who can hear the thoughts —fears, hopes, dreams— of all the people living below. But when he falls in love with a beautiful trapeze artist, he is willing to give up his immortality and come back to earth to be with her. Made not long before the fall of the Berlin wall, this stunning tapestry of sounds and images, shot in black and white and color by the legendary Henri Alekan, is movie poetry. And it forever made the name Wim Wenders synonymous with film art." (The Criterion Collection)


Books of 1987:
1 | Beloved | Toni Morrison | USA | #41
2 | The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway | Ernest Hemingway | USA | collection | #105
3 | The Bonfire of the Vanities | Tom Wolfe | USA | #300
4 | The Shell Seekers | Rosamunde Pilcher | UK | #461


Movies of 1987:
1 | Der Himmel über Berlin (Wings of Desire) | Wim Wenders | West Germany | #215
2 | Khane-ye doust kodjast? (Where Is the Friend's House?) | Abbas Kiarostami | Iran | #289
3 | The Dead | John Huston | UK | USA | #437


Albums of 1987:
1 | Sign "☮" the Times | Prince | USA | #29
2 | The Joshua Tree | U2 | UK | Ireland | #40
3 | Appetite for Destruction | Guns n' Roses | USA | #63


Songs of 1987:
1 | Sweet Child o' Mine | Guns n' Roses | USA | #76
2 | Sign "☮" the Times | Prince | USA | #201
3 | With or Without You | U2 | UK | Ireland | #215


Classical work of 1987 | Violin Concerto No. 1 | Philip Glass | USA | #43

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by BobPatience » Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:52 pm

Is 1987 the first year where the songs of the year all come from the albums of the year?
Festina Lente

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Sun Jun 09, 2019 4:21 pm

BobPatience wrote:Is 1987 the first year where the songs of the year all come from the albums of the year?
You're right, BobPatience! I've checked and it's true. In fact I've included your observation as a comment on the main thread (if you don't mind). We are going to have this situation in three more cases, two on the 2000s decade and the other one on the 2010s.

1988



Record of 1988 | It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back | Public Enemy | USA | album (vinyl LP) | all time #18
"Nation found a way to expound on the explosive soundscapes of the debut without exhausting listeners or cluttering the mix. Chuck, Sadler, and the Shocklee brothers' production as the Bomb Squad was as thick as its source material was diverse; it was rap, soul, rock, funk and musique concrète all at once. "Most people were saying that rap music was noise," Hank Shocklee told Rolling Stone in 1989, "and we decided, 'If they think it's noise, let's show them noise.'" Snippets of legendary speeches from Jesse Jackson and Malcolm X formed connective tissue between songs for a unified listening experience. The Bomb Squad built beats like ships in a bottle, delicately stitching tiny pieces of black history into layered blasts of sound. Public Enemy looked and sounded a fright to the uninitiated, but careful attention showed every piece of this black radical machine moving in perfect concert." (Craig Jenkins, Pitchfork)

Movie of 1988 | Dekalog (The Decalogue) | Krzysztof Kieślowski | Poland | all time #175
"If its 10 parts inevitably vary in quality, in its entirety, the cycle —which was first shown on Polish television in 1988-89— stands as a masterwork of modern cinema, essential viewing for anyone who cares about the movies as a serious art form. Far from illustrating Old Testament laws with a thunderous drum-beating moralism, these 10 films, set mostly in the vicinity of a large, rather bleak apartment complex in Warsaw, might be described as metaphysical speculations. Without sermonizing or even trying to prove the existence of a divine power operating in the universe, these oblique dramatic parables imagine lives influenced by unseen forces whose intentions can't be predicted or even begun to be grasped." (Stephen Holden, The New York Times)

Book of 1988 | O Alquimista (The Alchemist) | Paulo Coelho | Brazil | all time #315
"The Alchemist is the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found. From his home in Spain he journeys to the markets of Tangiers and across the Egyptian desert to a fateful encounter with the alchemist. The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories have done, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life's path, and, above all, following our dreams. With over a million and a half copies sold around the world, The Alchemist has already established itself as a modern classic, universally admired." (Publisher)


Books of 1988:
1 | O Alquimista (The Alchemist) | Paulo Coelho | Brazil | #315
2 | The Bean Trees | Barbara Kingsolver | USA | #407
3 | Le nozze di Cadmo e Armonia (The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony) | Roberto Calasso | Italy | #453


Movies of 1988:
1 | Dekalog (The Decalogue) | Krzysztof Kieślowski | Poland | #175
2 | Tonari no Totoro (My Neighbor Totoro) | Hayao Miyazaki | Japan | #249
3 | The Thin Blue Line | Errol Morris | USA | documentary | #264
4 | Distant Voices, Still Lives | Terence Davies | UK | #273


Albums of 1988:
1 | It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back | Public Enemy | USA | #18
2 | Daydream Nation | Sonic Youth | USA | #62
3 | Surfer Rosa | Pixies | USA | #100


Songs of 1988:
1 | There She Goes | The La's | UK | #167
2 | Where Is My Mind? | Pixies | USA | #243
3 | Teenage Riot | Sonic Youth | USA | #281


Classical works of 1988
1 | Maninyas, Concerto for Violin and Orchestra | Ross Edwards | Australia | #45
2 | Kakadu | Peter Sculthorpe | USA | Australia | #51

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by BobPatience » Sun Jun 09, 2019 4:35 pm

Honorio wrote:
BobPatience wrote:Is 1987 the first year where the songs of the year all come from the albums of the year?
You're right, BobPatience! I've checked and it's true. In fact I've included your observation as a comment on the main thread (if you don't mind). We are going to have this situation in three more cases, two on the 2000s decade and the other one on the 2010s.
I don't mind at all.
Does any of the remaing years preserve the order of the top 3 too (unlike 1987)?
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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Sun Jun 09, 2019 4:40 pm

No. In fact on two cases there are two songs on the Top 3 coming from the #1 album of the year.

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:21 pm

1989



Record of 1989 | Doolittle | Pixies | UK | USA | album (CD) | all time #18
"Quick—pick the most influential alternative rock band of all time. If you didn't choose the Pixies, I'll give you another chance. In the meantime, listen to Doolittle and learn from your mistakes. In all of indie/alternative, there may be no single album more borrowed from, adapted, or flat-out ripped-off than The Pixies' follow-up to Surfer Rosa. Doolittle is almost senselessly varied — mood-altering hooks, poetically insane lyrics, larynx demolishing screams and surreal croons, surf, thrash, pop, slow burns and races to the finish line… Let me put it this way: if not for Doolittle, there would be no Pitchfork. In other words, the influence of this record is so vast that, fifteen years on, it has altered the course of your life at this very moment." (Eric Carr, Pitchfork)

Movie of 1989 | Do the Right Thing | Spike Lee | USA | all time #137
"The hottest day of the year explodes on-screen in this vibrant look at a day in the life of Bedford- Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. Featuring a stellar ensemble cast that includes Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Richard Edson, Giancarlo Esposito, Robin Harris, Samuel L. Jackson, Bill Nunn, Rosie Perez, and John Turturro, Spike Lee’s powerful portrait of urban racial tensions sparked controversy while earning popular and critical praise. Do the Right Thing is complex, bravura movie making. It is also hugely entertaining, since fortunately for us, Lee's seditious method is to use humor to carry his biting message." (The Criterion Collection)

Book of 1989 | The Remains of the Day | Kazuo Ishiguro | UK | all time #185
"A contemporary classic, The Remains of the Day is Kazuo Ishiguro's beautiful and haunting evocation of life between the wars in a Great English House. This is Ishiguro's profoundly compelling portrait of Stevens, the perfect butler, and of his fading, insular world. Stevens, at the end of three decades of service at Darlington Hall, spending a day on a country drive, embarks as well on a journey through the past in an effort to reassure himself that he has served humanity by serving the "great gentleman," Lord Darlington. But lurking in his memory are doubts about the true nature of Lord Darlington's "greatness," and much graver doubts about the nature of his own life." (Publisher)


Books of 1989:
1 | The Remains of the Day | Kazuo Ishiguro | UK | #185
2 | A Prayer for Owen Meany | John Irving | USA | #199
3 | The Joy Luck Club | Amy Tan | USA | #327


Movies of 1989:
1 | Do the Right Thing | Spike Lee | USA | #137
2 | Beiqíng chéngshì (A City of Sadness) | Hou Hsiao-hsien | Taiwan | #191
3 | Crimes and Misdemeanors | Woody Allen | USA | #276


Albums of 1989:
1 | Doolittle | Pixies | UK | USA | #47
2 | The Stone Roses | The Stone Roses | UK | #55
3 | 3 Feet High and Rising | De La Soul | USA | #74


Songs of 1989:
1 | Fight the Power | Public Enemy | USA | #82
2 | Like a Prayer | Madonna | USA | #159
3 | Debaser | Pixies | UK | USA | #198

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:07 pm

The 1980s



Record of the 1980s | Love Will Tear Us Apart | Joy Division | UK | 45 rpm single | 1980 | all time #12
"Hitting record store shelves as a 7" vinyl release not long before the band's singer Ian Curtis took his own life on May 18, 1980, Love Will Tear Us Apart became a totemic record in the aftermath of that tragedy, widely taken as the last will and testament of a riveting yet tormented frontman. Rendered coldly distant by Martin Hannett's trademark production, Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook restrict themselves to repeating their personalized variations of the main melody riff on keyboard and bass, respectively, while Ian Curtis delivers half-hearted stabs of guitar throughout. Aside from Stephen Morris' ever-frenetic drum rhythms, the band sounds sapped of strength on the final recording, as if it has succumbed to solemnly accepting its fated demise. Inhabiting that ghostly, funereal production, Curtis' emotionally-numb crooning instills his words with pervading sense of regret. Curtis lays his soul bare, documenting his failings and offering no excuses, illustrating a collapsing relationship where "routine bits hard" and "ambitions are low"." (AJ Ramirez, PopMatters)

Movie of the 1980s | Raging Bull | Martin Scorsese | USA | 1980 | all time #24
"Revivals of this great film cannot come around often enough for me. This is the high-water mark of the Scorsese/De Niro partnership. De Niro plays the fanatically aggressive middleweight boxer, paranoid, driven and unhappy, who alienates everyone around him as he descends into self-loathing and loneliness. Joe Pesci and Cathy Moriarty are superb as his brother and wife. Its editor, Thelma Schoonmaker, established the movie as a classic example of her art, and the monochrome cinematography is superb. Unmissable." (Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian)

Book of the 1980s | Beloved | Toni Morrison | USA | 1987 | all time #41
"Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe's new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement. The book's epigraph reads: "Sixty Million and more," by which Morrison refers to the estimated number of slaves who died in the slave trade." (Publisher)


Books of the 1980s:
1 | Beloved | Toni Morrison | USA | 1987 | #41
2 | Midnight's Children | Salman Rushdie | UK | 1981 | #54
3 | The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway | Ernest Hemingway | USA | 1987 | collection | #105
4 | The Color Purple | Alice Walker | USA | 1982 | #107
5 | The Handmaid's Tale | Margaret Atwood | Canada | 1985 | #139
6 | Blood Meridian or The Evening Redness in the West | Cormac McCarthy | USA | 1985 | #143


Movies of the 1980s:
1 | Raging Bull | Martin Scorsese | USA | 1980 | #24
2 | Blade Runner | Ridley Scott | USA | UK | 1982 | #38
3 | Fanny och Alexander (Fanny and Alexander) | Ingmar Bergman | Sweden | 1982 | #51
4 | Shoah (Shoah) | Claude Lanzmann | France | 1985 | documentary | #69
5 | Blue Velvet | David Lynch | USA | 1986 | #82
6 | The Shining | Stanley Kubrick | UK/USA | 1980 | #96


Albums of the 1980s:
1 | It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back | Public Enemy | USA | 1988 | #18
2 | The Queen Is Dead | The Smiths | UK | 1986 | #22
3 | Thriller | Michael Jackson | USA | 1982 | #25
4 | Sign "☮" the Times | Prince | USA | 1987 | #29
5 | Remain in Light | Talking Heads | USA | 1980 | #34


Songs of the 1980s:
1 | Love Will Tear Us Apart | Joy Division | UK | 1980 | #12
2 | Billie Jean | Michael Jackson | USA | 1982 | #18
3 | The Message | Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five | USA | 1982 | #24
4 | When Doves Cry | Prince | USA | 1984 | #29
5 | Blue Monday | New Order | UK | 1983 | #38


Classical works of the 1980s:
1 | The Mission | Ennio Morricone | France | Italy | 1986 | #36
2 | Violin Concerto No. 1 | Philip Glass | USA | 1987 | #43
3 | Maninyas, Concerto for Violin and Orchestra | Ross Edwards | Australia | 1988 | #45
4 | Kakadu | Peter Sculthorpe | USA | Australia | 1988 | #51
5 | Akhnaten | Philip Glass | Germany | USA | 1984 | #82

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:42 pm

1990



Movie of 1990 | Goodfellas | Martin Scorsese | USA | all time #77
"By the time he got around to his 1990 masterpiece GoodFellas, Scorsese had permanently graduated into high-budget studio filmmaking, but his grunt's-eye view of gangster life distinguishes the film from the more stately, luxuriant Godfather movies. Based on the memoir of mafia thug turned government witness Henry Hill, GoodFellas dazzles foremost as a piece of pure craftsmanship. In tracking Ray Liotta's Hill as he works his way up through the organization, conspires with vicious lowlifes played by De Niro and an unforgettable Joe Pesci, and suffers a precipitous fall from grace, the film's style and texture shifts with the times. Moving from the romanticized first half to the fractured, jittery closing act, Scorsese adds Hill to a long list of consummate outsider heroes, bringing the audience closer to understanding a fringe-dweller who was seduced and abandoned by "the life." (Scott Tobias, A.V. Club)

Record of 1990 | Nothing Compares 2 U | Sinéad O'Connor | UK | Ireland | 45 rpm single | all time #111
"Towards the end of the award‑winning video that was shot to promote her single Nothing Compares 2 U, tears run down each of Sinéad O'Connor's cheeks as she sings, "All the flowers that you planted, Mama, in the back yard, all died when you went away.” These, she'd later explain, were prompted by thoughts of the complicated relationship that she had shared with her late mother. Not that O'Connor had written this number about longing for a lost love. Instead, Prince had composed it for the band Family, inspired by a member who had recently split up with his girlfriend and recorded by the funk outfit for their eponymous 1985 album. Identifying with the lyrics, O'Connor imbued the song with a strikingly authentic, heartfelt intensity that, aided by the equally stark and powerful video, transported it to the top of the charts in no less than 15 countries." (Richard Buskin, Sound on Sound)

Book of 1990 | Rabbit at Rest | John Updike | USA | all time #188
"In John Updike's fourth and final novel about ex-basketball player Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom, the hero has acquired heart trouble, a Florida condo, and a second grandchild. His son, Nelson, is behaving erratically; his daughter-in-law, Pru, is sending out mixed signals; and his wife, Janice, decides in midlife to become a working girl. As, through the winter, spring, and summer of 1989, Reagan's debt-ridden, AIDS-plagued America yields to that of George Bush, Rabbit explores the bleak terrain of late middle age, looking for reasons to live. The geographical locale is divided between Brewer, in southestern Pennyslvania, and Deleon, in southwestern Florida." (Publisher)


Books of 1990:
1 | Rabbit at Rest | John Updike | USA | #188
2 | Possession | A. S. Byatt | UK | #242
3 | The Things They Carried | Tim O'Brien | USA | #474


Movies of 1990:
1 | Goodfellas | Martin Scorsese | USA | #77
2 | Nema-ye Nazdik (Close-Up) | Abbas Kiarostami | Iran | #86
3 | Ah fei zing zyun (Days of Being Wild) | Wong Kar Wai | Hong Kong | #276


Albums of 1990:
1 | Fear of a Black Planet | Public Enemy | USA | #129
2 | Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches | Happy Mondays | UK | #355
3 | Violator | Depeche Mode | UK | #373


Songs of 1990:
1 | Nothing Compares 2 U | Sinéad O'Connor | UK | Ireland | #111
2 | Loaded | Primal Scream | UK | #332
3 | Groove Is in the Heart | Deee-Lite | USA | #336

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:46 pm

1991



Record of 1991 | Smells Like Teen Spirit | Nirvana | USA | CD single | all time #2
"Grunge, a form of alienated music on the border of metal and punk, had been around for a while before Cobain and two friends formed Nirvana. But Smells Like Teen Spirit, released on the band's second album Nevermind in 1991, made it an international sensation. Kurt Cobain's influences included the Pixies and, less fashionably, soft-rockers Boston; the song's elliptical lyrics ("load up on guns/ bring your friends … a mulatto/ an albino/ a mosquito/ my libido") hinted at troubled racial politics and Aids panic without ever making anything explicit. When he chorused "I feel stupid and contagious/ here we are now, entertain us" he summed up the new fin de siècle. Quiet passages alternated with rage: guitars crunched, drums crashed, Cobain howled. No doubt about it, Smells Like Teen Spirit was the quintessential grunge anthem." (David Honigmann, Financial Times)

Movie of 1991 | Gu ling jie shao nian sha ren shi jian (A Brighter Summer Day) | Edward Yang | Taiwan | all time #123
"Of his half-dozen other features, A Brighter Summer Day is, by critical consensus, the masterpiece. And it deserves that overused designation in several specific ways. In every aspect of technique — from the smoky colors and the bustling, off-center compositions to the architecture of the story and the emotional precision of the performances — this film is a work of absolute mastery. Its imaginative authority and the scale of its achieved ambition make it not just a wonderful movie but also an essential piece of modern cinema." (A.O. Scott, The New York Times)

Book of 1991 | A Thousand Acres | Jane Smiley | USA | all time #541
"Larry Cook's farm is the largest in Zebulon County, Iowa, and a tribute to his hard work and single-mindedness. Proud and possessive, his sudden decision to retire and hand over the farm to his three daughters, is disarmingly uncharacteristic. Ginny and Rose, the two eldest, are startled yet eager to accept, but Caroline, the youngest daughter, has misgivings. Immediately, her father cuts her out. In A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley transposes the King Lear story to the modern day, and in so doing at once illuminates Shakespeare's original and subtly transforms it. This astonishing novel won both of America’s highest literary awards, the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Critics' Circle Award." (Publisher)


Books of 1991:
1 | A Thousand Acres | Jane Smiley | USA | #541
2 | Regeneration | Pat Barker | UK | #571
3 | Sofies verden: Roman om filosofiens historie (Sophie's World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy) | Jostein Gaarder | Norway | #689


Movies of 1991:
1 | Gu ling jie shao nian sha ren shi jian (A Brighter Summer Day) | Edward Yang | Taiwan | #123
2 | La double vie de Véronique (The Double Life of Véronique) | Krzysztof Kieślowski | France | Poland | #360
3 | The Silence of the Lambs | Jonathan Demme | USA | #382


Albums of 1991:
1 | Nevermind | Nirvana | USA | #3
2 | Blue Lines | Massive Attack | UK | #37
3 | Loveless | My Bloody Valentine | UK | Ireland | #58


Songs of 1991:
1 | Smells Like Teen Spirit | Nirvana | USA | #2
2 | Losing My Religion | R.E.M. | USA | #43
3 | Unfinished Sympathy | Massive | UK | #64

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Henrik » Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:51 pm

I think you have the wrong place for ”Sofies verden”.
Everyone you meet fights a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by BobPatience » Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:16 pm

3 | Unfinished Sympathy | Massive | UK | #64

You missed an ' attack' I think
Festina Lente

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:46 pm

Henrik wrote:I think you have the wrong place for ”Sofies verden”.
Yep, you’re right. It was 689. Edited
BobPatience wrote:3 | Unfinished Sympathy | Massive | UK | #64

You missed an ' attack' I think
Nope, the single was released credited to Massive and not to Massive Attack. According to Wikipedia: "as the single was released in the midst of the Gulf War, the word "attack" was temporarily dropped from the group's name at the advice of their record company and management."

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by BobPatience » Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:25 am

Honorio wrote:
BobPatience wrote:3 | Unfinished Sympathy | Massive | UK | #64

You missed an ' attack' I think
Nope, the single was released credited to Massive and not to Massive Attack. According to Wikipedia: "as the single was released in the midst of the Gulf War, the word "attack" was temporarily dropped from the group's name at the advice of their record company and management."
Don't mind me, I actually knew that :|
Festina Lente

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:06 pm

1992



Record of 1992 | Automatic for the People | R.E.M. | USA | album (CD) | all time #42
"Automatic for the People is often understood as being R.E.M.'s album about death and mourning, but it's really their meditation on living with the awareness of mortality. Stipe and the band touch on deep, elemental fears and existential dread with remarkable subtlety, while knowing enough to make the soulful anti-suicide anthem "Everybody Hurts" as direct and obvious as possible. The spectre of death hangs over every cut, but the album's most moving songs, such as the sentimental remembrance "Nightswimming" and the cautiously optimistic "Find the River," rejoice in the small moments that make life worth living. Automatic for the People is timeless and profound, and manages to be uplifting without ever seeming condescending or corny." (Matthew Perpetua, Nerve)

Movie of 1992 | Unforgiven | Clint Eastwood | USA | all time #236
"Unforgiven is a classic Western for the ages. In his 10th excursion into the genre that made him a star more than 25 years ago, Clint Eastwood has crafted a tense, hard-edged, superbly dramatic yarn that is also an exceedingly intelligent meditation on the West, its myths and its heroes. With its grizzled cast of outstanding actors playing outlaws who have survived their primes, this is unapologetically a mature, contemplative film. Final shots, which have the survivor of the climactic bloodbath riding off, not into the sunset, but into a nocturnal downpour, constitute a hauntingly poetic variation on the usual Western fadeout. Eastwood's telling of this grim, compelling tale is at least as impressive as in his best prior outings as a director — The Outlaw Josey Wales, Bird and White Hunter, Black Heart." (Todd McCarthy, Variety)

Book of 1992 | Bastard out of Carolina | Dorothy Allison | USA | all time #324
"Since its appearance, the novel has been banned from libraries and classrooms, championed by fans, and defended by critics. Greenville County, South Carolina, is a wild, lush place that is home to the Boatwright family —a tight-knit clan of rough-hewn, hard- drinking men who shoot up each other's trucks, and indomitable women who get married young and age too quickly. At the heart of this story is Ruth Anne Boatwright, known simply as Bone, a bastard child who observes the world around her with a mercilessly keen perspective. When her stepfather Daddy Glen, "cold as death, mean as a snake," becomes increasingly more vicious toward her, Bone finds herself caught in a family triangle that tests the loyalty of her mother, and leads to a final, harrowing encounter from which there can be no turning back." (Publisher)


Books of 1992:
1 | Bastard out of Carolina | Dorothy Allison | USA | #324
2 | All the Pretty Horses | Cormac McCarthy | USA | #386
3 | Jesus' Son | Denis Johnson | USA | #425


Movies of 1992:
1 | Unforgiven | Clint Eastwood | USA | #236
2 | Reservoir Dogs | Quentin Tarantino | USA | #313
3 | El sol del membrillo (The Quince Tree Sun) | Víctor Erice | Spain | documentary | #354
4 | Zendegi va digar hich (And Life Goes On..) | Abbas Kiarostami | Iran | #561


Albums of 1992:
1 | Automatic for the People | R.E.M. | USA | #42
2 | Slanted and Enchanted | Pavement | USA | #106
3 | The Chronic | Dr. Dre | USA | #127


Songs of 1992:
1 | Creep | Radiohead | UK | #130
2 | Nuthin' But a "G" Thang | Dr. Dre | USA | #199
3 | Killing in the Name | Rage Against the Machine | USA | #228


Classical work of 1992 | Antarctica, Suite for Guitar and Orchestra | Nigel Westlake | Australia | #29

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Sat Jun 15, 2019 10:51 am

1993



Record of 1993 | Loser | Beck | USA | CD-single | all time #59
"Here's what really happened when MTV played Beck's Loser for the first time, in 1994: The culture inverted itself, weirdness was instantaneously mainstreamed, everyone stopped combing their hair, people slept more and purchased broken turn­­tables at stoop sales, dirtbags began using the word art in casual conversation, Michael Cera entered kindergarten. The Smashing Pumpkins followed Loser with the metalesque Zero, but that was self-loathing as bandwagon chic — by the fall of '95, this was simply the sentiment alt-gods were supposed to have. And Loser made that happen, it was lifestyle branding. It made a vision of unspecific, apolitical apathy appear charming and desirable. Overnight, it was so much easier for white people to be cool. All you had to do was look weird and act weirder." (Chuck Klosterman, Spin)

Movie of 1993 | The Piano | Jane Campion | New Zealand | all time #200
"The Piano plays itself with such contrapuntal richness, it resonates in you forever. Set in 19th-century New Zealand, this saga of will, destiny and passion starring Holly Hunter is an extraordinary symphony of sounds and silence, of lilting pleasure and tangled horror. There's something mystically compelling about writer/director Jane Campion's 1993 Cannes winner. On one level, it's a fairy tale for adults. But on others, it evokes powerful eroticism, sexual mustiness, emotional anguish and numerous other themes. You experience this mix of mythic and corporeal on the pinions of cinematic fancy." (Desson Howe, The Washington Post)

Book of 1993 | The Shipping News | E. Annie Proulx | USA | all time #478
"E. Annie Proulx focuses on a Newfoundland fishing town in a tale about a third-rate newspaperman and the women in his life — his elderly aunt and two young daughters— who decide to resettle in their ancestral seaside home. The transformation each of the character undergoes following move is profound. A vigorous, darkly comic, and at times magical portrait of the contemporary American family, The Shipping News enlightens readers to the powers of E. Annie Proulx's storytelling genius and her expert evocation of time and place. She is truly one of the most gifted and original writers in America today." (Publisher)


Books of 1993:
1 | The Shipping News | E. Annie Proulx | USA | #478
2 | The Giver | Lois Lowry | USA | #510
3 | Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha | Roddy Doyle | Ireland | #579


Movies of 1993:
1 | The Piano | Jane Campion | New Zealand | #200
2 | Schindler's List | Steven Spielberg | USA | #222
3 | Groundhog Day | Harold Ramis | USA | #240


Albums of 1993:
1 | In Utero | Nirvana | USA | #102
2 | Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) | Wu-Tang Clan | USA | #104
3 | Siamese Dream | Smashing Pumpkins | USA | #133


Songs of 1993:
1 | Loser | Beck | USA | #59
2 | Cannonball | The Breeders | USA | #269
3 | All Apologies | Nirvana | USA | #398

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:47 pm

1994



Record of 1994 | Grace | Jeff Buckley | USA | album (CD) | all time #54
"Jeff Buckley's voice not only has range, it has a soulful intensity that sends chills. He's capable of summoning extravagant emotion with little more than a leap to falsetto, and a few minutes into this recording — his first with a band after last year's live solo effort — he's already piercing the stratosphere. At times, Buckley indulges in posturing that recalls Led Zeppelin, but even then he can be thrilling. The music has a rolling-and-tumbling dynamic that suits the swooning vocals, the crash-and-burn of "Eternal Life" of a piece with the jazzy atmospherics of "Lilac Wine" and Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," a masterpiece that Buckley wholly inhabits." (Greg Kot, Chicago Tribune)

Movie of 1994 | Pulp Fiction | Quentin Tarantino | USA | all time #76
"Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction is a film both monumental and immediately accessible, a 2 1/2-hour picture whose energy never flags. It is an exhilaration from beginning to end. It's the movie equivalent of that rare sort of novel where you find yourself checking to see how many pages are left and hoping there are more, not fewer. The tone is darkly comic in the face of almost operatic violence, though only the most squeamish of viewers will be put off. With Tarantino we get violence as part of an impish vision of life in which anything can happen — and does. Pulp Fiction is a picture that will stand up to repeat viewings. Early scenes hint at what comes later, and while a first viewing may go by like a shot, the film's intellectual underpinnings become clearer the second time around." (Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle)

Book of 1994 | Nejimakitori Kuronikuru (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle) | Haruki Murakami | Japan | all time #237
"The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is a tour de force — and one of Haruki Murakami's most acclaimed and beloved novels. In a Tokyo suburb, a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife's missing cat —and then for his wife as well— in a netherworld beneath the city's placid surface. As these searches intersect, he encounters a bizarre group of allies and antagonists. Gripping, prophetic, and suffused with comedy and menace, this is an astonishingly imaginative detective story, an account of a disintegrating marriage, and an excavation of the buried secrets from Japan's forgotten campaign in Manchuria during World War II." (Publisher)


Books of 1994:
1 | Nejimakitori Kuronikuru (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle) | Haruki Murakami | Japan | #237
2 | Snow Falling on Cedars | David Guterson | USA | #410
3 | Le premier homme (The First Man) | Albert Camus | France | #631


Movies of 1994:
1 | Pulp Fiction | Quentin Tarantino | USA | #76
2 | Sátántangó (Satantango) | Béla Tarr | Hungary | #103
3 | Chung Hing sam lam (Chungking Express) | Wong Kar Wai | Hong Kong | #214


Albums of 1994:
1 | Grace | Jeff Buckley | USA | #54
2 | Dummy | Portishead | UK | #59
3 | Definitely Maybe | Oasis | UK | #93


Songs of 1994:
1 | Live Forever | Oasis | UK | #131
2 | Sabotage | Beastie Boys | USA | #179
3 | Girls & Boys | Blur | UK | #265


Classical work of 1994 | Song for Athene | John Tavener | UK | #95

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:00 pm

1995



Record of 1995 | Common People | Pulp | UK | CD-single | all time #37
"It is one of the most witty, intelligent left-of-center pop songs to have ever achieved widespread consensus. When all readers and critics vote for it in whatever poll they are participating in on a given day, they can always rest assured they've done the right thing. Common People isn't simply a great song, it is an occasion. That synth streaking out of the sky is like the snare whack in Like a Rolling Stone, signaling that a story is about to begin, and it will hold you through every word. Pulp had made a long career up to this point representing for the outsiders. They didn't change anything to get to this point, they just got better and better, and this ageless anthem was one of those moments when the outsiders took over and everyone wanted in." (Ian King, PopMatters)

Movie of 1995 | Underground (Underground) | Emir Kusturica | Federal Republic of Yugoslavia | all time #288
"There's no need for a movie adaptation of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's magical realist tome One Hundred Years of Solitude. It's already been made. Emir Kusturica's tragic-farce Underground may be the most important film of the last 25 years, a sweltering, morally inquisitive work of political narrative fiction that laments our propensity for auto-destruction. In a time when supposedly serious journalism fails to illuminate the horrors of the world (pop quiz: what did Milosevic do to his people and why?), films like Underground exist to make amends. "Once upon a time there was a country…" So begins Kusturica's parable of self-annihilation, a deliriously metaphorical, emotionally gut-wrenching and devastatingly funny chronicle of a death foretold." (Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine)

Book of 1995 | His Dark Materials: Northern Lights | Philip Pullman | UK | all time #422
"Northern Lights introduces Lyra, an orphan, who lives in a parallel universe in which science, theology and magic are entwined. Lyra's search for a kidnapped friend uncovers a sinister plot involving stolen children and turns into a quest to understand a mysterious phenomenon called Dust. The epic story Pullman tells is not only a spellbinding adventure featuring armoured polar bears, magical devices, witches and daemons, it is also an audacious and profound re-imagining of Milton's Paradise Lost. An utterly entrancing blend of metaphysical speculation and bravura storytelling, His Dark Materials is a monumental and enduring achievement." (Publisher)


Books of 1995:
1 | His Dark Materials: Northern Lights | Philip Pullman | UK | #422
2 | Ensaio sobre a Cegueira (Blindness) | José Saramago | Portugal | #443
3 | The Blue Flower | Penelope Fitzgerald | UK | #509


Movies of 1995:
1 | Underground (Underground) | Emir Kusturica | Federal Republic of Yugoslavia | #288
2 | Heat | Michael Mann | USA | #329
3 | Toy Story | John Lasseter | USA | #469


Albums of 1995:
1 | (What's the Story) Morning Glory? | Oasis | UK | #77
2 | The Bends | Radiohead | UK | #79
3 | Different Class | Pulp | UK | #119


Songs of 1995:
1 | Common People | Pulp | UK | #37
2 | Wonderwall | Oasis | UK | #86
3 | Born Slippy .NUXX | Underworld | UK | #128

Note:
A completely British line-up both for albums and songs (for the first time) on the peak year of Britpop.

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Tue Jun 18, 2019 6:29 pm

1996



Record of 1996 | Odelay | Beck! | USA | album (CD) | all time #51
"Beck is no loser, baby, just because he treats pop music like a giant garage sale. In fact, it's his greatest strength. Whimsical, downright Seussian in his wordplay, Beck Hansen has met his match in the Dust Brothers, the sonic architects of Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique. The Dust Brothers fully grasp Beck's jump-cutting passion for 60 years' worth of music, from back-porch acoustic blues and plaintive country laments to bring-the-noise Sonic Youthisms and scratch-and-burn hip-hop. All of those sonic touchstones are embraced on Odelay, which may strike initiates to the Beck universe as bewilderingly chaotic. But virtually every one of Beck's odes to the weirdness comes wrapped in a giant hook that'll have you bobbing your head, singing in the shower or scrambling to turn up the volume knob. In a word: Fun." (Greg Kot, Chicago Tribune)

Movie of 1996 | Breaking the Waves | Lars Von Trier | Denmark | all time #195
"Courting and sometimes winning ridicule, daring to fuse true love with lurid exploitation and pure religious faith, the Danish director Lars von Trier has created a fierce, wrenchingly passionate film about the struggles of a shy young woman who is goodness personified. Truly, bells ring in heaven for a heroine like this. With a plot that owes as much to the Marquis de Sade as it does to higher-minded sources, von Trier begins his film as a powerfully carnal love story and eventually leaves it, by his own description, "treading on the verge of kitsch." A narrative path leading from the sincere to the ludicrous, and culminating in a final image of flabbergasting transcendance, gives Breaking the Waves its surprising power." (Janet Maslin, The New York Times)

Book of 1996 | Infinite Jest | David Foster Wallace | USA | all time #403
"A gargantuan, mind-altering comedy about the pursuit of happiness in America. Set in an addicts' halfway house and a tennis academy, and featuring the most endearingly screwed-up family to come along in recent fiction, Infinite Jest explores essential questions about what entertainment is and why it has come to so dominate our lives; about how our desire for entertainment affects our need to connect with other people; and about what the pleasures we choose say about who we are. Equal parts philosophical quest and screwball comedy, Infinite Jest bends every rule of fiction without sacrificing for a moment its own entertainment value. It is an exuberant, uniquely American exploration of the passions that make us human — and one of those rare books that renew the idea of what a novel can do." (Publisher)


Books of 1996:
1 | Selected Stories | Alice Munro | Canada | collection | #261
2 | Infinite Jest | David Foster Wallace | USA | #403
3 | A Game of Thrones | George R. R. Martin | USA | #708
4 | Bridget Jones's Diary | Helen Fielding | UK | #815


Movies of 1996:
1 | Breaking the Waves | Lars Von Trier | Denmark | #195
2 | Fargo | Joel Coen | USA | #198
3 | Nun va Goldoon (A Moment of Innocence) | Mohsen Makhmalbaf | Iran | #419


Albums of 1996:
1 | Odelay | Beck! | USA | #51
2 | Endtroducing..... | DJ Shadow | UK | USA | #76
3 | If You're Feeling Sinister | Belle and Sebastian | UK | #195


Songs of 1996:
1 | Firestarter | Prodigy | UK | #226
2 | Where It's At | Beck | USA | #434
3 | No Diggity | Blackstreet (featuring Dr. Dre) | USA | #737

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Wed Jun 19, 2019 6:07 pm

1997



Record of 1997 | OK Computer | Radiohead | UK | album (CD) | all time #8
"The end of the 90s will be seen as the end of the album. The rise of MP3 technology and file downloading returned pop music consumption to collective pre-Beatles mindset, where songs are judged as singles. The resurgence, and arguable final entrenchment, of manufactured Pop Stars by their handlers over supposedly more artistic fare —and more importantly the acceptance of such common pleasures by critics— razed the significance of the complete album. Which is why OK Computer eternally top these polls: somehow we doubt we'll ever see their like again. Any arguing or defending of the record seems pointless and redundant. OK Computer sounds crystalline and liveable — a true, enterable aural landscape packaged with press-delivered mythology describing its creation. OK Computer simply is the anxious, self-important, uncertain, technologically overwhelmed 1990s." (Brent DiCrescenzo, Pitchfork)

Book of 1997 | American Pastoral | Philip Roth | USA | all time #154
"Philip Roth's masterpiece provides a piercing look into the promises of prosperity, civic order and domesticity in twentieth century America. 'Swede' Levov is living the American dream. He glides through life cocooned by his devoted family, his demanding yet highly rewarding (and lucrative) business, his sporting prowess, his good looks. Until the sunny day in 1968, when the Swede's bountiful American luck deserts him. His adored daughter, Merry, has become a stranger to him, a fanatical teenager capable of an outlandishly savage act of political terrorism that plunges the Levov family into the political mayhem of sixties America, and drags them into the underbelly of a seemingly ascendant society. Rendered powerless by the shocking turn of events, the Swede can only watch as his pastoral idyll is methodically torn apart." (Publisher)

Movie of 1997 | Lost Highway | David Lynch | USA | all time #358
"Bill Pullman stars as a jazz saxophonist whose fiery solos grant him a passion and eloquence he seems incapable of anywhere else. At home, he and wife Patricia Arquette share awkward silences, fumbling sex, and mutual distrust. Shortly after meeting a creepy, white-faced man, Pullman is arrested for murdering Arquette, an accusation that baffles him in spite of overwhelming evidence of his guilt. The Lynch themes of voyeurism, obsession, unsettling sexuality, and the modern echoes of film noir flow without a filter. Lost Highway is a disquieting, disorienting film that doesn't just improve with repeat viewings, it practically requires them. Typical of Lynch, it commands attention while stirring the impossible desire to look away." (Keith Phipps, A.V. Club)


Books of 1997:
1 | American Pastoral | Philip Roth | USA | #154
2 | Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone | J. K. Rowling | UK | #200
3 | Cold Mountain | Charles Frazier | USA | #437


Movies of 1997:
1 | Lost Highway | David Lynch | USA | #358
2 | Chun gwong cha sit (Happy Together) | Wong Kar Wai | Hong Kong | #362
3 | Ta'm e guilass (Taste of Cherry) | Abbas Kiarostami | Iran | #461


Albums of 1997:
1 | OK Computer | Radiohead | UK | #8
2 | Homework | Daft Punk | UK | France | #142
3 | Homogenic | Björk | UK | Iceland | #190


Songs of 1997:
1 | Paranoid Android | Radiohead | UK | #58
2 | Bitter Sweet Symphony | The Verve | UK | #63
3 | Song 2 | Blur | UK | #146

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Thu Jun 20, 2019 6:55 pm

1998



Record of 1998 | The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill | Lauryn Hill | USA | album (CD) | all time #124
"Hill doth protest too much at times, but the beauty of the album lies in her ability to make her self-righteousness more than tolerable. In her hands, sanctimony can be ravishing. Hill produced and wrote most of the album, and like past black-pop giants Marvin Gaye and Gamble and Huff, she knows the benefit of couching even the harshest rhetoric in mesmerizing grooves. "Doo Wop (That Thing)" is wrapped in gorgeous, intertwining street-corner vocalese. Using a rhythmic snippet of Marley's "Concrete Jungle," "Forgive Them Father" sways with island-lilt harmonies. Messianic, finger-pointing raps in "Lost Ones" and "Everything Is Everything" give way to fluidly sung choruses. Every cut, even the apolitical ones, presents a new and unexpected twist, both musically and emotionally." (David Browne, Entertainment Weekly)

Movie of 1998 | The Thin Red Line | Terrence Malick | USA | all time #212
"After directing two of the most extraordinary movies of the 1970s, Badlands and Days of Heaven, American artist Terrence Malick disappeared from the film world for twenty years, only to resurface in 1998 with this visionary adaptation of James Jones's 1962 novel about the World War II battle for Guadalcanal. A big-budget, spectacularly mounted epic, The Thin Red Line is also one of the most deeply philosophical films ever released by a major Hollywood studio, a thought-provoking meditation on man, nature, and violence. Featuring a cast of contemporary cinema's finest actors —Sean Penn, Jim Caviezel, Nick Nolte, Elias Koteas, and Woody Harrelson among them— The Thin Red Line is a kaleidoscopic evocation of the experience of combat that ranks as one of the greatest war films ever produced." (The Criterion Collection)

Book of 1998 | The Poisonwood Bible | Barbara Kingsolver | USA | all time #397
"Barbara Kingsolver's acclaimed international bestseller tells the story of an American missionary family in the Congo during a poignant chapter in African history. It spins the tale of the fierce evangelical Baptist, Nathan Price, who takes his wife and four daughters on a missionary journey into the heart of darkness of the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them to Africa all they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it —from garden seeds to the King James Bible— is calamitously transformed on African soil. Told from the perspective of the five women, this is a compelling exploration of African history, religion, family, and the many paths to redemption." (Publisher)


Books of 1998:
1 | Collected Fictions | Jorge Luis Borges | USA | Argentina | collection | #47
2 | The Poisonwood Bible | Barbara Kingsolver | USA | #397
3 | Birds of America | Lorrie Moore | USA | #564
4 | Los detectives salvajes (The Savage Detectives) | Roberto Bolaño | Spain | Chile | #683


Movies of 1998:
1 | Histoire(s) du cinéma | Jean-Luc Godard | France | documentary | #155
2 | The Thin Red Line | Terrence Malick | USA | #212
3 | The Big Lebowski | Joel Coen | USA | #219
4 | Festen (The Celebration) | Thomas Vinterberg | Denmark | #374


Albums of 1998:
1 | The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill | Lauryn Hill | USA | #124
2 | Moon Safari | AIR | UK | France | #130
3 | In the Aeroplane Over the Sea | Neutral Milk Hotel | USA | #242


Songs of 1998:
1 | Music Sounds Better With You | Stardust | France | #448
2 | The Rockafeller Skank | Fatboy Slim | UK | #469
3 | Teardrop | Massive Attack | UK | #565

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Fri Jun 21, 2019 6:27 pm

1999



Record of 1999 | The Soft Bulletin | The Flaming Lips | USA | album (CD) | all time #111
"Though more conventional in concept and scope than Zaireeka, The Soft Bulletin clearly reflects its predecessor's expansive sonic palette. Its multidimensional sound is positively celestial, a shape-shifting pastiche of blissful melodies, heavenly harmonies, and orchestral flourishes; but for all its headphone-friendly innovations, the music is still amazingly accessible, never sacrificing popcraft in the name of radical experimentation. But what's most remarkable about The Soft Bulletin is its humanity — these are Wayne Coyne's most personal and deeply felt songs, as well as the warmest and most giving. Coyne pours his heart and soul into each one of these tracks, poignantly exploring love, loss, and the fate of all mankind." (Jason Ankeny, Allmusic)

Movie of 1999 | Beau travail (Beau travail) | Claire Denis | France | all time #154
"Claire Denis's film is a mesmeric, masculine ballet whose beauty and confident power, manifested in lugubrious scenes which suspend the normal rules of narrative procedure, simply go beyond conventional ideas of transgression or homoeroticism. She choreographs various exercises and drills for Galoup and his comrades to act out; some of these are normal workouts, but in a kind of hallucination or noonday mirage, they seem to become dance sequences and exotic tableaux. What is really remarkable about Denis's film is the way she succeeds in fusing the real and the dreamlike, the naturalistic and the figurative, into one visual conceit. Never for one moment does this shimmering, simmering emotional desert storm of a film relax its grip on your senses." (Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian)

Book of 1999 | Disgrace | J. M. Coetzee | UK | South Africa | all time #446
"At fifty-two, Professor David Lurie is divorced, filled with desire, but lacking in passion. When an affair with a student leaves him jobless, shunned by friends, and ridiculed by his ex-wife, he retreats to his daughter Lucy's smallholding. David's visit becomes an extended stay as he attempts to find meaning in his one remaining relationship. Instead, an incident of unimaginable terror and violence forces father and daughter to confront their strained relationship and the equality complicated racial complexities of the new South Africa. Disgrace explores the downfall of one man and dramatizes, with unforgettable, at times almost unbearable, vividness the plight of a country caught in the chaotic aftermath of centuries of racial oppression." (Publisher)


Books of 1999:
1 | Disgrace | J. M. Coetzee | UK | South Africa | #446
2 | One Hundred and One Poems | Paul Verlaine | USA | France | collection | #484
3 | Waiting | Ha Jin | USA | #671
4 | Livläkarens besök (The Visit of the Royal Physician) | Per Olov Enquist | Sweden | #867


Movies of 1999:
1 | Beau travail (Beau travail) | Claire Denis | France | #154
2 | Magnolia | Paul Thomas Anderson | USA | #251
3 | The Matrix | The Wachowski Brothers | USA | #290


Albums of 1999:
1 | The Soft Bulletin | The Flaming Lips | USA | #111
2 | Ágætis byrjun | Sigur Rós | Iceland | #224
3 | 69 Love Songs | The Magnetic Fields | USA | #233


Songs of 1999:
1 | Windowlicker | Aphex Twin | UK | Ireland | #267
2 | My Name Is | Eminem | USA | #423
3 | No Scrubs | TLC | USA | #477

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Sat Jun 22, 2019 5:44 pm

The 1990s



Record of the 1990s | Smells Like Teen Spirit | Nirvana | USA | CD single | 1991 | all time #2
"Grunge, a form of alienated music on the border of metal and punk, had been around for a while before Cobain and two friends formed Nirvana. But Smells Like Teen Spirit, released on the band's second album Nevermind in 1991, made it an international sensation. Kurt Cobain's influences included the Pixies and, less fashionably, soft-rockers Boston; the song's elliptical lyrics ("load up on guns/ bring your friends … a mulatto/ an albino/ a mosquito/ my libido") hinted at troubled racial politics and Aids panic without ever making anything explicit. When he chorused "I feel stupid and contagious/ here we are now, entertain us" he summed up the new fin de siècle. Quiet passages alternated with rage: guitars crunched, drums crashed, Cobain howled. No doubt about it, Smells Like Teen Spirit was the quintessential grunge anthem." (David Honigmann, Financial Times)

Movie of the 1990s | Pulp Fiction | Quentin Tarantino | USA | 1994 | all time #76
"Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction is a film both monumental and immediately accessible, a 2 1/2-hour picture whose energy never flags. It is an exhilaration from beginning to end. It's the movie equivalent of that rare sort of novel where you find yourself checking to see how many pages are left and hoping there are more, not fewer. The tone is darkly comic in the face of almost operatic violence, though only the most squeamish of viewers will be put off. With Tarantino we get violence as part of an impish vision of life in which anything can happen — and does. Pulp Fiction is a picture that will stand up to repeat viewings. Early scenes hint at what comes later, and while a first viewing may go by like a shot, the film's intellectual underpinnings become clearer the second time around." (Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle)

Book of the 1990s | American Pastoral | Philip Roth | USA | 1997 | all time #154
"Philip Roth's masterpiece provides a piercing look into the promises of prosperity, civic order and domesticity in twentieth century America. 'Swede' Levov is living the American dream. He glides through life cocooned by his devoted family, his demanding yet highly rewarding (and lucrative) business, his sporting prowess, his good looks. Until the sunny day in 1968, when the Swede's bountiful American luck deserts him. His adored daughter, Merry, has become a stranger to him, a fanatical teenager capable of an outlandishly savage act of political terrorism that plunges the Levov family into the political mayhem of sixties America, and drags them into the underbelly of a seemingly ascendant society. Rendered powerless by the shocking turn of events, the Swede can only watch as his pastoral idyll is methodically torn apart." (Publisher)


Books of the 1990s:
1 | Collected Fictions | Jorge Luis Borges | USA | Argentina | 1998 | collection | #47
2 | American Pastoral | Philip Roth | USA | 1997 | #154
3 | Rabbit at Rest | John Updike | USA | 1990 | #188
4 | Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone | J. K. Rowling | UK | 1997 | #200
5 | Nejimakitori Kuronikuru (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle) | Haruki Murakami | Japan | 1994 | #237
6 | Possession | A. S. Byatt | UK | 1990 | #242


Movies of the 1990s:
1 | Pulp Fiction | Quentin Tarantino | USA | 1994 | #76
2 | Goodfellas | Martin Scorsese | USA | 1990 | #77
3 | Nema-ye Nazdik (Close-Up) | Abbas Kiarostami | Iran | 1990 | #86
4 | Sátántangó (Satantango) | Béla Tarr | Hungary | 1994 | #103
5 | Gu ling jie shao nian sha ren shi jian (A Brighter Summer Day) | Edward Yang | Taiwan | 1991 | #123


Albums of the 1990s:
1 | Nevermind | Nirvana | USA | 1991 | #3
2 | OK Computer | Radiohead | UK | 1997 | #8
3 | Blue Lines | Massive Attack | UK | 1991 | #37
4 | Automatic for the People | R.E.M. | USA | 1992 | #42
5 | Odelay | Beck! | USA | 1996 | #51


Songs of the 1990s:
1 | Smells Like Teen Spirit | Nirvana | USA | 1991 | #2
2 | Common People | Pulp | UK | 1995 | #37
3 | Losing My Religion | R.E.M. | USA | 1991 | #43
4 | Paranoid Android | Radiohead | UK | 1997 | #58
5 | Loser | Beck | USA | 1993 | #59


Classical works of the 1990s:
1 | Antarctica, Suite for Guitar and Orchestra | Nigel Westlake | Australia | 1992 | #29
2 | Song for Athene | John Tavener | UK | 1994 | #95

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:11 pm

The 20th Century



Book of the 20th Century | À la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time) | Marcel Proust | France | 1913 | all time #1
"Swann's Way, the first part of À la recherche du temps perdu, Marcel Proust's seven-part cycle, was published in 1913. In it, Proust introduces the themes that run through the entire work. The narrator recalls his childhood, aided by the famous madeleine; and describes M. Swann's passion for Odette. The work is incomparable. Edmund Wilson said "[Proust] has supplied for the first time in literature an equivalent in the full scale for the new theory of modern physics." Swann's Way tells two related stories, the first of which revolves around Marcel, a younger version of the narrator, and his experiences in, and memories of, the French town Combray. Inspired by the "gusts of memory" that rise up within him as he dips a madeleine into hot tea, the narrator discusses his fear of going to bed at night. He is a creature of habit and dislikes waking up in the middle of the night not knowing where he is." (Publisher)

Movie of the 20th Century | Citizen Kane | Orson Welles | USA | 1941 | all time #1
"The source book of Orson Welles, and still a marvellous movie. Thematically less resonant than some of Welles' later meditations on the nature of power, perhaps, but still absolutely riveting as an investigation of a citizen —newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst by any other name— under suspicion of having soured the American Dream. Its imagery as Welles delightedly explores his mastery of a new vocabulary, still amazes and delights, from the opening shot of the forbidding gates of Xanadu to the last glimpse of the vanishing Rosebud (tarnished, maybe, but still a potent symbol). A film that gets better with each renewed acquaintance." (Tom Milne, Time Out)

Records of the 20th Century:
- Album of the 20th Century | Pet Sounds | The Beach Boys | USA | album (vinyl LP) | 1966 | all time #1
"Recorded and released in 1966, not long after the sunny, textural experiments of California Girls, Pet Sounds, aside from its importance as Brian Wilson's evolutionary compositional masterpiece, was the first rock record that can be considered a "concept album"; from first cut to last we were treated to an intense, linear personal vision of the vagaries of a love affair and the painful, introverted anxieties that are the wrenching precipitates of the unstable chemistry of any love relationship. This trenchant cycle of love songs has the emotional impact of a shatteringly evocative novel, and by God if this little record didn't change only the course of popular music, but the course of a few lives in the bargain. Nobody was prepared for anything so soulful, so lovely, something one had to think about so much. It is by far the best album Brian has yet delivered, and it paradoxically began the decline in mass popularity that still plagues this band." (Stephen Davis, Rolling Stone, 1972)
- Song of the 20th Century | Like a Rolling Stone | Bob Dylan | USA | 45 rpm single | 1965 | all time #1
"Released in July of 1965, Bob Dylan's Like a Rolling Stone was, in many ways, the dividing line between the past and the future of rock and roll. The lyrics, the mood, the ramshackle rock and roll sound… it was the way forward. Issued as a single and the lead track on the Highway 61 Revisited LP, it ran for a then-unprecedented six minutes. With Like a Rolling Stone, Dylan would make the ultimate 'folk rock' statement, closing one door and opening another at the same time. Poetry was now as much a part of the arsenal for young musicians as the electric guitar. Musically, that crack of the snare drum that sets Like a Rolling Stone in motion is the shot heard round the world. Mike Bloomfield's sharp-as-nails guitar and Al Kooper's hammond organ give the song mighty wings. This is rock and roll as it was meant to be: Raw, literate, exciting, challenging and above all, memorable as hell. It can be said that Like a Rolling Stone was not only the pinnacle of Dylan's career, but it may also have been the crowning achievement of the genre." (Ultimate Classic Rock)


Books of the 20th Century:
1 | À la recherche du temps perdu, tome 1 : Du côté de chez Swann (In Search of Lost Time, Volume One: Swann's Way) | Marcel Proust | France | 1913 | #1
2 | Ulysses | James Joyce | France | UK | 1922 | #3
3 | The Great Gatsby | F. Scott Fitzgerald | USA | 1925 | #4
4 | Cien años de soledad (One Hundred Years of Solitude) | Gabriel García Márquez | Argentina | Colombia | 1967 | #9
5 | Lolita | Vladimir Nabokov | France | USA | 1955 | #15
6 | The Catcher in the Rye | J. D. Salinger | USA | 1951 | #20
7 | The Sound and the Fury | William Faulkner | USA | 1929 | #21
8 | To the Lighthouse | Virginia Woolf | UK | 1927 | #22
9 | Nineteen Eighty Four | George Orwell | UK | 1949 | #25
10 | Catch-22 | Joseph Heller | USA | 1961 | #29


Movies of the 20th Century:
1 | Citizen Kane | Orson Welles | USA | 1941 | #1
2 | Vertigo | Alfred Hitchcock | USA | 1955 | #2
3 | 2001: A Space Odyssey | Stanley Kubrick | UK | USA | 1968 | #3
4 | La règle du jeu (The Rules of the Game) | Jean Renoir | France | 1939 | #4
5 | Tôkyô monogatari (Tokyo Story) | Yasujirô Ozu | Japan | 1953 | #5
6 | 8½ (8½) | Federico Fellini | Italy | 1963 | #6
7 | The Godfather | Francis Ford Coppola | USA | 1972 | #7
8 | Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans | F.W. Murnau | USA | Germany | 1927 | #8
9 | The Searchers | John Ford | USA | 1956 | #9
10 | Shichinin no samurai (Seven Samurai) | Akira Kurosawa | Japan | 1954 | #10


Albums of the 20th Century:
1 | Pet Sounds | The Beach Boys | USA | 1966 | #1
2 | Revolver | The Beatles | UK | 1966 | #2
3 | Nevermind | Nirvana | USA | 1991 | #3
4 | The Velvet Underground & Nico | The Velvet Underground & Nico | USA | 1967 | #4
5 | Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band | The Beatles | UK | 1967 | #5
6 | London Calling | The Clash | UK | 1979 |#6
7 | What's Going On | Marvin Gaye | USA | 1971 | #7
8 | OK Computer | Radiohead | UK | 1997 | #8
9 | Exile on Main St. | The Rolling Stones | UK | 1972 | #9
10 | Blonde on Blonde | Bob Dylan | USA | 1966 | #10


Songs of the 20th Century:
1 | Like a Rolling Stone | Bob Dylan | USA | 1965 | #1
2 | Smells Like Teen Spirit | Nirvana | USA | 1991 | #2
3 | A Day in the Life | The Beatles | UK | 1967 | #3
4 | Good Vibrations | The Beach Boys | USA | 1966 | #4
5 | (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction | The Rolling Stones | USA | UK | 1965 | #5
6 | Johnny B. Goode | Chuck Berry | USA | 1958 | #6
7 | Be My Baby | The Ronettes | USA | 1963 | #7
8 | I Heard It Through the Grapevine | Marvin Gaye | USA | 1968 | #8
9 | What's Going On | Marvin Gaye | USA | 1971 | #9
10 | My Generation | The Who | UK | 1965 | #10


Classical works of the 20th Century:
1 | Koncert dlja fortepiano s orkestrom № 2 do minor (Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor) | Sergei Rachmaninoff | Russia | 1901 | #7
2 | Cello Concerto in E minor | Edward Elgar | UK | 1919 | #10
3 | The Lark Ascending | Ralph Vaughan Williams | UK | 1920 | #14
4 | The Planets | Gustav Holst | UK | 1918 | #19
5 | Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis | Ralph Vaughan Williams | UK | 1910 | #20
6 | Concierto de Aranjuez | Joaquín Rodrigo | Spain | 1940 | #22
7 | Spiegel im Spiegel (Mirror in the mirror) | Arvo Pärt | USSR | 1978 | #30
8 | Vier letzte Lieder (Four Last Songs) | Richard Strauss | UK | Germany | 1950 | #33
9 | Rhapsody in Blue | George Gershwin | USA | 1924 | #36
10 | Koncert dlja fortepiano s orkestrom № 3 re minor (Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor) | Sergei Rachmaninoff | USA | Russia | 1909 | #37

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by BobPatience » Sun Jun 23, 2019 6:22 pm

Now I'm interested in the top 10 (or more) books before the 20th century, or are 21st century writers THAT great?
Festina Lente

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:27 pm

BobPatience wrote:Now I'm interested in the top 10 (or more) books before the 20th century, or are 21st century writers THAT great?
You guessed it right, BobPatience, the first 21st Century book was placed at #137 of all-time. Even if I planned to post the Top 50s of all-time in the end I think it' s not a big spoiler to post now the Top 10 books before the 20th Century as you asked. After all, it was not the intention of the thread that focused on the 20th and 21st centuries. So here they are:
1 | El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha (The Ingenious Gentleman Sir Quixote of La Mancha) | Miguel de Cervantes | Crown of Castille | 1605 | #2
2 | Moby-Dick | Herman Melville | USA | 1851 | #5
3 | The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark | William Shakespeare | England | 1603 |#6
4 | Vojna i mir (War and Peace) | Leo Tolstoy | Russian Empire | 1869 | #7
5 | Odýsseia (The Odyssey) | Homer | Assyrian Empire | 8th century BC | #8
6 | Divina Commedia (The Divine Comedy) | Dante Alighieri | Republic of Florence | 1320 | #10
7 | Brat'ya Karamazovy (The Brothers Karamazov) | Fyodor Dostoevsky | Russian Empire | 1880 | #11
8 | Madame Bovary (Madame Bovary) | Gustave Flaubert | France | 1857 | #12
9 | Adventures of Huckleberry Finn | Mark Twain | USA | 1884 | #13
10 | Iliás (The Iliad) | Homer | Assyrian Empire | 8th century BC | #14

And, after this trip to the remote past, let's step into the 21st Century…

2000



Record of 2000 | Kid A | Radiohead | UK | album (CD) | all time #38
"The experience and emotions tied to listening to Kid A are like witnessing the stillborn birth of a child while simultaneously having the opportunity to see her play in the afterlife on Imax. It's an album of sparking paradox. It's cacophonous yet tranquil, experimental yet familiar, foreign yet womb-like, spacious yet visceral, textured yet vaporous, awakening yet dreamlike, infinite yet 48 minutes. It will cleanse your brain of those little crustaceans of worries and inferior albums clinging inside the fold of your gray matter. The harrowing sounds hit from unseen angles and emanate with inhuman genesis. When the headphones peel off, and it occurs that six men (Nigel Godrich included) created this, it's clear that Radiohead must be the greatest band alive, if not the best since you know who. Breathing people made this record!" (Brent DiCrescenzo, Pitchfork)

Movie of 2000 | Faa yeung nin wa (In the Mood for Love) | Wong Kar-Wai | Hong Kong | all time #44
"Hong Kong, 1962: Chow Mo-wan (Leung) and Su Li-zhen (Cheung) move into neighboring apartments on the same day. Their encounters are formal and polite — until a discovery about their spouses creates an intimate bond between them. At once delicately mannered and visually extravagant, Wong Kar-wai's In the Mood for Love is a masterful evocation of romantic longing and fleeting moments. With its aching musical soundtrack and exquisitely abstract cinematography by Christopher Doyle and Mark Lee Ping-bin, this film has been a major stylistic influence on the past decade of cinema, and is a milestone in Wong's redoubtable career." (The Criterion Collection)

Book of 2000 | White Teeth | Zadie Smith | UK | all time #152
"This may be the first novel ever written that truly feels at home in our borderless, globalized, intermarried, post-colonial age, populated by "children with first and last names on a direct collision course." Published when Smith was just 24, White Teeth follows the friendship of two Londoners, a pub-going working-class bloke named Archie and a Muslim from Bangladesh named Samad. The overlapping fates of Smith's characters seem to trace the new structures of 21st-century life and test their sturdiness as framework for peace and happiness. Both deeply Dickensian and playfully post-modern, White Teeth doesn't quail before the rampantly ramifying novelistic complexities of a multicultural world. It revels in them." (Lev Grossman, Time)


Books of 2000:
1 | White Teeth | Zadie Smith | UK | #152
2 | The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay | Michael Chabon | USA | #226
3 | Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth | Chris Ware | USA | #433


Movies of 2000:
1 | Faa yeung nin wa (In the Mood for Love) | Wong Kar-Wai | Hong Kong | #44
2 | Yi yi (Yi Yi) | Edward Yang | Taiwan | #127
3 | Werckmeister harmóniák (Werckmeister Harmonies) | Béla Tarr | Hungary | #363


Albums of 2000:
1 | Kid A | Radiohead | UK | #38
2 | Stankonia | OutKast | USA | #125
3 | The Marshall Mathers LP | Eminem | USA | #180


Songs of 2000:
1 | Ms. Jackson | OutKast | USA | #249
2 | Stan | Eminem feat. Dido | USA | #270
3 | Idioteque | Radiohead | UK | #272


Classical works of 2000:
1 | Dawn Mantras | Ross Edwards | Australia | #49
2 | The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace | Karl Jenkins | UK | #68

Note:
Second case of the Top 3 songs of the year coming from the Top 3 albums of the year.

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:49 pm

2001



Record of 2001 | Is This It | The Strokes | UK | USA | album (CD) | all time #36
"Few bands have packaged themselves as brilliantly as the Strokes on their debut. Before Is This It even came out, New York's mod ragamuffins were overnight sensations, jumping from Avenue A to press hysteria and the inevitable backlash, all inside a year. Julian Casablancas, guitarists Nick Valensi and Albert Hammond Jr., bassist Nikolai Fraiture and drummer Fabrizio Moretti were primed for star time, updating the propulsion of the Velvet Underground and the jangle of Seventies punk with Casablancas' acidic dispatches from last night's wreckage. They inspired a ragged revolt in Britain, led by the Libertines and Arctic Monkeys, and reverberated back home with the Kings of Leon. And for the bristling half-hour of Is This It, New York's shadows sounded vicious and exciting again." (Rolling Stone)

Movie of 2001 | Mulholland Dr. | David Lynch | France | USA | all time #60
"Fashioned from the ruins of a two-hour TV pilot rejected by ABC in 1999, Lynch's erotic thriller careens from one violent non sequitur to another. The movie boldly teeters on the brink of self-parody, reveling in its own excess and resisting narrative logic. This voluptuous phantasmagoria is certainly Lynch's strongest movie since Blue Velvet and maybe Eraserhead. The very things that failed him in the bad-boy rockabilly debacle of Lost Highway —the atmosphere of free-floating menace, pointless transmigration of souls, provocatively dropped plot stitches, gimcrack alternate universes— are here brilliantly rehabilitated. Mulholland Drive is thrilling and ludicrous. The movie feels entirely instinctual. The rest is silencio." (J. Hoberman, The Village Voice)

Book of 2001 | Atonement | Ian McEwan | UK | all time #137
"Ian McEwan's symphonic novel of love and war, childhood and class, guilt and forgiveness provides all the satisfaction of a brilliant narrative and the provocation we have come to expect from this master of English prose. On the hottest day of the summer of 1935, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis sees her sister Cecilia strip off her clothes and plunge into the fountain in the garden of their country house. Watching her too is Robbie Turner who, like Cecilia, has recently come down from Cambridge. By the end of that day, the lives of all three will have been changed for ever, as Briony commits a crime for which she will spend the rest of her life trying to atone." (Publisher)


Books of 2001:
1 | Atonement | Ian McEwan | UK | #137
2 | The Corrections | Jonathan Franzen | USA | #164
3 | Austerlitz (Austerlitz) | W. G. Sebald | Germany | #219


Movies of 2001:
1 | Mulholland Dr. | David Lynch | France | USA | #60
2 | Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (Spirited Away) | Hayao Miyazaki | Japan | #188
3 | A.I. Artificial Intelligence | Steven Spielberg | USA | #522


Albums of 2001:
1 | Is This It | The Strokes | UK | USA | #36
2 | The Blueprint | Jay-Z | USA | #141
3 | White Blood Cells | The White Stripes | USA | #173


Songs of 2001:
1 | Get Ur Freak On | Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott | USA | #72
2 | Last Nite | The Strokes | UK | USA | #141
3 | Can't Get You Out of My Head | Kylie | UK | Australia | #200


Classical work of 2001 | Lord of the Rings | Howard Shore | USA | Canada | #90

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:56 pm

2002



Record of 2002 | Yankee Hotel Foxtrot | Wilco | USA | album (CD) | all time #75
"So does Yankee Hotel Foxtrot justify the controversy, delay and buzz? Everyone, I think, already knows that the answer is yes; all I can offer is "me too" and reiterate. And after half a year living with a bootleg copy, the music remains revelatory. Complex and dangerously catchy, lyrically sophisticated and provocative, noisy and somehow serene, Wilco's aging new album is simply a masterpiece; it is equally magnificent in headphones, cars and parties. And as anyone who's seen the mixed-bag crowd at Wilco shows knows, it will find a home in the collections of hippies, frat boys, acid-eating prep schoolers, and the record store apparatchiks of the indiocracy. No one is too good for this album; it is better than all of us." (Brent S. Sirota, Pitchfork)

Book of 2002 | Middlesex | Jeffrey Eugenides | USA | all time #229
"Middlesex tells the breathtaking story of Calliope Stephanides, and three generations of the Greek-American Stephanides family, who travel from a tiny village overlooking Mount Olympus in Asia Minor to Prohibition-era Detroit, witnessing its glory days as the Motor City and the race riots of 1967 before moving out to the tree-lined streets of suburban Grosse Pointe, Michigan. To understand why Calliope is not like other girls, she has to uncover a guilty family secret, and the astonishing genetic history that turns Callie into Cal, one of the most audacious and wondrous narrators in contemporary fiction. Lyrical and thrilling, Middlesex is an exhilarating reinvention of the American epic." (Publisher)

Movie of 2002 | Cidade de Deus (City of God) | Fernando Meirelles/Kátia Lund | Brazil | all time #309
"Run, don't walk, to the cinema is all I can say. This electrifying picture is part tender coming-of-age film and part gang-warfare epic from the Brazilian slum, or favela, told from the viewpoint of the children who manage to be both its underclass and its criminal overlords. It's a movie with all the dials cranked up to 11, an overwhelming, intoxicating assault on the senses, and a thriller so tense that you might have the red seat plush in front of you —or even some unfortunate's hair— gripped in both fists. Meirelles's film flashes and sweeps around you, dizzying, disorientating, intoxicating" (Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian)


Books of 2002:
1 | Middlesex | Jeffrey Eugenides | USA | #229
2 | Poems | Eugenio Montale | USA | Italy | collection | #540
3 | Collected Stories | Raymond Chandler | USA | UK | collection | #619
4 | Fingersmith | Sarah Waters | UK | #946
5 | The Time of Our Singing | Richard Powers | USA | #979


Movies of 2002:
1 | Cidade de Deus (City of God) | Fernando Meirelles/Kátia Lund | Brazil | #309
2 | Russkiy kovcheg (Russian Ark) | Aleksandr Sokurov | Russia | #368
3 | Punch-Drunk Love | Paul Thomas Anderson | USA | #417


Albums of 2002:
1 | Yankee Hotel Foxtrot | Wilco | USA | #75
2 | Original Pirate Material | The Streets | UK | #248
3 | Turn On the Bright Lights | Interpol | USA | #250


Songs of 2002:
1 | Losing My Edge | LCD Soundsystem | USA | #115
2 | Hurt | Johnny Cash | USA | #189
3 | House of Jealous Lovers | The Rapture | USA | #203

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:03 pm

2003



Record of 2003 | Hey Ya! | OutKast | USA | CD-single | all time #27
"Hey Ya! was the game-changing song that became a wedding disco staple and made the phrase "shake it like a Polaroid picture" part of the pop culture lexicon. At the time it was released, NME's review called it "a loophole-leaping oddity doused in the tantalising, unmistakable tang of Something Truly Unique." Andre explained to MTV: "Hey Ya! is pretty much about the state of relationships in the noughties. It's about some people who stay together in relationships because of tradition, because somebody told them, 'You guys are supposed to stay together.' But you pretty much end up being unhappy for the rest of your life. So Hey Ya! is really about saying, 'Fuck it. Live life, you know?'" Musically, the psychedelic-folk sound on the track came about when Andre strung together the only guitar chords he knew, channeling "the Ramones, the Buzzcocks, the Smiths."" (Priya Elan, NME)

Book of 2003 | The Known World | Edward P. Jones | USA | all time #306
"The Known World tells the story of Henry Townsend, a black farmer and former slave who falls under the tutelage of William Robbins, the most powerful man in Manchester County, Virginia. Making certain he never circumvents the law, Townsend runs his affairs with unusual discipline. But when death takes him unexpectedly, his widow, Caldonia, can't uphold the estate's order, and chaos ensues. Edward P. Jones has woven a footnote of history into an epic that takes an unflinching look at slavery in all its moral complexities. An utterly original exploration of race, trust and the cruel truths of human nature." (Publisher)

Movie of 2003 | Dogville | Lars von Trier | Denmark | all time #352
"Lars von Trier's Dogville gives us America on a soundstage and a Rocky Mountain township rendered in chalk marks on the floor. It is Von Trier's America and Von Trier's township, and this enraged some viewers who dismissed the film as a crude, blinkered diatribe from a man too timid (on account of his aversion to air travel) to actually visit the country for himself. And yes, Dogville is crude and arguably blinkered as well. But it is also electrifying, gripping and audacious: the work of a director at the peak of his powers." (Xan Brooks, The Guardian)


Books of 2003:
1 | The Known World | Edward P. Jones | USA | #306
2 | Brick Lane | Monica Ali | UK | #480
3 | The Kite Runner | Khaled Hosseini | USA | #499


Movies of 2003:
1 | Dogville | Lars von Trier | Denmark | #352
2 | Tiexi qu (Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks) | Wang Bing | China | documentary | #380
3 | Lost in Translation | Sofia Coppola | USA | #447
4 | Elephant | Gus Van Sant | USA | #460


Albums of 2003:
1 | Elephant | The White Stripes | USA | #78
2 | Speakerboxxx / The Love Below | OutKast | USA | #297
3 | Boy in da Corner | Dizzee Rascal | UK | #339


Songs of 2003:
1 | Hey Ya! | OutKast | USA | #27
2 | Seven Nation Army | The White Stripes | USA | #36
3 | Crazy in Love | Beyoncé feat. Jay-Z | USA | #46


Classical works of 2003:
1 | Wild Swans | Elena Kats-Chernin | Australia | #39
2 | Concerto for Didgeridoo | Sean O'Boyle | Australia | #87

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:57 pm

2004



Record of 2004 | Funeral | Arcade Fire | Canada | album (CD) | all time #27
"This ten-song suite didn't spawn a new genre, nor sound like it was beamed in from outer space. The achievement here is totally musical; Funeral's essential brilliance is in how stunningly it amalgamates all that came before it. It speaks to our collective consciousness, with momentum from the ancillary building blocks of rock, dreamy storytelling, set to music that singes the synapses. Coming off immense web hype and near-mythical live shows, the resolute Canadians dropped a bombshell rife with passion and artful vigor that didn't supercede their capabilities. Call it punk in temper, worldly in vision, soul in spirit, folk at heart, grunge in force, pop in essence… at the end of the wintry Montreal day, that's all moot: the album of the decade is best enjoyed undefined: as enjoyment." (Ari Shapiro, Lost at Sea)

Book of 2004 | 2666 (2666) | Roberto Bolaño | Spain | Chile | all time #186
"Composed in the last two years of Bolaño's life, 2666 has been greeted as his greatest achievement, surpassing even his previous work in its strangeness, beauty, and scope. Its throng of unforgettable characters include academics and convicts, an American sportswriter, an elusive German novelist, and a teenage student caring for her widowed, mentally unstable father. Their lives intersect in the desert sprawl of Santa Teresa —a fictional Juárez— on the US-Mexico border, where hundreds of young factory workers, in the novel as in life, have disappeared. Audacious, impassioned and profoundly inspired, 2666 is Roberto Bolaño's masterwork." (Publisher)

Movie of 2004 | Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind | Michel Gondry | USA | France | all time #223
"Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a title that evaporates from your consciousness almost before it's apprehended —and that's partially the point of this deft, witty, and vastly enjoyable movie. Possibly the most elaborate romantic comedy ever predicated on the gimmick of amnesia, Eternal Sunshine has a more than passing resemblance to Being John Malkovich and Adaptation, the two movies Charlie Kaufman wrote for Spike Jonze. Filled with the writer's trademark neurotic characters, grungy atmospherics, and downbeat emphasis on domestic discord, it's a baroque and intermittently brilliant brain twister so convoluted that it inevitably deposits the viewer in an alternate universe." (J. Hoberman, The Village Voice)


Books of 2004:
1 | 2666 (2666) | Roberto Bolaño | Spain | Chile | #186
2 | The Line of Beauty | Alan Hollinghurst | UK | #321
3 | Cloud Atlas | David Mitchell | UK | #358


Movies of 2004:
1 | Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind | Michel Gondry | USA | France | #223
2 | Sud pralad (Tropical Malady) | Apichatpong Weerasethakul | Thailand | #252
3 | Before Sunset | Richard Linklater | USA | #609


Albums of 2004:
1 | Funeral | Arcade Fire | Canada | #27
2 | The College Dropout | Kanye West | USA | #218
3 | Franz Ferdinand | Franz Ferdinand | UK | #225


Songs of 2004:
1 | Take Me Out | Franz Ferdinand | UK | #55
2 | Rebellion (Lies) | Arcade Fire | Canada | #219
3 | Wake Up | Arcade Fire | Canada | #309

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Sat Jun 29, 2019 6:08 pm

2005



Record of 2005 | Illinois | Sufjan Stevens | USA | album (CD) | all time #91
"Stevens has always been a folk singer more in theory than in practice. He routinely ditches folk's scrappy, stripped-down aesthetics, but consistently embraces its stories-of-the-people unanimity. Consequently, Illinois is less about place than spirit. Stevens dutifully celebrates and indicts all the appropriate landmarks, isolating the highest and lowest points in Illinois history, but at its best, the album makes America feel very small and very real: A boy crying in a van, a girl with bone cancer, stepmothers, parades, bandstands, presidents, UFOs, cream of wheat, trains after dark, a serial killer, Bible study. Musically, Illinois is strange and lush, as excessive and challenging as its giant, gushing song titles." (Amanda Petrusich, Pitchfork)

Book of 2005 | Never Let Me Go | Kazuo Ishiguro | UK | all time #204
"From the author of The Remains of the Day and When We Were Orphans, comes an unforgettable edge-of-your-seat mystery that is at once heartbreakingly tender and morally courageous about what it means to be human. Never Let Me Go breaks through the boundaries of the literary novel. It is a gripping mystery, a beautiful love story, and also a scathing critique of human arrogance and a moral examination of how we treat the vulnerable and different in our society. In exploring the themes of memory and the impact of the past, Ishiguro takes on the idea of a possible future to create his most moving and powerful book to date." (Publisher)

Movie of 2005 | Caché (Caché) | Michael Haneke | France | Austria | all time #216
"It is what Umberto Eco calls an open work, a film that viewers are invited, indeed compelled, to engage with and contribute to. While Hidden is a gripping thriller, it is almost a moral and political enquiry into colonialism and its aftermath. The acting all around is outstanding, with Auteuil and Binoche working beautifully together as their marriage falls apart, expressing their emotional upheaval through the slight movement of an eye or the flicker of a lip. This is a movie that takes one back to the glory days of art-house films in the 1960s and 70s, when you left the cinema not in need of food and drink, but a sympathetic person to discuss the film with." (Philip French, The Observer)


Books of 2005:
1 | Never Let Me Go | Kazuo Ishiguro | UK | #204
2 | The Book Thief | Markus Zusak | Australia | #340
3 | Remainder | Tom McCarthy | UK | #505


Movies of 2005:
1 | Caché (Caché) | Michael Haneke | France | Austria | #216
2 | Brokeback Mountain | Ang Lee | USA | Taiwan | #391
3 | Moartea domnului Lãzãrescu (The Death of Mr. Lazarescu) | Cristi Puiu | Romania | #429


Albums of 2005:
1 | Illinois | Sufjan Stevens | USA | #91
2 | I Am a Bird Now | Antony and the Johnsons | USA | UK | #275
3 | Arular | M.I.A. | UK | #331


Songs of 2005:
1 | Time to Pretend | MGMT | USA | #139
2 | Kids | MGMT | USA | #145
3 | I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor | Arctic Monkeys | UK | #148

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Sun Jun 30, 2019 6:00 pm

2006



Record of 2006 | Crazy | Gnarls Barkley | USA | CD-single | all time #50
"In this frazzled and fragmented decade, when the Top 40 broke down into squabbling niches, the idea of a universal pop hit, a song anybody could love, seemed like a sweet old-fashioned notion. Then these guys showed up. Atlanta rapper Cee-Lo and indie producer Danger Mouse gave the world Crazy. Everybody loved this song, from your mom to your ex-girlfriend's art professor. It blasted in punk clubs and Burger King bathrooms. For the summer of 2006, Crazy united us all into one nation under a groove. Gnarls Barkley packed a career's worth of genius ideas into three minutes — and then they basically disappeared. Does that make them crazy? Probably. But was this the most glorious pop thrill of our time? Totally." (Rolling Stone)

Book of 2006 | The Road | Cormac McCarthy | USA | all time #249
"A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. Their destination is the coast, although they don’t know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food —and each other. The Road is the profoundly moving story of a journey. It boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which the father and his son, "each the other's world entire," are sustained by love. Awesome in the totality of its vision, it is an unflinching meditation on the worst and the best that we are capable of: ultimate destructiveness, desperate tenacity, and the tenderness that keeps two people alive in the face of total devastation." (Publisher)

Movie of 2006 | Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others) | Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck | Germany | all time #466
"In his feature debut as director and screenwriter, von Donnersmarck burrows into the erotic, engrossing and thoroughly nasty business of spying. The place is East Berlin, in 1984, the Wall is still up, glasnost is far off and the Stasi (secret police) don't believe in privacy. The director weaves a complex political thriller that touches an emotional chord. All the performances are top-tier —Sebastian Koch is a star in the making— but it's Ulrich Muhe who leaves the deepest impression. Playing a robot of a man astonished to find his armor pierced by humanity, Muhe crafts a portrait as mesmerizing as it is memorable. Von Donnersmarck has crafted the best kind of movie: one you can't get out of your head." (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone)


Books of 2006:
1 | The Road | Cormac McCarthy | USA | #249
2 | American Genius: A Comedy | Lynne Tillman | USA | #748
3 | What Is the What | Dave Eggers | USA | #948


Movies of 2006:
1 | Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others) | Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck | Germany | #466
2 | Inland Empire | David Lynch | France | USA | #531
3 | Juventude em Marcha (Colossal Youth) | Pedro Costa | Portugal | #538


Albums of 2006:
1 | Back to Black | Amy Winehouse | UK | #117
2 | Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not | Arctic Monkeys | UK | #145
3 | Silent Shout | The Knife | Sweden | #292


Songs of 2006:
1 | Crazy | Gnarls Barkley | USA | #50
2 | Rehab | Amy Winehouse | UK | #125
3 | Over and Over | Hot Chip | UK | #245

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:50 pm

2007



Record of 2007 | Paper Planes | M.I.A. | UK | 7" vinyl single | all time #31
"Is hip-hop the opposite of folk, or its most sophisticated evolutionary development? And how can folk music's specificity continue to endure in an age of globalisation? These are two of the big questions MIA has helped us to answer. Jon Hassell had already pointed out that "In African villages, musical instruments are made from things that are closest at hand", whereas in hip-hop's urban heartland "it happens to be shards of James Brown or other cultural artefacts that are rearranged and recombined". And cultural theorist Hillel Schwartz drew out the political implications observing that "Sampling is what imperialists did when they colonised 'undeveloped' lands, calling theft 'development'". But it took Paper Planes to give this post-colonial folk/hip-hop rapprochement a human face. The fact that this goal was achieved with the help of a sample from Straight to Hell by the Clash —who'd aimed for the same ideological bull's-eye decades before but not quite hit it— was truly the spicing on the samosa." (Ben Thompson, The Guardian)

Movie of 2007 | There Will Be Blood | Paul Thomas Anderson | USA | all time #179
"With its lowering, psychotic atmosphere and its Bunyanesque surnames, There Will Be Blood is so potent and so strange that it almost seems to have been delivered here from another planet. I can only describe it as an epic portrait, running from the beginning of the 20th century to the great crash of 1929. The movie speaks of oil's savage, entrepreneurial pre-history; in one haunted man, it shows our dysfunctional relationship with capital and natural resources. This is a dark, uncompromising film, thrillingly original and distinctive, with a visionary passion. It is a movie against which all directors, and all moviegoers, will want to measure themselves. Anderson is doing something new with cinema, and you can hardly ask for more than that." (Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian)

Book of 2007 | The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao | Junot Díaz | USA | all time #202
"Oscar is a sweet but disastrously overweight ghetto nerd who —from the New Jersey home he shares with his old world mother and rebellious sister— dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien and, most of all, finding love. But Oscar may never get what he wants. Blame the fukú —a curse that has haunted Oscar's family for generations, following them on their epic journey from Santo Domingo to the USA. Encapsulating Dominican-American history, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao opens our eyes to an astonishing vision of the contemporary American experience and explores the endless human capacity to persevere —and risk it all— in the name of love." (Publisher)


Books of 2007:
1 | The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao | Junot Díaz | USA | #202
2 | Varieties of Disturbance | Lydia Davis | USA | #454
3 | Sir Gawain and the Green Knight | Simon Armitage | UK | translation | #922
4 | A Thousand Splendid Suns | Khaled Hosseini | USA | #943


Movies of 2007:
1 | There Will Be Blood | Paul Thomas Anderson | USA | #179
2 | No Country for Old Men | Joel Coen/Ethan Coen | USA | #549
3 | Stellet Licht (Silent Light) | Carlos Reygadas | Mexico | #580


Albums of 2007:
1 | In Rainbows | Radiohead | UK | #85
2 | Sound of Silver | LCD Soundsystem | USA | #115
3 | Untrue | Burial | UK | #172


Songs of 2007:
1 | Paper Planes | M.I.A. | UK | #31
2 | All My Friends | LCD Soundsystem | USA | #93
3 | Umbrella | Rihanna feat. Jay-Z | USA | Barbados | #170

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:25 pm

2008



Record of 2008 | Third | Portishead | UK | album (CD) | all time #235
"Third is not a pleasant experience. Even Mezzanine and Maxinquaye, perhaps the only other two records to have come from Bristol's stable that come close to this in terms of foreboding aura, seem like twinkly children's albums by comparison. Both ancient and futuristic, a mildewed signal from a more advanced culture that failed to survive the ice age, Third doesn't make you pay attention to its desolate contours, but rather stare out of the window, creeping panic causing your mind to dart in a million dark directions at once. This is not a nice record. It is music without a time, a place or a context. Inertia, solitude, suffocation. Third isn't so much mourning, as dead." (Nick Southall, Drowned in Sound)

Movie of 2008 | WALL•E | Andrew Stanton | USA | all time #389
"Many will attempt to describe WALL-E with a one-liner. It's R2-D2 in love. 2001: A Space Odyssey starring The Little Tramp. An Inconvenient Truth meets Idiocracy on its way to Toy Story. But none of these do justice to a film that's both breathtakingly majestic and heartbreakingly intimate —and, for a good long while, absolutely bereft of dialogue save the squeals, beeps, and chirps of a sweet, lonely robot who, aside from his cockroach pet, is the closest thing to the last living being on earth. Reverence for movie history in general and sci-fi in particular is vital to the story, because it's what ultimately gives WALL-E its wow factor and its weight —this reinvigoration of the past on the way to the future of filmmaking." (Robert Wilonsky, The Village Voice)

Book of 2008 | The Hunger Games | Suzanne Collins | USA | all time #714
"In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the other districts in line by forcing them to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight-to-the-death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her impoverished district in the Games. Acclaimed writer Suzanne Collins delivers equal parts suspense and philosophy, adventure and romance, in this stunning novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present." (Publisher)


Books of 2008:
1 | The Hunger Games | Suzanne Collins | USA | #714
2 | The White Tiger | Aravind Adiga | India | Australia | #852
3 | Home | Marilynne Robinson | USA | #945


Movies of 2008:
1 | WALL•E | Andrew Stanton | USA | #389
2 | The Dark Knight | Christopher Nolan | USA | #611
3 | Synecdoche, New York | Charlie Kaufman | USA | #678


Albums of 2008:
1 | Third | Portishead | UK | #235
2 | Fleet Foxes | Fleet Foxes | USA | #261
3 | Vampire Weekend | Vampire Weekend | UK | USA | #312


Songs of 2008:
1 | Blind | Hercules and Love Affair | USA | #412
2 | Viva la Vida | Coldplay | UK | #455
3 | White Winter Hymnal | Fleet Foxes | USA | #524

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