Books, movies and records of the year

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1944

Post by Honorio » Sat Mar 23, 2019 6:50 pm

1944



Movie of 1944 | Double Indemnity | Billy Wilder | USA | all time #150
"As poised and languorous as a cat, Stanwyck's definitive femme fatale could be one of the savvy minxes of the actress' delectable Pre-Code years —the jailhouse alpha female in Ladies They Talk About, the secretary trampolining up the office ranks one bed at a time in Baby Face— grown older and harder, her manicured ruthlessness calcifying into brutal amorality. With diamond-hard repartee by Wilder and Raymond Chandler (by way of James M Cain's novel) and ghoulish cinematography by the great John Seitz, this is the gold standard of '40s noir, straight down the line." (Jessica Winter, Time Out)

Book of 1944 | The Horse's Mouth | Joyce Cary | UK | all time #529
"Joyce Cary wrote two trilogies, or 'triptychs' as he later called them. The first comprises Herself Surprised (1941), To Be a Pilgrim (1942) and The Horse's Mouth (1944). The Horse's Mouth is a portrait of an artistic temperament. Its protagonist, Gulley Gimson, is an impoverished painter who scorns conventional good behaviour. If a bad citizen, he is a good artist, so wholly preoccupied with his art that he is willing to endure any privation. For Gulley there is but one morality: to be a painter. "Joyce Cary is an important and exciting writer… If you like rich writing full of gusto and accurate original character drawing, you will get it from The Horse's Mouth." John Betjeman, Daily Herald." (Publisher)

Record of 1944 | Artistry in Rhythm | Stan Kenton and His Orchestra | USA | 78 rpm single | all time #2716
"Stan Kenton's life might best be described as one long battle: to win over public acceptance in his struggle to elevate "popular" music by combining elements of jazz and classical sounds into a new, artistic style of American music. "You've got to believe in something to achieve whatever goal you're shooting for. My own ideas may be wrong, but I'm going to stick with them until they break me," declared Kenton. At the same time, and from the opposite perspective, several classical composers like Stravinsky and Villa-Lobos, were incorporating elements of jazz into their music. Artistry in Rhythm was Kenton's most radical example to date of his innovative conceptions to effect a combination of the two styles." (Michael Sparke, Library of Congress)


Books of 1944:
1 | The Horse's Mouth | Joyce Cary | UK | #529
2 | The Razor's Edge | W. Somerset Maugham | USA | UK | #926
3 | Dvärgen (The Dwarf) | Pär Lagerkvist | Sweden | #1061


Movies of 1944:
1 | Double Indemnity | Billy Wilder | USA | #150
2 | Meet Me in St. Louis | Vincente Minnelli | USA | #232
3 | Ivan Groznyy (Ivan the Terrible, Part One) | Sergei Eisenstein | USSR | #259


Songs of 1944:
1 | Artistry in Rhythm | Stan Kenton and His Orchestra | USA | #2716
2 | Straighten Up and Fly Right | The King Cole Trio | USA | #3727
3 | Swinging on a Star | Bing Crosby with John Scott Trotter and His Orchestra | USA | #5040


Classical works of 1944:
1 | Appalachian Spring | Aaron Copland | USA | #18
2 | Concerto for Orchestra | Béla Bartók | USA | Hungary | #42

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1945

Post by Honorio » Sun Mar 24, 2019 6:21 pm

1945



Movie of 1945 | Les enfants du paradis (Children of Paradise) | Marcel Carné | France | all time #62
"Often dubbed "the French Gone With the Wind" for its unprecedented scope and popularity, the film offered audiences a dream of liberty, but not without considering the attendant perils. Children of Paradise is the ultimate theater-as-life movie, rich in historical allusions past and present, a landmark production that overcame constant harassment by the Germans and stands as a key testament to the spirit of the French Resistance. But apart from mere dissertation fodder, the film remains an exemplary piece of popular entertainment, full of vibrancy and wit, with unforgettable characters and a delicate, bittersweet tone that considers their emotions in balance." (Scott Tobias, A.V. Club)

Book of 1945 | Animal Farm | George Orwell | UK | all time #63
"Animal Farm is a dystopian allegorical novella by George Orwell. Published in England on 17 August 1945, the book reflects events leading up to and during the Stalin era before World War II. Orwell, a democratic socialist and a member of the Independent Labour Party for many years, was a critic of Joseph Stalin and was suspicious of Moscow-directed Stalinism after his experiences with the NKVD during the Spanish Civil War. In a letter to Yvonne Davet, Orwell described Animal Farm as his novel "contre Stalin." The novel addresses not only the corruption of the revolution by its leaders but also how wickedness, indifference, ignorance, greed and myopia destroy any possibility of a Utopia." (Publisher)

Record of 1945 | Caldonia | Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five | USA | 78 rpm single | all time #1494
"Caldonia (originally titled Caldonia Boogie) became one of Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five's most enduring hits. The song, with its lyrical catchphrase "Caldon-YAH! Caldon-YAH! What makes your big head so hard!?" set America on its ear and spawned endless cover versions. Little Richard said Caldonia Boogie was the first non-gospel song he ever learned. That made sense, as Louie's "Cal-don-YAH!" shriek sounds eerily like the vocal tone Little Richard would adopt and patent to great chart success a decade later—as well as Little Richard's Jordan-style pencil-thin moustache" (Stephen Koch, Library of Congress)


Books of 1945:
1 | Animal Farm: A Fairy Story | George Orwell | UK | #63
2 | Loving | Henry Green | UK | #346
3 | Pippi Långstrump (Pippi Longstocking) | Astrid Lindgren | Sweden | #362


Movies of 1945:
1 | Les enfants du paradis (Children of Paradise) | Marcel Carné | France | #62
2 | Roma città aperta (Rome, Open City) | Roberto Rossellini | Italy | #124
3 | Brief Encounter | David Lean | UK | #148


Songs of 1945:
1 | Caldonia | Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five | USA | #1494
2 | Black, Brown and Beige: II. Come Sunday | Duke Ellington and His Famous Orchestra | USA | #1658
3 | Sentimental Journey | Les Brown and His Orchestra, Vocal Chorus by Doris Day | USA | #2197


Classical work of 1945 | Four Sea Interludes (from Peter Grimes) | Benjamin Britten | UK | #50

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1946

Post by Honorio » Mon Mar 25, 2019 5:19 pm

1946



Movie of 1946 | It's a Wonderful Life | Frank Capra | USA | all time #80
"James Stewart is a vision of decency as the selfless guy George Bailey who finds himself deeply loved in the smalltown community he'd once dreamed of leaving: a redemptive discovery that follows his suicidal despair one snowy Christmas night. Every time I watch it, I am surprised afresh by how late in the story Clarence the angel appears, on his mission to show George how bad the world would have looked without him. The film is gripping enough simply with the telling of George's lifestory. A genuine American classic." (Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian)

Book of 1946 | All the King's Men | Robert Penn Warren | USA | all time #118
"This landmark book is a loosely fictionalized account of Governor Huey Long of Louisiana. All the King's Men tells the story of Willie Stark, a southern-fried politician who builds support by appealing to the common man and playing dirty politics with the best of the back-room deal-makers. Though Stark quickly sheds his idealism, his right-hand man, Jack Burden —who narrates the story— retains it and proves to be a thorn in the new governor's side. Stark becomes a successful leader, but at a very high price, one that eventually costs him his life. The award-winning book is a play of politics, society and personal affairs, all wrapped in the cloak of history." (Publisher)

Record of 1946 | Ko Ko | Charlie Parker's Ri Bop Boys | USA | 78 rpm single | all time #1089
"The two-minute and 53-second record has a simple structure. It begins with the alto saxophone and trumpet playing in unison, followed by Parker and trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie trading eight-bar melodic phrases, then another quick unison bridge. "And then bang —and there literally is a bang, Max Roach plays a bang— and it goes into Charlie Parker's solo," says Gary Giddins, author of Celebrating Bird. This was Parker's first record as a leader —his first opportunity to step out front and state his own case for the high-speed melodic inventiveness and off-beat playing that characterized the new style called bebop." (Tom Vitale, NPR)


Books of 1946:
1 | All the King's Men | Robert Penn Warren | USA | #118
2 | Víos kai Politeía tou Aléxē Zorbá (Zorba the Greek) | Nikos Kazantzakis | Greece | #334
3 | Paroles (Words) | Jacques Prévert | France | #1825


Movies of 1946:
1 | It's a Wonderful Life | Frank Capra | USA | #80
2 | My Darling Clementine | John Ford | USA | #121
3 | Notorious | Alfred Hitchcock | USA | UK | #134


Songs of 1946:
1 | Ko Ko | Charlie Parker's Ri Bop Boys | USA | #1089
2 | La mer | Charles Trenet | France | #1650
3 | (Get Your Kicks On) Route 66 | The King Cole Trio | USA | #1737


Classical work of 1946 | The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra | Benjamin Britten | UK | #71

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1947

Post by Honorio » Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:04 pm

1947



Book of 1947 | Under the Volcano | Malcolm Lowry | UK | all time #82
"To describe his perennial theme, Lowry once borrowed the words of the critic Edmund Wilson: "the forces in man which cause him to be terrified of himself." You see exactly what he means in this coruscating novel, which traces the last 24 hours in the life of Geoffrey Firmin, once the British consul in a hellish Mexican town, now a dedicated but utterly cogent alcoholic in that same town, on a day when his ex-wife has returned in a futile attempt to reach out to him. Shadowed by the hoodlums of the corrupt local officialdom, beset by his own furies, Firmin hurtles himself, annotating his fall all the while, into a pit of suffering. A vertiginous picture of self-destruction, seen through the eyes of a man still lucid enough to report to us all the harrowing particulars." (Publisher)

Movie of 1947 | Black Narcissus | Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger | UK | all time #166
"Run, don't walk to see this 1947 classic from Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. With each fade to black, you can see Deborah Kerr's eyes become, subliminally, twin gimlet gleams in the dark. The co-directors created from Rumer Godden's novel an extraordinary melodrama of repressed love and Forsterian Englishness — or rather Irishness — coming unglued in the vertiginous landscape of South Asia. The studio sets and backdrops are superbly and still convincingly rendered, and the film looks more beautiful than ever." (Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian)

Record of 1947 | La vie en rose | Édith Piaf | France | 78 rpm single | all time #567
"Written in a pavement café on the Champs Elysées in 1945, La vie en rose was a song whose giddy romance swept the French national spirit from the ashes of the second world war and sent it soaring around the world. The sole author of this phoenix song was France's "little sparrow": Édith Piaf. Marianne Michel recorded the song first with Piaf laying down her own, definitive version two years later. As a hymn to a love affair so beautiful that it allows the singer to forget all "les ennuis, les chagrins" (weariness and grief), it saw the tragedienne, like her nation, transcend pain." (Helen Brown, Financial Times)


Books of 1947:
1 | Under the Volcano | Malcolm Lowry | UK | #82
2 | Doktor Faustus: Das Leben des deutschen Tonsetzers Adrian Leverkühn, erzählt von einem Freunde (Doctor Faustus: The Life of the German Composer Adrian Leverkühn, Told by a Friend) | Thomas Mann | Germany | USA | #130
3 | La Peste (The Plague) | Albert Camus | France | #182


Movies of 1947:
1 | Black Narcissus | Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger | UK | #166
2 | Out of the Past | Jacques Tourneur | USA | #186
3 | Monsieur Verdoux | Charles Chaplin | USA | UK | #272


Songs of 1947:
1 | La vie en rose | Édith Piaf | France | #567
2 | Blue Moon of Kentucky | Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys | USA | #1194
3 | Move On Up a Little Higher | Mahalia Jackson | USA | #1203


Classical work of 1947 | Violin Concerto in D major | Erich Wolfgang Korngold | USA | #74

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1948

Post by Honorio » Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:16 pm

1948



Movie of 1948 | Ladri di biciclette (Bicycle Thieves) | Vittorio De Sica | Italy | all time #13
"Hailed around the world as one of the greatest movies ever made, Vittorio De Sica's Academy Award–winning Bicycle Thieves defined an era in cinema. In postwar, poverty-stricken Rome, a man, hoping to support his desperate family with a new job, loses his bicycle, his main means of transportation for work. With his wide-eyed young son in tow, he sets off to track down the thief. Simple in construction and dazzlingly rich in human insight, Bicycle Thieves embodied all the greatest strengths of the neorealist film movement in Italy: emotional clarity, social righteousness, and brutal honesty." (The Criterion Collection)

Book of 1948 | The Naked and the Dead | Norman Mailer | USA | all time #378
"Based on Mailer's own experience of military service in the Philippines during World War Two, The Naked and the Dead is a graphically truthful and shattering portrayal of ordinary men in battle. First published in 1948, as America was still basking in the glories of the Allied victory, it altered forever the popular perception of warfare. Focusing on the experiences of a fourteen-man platoon stationed on a Japanese-held island in the South Pacific during World War II, and written in a journalistic style, it tells the moving story of the soldiers' struggle to retain a sense of dignity amidst the horror of warfare, and to find a source of meaning in their lives amidst the sounds and fury of battle." (Publisher)

Record of 1948 | Boogie Chillen' | John Lee Hooker | USA | 78 rpm single | all time #625
"The riff that launched a million songs, Boogie Chillen' turned all the guitar players loose, each proffering their own brand of boogie after John Lee Hooker stormed to the top of the R&B charts with this crude little piece of Delta blues in 1948. The original was nothing more than Hooker, his electric guitar cranked right up, and his foot stomping away keeping the beat. Over a repeated monochord riff, Hooker made the original mold that all guitar players followed with. Hooker cut several answer records to his own big hit, recorded with everyone from Canned Heat to Bonnie Raitt, making sure that no one forgot to boogie in the years to come." (Cub Koda, All Music)


Books of 1948:
1 | The Naked and the Dead | Norman Mailer | USA | #378
2 | The Heart of the Matter | Graham Greene | UK | #382
3 | Sasameyuki (The Makioka Sisters) | Jun'ichirō Tanizaki | Japan | #402


Movies of 1948:
1 | Ladri di biciclette (Bicycle Thieves) | Vittorio De Sica | Italy | #13
2 | Letter from an Unknown Woman | Max Opuls | USA | France | #122
3 | Xiao cheng zhi chun (Spring in a Small Town) | Fei Mu | China | #157


Songs of 1948:
1 | Boogie Chillen' | John Lee Hooker | USA | #625
2 | 'Round About Midnight | The Thelonious Monk Quintet | USA | #655
3 | Manteca | Dizzy Gillespie and His Orchestra | USA | #1654

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1949

Post by Honorio » Thu Mar 28, 2019 8:04 pm

1949



Book of 1949 | Nineteen Eighty Four | George Orwell | UK | all time #25
"The novel focuses on a repressive, totalitarian regime. Orwell elaborates on how a massive Oligarchial Collectivist society such as the one described in Nineteen Eighty-Four would be able to repress any long lived dissent. The story follows the life of one seemingly insignificant man, Winston Smith, a civil servant assigned the task of perpetuating the regime's propaganda by falsifying records and political literature. Smith grows disillusioned with his meager existence and so begins a rebellion against the system that leads to his arrest and torture. The novel has become famous for its portrayal of pervasive government surveillance and control, and government's increasing encroachment on the rights of the individual." (Publisher)

Movie of 1949 | The Third Man | Carol Reed | UK | all time #49
"Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, black-market opportunist Harry Lime—and thus begins this legendary tale of love, deception, and murder. Thanks to brilliant performances by Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, and Orson Welles; Anton Karas's evocative zither score; Graham Greene's razor-sharp dialogue; and Robert Krasker's dramatic use of light and shadow, The Third Man, directed by the inimitable Carol Reed, only grows in stature as the years pass." (The Criterion Collection)

Record of 1949 | I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry | Hank Williams with His Drifting Cowboys | USA | 78 rpm single | all time #257
"Bob Dylan: "Even at a young age, I identified with him. I didn't have to experience anything that Hank did to know what he was singing about. I'd never heard a robin weep, but could imagine it and it made me sad." The artist to whom he's referring, of course, is Hank Williams, and the song is I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry. Reflecting Hank's tormented feelings toward Audrey Sheppard, his first wife, the song stands as the impossible standard that every country tear-jerker in its wake would like to meet. Only it doesn't achieve its desired effect through someone reciting a long litany of personal problems. Instead Williams imbibes the world around him on a random evening and finds every sight and sound to be a reflection of his own misery." (Jim Beviglia, American Songwriter)


Books of 1949:
1 | Nineteen Eighty Four | George Orwell | UK | #25
2 | The Lottery and Other Stories | Shirley Jackson | USA | #692
3 | The Sheltering Sky | Paul Bowles | USA | #724


Movies of 1949:
1 | The Third Man | Carol Reed | UK | #49
2 | Banshun (Late Spring) | Yasujirô Ozu | Japan | #75
3 | Kind Hearts and Coronets | Robert Hamer | UK | #227


Albums of 1949:
1 | Kiss Me, Kate | Original Broadway Cast | USA | #2575
2 | Lee Konitz Quintet/Lennie Tristano Quintet | Lee Konitz Quintet/Lennie Tristano Quintet | USA | #2900


Songs of 1949:
1 | I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry | Hank Williams with His Drifting Cowboys | USA | #257
2 | Lovesick Blues | Hank Williams with His Drifting Cowboys | USA | #1665
3 | Les feuilles mortes | Yves Montand | France | #2022


Classical work of 1949 | Turangalîla-Symphonie | Olivier Messiaen | USA | France | #81

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The 1940s

Post by Honorio » Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:27 pm

The 1940s



Movie of the 1940s | 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)

Book of the 1940s | Nineteen Eighty Four | George Orwell | UK | 1949 | all time #25
"The novel focuses on a repressive, totalitarian regime. Orwell elaborates on how a massive Oligarchial Collectivist society such as the one described in Nineteen Eighty-Four would be able to repress any long lived dissent. The story follows the life of one seemingly insignificant man, Winston Smith, a civil servant assigned the task of perpetuating the regime's propaganda by falsifying records and political literature. Smith grows disillusioned with his meager existence and so begins a rebellion against the system that leads to his arrest and torture. The novel has become famous for its portrayal of pervasive government surveillance and control, and government's increasing encroachment on the rights of the individual." (Publisher)

Record of the 1940s | I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry | Hank Williams with His Drifting Cowboys | USA | 78 rpm single | 1949 | all time #257
"Bob Dylan: "Even at a young age, I identified with him. I didn't have to experience anything that Hank did to know what he was singing about. I'd never heard a robin weep, but could imagine it and it made me sad." The artist to whom he's referring, of course, is Hank Williams, and the song is I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry. Reflecting Hank's tormented feelings toward Audrey Sheppard, his first wife, the song stands as the impossible standard that every country tear-jerker in its wake would like to meet. Only it doesn't achieve its desired effect through someone reciting a long litany of personal problems. Instead Williams imbibes the world around him on a random evening and finds every sight and sound to be a reflection of his own misery." (Jim Beviglia, American Songwriter)


Books of the 1940s:
1 | Nineteen Eighty Four | George Orwell | UK | 1949 | #25
2 | L’Étranger (The Stranger) | Albert Camus | France | 1942 | #42
3 | Animal Farm: A Fairy Story | George Orwell | UK | 1945 | #63
4 | The Waste Land and Other Poems | T. S. Eliot | UK | 1940 | collection | #66
5 | For Whom the Bell Tolls | Ernest Hemingway | USA | 1940 | #78
6 | Under the Volcano | Malcolm Lowry | UK | 1947 | #82


Movies of the 1940s:
1 | Citizen Kane | Orson Welles | USA | 1941 | #1
2 | Ladri di biciclette (Bicycle Thieves) | Vittorio De Sica | Italy | 1948 | #13
3 | Casablanca | Michael Curtiz | USA | 1942 | #35
4 | The Third Man | Carol Reed | UK | 1949 | #49
5 | Les enfants du paradis (Children of Paradise) | Marcel Carné | France | 1945 | #62


Albums of the 1940s:
1 | Dust Bowl Ballads | Woody Guthrie | USA | 1940 | #850
2 | Kiss Me, Kate | Original Broadway Cast | USA | 1949 | #2575
3 | Lee Konitz Quintet/Lennie Tristano Quintet | Lee Konitz Quintet/Lennie Tristano Quintet | USA | 1949 | #2900


Songs of the 1940s:
1 | I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry | Hank Williams with His Drifting Cowboys | USA | 1949 | #257
2 | La vie en rose | Édith Piaf | France | 1947 | #567
3 | Boogie Chillen' | John Lee Hooker | USA | 1948 | #625
4 | 'Round About Midnight | The Thelonious Monk Quintet | USA | 1948 | #655
5 | White Christmas | Bing Crosby with Ken Dardy Singers and John Scott Trotter and His Orchestra | USA | 1942 | #867


Classical works of the 1940s:
1 | Concierto de Aranjuez | Joaquín Rodrigo | Spain | 1940 |#6
2 | Appalachian Spring | Aaron Copland | USA | 1944 | #18
3 | Fanfare for the Common Man | Aaron Copland | USA | 1943 | #32
4 | Quatuor pour la fin du temps (Quartet for the End of Time) | Olivier Messiaen | Germany | France | 1941 | #41
5 | Concerto for Orchestra | Béla Bartók | USA | Hungary | 1944 | #42

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1950

Post by Honorio » Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:13 pm

1950



Movie of 1950 | Rashômon (Rashomon) | Akira Kurosawa | Japan | all time #20
"A riveting psychological thriller that investigates the nature of truth and the meaning of justice, Rashomon is widely considered one of the greatest films ever made. Four people give different accounts of a man's murder and the rape of his wife, which director Akira Kurosawa presents with striking imagery and an ingenious use of flashbacks. This eloquent masterwork and international sensation revolutionized film language and introduced Japanese cinema —and a commanding new star by the name of Toshiro Mifune— to the Western world." (The Criterion Collection)

Book of 1950 | The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe | C. S. Lewis | UK | all time #180
"World War II has just begun and four children, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie, are evacuated from London in 1940 to escape the Blitz. They are sent to live with Professor Digory Kirke, who lives in a country house in the English countryside with his housekeeper, Mrs Macready. One rainy day, the children decide to explore the house. Lucy, the youngest, is curious about the wardrobe in an empty room, and discovers that it is a portal to a snow-covered forest with a gaslight post in the center. There she meets a faun, who introduces himself as Tumnus and invites her home for tea. He tells her that the land is called Narnia and is ruled by the ruthless White Witch, who ensures that it is always Winter but never Christmas." (Publisher)

Record of 1950 | The Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert | Benny Goodman | USA | album (double vinyl LP) | all time #622
"Rightly proclaimed as being the most significant concert in jazz history, the Jan. 16, 1938, appearance of the Benny Goodman orchestra at Carnegie Hall was not only an unprecedented coup for jazz and racially integrated public performance, as has so often been stated. It also served to open the doors of this prestigious venue to events as far ranging as John Hammond’s 1938 and 1939 From Spirituals to Swing all-star concerts to Goodman once again in 1978 for his 40th anniversary celebration. Originally issued in a two-LP gatefold album in 1950, the nearly forgotten documentation of this historic event quickly became Columbia’s best-selling jazz release, a distinction it was to hold for decades to come." (Jack Sohmer, Jazz Times)


Books of 1950:
1 | The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe | C. S. Lewis | UK | #180
2 | The Collected Stories of William Faulkner | William Faulkner | USA | collection | #497
3 | La luna e i falò (The Moon and the Bonfires) | Cesare Pavese | Italy | #677
4 | Pinjar (The Skeleton) | Amrita Pritam | India | #907


Movies of 1950:
1 | Rashômon (Rashomon) | Akira Kurosawa | Japan | #20
2 | Sunset Blvd. | Billy Wilder | USA | #34
3 | All About Eve | Joseph L. Mankiewicz | USA | #116


Albums of 1950:
1 | The Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert | Benny Goodman | USA | #622
2 | Charlie Parker With Strings | Charlie Parker | USA | #2192


Songs of 1950:
1 | Rollin' Stone | Muddy Waters | USA | #1535
2 | Goodnight Irene | Gordon Jenkins and His Orchestra & The Weavers | USA | #2085
3 | The Fat Man | Fats Domino with Orchestra Accompaniment | USA | #2158


Classical work of 1950 | Vier letzte Lieder (Four Last Songs) | Richard Strauss | UK | Germany | #11

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1951

Post by Honorio » Sun Mar 31, 2019 3:22 pm

1951



Book of 1951 | The Catcher in the Rye | J. D. Salinger | USA | all time #20
"The Catcher in the Rye is a 1951 novel by J. D. Salinger. A controversial novel originally published for adults, it has since become popular with adolescents for its themes of teenage angst and alienation. It has been translated into almost all of the world's major languages. Around one million copies are sold each year with total sales of more than 65 million books. The novel's protagonist Holden Caulfield has become an icon for teenage rebellion. The novel also deals with complex issues of innocence, identity, belonging, loss, and connection. Due to its liberal use of profanity and portrayal of sexuality, it has frequently been met with censorship challenges in the United States making it one of the most challenged books of the 20th century." (Publisher)

Movie of 1951 | The River | Jean Renoir | France | all time #165
"Director Jean Renoir's entrancing first color feature —shot entirely on location in India— is a visual tour de force. Based on the novel by Rumer Godden, the film eloquently contrasts the growing pains of three young women with the immutability of the holy Bengal River, around which their daily lives unfold. Enriched by Renoir's subtle understanding and appreciation for India and its people, The River gracefully explores the fragile connections between transitory emotions and everlasting creation." (The Criterion Collection)

Record of 1951 | This Land Is My Land | Woody Guthrie | USA | album track | all time #303
"This Land Is Your Land wasn't released by Folkways until 1951, but the song was originally written in February 1940, when Woody Guthrie first arrived in New York City from Oklahoma. He was irritated by Irving Berlin's God Bless America, sung by Kate Smith, which seemed to be endlessly playing on the radio in the late 1930s. So irritated, in fact, that he wrote this song as a retort, at first sarcastically calling it God Blessed America for Me before renaming it This Land Is Your Land. Guthrie's original words to the song included this verse: "There was a big high wall there that tried to stop me / The sign was painted, said 'Private Property' / But on the backside, it didn't say nothing / This land was made for you and me." (Nick Spitzer, NPR)


Books of 1951:
1 | The Catcher in the Rye | J. D. Salinger | USA | #20
2 | Mémoires d'Hadrien (Memoirs of Hadrian) | Marguerite Yourcenar | France | USA | #239
3 | A Dance to the Music of Time: A Question of Upbringing | Anthony Powell | UK | #264


Movies of 1951:
1 | The River | Jean Renoir | France | #165
2 | Journal d'un curé de campagne (Diary of a Country Priest) | Robert Bresson | France | #230
3 | Bakushû (Early Summer) | Yasujirô Ozu | Japan | #448


Album of 1951 | Genius of Modern Music | Thelonious Monk | USA | #554


Songs of 1951:
1 | This Land Is My Land | Woody Guthrie | USA | #303
2 | Rocket "88" | Jackie Brenston and His Delta Cats | USA | #341
3 | Dust My Broom | Elmo James | USA | #909

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1952

Post by Honorio » Mon Apr 01, 2019 5:16 pm

1952



Movie of 1952 | Singin' in the Rain | Stanley Donen/Gene Kelly | USA | all time #12
"There is no movie musical more fun than Singin' in the Rain, and few that remain as fresh over the years. Its originality is all the more startling if you reflect that only one of its songs was written new for the film, that the producers plundered MGM's storage vaults for sets and props, and that the movie was originally ranked below An American in Paris, which won a best picture Oscar. The verdict of the years knows better than Oscar: Singin' in the Rain is a transcendent experience, and no one who loves movies can afford to miss it. Singin' in the Rain pulses with life; in a movie about making movies, you can sense the joy they had making this one." (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

Book of 1952 | Invisible Man | Ralph Ellison | USA | all time #36
"Invisible Man is a novel written by Ralph Ellison, and the only one that he published during his lifetime (his other novels were published posthumously). It won him the National Book Award in 1953. The novel addresses many of the social and intellectual issues facing African-Americans in the early twentieth century, including black nationalism, the relationship between black identity and Marxism, and the reformist racial policies of Booker T. Washington, as well as issues of individuality and personal identity." (Publisher)

Record of 1952 | The Amazing Bud Powell | Bud Powell | USA | album (10" vinyl) | all time #917
"The Amazing Bud Powell is the product of two separate recording sessions, one of a quintet on August 9, 1949, the other of a trio on May 1, 1951, originally released on the Blue Note label in 10-inch LP form. As the leader on both the recording dates, Powell's playing is naturally showcased. But what a treat to hear Fats Navarro —a bebop icon who died way too young— along with Sonny Rollins and Roy Haynes, both of whom are still alive, still playing, and whose evolving approaches to the music we've been able to witness over all these years. Not to mention Max Roach, who many consider to have been the greatest drummer in jazz history." (Terry MacDonald, Seacoast Jazz Society)


Books of 1952:
1 | Invisible Man | Ralph Ellison | USA | #36
2 | The Old Man and the Sea | Ernest Hemingway | USA | #64
3 | En attendant Godot (Waiting for Godot) | Samuel Beckett | France | Ireland | #95


Movies of 1952:
1 | Singin' in the Rain | Stanley Donen/Gene Kelly | USA | #12
2 | Ikiru (Ikiru) | Akira Kurosawa | Japan | #112
3 | Umberto D. (Umberto D.) | Vittorio de Sica | Italy | #184


Albums of 1952:
1 | The Amazing Bud Powell | Bud Powell | USA | #917
2 | Genius of Modern Music, Vol. 2 | Thelonious Monk | USA | #1075
3 | Bird and Diz | Charlie Parker & Dizzy Gillespie | USA | #2003


Songs of 1952:
1 | Lawdy Miss Clawdy | Lloyd Price and His Orchestra | USA | #1215
2 | It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels | Kitty Wells | USA | #1369
3 | Singin' in the Rain | Gene Kelly with Lennie Hayton and the MGM Studio Orchestra | USA | #1685

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1953

Post by Honorio » Tue Apr 02, 2019 5:13 pm

1953



Movie of 1953 | Tôkyô monogatari (Tokyo Story) | Yasujirô Ozu | Japan | all time #5
"A profoundly stirring evocation of elemental humanity and universal heartbreak, Tokyo Story is the crowning achievement of the unparalleled Yasujiro Ozu. The film, which follows an aging couple's journey to visit their grown children in bustling postwar Tokyo, surveys the rich and complex world of family life with the director's customary delicacy and incisive perspective on social mores. Featuring lovely performances from Ozu regulars Chishu Ryu and Setsuko Hara, Tokyo Story plumbs and deepens the director's recurring theme of generational conflict, creating what is without question one of cinema's mightiest masterpieces." (The Criterion Collection)

Book of 1953 | The Adventures of Augie March | Saul Bellow | USA | all time #201
"Augie comes on stage with one of literature's most famous opening lines. "I am an American, Chicago born, and go at things as I have taught myself, free-style, and will make the record in my own way: first to knock, first admitted." It's the "Call me Ishmael" of mid-20th-century American fiction. With this teeming book Bellow returned a Dickensian richness to the American novel. As he makes his way to a full brimming consciousness of himself, Augie careens himself through numberless occupations, and countless mentors and exemplars, all the while enchanting us with the slapdash American music of his voice." (Publisher)

Record of 1953 | Hound Dog | Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton | USA | 78 rpm single | all time #616
"Young Caucasian songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller wrote their seminal collaboration Hound Dog for Johnny Otis protégée Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton as a tough down-home blues replete with ribald, double-entendre-laden lyrics that the 300-pound belter bit into with gusto. The Montgomery, AL-born Thornton was born to sing Hound Dog; her gruff, no-nonsense bark was urged forward by Pete Lewis' snapping lead guitar at the August 13, 1952, Los Angeles session. Red-hot bandleader Otis was forced to switch instruments when drummer Leard "K.C." Bell couldn't locate the proper backwoods groove. With Otis behind the traps and the horns laying out, everything came together —even the band's barking to seal the number in genuine canine fashion." (Bill Dahl, All Music)


Books of 1953:
1 | The Adventures of Augie March | Saul Bellow | USA | #201
2 | Nine Stories | J. D. Salinger | USA | #228
3 | Fahrenheit 451 | Ray Bradbury | USA | #245


Movies of 1953:
1 | Tôkyô monogatari (Tokyo Story) | Yasujirô Ozu | Japan | #5
2 | Ugetsu monogatari (Ugetsu monogatari) | Kenji Mizoguchi | Japan | #47
3 | Madame de... (The Earrings of Madame de…) | Max Ophüls | France | #117


Albums of 1953:
1 | Jazz at Massey Hall | Quintet | USA | #736
2 | New Concepts of Artistry in Rhythm | Stan Kenton | USA | #2105
3 | Thelonious | Thelonious Monk Trio | USA | #2236


Songs of 1953:
1 | Hound Dog | Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton, Kansas City Bill & Orch. | USA | #616
2 | Your Cheatin' Heart | Hank Williams with His Drifting Cowboys | USA | #1001
3 | Money Honey | Clyde McPhatter & The Drifters | USA | #1363


Classical work of 1953 | Simfonija № 10 mi minor (Symphony No. 10 in E minor) | Dmitri Shostakovich | USSR | #96

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1954

Post by Honorio » Wed Apr 03, 2019 6:24 pm

1954



Movie of 1954 | Shichinin no samurai (Seven Samurai) | Akira Kurosawa | Japan | all time #10
"One of the most thrilling movie epics of all time, Seven Samurai (Shichinin no samurai) tells the story of a sixteenth-century village whose desperate inhabitants hire the eponymous warriors to protect them from invading bandits. This three-hour ride from Akira Kurosawa —featuring legendary actors Toshiro Mifune and Takashi Shimura— seamlessly weaves philosophy and entertainment, delicate human emotions and relentless action, into a rich, evocative, and unforgettable tale of courage and hope." (The Criterion Collection)

Book of 1954 | The Lord of the Rings | J. R. R. Tolkien | UK | all time #68
"The greatest fantasy epic of our time: J.R.R. Tolkien's classic The Lord of the Rings, which begins with The Fellowship of the Ring and continues in The Two Towers and The Return of the King. The dark, fearsome Ringwraiths are searching for a Hobbit. Frodo Baggins knows that they are seeking him and the Ring he bears —the Ring of Power that will enable evil Sauron to destroy all that is good in Middle-earth. Now it is up to Frodo and his faithful servant, Sam, with a small band of companions, to carry the Ring to the one place it can be destroyed: Mount Doom, in the very center of Sauron's realm." (Publisher)

Record of 1954 | (We're Gonna) Rock Around the Clock | Bill Haley and His Comets | USA | 45 rpm single | all time #81
"There were Rock 'n' Roll songs before Rock Around the Clock, some of higher quality, some with more artistic influence, some not as olden-sounding today. But it was Bill Haley & His Comets' signature song that surrounded the Jericho of staid American taste and sounded the trumpets that brought the walls down. Haley and his boys also paved the way for all the white artists working in the Rock 'n' Roll or R&B genre to become superstars. Moreover, Rock Around the Clock tapped into what was still a relatively new phenomenon —American teenagers as a discreet cultural group with tastes, urges and styles completely different from those of their parents." (Song Mango)


Books of 1954:
1 | The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring | J. R. R. Tolkien | UK | #68
2 | Lord of the Flies | William Golding | UK | #75
3 | The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens | Wallace Stevens | USA | collection | #153
4 | Lucky Jim | Kingsley Amis | UK | #272


Movies of 1954:
1 | Shichinin no samurai (Seven Samurai) | Akira Kurosawa | Japan | #10
2 | Rear Window | Alfred Hitchcock | USA | UK | #41
3 | La strada (La Strada) | Federico Fellini | Italy | #67


Albums of 1954:
1 | Classics in Jazz | Miles Davis | USA | #371
2 | Clifford Brown and Max Roach | Clifford Brown and Max Roach | USA | #1349
3 | A Night at Birdland, Vol. 1 | Art Blakey Quintet | USA | #2236


Songs of 1954:
1 | (We're Gonna) Rock Around the Clock | Bill Haley and His Comets | USA | #81
2 | That's All Right | Elvis Presley, Scotty and Bill | USA | #102
3 | Shake, Rattle and Roll | Joe Turner and His Blues Kings | USA | #313

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1955

Post by Honorio » Thu Apr 04, 2019 5:11 pm

1955



Book of 1955 | Lolita | Vladimir Nabokov | France | USA | all time #15
"Lolita is a novel by Vladimir Nabokov, first written in English and published in 1955 in Paris, later translated by the author into Russian and published in 1958 in New York. The book is internationally famous for its innovative style and infamous for its controversial subject: the protagonist and unreliable narrator, middle aged Humbert Humbert, becomes obsessed and sexually involved with a twelve-year-old girl named Dolores Haze. After its publication, Nabokov's Lolita attained a classic status, becoming one of the best-known and most controversial examples of 20th century literature. The name "Lolita" has entered pop culture to describe a sexually precocious young girl." (Publisher)

Record of 1955 | Tutti-Frutti | Little Richard and His Band | USA | 45 rpm single | all time #30
"Tutti Frutti gave the world the 10 much disputed syllables that are item one on the syllabus of rock'n'roll: "Awopbopaloomopalopbombom!" Even now, 62 years on, that Specialty Records recording of Tutti Frutti still sounds wild to the point of being unhinged. Richard's voice is clearly hitting the red, clipping and distorting; the band sound like they're desperately trying to keep up; his piano sounds like it's playing itself; and punctuating it all are Richard's high whoops, copied incessantly by The Beatles on their early recordings. It's a record so exciting, so primal, that it is both irresistible and insurrectionary. It is the sound of an incomprehensible force." (Michael Hann, Financial Times)

Movie of 1955 | Ordet (Ordet) | Carl Theodor Dreyer | Denmark | all time #33
"'Powerful' doesn't do justice to this 1955 exploration of life, death and faith from Danish master Carl Theodor Dreyer. Based on Kaj Munk's 1932 play, Ordet is an austere, realist work on one level as it joins a farming family in their Jutland home over a short but devastating period of time. But, on another level, this is a deeply spiritual, mysterious and wonderfully odd and bold work as Dreyer reaches to the heavens and beyond for answers. Ordet reminds us how in the end we know little about the mysteries of life. Dreyer manages to say all this within the framework of a strange, wondrous and shocking work. Once seen, it's unlikely to leave you." (Dave Calhoun, Time Out)


Books of 1955:
1 | Lolita | Vladimir Nabokov | France | USA | #15
2 | Poems of Emily Dickinson | Emily Dickinson | UK | collection | #101
3 | Pedro Páramo (Pedro Páramo) | Juan Rulfo | Mexico | #198
4 | The Magician's Nephew | C. S. Lewis | UK | #293


Movies of 1955:
1 | Ordet (Ordet) | Carl Theodor Dreyer | Denmark | #33
2 | The Night of the Hunter | Charles Laughton | USA | #43
3 | Pather Panchali (Pather Panchali) | Satyajit Ray | India | #55


Albums of 1955:
1 | In the Wee Small Hours | Frank Sinatra | USA | #323
2 | Sarah Vaughan | Sarah Vaughan | USA | #1123
3 | Horace Silver Quintet | Horace Silver Quintet | USA | #1921


Songs of 1955:
1 | Tutti-Frutti | Little Richard and His Band | USA | #30
2 | Maybellene | Chuck Berry and His Combo | USA | #126
3 | Mystery Train | Elvis Presley, Scotty and Bill | USA | #184


Classical work of 1955 | Ovod: Sjuita iz muzyki k kinofilʹmu (The Gadfly Suite) | Dmitri Shostakovich | USSR | #48

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1956

Post by Honorio » Fri Apr 05, 2019 7:06 pm

1956



Movie of 1956 | The Searchers | John Ford | USA | all time #9
"We may still be waiting for the Great American Novel, but John Ford gave us the Great American Film in 1956. The Searchers gathers the deepest concerns of American literature, distilling 200 years of tradition in a way available only to popular art, and with a beauty available only to a supreme visual poet like Ford. Through the central image of the frontier, the meeting point of wilderness and civilization, Ford explores the divisions of our national character, with its search for order and its need for violence, its spirit of community and its quest for independence." (Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader)

Record of 1956 | Heartbreak Hotel | Elvis Presley | USA | 45 rpm single | all time #17
"Heartbreak Hotel was Elvis Presley's first national hit; it became a signature song for him and a rock & roll standard. It was written by Tommy Durden and Mae Boren Axton. Durden had seen a newspaper article about a person who had committed suicide, leaving a note that read, "I walk a lonely street," and was inspired to write a song about a hotel that people who have had their hearts broken can check into. Elvis recorded the song in January 10, 1956, with Scotty Moore taking a slashing electric guitar solo and Floyd Cramer playing some bluesy piano. The spare arrangement, which frequently came to a full stop, was dominated by Presley's melodramatic vocal; it was an excellent showcase for the young singer." (William Ruhlmann, All Music)

Book of 1956 | The Last Battle | C. S. Lewis | UK | all time #289
"During the last days of Narnia, the land faces its fiercest challenge —not an invader from without but an enemy from within. Lies and treachery have taken root, and only the king and a small band of loyal followers can prevent the destruction of all they hold dear in this, the magnificent ending to The Chronicles of Narnia. The Last Battle is the seventh and final book in C. S. Lewis's classic fantasy series, which has been drawing readers of all ages into a magical land with unforgettable characters for over sixty years." (Publisher)


Books of 1956:
1 | The Last Battle | C. S. Lewis | UK | #289
2 | Kinkaku-ji (The Temple of the Golden Pavilion) | Yukio Mishima | Japan | #356
3 | Grande Sertão: Veredas (The Devil to Pay in the Backlands) | João Guimarães Rosa | Brazil | #423


Movies of 1956:
1 | The Searchers | John Ford | USA | #9
2 | Un condamné à mort s'est échappé ou Le vent souffle où il veut (A Man Escaped) | Robert Bresson | France | #88
3 | Written on the Wind | Douglas Sirk | USA | Germany | #339


Albums of 1956:
1 | Elvis Presley | Elvis Presley | USA | #122
2 | Songs for Swingin' Lovers! | Frank Sinatra | USA | #321
3 | Ellington at Newport | Duke Ellington | USA | #567


Songs of 1956:
1 | Heartbreak Hotel | Elvis Presley | USA | #17
2 | Hound Dog | Elvis Presley | USA | #73
3 | Blue Suede Shoes | Carl Perkins | USA | #119


Classical works of 1956
1 | Spartak (Spartacus) | Aram Khachaturian | USSR | #26
2 | Candide | Leonard Bernstein | USA | #76

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1957

Post by Honorio » Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:36 pm

1957



Movie of 1957 | Smultronstället (Wild Strawberries) | Ingmar Bergman | Sweden | all time #58
"The film that catapulted Bergman to the forefront of world cinema is the director's richest, most humane movie. Traveling to receive an honorary degree, Professor Isak Borg (masterfully played by the veteran Swedish director Victor Sjöström), is forced to face his past, come to terms with his faults, and accept the inevitability of his approaching death. Through flashbacks and fantasies, dreams and nightmares, Wild Strawberries captures a startling voyage of self-discovery and renewed belief in mankind. This masterpiece, full of iconic imagery, is one of Ingmar Bergman's most widely acclaimed and influential films." (The Criterion Collection)

Record of 1957 | That'll Be the Day | The Crickets | USA | 45 rpm single | all time #61
"Buddy Holly and drummer Jerry Allison started playing together as teenagers in a Lubbock, Texas, garage. "We weren't interested in ball games or hot rods, we were interested in playing [music]," Allison recalled. "We thought if you could get a record out, you'd have a hit, you could buy a Cadillac." Their dream came true with this tough-talking twangfest, which Holly and Allison co-wrote after seeing the John Wayne western The Searchers, during which the Duke repeatedly uttered the title phrase. The song became the first of a string of hits that was tragically cut off when Holly died in a plane crash at age 22." (Bud Scoppa, Rolling Stone)

Book of 1957 | On the Road | Jack Kerouac | USA | all time #106
"On the Road is a novel by Jack Kerouac, published in 1957. This largely autobiographical work, written as a stream of consciousness and based on the spontaneous road trips of Kerouac and his friends across mid-century America, is often considered the defining work of the postwar Beat Generation that was so affected by jazz, poetry, and drug experiences. A brilliant blend of fiction and autobiography, Jack Kerouac's exhilarating novel swings to the rhythms of 1950s underground America, racing towards the sunset with unforgettable exuberance, poignancy and autobiographical passion." (Publisher)


Books of 1957:
1 | On the Road | Jack Kerouac | USA | #106
2 | Dóktor Zhivágo (Doctor Zhivago) | Boris Pasternak | Italy | USSR | #169
3 | Atlas Shrugged | Ayn Rand | USA | #247


Movies of 1957:
1 | Smultronstället (Wild Strawberries) | Ingmar Bergman | Sweden | #58
2 | Det sjunde inseglet (The Seventh Seal) | Ingmar Bergman | Sweden | #72
3 | Le notti di Cabiria (The Nights of Cabiria) | Federico Fellini | Italy | #187


Albums of 1957:
1 | Here's Little Richard | Little Richard | USA | #390
2 | Saxophone Colossus | Sonny Rollins | USA | #404
3 | The "Chirping" Crickets | The Crickets | USA | #407


Songs of 1957:
1 | That'll Be the Day | The Crickets | USA | #61
2 | Whole Lot of Shakin' Going On | Jerry Lee Lewis | USA | #97
3 | Great Balls of Fire | Jerry Lee Lewis | USA | #124


Classical work of 1957 | West Side Story | Leonard Bernstein | USA | #13

Note:
Love the way the quote about "That'll Be the Day" (record of 1957) references "The Searchers" (movie of 1956), connecting contemporary but different art forms and proving the influences between them.

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1958

Post by Honorio » Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:51 pm

1958



Movie of 1958 | Vertigo | Alfred Hitchcock | USA | all time #2
"Nowhere else did Hitchcock's perfectionism yield such feverish results, in an eerily perverse exploration of this director's obsessive themes. Way ahead of its time in dreamily suggestive power, Vertigo lures James Stewart's Scottie Ferguson, a man terrified of falling, onto the trail of the voluptuous ice blonde who will bring him down. The lure of death, the power of the past, the guilty complicity of a clean-cut hero, the near-fetishistic use of symbol and color: these Hitchcock hallmarks are all mesmerizingly on view. Hitchcock, as he would in Psycho two years later, deliberately violated the conventions of the thriller to heighten tensions and abruptly shift the audience's point of view." (Janet Maslin, The New York Times)

Record of 1958 | Johnny B. Goode | Chuck Berry | USA | 45 rpm single | all time #6
"Johnny B. Goode is the Horatio Alger story of rock & roll, a message so basic that the song has become the inspiration for every kid who ever wanted to be in a rock & roll band or become a rock & roll star. Written by Chuck Berry, the original version on Chess was also the first session that Berry utilized overdubbing to play the now famous guitar solos, a fairly new idea for rock & roll back in the 1950s. But as rich and full and inspirational as Berry's original was and is, the song is so irreducible in its simple genius that it has become adaptable in a number of cover versions. No matter what course rock music may take in the next decade or two, as long as there are guitar bands and crowds that want to rock and sing along, somebody will be on-stage playing Johnny B. Goode to get a rise out of the crowd." (Cub Koda, All Music)

Book of 1958 | Things Fall Apart | Chinua Achebe | British Nigeria | all time #71
"A novel of great power that turns the world upside down. The Nigerian novelist Achebe reached back to the early days of his people's encounter with colonialism, the 1890's, though the white man and his religion make an impression upon the story only in its later stages. Here the Africans are center stage, capable all the while of nobility but also cruelty, wisdom and bewilderment. Achebe guides us through the intricacies of Igbo culture, its profound sense of justice, its sometimes murderous rules, its noble and harmful machismo. By the time the British colonial administrator arrives towards the end of the book to dismiss the natives as savages, we know how profoundly mistaken that word is." (Publisher)


Books of 1958:
1 | Things Fall Apart | Chinua Achebe | British Nigeria | #71
2 | Il Gattopardo (The Leopard) | Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa | Italy | #184
3 | Breakfast at Tiffany's | Truman Capote | USA | #436


Movies of 1958:
1 | Vertigo | Alfred Hitchcock | USA | #2
2 | Touch of Evil | Orson Welles | USA | #31
3 | Popiól i diament (Ashes and Diamonds) | Andrzej Wajda | Poland | #205


Albums of 1958:
1 | Lady in Satin | Billie Holiday with Ray Ellis and His Orchestra | USA | #703
2 | Somethin' Else | Cannonball Adderley | USA | #743
3 | Blue Train | John Coltrane | USA | #763


Songs of 1958:
1 | Johnny B. Goode | Chuck Berry | USA | #6
2 | Summertime Blues | Eddie Cochran | USA | #91
3 | Rumble | Link Wray & His Ray Men | USA | #314

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1959

Post by Honorio » Mon Apr 08, 2019 6:46 pm

1959



Movie of 1959 | Les quatre cents coups (The 400 Blows) | François Truffaut | France | all time #23
"François Truffaut's The 400 Blows is one of the most intensely touching stories ever made about a young adolescent. Inspired by Truffaut's own early life, it shows a resourceful boy growing up in Paris and apparently dashing headlong into a life of crime. The film's famous final shot, a zoom in to a freeze frame, shows him looking directly into the camera. The later films have their own merits, and Stolen Kisses is one of Truffaut's best, but The 400 Blows, with all its simplicity and feeling, is in a class by itself. It was Truffaut's first feature, and one of the founding films of the French New Wave. We sense that it was drawn directly out of Truffaut's heart." (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

Records of 1959:
- Album of 1959 | Kind of Blue | Miles Davis | USA | album (vinyl LP) | all time #35
"Sometimes an album's hype becomes all too stifling. Easy epithets such as "classic," "groundbreaking," and "milestone" are all too lazily tossed around, and in their midst we lose sight of the original material's worth. Thankfully, Kind of Blue comes with no such critical health warning —it is a genre-defining moment in twentieth-century music, period. The five tracks were laid in nine hours over two sessions, a time frame all the more remarkable for the band having never encountered the pieces before —this was a ploy Davis frequently used, feeling that individual artists would consequently focus more on their performances." (Seth Jacobson, 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die)
- Song of 1959 | What'd I Say (Parts 1 and 2) | Ray Charles and His Orchestra | USA | 45 rpm single | all time #35
"What’d I Say was created when the singer somehow ran out of material near the end of a gig in Brownsville, Pennsylvania. He began playing a rollicking riff, improvising lyrics over it. Telling his backing singers The Raelettes, "I'm going to fool around and y'all just follow me," Brother Ray delivered an instant classic in the "call and response" style. Perhaps because it was created in a club environment, the lyrics were more lascivious than anything Charles had released until then. The song was long because it had no fixed structure, and Charles, who was blind, could hear and feel the crowd going crazy while he sang it, so why stop?" (Ian McCann, Financial Times)

Book of 1959 | Die Blechtrommel (The Tin Drum) | Günter Grass | West Germany | all time #108
"Acclaimed as the greatest German novel written since the end of World War II, The Tin Drum is the autobiography of thirty-year-old Oskar Matzerath, who has lived through the long Nazi nightmare and who, as the novel begins, is being held in a mental institution. Willfully stunting his growth at three feet for many years, wielding his tin drum and piercing scream as anarchistic weapons, he provides a profound yet hilarious perspective on both German history and the human condition in the modern world. "Grass wrote with fury, love, derision, slapstick, pathos —all with an unforgiving conscience," John Irving." (Publisher)


Books of 1959:
1 | Die Blechtrommel (The Tin Drum) | Günter Grass | West Germany | #108
2 | Henderson the Rain King | Saul Bellow | USA | #172
3 | Hawaii | James A. Michener | USA | #369


Movies of 1959:
1 | Les quatre cents coups (The 400 Blows) | François Truffaut | France | #23
2 | Some Like It Hot | Billy Wilder | USA | #28
3 | Rio Bravo | Howard Hawks | USA | #57


Albums of 1959:
1 | Kind of Blue | Miles Davis | USA | #35
2 | Time Out | The Dave Brubeck Quartet | USA | #347
3 | The Shape of Jazz to Come | Ornette Coleman | USA | #357


Songs of 1959:
1 | What'd I Say (Parts 1 and 2) | Ray Charles and His Orchestra | USA | #35
2 | Shout (Parts 1 and 2) | The Isley Brothers | USA | #504
3 | There Goes My Baby | The Drifters | USA | #528

Note:
First and last tie on Record of the Year (there will be more ties on decade lists). Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue" is the #35 all-time album and Ray Charles' "What'd I Say" is the #35 song of all time, so they appear tied as Record of the Year.

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The 1950s

Post by Honorio » Tue Apr 09, 2019 5:24 pm

The 1950s



Movie of the 1950s | Vertigo | Alfred Hitchcock | USA | 1958 | all time #2
"Nowhere else did Hitchcock's perfectionism yield such feverish results, in an eerily perverse exploration of this director's obsessive themes. Way ahead of its time in dreamily suggestive power, Vertigo lures James Stewart's Scottie Ferguson, a man terrified of falling, onto the trail of the voluptuous ice blonde who will bring him down. The lure of death, the power of the past, the guilty complicity of a clean-cut hero, the near-fetishistic use of symbol and color: these Hitchcock hallmarks are all mesmerizingly on view. Hitchcock, as he would in Psycho two years later, deliberately violated the conventions of the thriller to heighten tensions and abruptly shift the audience's point of view." (Janet Maslin, The New York Times)

Record of the 1950s | Johnny B. Goode | Chuck Berry | USA | 45 rpm single | 1958 | all time #6
"Johnny B. Goode is the Horatio Alger story of rock & roll, a message so basic that the song has become the inspiration for every kid who ever wanted to be in a rock & roll band or become a rock & roll star. Written by Chuck Berry, the original version on Chess was also the first session that Berry utilized overdubbing to play the now famous guitar solos, a fairly new idea for rock & roll back in the 1950s. But as rich and full and inspirational as Berry's original was and is, the song is so irreducible in its simple genius that it has become adaptable in a number of cover versions. No matter what course rock music may take in the next decade or two, as long as there are guitar bands and crowds that want to rock and sing along, somebody will be on-stage playing Johnny B. Goode to get a rise out of the crowd." (Cub Koda, All Music)

Book of the 1950s | Lolita | Vladimir Nabokov | France | USA | 1955 | all time #15
"Lolita is a novel by Vladimir Nabokov, first written in English and published in 1955 in Paris, later translated by the author into Russian and published in 1958 in New York. The book is internationally famous for its innovative style and infamous for its controversial subject: the protagonist and unreliable narrator, middle aged Humbert Humbert, becomes obsessed and sexually involved with a twelve-year-old girl named Dolores Haze. After its publication, Nabokov's Lolita attained a classic status, becoming one of the best-known and most controversial examples of 20th century literature. The name "Lolita" has entered pop culture to describe a sexually precocious young girl." (Publisher)


Books of the 1950s:
1 | Lolita | Vladimir Nabokov | France | USA | 1955 | #15
2 | The Catcher in the Rye | J. D. Salinger | USA | 1951 | #20
3 | Invisible Man | Ralph Ellison | USA | 1952 | #36
4 | The Old Man and the Sea | Ernest Hemingway | USA | 1952 | #64
5 | The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring | J. R. R. Tolkien | UK | 1954 | #68


Movies of the 1950s:
1 | Vertigo | Alfred Hitchcock | USA | 1958 | #2
2 | Tôkyô monogatari (Tokyo Story) | Yasujirô Ozu | Japan | 1953 | #5
3 | The Searchers | John Ford | USA | 1956 | #9
4 | Shichinin no samurai (Seven Samurai) | Akira Kurosawa | Japan | 1954 | #10
5 | Singin' in the Rain | Stanley Donen/Gene Kelly | USA | 1952 | #12


Albums of the 1950s:
1 | Kind of Blue | Miles Davis | USA | 1959 | #35
2 | Elvis Presley | Elvis Presley | USA | 1956 | #122
3 | Songs for Swingin' Lovers! | Frank Sinatra | USA | 1956 | #321
4 | In the Wee Small Hours | Frank Sinatra | USA | 1955 | #323
5 | Time Out | The Dave Brubeck Quartet | USA | 1959 | #347


Songs of the 1950s:
1 | Johnny B. Goode | Chuck Berry | USA | 1958 | #6
2 | Heartbreak Hotel | Elvis Presley | USA | 1956 | #17
3 | Tutti-Frutti | Little Richard and His Band | USA | 1955 | #30
4 | What'd I Say (Parts 1 and 2) | Ray Charles and His Orchestra | USA | 1959 | #35
5 | That'll Be the Day | The Crickets | USA | 1957 | #61


Classical work of the 1950s:
1 | Vier letzte Lieder (Four Last Songs) | Richard Strauss | UK | Germany | 1950 | #11
2 | West Side Story | Leonard Bernstein | USA | 1957 | #13
3 | Spartak (Spartacus) | Aram Khachaturian | USSR | 1956 | #26
4 | Ovod: Sjuita iz muzyki k kinofilʹmu (The Gadfly Suite) | Dmitri Shostakovich | USSR | 1955 | #48
5 | Candide | Leonard Bernstein | USA | 1956 | #76

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1960

Post by Honorio » Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:15 pm

1960



Movie of 1960 | À bout de souffle (Breathless) | Jean-Luc Godard | France | all time #16
"There was before Breathless, and there was after Breathless. Jean-Luc Godard burst onto the film scene in 1960 with this jazzy, free-form, and sexy homage to the American film genres that inspired him as a writer for Cahiers du cinéma. With its lack of polish, surplus of attitude, anything-goes crime narrative, and effervescent young stars Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg, Breathless helped launch the French New Wave and ensured cinema would never be the same." (The Criterion Collection)

Book of 1960 | To Kill a Mockingbird | Harper Lee | USA | all time #44
"'Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.' A lawyer's advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee's classic novel — a black man charged with the rape of a white girl. Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with exuberant humour the irrationality of adult attitudes to race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina of one man's struggle for justice. To Kill a Mockingbird is a coming-of-age story, an anti-racist novel, a historical drama of the Great Depression and a sublime example of the Southern writing tradition." (Publisher)

Record of 1960 | Will You Love Me Tomorrow | The Shirelles | USA | 45 rpm single | all time #154
"Will You Love Me Tomorrow by the Shirelles was released in 1960 and went to the top of the US charts early in 1961. It was the first girl group No 1, and one of the first hits by black artists to sell in millions to white kids. And it was almost the perfect pop song. I was 14 when it came out, and Shirley Owens's voice, so powerful yet fragile, so full of yearning, perfectly matched my adolescent moods. In those less permissive days —Lady Chatterley had only just become legal in Britain— we didn't realise the song was about a young girl on the brink of surrendering her virginity, though several US radio stations spotted that right away, and banned it." (Simon Hoggart, The Guardian)


Books of 1960:
1 | To Kill a Mockingbird | Harper Lee | USA | #44
2 | Rabbit, Run | John Updike | USA | #135
3 | Selected Stories of Lu Hsun | Lu Xun | China | collection | #439
4 | The Sot-Weed Factor | John Barth | USA | #518


Movies of 1960:
1 | À bout de souffle (Breathless) | Jean-Luc Godard | France | #16
2 | Psycho | Alfred Hitchcock | USA | #25
3 | La dolce vita (La Dolce Vita) | Federico Fellini | Italy | #29


Albums of 1960:
1 | Giant Steps | John Coltrane | USA | #343
2 | Sketches of Spain | Miles Davis | USA | #393
3 | Muddy Waters at Newport 1960 | Muddy Waters | USA | #748


Songs of 1960:
1 | Will You Love Me Tomorrow | The Shirelles | USA | #154
2 | Only the Lonely (Know the Way I Feel) | Roy Orbison | USA | #355
3 | Georgia on My Mind | Ray Charles | USA | #419

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1961

Post by Honorio » Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:20 pm

1961



Book of 1961 | Catch-22 | Joseph Heller | USA | all time #29
"Catch-22 is a satirical, historical fiction novel by the American author Joseph Heller, first published in 1961. The novel, set during the latter stages of the Second World War from 1943 onwards, follows Captain John Yossarian, a U.S. Army Air Forces B-25 bombardier, and a number of other characters. Many events in the book are repeatedly described from differing points of view, so the reader learns more about the event from each iteration. Furthermore, the events are referred to as if the reader already knows all about them. The pacing of Catch-22 is frenetic, its tenor intellectual, and its humor largely absurd, but interspersed with grisly moments of realism." (Publisher)

Movie of 1961 | Viridiana (Viridiana) | Luis Buñuel | Spain | Mexico | all time #64
"Banned in Spain and denounced by the Vatican, Luis Buñuel's irreverent vision of life as a beggar's banquet is regarded by many as his masterpiece. In it, novice nun Viridiana does her utmost to maintain her Catholic principles, but her lecherous uncle and a motley assemblage of paupers force her to confront the limits of her idealism. Winner of the Palme d’or at the 1961 Cannes Film Festival, Viridiana is as audacious today as ever." (The Criterion Collection)

Record of 1961 | Stand By Me | Ben E. King | USA | 45 rpm single | all time #70
"Stand By Me sounds like it wasn't written, that it just always existed — it wasn't heard until Ben E. King released it as a single in the spring of 1961. Of course, that isn't the case. King wrote the song with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller and it was released as the follow-up to Spanish Harlem. It had the same elegance, but there was a big difference. It was slower, statelier, anchored by one of the most memorable non-blues walking bass lines in history and King's warm, refined delivery. His performance is surrounded by a superb, subtle arrangement, where the majestic orchestra doesn't sweep in until the bridge where it cleverly disguises a key change." (Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music)


Books of 1961:
1 | Catch-22 | Joseph Heller | USA | #29
2 | The Stories of Anton Chekhov | Anton Chekhov | USA | Russia | collection | #32
3 | The Moviegoer | Walker Percy | USA | #127
4 | The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie | Muriel Spark | UK | #203


Movies of 1961:
1 | Viridiana (Viridiana) | Luis Buñuel | Spain | Mexico | #64
2 | L'année dernière à Marienbad (Last Year at Marienbad) | Alain Resnais | France | #94
3 | La notte (The Night) | Michelangelo Antonioni | Italy | #237


Albums of 1961:
1 | Sunday at the Village Vanguard | Bill Evans Trio featuring Scott La Faro | USA | #487
2 | Free Jazz | The Ornette Coleman Double Quartet | USA | #547
3 | The Blues and the Abstract Truth | Oliver Nelson | USA | #634


Songs of 1961:
1 | Stand By Me | Ben E. King | USA | #70
2 | Runaway | Del Shannon | USA | #222
3 | Crazy | Patsy Cline | USA | #225

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1962

Post by Honorio » Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:26 pm

1962



Movie of 1962 | Lawrence of Arabia | David Lean | UK | all time #36
"Like virtually all Hollywood films, it takes plenty of poetic license —oversimplifying the Middle East campaigns of World War I. As a shining example of a vanished breed of epic filmmaking, though, it can't be beat. The scene most admirers remember best —a near-dead Lawrence reemerging from the desert after risking his life to rescue a fallen comrade— is so long and minimal that no director in the age of Spielberg & Co. would dream of attempting it. In short, they don't make 'em like this one anymore. Viewing it is like taking a time machine to a movie age that was more naive than our own in some ways, more sophisticated and ambitious in others." (David Sterritt, The Christian Science Monitor)

Book of 1962 | Pale Fire | Vladimir Nabokov | USA | all time #74
"The American poet John Shade is dead. His last poem, Pale Fire, is put into a book, together with a preface, a lengthy commentary and notes by Shade's editor, Charles Kinbote. Known on campus as the 'Great Beaver', Kinbote is haughty, inquisitive, intolerant, but is he also mad, bad - and even dangerous? As his wildly eccentric annotations slide into the personal and the fantastical, Kinbote reveals perhaps more than he should be. Nabokov's darkly witty, richly inventive masterpiece is a suspenseful whodunit, a story of one-upmanship and dubious penmanship, and a glorious literary conundrum." (Publisher)

Record of 1962 | Green Onions | Booker T. and The MG's | USA | 45 rpm single | all time #127
"Green Onions is one of the most popular instrumental rock and soul songs ever. Instrumentals were very big in rock music when Green Onions came out, and many stuck to conventional, even boring, major-keyed R&B-based riffs. Green Onions was immediately distinctive and different for its ominous three-note riffs and minor-colored, constant key changes. It was a sweet-sour blend akin to the Green Onions of the title, but very tough and creepy as well, like a hypnotic prelude to a night of prowling for action in dark alleys. Booker T. & the MGs' instrumental talents really asserted themselves on this recording as well, particularly in Booker T. Jones's distinctive choked organ textures and skittering, economic single-note solos." (Richie Unterberger, All Music)


Books of 1962:
1 | Pale Fire | Vladimir Nabokov | USA | #74
2 | A Clockwork Orange | Anthony Burgess | UK | #119
3 | The Golden Notebook | Doris Lessing | UK | #132


Movies of 1962:
1 | Lawrence of Arabia | David Lean | UK | #36
2 | Jules et Jim (Jules and Jim) | François Truffaut | France | #84
3 | The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance | John Ford | USA | #90


Albums of 1962:
1 | Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music | Ray Charles | USA | #335
2 | Howlin' Wolf | Howlin' Wolf | USA | #518
3 | Waltz for Debby | Bill Evans Trio with Scott LaFaro, Paul Motian | USA | #733


Songs of 1962:
1 | Green Onions | Booker T. and The MG's | USA | #127
2 | You've Really Got a Hold on Me | The Miracles | USA | #480
3 | The Loco-Motion | Little Eva | USA | #516


Classical work of 1962 | War Requiem | Benjamin Britten | UK | #59

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1963

Post by Honorio » Sat Apr 13, 2019 5:23 pm

1963



Movie of 1963 | (8½) | Federico Fellini | Italy | all time #6
"If all you know about this exuberant, self-regarding 1963 film is based on its countless inferior imitations (from Paul Mazursky's Alex in Wonderland and The Pickle to Woody Allen's Stardust Memories to Bob Fosse's All That Jazz), you owe it to yourself to see Federico Fellini's exhilarating, stocktaking original, an expressionist, circuslike comedy about the complex mental and social life of a big-time filmmaker (Marcello Mastroianni) stuck for a subject and the busy world surrounding him. It's Fellini's last black-and-white picture and conceivably the most gorgeous and inventive thing he ever did —certainly more fun than anything he made after it." (Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader)

Record of 1963 | Be My Baby | The Ronettes | USA | 45 rpm single | all time #7
"Be My Baby was a massive influence on both The Beatles and The Beach Boys in terms of its sonic dynamics. Producer Phil Spector (who still earns a fortune in royalties from it each year) multi-layered the instruments and threw in all manner of advanced echo to get the fabled Wall of Sound effect on the track. When drummer Hal Blaine hit the bass drum three times followed by a snap on the snare in Los Angeles's Gold Star Studios in the summer of 1963, he was providing the intro to a song that changed everything. It is perhaps the most important two minutes and 41 seconds in pop music." (Brian Boys, Irish Times)

Book of 1963 | Rayuela (Hopscotch) | Julio Cortázar | Argentina | all time #434
"The story of two young writers whose lives are playing themselves out in Buenos Aires and Paris to the sounds of jazz and brilliant talk, Hopscotch, written in 1963, was the first hypertext novel. Anticipating the age of the web with a non-structure that allows readers to take the chapters in any order they wish, Hopscotch invites them to be the architects of the novel themselves. Soon after publication, the classic work took on a cult status it has never lost, and is celebrated worldwide as one of the greatest landmarks of 20th–Century fiction." (Publisher)


Books of 1963:
1 | Rayuela (Hopscotch) | Julio Cortázar | Argentina | #434
2 | The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath | UK | USA | #450
3 | Where the Wild Things Are | Maurice Sendak | USA | #493


Movies of 1963:
1 | 8½ (8½) | Federico Fellini | Italy | #6
2 | Le mépris (Contempt) | Jean-Luc Godard | France | #39
3 | Il gattopardo (The Leopard) | Luchino Visconti | Italy | #74


Albums of 1963:
1 | 'Live' at the Apollo | James Brown | USA | #44
2 | The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan | Bob Dylan | USA | #166
3 | With the Beatles/Meet the Beatles! | The Beatles | UK | #344


Songs of 1963:
1 | Be My Baby | The Ronettes | USA | #7
2 | Louie Louie | The Kingsmen | USA | #41
3 | I Want to Hold Your Hand | The Beatles | UK | #84

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1964

Post by Honorio » Sun Apr 14, 2019 5:31 pm

1964



Record of 1964 | You Really Got Me | The Kinks | UK | 45 rpm single | all time #28
"There are very few records whose influence can be so strongly felt after 55 years as the Kinks' You Really Got Me. It is the song that has been widely touted as the blueprint for hard rock and heavy metal, long before the likes of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin came along. And it is also a number that has been shrouded in rumours and controversy for more than five decades with regard to who actually played what, especially the jarring, distorted two‑chord riff that opens the track and continues behind the lead vocal, and the fierce, deliberately sloppy guitar solo that paved the way for punk rock." (Richard Buskin, Sound on Sound)

Movie of 1964 | Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb | Stanley Kubrick | UK | USA | all time #48
"Perhaps Kubrick's most perfectly realised film, simply because his cynical vision of the progress of technology and human stupidity is wedded with comedy, in this case Terry Southern's sparkling script in which the world comes to an end thanks to a mad US general's paranoia about women and commies. Sellers' three roles are something of an indulgent showcase, though as the tight-lipped RAF officer and the US president he gives excellent performances. Kubrick wanted to have the antics end up with a custard-pie finale, but thank heavens he didn't; the result is scary, hilarious, and nightmarishly beautiful, far more effective in its portrait of insanity and call for disarmament than any number of worthy anti-nuke documentaries." (Geoff Andrew, Time Out)

Book of 1964 | Herzog | Saul Bellow | USA | all time #266
"In one of his finest achievements, Saul Bellow presents a multifaceted portrait of a modern-day hero, a man struggling with the complexity of existence and longing for redemption. This is the story of Moses Herzog, a great sufferer, joker, mourner, and charmer. Although his life steadily disintegrates around him —he has failed as a writer and teacher, as a father, and has lost the affection of his wife to his best friends— Herzog sees himself as a survivor, both of his private disasters and those of the age. He writes unsent letters to friends and enemies, colleagues and famous people, revealing his wry perception of the world and the innermost secrets of his heart." (Publisher)


Books of 1964:
1 | Herzog | Saul Bellow | USA | #266
2 | Lunch Poems | Frank O'Hara | USA | #575
3 | Charlie and the Chocolate Factory | Roald Dahl | USA | UK | #740


Movies of 1964:
1 | Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb | Stanley Kubrick | UK | USA | #48
2 | Gertrud (Gertrud) | Carl Theodor Dreyer | Denmark | #87
3 | Il vangelo secondo Matteo (The Gospel According to St. Matthew) | Pier Paolo Pasolini | Italy | #145


Albums of 1964:
1 | A Hard Day's Night | The Beatles | UK | #206
2 | Out to Lunch! | Eric Dolphy | USA | #340
3 | Getz / Gilberto | Stan Getz & João Gilberto featuring Antônio Carlos Jobim | USA | USA/Brazil | #389


Songs of 1964:
1 | You Really Got Me | The Kinks | UK | #28
2 | A Change Is Gonna Come | Sam Cooke | USA | #40
3 | You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' | The Righteous Brothers | USA | #60

Note:
Not the Beatles neither the Stones. The first act that pushed a record of the year ahead of the movie and the book of the year for the very first time was the British band The Kinks with their landmark recording "You Really Got Me."

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1965

Post by Honorio » Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:34 pm

1965



Record of 1965 | Like a Rolling Stone | Bob Dylan | USA | 45 rpm single | 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)

Movie of 1965 | Pierrot le fou (Pierrot le Fou) | Jean-Luc Godard | France | all time #63
"Dissatisfied in marriage and life, Ferdinand (Belmondo) takes to the road with the babysitter, his ex-lover Marianne Renoir (Karina), and leaves the bourgeoisie behind. Yet this is no normal road trip: genius auteur Jean-Luc Godard's tenth feature in six years is a stylish mash-up of consumerist satire, politics, and comic-book aesthetics, as well as a violent, zigzag tale of, as Godard called them, "the last romantic couple." With blissful color imagery by cinematographer Raoul Coutard and Belmondo and Karina at their most animated, Pierrot le Fou is one of the high points of the French New Wave, and was Godard's last frolic before he moved ever further into radical cinema." (The Criterion Collection)

Book of 1965 | Dune | Frank Herbert | USA | all time #212
"Frank Herbert's classic masterpiece —a triumph of the imagination and one of the bestselling science fiction novels of all time— nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read. Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, heir to a noble family tasked with ruling an inhospitable world where the only thing of value is the "spice" melange, a drug capable of extending life and enhancing consciousness. Coveted across the known universe, melange is a prize worth killing for…. A stunning blend of adventure and mysticism, environmentalism and politics, Dune formed the basis of what is undoubtedly the grandest epic in science fiction." (Publisher)


Books of 1965:
1 | Dune | Frank Herbert | USA | #212
2 | The Magus | John Fowles | UK | #788
3 | At Play in the Fields of the Lord | Peter Matthiessen | USA | #1225


Movies of 1965:
1 | Pierrot le fou (Pierrot le Fou) | Jean-Luc Godard | France | #63
2 | Campanadas a medianoche (Chimes at Midnight) | Orson Welles | Spain | USA | #159
3 | The Sound of Music | Robert Wise | USA | #439


Albums of 1965:
1 | Highway 61 Revisited | Bob Dylan | USA | #11
2 | Rubber Soul | The Beatles | UK | #31
3 | A Love Supreme | John Coltrane | USA | #61


Songs of 1965:
1 | Like a Rolling Stone | Bob Dylan | USA | #1
2 | (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction | The Rolling Stones | USA | UK | #5
3 | My Generation | The Who | UK | #10


Classical work of 1965 | Misa Criolla | Ariel Ramírez | Argentina | #99

Note:
So we have the #1 song of all-time, Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone," in a excellent year for songs, with the other 2 songs on the Top 3 ("Satisfaction" and "My Generation") on the Top 10 of all-time.

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1966

Post by Honorio » Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:25 pm

1966



Record of 1966 | Pet Sounds | The Beach Boys | USA | album (vinyl LP) | 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)

Movie of 1966 | Persona (Persona) | Ingmar Bergman | Sweden | all time #19
"Bergman at his most brilliant as he explores the symbiotic relationship that evolves between an actress suffering a breakdown in which she refuses to speak, and the nurse in charge as she recuperates in a country cottage. To comment is to betray the film's extraordinary complexity, but basically it returns to two favourite Bergman themes: the difficulty of true communication between human beings, and the essentially egocentric nature of art. Then comes the weird moment of communion in which the two women merge as one: charlatan or not, the artist can still be understood, and can therefore still understand. Not an easy film, but an infinitely rewarding one." (Tom Milne, Time Out)

Book of 1966 | Wide Sargasso Sea | Jean Rhys | UK (Dominica) | all time #183
"Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea is her grand attempt to tell what she felt was the story of Jane Eyre's 'madwoman in the attic', Bertha Rochester. Born into the oppressive, colonialist society of 1930s Jamaica, white Creole heiress Antoinette Cosway meets a young Englishman who is drawn to her innocent beauty and sensuality. After their marriage, however, disturbing rumours begin to circulate which poison her husband against her. Caught between his demands and her own precarious sense of belonging, Antoinette is inexorably driven towards madness, and her husband into the arms of another novel's heroine. This classic study of betrayal, a seminal work of postcolonial literature, is Jean Rhys's brief, beautiful masterpiece." (Publisher)


Books of 1966:
1 | Wide Sargasso Sea | Jean Rhys | UK (Dominica) | #183
2 | Mawsim al-Hijrah ilâ al-Shamâl (Season of Migration to the North) | Tayeb Salih | Sudan | #463
3 | Últimas tardes con Teresa (Last Evenings with Teresa) | Juan Marsé | Spain | #630


Movies of 1966:
1 | Persona (Persona) | Ingmar Bergman | Sweden | #19
2 | Andrey Rublev (Andrei Rublev) | Andrey Tarkovskiy | USSR | #27
3 | Au hasard Balthazar (Au Hasard Balthazar) | Robert Bresson | France | #32


Albums of 1966:
1 | Pet Sounds | The Beach Boys | USA | #1
2 | Revolver | The Beatles | UK | #2
3 | Blonde on Blonde | Bob Dylan | USA | #10


Songs of 1966:
1 | Good Vibrations | The Beach Boys | USA | #4
2 | God Only Knows | The Beach Boys | USA | #20
3 | River Deep — Mountain High | Ike & Tina Turner | USA | #57

Note:
If last year we had we had the #1 song of all-time and the other two songs on the Top 3 on the Top 10 of all-time this year is the time for albums, with the #1 album of all time (The Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds"), the #2 (The Beatles' "Revolver") and the #10 (Bob Dylan's "Blonde on Blonde"). No other year will be even close to this outstanding feature on the following years.

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1967

Post by Honorio » Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:35 pm

1967



Record of 1967 | A Day in the Life | The Beatles | UK | album track | all time #3
"A Day in the Life is my idea of a perfect song. It is the epitome of The Beatles' master building, of fitting stone upon stone, each section troweled together with such ingenuity and care that upon completion the whole thing feels seamless, a structure not built at all, but a whole that simply was. It's an elaborate production, filled with sophisticated George Martin and Geoff Emerick musical trickery (distortion, echo, dubbing, reverb). An orchestra plays, and then one singer's voice gives way to another's —John’s worldly reflections transitioning to Paul’s sketch of domestic memoir, and then back again— before orchestral cataclysm and a final resting place. A Day in the Life created the understanding that musicians could be as ambitious about the content of rock songs as other artists were in mediums like literature and painting." (Nicholas Dawidoff, The Atlantic)

Book of 1967 | Cien años de soledad (One Hundred Years of Solitude) | Gabriel García Márquez | Argentina | Colombia | all time #9
"The novel tells the story of the rise and fall of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendía family. It is a rich and brilliant chronicle of life and death, and the tragicomedy of humankind. In the noble, ridiculous, beautiful, and tawdry story of the Buendía family, one sees all of humanity, just as in the history, myths, growth, and decay of Macondo, one sees all of Latin America. Love and lust, war and revolution, riches and poverty, youth and senility —the variety of life, the endlessness of death, the search for peace and truth— these universal themes dominate the novel. Whether he is describing an affair of passion or the voracity of capitalism and the corruption of government, Gabriel García Márquez always writes with the simplicity, ease, and purity that are the mark of a master." (Publisher)

Movie of 1967 | Playtime (Playtime) | Jacques Tati | France | all time #46
"Jacques Tati's gloriously choreographed, nearly wordless comedies about confusion in the age of technology reached their creative apex with Playtime. For this monumental achievement, a nearly three-year-long, bank-breaking production, Tati again thrust the endearingly clumsy, resolutely old-fashioned Monsieur Hulot, along with a host of other lost souls, into a bafflingly modernist Paris. With every inch of its superwide frame crammed with hilarity and inventiveness, Playtime is a lasting testament to a modern age tiptoeing on the edge of oblivion." (The Criterion Collection)


Books of 1967:
1 | Cien años de soledad (One Hundred Years of Solitude) | Gabriel García Márquez | Argentina | Colombia | #9
2 | Master i Margarita (The Master and Margarita) | Mikhail Bulgakov | France | USSR | #117
3 | Tres tristes tigres (Three Trapped Tigers) | Guillermo Cabrera Infante | Spain | Cuba | #596


Movies of 1967:
1 | Playtime (Playtime) | Jacques Tati | France | #46
2 | Mouchette (Mouchette) | Robert Bresson | France | #168
3 | Belle de jour (Belle de Jour) | Luis Bunuel | France | Mexico | #185


Albums of 1967:
1 | The Velvet Underground & Nico | The Velvet Underground & Nico | USA | #4
2 | Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band | The Beatles | UK | #5
3 | Are You Experienced | The Jimi Hendrix Experience | UK | USA/UK | #14


Songs of 1967:
1 | A Day in the Life | The Beatles | UK | #3
2 | Respect | Aretha Franklin | USA | #11
3 | Strawberry Fields Forever | The Beatles | UK | #16

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1968

Post by Honorio » Thu Apr 18, 2019 4:25 pm

1968



Movie of 1968 | 2001: A Space Odyssey | Stanley Kubrick | UK | USA | all time #3
"The genius is not in how much Stanley Kubrick does in 2001: A Space Odyssey, but in how little. This is the work of an artist so sublimely confident that he doesn't include a single shot simply to keep our attention. He reduces each scene to its essence, and leaves it on screen long enough for us to contemplate it, to inhabit it in our imaginations. Alone among science-fiction movies, 2001 is not concerned with thrilling us, but with inspiring our awe. 2001 does not hook its effects on specific plot points, nor does it ask us to identify with Dave Bowman or any other character. It says to us: We became men when we learned to think. Our minds have given us the tools to understand where we live and who we are. Now it is time to move on to the next step, to know that we live not on a planet but among the stars, and that we are not flesh but intelligence." (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

Record of 1968 | I Heard It Through the Grapevine | Marvin Gaye | USA | 45 rpm single | all time #8
"Marvin Gaye's I Heard It Through the Grapevine is Motown's greatest record —really, what's better? Even obscured by years of oldies radio overkill and Big Chill nostalgia it retains a hypnotic power unmatched by any of the label's other classics, articulating the turmoil and anguish of a soul torn apart at the seams with a clarity unmatched in the annals of popular music. On its surface a desperate plea to salvage a relationship gone terribly wrong, Grapevine progressively probes much deeper to convey complete emotional free-fall: haunted by lies, taunted by gossip and shattered by loss, Gaye's torment is palpable, and his performance —the signature sophistication and elegance of his voice ravaged by fear and doubt— is devastating." (Jason Ankeny, All Music)

Book of 1968 | 2001: A Space Odyssey | Arthur C. Clarke | UK | all time #347
"The classic science fiction novel that captures and expands on the vision of Stanley Kubrick's immortal film —and changed the way we look at the stars and ourselves. This allegory about humanity's exploration of the universe —and the universe's reaction to humanity— is a hallmark achievement in storytelling that follows the crew of the spacecraft Discovery as they embark on a mission to Saturn. Their vessel is controlled by HAL 9000, an artificially intelligent supercomputer capable of the highest level of cognitive functioning that rivals —and perhaps threatens— the human mind. Grappling with space exploration, the perils of technology, and the limits of human power, 2001: A Space Odyssey continues to be an enduring classic." (Publisher)


Books of 1968:
1 | 2001: A Space Odyssey | Arthur C. Clarke | UK | #347
2 | La traición de Rita Hayworth (Betrayed by Rita Hayworth) | Manuel Puig | Argentina | #567
3 | Body Rags | Galway Kinnell | USA | #723


Movies of 1968:
1 | 2001: A Space Odyssey | Stanley Kubrick | UK | USA | #3
2 | C'era una volta il West (Once Upon a Time in the West) | Sergio Leone | Italy | #65
3 | Rosemary's Baby | Roman Polanski | USA | Poland | #140


Albums of 1968:
1 | The Beatles | The Beatles | UK | #13
2 | Astral Weeks | Van Morrison | USA | UK | #15
3 | Electric Ladyland | The Jimi Hendrix Experience | USA | USA/UK | #26


Songs of 1968:
1 | I Heard It Through the Grapevine | Marvin Gaye | USA | #8
2 | Sympathy for the Devil | The Rolling Stones | UK | #14
3 | (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay | Otis Redding | USA | #22

Note:
The only case of book and movie of the year sharing title and argument. In fact both the book and the film's screenplay were developed concurrently by Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick based on previous short stories written by Clarke, especially "The Sentinel" (1951) and "Encounter in the Dawn" (1953). According to Wikipedia, "Clarke and Kubrick worked on the book together, but eventually only Clarke ended up as the official author." The novel was published soon after the film was released.

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1969

Post by Honorio » Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:09 pm

1969



Record of 1969 | Abbey Road | The Beatles | UK | album (vinyl LP) | all time #20
"No, it's not as poppy and fun as A Hard Day's Night. Sure, there might be a stronger tune on The Beatles. And yes, you can argue that Harrison's best work is actually While My Guitar Gently Weeps (no, it's not). But there isn't a collective work by The Beatles, and probably any act out there, that is this perfect, this cohesive, and this iconic and lasting. How many times have we heard Sun King today in any indie act's debut? Where would shoegaze be without I Want You (She's So Heavy)? How many secret tracks do we find on a weekly basis? Like it or not, scoff or smile, Abbey Road is hands down the greatest piece of musical work on this godforsaken planet, and you know what, it actually makes us look like decent human beings. Hey, in the end, the love you make is equal to the love you take. Or, wait…" (Michael Roffman, Consequence of Sound)

Movie of 1969 | The Wild Bunch | Sam Peckinpah | USA | all time #66
"Sam Peckinpah's notorious western depicted an outlaw gang, made obsolete by encroaching civilization, in its last burst of violent, ambiguous glory. By 1969, when the film was made, the western was experiencing its last burst as well, and in retrospect Peckinpah's film seems a eulogy for the genre (there is even a dispassionate audience —Robert Ryan's watchful Pinkerton man— built into the film). The on-screen carnage established a new level in American movies, but few of the films that followed in its wake could duplicate Peckinpah's depth of feeling." (Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader)

Book of 1969 | Slaughterhouse-Five | Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. | USA | all time #104
"Slaughterhouse-Five, an American classic, is one of the world's great anti-war books. Centering on the infamous World War II firebombing of Dresden, the novel is the result of what Kurt Vonnegut described as a twenty-three-year struggle to write a book about what he had witnessed as an American prisoner of war. An instant bestseller, Slaughterhouse-Five made Kurt Vonnegut a cult hero in American literature, a reputation that only strengthened over time, despite his being banned and censored by some libraries and schools for content and language. But it was precisely those elements of Vonnegut's writing —the political edginess, the genre-bending inventiveness, the frank violence, the transgressive wit— that have inspired generations of readers not just to look differently at the world around them but to find the confidence to say something about it." (Publisher)


Books of 1969:
1 | Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death | Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. | USA | #104
2 | The Poetry of Robert Frost | Robert Frost | USA | collection | #155
3 | Portnoy's Complaint | Philip Roth | USA | #418
4 | The Godfather | Mario Puzo | USA | #530


Movies of 1969:
1 | The Wild Bunch | Sam Peckinpah | USA | #66
2 | Kes | Ken Loach | UK | #196
3 | Sayat Nova (The Color of Pomegranates) | Sergei Parajanov | USSR | #233


Albums of 1969:
1 | Abbey Road | The Beatles | UK | #20
2 | Let It Bleed | The Rolling Stones | USA | UK | #41
3 | The Band | The Band | USA | USA/Canada | #57


Songs of 1969:
1 | Gimmie Shelter | The Rolling Stones | UK | #33
2 | I Want You Back | The Jackson 5 | USA | #47
3 | Whole Lotta Love | Led Zeppelin | USA | UK | #48

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The 1960s

Post by Honorio » Sat Apr 20, 2019 5:01 pm

The 1960s



Records of the 1960s:
- Album of the 1960s | 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 1960s | 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)

Movie of the 1960s | 2001: A Space Odyssey | Stanley Kubrick | UK | USA | 1968 | all time #3
"The genius is not in how much Stanley Kubrick does in 2001: A Space Odyssey, but in how little. This is the work of an artist so sublimely confident that he doesn't include a single shot simply to keep our attention. He reduces each scene to its essence, and leaves it on screen long enough for us to contemplate it, to inhabit it in our imaginations. Alone among science-fiction movies, 2001 is not concerned with thrilling us, but with inspiring our awe. 2001 does not hook its effects on specific plot points, nor does it ask us to identify with Dave Bowman or any other character. It says to us: We became men when we learned to think. Our minds have given us the tools to understand where we live and who we are. Now it is time to move on to the next step, to know that we live not on a planet but among the stars, and that we are not flesh but intelligence." (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

Book of the 1960s | Cien años de soledad (One Hundred Years of Solitude) | Gabriel García Márquez | Argentina | Colombia | 1967 | all time #9
"The novel tells the story of the rise and fall of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendía family. It is a rich and brilliant chronicle of life and death, and the tragicomedy of humankind. In the noble, ridiculous, beautiful, and tawdry story of the Buendía family, one sees all of humanity, just as in the history, myths, growth, and decay of Macondo, one sees all of Latin America. Love and lust, war and revolution, riches and poverty, youth and senility —the variety of life, the endlessness of death, the search for peace and truth— these universal themes dominate the novel. Whether he is describing an affair of passion or the voracity of capitalism and the corruption of government, Gabriel García Márquez always writes with the simplicity, ease, and purity that are the mark of a master." (Publisher)


Books of the 1960s:
1 | Cien años de soledad (One Hundred Years of Solitude) | Gabriel García Márquez | Argentina | Colombia | 1967 | #9
2 | Catch-22 | Joseph Heller | USA | 1961 | #29
3 | The Stories of Anton Chekhov | Anton Chekhov | USA | Russia | 1961 | collection | #32
4 | To Kill a Mockingbird | Harper Lee | USA | 1960 | #44
5 | Pale Fire | Vladimir Nabokov | USA | 1962 | #74
6 | Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death | Kurt Vonnegut | USA | 1969 | #104


Movies of the 1960s:
1 | 2001: A Space Odyssey | Stanley Kubrick | UK | USA | 1968 | #3
2 | 8½ (8½) | Federico Fellini | Italy | 1963 | #6
3 | À bout de souffle (Breathless) | Jean-Luc Godard | France | 1960 | #16
4 | Persona (Persona) | Ingmar Bergman | Sweden | 1966 | #19
5 | Psycho | Alfred Hitchcock | USA | 1960 | #25


Albums of the 1960s:
1 | Pet Sounds | The Beach Boys | USA | 1966 | #1
2 | Revolver | The Beatles | UK | 1966 | #2
3 | The Velvet Underground & Nico | The Velvet Underground & Nico | USA | 1967 | #4
4 | Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band | The Beatles | UK | 1967 | #5
5 | Blonde on Blonde | Bob Dylan | USA | 1966 |#10


Songs of the 1960s:
1 | Like a Rolling Stone | Bob Dylan | USA | 1965 | #1
2 | A Day in the Life | The Beatles | UK | 1967 | #3
3 | Good Vibrations | The Beach Boys | USA | 1966 | #4
4 | (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction | The Rolling Stones | USA | UK | 1965 | #5
5 | Be My Baby | The Ronettes | USA | 1963 | #7


Classical works of the 1960s:
1 | War Requiem | Benjamin Britten | UK | 1962 | #59
2 | Misa Criolla | Ariel Ramírez | Argentina | 1965 |#99

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1970

Post by Honorio » Sun Apr 21, 2019 6:51 pm

1970



Record of 1970 | After the Gold Rush | Neil Young | USA | Canada | album (vinyl LP) | all time #53
"Since coming to California from his native Toronto, Neil Young had joined Buffalo Springfield and seen the band break up; teamed with Crosby, Stills and Nash for the massive Déjà Vu album; and released a few discs of his own. The mysterious, elusive After the Gold Rush represents the morning after the mayhem, both personal and cultural — the sound of Young waking up with a post-'60s hangover, catching his breath, and trying to sort through the wreckage. The cryptic title song and "Southern Man" are the tracks familiar to casual fans, but only Neil Young could have written the chilling "Don't Let It Bring You Down" or the homespun "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" — much less both on the same album." (Alan Light, TIME)

Movie of 1970 | Il conformista (The Conformist) | Bernardo Bertolucci | Italy | all time #83
"The Conformist, still a testimony to the erstwhile panache of international cinema, is Bertolucci's masterpiece —made when he was all of 29. Fleshing out novelist Alberto Moravia's shadow-box between political compliance and personal shame, Bertolucci created the most arresting mise-en-scène ever concocted for any movie, set entirely in rainy city afternoons and indigo evenings. Overt and covert narratives aside, The Conformist is also an orgasm of coolness, ravishing compositions, camera gymnastics (the frame virtually squirms around, like Marcello), and atmospheric resonance. The actors vogue, Vittorio Storaro's lens makes every street and room baroque, the Roman streets burn with gaslight, the dancehall bursts, the unforgettable Alpine roads lead to death and catastrophe." (Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice)

Book of 1970 | Time and Again | Jack Finney | USA | all time #528
"When advertising artist Si Morley is recruited to join a covert government operation exploring the possibility of time travel, he jumps at the chance to leave his twentieth-century existence and step into New York City in January 1882. Aside from his thirst for experience, he has good reason to return to the past —his friend Kate has a curious, half-burned letter dated from that year, and he wants to trace the mystery. But when Si begins to fall in love with a woman he meets in the past, he will be forced to choose between two worlds —forever. Praised as "pure New York fun" by Alice Hoffman, Time and Again is admired for its rich, painstakingly researched descriptions of life in New York City more than a century ago, and for the swift adventure at its core." (Publisher)


Books of 1970:
1 | Time and Again | Jack Finney | USA | #528
2 | Selected Poems | Pablo Neruda | UK | Chile | collection | #587
3 | Fifth Business | Robertson Davies | Canada | #604
4 | Jahrestage: Aus dem Leben von Gesine Cresspahl (Anniversaries: From a Year in the Life of Gesine Cresspahl) | Uwe Johnson | West Germany | #648


Movies of 1970:
1 | Il conformista (The Conformist) | Bernardo Bertolucci | Italy | #83
2 | Performance | Nicolas Roeg/Donald Cammell | UK | #204
3 | Husbands | John Cassavetes | USA | #280


Albums of 1970:
1 | After the Gold Rush | Neil Young | USA | Canada | #53
2 | John Lennon / Plastic Ono Band | John Lennon / Plastic Ono Band | UK | #71
3 | Bitches Brew | Miles Davis | USA | #82


Songs of 1970:
1 | Layla | Derek and The Dominos | USA | UK/USA | #66
2 | Get Up I Feel Like Being a Sex Machine (Parts 1 & 2) | James Brown | USA | #105
3 | Paranoid | Black Sabbath | UK | #116

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1971

Post by Honorio » Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:08 pm

1971



Record of 1971 | What's Going On | Marvin Gaye | USA | album (vinyl LP) | all time #7
"It was a record that spoke about the state of the nation, about the war in Vietnam. The album was the voice of youth at the time, the early Seventies, saying leave us alone, we don't want all that craziness — give us something positive. It's a timeless record — Marvin's masterpiece. It helped that he could call on such a great team —they used to say you could record "Mary Had a Little Lamb" at Motown and have a hit because the producers, arrangers and musicians there were so fabulous; people like James Jamerson, the bassist— these are the all-time greats. But Marvin co-wrote the songs and he was all over the record: dictating the way it should sound, whispering in the ear of the guitarist, telling him how to play something. He made very tasteful use of the arrangements." (George Benson, The Observer)

Movie of 1971 | A Clockwork Orange | Stanley Kubrick | UK | USA | all time #79
"One of the great criticisms heaped against A Clockwork Orange is that Stanley Kubrick glorifies a certain kind of amoral violence, presenting it to the viewer in a spectacular, operatic, colorful, and exquisitely photographed manner. Malcolm McDowell, at the top of his game as Alex the thug, gleefully narrates his way through the ultra-violence his character commits in the first third of the movie. It's Kubrick's most prescient work, more astute and unsparing than any of his other films (and he had more where that came from) in putting the bleakest parts of human behavior under the microscope and laughing in disgust. It was made right after his other high watermark, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and as he returns to Earth from his mind-blowing brush with the cosmic, it's a sort of sequel about our planet rotting away from the inside." (Jeremiah Kipp, Slant Magazine)

Book of 1971 | Rabbit Redux | John Updike | USA | all time #221
"In this sequel to Rabbit, Run, John Updike resumes the spiritual quest of his anxious Everyman, Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom. Ten years have passed; the impulsive former athlete has become a paunchy thirty-six-year-old conservative, and Eisenhower's becalmed America has become 1969's lurid turmoil of technology, fantasy, drugs, and violence. Rabbit is abandoned by his family, his home invaded by a runaway and a radical, his past reduced to a ruined inner landscape; still he clings to semblances of decency and responsibility, and yearns to belong and to believe. "A superb performance, all grace and dazzle, a brilliant portrait of middle America." (Life)" (Publisher)


Books of 1971:
1 | The Complete Stories | Franz Kafka | USA | Czechoslovakia | collection | #51
2 | The Complete Stories | Flannery O'Connor | USA | collection | #102
3 | Rabbit Redux | John Updike | USA | #221
4 | Angle of Repose | Wallace Stegner | USA | #845
5 | Ávgust Četýrnadcatogo (August 1914) | Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn | USSR | #882


Movies of 1971:
1 | A Clockwork Orange | Stanley Kubrick | UK | USA | #79
2 | Morte a Venezia (Death in Venice) | Luchino Visconti | Italy | #182
3 | McCabe & Mrs. Miller | Robert Altman | USA | #225


Albums of 1971:
1 | What's Going On | Marvin Gaye | USA | #7
2 | Led Zeppelin IV | Led Zeppelin | UK | #28
3 | Who's Next | The Who | USA | UK | #32


Songs of 1971:
1 | What's Going On | Marvin Gaye | USA | #9
2 | Stairway to Heaven | Led Zeppelin | UK | #21
3 | Imagine | John Lennon | USA | UK | #23

Note:
This year was the second year in which the song of the year came from the album of the year (we will have 11 more cases) and it was the first case of the title track of the album of the year became song of the year (we will have two more cases, both on the 1970s decade).

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1972

Post by Honorio » Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:41 pm

1972



Movie of 1972 | The Godfather | Francis Ford Coppola | USA | 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)

Record of 1972 | Exile on Main St. | The Rolling Stones | UK | album (double vinyl LP) | all time #9
"Whether Exile on Main Street is the best rock 'n' roll album of all time is open to debate, but its status as the greatest rock 'n' roll rock 'n' roll album ever made should forever go unchallenged. Famously recorded by The Rolling Stones and whoever else was hanging out in the basement of Keith Richards' 16-room mansion in southern France over the course of a sweltering summer in 1971, Exile was created amid a never-ending drug-and-booze-addled house party that somehow enhanced rather than diminished the band's creative process. Even more incredibly, the most focused and lucid Stone at the time was none other than Richards, who piloted the sessions and made his obsession with gritty American roots music the record's dominant aesthetic." (Steven Hyden, AV Club)

Book of 1972 | Watership Down | Richard Adams | UK | all time #341
"This stirring tale of courage and survival against the odds has become one of the best-loved animal adventures of all time. "We've got to go away before it's too late." Fiver could sense danger. Something terrible was going to happen to the warren - he felt sure of it. So did his brother Hazel, for Fiver's sixth sense was never wrong. They had to leave immediately, and they had to persuade the other rabbits to join them. And so begins a long and perilous journey of a small band of rabbits in search of a safe home. Fiver's vision finally leads them to Watership Down, but here they face their most difficult challenge of all… "Watership Down is an epic journey, a stirring tale of adventure, courage and survival against the odds." (Life)" (Publisher)


Books of 1972:
1 | Watership Down | Richard Adams | UK | #341
2 | Le città invisibili (Invisible Cities) | Italo Calvino | Italy | #525
3 | The Manticore | Robertson Davies | Canada | #605


Movies of 1972:
1 | The Godfather | Francis Ford Coppola | USA | #7
2 | Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes (Aguirre, the Wrath of God) | Werner Herzog | West Germany | #98
3 | Viskningar och rop (Cries and Whispers) | Ingmar Bergman | Sweden | #156


Albums of 1972:
1 | Exile on Main St. | The Rolling Stones | UK | #9
2 | The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars | David Bowie | UK | #16
3 | Transformer | Lou Reed | USA | #84


Songs of 1972:
1 | Superstition | Stevie Wonder | USA | #34
2 | Walk on the Wild Side | Lou Reed | USA | #52
3 | Virginia Plain | Roxy Music | UK | #165

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1973

Post by Honorio » Wed Apr 24, 2019 5:56 pm

1973



Record of 1973 | The Dark Side of the Moon | Pink Floyd | UK | album (vinyl LP) | all time #19
"Syd Barrett's descent into insanity and departure from the group informed just about everything they wrote about in some form or another. On Dark Side of the Moon, it's most glaring on the penultimate song “Brain Damage”, which explores the feeling of isolation and disconnect from society, as well as the fear of insanity. In fact, in its purest form, Dark Side of the Moon is an album about fear: the fear of death, the fear of hypocrisy, the fear losing one's self, and the fear of insanity. It's also the album where Pink Floyd learned how to write a single that didn't sacrifice their artistic ideals. Take "Time" as an example, a track that relays the fear of mortality and monotony over music so damn compelling that it doubles as something to be analyzed and something to be experienced." (Kyle Kersey, SoundBlab)

Movie of 1973 | Amarcord (Amarcord) | Federico Fellini | Italy | all time #70
"If ever there was a movie made entirely out of nostalgia and joy, by a filmmaker at the heedless height of his powers, that movie is Federico Fellini's Amarcord. The title means "I remember" in the dialect of Rimini, the seaside town of his youth, but these are memories of memories, transformed by affection and fantasy and much improved in the telling. Here he gathers the legends of his youth, where all of the characters are at once larger and smaller than life — flamboyant players on their own stages. All of his films are autobiographical in one way or another —feeding off of his life, his fantasies, his earlier films— and from them a composite figure takes shape. Amarcord is Fellini's final great film." (Roger Ebert, Roger Ebert.com)

Book of 1973 | Gravity's Rainbow | Thomas Pynchon | USA | all time #304
""A screaming comes across the sky…" A few months after the Germans' secret V-2 rocket bombs begin falling on London, British Intelligence discovers that a map of the city pinpointing the sexual conquests of one Lieutenant Tyrone Slothrop, U.S. Army, corresponds identically to a map showing the V-2 impact sites. The implications of this discovery will launch Slothrop on an amazing journey across war-torn Europe, fleeing an international cabal of military-industrial superpowers, in search of the mysterious Rocket 00000, through a wildly comic extravaganza that has been hailed in The New Republic as "the most profound and accomplished American novel since the end of World War II." (Publisher)


Books of 1973:
1 | Gravity's Rainbow | Thomas Pynchon | USA | #304
2 | Crash | J. G. Ballard | UK | #376
3 | Breakfast of Champions | Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. | USA | #455


Movies of 1973:
1 | Amarcord (Amarcord) | Federico Fellini | Italy | all time #70
2 | La maman et la putain (The Mother and the Whore) | Jean Eustache | France | #108
3 | El espíritu de la colmena (The Spirit of the Beehive) | Víctor Erice | Spain | #113


Albums of 1973:
1 | The Dark Side of the Moon | Pink Floyd | UK | #19
2 | Innervisions | Stevie Wonder | USA | #46
3 | Raw Power | Iggy and The Stooges | USA | #99


Songs of 1973:
1 | Search and Destroy | Iggy and The Stooges | USA | #180
2 | Living for the City | Stevie Wonder | USA | #260
3 | Free Bird | Lynyrd Skynyrd | USA | #275

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1974

Post by Honorio » Thu Apr 25, 2019 6:51 pm

1974



Movie of 1974 | The Godfather: Part II | Francis Ford Coppola | USA | all time #22
"Coppola's superior sequel to his own very fine Mafia epic extends the original film's timeframe both backwards (to Vito Corleone's arrival and struggles to get by in New York at the start of the 20th century) and forwards (to his son Michael's ruthless protection of his own power as capo during a post-war period of expanded influence into Vegas, Cuba and elsewhere). The performances, Gordon Willis' memorably gloomy camerawork, the stately pace and the sheer scale of the story's sweep render everything engrossing and so, well, plausible that our ideas of organised crime in America will forever be marked by this movie." (Geoff Andrew, Time Out)

Record of 1974 | No Woman, No Cry | Bob Marley & The Wailers | Jamaica | album track | all time #132
"Bob Marley was a man of peace and despite the cool embrace of sadness in No Woman No Cry there is an overwhelming positive message within. It is not just in the repetition in where Marley flatly states "everything's going to be alright," but also in every verse. For in every verse there is this constant remembrance of community; the good people we meet; the making of fire lights; the cooking of cornmeal porridge and the sharing thereof. It is a beautiful sentiment, that together, with cooperation and friendship the only natural outcome is a great future. It is both incredibly uplifting and optimistic." (King of Braves, Music in Review)

Book of 1974 | The Killer Angels | Michael Shaara | USA | all time #265
"In the four most bloody and courageous days of our nation's history, two armies fought for two dreams. One dreamed of freedom, the other of a way of life. Far more than rifles and bullets were carried into battle. There were memories. There were promises. There was love. And far more than men fell on those Pennsylvania fields. Shattered futures, forgotten innocence, and crippled beauty were also the casualties of war. The Killer Angels, Michael Shaara’s Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece, is unique, sweeping, unforgettable — a dramatic re-creation of the battleground for America's destiny." (Publisher)


Books of 1974:
1 | The Killer Angels | Michael Shaara | USA | #265
2 | La storia (History) | Elsa Morante | Italy | #361
3 | Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy | John le Carré | UK | #620


Movies of 1974:
1 | The Godfather: Part II | Francis Ford Coppola | USA | #22
2 | Chinatown | Roman Polanski | USA | Poland | #50
3 | A Woman Under the Influence | John Cassavetes | USA | #97


Albums of 1974:
1 | Natty Dread | Bob Marley & The Wailers | Jamaica | #162
2 | Grievous Angel | Gram Parsons | USA | #210
3 | Court and Spark | Joni Mitchell | USA | Canada | #213


Songs of 1974:
1 | No Woman, No Cry | Bob Marley & The Wailers | Jamaica | #132
2 | Autobahn | Kraftwerk | West Germany | #190
3 | Sweet Home Alabama | Lynyrd Skynyrd | USA | #285

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1975

Post by Honorio » Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:33 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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1976

Post by Honorio » Sat Apr 27, 2019 5:15 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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1977

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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1978

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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1979

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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The 1970s

Post by Honorio » Wed May 01, 2019 4:44 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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1980

Post by Honorio » Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:55 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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1981

Post by Honorio » Sun Jun 02, 2019 6:45 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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1982

Post by Honorio » Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:52 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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1983

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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1984

Post by Honorio » Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:23 pm

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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1985

Post by Honorio » Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:55 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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1986

Post by Honorio » Fri Jun 07, 2019 5:53 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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1987

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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1988

Post by Honorio » Sun Jun 09, 2019 4:19 pm

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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Honorio
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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:20 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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