Sunday, February 10, 2008

33 1/3

Now I don´t know about you, but I always like to read about my favorite albums. And that´s exactly where the 33 1/3 series comes in. A few years ago Continuum Books started to publish these small, handsome books about classic albums, and until now they´ve released the staggering amount of 55 different tomes. No mean feat. I haven´t collected all of them yet, but I guess I´ll end up buying the lot (ok, except for the Abba, Celine Dion and Guns & Roses ones). Which probably means the publisher and I have slightly different opinions on the definition of what makes a classic album, but I´ve got a hunch these titles ultimately just shift more units than Beefheart´s Trout Mask Replica or Throbbing Gristle´s 20 Funk Jazz Greats.

From the ones I´ve read, most are illuminating, in-depth studies with loads of background info that can even make you listen to a long loved album in a different way. I can particularly recommend the books on Court And Spark (Joni Mitchell), Daydream Nation (Sonic Youth), Endtroducing..... (DJ Shadow), In The Aeroplane Over The Sea (Neutral Milk Hotel), Exile On Main St. (Rolling Stones, written by Bill Janovitz of Buffalo Tom fame btw), Forever Changes (Love) and Double Nickels On The Dime (Minutemen). Only Sign ´O´ The Times (Prince) proved dissapointingly shallow, so avoid that one. London Calling (The Clash) and Horses (Patti Smith) are in the works, while the next installment in the series will be Mountain Goats´ mastermind John Darnielle dissecting none other than Master Of Reality by Black Sabbath.

Neutral Milk Hotel - In The Aeroplane Over The Sea MP3
Rolling Stones - Hillside Blues (Exile On Main St. outtake) MP3
DJ Shadow - What Does Your Soul Look Like (Part 4) MP3
Joni Mitchell - Free Man In Paris MP3
Sonic Youth - Teenage Riot MP3
Minutemen - History Lesson - Part II MP3
Love - A House Is Not A Motel MP3
 

7 comments:

dedgerra said...

the best one is paul's boutique... or maybe i'm just biased because my teacher wrote it.

Paul said...

Thanks for highlighting all these books. I didn't know about them, but they look really interesting. I'll be getting a few.

boleroid said...

You are totally missing out by not buying the books on albums you don't like. The GnR and Abba books are pretty interesting, but the book on Celine Dion is absolutely amazing. I've never been an Celine fan, nor do I intend to ever be one, but read a little more about the book than just its title and you might be a little more interested in what the author has to say...

wolff said...

don't say such nasty things about ABBA!They are completely amazing and the way the make video's !
Check out youtube!

Amanda said...

The "Celine Dion one" is written by Carl Wilson, critic at the Glone and Mail who has a great blog Zoilus.

http://www.zoilus.com/

I think it sounds like its gonna be great:
http://thisiswhatwetalkabout.blogspot.com/

Ramone666 said...

Thanks for the comments & the links y´all. I´m off buying that Celine Dion book...

wolff said...

Pfffff!