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Nick Hornby’s Top 10

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Found on 12 Apostles:

Nick Hornby counts down the ten songs he simply could not live without. That’s a pretty big list to make — one I would not even attempt. My reaction:

1) Bruce Springsteen – Thunder Road – You must be kidding. Already, Nick and I are very different people, I can see.

2) The Clash – (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais – Excellent pick, and were I to ever make such a list, this might very well be on it. But then again, maybe not… it’s a bit predictable, isn’t it?

3) Marah – My Heart is the Bums on the Street – Have to look this one up. Thanks for throwing in the obligatory unheard-of recommendation, Nick.

4) Teenage Fanclub – Your Love is the Place Where I Come From – Ick.

5) Marvin Gaye – Let’s Get It On – I wish I’d have kept the MPEG I had of a girl doing a striptease to this song in her dorm room — I’d post it. It’s appalling, the way she slinks in this mock-sexy way, mouthing the words and gesturing at the camera every so often. Oh, I know. None of that’s Marvin Gaye’s fault, and there’s a very limited degree to which any artist is responsible for the audience he attracts. But after some time, and a certain level of cultural permutation, the audience does begin to ruin it for me. Kinda the same way I can never listen to Stevie Ray Vaughan again, because I’ve lived in Austin too long.

From here on out, the list gets ever weirder, including LL Cool J’s “Going Back To Cali” and Prince’s “Sexy MF,” to name two. Good songs, I suppose, but… why pick “Sexy MF” when he could have picked James Brown’s “Funky Drummer,” which the song is an obvious rip-off of? Why pick LL Cool J in a world that has known Public Enemy? Couldn’t he do better than this?

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About Kenan Hebert

  • Seriously guys, thunder road kicks ass! That one line ” You ani’t a beuty but hey you’re all right,” Could describe any girl I have ever been with. Nick Hornby may differ in taste than the rest of us, but his books are still insightful, thouht provoking, and realistic dramas

  • Well, this is a more insightful criticism of Hornby’s List than 12 Apostles did themselves. To be fair (not to say self-referential), perhaps you should post your own Top Ten List for people to deconstruct. (Dewd, my list is way hipper than yourz..) And I mean that in a nice way!

    Didn’t Dave Marsh do a Book of Rock Lists? If a list like this is honest, it’s gotta have a “who cares what you think” chip on its shoulder and at least one embarrassing Guilty Pleasure. Or maybe that’s just me. Still, Lester Bangs had more good things to say about Burton Cummings than Jim Morrison, and backing up a howler like that with passion and wit is what made him such an influential critic.

  • Next week — Nick Hornsby’s Top 10 list of Nick Hornsby’s Top 10 lists. Get the book, the film, the DVD and the soundtrack.

  • He’s not kidding. “Thunder Road” would top my list also.

  • This book is coming out at some point from McSweeney’s (when I saw Dave Eggers read a couple of weeks ago, he said he had to design the cover by the end of the day):


    Nick Hornby likes music. If you like Nick Hornby, and also like music, then you will surely be as excited as we are about Songbook, a new collection of nonfiction essays on Hornby’s favorite songs and songwriters. This McSweeney’s book will be in hardcover, complete with a compilation CD filled with songs that come with the just about the highest recommendation we could think of: Nick Hornby’s.

    Proceeds from the book will benefit The TreeHouse Trust, a U.K. charity that helps to educate children with autism and related communication disorders, and 826 Valencia, a
    non-profit writing lab based in San Francisco

  • Looking at Hornby’s list, you have to keep in mind, it’s not about the tunes, it’s about Nick. Your mileage will vary.

    As a side note, the best thing about having “High Fidelity” on DVD is to freezeframe so you can read the titles on the CD Rob got from the singer. All of the songs are terrible covers. Okay, that’s actually the second best, the best are the deleted scenes.