UK music publication NME has released an excerpt of their poll of the Top 100 British Albums of All Time. The full list will appear in NME’s January 28 issue. Apparently my invitation to participate in the poll got lost in the mail (some folks call it post, I call it mail). It is clearly an atrocious oversight on their part. How could they conduct a poll of British music without inviting me? I am not British but I still like to put the “u” in flavour and favourite and colour! That has to be close enough.
Somehow, I got left out of the poll. Shenanigans! I am declaring shenanigans! The UK was well represented in my Top 10 of 2005. I remembered to include the UK in my list yet the UK seems to have forgotten all the fuck about me. That rots.
So here is their Top 10:
1. The Stone Roses The Stone Roses
2. The Smiths The Queen Is Dead
3. Oasis Definitely Maybe
4. Sex Pistols Never Mind The Bollocks
5. Arctic Monkeys Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not
6. Blur Modern Life Is Rubbish
7. Pulp Different Class
8. The Clash London Calling
9. The Beatles Revolver
10. The Libertines Up The Bracket
Skimming this list, I see I own a grand total of three of these albums: Oasis’ Definitely Maybe, The Beatles’ Revolver, and The Libertines’ Up The Bracket. The Libertines album is one I added to my collection just this year. I wonder if that is why they skipped me. That would be a bullshit reason. It is not like those are the only three British albums I fucking own.
Besides, I give myself two asterisks. I own ‘Best Of’ compilations by Blur and The Stone Roses so I have heard cuts from The Stone Roses and Modern Life is Rubbish (which is one of my favourite album titles ever).
It is interesting to see the Arctic Monkeys in the Top 10. Their debut album is being released just this year. The Beatles and Sex Pistols are among the most important and influential artists in rock history. The Clash might not have the same degree of influence or importance as The Beatles or Sex Pistols but they are not far behind. Oasis, Blur, Pulp… these bands were cornerstones of the ’90s Britpop movement. They might not be kings of the British charts today but they dominated the airwaves during their time. The Arctic Monkeys are new money. They might be great. They have not had to stand the test of time. That seems an important consideration when one is making an “All-Time” list. Will Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not hold such a prominent place five to seven years from now? There is a good chance they will. We just will not know for five or seven more years.
So who is missing?
Five years ago I would have bet money Radiohead’s OK Computer would be in the Top 10. It is strange how what seems indispensable today can be left by the wayside. OK Computer might still be one of my Top 10 Albums of All Time, period.
There is only one Beatles album in the Top 10. No Stones. No Bowie. No Who. I am sure these artists are represented in the full 100. There was a time they probably would have made the Top 10. Britpop seems to have pushed them aside. Have Oasis, Blur, and Pulp surpassed these titans of music or is this poll a tad short-sighted?
This is the first salvo in a series. I am going to document my journey through the Top 10 British Albums of all Time. I will acquire and listen to the seven albums I do not own and revisit the three I do. The Top 10 British Albums of All Time? Let me be the judge of that!