MUSIC SURVEY FOR ALL LISTOLOGISTS

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  • I am doing some research on music and what various people look for in it. I have some questions for any and all listologists to answer. Please "copy and paste" the question or number of the question and provide your answer in the discussion section below.

  • Here are the survey questions:

  • 1. WHAT ARE YOUR 5 FAVORITE ALBUMS?

  • 2. WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN AN ALBUM WHEN DETERMINING ITS GREATNESS?

  • 3. WHAT IS THE MOST PROFOUND ALBUM YOU'VE EVER HEARD?
  • The definition of "profound" being applied is usually #3 in most online dictionaries, meaning "deeply felt or rooted." So I am basically asking, "What is the most deeply felt album you've ever heard?"

  • 4. WHICH ALBUM HAS THE MOST "EXPANSION OF CONTENT" YOU'VE EVER HEARD? Definition, "expansion of content": an album or track exhibiting changes in ideas (as in Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody or Radiohead's Paranoid Android) and/or a simultaneous density of ideas (as in numerous things occurring with the instruments and/or vocals all at once, such as during the huge orchestral meltdowns in The Beatles' A Day In The Life).

  • 5. HOW IMPORTANT DO YOU FIND EACH OF THE FOLLOWING FACTORS WHEN DETERMINING THE GREATNESS OF AN ALBUM:
  • PROFUNDITY?
  • EXPANSION OF CONTENT?
  • INGENUITY?
  • OVERALL TRACK CONTINUITY?
Author Comments: 

I will probably add more questions in the near future, so feel free to check back in and answer those as well.

Is this restricted to any genre?

Nope. No genre restrictions.

1. I don't have an official list and can't promise that this wouldn't change if I made one, but five that are among my favorites would be, in chronological order:

Bob Dylan - Blonde on Blonde
The Who - Who's Next
The Rolling Stones - Exile on Main Street
The Smiths - The Queen Is Dead
R.E.M. - Automatic for the People

2. If you're asking what determines my favorite albums, I would say nothing more than how much I like listening to it. Certain qualities can predict how much I like listening to it - a wealth of style and substance, for example - but no qualities can ensure that it will become a favorite because all I can do is take a holistic approach.

If you're asking me to create an objective list of the Greatest Albums, then maybe I would have to come up with objective criteria like yours, but I've never done that and so wouldn't really be sure about my answer to the question.

3. Good question. I have no idea. Possibly Blonde on Blonde or Blood on the Tracks, or maybe The Queen Is Dead. I'll think on this more.

4. Frank Zappa - We're Only In It For the Money

5. Profundity - Pretty important, although again, this is only a good predictor for my love for an album, not a factor I use to judge.
Expansion of Content - Not at all. The way you've described it, it seems like more like a style of music than a positive quality for me. I love "A Day in the Life" and I also love some minimalistic White Stripes songs. Dense does not necessarily mean good IMHO.
Ingenuity - Not at all. While I love some albums because they sound very different from everything else I've heard (the Fiery Furnaces' Blueberry Boat, for example), there are other albums I hate that still sound very different from everything else I've heard, so I would say this can't predict whether or not I'll like an album.
Overall Track Continuity - If you mean the tracks feel like they come together to form a complete-sounding album, then that's fairly important to me. If you meant something else by this, let me know.

1. I don't have an official list and can't promise that this wouldn't change if I made one, but five that are among my favorites would be, in chronological order:

Bob Dylan - Blonde on Blonde
The Who - Who's Next
The Rolling Stones - Exile on Main Street
The Smiths - The Queen Is Dead
R.E.M. - Automatic for the People

Thanks

2. If you're asking what determines my favorite albums, I would say nothing more than how much I like listening to it. Certain qualities can predict how much I like listening to it - a wealth of style and substance, for example - but no qualities can ensure that it will become a favorite because all I can do is take a holistic approach.

Is there a common denominator you think you could pinpoint about those albums that makes them special for you? Maybe this won't change your answer but...what is it you love about them? If it's different for each one, what is it you love about each of them?

If you're asking me to create an objective list of the Greatest Albums, then maybe I would have to come up with objective criteria like yours, but I've never done that and so wouldn't really be sure about my answer to the question.

No, subjective. My criteria is definitely subjective, so I don't want anything objective.

3. Good question. I have no idea. Possibly Blonde on Blonde or Blood on the Tracks, or maybe The Queen Is Dead. I'll think on this more.

What makes those albums profound for you? Do you consider that these must be an absolute peak in musical profundity, or do you think there is a likely possibility of a clear gap between those and a potential peak profundity in music?

4. Frank Zappa - We're Only In It For the Money

Thanks

5. Profundity - Pretty important, although again, this is only a good predictor for my love for an album, not a factor I use to judge.

Thanks. Would you consider yourself a lover of both deeply felt albums and unserious albums equally?

Expansion of Content - Not at all. The way you've described it, it seems like more like a style of music than a positive quality for me. I love "A Day in the Life" and I also love some minimalistic White Stripes songs. Dense does not necessarily mean good IMHO.

Thanks

Ingenuity - Not at all. While I love some albums because they sound very different from everything else I've heard (the Fiery Furnaces' Blueberry Boat, for example), there are other albums I hate that still sound very different from everything else I've heard, so I would say this can't predict whether or not I'll like an album.

Thanks

Overall Track Continuity - If you mean the tracks feel like they come together to form a complete-sounding album, then that's fairly important to me. If you meant something else by this, let me know.

Yep, that's what I mean. Thanks

2. I've been thinking about the common denominator thing and I just can't come up with anything. Sorry. I'm not the best at expressing my thoughts about great albums, I just know what I like. And I could never say that I always look for certain criteria (say, profundity) and if it's lacking in those criteria then I won't like the album, because that's not true. If an album is trying to be the most profound work of art in the world, then I will think about how profound it is, but if it's not trying to be profound, I will take the album for what it is. "My Wife" for example from Who's Next is a song I love because the story told is hilariously weird and the music is thrilling, but it's not particularly profound. "I Know It's Over" from The Queen Is Dead though is not particularly weird, hilarious, or exciting, but it is very emotional and profound IMHO. I guess you could say, then, that my only two criteria are: (1) what the album's goal is, and (2) how well it accomplishes its goal. I can then evaluate how much I appreciate what the album is trying to accomplish, and how well it accomplishes those things.

3. I don't know how to describe what makes them profound - the emotional power of the songwriting and performances, I guess?

It's possible that these albums don't represent the peak of musical profundity, but they are probably the most profound albums that I've found I like listening to.

5. Would you consider yourself a lover of both deeply felt albums and unserious albums equally?

Hmm. Not necessarily equally. Many artists who have no aspirations to create something deep will often end up creating something that is just trite or boring, so I think I'd be more likely to love an album that in my opinion was profound. However, I would say that given enough talent and creativity, virtually any unserious album has the potential to be as beloved by me as virtually any deep album. For example, it didn't quite make the top 5, but one of my all-time favorites is Funkadelic's One Nation Under the Groove because it's so damn fun. I like it better than tons of more serious albums.

A more interesting question given my criteria might be, which would I like better between the perfectly-accomplished deep album or the perfectly-accomplished entertaining album? I don't know what my answer to that would be; I'm tempted to say the deep one because I would like its overall goal better, but I'm not sure that would be entirely true. It would probably vary from day to day depending on my mood.

Hey AJ. Thanks for your answers. Sorry I haven't got back to you sooner. I've been ultra busy and have hardly spent any time over the last week on listology.

Okay, your answers in regular font, mine in bold...

(2) I've been thinking about the common denominator thing and I just can't come up with anything. Sorry. I'm not the best at expressing my thoughts about great albums, I just know what I like. And I could never say that I always look for certain criteria (say, profundity) and if it's lacking in those criteria then I won't like the album, because that's not true. If an album is trying to be the most profound work of art in the world, then I will think about how profound it is, but if it's not trying to be profound, I will take the album for what it is. "My Wife" for example from Who's Next is a song I love because the story told is hilariously weird and the music is thrilling, but it's not particularly profound. "I Know It's Over" from The Queen Is Dead though is not particularly weird, hilarious, or exciting, but it is very emotional and profound IMHO. I guess you could say, then, that my only two criteria are: (1) what the album's goal is, and (2) how well it accomplishes its goal. I can then evaluate how much I appreciate what the album is trying to accomplish, and how well it accomplishes those things.

Makes sense. You could say that an artist who accomplishes his goal is already halfway towards high profundity, since he would most certainly be exhibiting great conviction towards that goal. But I think the other half is it definitely takes certain ideas and emotions to produce a high level of profundity for most people. Some people find the Beatles profound. Some girls (and boys I guess) find Britney Spears' ballads profound, or N' Sync. Hell, when I was 9 or 10 years old, the song True Colors (can't remember the artist) was deeply profound to me. It really is subjective, and from what I've observed, seems very reliant upon what the person has been subjected to musically. I think it is highly probable that someone who fell in love with Beethoven's masterworks would no longer find Britney Spears profound.

3. I don't know how to describe what makes them profound - the emotional power of the songwriting and performances, I guess?

Sure. I would say the same thing in general.

It's possible that these albums don't represent the peak of musical profundity, but they are probably the most profound albums that I've found I like listening to.

I know you haven't been convinced so far, but I really believe you oughtta wipe the dust off both Astral Weeks and Spiderland and give them some serious attention. Both of them loud or in close on headphones. These are two of the most profound albums ever made and I think it would be great for you to have experienced them as such.

Hmm. Not necessarily equally. Many artists who have no aspirations to create something deep will often end up creating something that is just trite or boring, so I think I'd be more likely to love an album that in my opinion was profound. However, I would say that given enough talent and creativity, virtually any unserious album has the potential to be as beloved by me as virtually any deep album. For example, it didn't quite make the top 5, but one of my all-time favorites is Funkadelic's One Nation Under the Groove because it's so damn fun. I like it better than tons of more serious albums.

A more interesting question given my criteria might be, which would I like better between the perfectly-accomplished deep album or the perfectly-accomplished entertaining album? I don't know what my answer to that would be; I'm tempted to say the deep one because I would like its overall goal better, but I'm not sure that would be entirely true. It would probably vary from day to day depending on my mood.

I understand. Thankyou

1. Favorite? Oofta. Maybe:

John Adams - Harmonielehre
Charles Mingus - The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady
Faust - Faust
Robert Wyatt - Rock Bottom
Giuseppe Verdi - Requiem

I dunno. Whatever.

2. I enjoy all kinds of music, and my favorite albums are not necessarily the greatest. Generally, I look for musical works that exhibit (1) brand spankin' new musical ideas and emotional ideas, and (2) an emotionally effective and coherant presentation of those new ideas.

3. A few that come to mind: Beethoven's 9th, The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady, Escalator Over the Hill, Stockhausen Licht, The Rite of Spring, Pierrot Lunaire. For rock: Faust.

4. It sounds like we have different ideas of what new or changing musical ideas are, but some of the most dense expansions of content are: Song of the Youths, Pierrot Lunaire, Faust, Symphony of Three Orchestras, Trout Mask Replica, The Shape of Jazz To Come, Saxophone Improvisations Series F. The most recent example I'm aware of is Spring Heel Jack - Masses.

5. I think we just use different language and categories to judge artistic musical value, but I think my ranking goes something like expansion of content, profundity, ingenuity, track continuity.

1. For me, these are very understandable choices. Only slight surprises are (and I say this knowing that your choices were rather casually made), no Trout Mask Replica, or Irrlicht (though I suspect these weren't far behind for you--it IS only 5 albums!) and your choice of Harmonielehre over other classical works. What do you think it is with this work that makes it stand out over others, such as symphonies by Beethoven, Brahms, Mahler, and the like? Or that makes it more resonant for you over more recent powerful works such as Branca's The Ascension or Shostokavich's 15th (Adams' work seems emotionally influenced by this one in particular, to my ears)?

2. Makes sense. This is generally what lures me into an album, though I perhaps break it down more and I may be less concerned with techinique (unless this isn't part of what you mean by coherent). Your views on White Light/White Heat persuade me to say that as well, especially since it seems to follow the rest of your criteria.

3. Escalator Over The Hill. No shit? Man, I have to get that album! Surprised a little by no mention of Rock Bottom or A Love Supreme. Are they far behind for you?

4. It's difficult to disagree with these choices whatsoever.

5. Understood.

Thanks Luke. You've breathed new life into a survey I was beginning to think was in need of being archived. Any suggestions of questions you would like to see asked? The purpose is to research into peoples views of music, and extract from that to develop more along the line as to how to present my/yours/Scaruffi's lists better and make the albums more able to be confronted and listened to. It may or may not amount to anything, expecially since only 2 people have answered, but who knows.

Again, my favorite albums are those I most enjoy listening to, not the albums that match my criteria. Harmonielehre tugs at my heart strings like no other piece of music.

Shostakovich's 15th isn't that amazing to my ears, and it is miles away from Harmonielehre, which is more influenced by minimalism, Adams' earlier post-minimalism, and late romanticism.

Oh no. Don't archive this survey! This project deserves more feedback. I think if you just ping some of the memebers, they'll definitely respond. It might be possible that many here are unaware of this. As for me, I am just a beginner. This project literally requires a lot of sincerity in listening, which I currently am short of. I would love to fill this after I am through with your list.
Maybe you can try lbangs (boy, if someone likes Fergie's London Bridge and TMR, I would be interested as hell in knowing why), dgeiser13, Wezzo, buddy (she's got a musical degree by lord!), Rushmore, Feif Umgottn, proffessor, Lorem ipsum, darktremor (for sheer brilliant peevishness and in-depth appreciation of music), amongst many, many, many others that I can't recall.

Awesome survey, no doubt.

I have a a suggestion - you can probably ask what is their source for suggestions/exposure for the kind of music they listen to.

I'll think about adding that. First let me throw this by you: what data do you think could potentially be derived from an answer of that question, that would lead to my purpose as written above to lukeprog?

In view of that purpose, to put it roughly, it might just help in understanding what shapes the choices and tastes of non-Scaruffi (so to speak) or non-avant garde music listeners. I am not too sure about that. What my original thought was what are the sources for recommendations for people here other than Sacruffi and Pitchfork.

You're right. I should probably give this some more time and effort.

#1: Cardiacs - Sing to God
Kinks - Are the Village Green Preservation Society
Underworld - dubnobasswithmyheadman
Devo - Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!
Cornelius - Point

#2: I think there are two levels. One is the surface level and two is replayability. In order for me to like something right away it should be memorable. It should have a good hook, or be interesting, or be catchy, or have good instrumental skill, or invoke a certain mood. After that, I have to listen to the album a lot more times to find out if I still like it or if it's kind of shallow and without depth.

#3: Which album has hit me the deepest? Probably Eno's Another Green World. Fripp's solos have a great impact on me, and "Everything Merges With the Night" is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard (maybe even the most). I hope that's what you're looking for.

#4: I think it depends on exactly the definition. Most ideas on one album: Boredoms - Pop Tatari. It's really incomprehensible but there's an awful lot of music there. As far as most different styles of music, I would have to say Ween - Chocolate and Cheese

#5: Profundity: It's important, obviously, but it does mean I have to be in the mood for it. A song like "Are Friends Electric", well, I can enjoy that anytime. Something moving like "Heroes" I have to be in a different mood for. In general, I think a lot of the best songs are the ones that can hit emotionally. However I don't consider it essential. I don't feel any kind of emotion when I hear something like "Daft Punk is Playing at My House" but it does make me want to dance and sing along.

Expansion of Content: It's nice as long as I don't feel it's too gimmicky or trying to cover a lack of good hooks. Albums with a lot of musical ideas on them are really cool (which is why I love the album Sing to God) but if it obscures good songwriting then it's obviously less important. Songs lke "Paranoid Android" or "Day in the Life" or "Dick Around" (the Sparks song, it's seriously awesome) are nice, we could use more of them.

Ingenuity: I think that ingenuity is nice, and giving your albums a unique sound to differentiate it from the pack is always a good thing. But some ideas just aren't that great, you hear? I think Flaming Lips' Zarieeka is a great idea, but I'll probably never try it out for myself. Avant-garde is a pretty thin line, if you ask me. It's not hard to make an album that sounds like nothing else, but to make one that people actually want to hear? Not many can do it...

Track Continuity: I love albums that flow from one track to the next...the transistion from "Summer's Cauldron" to "Grass" on XTC's Skylarking gives me goosebumps every time! A lot of electronic albums do this which is pretty nice. For a pop record I don't think it's too important.

Whoops, I thought I'd responded to this already...

#1: Cardiacs - Sing to God
Kinks - Are the Village Green Preservation Society
Underworld - dubnobasswithmyheadman
Devo - Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!
Cornelius - Point

Thanks

#2: I think there are two levels. One is the surface level and two is replayability. In order for me to like something right away it should be memorable. It should have a good hook, or be interesting, or be catchy, or have good instrumental skill, or invoke a certain mood. After that, I have to listen to the album a lot more times to find out if I still like it or if it's kind of shallow and without depth.

Makes sense, thanks.

#3: Which album has hit me the deepest? Probably Eno's Another Green World. Fripp's solos have a great impact on me, and "Everything Merges With the Night" is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard (maybe even the most). I hope that's what you're looking for.

I like that album a lot and I can definitely see why you've chosen it. Quite profound.

#4: I think it depends on exactly the definition. Most ideas on one album: Boredoms - Pop Tatari. It's really incomprehensible but there's an awful lot of music there. As far as most different styles of music, I would have to say Ween - Chocolate and Cheese

Two albums I've never heard. Maybe I'll give them a look sometime.

#5: Profundity: It's important, obviously, but it does mean I have to be in the mood for it. A song like "Are Friends Electric", well, I can enjoy that anytime. Something moving like "Heroes" I have to be in a different mood for. In general, I think a lot of the best songs are the ones that can hit emotionally. However I don't consider it essential. I don't feel any kind of emotion when I hear something like "Daft Punk is Playing at My House" but it does make me want to dance and sing along.

Understood

Expansion of Content: It's nice as long as I don't feel it's too gimmicky or trying to cover a lack of good hooks. Albums with a lot of musical ideas on them are really cool (which is why I love the album Sing to God) but if it obscures good songwriting then it's obviously less important. Songs lke "Paranoid Android" or "Day in the Life" or "Dick Around" (the Sparks song, it's seriously awesome) are nice, we could use more of them.

Thankyou.

Ingenuity: I think that ingenuity is nice, and giving your albums a unique sound to differentiate it from the pack is always a good thing. But some ideas just aren't that great, you hear? I think Flaming Lips' Zarieeka is a great idea, but I'll probably never try it out for myself. Avant-garde is a pretty thin line, if you ask me. It's not hard to make an album that sounds like nothing else, but to make one that people actually want to hear? Not many can do it...

Personally it would be more accurate to say: it's not hard to make an album that sounds like crap and is an unemotional mishmash, but it is much more difficult to create a sound that is breathtakingly original and profoundly emotional, as opposed to something popular, which has happened millions of times. You could never convince me that Revolver took more effort and genius than say, Trout Mask Replica, Faust or Rock Bottom. Almost any band worth their salt could imitate the Beatles compositions or even more technically accomplished bands like The Rolling Stones, but albums the likes of Rock Bottom will probably never be duplicated again. Not even Wyatt himself has come close to reliving that miracle (his later live performances of the same material continually fail to do it as well).

Track Continuity: I love albums that flow from one track to the next...the transistion from "Summer's Cauldron" to "Grass" on XTC's Skylarking gives me goosebumps every time! A lot of electronic albums do this which is pretty nice. For a pop record I don't think it's too important.

Understood

Thanks for your response !

You raise interesting points about the amount of "effort" it takes to produce popular vs. avant-garde albums, but personally I think you miss the point when you say any band can imitate the Beatles' compositions. Sure, a lot of bands could sound very much like the Beatles if they wanted to, but JAMOOL talked about creating a sound that people want to hear, and you can't deny that the public clearly wants to hear the Beatles more than they want to hear (1) other bands that could easily imitate the Beatles or (2) Faust, as an example. The Beatles certainly had a very different goal in mind than Faust: they were more interested in producing music that lots of people would want to listen to than producing avant-garde expressions of emotions. But so many bands have that same goal, and yet the Beatles are probably the most widely acclaimed and listened-to rock band of all-time. You can't convince me that it didn't take a hell of a lot of effort and genius to get to that status. It wasn't just a fluke.

I think AJ said what I was going to say, but I want to add a little:

From reading Scruffi and some of your posts (and the other people with similar opinions), I can't help but wonder if you're out to establish "musical absolutes", like saying "Rock Bottom is the most emotional album of all time." How can we get an absolute? Well, we can look at most records sold, but that's pretty controlled by the record industry, even though I think looking at the amount of records sold well after an album's release could be telling - people are still buying Beatles and Floyd albums, but how many are still buying the Backstreet Boys?

Alright, so if you want to see it objectively, let's say that we take 100 people who have been living under a rock for the last 40 years and have never heard of the Beatles. Give them a copy of Revolver and a copy of Faust, or Irrlicht, or Trout Mask and ask them what they prefer after five listens. I'd bet a lot that the Beatles would be described as "catchy, innovative, emotional, fun to listen to, easy to get into, well performed", while the avant-garde one would be "interesting, but hard to listen to, don't mix well with my other music, have to be the right mood, but some cool ideas".

Since these albums are so unlike everything else to ever come out, it's very hard to rate them. I can see a review page of Faust that gives it five 10/10 ratings and five 1/10 ratings and consider it fine - however a 1/10 rating on Revolver would raise an eyebrow. The reason why the Beatles hold up so well is because their songs are just more appealing than the thousands of imitators. Faust's sound really isn't appealing enough to attract too many imitators.

But what if it did? What if Faust WERE the Beatles, and all music nowadays was very avant-garde. Do you think these avant-garde albums on the Scaruffi list would be topped? I think they would be. Then, say, something like Elvis at Sun was released, something completely unlike anything you've ever heard. Maybe that would be seen as one of the greastest albums of all time?

Then again, it's just my opinion. I'm not trying to cut anyone down - it's just (to me at least) this is an interesting debate.

I think AJ said what I was going to say, but I want to add a little:

From reading Scruffi and some of your posts (and the other people with similar opinions), I can't help but wonder if you're out to establish "musical absolutes", like saying "Rock Bottom is the most emotional album of all time."

No, I'm not interested in musical absolutes. It's all subjective. I think Rock Bottom is among the most emotional albums of all time to those willing to put in the effort and willingness usually needed to 'get' it on that level. But to the rest of society (the majority), it probably sounds like total lunacy.

How can we get an absolute? Well, we can look at most records sold, but that's pretty controlled by the record industry, even though I think looking at the amount of records sold well after an album's release could be telling - people are still buying Beatles and Floyd albums, but how many are still buying the Backstreet Boys?

Who knows. If I cared about sales, my list wouldn't be valid at all.

Alright, so if you want to see it objectively, let's say that we take 100 people who have been living under a rock for the last 40 years and have never heard of the Beatles. Give them a copy of Revolver and a copy of Faust, or Irrlicht, or Trout Mask and ask them what they prefer after five listens. I'd bet a lot that the Beatles would be described as "catchy, innovative, emotional, fun to listen to, easy to get into, well performed", while the avant-garde one would be "interesting, but hard to listen to, don't mix well with my other music, have to be the right mood, but some cool ideas".

I think you're totally correct that the vast majority of people would get into the Beatles far easier than the above albums. The Beatles are instant gratification, a piece of cake.

Since these albums are so unlike everything else to ever come out, it's very hard to rate them. I can see a review page of Faust that gives it five 10/10 ratings and five 1/10 ratings and consider it fine - however a 1/10 rating on Revolver would raise an eyebrow.

Amazingly, but not surprisingly, anything less than thinking Revolver makes the world spin raises an eyebrow.

The reason why the Beatles hold up so well is because their songs are just more appealing than the thousands of imitators. Faust's sound really isn't appealing enough to attract too many imitators.

I think their songs are more immediately appealing to most, but I think the vast majority (if not all) of those who put in the necessary effort with Faust, would find it vastly superior to anything the Beatles put out.

But what if it did? What if Faust WERE the Beatles, and all music nowadays was very avant-garde. Do you think these avant-garde albums on the Scaruffi list would be topped? I think they would be.

I strongly disagree. There are millions of avant-garde albums already and I would be willing to bet money that none of them outside of classical, including the ones I haven't heard, hold up to the 9.5's

Then, say, something like Elvis at Sun was released, something completely unlike anything you've ever heard. Maybe that would be seen as one of the greastest albums of all time?

By you maybe, or Rolling Stone, but not Scaruffi. Though, since it would stand out, I am sure the rating would increase. No matter how singular Elvis at Sun was, it isn't devastatingly emotional enough to top Scaruffi's list. It has to be breathtakingly original and emotionally profound. All of his top albums have these components in quality.

Then again, it's just my opinion. I'm not trying to cut anyone down - it's just (to me at least) this is an interesting debate.

I agree. Thanks for chiming in

Thanks for the response, I would like to reply to these:

"I think their songs are more immediately appealing to most, but I think the vast majority (if not all) of those who put in the necessary effort with Faust, would find it vastly superior to anything the Beatles put out."

I would have to argue against this. Obviously it's going to be very tough to do any sort of test but I think the vast majority would give the effort, probably have it grow on them a little, but overall think that they'd rather listen to the Beatles. I mean, after how many listens? I've heard Faust about 10-11 times by now and I do want to like it (after all, I like the band, and think that So Far and IV are great). More than that? Like 50-100 listens? By that point one might prefer Faust on the grounds that they haven't memorized every note yet. If you need to listen to an album that many times to like it, is it really that great? I know lots of people who like the album, and indeed, it's very interesting and has lots of cool parts, but IMO it's gotten pretty overanalyzed. Its abtract form allows people to assign deep meanings to it that were most likely not intended, where as it's pretty easy to figure out the meaning of "Twist and Shout".

Overall I don't think it's possible to say which is better. In fact I could argue that Revolver and Faust shouldn't even be graded on the same scale, in the same way you shouldn't compare "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "Harold and Kumar go to White Castle". The only similarily is that they are using the same medium - artistically, you can't really compare them. Wait, the Faust record samples "All You Need is Love" doesn't it? Hmmm. That's about it though. So to compare them you just have to ask people, "which do you prefer?", or after 30 listens, if you like. I'm not going to tell you that Faust is a load of balls, just that I really don't think it will go into history like Revolver will, since very few are going to see it as the superior album. I mean, reading what you say on "how to 'get' this album" requires you listen on a high quality system, at good volume, for at least 10-15 listens, and you have to listen to this list of lesser challenging albums as well. Reading some of your posts I get the impression that if someone DOESN'T agree with your list, then it's because they haven't listened enough/haven't heard all the 'qualifying' albums or whatever. I guarantee you I would find Faust very profound if I listened to it nonstop :) Don't you remember the albums you loved as a kid? I used to think that Fatboy Slim's You've Come a Long Way, Baby was awesome! Then again, being one of the three CDs I had bought, it was pretty much all I listened to...

I strongly disagree. There are millions of avant-garde albums already and I would be willing to bet money that none of them outside of classical, including the ones I haven't heard, hold up to the 9.5's

You'd know more than I do. However, I have a hard time believing THAT many avant-garde albums exist, considering how hard it must be to release them. The point was I have yet to hear another album in the same style of Faust, or Trout Mask, which leads me to believe that it's very possible they could be topped. I think Troust Mask is great, but there's songs I really like ("Frownland", "Pachucho Cadaver", "Big Joan"), that I consider better than the rest...now if someone made an album in that style with 28 songs of that quality, surely I'd like it better ;)

I mean, after how many listens? I've heard Faust about 10-11 times by now and I do want to like it (after all, I like the band, and think that So Far and IV are great). More than that? Like 50-100 listens?

It varies from person to person. I started enjoying it at about 5 listens, and really liking it a lot at about 15 listens. It took me about 35 to really think it was a masterpiece (not just respecting it). I am at 100+ listens now and it has continually become an increasingly astounding experience since 35.

If one does the list per the "recommended order" it would likely only take 5-10 listens by the time they arrived at it after finishing the albums before, but even then it of course varies.

One key for these albums, especially since they're so sonically dynamic, is to play them on an excellent system and at a high volume, to correctly bring out the emotion as it was intended in the studio.

If you need to listen to an album that many times to like it, is it really that great?

In these cases, God yes. All of the ones on my list are totally mind blowing and compelling each time I return to them again and again.

I know lots of people who like the album, and indeed, it's very interesting and has lots of cool parts, but IMO it's gotten pretty overanalyzed. Its abtract form allows people to assign deep meanings to it that were most likely not intended

You can think that if you want. It's not even worth arguing about until you've listened to the album enough and understand the emotions and communication Faust very clearly intended.

Overall I don't think it's possible to say which is better. In fact I could argue that Revolver and Faust shouldn't even be graded on the same scale, in the same way you shouldn't compare "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "Harold and Kumar go to White Castle". The only similarily is that they are using the same medium - artistically, you can't really compare them.

???????? Of course they can be compared, just like I like the architecture of a Victorian house more than a dog house.

Wait, the Faust record samples "All You Need is Love" doesn't it? Hmmm. That's about it though. So to compare them you just have to ask people, "which do you prefer?", or after 30 listens, if you like. I'm not going to tell you that Faust is a load of balls, just that I really don't think it will go into history like Revolver will

I'm pretty certain that The Beatles legacy will eventually drown, just as classical composers from hundreds of years ago that share the same sort of simplistic, unsophisticated sensibilities are rarely heard of, and now the likes of Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, Bach, etc. are all revered greatly even though they weren't the most respected in their times. The Beatles marketing campaign has been so great and their legacy so driven home, that this probably won't happen for many decades. Of course, this is impossible to prove at this time, it is merely my opinion based on the fundamental lacking in depth their music exhibits. I don't think something so shallow can ultimately survive a very long strand in time.

Reading some of your posts I get the impression that if someone DOESN'T agree with your list, then it's because they haven't listened enough/haven't heard all the 'qualifying' albums or whatever.

There's no reason to think otherwise. This has always been the case when someone doesn't agree, including yourself and AJ.

I guarantee you I would find Faust very profound if I listened to it nonstop :)

Interesting that you seem to think it happens by some sort of accident. Or that myself and lukeprog, and other Scaruffists are delusional in our experiences with these albums. It's kind of silly to read you say these things when you've done so little to find out for yourself aside from making sweeping assumptions based on a minute amount of experience with the clique of albums you're arguing about. Before going head on into the list, I did the same thing a couple years ago and I look back now wondering what the hell I was talking about.

You'd know more than I do. However, I have a hard time believing THAT many avant-garde albums exist,

Well, there's no way of counting. It's some extremely large number. Who knows...?

The point was I have yet to hear another album in the same style of Faust, or Trout Mask, which leads me to believe that it's very possible they could be topped.

There are many people who find these albums incredible, and have no doubt been influenced by them. The probable reason for the lack of albums that are like them is because they are so inimitable. The level of brilliance in these albums requires an artist or band to be some of the greatest musical geniuses in history to come up with something equal on their own. You don't find symphonies these days on the level of Beethoven or Brahms or Mahler either.

I think Troust Mask is great, but there's songs I really like ("Frownland", "Pachucho Cadaver", "Big Joan"), that I consider better than the rest...now if someone made an album in that style with 28 songs of that quality, surely I'd like it better ;)

Well of course it's possible to top it. It's merely a 9.5/10 and not a 9.75 or 10/10, after all. But the idea of someone today creating an album of such emotional complexity across such a vast variety of tones and wanderings and incredible moments, is very unlikely to me. To me, Trout Mask Replica has 26/28 masterpieces, and I don't believe I've heard a single album that had more than one masterpiece this decade. If it happens, it would be monumental, but the last 9.5/10 was made in 1974, and music has only gotten worse since, so...

You raise interesting points about the amount of "effort" it takes to produce popular vs. avant-garde albums, but personally I think you miss the point when you say any band can imitate the Beatles' compositions. Sure, a lot of bands could sound very much like the Beatles if they wanted to, but JAMOOL talked about creating a sound that people want to hear, and you can't deny that the public clearly wants to hear the Beatles more than they want to hear (1) other bands that could easily imitate the Beatles or (2) Faust, as an example.

Well, I actually think this can be argued, though not easily proven. I think if the average person could experience Faust or Rock Bottom or Trout Mask Replica to the fullest, or near the fullest degree, within the first few listens, I have no doubt these albums would be much more revered and popular than the Beatles albums. I think it's more a matter of The Beatles being so charismatic and such a quick, easy, effortless fix, that they are gravitated towards. They are an immediate satisfaction, but the rewards of the masterpieces in the long run, at least what I've found, are much greater to me. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a high percentage of people willing to put in the effort.

The Beatles certainly had a very different goal in mind than Faust:

no doubt about that

they were more interested in producing music that lots of people would want to listen to than producing avant-garde expressions of emotions.

I think there are a lot of people who want to experience what the avant-garde has to offer, but I don't think they know it's available and I don't think there is a high percentage of people who are willing to put in the effort.

But so many bands have that same goal, and yet the Beatles are probably the most widely acclaimed and listened-to rock band of all-time. You can't convince me that it didn't take a hell of a lot of effort and genius to get to that status. It wasn't just a fluke.

Effort, yes. I mean it took them like 7 hundred hours or something to record Sgt Pepper, while John Coltrane and Miles Davis recorded two of their masterworks (Kind of Blue, A Love Supreme) on the spot. I don't think there is much genius in the Beatles' music, but obviously I am in the minority here, and this is just an opinion. If you guys hear something extraordinary the more power to you.

I guess what I'm trying to say is this: you said the Beatles are an "easy fix." I agree that they are immediately appealing (though I often think their songs are interesting and layered beyond that, but that's besides the point), and in fact, given their acclaim and popularity, the Beatles' songs may have established themselves as the most immediately appealing rock songs of all-time. Don't you think that creating such music really took some special talent, some "genius" if you will, to create songs that everyone will love to listen to? After all, millions of musical artists are trying to create songs that people will want to listen to, but none of them are as popular as the Beatles. That is, this statement simplifies matters and undermines some of the profound and musically interesting things the Beatles actually did (IMHO), but let's say the Beatles' music is the catchiest, most easily enjoyable music of all time. Do you think it took some serious talent to create the catchiest music ever, or do you have so little respect for that goal that you still feel the Beatles are largely untalented?

To be honest, I also think you might be building up how impenetrable some of the Scaruffi albums are. I mean, yeah, Trout Mask Replica is a lot of music to digest and maybe it takes 500,000 listens before you can truly appreciate such a long album as an art form. But what about song-for-song: how many listens does it take you to really "get" Frownland? I mean, the Captain expresses his emotions in a pretty straightforward way there, so unless the song is actually about a deep pain and inner anguish that I'm misinterpreting, I'm pretty sure I get the song. But there are still Beatles songs that I like just as much as, if not more than, Frownland.

I guess what I'm trying to say is this: you said the Beatles are an "easy fix." I agree that they are immediately appealing (though I often think their songs are interesting and layered beyond that, but that's besides the point), and in fact, given their acclaim and popularity, the Beatles' songs may have established themselves as the most immediately appealing rock songs of all-time. Don't you think that creating such music really took some special talent, some "genius" if you will, to create songs that everyone will love to listen to?

Not genius. Genius is a word I only apply to something far more profound or impossible. Sgt. Pepper and Abbey Rd show hints of minor genius, as well as sporadic moments on The White Album and a few other songs in their career, like Strawberry Fields Forever. Of course, creating the music they did takes talent, but certainly not nearly as much as other bands/artists from their era such as The Doors, VU, Pink Floyd, etc.

To be honest, I also think you might be building up how impenetrable some of the Scaruffi albums are.

I don't find any of them challenging anymore, so I don't know what you mean. It's you and JAMOOL and others who are currently confounded by them.

I mean, yeah, Trout Mask Replica is a lot of music to digest and maybe it takes 500,000 listens before you can truly appreciate such a long album as an art form. But what about song-for-song: how many listens does it take you to really "get" Frownland?

I don't remember. Took about 20 listens to start really liking the whole album and being able to comfortably play it. Shortly after I began thinking it was a masterpiece. Took about 50 to think it was a supreme masterpiece and now I'm at 100+ and I often consider it the greatest album ever, rock or jazz.

I mean, the Captain expresses his emotions in a pretty straightforward way there, so unless the song is actually about a deep pain and inner anguish that I'm misinterpreting, I'm pretty sure I get the song. But there are still Beatles songs that I like just as much as, if not more than, Frownland.

Fine by me.

After all, millions of musical artists are trying to create songs that people will want to listen to, but none of them are as popular as the Beatles.

This isn't true. Michael Jackson was at Beatles-level popularity in the 80's and many artists have since been close enough.

That is, this statement simplifies matters and undermines some of the profound and musically interesting things the Beatles actually did (IMHO), but let's say the Beatles' music is the catchiest, most easily enjoyable music of all time. Do you think it took some serious talent to create the catchiest music ever, or do you have so little respect for that goal that you still feel the Beatles are largely untalented?

I think it took some talent, but not singular talent. I think there have been thousands of artists since that have reached the same level of "genius" the Beatles exhibited. The Shins, Michael Jackson, Franz Ferdinand, Coldplay, or The Strokes for instance. There's nothing less special about these artists than there is about The Beatles, aside from marketing and charisma and timing, perhaps. They were an above average pop band that occasionally became cutely in tune with small, accessible portions of the avant-garde, captured the attention of millions by way of catchy, sing-along tunes, a massive marketing campaign, impeccable timing and an approachable charm, and when on to sell millions by gradually improving an easily sold product. In film they would be the equivalent of the summer blockbuster season stretched out over 7 years. I think saying the Beatles are the greatest artists is very similar to saying Titanic or Armageddon or Independence Day are the greatest films. It's fine if someone thinks that, but I certainly wouldn't rely on them for recommendations.

Interesting that you seem to think it happens by some sort of accident. Or that myself and lukeprog, and other Scaruffists are delusional in our experiences with these albums. It's kind of silly to read you say these things when you've done so little to find out for yourself aside from making sweeping assumptions based on a minute amount of experience with the clique of albums you're arguing about. Before going head on into the list, I did the same thing a couple years ago and I look back now wondering what the hell I was talking about.

I've done so little? I've at least listened to nearly every album on your 'best of' list, heard Faust 10+ times, Rock Bottom 10+ times, Irrlicht 4 or 5 times, Trout Mask 20-25 times, and so on. Do you not think I'm qualified to talk about an album unless it's one of my favorites?

So you know I'm listening to Faust again now. Still don't think it's quite a work of brilliance, but maybe I could come around. Unfortunately I did find that it's not really too spontaneous to me anymore, I remember how it all goes now. When looking at it as a work of genius, it does seem to be better, but I don't think I should have to be told that to enjoy it, and I'm still not wacko over it. Better than average, of course, but nothing transcendant. Looking at it again I don't really see it as 'chaotic' and 'wild' as I remember, just sort of a combination of musical phrases that usually aren't seen together. I don't really get emotional listening to it. I see it as being interesting and pretty good, and fairly unique too, but I can say that about a lot of albums. Do I have to listen to it 20-30 more times before it really 'stands out'?

I don't think it's an 'accident' that you like them. I'm just questioning the validity of an album that needs a dozen listens to enjoy. I would argue that it wouldn't be tough to make a very confusing and cryptic album that's so vague that people could see anything in them after enough spins. Comparing avant-garde albums is much tougher than comparing pop music.

???????? Of course they can be compared, just like I like the architecture of a Victorian house more than a dog house.

Okay, let's compare them. Which would you rather live in? Which would you rather put in the backyard for your dog?

I'm pretty certain that The Beatles legacy will eventually drown, just as classical composers from hundreds of years ago that share the same sort of simplistic, unsophisticated sensibilities are rarely heard of

I think any music historian (NOT Scaruffi) would diagree pretty strongly that the Beatles will be forgotten. If a classical composer was as big as the Beatles still are today, don't you think they'd still be known today? There's a lot of famous tunes that 'stood the test of time' that are pretty simple. I think you're talking about if rock music completely falls out of style 200 years down the road? I still think the Beatles will be known, and that Faust will barely be mentioned. Maybe a rock historian will dig them up and enjoy their music, but the thing is I just don't see the general public at all going for something like that. Just my opinion though.

There's no reason to think otherwise. This has always been the case when someone doesn't agree, including yourself and AJ.

Like I said, I've heard most of the albums on your lists, and listened to the big ones several times. You're claiming another 10 listens apiece will be the difference? Look, there's several albums I really like (the five I named to start), but if you listen to them once and hate it, I don't think you'll like it down the road. If you listen to it three times and still don't like it, I'll just say, that album probably wasn't for you.

I think if the average person could experience Faust or Rock Bottom or Trout Mask Replica to the fullest, or near the fullest degree, within the first few listens, I have no doubt these albums would be much more revered and popular than the Beatles albums.

Right, and the fact they can't says something about those albums. Music isn't all about profound experiences and expressions of emotion. Sometimes people just want to sing and dance and feel the rhythm, and I'm not faulting them for that, I'm just saying that most people don't really like music that they feel they have to analyze over and over again. Which is why these albums will never sell in those numbers. I'll bring up the comparison with Space Odyssey again. It's incredibly moving, deeply profound, and unspeakably boring and pretentious.

Okay, last one, but it's a big'un, so I'll split it up:

I think it took some talent, but not singular talent. I think there have been thousands of artists since that have reached the same level of "genius" the Beatles exhibited. The Shins, Michael Jackson, Franz Ferdinand, Coldplay, or The Strokes for instance.

I think a lot of people would find this very contentious. Go to rateyourmusic.com which pools the opinions of hundreds of thousands of people and see where those guys rate in comparison to the Beatles. There's no way this is due to a hype machine. The Backstreet Boys got comparable attention and see where they rank. Franz Ferdindand and Coldplay exhibit the same level of "genius" as the Beatles? I would tell you right now that a looooooooooot of people would disagree. There's only a handful of bands that wrote pop songs as good as the Beatles - the Kinks in their prime (the Village Green/Arthur era), and XTC.

There's nothing less special about these artists than there is about The Beatles, aside from marketing and charisma and timing, perhaps. They were an above average pop band that occasionally became cutely in tune with small, accessible portions of the avant-garde, captured the attention of millions by way of catchy, sing-along tunes, a massive marketing campaign, impeccable timing and an approachable charm, and when on to sell millions by gradually improving an easily sold product.

I think the boys from N'Sync were charismatic, had a massive marketing campaign, good time, and catchy tunes to boot. Any bets on how they'll be remembered in...uh...well, now?

In film they would be the equivalent of the summer blockbuster season stretched out over 7 years. I think saying the Beatles are the greatest artists is very similar to saying Titanic or Armageddon or Independence Day are the greatest films. It's fine if someone thinks that, but I certainly wouldn't rely on them for recommendations.

None of these films top the "best of" lists either, while the Beatles have the top spot in countless lists. Millions and millions and millions have seen Titanic. How many think it's the best movie of all time? Or even close? Look at what's happening to Michael Jackson. Only a handful of his songs are really remembered, and his albums, though popular and abundant, aren't very acclaimed. Don't you know how big Duran Duran used to be? Okay, how many people can name more than one of their songs?

I don't see how people can claim the Beatles were all about hype. I don't claim them as the be-all end-all of rock music either, but even without listening to their songs, I don't see how anyone can see their huge sales figures and mass amounts of critical acclaim and claim it to be a fluke.

I'll again ask the question AJ posed - how many other artists could write catchy, immediately likeable songs that did, in fact stand the test of time? Again, I'd say only XTC could do that consistantly. It takes loads of talent to do that. And yes, I am claiming that "You Get What You Give" and "I Want it That Way" and "Buddy Holly" are pretty good songs. I admit that sometimes it can come easy (such as Jet's "Are You Gonna Be My Girl?" which should pretty much count as plagiarism of "Lust For Life" and "Walk Like an Egyptian") but if you're NOT just basing it directly off a previous song, finding something like that doesn't come easy.

Okay, just one more thing. Now, I'm not trying to claim that you and the other Scaruffiologists listen to albums because "Scaruffi said so" and enjoy them for the same reason. However, just to add a little bit of fuel to the fire, I have to ask this. In an earlier discussion, you claimed that Neu! was incredibly profound and amazing, and I claimed that Neu! '75 was a better album. Your response to that was, "I haven't heard it."

Now, I have to ask - Neu!'s catalog was just remastered and are all in print. If you really think that the debut is so great, why wouldn't you persue the other albums? Out of the five albums I named, I have pretty much everything available by all of those artists, all of which I really enjoy as well - the exception is the post-Muswell Hillbillies Kinks albums, of which I have a few - because almost nobody thinks that they're any good, or original, or similar at all to their better albums. Whereas plenty of people think that '75 is a better album. If I say that I've listen to Faust somewhere around a dozen times and it didn't move me, you claim I haven't heard it enough or didn't meet the 'prerequistes' to enjoy it. Now you are dismissing an album based on what Scaruffi's opinion is, what am I to say?

It seems that, as someone who has such nice words about Neu!, that you ought to own an album that many claim is better, that holds the same basic sound as the debut. You have to admit, judging by the fact that Scaruffi also doesn't call it a masterpiece but he does consider the first one to be, that it seems silly to claim that you use Scaruffi 'merely' as a guide. Don't you think that if an album BY THE SAME ARTIST is claimed to be better by many than the one you claim a masterpiece, that you should at least try it out for yourself?

Sorry if it seems condescending. I don't mean it that way. Really, I am enjoying this discussion and I'm not trying to troll you. Just a question that was bugging me ;)

Interesting that you seem to think it happens by some sort of accident. Or that myself and lukeprog, and other Scaruffists are delusional in our experiences with these albums. It's kind of silly to read you say these things when you've done so little to find out for yourself aside from making sweeping assumptions based on a minute amount of experience with the clique of albums you're arguing about. Before going head on into the list, I did the same thing a couple years ago and I look back now wondering what the hell I was talking about.

I've done so little? I've at least listened to nearly every album on your 'best of' list, heard Faust 10+ times, Rock Bottom 10+ times, Irrlicht 4 or 5 times, Trout Mask 20-25 times, and so on. Do you not think I'm qualified to talk about an album unless it's one of my favorites?

I think you're as qualified as you've experienced them. If you've experienced them so fully, please use this to your advantage when making comments about them. When you say the things you've said, such as those along the lines of how Faust is random or they didn't know what they were doing or not realizing it is a black mass, etc., it shows that you simply haven't listened to it enough to draw a final conclusion. You can draw a conclusion but I wouldn't bother drawing anything conclusive until you understand and can comfortably listen to, confront and more fully receive the emotions of the work first. You're comments about these albums often sound vague and/or confused about what they are, so that's how you come across. You have listened to the albums a little more than I supposed but you've still got a ways to go with each one you listed.

So you know I'm listening to Faust again now. Still don't think it's quite a work of brilliance, but maybe I could come around.

That would be great for you if it did, as you would have conquered one of the most avant-garde albums ever made.

Unfortunately I did find that it's not really too spontaneous to me anymore, I remember how it all goes now. When looking at it as a work of genius, it does seem to be better, but I don't think I should have to be told that to enjoy it, and I'm still not wacko over it. Better than average, of course, but nothing transcendant. Looking at it again I don't really see it as 'chaotic' and 'wild' as I remember, just sort of a combination of musical phrases that usually aren't seen together. I don't really get emotional listening to it. I see it as being interesting and pretty good, and fairly unique too, but I can say that about a lot of albums. Do I have to listen to it 20-30 more times before it really 'stands out'?

Seems like a normal progression to me. I have no clue how many times you'll have to listen to it. I'm not sure why you keep asking me this. This is dependant on you, not me. It depends much more on how many of the other albums on the list you've conquered than how many times you've listened to Faust. I have a friend on the list who is on the 7.5 challenge level right now and before going through it in the recommended order he tried Faust and didn't think much of it at all. Now, with all those albums under his belt on into the 7.5 range, he tried it again and got much more out of it. He considers it one of the greatest albums of all time now. I am certain that when he gets farther on the list he will again experience a big jump in his opinion of the album.

I would argue that it wouldn't be tough to make a very confusing and cryptic album that's so vague that people could see anything in them after enough spins.

1) If you did the recommended order, by the time you got to Faust it would likely take very few listens and you would be able to "see it" almost immediately.

I don't think its vague at all. It has complex structures and form, but it is very clear when you learn its themes and emotions and where they're coming from. Faust is a black mass, an unpeeling and warping of reality and the universe in order to raise the devil.

I'm pretty certain that The Beatles legacy will eventually drown, just as classical composers from hundreds of years ago that share the same sort of simplistic, unsophisticated sensibilities are rarely heard of

I think any music historian (NOT Scaruffi) would diagree pretty strongly that the Beatles will be forgotten. If a classical composer was as big as the Beatles still are today, don't you think they'd still be known today? There's a lot of famous tunes that 'stood the test of time' that are pretty simple. I think you're talking about if rock music completely falls out of style 200 years down the road? I still think the Beatles will be known, and that Faust will barely be mentioned. Maybe a rock historian will dig them up and enjoy their music, but the thing is I just don't see the general public at all going for something like that. Just my opinion though.

Not worth argument. You gave your opinion, I gave mine.

There's no reason to think otherwise. This has always been the case when someone doesn't agree, including yourself and AJ.

If you listen to it three times and still don't like it, I'll just say, that album probably wasn't for you.

I would've never made it through my own list with that outlook. I am very glad I persevered.

I think if the average person could experience Faust or Rock Bottom or Trout Mask Replica to the fullest, or near the fullest degree, within the first few listens, I have no doubt these albums would be much more revered and popular than the Beatles albums.

Right, and the fact they can't says something about those albums.

No, you see. They can. These albums are easy when one gets acclimated to the avant-garde. Just because we are already acclimated to pop music doesn't mean it is an easier form of music to listen to. Now that I am into the avant-garde I find the majority of pop boring in much the same way most people feel about avant-garde music.

Music isn't all about profound experiences and expressions of emotion. Sometimes people just want to sing and dance and feel the rhythm, and I'm not faulting them for that, I'm just saying that most people don't really like music that they feel they have to analyze over and over again. Which is why these albums will never sell in those numbers. I'll bring up the comparison with Space Odyssey again. It's incredibly moving, deeply profound, and unspeakably boring and pretentious.

I am glad what you've said is your opinion and it's too bad that most of today's music listeners are lazy

I think it took some talent, but not singular talent. I think there have been thousands of artists since that have reached the same level of "genius" the Beatles exhibited. The Shins, Michael Jackson, Franz Ferdinand, Coldplay, or The Strokes for instance.

I think a lot of people would find this very contentious. Go to rateyourmusic.com which pools the opinions of hundreds of thousands of people and see where those guys rate in comparison to the Beatles. There's no way this is due to a hype machine. The Backstreet Boys got comparable attention and see where they rank. Franz Ferdindand and Coldplay exhibit the same level of "genius" as the Beatles? I would tell you right now that a looooooooooot of people would disagree. There's only a handful of bands that wrote pop songs as good as the Beatles - the Kinks in their prime (the Village Green/Arthur era), and XTC.

Wow, so you mean to tell me these Beatles guys are popular?

There's nothing less special about these artists than there is about The Beatles, aside from marketing and charisma and timing, perhaps. They were an above average pop band that occasionally became cutely in tune with small, accessible portions of the avant-garde, captured the attention of millions by way of catchy, sing-along tunes, a massive marketing campaign, impeccable timing and an approachable charm, and when on to sell millions by gradually improving an easily sold product.

I think the boys from N'Sync were charismatic, had a massive marketing campaign, good time, and catchy tunes to boot. Any bets on how they'll be remembered in...uh...well, now?

In film they would be the equivalent of the summer blockbuster season stretched out over 7 years. I think saying the Beatles are the greatest artists is very similar to saying Titanic or Armageddon or Independence Day are the greatest films. It's fine if someone thinks that, but I certainly wouldn't rely on them for recommendations.

None of these films top the "best of" lists either,

yea, they do, or similarly 'blockbuster' titles do, such as Star Wars, Gone With The Wind, Lord of The Rings, Matrix, etc. when you go to imdb

while the Beatles have the top spot in countless lists. Millions and millions and millions have seen Titanic. How many think it's the best movie of all time? Or even close? Look at what's happening to Michael Jackson. Only a handful of his songs are really remembered, and his albums, though popular and abundant, aren't very acclaimed. Don't you know how big Duran Duran used to be? Okay, how many people can name more than one of their songs?

So a song like Hey Jude, In My Life or Yesterday is any more powerful than say Billy Jean or Titanic? What about The Beatles music makes them so superior to these works?

I don't see how people can claim the Beatles were all about hype. I don't claim them as the be-all end-all of rock music either, but even without listening to their songs, I don't see how anyone can see their huge sales figures and mass amounts of critical acclaim and claim it to be a fluke.

Who said they were all hype? Who are you responding to here?

I'll again ask the question AJ posed - how many other artists could write catchy, immediately likeable songs that did, in fact stand the test of time? Again, I'd say only XTC could do that consistantly. It takes loads of talent to do that. And yes, I am claiming that "You Get What You Give" and "I Want it That Way" and "Buddy Holly" are pretty good songs. I admit that sometimes it can come easy (such as Jet's "Are You Gonna Be My Girl?" which should pretty much count as plagiarism of "Lust For Life" and "Walk Like an Egyptian") but if you're NOT just basing it directly off a previous song, finding something like that doesn't come easy.

Maybe it's just me, and I'm some kind of super-genius on the level of Paul McCartney, but I could create a Beatles-type melodies in my head, off the cuff, within a matter of milliseconds. I don't understand what is so difficult about this. And I am sure I could learn to play their main instruments just as good in a pretty short time period. You speak as if they wrote symphonies or something. These are basic, chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-blahblahblah songs here. This has been being done for time immemorial. It's all over the top 40 as we speak.

Okay, just one more thing. Now, I'm not trying to claim that you and the other Scaruffiologists listen to albums because "Scaruffi said so" and enjoy them for the same reason. However, just to add a little bit of fuel to the fire, I have to ask this. In an earlier discussion, you claimed that Neu! was incredibly profound and amazing, and I claimed that Neu! '75 was a better album. Your response to that was, "I haven't heard it."

Now, I have to ask - Neu!'s catalog was just remastered and are all in print. If you really think that the debut is so great, why wouldn't you persue the other albums?

a) I haven't purchased any albums in some time, due to financial considerations.

b) I trust Scaruffi way ahead of you with regards recommendations for myself, because he has proven to be right for me many times over.

c) I have a list of albums (rock, jazz, classical) that I want to purchase, and Neu 75 won't be for some time, if at all. Regardless of how much I like the artist, I don't care about all their works, I only care about the ones that are worth buying (8/10+).

d) I will likely listen to it whenever I next go to Everyday Music, a store that allows one to have free listens to any album, even if not purchasing, but until I go there to purchase an album that I actually want, I won't be going there to listen to Neu 75, as it is way out of my way and the only thing worth going there for is if I have a purchase to make.

Whereas plenty of people think that '75 is a better album.

I don't care what others think about it, only what I hear.

Now you are dismissing an album based on what Scaruffi's opinion is, what am I to say?

I'm not sure when you invented that I dismissed it

It seems that, as someone who has such nice words about Neu!, that you ought to own an album that many claim is better, that holds the same basic sound as the debut. You have to admit, judging by the fact that Scaruffi also doesn't call it a masterpiece but he does consider the first one to be, that it seems silly to claim that you use Scaruffi 'merely' as a guide.

I haven't even critiqued Neu 75 one single time in my entire life, so I don't where the hell you're dreaming this up. I have no opinion on New 75!!! I haven't even heard it!!! All I know is their debut is a masterpiece, and some other stuff I've heard by them here and there is great, and I'll get around to Neu 75 when I get around to it

Don't you think that if an album BY THE SAME ARTIST is claimed to be better by many than the one you claim a masterpiece

I don't care who says what about it, obviously. The music I listen to has little to do with what is the most acclaimed. I'm not sure why you think I would care that "all these people" say it is better. They say the same thing about The Beatles and other mediocre albums and artists.

Michael Jackson was popular in the 80s but he's pretty much just a joke now. I mean, there were plenty of cute, charming, charismatic pop bands that were around the same time as the Beatles. The Beatles, however, have had enduring popularity with the masses and acclaim from the critics for decades. Acclaimedmusic.net, which compiles critical acclaim from a wide variety of sources, lists them as the most acclaimed band ever, the most acclaimed album band ever, the most acclaimed singles band ever, and lists five of their albums in the top 30 albums ever made. And you're attributing the Beatles' critical superiority over their contemporaries to... a marketing campaign? One that, yeah, got teenage girls pretty psyched about Beatlemania at the time, but how do you explain how popular they've been in the 37 years after the band broke up, not just with teenagers, but with intelligent music critics? Yeah, I know Scaruffi says the Beatles' acclaim is mainly due to marketing, but do you really buy that shit? Indeed, where's the acclaim for Garth Brooks, easily up there among the best-selling and best-marketed artists of all-time? Well, acclaimedmusic.net does list two of his albums in their top 3000 (at #1713 and #2386). He ain't the Beatles, though.

Don't just brush off my comments on Frownland either. Sure, everything is a matter of personal taste, but you've said that if someone really got Captain Beefheart there would be no way they could still prefer the Beatles. I am saying that while I haven't listened to TMR enough to convince you that I get it, that Frownland is actually pretty easy to understand; I am asserting that I "get" the song by your standards, and I still like some Beatles songs more. How do you respond to that? Do you not believe that I get it? Do you only feel that I would prefer Captain Beefheart if I got the whole album?

And you're attributing the Beatles' critical superiority over their contemporaries to... a marketing campaign?

Actually, here's what I said:

There's nothing less special about these artists than there is about The Beatles, aside from marketing and charisma and timing, perhaps. They were an above average pop band that occasionally became cutely in tune with small, accessible portions of the avant-garde, captured the attention of millions by way of catchy, sing-along tunes, a massive marketing campaign, impeccable timing and an approachable charm, and when on to sell millions by gradually improving an easily sold product.

Don't just brush off my comments on Frownland either. Sure, everything is a matter of personal taste, but you've said that if someone really got Captain Beefheart there would be no way they could still prefer the Beatles. I am saying that while I haven't listened to TMR enough to convince you that I get it, that Frownland is actually pretty easy to understand; I am asserting that I "get" the song by your standards, and I still like some Beatles songs more. How do you respond to that? Do you not believe that I get it? Do you only feel that I would prefer Captain Beefheart if I got the whole album?

Does it even matter? If you say you 'get' it than why are you asking me? There's nothing to address or 'brush off'. You say you 'get' Frownland and like some Beatles songs more. I said I think anyone who 'got' TMR would prefer it to The Beatles.

Do you not believe that I get it?

I don't know. I'm not you. What do you want me to say? Do you feel like you've connected to it on a commensurately emotional level to all the artists performing it? Do you feel deeply connected to an individual who is despaired, ferocious, angry, shocked and bewildered, possessed by some wild force of abandon pushing and pulling in every direction all at once, when you hear it?

Do you only feel that I would prefer Captain Beefheart if I got the whole album?

Of course. That is what I already said.

When you say the things you've said, such as those along the lines of how Faust is random or they didn't know what they were doing or not realizing it is a black mass, etc., it shows that you simply haven't listened to it enough to draw a final conclusion.

I didn't mean to imply that things were thrown together 'randomly', it just seems that way to me. These songs really don't follow a structure.

I don't see it as a black mass. I actually think a lot of the album is tongue-in-cheek. A few parts give me a smile.

No, you see. They can. These albums are easy when one gets acclimated to the avant-garde. Just because we are already acclimated to pop music doesn't mean it is an easier form of music to listen to. Now that I am into the avant-garde I find the majority of pop boring in much the same way most people feel about avant-garde music.

I haven't really felt like they are getting better each time I listen to them. I liked Trout Mask Replica the first time more than I did the twentieth...the first time it was more fresh and exciting, now I find some of it to be fairly tedious. Faust was exciting on first listen, then got boring, and then after a few more started to click more. Neu! and Rock Bottom gave me the same impression on the first listen that they do to me now. I know the music is 'difficult' but honestly I wouldn't say "I just don't get it" (except for Twin Infinitives...I listened once and it was a blur, so I'll come back to that one). I think you are implying that avant-garde music is inherintely better than pop music.

I am glad what you've said is your opinion and it's too bad that most of today's music listeners are lazy

Lazy? Look, I've had pretty profound experiences too with the albums I listed off before. When I want to contemplate the universe I'll put on something like Irrlicht. But if I'm looking for background music for studying, driving, whatever, I'll choose something different. I like the music I like because it makes me feel good and puts a smile on my face. With some of the best music I can get sort of a euphoric feeling, something that doesn't seem to happen much with those avant-garde albums.

Call it lazyness if you want, but I think most would find that insulting. If I know someone who loves Harry Potter, I would never give him a copy of War & Peace and tell him to stop being so lazy. I have plenty of 'difficult' albums that are rewarding, but there's a time and a place for those.

Wow, so you mean to tell me these Beatles guys are popular?

Yes, I'm telling you they're popular in that many many many people love their work. The bands you mentioned get lots of hype too but don't make these best-of lists. Why is that?

yea, they do, or similarly 'blockbuster' titles do, such as Star Wars, Gone With The Wind, Lord of The Rings, Matrix, etc. when you go to imdb

Go and check the rateyourmusic.com rating of No Strings Attached by N'Sync. As for the movies you mentioned: you were comparing them to summer flicks like Independance Day, Titanic, and Armageddon. None of these movies are on the chart. So I strongly disagree that it's a similar position. Now you're mentioning famous movies that DID chart. Remember that Star Wars was a flop at first. Lord of the Rings was big because of the popularity of the book, not because of hype. The "hyped = bad product" attitude is pretty lame IMO...remember Kubrick movies got insane amounts of hype too.

So a song like Hey Jude, In My Life or Yesterday is any more powerful than say Billy Jean or Titanic? What about The Beatles music makes them so superior to these works?

Billy Jean is comprable. The point is that Jackson didn't write enough songs that good. If the Beatles had just a few good songs and one or two good albums like Michael did, they wouldn't be remembered as they are today. Titanic on the other hand - I'm not going to go into why the Beatles songs are better to me, you only need to read the reviews to find out.

Who said they were all hype? Who are you responding to here?

Well, I'm trying to figure out - why do YOU think the Beatles are very consistantly seen as the most acclaimed and popular band in the world, and not Franz Ferdinand or Coldplay?

Maybe it's just me, and I'm some kind of super-genius on the level of Paul McCartney, but I could create a Beatles-type melodies in my head, off the cuff, within a matter of milliseconds. I don't understand what is so difficult about this. And I am sure I could learn to play their main instruments just as good in a pretty short time period. You speak as if they wrote symphonies or something. These are basic, chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-blahblahblah songs here. This has been being done for time immemorial. It's all over the top 40 as we speak.

I seriously doubt this. I can claim that I can dream up an album as good as Faust in a picosecond. Are you comparing the top 40 songs of today to the Beatles because they have similar structure? 40 years from now nobody will remember "This is Why I'm Hot" but it's a chart topper now isn't it?

I'm not sure when you invented that I dismissed it

AJ asked why you thought the debut was better, and your response seemed to be something like "according to Scaruffi, I won't like it, so I'm not going to bother". Seems like a dismissal to me.

I don't care who says what about it, obviously. The music I listen to has little to do with what is the most acclaimed. I'm not sure why you think I would care that "all these people" say it is better. They say the same thing about The Beatles and other mediocre albums and artists.

And yet your best of album lists closely apes Scaruffi's. I think the general consensus on a site like rateyourmusic or acclaimedmusic is valid. They think Revolver is great. Surprise, I do too! They think that Crazy Frog's Crazy Hits is the worst album of all time. Wouldn't you rather take their word for it?

No, I get what you're saying here. I don't think you should treasure one man's opinion while ignoring the general consensus and claim that you're thinking for yourself. Maybe it's just me - but if I find an album I like, it means I'll like their other albums too, and I won't claim that a particular album is their best until I've heard them all (or have a very good reason to believe, that, say, The Weirdness is probably not the best Stooges album). It puts the 'masterpiece' in context.

Okay, a few more

Actually, here's what I said:

Doesn't answer the question. Why do you feel the Beatles are so acclaimed today when you feel like Franz Ferdinand is doing the same thing? If Franz wrote songs like the Beatles I think they'd be much more popular. I like "Take Me Out" too but the whole album sure isn't full of them

Do you only feel that I would prefer Captain Beefheart if I got the whole album?

Of course. That is what I already said.

This I found interesting. Because you also said:

I'm not interested in musical absolutes. It's all subjective.

And yet I see you claiming time and time again that if someone just listened to your favorite albums enough, there's no doubt that they would agree with you. I'd imagine that a song like "Quit Playing Games With My Heart" was, at one time, incredibly deep and profound to some 12 year old girl and became one of the most meaningful songs in her life. Because she felt that doesn't mean everyone can. I do applaud your 'best albums of all time' list. I really do. I can't tell you you're wrong any more than you should tell me I am.

If you like, pick out an album and I'll give it 5-6 more listens and then tell you if my opinion changes. Cause I'm listening to Irrlicht right now and I find it to be fairly irritating.

I admit that Irrlicht has it's place. Nearly an hour worth of spacey drone music. It does conjure up images of space for me. I don't feel like conjuring up images of space very often. Does it make me lazy?

Either way thanks for responding so much. Maybe you ought to bring someone like Luke with you since this is a 2 on 1 which seems pretty unfair :)

Either way thanks for responding so much. Maybe you ought to bring someone like Luke with you since this is a 2 on 1 which seems pretty unfair :)

2 on 1 or 20 on 1 it doesn't matter. I'm not trying to 'win' anything. I have opinions I've observed and you guys do to. I am fine if you feel like you've succeeded in expressing those and, if it is your intention, 'winning the so-called debate'.

I think you are implying that avant-garde music is inherintely better than pop music.

More accurate would be to say that I think emotionally powerful music is better than emotionally shallow or unpowerful music.

The bands you mentioned get lots of hype too but don't make these best-of lists. Why is that?

I guess they must suck. I mean, they didn't top that latest NME or Rolling Stone list after all. Citizen Kane took 21 years to get on and top the Sight and Sound poll so it sucked for 21 years and then was all of a sudden the greatest film of all time. And don't let me forget that Pet Sounds is the greatest album of all time.

I haven't really felt like they are getting better each time I listen to them. I liked Trout Mask Replica the first time more than I did the twentieth...the first time it was more fresh and exciting, now I find some of it to be fairly tedious. Faust was exciting on first listen, then got boring, and then after a few more started to click more. Neu! and Rock Bottom gave me the same impression on the first listen that they do to me now. I know the music is 'difficult' but honestly I wouldn't say "I just don't get it" (except for Twin Infinitives...I listened once and it was a blur, so I'll come back to that one). I think you are implying that avant-garde music is inherintely better than pop music.

Maybe they're just not worth listening to anymore then.

The "hyped = bad product" attitude is pretty lame IMO...

Yet another invention. You're very good at this. I never said this at all. Albums like VU & Nico and Astral Weeks and Blonde On Blonde are all very hyped and I think they're some of the greatest albums ever.

I'll have to finish the rest of this later. I have to come back from break at work.

I guess they must suck. I mean, they didn't top that latest NME or Rolling Stone list after all. Citizen Kane took 21 years to get on and top the Sight and Sound poll so it sucked for 21 years and then was all of a sudden the greatest film of all time. And don't let me forget that Pet Sounds is the greatest album of all time.

What position was it before then? Not being on top means it sucked? We're not talking NME or Rolling Stone. I know those lists are biased and written by a few. Check rateyourmusic.com and you can see the rankings of albums as voted on by a large group of people. Revolver is #1 after being voted on by 6000 people. #2 is Abbey Road, #3 is Highway 61 revisited. From there it's Coltrane, Miles, Mingus, and VU & Nico. Pet Sounds is at #24. I think the site is a pretty good look at where things are at. I would claim that it's fair.

Yet another invention. You're very good at this. I never said this at all. Albums like VU & Nico and Astral Weeks and Blonde On Blonde are all very hyped and I think they're some of the greatest albums ever.

I never claimed that you said that, but rather it was your attitude. You compare the Beatles to three summer blockbuster movies that are generally seen as garbage and disposable. Then I question the assumption and you restate it using three more blockbuster movies, this time ones that are highly acclaimed, as if to suggest they belong in the same category.

What position was it before then? Not being on top means it sucked? We're not talking NME or Rolling Stone. I know those lists are biased and written by a few. Check rateyourmusic.com and you can see the rankings of albums as voted on by a large group of people. Revolver is #1 after being voted on by 6000 people. #2 is Abbey Road, #3 is Highway 61 revisited. From there it's Coltrane, Miles, Mingus, and VU & Nico. Pet Sounds is at #24. I think the site is a pretty good look at where things are at. I would claim that it's fair.

As far as I know, Kane wasn't on the list at all before 1962. rateyourmusic.com is a site that establishes the popularity of albums on a wider, more diverse scale than perhaps any other. Again, this isn't something I am interested in really. I already know most of the albums I love aren't very popular, but I also know the profound effects they have created on those who've been determined enough to brave their waters.

You compare the Beatles to three summer blockbuster movies that are generally seen as garbage and disposable. Then I question the assumption and you restate it using three more blockbuster movies, this time ones that are highly acclaimed, as if to suggest they belong in the same category.

That is infact what I did, and this is the level of quality I feel they are at. Their level of genius approximately ranges from Armageddon level to Titanic level to Lord of The Rings level. This doesn't seem outlandish to me at all. You, and many others, obviously would disagree.

So a song like Hey Jude, In My Life or Yesterday is any more powerful than say Billy Jean or Titanic? What about The Beatles music makes them so superior to these works?

Billy Jean is comprable. The point is that Jackson didn't write enough songs that good. If the Beatles had just a few good songs and one or two good albums like Michael did, they wouldn't be remembered as they are today. Titanic on the other hand - I'm not going to go into why the Beatles songs are better to me, you only need to read the reviews to find out.

Fine. No need to continue this.

Who said they were all hype? Who are you responding to here?

Well, I'm trying to figure out - why do YOU think the Beatles are very consistantly seen as the most acclaimed and popular band in the world, and not Franz Ferdinand or Coldplay?

Easy to like. Also because they went from pop music to dipping their toes in faux-avant-garde. This is what makes them better than most pop bands is that at least they tried. I think this is looked upon as rather heroic of them, especially by those who are unfamiliar with the avant-garde. Going from such an enthusiastic and fun pop act to expanding their music into faux-avant-garde offers an easy to enjoy middle ground. They give one a sense of the avant-garde and its power while maintaining their pop safety net at all times and under all guises. For the populous, this is a "deadly" combination indeed, since they simultaneously can feel like high art and giddy fun. Correct or not, this gives the Beatles an appearance of inscrutability, since they seem to have both areas covered.

Maybe it's just me, and I'm some kind of super-genius on the level of Paul McCartney, but I could create a Beatles-type melodies in my head, off the cuff, within a matter of milliseconds. I don't understand what is so difficult about this. And I am sure I could learn to play their main instruments just as good in a pretty short time period. You speak as if they wrote symphonies or something. These are basic, chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-blahblahblah songs here. This has been being done for time immemorial. It's all over the top 40 as we speak.

I seriously doubt this. I can claim that I can dream up an album as good as Faust in a picosecond. Are you comparing the top 40 songs of today to the Beatles because they have similar structure? 40 years from now nobody will remember "This is Why I'm Hot" but it's a chart topper now isn't it?

If you can make an albums on the level of Faust, please do so. That would be monumental. Yes, I am comparing the top 40 of any era to the majority of Beatles songs, especially the first half of their career.

I'm not sure when you invented that I dismissed it

AJ asked why you thought the debut was better, and your response seemed to be something like "according to Scaruffi, I won't like it, so I'm not going to bother". Seems like a dismissal to me.

You should read the actual post because again you are inventing words into my mouth which has changed the concept of my communication to AJ. I believe the original is in my overrated albums list.

I don't care who says what about it, obviously. The music I listen to has little to do with what is the most acclaimed. I'm not sure why you think I would care that "all these people" say it is better. They say the same thing about The Beatles and other mediocre albums and artists.

And yet your best of album lists closely apes Scaruffi's. I think the general consensus on a site like rateyourmusic or acclaimedmusic is valid. They think Revolver is great. Surprise, I do too! They think that Crazy Frog's Crazy Hits is the worst album of all time. Wouldn't you rather take their word for it?

Hell no. To me, Revolver is one of the most overrated works of art in the history of mankind. Why would I then listen to what that consensus says?

No, I get what you're saying here. I don't think you should treasure one man's opinion while ignoring the general consensus and claim that you're thinking for yourself. Maybe it's just me - but if I find an album I like, it means I'll like their other albums too, and I won't claim that a particular album is their best until I've heard them all (or have a very good reason to believe, that, say, The Weirdness is probably not the best Stooges album). It puts the 'masterpiece' in context.

Again, I don't care what others say about albums unless that person is someone I trust. I would totally put my faith in a lukeprog recommendation, or a Scaruffi recommendation, or a small handful of my friends recommendations, or some of the users on this site. Even in general consensus terms, outside Scaruffi, their debut is more acclaimed than Neu 75, so even if I gave a rip about that, results would be the same.

I'll rate Neu 75 when I get to it. There are other albums I am more interested in first.

Okay, a few more

Actually, here's what I said:

Doesn't answer the question. Why do you feel the Beatles are so acclaimed today when you feel like Franz Ferdinand is doing the same thing? If Franz wrote songs like the Beatles I think they'd be much more popular. I like "Take Me Out" too but the whole album sure isn't full of them

See above

Do you only feel that I would prefer Captain Beefheart if I got the whole album?

Of course. That is what I already said.

This I found interesting. Because you also said:

I'm not interested in musical absolutes. It's all subjective.

Yep. That's what I said and that's what I think. I'm not going to go very deep into this because I spent an absurd amount of time on it already, but you should read the definition of 'getting an album' and the ensuing description on me "Important Data..." post.

If you like, pick out an album and I'll give it 5-6 more listens and then tell you if my opinion changes. Cause I'm listening to Irrlicht right now and I find it to be fairly irritating.

No, it's not worth my time. It's going to fail because your intention is more to prove me wrong than to experience the music and understand its emotions.

I admit that Irrlicht has it's place. Nearly an hour worth of spacey drone music. It does conjure up images of space for me. I don't feel like conjuring up images of space very often. Does it make me lazy?

Nope. It often takes most a good handful of listens to 'get' Irrlicht. If you followed my "Important Data..." and "Recommended Order..." you'd have no problems. And you may just 'get' it anyway due to your history with electronic music, but really, you're more qualified to answer your question than I am.

Yes, I am comparing the top 40 of any era to the majority of Beatles songs, especially the first half of their career.

I think the Beatles were more important though because they were real innovators in the style. "My Humps" isn't innovative. I don't think you should consider the first half of their career, since most all the albums we're talking about are from the second half, but whatever. Popular music of today borrows a lot from the Beatles which is why they sound similar. But the Beatles wrote better melodies most of the time, which is why their songs are still popular and remembered.

You should read the actual post because again you are inventing words into my mouth which has changed the concept of my communication to AJ. I believe the original is in my overrated albums list.

The actual quote is:

"However, if Scaruffi is correct, in that it emphasises melody over the huge rhythms and atmosphere, as well as lacks the ingenuity of the debut, then it is probable I wouldn't like it nearly as much. But again, I can't be sure until I've heard it first."

And here you're claiming that it's not very high on your to-get list.

Hell no. To me, Revolver is one of the most overrated works of art in the history of mankind. Why would I then listen to what that consensus says?

I think it damages your argument when you're trying to say that it's insipid pop music and nothing special. If I claimed the same about Citizen Kane or The Godfather my argument would be a tough one to swallow.

Yep. That's what I said and that's what I think. I'm not going to go very deep into this because I spent an absurd amount of time on it already, but you should read the definition of 'getting an album' and the ensuing description on me "Important Data..." post.

I read all that. It seems phrases like (and this is just my recollection) "I think that, given the effort and time necessary, that everyone would find Rock Bottom to be one of the five greatest albums of all time" suggest strongly that you think there IS a such thing as a musical absolute. I mean, what if I said the same thing about Sing to God by Cardiacs? If I claim that it's the best album ever made (which, in my opinion, it is), and you say, "well I don't like it", and my response is, "you haven't listened to it enough", how would you feel? Cardiacs aren't rated on Scaruffi's list so you may be lost on this one. Maybe all their albums are 9.5/10 and 10/10's.

No, it's not worth my time. It's going to fail because your intention is more to prove me wrong than to experience the music and understand its emotions.

Do you think I'm arguing for the sake of arguing? If these really are the greatest musical works of all time, wouldn't you think that I would want to experience them that way? No, I say that because I HAVE heard these albums a lot, many times before I even came across Listology. In addition, this seems to imply 'the albums are only masterpieces if you approach them as one'.

It often takes most a good handful of listens to 'get' Irrlicht.

I can see this, but I can't help but notice you're claiming "listen to it until you think it's a work of genius". Okay, now go listen to Cornelius's "Point" until you think it's a masterwork that summarizes not only the last fifty years of recorded music, but also the next fifty. If you don't think so, then you don't 'get' it. Sounds ridiculous right? I don't think there is a musical absolute. If it doesn't intrigue you on first or second listen then you probably won't like it. And for the record, pretty much every album on your list DID intrigue me at the first listen, save for Irrlicht and Twin Infinitives, I guess.

Yes, I am comparing the top 40 of any era to the majority of Beatles songs, especially the first half of their career.

I think the Beatles were more important though because they were real innovators in the style. "My Humps" isn't innovative. I don't think you should consider the first half of their career, since most all the albums we're talking about are from the second half, but whatever. Popular music of today borrows a lot from the Beatles which is why they sound similar. But the Beatles wrote better melodies most of the time, which is why their songs are still popular and remembered.

Okay

You should read the actual post because again you are inventing words into my mouth which has changed the concept of my communication to AJ. I believe the original is in my overrated albums list.

The actual quote is:

"However, if Scaruffi is correct, in that it emphasises melody over the huge rhythms and atmosphere, as well as lacks the ingenuity of the debut, then it is probable I wouldn't like it nearly as much. But again, I can't be sure until I've heard it first."

Yep, that's it.

And here you're claiming that it's not very high on your to-get list.

And? Uhh...did I break a rule or hurt your feelings or something. I don't understand what point you're trying to make.

Hell no. To me, Revolver is one of the most overrated works of art in the history of mankind. Why would I then listen to what that consensus says?

I think it damages your argument when you're trying to say that it's insipid pop music and nothing special.

I think it damages your argument to say it's much more than that. It's almost just a pop album man, with some little add-ons and minor nuances making it seem slightly different. It's fine if you love it, but it's not as if it somehow defies categorization or is groundbreaking or something. Every single song follows the well worn pop formula save for certain doses of Yellow Submarine & Tomorrow Never Knows. The rest are just pop songs either slowed down (I'm Only Sleeping) using a different guitar --oh my!-- (Love You To), backwards guitar (And Your Bird Can Sing)...in sound Revolver is hardly a jump forward from Rubber Soul, which was hardly a jump forward from Help.

If I claimed the same about Citizen Kane or The Godfather my argument would be a tough one to swallow.

Damn right. The Beatles albums have practically nothing in common with these works. If transferred to music, these films would not be "pop". They are much more emotional odysseys than anything the Beatles did. Citizen Kane especially, was way ahead of its time in practically every which way. The Beatles were not.

Yep. That's what I said and that's what I think. I'm not going to go very deep into this because I spent an absurd amount of time on it already, but you should read the definition of 'getting an album' and the ensuing description on me "Important Data..." post.

I read all that. It seems phrases like (and this is just my recollection) "I think that, given the effort and time necessary, that everyone would find Rock Bottom to be one of the five greatest albums of all time" suggest strongly that you think there IS a such thing as a musical absolute. I mean, what if I said the same thing about Sing to God by Cardiacs? If I claim that it's the best album ever made (which, in my opinion, it is), and you say, "well I don't like it", and my response is, "you haven't listened to it enough", how would you feel? Cardiacs aren't rated on Scaruffi's list so you may be lost on this one. Maybe all their albums are 9.5/10 and 10/10's.

You should read it again.

No, it's not worth my time. It's going to fail because your intention is more to prove me wrong than to experience the music and understand its emotions.

Do you think I'm arguing for the sake of arguing? If these really are the greatest musical works of all time, wouldn't you think that I would want to experience them that way?

I don't know. I do have my doubts

No, I say that because I HAVE heard these albums a lot, many times before I even came across Listology. In addition, this seems to imply 'the albums are only masterpieces if you approach them as one'.

If you go into them looking for a quick fixing pop album you will fail. If you go into them expecting something profound and complex and emotional, you'll know how to approach it, and are less likely to have your determination hampered by what you find.

It often takes most a good handful of listens to 'get' Irrlicht.

I can see this, but I can't help but notice you're claiming "listen to it until you think it's a work of genius".

Listen to it until you connect with the artists' vision, and have occupied commensurate emotions to his.

I don't think there is a musical absolute.

Neither do I. There is an absolute in any person's potential to understand and occupy emotional capacity and through this anyone can potentially 'get' an album at will. But it is a choice and with these albums often takes a level of determination most people aren't willing or able to dedicate to. So when I say "anyone who gets so and so album would....", I am referring to a small percentage of the population. It seems to take a certain type of person to get that far in the first place.

If it doesn't intrigue you on first or second listen then you probably won't like it.

I have seen this to be untrue on numerous occasions, due to one's inherent ability to understand, which can be accomplished by confronting something more and more (i.e. listening to an album or other albums in the same range more and more)

And for the record, pretty much every album on your list DID intrigue me at the first listen, save for Irrlicht and Twin Infinitives, I guess.

Good. Enjoy them.

Right: marketing, charisma, and timing is what you are saying separate the Beatles from, say, Franz Ferdinand. I can assume that you could also come up with examples of bands from the 60s who are equally as talented as Franz Ferdinand. Hence, I said there are other charismatic bands that were around the same time as the Beatles who are all but forgotten about, yet the Beatles are remembered with astonishing critical acclaim. So once you adjust for charisma and timing, all you need is... marketing?

Look, I guess this is just a long-winded way of making JAMOOL's point about N Sync that you never responded to. Throughout history there have been pop artists producing catchy songs and marketing campaigns that hocked the shit out of them. Then everyone forgot about those pop artists within ten years, and certainly no critic worth his salt praised those artists. The Beatles are different. They are special in ways that Scaruffi has trained you to ignore. So don't go saying they're as talented as any other pop band if you don't care about the ways in which they're better.

Right: marketing, charisma, and timing is what you are saying separate the Beatles from, say, Franz Ferdinand. I can assume that you could also come up with examples of bands from the 60s who are equally as talented as Franz Ferdinand. Hence, I said there are other charismatic bands that were around the same time as the Beatles who are all but forgotten about, yet the Beatles are remembered with astonishing critical acclaim. So once you adjust for charisma and timing, all you need is... marketing?

and the rest of what I said

Look, I guess this is just a long-winded way of making JAMOOL's point about N Sync that you never responded to. Throughout history there have been pop artists producing catchy songs and marketing campaigns that hocked the shit out of them. Then everyone forgot about those pop artists within ten years, and certainly no critic worth his salt praised those artists. The Beatles are different.

They are special in ways that Scaruffi has trained you to ignore.

unbelieveable...I own the Beatles albums. I have listened to them thoroughly. They used to be some of my favorites. I no longer find them worth listening to, especially with the other options at my disposal. For the most part, to me they are booorrrriinnngggg and predictable, shallow and un-profound. I'd rather spend my music listening getting blown away and in awe, not listening to pop music and a rare moment of genius.

So don't go saying they're as talented as any other pop band if you don't care about the ways in which they're better.

You're right. I don't.

Well, I've been trying to discuss with you the ways in which the Beatles were incredibly talented, more so than other bands that you easily compare them to, but if you don't care about the ways in which they are superior, I don't know why you kept talking about this in the first place, nor do I see any point in continuing this conversation.

I think I would basically say that The Beatles were on par with Michael Jackson from their first album through Revolver, and on par with artists like The Strokes, Coldplay, The Shins, U2, during their later years. If you think otherwise than I am fine with that, and I agree with you that there's not really anything to discuss. I do think it could be argued that their talent represents a combination of these artists, so you could say that The Beatles would be more talented than any one of them individually, save perhaps U2.

If either AJ or JAMOOL, or anyone else wants a perfect example of an album that is vibrant, enthusiastic, melodious--a Beatles fan's wet dream--but is so mind-blowing, astonishing, profound that it casts the Beatles music aside as all but irrelevant, then check out Carla Bley's Escalator Over The Hill. It really illustrates the vast difference between a 9.5 (or 9.25 possibly) and a 7 or 7.25 (The Beatles best albums). I mention this one in particular because it is a bit easier to acclimate to than most of the other albums, and it accomplishes genius to a degree that I feel Beatles fans claim about the Beatles--only, in my opinion Escalator Over The Hill is the truth.

I'll check that one out tonight. Not sure if it's gonna make me stop liking the Beatles though - I've never liked a band so much that I would look back on something and say it's garbage. When I was a kid I really liked the Police (even though they broke up the year I was born!) I've probably heard all their CDs around 50-100 times each by now. So listening to them now, I find I'm a little sick of them, although I do get in the mood for them sometime every two or three months. I try not to think of music in the way it makes me feel NOW but rather the way it made me feel when I was interested in it - after all, my opinions are changing all the time. Something that blew me away on the 4th or 5th listen isn't going to do it on the 200th. Certainly, if I ever did at one point think "This is the best album ever created!", then it has to have some merit? You seem to be able to listen to your favorites over and over without getting bored, but out of the albums on your lists that I have heard a lot (Trout Mask and Neu!) I doubt I will listen to them too much in the future since I already have them practically memorized by now. Not saying that my favorites have lost their meaning to me; from time to time I go back and listen to a band that used to be a favorite, and rediscover it - I can always get into them again if I want to, but I'm always trying to discover new stuff every week. Doesn't the fact that you once claimed Revolver to be the best album of all time mean it's a better than what Franz and U2 have been doing?

I think it damages your argument to say it's much more than that. It's almost just a pop album man, with some little add-ons and minor nuances making it seem slightly different...

I would say Revolver was quite groundbreaking. You're assuming that in order for an album to be worthy it has to do something nobody else has done before, and that simply making a quality album isn't enough, and you have to admit that the Beatles were going into areas that most pop bands weren't willing to go.

The Beatles albums have practically nothing in common with these works.

Except that fans and critics alike continually put them on the top of the 'best-of' lists.

I have seen this to be untrue on numerous occasions, due to one's inherent ability to understand, which can be accomplished by confronting something more and more (i.e. listening to an album or other albums in the same range more and more)

I'm not saying that you have to be enthralled right away but it should be something. Don't worry, I find most albums to be pretty intruiging on the first listen. I've tried to 'force' myself to like something before and it doesn't work.

unbelieveable...I own the Beatles albums. I have listened to them thoroughly. They used to be some of my favorites. I no longer find them worth listening to, especially with the other options at my disposal. For the most part, to me they are booorrrriinnngggg and predictable, shallow and un-profound. I'd rather spend my music listening getting blown away and in awe, not listening to pop music and a rare moment of genius.

Well I covered this above, but really I find albums like Neu! and Faust pretty predicitable too once I've heard them that many times. Why wouldn't you want both? I *do* like a lot of music that's experimental, but it's not really appropriate for a lot of the situations where I want to hear something. Irrlicht, Trout Mask, and Faust are all on my iPod and I skip them almost every time they come up in shuffle.

I'll check that one out tonight. Not sure if it's gonna make me stop liking the Beatles though - I've never liked a band so much that I would look back on something and say it's garbage. When I was a kid I really liked the Police (even though they broke up the year I was born!) I've probably heard all their CDs around 50-100 times each by now. So listening to them now, I find I'm a little sick of them, although I do get in the mood for them sometime every two or three months. I try not to think of music in the way it makes me feel NOW but rather the way it made me feel when I was interested in it - after all, my opinions are changing all the time. Something that blew me away on the 4th or 5th listen isn't going to do it on the 200th. Certainly, if I ever did at one point think "This is the best album ever created!", then it has to have some merit? You seem to be able to listen to your favorites over and over without getting bored, but out of the albums on your lists that I have heard a lot (Trout Mask and Neu!) I doubt I will listen to them too much in the future since I already have them practically memorized by now. Not saying that my favorites have lost their meaning to me; from time to time I go back and listen to a band that used to be a favorite, and rediscover it - I can always get into them again if I want to, but I'm always trying to discover new stuff every week. Doesn't the fact that you once claimed Revolver to be the best album of all time mean it's a better than what Franz and U2 have been doing?

Not at all. For the time, The Beatles sounded new and fresh to me (especially since they were a near opposite to what I was listening to in classical for 2 years prior) but the more great music I heard, the more underwhelming they became. They managed to stay on my list for about 2 years, based almost wholly on memory alone--as in, how I felt about them before--and part of me bought into their legacy and critical acclaim than what the actual music meant to me.

Every one of the albums on my list has temporarily disinterested me, say, after a week or so of constant listening, but I always come back to them thereafter since they each hold something emotionally and/or musically singular, and I very often find the albums to get better and better upon each new round of listening.

You have to admit that the Beatles were going into areas that most pop bands weren't willing to go.

I would mostly agree with this statement, but it is, in my opinion, too sporadic and not impressive enough to seriously affect my opinion about them. Infact, I feel their somewhat adventurous side is pretty much all that keeps them from being irrelevant to me, while conversely it is the major reason most anoint them as geniuses.

The Beatles albums have practically nothing in common with these works.

Except that fans and critics alike continually put them on the top of the 'best-of' lists.

I agree that this is practically all they have in common, which is also why it is strange that The Beatles top the lists of their respective art.

I have seen this to be untrue on numerous occasions, due to one's inherent ability to understand, which can be accomplished by confronting something more and more (i.e. listening to an album or other albums in the same range more and more)

I'm not saying that you have to be enthralled right away but it should be something. Don't worry, I find most albums to be pretty intruiging on the first listen. I've tried to 'force' myself to like something before and it doesn't work.

I don't think 'forcing' oneself to like something ever really works in the long run

unbelieveable...I own the Beatles albums. I have listened to them thoroughly. They used to be some of my favorites. I no longer find them worth listening to, especially with the other options at my disposal. For the most part, to me they are booorrrriinnngggg and predictable, shallow and un-profound. I'd rather spend my music listening getting blown away and in awe, not listening to pop music and a rare moment of genius.

Well I covered this above, but really I find albums like Neu! and Faust pretty predicitable too once I've heard them that many times. Why wouldn't you want both? I *do* like a lot of music that's experimental, but it's not really appropriate for a lot of the situations where I want to hear something. Irrlicht, Trout Mask, and Faust are all on my iPod and I skip them almost every time they come up in shuffle.

We simply have different ideals as to what we want to spend our time listening to. I always want something masterful, profound, deep, etc.

Alright, I've heard the Carla Bley album (only once though) and I'm not sure what it has to do with the Beatles. This is an opera album with a few guitars here and there. It is somewhat accessible, and has a few nice melodies here and there but how is it related at all?

I think my point on Neu' 75 wasn't to do with critical opinion. The point I was trying to make is that I think you are limiting yourself by conforming your opinions too close to one particular critic rather than make your own.

Alright, I've heard the Carla Bley album (only once though) and I'm not sure what it has to do with the Beatles. This is an opera album with a few guitars here and there. It is somewhat accessible, and has a few nice melodies here and there but how is it related at all?

Exactly. I was waiting for you to say this. I think of particular comical interest is that Bley has claimed it is her answer to Sgt. Pepper. But it's obvious she failed to match it.

This is an opera album with a few guitars here and there.

I love how you attempt to pair it down to 1% of the album, forgetting or simply not observing that it is practically a culmination of much of 20th century music combined. Seriously now, did you actually listen to it or just go to allmusic.com? This is like saying Trout Mask Replica is just an album with some rough vocals and some saxophone parts here and there. If this really is all you see in it than I have no further business with wasting my time making recommendations to you in the future--it's really not worth my time or your time. It's one thing to dislike it, which would be totally fine and actually expected, but it's quite another to exhibit such a profound mis-duplication of what you've heard, as if you paid practically no attention to it at all.

The point I was trying to make is that I think you are limiting yourself by conforming your opinions too close to one particular critic rather than make your own.

Well, you're wrong. I use Scaruffi often as to what to check out since I tend to agree with him so often, but my actual assessment of the album upon hearing it is completely my own, and if you don't believe me than that is perfectly alright. I'm not interested or concerned in convincing you any further than stating what I've already stated.

Did you expect a fully-fledged review? Of course I realized that there was more to it than that. Did you want a huge dissertation on what I thought? I would have to listen more than once don't you think?

That wasn't at all my point. My point was, you are saying, "if you like the Beatles, check out this!" and then recommending an album that is nothing like the Beatles. How exactly is this a "Beatles fan's wet dream?" Because they both have melodies? That one sentence wasn't a review. What exactly was your problem with it? Opera is only 1% of it? Guitars were only 1% of it? I mentioned them because they seemed to be the only connection to the Beatles sound I could make out. It's not that I dislike the album. I did enjoy listening to it. But the feelings that I would get from that album are nothing like what I'd get out of a pop album. With a few more listens maybe I would rank it as one of the best albums ever, but I would never say "and furthermore, I don't like the Beatles anymore". This is not the same genre at all. Why can't you like both?

I'm more than happy to take your recommendations, by the way. Maybe you think it's probably "too difficult" or "not stupid" enough for me or whatever, but I really think there's a lot of good things about that album. By the way, why would you recommend it to me thinking that I would dislike it? Are you just trying to prove to yourself that the music you like is different than the kind of stuff I like?

The reason why I think you're conforming your opinions to his is because they are remarkably similar, which is especially weird considering how many avant-garde albums are on the list. Through sites like LastFM, or RYM, or just through my friends, I know lots of people with 'similar' tastes to mine, yet when I look at their lists there's always things I disagree with, while you and Scaruffi *seem* to agree on virtually everything. I do think his opinions influence your own - I think it may even be subtle, something you're not aware of. If you were offered a copy of something like Irrlicht or Faust, looked up Scaruffi who said "this is uninspired garabage" and gave it a 3/10, I do think that would have influenced your opinion. Because with such albums you can see them as both. That's just what I've seen. I've seen a lot of review pages, RYM pages, or whatever, and have yet to find anyone who has such identical music tastes. I have a friend who likes a lot of the same music as me...Underworld, Devo, Kinks, Sparks, XTC, and so on, but we differ on a number of things...he likes Nirvana, I think they're crap, isn't this a beautiful thing?

I think you're looking at music in too much of an objective way. You seem to suggest that if someone was given Revolver and Trout Mask and listened to each 50 times, the person would certainly choose Beefheart. If he doesn't, surely he needs to listen more, or buy more avant-garde albums, or get a better soundsystem, or whatever. What if he just likes pop music better? If it's more appealing to him? More profound? This, I think is the difference between us. If you looked at my top 5 - well, I've had profound experiences with them all, and that they're the best albums of all time, but if you don't like Devo, I'm not gonna say it's only because you don't understand it. I think looking at someone's favorites, telling them that they're shallow, and that they would surely conform to your tastes more is kind of obnoxious. I'm open to suggestions. I've heard most of the albums you've listed as your favorites. Have you heard any of mine? Okay, so maybe Escalators is a culmination of 20th century music. Point is a culmination of 20th AND 21st century music. Sing to God is one of the most complex and intricate albums I've ever heard. Dubnobasswithmyheadman is a profound and exciting introspective look at our lives and the places we live in. You say my recommendations don't mean much to you, are you basing this on the fact that I don't like Irrlicht or that you've heard the albums I like? How do you know you wouldn't really like them? Because Scaruffi didn't say they were good? Do you really think he listened to the Cornelius albums more than once? He doesn't even list Cardiacs. I'm feeling this is sort of one-sided. You are talking a lot about the Beatles, and I am defending them, but I really *don't* like the Beatles that much. But I can't deny that they were a fantastic and influential band and probably the most important. Just as you listen to the Beatles and call it shallow, I listen to Faust and call it boring. I understand it fine.

Sorry if this is too long winded....

Did you expect a fully-fledged review?

Nope

Of course I realized that there was more to it than that.

You should've said so. Your statement was very matter of fact and judging by your history with other albums with lots of depth, such as Faust, TMR and Irrlicht, it seemed totally plausible to me that this is infact all you thought of it..especially since that is what you said.

I would have to listen more than once don't you think?

Yes, but not to tell what kind of music much of it is.

That wasn't at all my point. My point was, you are saying, "if you like the Beatles, check out this!"

you're quoting something I didn't say

and then recommending an album that is nothing like the Beatles. How exactly is this a "Beatles fan's wet dream?"

As I said above, it is beautiful, melodic, inventive, emotional, vibrant--all the things that the Beatles are supposed to be, only this has it on a much more overwhelmingly profound level.

It's not that I dislike the album. I did enjoy listening to it. But the feelings that I would get from that album are nothing like what I'd get out of a pop album.

With a few more listens maybe I would rank it as one of the best albums ever, but I would never say "and furthermore, I don't like the Beatles anymore". This is not the same genre at all. Why can't you like both?

You can. I don't. The Beatles are boring to me. I've already said this. My statement above was from me, not necessarily all to you.

I'm more than happy to take your recommendations, by the way. Maybe you think it's probably "too difficult" or "not stupid" enough for me or whatever, but I really think there's a lot of good things about that album. By the way, why would you recommend it to me thinking that I would dislike it? Are you just trying to prove to yourself that the music you like is different than the kind of stuff I like?

Not at all. There was simply no expectation that you would like it or think anything of it.

I think you're looking at music in too much of an objective way.

I've already explained this in other posts and on my "Important Data..." I'm not going to continue to address it over and over.

You should've said so. Your statement was very matter of fact and judging by your history with other albums with lots of depth, such as Faust, TMR and Irrlicht, it seemed totally plausible to me that this is infact all you thought of it..especially since that is what you said.

Wasn't meant as a review though. Just pointing out it had nothing to do with the Beatles. For the record I do like TMR quite a bit. I don't consider it one of the top 10 albums ever. I like Faust. I don't think it's a masterpiece. Irrlicht I have more of a problem with. I dig the atmosphere plenty. It's just not something I really enjoy listening to.

Yes, but not to tell what kind of music much of it is.

I think "opera" IS a good description. Opera crossed with rock music crossed with classical. A little avant-garde on that last piece.

As I said above, it is beautiful, melodic, inventive, emotional, vibrant--all the things that the Beatles are supposed to be, only this has it on a much more overwhelmingly profound level.

I tend to think of it more in terms of genre. You could say Trout Mask is all those things. The way it was phrased I imagined it would have more in common with the Beatles, especially since you addressed the post directly to me. Therefore I'm not quite sure why you recommended this one. You said in your post it would cast aside the Beatles as being all but irrelivant. That's like seeing "2001: A Space Odyssey" and then slagging off all comedies forever.

Not at all. There was simply no expectation that you would like it or think anything of it.
Then why recommend it to me?

JAMOOL, doesn't this just seem pointless after a while?

Well, if I may...

I have thought on numerous occasions, "what's the point?"

but, despite the frustrations here, there, and sometimes everywhere, I have actually learned quite a bit about JAMOOL's tastes and considerations towards music throughout all this, which was my intention with the survey to begin with.

Actually, your intention was to figure out people's tastes and then "extract from that to develop more along the line as to how to present my/yours/Scaruffi's lists better and make the albums more able to be confronted and listened to." And it doesn't sound like you've been very successful with that, even given what you've learned about JAMOOL's tastes.

well, actually I have definitely learned a lot in that direction, especially in discussing it with two people in direct opposition to my views.

I don't mean to sound doubtful, but you've certainly piqued my curiosity. What have you learned?

I can't think of a way to answer this in a short enough way. I mean, throughout the last 35 posts or so there has been many things JAMOOL and you have said or indicated about your views and musical tastes, all of which are open for anyone to see and learn about. There is nothing else I've learned or had validated than what has been said by the both of you. To list them all out would be tedious. I will be making a new list(s)/article(s) and posting it on listology which will be partially based on what I've learned here--this may or may not give you an idea and a more descript answer to your question.

You should've said so. Your statement was very matter of fact and judging by your history with other albums with lots of depth, such as Faust, TMR and Irrlicht, it seemed totally plausible to me that this is infact all you thought of it..especially since that is what you said.

Wasn't meant as a review though. Just pointing out it had nothing to do with the Beatles. For the record I do like TMR quite a bit. I don't consider it one of the top 10 albums ever. I like Faust. I don't think it's a masterpiece. Irrlicht I have more of a problem with. I dig the atmosphere plenty. It's just not something I really enjoy listening to.

ok

Yes, but not to tell what kind of music much of it is.

I think "opera" IS a good description. Opera crossed with rock music crossed with classical. A little avant-garde on that last piece.

ok

As I said above, it is beautiful, melodic, inventive, emotional, vibrant--all the things that the Beatles are supposed to be, only this has it on a much more overwhelmingly profound level.

I tend to think of it more in terms of genre. You could say Trout Mask is all those things. The way it was phrased I imagined it would have more in common with the Beatles, especially since you addressed the post directly to me. Therefore I'm not quite sure why you recommended this one. You said in your post it would cast aside the Beatles as being all but irrelivant. That's like seeing "2001: A Space Odyssey" and then slagging off all comedies forever.

Well I didn't recommend it directly, meaning I didn't think "this is an album that I know so and so will love so I am recommending it to him". I said, If you, AJ or anyone wants an example of an album that... I was curious to find out if you would see the difference between the massive emotional impact an album on that scale holds as opposed to a Beatles album, especially since it was supposedly an answer to Sgt Pepper (which, qualitatively, is a bit like saying Astral Weeks was an answer to Pet Sounds, or that Michael Jordan attempted to succeed Dennis Johnson, or Beethoven's 9th was an attempt to best his 1st, or with A Love Supreme John Coltrane could rest easier that he'd bested Dave Brubeck's Time Out. Right. Preposterous.). If you think the Beatles produced equal or greater works, or that you really can't compare the two, than the more power to you.

1) Robert Wyatt - Rock Bottom
Spicelab - A Day On Our Planet
DJ Shadow - Endtroducing...
Sasha & Digweed - Northern Exposure
Klaus Schulze - Irrlicht

2)A lot of things, it depends on either my respect for an album or my love for it. Greatness for me is a combination of the two. I respect Stockhausen and what he did conceptually for music, but I personally find his work abrasive and abstract to the point of nearly hating it. Likewise, I love a lot of house music, though I wouldn't respect a lot of it, as most is just funky melodies with a 4/4 beat. An example of a combination of the two is Rock Bottom, as on a purely critical way, it is very complex on some levels, simple on others, it is a very complex and intense piece of music. But I also love it, everything about it just does it for me, that's where my own opinions come into play.

3) Irrlicht or Rock Bottom, they hit home with emotion so deep and powerful it's like nothing else.

4) Steve Reich - Music for Eighteen Musicians - without question.

5)
1:profundity
2:ingenuity
3:expansion of content
4:overall track continuity

Thanks for your answers Blind.

1) Out of your 5 favorite albums, you of course know the two I love the most. I do also think Endtroducing is a great album, but I haven't yet heard the other two (on order soon).

2) I agree with you that the greatest albums tend to be as astonishing from an observational, critical standpoint as they are from a personal, emotional standpoint.

3) Irrlicht and Rock Bottom are certainly two of the most profound albums ever.

4) Great choice. For me, I would have to say Trout Mask Replica.

5) It seems like our conclusions will end up being similar regarding the list. You're well on your way towards 'getting' each one of them.

1. What are your five favorite albums? (No particular order to this)
Who's Next, The Who
Close to the Edge, Yes
IV, Led Zepplin
Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd
Quadrophenia, The Who
2. I focus on how much i like the songs vs what percentage of the album are great songs. If an album has both, then it is probably on this list.
3. Quadrophenia, The Who
4. Yessongs, Yes (it is a concert album, so this may not count, but if it does it is definetly the winner IMO).