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TPK got a raw deal on this site and others when it came out. I think it was the unexpected production, with the new-wavy keyboards.
But I’m with you on this. “Ladder Song” and “One For You, One For Me” are two of my favorite BE songs.
In a genre rich with brilliant depictions of every corner and color of depression, this album stands with the very best: Elliott Smith, Nick Drake, NIrvana, Joy Division.
By way of contrast, take a listen to how the story of John Walker Lindh (“Taliban Johnny”) was handled by the great Steve Earle:
Amanda may not be the best one to take it on, but Dzokhar’s story is fascinating, and will surely show up many, many more times.
Not going to pile on here. Many much more eloquent expressions above.
Not to be overlooked among their best songs is “So Far Around The Bend” from the “Dark Was The Night” compilation, and would be on my personal top 10.
It’s hard to argue with anything here, given the quality and volume of the catalog.
And I won’t, though I’m surprised to see nothing from either “Songs for Drella” (a collaboration, but aren’t they all) or “Magic and Loss”. I think both stand up to his best work.
And, in my list, I would have included “Halloween Parade” over “Dirty Boulevard” from the “New York” album; as raw, personal and emotional a song as anything he ever recorded, and a perfect screenshot of the height of the AIDS epidemic in NYC.
Just to give credit where it is due, the solo guitar on Mathew Sweet “Girlfriend” belongs to Robert Quine (if you are speaking of the song itself) or to Quine and Richard Lloyd if speaking about the album.
You totally deserved it.
Even after having listened to “NO!” something like, oh, six or seven hundred times while driving with my kids somewhere, I’d still say that several of the songs from that album deserve consideration for this list:
- Where do they make balloons?
- Four of two
- The house at the top of the tree
But, this particular list is daunting … my all time favorite song I only heard once, on “Dial-a-song”, it was only on there for one day, in 1986 or 1987 I think, and it was about the Mets …
And, FWIW, I was at what I believe was their first official show, at some kind of protest for squatters’ rights in Tompkins Square Park in NYC.
No, that was self-deprecating humor, an apparently overly oblique reference to the mundane things that I find in my possessions, to emphasize the forgotten gems that an artist like Sufjan finds among his.
This has a really nice chorus. The “don’t be distracted” bit makes me think it might have been destined for “Age of Adz” instead of “All Delighted People”.
And, I was rummaging around in my coat pocket this morning and found a peanut butter sandwich I made in 2010 that I forgot to eat … it was pretty good too. God, Suf and I are so much alike, doncha think?
Cuz of the other guy …
Thanks for sharing.
Well, Stereogum screwed this one up BIG TIME by not actually screwing it up.
Bring “Call the Doctor” up to third and it’s perfect.
I love this band beyond words, and “Dig Me Out” is as perfect an album as I can name.
Meh. I liked the fake lineup better.
Then I, for one, would gladly don butterfly wings and submit to his rule.
That was Roger Waters? Damn, I thought it was a Spinal Tap parody, and it was my favorite part!
McCartney, as old as my Grandpa, did more than hold his own with Grohl et al. Hearing the rhythm section on that song, btw, brought chills.
I thought Eddie Vedder did a great vocal on “Comfortably Numb” and emphasized how lame the rest of that set was.
And, Clapton and his band were about 10 levels musically above anything else, though Clapton should just play guitar and let someone else sing.
I’d like to point out the brilliance of creating an unranked list, and the generally higher quality of discussion in the comments section that results from that approach.
BTW, anyone getting the banner ad for One Direction on the right column of this page? Now there’s a good use of advertising budget.
Some guys should just be sidemen.
And, with this list, I have finally lost all interest in Stereogum’s doomed “Worst-to-best” series.
“Zen Arcade” was a stop-the-world moment, recognized as such at the time by the music fans that passed on this information person to person in record stores (seriously, that’s how it was done); the press that covered such things; and by the bands that would ultimately influence, well, about half of the stuff you write about on this site (Nirvana, Pixies, J&MC, etc).. “Flip Your Wig” and “New Day Rising” were excellent albums and probably had better execution and songcraft, but had nowhere near the importance.
So, the Stereogum approach to list-making is weighted to ignore influence and importance, which is a legitimate approach, but one I personally won’t care to wade through any more.
There should be an asterisk on your forehead.
So Paul, there’s a lot of love for you music out here. Thinking of getting a tour together anytime soon?
I’d put 14 Songs higher, but really good list.
Really, I usually stay out of these silly rankings, but to put anything other than Let It Be up top is to ridiculous. C’mon, you all are nuts.
Good night to you.