Thanksgiving Week: Where Rock Journalism Goes to Die


Time is serving up the link bait, and like the slowest trout in the fjord I'm going to bob up and take it. The mag's list of the 100 All-TIME Albums is as unsurprising as one of these lists can be.

We researched and listened and agonized until we had a list of the greatest and most influential records ever – and then everyone complained because there was no Pink Floyd on it. And that's exactly how it should be.

Yes, every list should skunk Floyd and include two Radiohead albums. (I say this as someone who has no use for Floyd apart from Piper and Meddle, and no use for Radiohead apart from pounding information out of Iraqi detainees.)

There is a real need for a list out there, one that no magazine seems interested in fulfulling – an Americanized version of the Guardian's "Alternative Top 100" list from the fin de siecle. The Guardian's innovation was to mock up a list of the boring records that clog every album ranking, and ban them. But their list of bans is so late 90s and so British (Suede! The Boo Radleys! Ocean Colour Scene!) as to be useless.

For my part, I'll suggest 10 influential records Time should have swapped out for its dullest picks.

1) replace Rubber Soul with Love's Forever Changes.
2) replace Achtung Baby with Wu Tang Clan's Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).
3) replace Patti Smith's Horses with Genesis's The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.
4) replace Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors with Leonard Cohen's The Songs of Leonard Cohen.
5) replace The Essential Hank Williams (actually, replace all the b.s. greatest hits albums) with King Crimson's Larks' Tongues in Aspic.
6) replace Kid A with Piper at the Gates of Dawn.
7) replace R.E.M.'s Document with Alice Cooper's Love it to Death.
8) replace R.E.M.'s Out of Time with Can's Future Days.
9) replace OK Computer with Pet Shop Boys' Very.
10) replace Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea with any album, ever.

Now you go.