The Null Device

Sgt Pepper Must Die

The Guardian asks various musicians to nominate classic albums which are really rubbish:
Nirvana, Nevermind (nominated by Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips):
If you think you're going to hear an utterly original, powerful and freaky record when you put on Nevermind, as a young kid might, Christ you're going to be disappointed. You're going to think, "Who is this band that sounds just like Nickelback? What are these drug addicts going on about?"
The Strokes, Is This It (nominated by Ian Williams of Battles)
The Strokes were just rich kids from uptown New York; the children of the heads of supermodel agencies who formed a rock band and thought they deserved respect because of that. Suddenly the downtown, older form of punk rock got co-opted by the system. If ever there was a point where Gucci and rebellion were married together, it was right there. The Strokes have, basically, been responsible for five or six years of a new form of hair metal, in the guise of something more tasteful. Their music is post-9/11 party music because it came out that week and everybody wanted to dance. They're seen as the rebirth of rock in the UK - but it's a very conservative, old-fashioned idea of rock for the 21st century. As for their punk credentials, I'm not going to say anyone's more authentic than anyone else ... But the Strokes are the new Duran Duran; the new decadence for the new millennium.
It all flags up that the Velvet Underground were just part of Warhol's circus, his Factory; just another product. Once you start thinking about the Velvets being part of that, the notion of them waiting around for the man is ludicrous. As far as introducing the idea of nihilism to rock, the first Doors album, which came out the same year, was far better produced, far darker, and more nihilistic. Ditto the first Mothers of Invention album. Those two were from the west coast; the Velvets were from New York. And this was New York trying too hard. There's a line in Venus in Furs about "ermine furs adorn imperious". Those are four words that should never appear in a rock song and here they are put together. (Ian Rakkin)

There are 2 comments on "Sgt Pepper Must Die":

Posted by: Bowie ('',) Mon Jun 18 00:13:55 2007

A lot of albums/bands are "classic" because they were first (or first popular). I have to admit I heard Led Zeppelin III for the first time the other day and thought "gee they sound like Tea Party with a worse singer and more wrong notes but The Immigrant Song is cool".

Everyone loves what they hear first and compares everything else to that. I heard Tea Party first so Led Zep sounds a bit... wrong.

The Nickleback / Nirvana comparison cracked me up.

These are all great arguments for copyright expiry (thought I'd throw that in).

Posted by: mk Thu Apr 10 21:44:37 2008

I love Wayne Coyne and his comment about Nevermind, couldn't be more accurate imo