A blog about Bloomsbury Academic's 33 1/3 series, our other books about music, and the world of sound in general.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The League Table, and Quiz Results

It's that time of year again. Early April. Still very chilly in New York City, although I did manage to pick up a nice sunburn at Coney Island on Saturday.

Here's the new 33 1/3 series league sales table, current through the end of March.

1. Neutral Milk Hotel
2. The Kinks
3. The Beatles
4. The Smiths
5. The Rolling Stones
6. Joy Division
7. Velvet Underground
8. Led Zeppelin
9. Radiohead
10. Pink Floyd
11. Neil Young
12. Jeff Buckley
13. The Beach Boys
14. Dusty Springfield
15. Love
16. David Bowie
17. DJ Shadow
18. Beastie Boys
19. Bob Dylan
20. My Bloody Valentine
21. The Pixies
22. Jimi Hendrix
23. Bruce Springsteen
24. The Replacements
25. The Band
26. Prince
27. R.E.M.
28. The Ramones
29. Sonic Youth
30. Elvis Costello
31. James Brown
32. Celine Dion
33. The Who
34. Captain Beefheart
35. Nirvana
36. Steely Dan
37. Magnetic Fields
38. Guided By Voices
39. The Byrds
40. The Minutemen
41. Stone Roses
42. Jethro Tull
43. Sly and the Family Stone
44. Abba
45. The MC5
46. Joni Mitchell
47. Belle & Sebastian
48. Stevie Wonder
49. PJ Harvey
50. Nick Drake
51. Tom Waits
52. Guns N Roses
53. U2
54. A Tribe Called Quest
55. Throbbing Gristle

Strong moves from the Beefheart, Steely Dan, and Magnetic Fields books, and it's early days yet for several of the very new titles. Having said that, the Celine Dion book enters the chart at number 32, which is pretty impressive after four months. Nobody predicted 32 in our competition, but Brian Castro went for number 33 and Matt Elliott cunningly countered that with a guess at number 31. So we have two winners, and congratulations to Brian and Matt - I'll email you separately to ask for your list of 10 free 33 1/3 books each. (A pat on the back also for Dave Heaton, who was perilously close with his guess of number 30.)



zach said...

How long has the Horses book been out? I didn't see any official announcement on here.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what the ratio is for books sold online vs. in stores, 'cause I don't think I've ever seen the Neutral Milk Hotel book in a store, no matter where I've come across 33 1/3 books. On the other hand, maybe they'd already sold out of them. :)

Jim Withington said...

Well, I guess I am helping Stevie out then; I picked up the Songs in the Key of Life book last week. Great stuff so far!

@anonymous: I feel lucky to live in Portland, OR. Powells is fully stocked! I wish I hadn't missed their amazing sale of these.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised the Neutral Milk Hotel album one sold as well as it did. I read so many rave reviews of the album at the time, that I was surprised by the negative reaction it received, both by friends and other musicians, whenever I played it publically.

Most comments were along the lines of 'amateurish', 'poor musicianship', 'horrible voice', but I can also attest from personal experience that 'Holland, 1945' clears the room at a party faster than Ciccone Youth’s 'Into The Groovy'.

Funnily enough, after all these years, I've decided they were right.

Ron said...

I loved your the book on NMH. Just got the book on Trout Mask Replica, and so far it is the most poorly-written(and edited) piece of garbage I have ever laid eyes on. The author refers to the captain as both Don Vliet and Don Van Vliet on the same page(Page 31) with no explanation as to which is his real name, and why he changed it. The album in question is referred to as Trout Mask and Trout Mask Replica. Laziness abounds, there are misspellings, and quotations of Amazon.com reviews. The weirdest thing about it is that the author keeps referring to it as a "pop" album. Is this some sort of joke?

The author goes off on so many tangents, it seems like he is just trying to fill in space. For example, he writes about Smells Like Teen Spirit, "Paradoxically, the song was often misunderstood as an expression of lethargic apathy, when it was actually a wince in the face of feelings that were too painful to consider." Thank you for the definitive understanding of the deep meaning behind lyrics such as "A mulatto, an albino, a mosquito, my libido, yea." I can't believe I misunderstood it for so long. But I thought this books was about Captain Beefheart?

The book begins with a bitter screed against an editor who fired the writer. I wish I could meet that editor and shake his hand. Maybe the next time you have one of these books written, you could get someone who is more familiar with the material, or who writes better. This book reads like it was researched via google and written in two days. The author begins by telling how after he lost his first copy of the album, he didn't bother to buy another until 1987. Is this really the person you should have picked to write about an album that so many people are really crazy about?

I will continue to mine the terrible writing for beefheart information, but I am going to be very careful before I buy another book in this series. I would strongly suggest that you have it written again, by someone more knowledgeable or better at writing.