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

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Shortlist

I'm very pleased to announce that the 170 proposals below have made it on to the so-called shortlist. Fingers crossed, every single person who submitted a proposal has received an email from me today, bearing either good or bad news. (Please do check your spam folders or whatever, because I ran into a bunch of technical glitches this afternoon but I'm sure as I can be that all the emails did actually go out.)

All of the proposals on this shortlist had *something* about them - enough to make me think they'd make a book worth reading. And yet so many of the proposals that didn't make the cut were good, too; there's definitely an element of luck to all of this, and I can only apologise to those who feel hard done by.

As for what happens next...a small group of us will consider these 170 proposals as closely as we can, and maybe 6-8 weeks from now we'll have reduced this list to a much more manageable size. Feel free, in the comments below, to wax lyrical about Bill Fox, AC/DC, what on earth do we think we are doing, etc.



2 Live Crew – As Clean As They Wanna Be
AC/DC – Back in Black
AC/DC – For Those About To Rock
AC/DC – Highway to Hell
Agnostic Front – Cause for Alarm
Animal Collective – FEELS
Aphrodite’s Child – 666
Arcade Fire – Funeral
Aretha Franklin – Amazing Grace
Arthur Russell – World of Echo
The Beatles – The Beatles
The Beatles – The Beatles
The Bee Gees – Best of the Bee Gees, Volume 1
Ben Folds Five – The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner
Big Country – The Crossing
Bill Fox – Transit Byzantium
Black Uhuru - Showcase
Bob Dylan – Self Portrait
Bob Dylan – Time Out of Mind
Britney Spears – Blackout
Britney Spears – Blackout
Bruce Springsteen – Darkness on the Edge of Town
The Cars – The Cars
The Chills – Submarine Bells
The Cramps – Songs the Lord Taught Us
Crowded House – Together Alone
Cyndi Lauper – She’s So Unusual
Daft Punk – Discovery
D’Angelo – Voodoo
David Bowie – The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
Devo – Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo
Digital Underground – Sex Packets
Dinosaur Jr. – You’re Living All Over Me
Dinosaur Jr. – You’re Living All Over Me
Donovan – Gift From a Flower to a Garden
Drive-By Truckers – Southern Rock Opera
Drive-By Truckers – Southern Rock Opera
The Drones – Gala Mill
Duran Duran – Rio
The Eagles – Greatest Hits
ELO – Out of the Blue
Emmylou Harris – Pieces of the Sky
Erykah Badu – Mama’s Gun
Fairport Convention – Liege and Lief
The Fall – Hex Enduction Hour
Fennesz – Endless Summer
Fugazi – 13 Songs
Fugazi – In On the Kill Taker
Garth Brooks – (in…) The Life of Chris Gaines
Gary Numan and Tubeway Army – Replicas
Gary Wilson – You Think You Really Know Me
Genesis – The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
Gillian Welch – Time (The Revelator)
Girl Talk – Night Ripper
Grateful Dead – Anthem of the Sun
Grateful Dead – The Closing of Winterland
Hall and Oates – Rock ‘n’ Soul Part One
Herb Alpert – Whipped Cream and Other Delights
The Hold Steady – Separation Sunday
Husker Du – Zen Arcade
The Incredible String Band – The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter
The Incredible String Band – Wee Tam and the Big Huge
Iron Maiden – Iron Maiden
J Dilla – Donuts
The Jam – All Mod Cons
Jane’s Addiction – Ritual de lo Habitual
Jawbreaker – 24 Hour Revenge Therapy
Jefferson Airplane – Crown of Creation
Jellyfish – Spilt Milk
Jimmy Eat World – Clarity
John Lennon – Live in New York City
Johnny Cash – American Recordings
Johnny Cash – American Recordings
Kanye West – 808 & Heartbreak
Karen Dalton – In My Own Time
Kiss – Destroyer
The Knack – Get the Knack
Kraftwerk – Trans-Europe Express
Lauryn Hill – The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
Leonard Cohen – Songs of Leonard Cohen
Leonard Cohen – Various Positions
Lil’ Wayne – Da Drought 3
Little Feat – Sailin’ Shoes
Liz Phair – Exile in Guyville
Liz Phair – Exile in Guyville
Lou Reed – Metal Machine Music
Madonna – Ray of Light
Main Source – Breaking Atoms
Manu Chao – Clandestino
Massive Attack – Blue Lines
The Mekons – Fear and Whiskey
The Melvins – Lysol
Metallica – Metallica
Metallica – Master of Puppets
M.I.A. – Kala
The Millennium – Begin
Moby Grape – Moby Grape
Modest Mouse – The Lonesome Crowded West
The Monkees – Head
Mothers of Invention – Freak Out!
The Mountain Goats – All Hail West Texas
Namco – Katamari Fortissimo Damacy
Neil Young – Tonight’s the Night
New Order – Power, Corruption and Lies
New York Dolls – New York Dolls
New York Dolls – New York Dolls
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Tender Prey
NWA – Straight Outta Compton
The O’Jays – Back Stabbers
Operation Ivy – Energy
Paul Simon – Graceland
Pearl Jam – Vitalogy
Pere Ubu – Dub Housing
Pharcyde – Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde
Phil Ochs – Rehearsals for Retirement
Phish – Junta
Phish – Rift
Pink Floyd – The Wall
The Police - Synchronicity
Portishead – Dummy
Public Image Limited – Metal Box
Pussy Galore – Exile on Main Street
Radiohead – Kid A
Radiohead – Kid A
Rage Against the Macine – Evil Empire
Randy Newman – Good Old Boys
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Blood Sugar Sex Magik
REM – Automatic for the People
The Residents – Commercial Album
Richard Hell and the Voidoids – Blank Generation
The Rolling Stones – Some Girls
The Rolling Stones – Some Girls
Rush – Moving Pictures
Rush – Moving Pictures
Sandy Denny – Sandy
Scott Walker – The Drift
Sleater-Kinney – One Beat
Slint – Spiderland
Slint – Spiderland
Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
Steve Reich – Music for 18 Musicians
The Strokes – Is This It
Suicide – Suicide
Talk Talk – Spirit of Eden
Talking Heads – Remain in Light
Talking Heads – Remain in Light
Television – Marquee Moon
They Might Be Giants – Flood
They Might Be Giants - Lincoln
Townes Van Zandt – Townes Van Zandt
USA for Africa – We Are the World
Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend
Various Artists – Dave Godin’s Deep Soul Treasures Vol 1
Various Artists – O Brother, Where Art Thou? Soundtrack
Various Artists – Reservoir Dogs soundtrack
The Violent Femmes – Violent Femmes
Warren Zevon – Warren Zevon
Ween – Chocolate and Cheese
The White Stripes – White Blood Cells
Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
Woody Guthrie – Dust Bowl Ballads
X-Ray Spex – Germ Free Adolescents
X – Los Angeles
X – More Fun in the New World
XTC – Wasp Star (Apple Venus Vol 2)
Yoko Ono – Plastic Ono Band
Young Jeezy – Let’s Get It
Young Marble Giants – Colossal Youth
The Zombies – Odessey and Oracle



«Oldest   ‹Older   201 – 236 of 236
Anonymous said...

these posts all running together would make an interesting 33 1/3 book.

Anonymous said...

girl talk and the zombies sound swell to me.

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Anonymous said...

sad to see slapp happy go.

Anonymous said...

The Talking Heads appears to be the most interesting and worthwhile listed (in my opinion).

He Who Killed The Darkness said...

You know there is such a thing as electronic music not made by Kraftwerk (the only legends most people are willing to recognize) and Girl Talk (the only flavor of the month people are willing to recognize). You should try to broaden your horizons. There's a whole world of music out there you've completely ignored.

David said...

To the two people who submitted proposals for the SLOAN album 'Twice Removed' and didn't make the cut: sorry you didn't make it! As the guy who wrote a proposal for it last go around and got rejected as well...I feel your pain. At least now I know it wasn't just because my proposal was bad. I guess it's just an album that has made 0 impact south of the Canadian border! FYI: my own write-up of the album can be found in my book project/blog right here: http://myreccollection.livejournal.com/285063.html

Enjoy and take care (and don't feel bad...it's nothing personal I'm sure!).

Anonymous said...

I love the shortlist. I hope lesser-known writers get a look-in. I'd hate to see the final chosen ones full of rolling stone/ spin/ pitchfork writers. Horrible. May as well head-hunt and not bother with the open call. I also hope the eventual list contains some real controversies!

Anonymous said...

u guys r retarded. U think David cares about the quality of the book? It's about money, bottom line and anonymous is right, more people would read anything abt pulp fiction than the best book ever about husker du. A book on pulp fiction has crossover appeal that would broaden the series' fanbase. It would lead to more sales of pretentious books like ones about husker du, not to pick on that band or the guy who wrote that proposal. I'd love to read a book about the compiliation of a cool sdtk and what's cooler than pulp fiction?

Anonymous said...

Maybe the pulp fiction proposal wasn't one of the best ones but for it not to make a 170-title shortlist full of shitty albums no one cares about is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

But (and I'm in no way suggesting that the Pulp Fiction proposal was this), what if a proposal for a title with huuuge crossover potential was the very worst of all 597 suggestions? It can't make the shortlist just on the basis of the record it's about. If it were unpublishable, it shouldn't be on the shortlist. Period. And the other suggestion, that it's all about the money, is illogical. Wouldn't David therefore shortlist the 170 titles with most crossover appeal, probably including Pulp Fiction? And, in fact, wouldn't he just draw his own list up and commission known writers to heighten commercial appeal? We're going around in circles here...

Chris Randolph said...

As one of the rejectees, I didn't mind quite so much until I saw two things:

1) the SIZE of the "shortlist", which isn't very short at all, and

2) the frequency of complete and total crap on that list. No one can possibly have anything interesting to say about 'artists' who aren't even writing their own material.

B. Spears? Seriously? TWO B. Spears proposals make it? Lil Wayne?! Really..? Crazy.

That really makes me feel like not submitting again, because it feels like monkeys were throwing darts to pick these.

And a lot of that indie rock and rap recent crap will be very much forgotten in X years, I agree with the poster who said that.

Even when I look at some of the selections that made it through in the same genre of music I submitted, I just sort of shake my head. Far less influential stuff, and not conceivably as interesting.

Preempting any comments about how "the proposal" was more important than the album, I have to say that if you're starting with a crap album, what's the point? Garbage in, garbage out.

I don't have anything posted yet to provide a link to, this being the 1st time I've seen these comments, but I might post it to my blog, then come back here and post the link.

"It is just missing the point to debate the merits of the album titles, lacking knowledge of the proposals." Um... NO. Why not pick albums randomly then... how well would they sell? The entire point is that these books connect to the music in specific albums which for whatever reasons stand out from the crowd. Big Country and Madonna album are weak. Weak!

Anonymous said...

Have you ever considered that perhaps a thoughtfully and passionately written book about said potentially forgotten album might serve to help keep the album from fading into the void? Sure, we all like to have our tastes reaffirmed, but might this series of books also serve, in particular cases, as an argument for the significance of a record that might be otherwise swept under the rug? Please consider this position as you knee-jerk away at the sight of a particular title without any knowledge of the context in which that record is being presented.

Anonymous said...

(with comment above)

As someone whose shortlisted proposal has as its subject a record that many would log in the "forgotten in X years" file, I really think that those of you who present this idea of a definite expiration of appeal and significance should consider this proposition and afford writers the chance to prove their album "worthy" of discussion instead of blindly disregarding their work on basis of subject alone.

Tomás Rosado said...

Eurythmics - Savage

Anonymous said...



I could be wrong, but I don't believe 33 1/3 are attempting to canonize, nor are they interested in hagiography, narrative or biography. The arduous, yet sadly necessary, persistent reiteration of the series objectives to some of those whose proposals succumbed to the initial cull, as well as the naïve underestimation of the competitiors’ proposals has been astonishing.

The ability to contextualize, to analyze, offer critique, make distinctive and/ or unique correlations between the record and another position is the only prerequisite this series has ever had. Seemingly, some have used their failure to capitalize on the transparency of the initial instructions as a vehicle for driving aggressive, vitriolic dialect towards those who succeeded. The inability to see one's own shortcomings does not a good writer make...

So, may 33 1/3 pluck Britney and Madonna from their tabloid-dwelling misery and place them in the considered contexts of the prospective author's writing; for I have faith in an intelligent readership, able to brush aside any initial prejudices and embrace new perspectives.

Anonymous said...

The Hold Steady - Separation Sunday get a vote.

I was very happy to see it on the list.

Anonymous said...

Holy shit, QuizMasterChris. Go cry to someone else.

Viva Animal Collective/Arcade Fire/Britney Spears/Girl Talk/Vampire Weekend/Wilco!

Sean M. O'Kane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sean M. O'Kane said...

"I could be wrong, but I don't believe 33 1/3 are attempting to canonize, nor are they interested in hagiography, narrative or biography"

Actually, Sir, you are a little bit wrong. A few past editions have been biographical in nature. So there. Anyway, other than that you are right. I suppose.

QuizMaster, mate, I know where you are coming from. I was as pissed off as you when the list was revealed and Britney/Eagles/Garth Brooks et al made it through over my efforts. However, we don't what made David choose these proposals over ours. I was a 1st time writer and I knew it was pure chance that it might be good and get through. Well, it turns out it was OK but not good enough for publishing. So, yep, it hurt to see shitty albums being accepted but well I got over it. One plus is that I have started my own review blog to do my thing. So, in that sense rejection helped me start writing as a hobby part-time. Who knows what it might lead to?

One point I do agree with you is that even taking into account intellectual analysis of 'good' albums, the vibe seems to be books exploring the excesses of bad culture and what they say about our culture now. Other than academics and 'what the hell?' curious readers, I can't see who these books would appeal to.

Anyway, do try next time. I will ;)

Unknown said...

Pretty please times 50 for:

The Arcade Fire-Funeral
Daft Punk-Discovery
Girl Talk-Night Ripper
NWA-Straight Outta Compton
The White Stripes-White Blood Cells

How has Remain in Light not been done yet?

Thanks for all your hard work!

Anonymous said...

SLINT!!!!! Hell ya I'd read a fucking book about Spiderland! Hope that one makes the final cut.

Anonymous said...

Noted in passing by a friend of mine:

"I saw a Lebron James commercial the other day in which (to get himself pumped up for a game!) he's overheard singing along w/ his iPod....to Cyndi Lauper's 'Time After Time'!"

Curt said...

My choices:
Neil Young - Tonight's the Night
Talking Heads - Remain in Light
Mekons - Fear and Whiskey
The Fall - Hex Enduction Hour
X - Los Angeles
PiL - Metal Box
New York Dolls

Let the writing begin!

Anonymous said...

David...dude, any chance of an update? Howz it lookin? How about some clues? Newies or oldies....biggies or obscurities....factz or fiction? Are you gonna short the short list even more? Whats goin on?!!!!!!!! Man, this is killin me!

Anonymous said...

After that uncomfortable public skewering of cult-crit hipster cleverness by Stephen Colbert the other night, maybe Dave et al. are rethinking some of their choices from the shortlist. Might that mean that we, the reading public, will be denied the likes of Britney, Ween, and USA For Africa? Oh the humanity. Oh the irony.

Anonymous said...

very cut i didn't make it, but i've got to say that KISS was a pretty savvy move- any subject with its own freakin' army is bound to get a publisher interested. good luck!

Anonymous said...

very cut i didn't make it, but i've got to say that KISS was a pretty savvy move- any subject with its own freakin' army is bound to get a publisher interested. good luck!

Anonymous said...

I agree that the kiss pitch gave itself a headstart with the ready-to-go demographic, but i'd be very interested to see what angle it takes- it still had to be a killer proposal.

Anonymous said...

I've just listened my 29 year old vinyl copy of AC/DC's 'Back in Black' for the first time in ... probably 25 years, and - occasional dodgy lyrics aside - I reckon it deserves a 33 1/3 for that awesome guitar tone alone.

Anonymous said...

Pieces of the Sky -- Emmylou Harris, most definitely!

Unknown said...

God... If you ever make a book on the Darkness of The Edge of Town album, by Bruce Springsteen, I'll not only buy several copies for my friends, but I'll put mine on my center table, alongside with my Gentlemen book!

Greetings from Brazil!


Anonymous said...

Jimmy Eat World's "Clarity" is the overlooked "Pet Sounds" of this generation. A book about it could be fascinating.

Anonymous said...

i think i would read just about any of these books if the idea was well-executed.

Anonymous said...

My picks:
X - either of the albums
Sandy Denny
Lou Reed
Herb Alpert - Whipped Cream
Dylan - Time Out of Mind
Emmylou Harris

And for most intriguing proposal, I would say the Garth Brooks/Chris Gaines thing -- IF it's got substance and it's not just high-concept.

Tim Klingbiel said...

My picks:

The Jam – All Mod Cons
Lou Reed – Metal Machine Music
Massive Attack – Blue Lines
Metallica – Metallica
M.I.A. – Kala
New Order – Power, Corruption and Lies
Pearl Jam – Vitalogy
Pink Floyd – The Wall
Portishead – Dummy
Public Image Limited – Metal Box
Radiohead – Kid A
Rage Against the Macine – Evil Empire
Television – Marquee Moon
Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend

As well as (not on the list):

Spiritualized - Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space
Swervedriver - Mezcal Head
Incubus - A Crow Left Of The Murder
Magazine - Real Life
Buzzcocks - Another Music In A Different Kitchen
The Prodigy - The Fat Of The Land
The Doors - The Doors
The Smiths - The Queen Is Dead
At The Drive-In - Relationship of Command
Ride - Nowhere
Slowdive - Souvlaki
Oasis - Definitely Maybe
Public Enemy - Fear of a Black Planet
The Libertines - The Libertines
The Verve - Urban Hymns
Junkie XL - Saturday Teenage Kick
Tricky - Pre-Millennium Tension
The Jam - The Gift
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Bloc Party - Silent Alarm
Blur - Parklife

All absolute classics in my opinion, I would buy 10 copies of each of those books without hesitation...

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