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

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Listomania!


OK, well that went a little crazy in the last few hours - I thought we'd end up with around 250 proposals but it's 471, if my counting is correct. (Down on how many we received last time, but considering how much work we were asking you to put into these, this time around, it's truly remarkable.)

They're listed here in the order in which we received them - which makes for a more absorbing list than the alphabetized version, anyway!

To reiterate: it's a real honour to receive all these proposals, and we're genuinely excited to read them. I haven't yet figured out the nuts and bolts of the process, but it's likely that - like last time - we'll cut this down to a longlist and then either to a final list of confirmed titles, or we'll have one more shortlist in the middle. If we have any questions about your proposal, we'll be in touch. And, as always, we'll do what we can to keep the series balanced, fun, interesting, and at least slightly unpredictable...

**

Brad Mehldau Trio Day Is Done
The Twilight Singers Blackberry Belle
The Cure Disintegration
The Waterboys Fisherman's Blues
Godflesh Streetcleaner
Can Tago Mago
Prince Dirty Mind
The Go-Go's Beauty and the Beat
Serge Gainsbourg Histoire de Melody Nelson
Air Moon Safari
AZ Doe or Die
The Kinks Something Else by the Kinks
Big Daddy Kane Long Live the Kane
Bob Dylan Time Out of Mind
Ashlee Simpson Autobiography
Paul Simon Hearts and Bones
Crass Christ - The Album
Smokey Robinson Going to a Go-Go
My Bloody Valentine Isn't Anything
Sparks Kimono My House
Dennis Wilson Pacific Ocean Blue
Neurosis Times of Grace
The Frames For the Birds
Disco Inferno D.I. Go Pop
Alanis Morrissette Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie
Jonathan Richman I, Jonathan
Minor Threat Out of Step
Helmet Meantime
U2 Rattle and Hum
Arcade Fire The Suburbs
Helmet Meantime
Beyonce I Am…Sasha Fierce
Lisabo Ezlekuak
Various Artists Nuggets…
Phil Spector A Christmas Gift for You…
Midnight Oil Diesel and Dust
Yes Close to the Edge
Danger Mouse The Grey Album
The Wrens Meadowlands
The Decemberists Castaways and Cutouts
The Fall Dragnet
R.E.M. Automatic for the People
Phish Billy Breathes
Pete Seeger Darling Corey
You Am I Hourly Daily
The Go-Go's Beauty and the Beat
The Wipers Youth of America
Phish A Live One
Drexciya Neptune's Lair
Richard Hell and the Voidoids Blank Generation
Bright Eyes Fevers and Mirrors
The Grateful Dead Workingman's Dead
Jay-Z The Blueprint
Gang of Four Entertainment!
The Fall Hex Enduction Hour
The Waterboys Fisherman's Blues
Paul McCartney McCartney 2
Stereolab Emperor Tomato Ketchup
Daft Punk Discovery
Morrissey Vauxhall & I
Frank Zappa Lumpy Gravy
Richard Hell Destiny Street Repaired
X Under the Big Black Sun
Gang of Four Entertainment!
The Church Starfish
Rush 2112
Frank Zappa Joe's Garage
Oasis Definitely Maybe
Paul and Linda McCartney Ram
Suede Dog Man Star
Emperor Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk
The Mekons Rock'n'Roll
The Waterboys Fisherman's Blues
X Wild Gift
Nocturnal Emissions Spiritflesh
The Rolling Stones Beggars Banquet
Ol' Dirty Bastard Nigga Please
Van Morrison and the Chieftains Irish Heartbeat
John Mellencamp The Lonesome Jubilee
King Crimson Discipline
The Game The Documentary
The Style Council My Ever Changing Moods/Café Bleu
Eric Bibb Booker's Guitar
Hum You'd Prefer an Astronaut
Janis Joplin Pearl
The Black Crowes The Southern Harmony…
Paul Weller Wildwood
Kruder & Dorfmeister The K&D Sessions
Gil Scott-Heron Winter in America
Josh Ritter The Animal Years
The Dictators The Dictators Go Girl Crazy!
Juliana Hatfield Bed
Walter Carlos Switched-on Bach
The Stooges Fun House
Pet Shop Boys Fundamental
Wilco Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
Miles Davis In a Silent Way
Various Artists Kill Bill Vol 1 Soundtrack
David Bowie 1. Outside
The Godz Godz 2
Neil Young Chrome Dreams
Chris Watson Stepping into the Dark
Billy Joel The Nylon Curtain
The Blues Brothers Briefcase Full of Blues
The Grateful Dead EUROPE '72
The Incredible String Band Wee Tam and the Big Huge
The Beatles Revolver
The Beatles A Hard Day's Night
Gary Glitter Glitter
The Band The Band
Queen News of the World
Jandek Six and Six
The Monkees Pisces Aquarius Capricorn and Jones Ltd
Ry Cooder Paris, Texas - Original Soundtrack
Half Japanese 1/2 Gentlemen/Not Beasts
Modest Mouse The Moon & Antarctica
The Electric Prunes The Electric Prunes
Scott Fagan et al Soon: A Rock Opera - A Cast Recording That Never Was
Van Morrison Saint Dominic's Preview
Daughters Hell Songs
The Sex Pistols Never Mind the Bollocks…
Bob Dylan Self Portrait
Manic Street Preachers The Holy Bible
They Might Be Giants Lincoln
Jimi Hendrix Band of Gypsys
War The World Is a Ghetto
Sinead O'Connor I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got
XTC Skylarking
Isaac Hayes Hot Buttered Soul
Lauryn Hill The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds Tender Prey
U2 Pop
Frank Sinatra Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely
The Strokes Is This It
Cherish the Ladies Woman of the House
The Jam All Mod Cons
Bob Dylan Bringing It All Back Home
The Dandy Warhols Odditorium or Warlords of Mars
Emmylou Harris Wrecking Ball
Depeche Mode Some Great Reward
Nirvana Incesticide
Lady Gaga The Fame
Talking Heads True Stories
Pet Shop Boys Very
Amy Rigby Diary of a Mod Housewife
The Mekons Rock'n'Roll
Sheryl Crow Sheryl Crow
The Dandy Warhols Come Down
Neil Young On the Beach
Richard Hell and the Voidoids Blank Generation
The Dream Syndicate The Days of Wine and Roses
Van Halen Van Halen
Diamanda Galas Plague Mass
Combustible Edison I, Swinger
Fugazi Red Medicine
Bee Gees Best of the Bee Gees Vol. 1
Rufus Wainwright Want
Jean Michel Jarre The Concerts in China
Motley Crue Too Fast for Love
Jim O'Rourke Insignificance
Metallica Master of Puppets
Bright Eyes Lifted
David Bowie Diamond Dogs
Beat Happening Beat Happening
Animal Collective Feels
Creedence Clearwater Revival Green River
Woody Guthrie Ballads of Sacco and Vanzetti
John Hartford Aereo-Plain
De La Soul De La Soul is Dead
Ed McCurdy The Best of Dalliance
They Might Be Giants Flood
Alice Cooper Welcome to my Nightmare
Various Artists Big Hits of Mid America Vol. III
Blue Oyster Cult Some Enchanted Evening
The Mountain Goats All Hail West Texas
Jackson Browne Running on Empty
Harry Nilsson A Little Touch of Smilsson in the Night
The Go-Betweens 16 Lovers Lane
Cardiacs A Little Man And A House And The Whole World Window
Manic Street Preachers Journal For Plague Lovers
Blondie Parallel Lines
The Long Blondes Couples
Boards of Canada Music Has the Right to Children
The Mountain Goats The Sunset Tree
Low The Great Destroyer
Dave Matthews Band Under the Table and Dreaming
Eminem The Slim Shady LP
The Beatles The Beatles (The White Album)
Tindersticks The Second Tindersticks Album
Ultravox Vienna
John Prine John Prine
Cat Power Moon Pix
Diamanda Galas Malediction and Prayer
Procol Harum A Salty Dog
The Jesus and Mary Chain Psychocandy
Dead Kennedys Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables
Taylor Swift Fearless
Buffalo Springfield Buffalo Springfield Again
The Mountain Goats All Hail West Texas
Saves the Day Stay What You Are
Neurosis Through Silver in Blood
Simple Minds New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84)
Why? Elephant Eyelash
The Kleptones A Night at the Hip-Hopera
Lady Gaga Born This Way
Manic Street Preachers The Holy Bible
Bob Dylan John Wesley Harding
The Wu-Tang Clan Enter the Wu Tang (36 Chambers)
The Beach Boys Smile
Janet Jackson Control
Gogol Bordello Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike
Underworld Everything, Everything
John Cale Paris 1919
Jandek Ready for the House
The Arcade Fire Neon Bible
Pere Ubu The Modern Dance
Genesis The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
Michael Jackson Dangerous
Ayumi Hamasaki I am…
Modest Mouse The Lonesome Crowded West
Red Hot Chili Peppers Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magik
Heart Dreamboat Annie
Various Artists The 1969 Warner / Reprise Songbook
Donna Summer Live and More
Green Day Dookie
Alex Chilton Like Flies on Sherbert
The Lemonheads Come On Feel the Lemonheads
Sleater-Kinney Dig Me Out
X Under the Big Black Sun
Morrissey Vauxhall & I
Hole Live Through This
Lady Gaga The Fame Monster
Led Zeppelin Presence
Refused The Shape of Punk to Come
John Lennon and Yoko Ono Double Fantasy
The Hold Steady Separation Sunday
Richard Hell and the Voidoids Blank Generation
R.E.M. New Adventures in Hi-Fi
Bang Camaro Bang Camaro
Jawbreaker Dear You
Smashing Pumpkins Siamese Dream
The Mountain Goats All Hail West Texas
The Dismemberment Plan Emergency & I
Cyndi Lauper She's So Unusual
Robert Johnson King of the Delta Blues Singers
Sigur Ros ( )
M.I.A. Arular
Wilco Being There
Doug Sahm Doug Sahm and Band
The Drive-By Truckers Southern Rock Opera
Fela and Afrika 70 Zombie
Sinead O'Connor I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds The Firstborn is Dead
KISS Destroyer
Weezer Weezer
Duran Duran Seven and the Ragged Tiger
Rage Against the Machine Rage Against the Machine
Iron and Wine The Creek Drank the Cradle
My Morning Jacket Z
The Beach Boys Smile
Randy Newman Good Old Boys
Green Day American Idiot
Rammstein Sehnsucht
Jackson C. Frank Jackson C. Frank
The Sex Pistols Never Mind the Bollocks…
The Gun Club Fire of Love
Various Artists The Best of James Bond
Throwing Muses Throwing Muses
Kanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Nico Desertshore
Bonnie Raitt Nick of Time
The Jesus and Mary Chain Psychocandy
Donny Hathaway These Songs for You, Live!
The Go-Betweens Liberty Belle & The Black Diamond Express
Minor Threat Complete Discography
The Beach Boys All Summer Long
Tori Amos Little Earthquakes
Jandek Chair Beside A Window
Parliament Mothership Connection
Yes Tales from Topograhic Oceans
Kraftwerk Trans-Europe Express
Queen News of the World
The Doors Strange Days
The Tragically Hip PhantomPower
New Order Power, Corruption and Lies
The Saints (I'm) Stranded
Faye Wong Anxiety
Urge Overkill Saturation
Bronski Beat The Age of Consent
My Chemical Romance Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge
Scott Walker The Drift
Manic Street Preachers The Holy Bible
Van Halen 1984
Moodymann Silent Introduction
The Mountain Goats All Hail West Texas
Tubeway Army Replicas
Boards of Canada Geogaddi
Devo Freedom of Choice
The Go-Betweens Before Hollywood
The Monkees Head
Jay-Z The Blueprint
Meat Loaf Bat Out of Hell
Bjork Biophilia
Randy Newman Good Old Boys
The Pretenders The Pretenders
The Microphones The Glow Pt. 2
Madonna American Life
Stevie Nicks Bella Donna
Faith No More Angel Dust
Primal Scream XTMNTR
M.I.A. Kala
The Clean Boodle Boodle Boodle
Van Morrison Astral Weeks
The Shaggs Philosophy of the World
Miles Davis Filles de Kilimanjaro
PJ Harvey Let England Shake
Refused The Shape of Punk to Come
Vangelis Chariots of Fire
Mike Watt Ball-Hog or Tugboat
Elvis Presley The Sun Sessions
Townes Van Zandt Flyin' Shoes
Wilco Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
Grandaddy The Sophtware Slump
Sloan Twice Removed
Paul Simon Graceland
Blondie Parallel Lines
Operation Ivy Energy
Counting Crows August and Everything After
Cream Wheels of Fire
Tricky Maxinquaye
Wolf Parade Apologies to the Queen Mary
Husker Du New Day Rising
Willie Nelson Red Headed Stranger
They Might Be Giants Flood
The Exploited Troops of Tomorrow
Oval Systemich
Camper Van Beethoven Tusk
Juliana Hatfield Hey Babe
Squeeze East Side Story
The Congos Heart of the Congos
Gogol Bordello Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike
Booker T and the MGs Green Onions
Giant Crab A Giant Crab Comes Forth
Kraftwerk The Man-Machine
Jason and the Scorchers Lost & Found
Roxy Music Stranded
Fiery Furnaces Blueberry Boat
Animal Collective Sung Tongs
Queen A Day at the Races
New Model Army Thunder and Consolation
Genesis Selling England by the Pound
John Lennon Live in New York City
Various Artists No New York
Pet Shop Boys Behaviour
Pet Shop Boys Introspective
Half Man Half Biscuit Back in the DHSS
Built To Spill There's Nothing Wrong with Love
Echo and the Bunnymen Crocodiles
Shane McGowan and the Popes The Crock of Gold
Grinderman Grinderman 2
Various Artists K-Tel's Dynamite
The Silver Jews Tanglewood Numbers
Bob Marley and the Wailers Catch a Fire
Malcolm McLaren Duck Rock
Big Black Songs about Fucking
Elton John Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Fugazi In on the Kill Taker
Duran Duran Rio
The Pharcyde Labcabincalifornia
Fiona Apple Extraordinary Machine
Black Flag Damaged
U.K. U.K.
Todd Rundgren Something/Anything
The Monkees Pisces Aquarius Capricorn and Jones Ltd
Broadcast The Noise Made By People
The Wrens Meadowlands
Kevin Coyne Marjory Razor Blade
Tears for Fears The Hurting
Fugazi Repeater
Poe Haunted
Bob Dylan Self Portrait
Kate Bush The Sensual World
Company Flow Funcrusher Plus
Danger Mouse The Grey Album
Talk Talk Laughing Stock
Black 47 Fire of Freedom
Joanna Newsom Ys
Electric Light Orchestra Out of the Blue
Danger Mouse The Grey Album
Art Brut Bang Bang Rock and Roll
Caetano Veloso Caetano Veloso
The Psychedlic Furs Talk Talk Talk
Clutch Clutch
Dead Kennedys Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables
The Mothers of Invention We're Only In It For The Money
Insane Clown Posse The Great Milenko
Laura Nyro New York Tendaberry
The Clash Sandinista!
The Mountain Goats All Hail West Texas
Junie When We Do
Drake Thank Me Later
Rush Grace Under Pressure
Madonna Like A Virgin
Bobbie Gentry Ode to Billie Joe
Fiona Apple When the Pawn…
Andrew W.K. I Get Wet
Van Halen Diver Down
Badfinger Straight Up
Britney Spears In the Zone
George Benson Breezin'
Voivod Nothingface
KISS Music from the Elder
Bruce Springsteen Born To Run
Against Me! Reinventing Axl Rose
Various Artists No New York
The Kinks Arthur of the Decline and Fall of the British Empire
Rush 2112
Smashing Pumpkins Siamese Dream
Todd Rundgren Todd
The Soft Boys Underwater Moonlight
Pete Rodriguez I Like It Like That
The Chills Kaleidoscope World
M. Ward Transfiguration of Vincent
The Pharcyde Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde
J. Dilla Donuts
The Modern Lovers The Modern Lovers
Various Artists Music from and Inspired by Mission Impossible 2
The Who Quadrophenia
The Isley Brothers 3 + 3
Mayo Thompson Corky's Debt to His Father
Queen Hot Space
John Lennon John Lennon / Plastic Ono Band
John Cage and David Tudor Indeterminacy
Van Halen 5150
The Modern Lovers The Modern Lovers
Shuggie Otis Inspiration Information
dc Talk Jesus Freak
Rick James Street Songs
Faust The Faust Tapes
Hanson Middle of Nowhere
The Mekons So Good It Hurts
Fiona Apple When the Pawn…
Wilco A Ghost Is Born
Iggy Pop New Values
Parliament Mothership Connection
Harry Belafonte Calypso
The Beatles The Beatles (The White Album)
Café Tacuba Re
Gillian Welch Time (the Revelator)
Eminem Relapse
John Mayer Room for Squares
Sloan Twice Removed
The Dixie Chicks Taking the Long Way
Kanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Aphex Twin Selected Ambient Works Volume II
Firesign Theatre Everything You Know Is Wrong
Tori Amos American Doll Posse
Outkast Stankonia
Thin Lizzy Vagabonds of the Western World
Black Flag Damaged
Bad Brains Bad Brains
Lou Reed The Bells
Exuma Exuma
Joe Jackson Look Sharp!
The Arcade Fire Funeral
Bee Gees and Various Artists Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack
John Cage and David Tudor Indeterminacy
Shudder to Think Pony Express Record
Brian Eno and David Byrne My Life in the Bush of Ghosts
Los Lobos KIKO
The KLF Chill Out

**

134 comments:

Dick Johnson said...

One of the three Jandek books should be accepted. And Fugazi. And Crass.

Mike Z said...

great list. sorta what I'd expect - lotta good choices, a few odd ones, some I could have sworn were done already...

other than my own, I would select Lou Reed The Bells and Talk Talk Laughing Stock...

Anonymous said...

If anyone is interested, I made my computer figure out which ones had been proposed more than once... number of times the same album appears in the list is in brackets --


Black Flag Damaged (2)
Blondie Parallel Lines (2)
Bob Dylan Self Portrait (2)
Danger Mouse The Grey Album (3)
Dead Kennedys Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables (2)
Fiona Apple When the Pawn… (2)
Gang of Four Entertainment! (2)
Gogol Bordello Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike (2)
Helmet Meantime (2)
Jay-Z The Blueprint (2)
John Cage and David Tudor Indeterminacy (2)
Kanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2)
Manic Street Preachers The Holy Bible (3)
Morrissey Vauxhall & I (2)
Parliament Mothership Connection (2)
Queen News of the World (2)
Randy Newman Good Old Boys (2)
Refused The Shape of Punk to Come (2)
Richard Hell and the Voidoids Blank Generation (3)
Rush 2112 (2)
Sinead O'Connor I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got (2)
Sloan Twice Removed (2)
Smashing Pumpkins Siamese Dream (2)
The Beach Boys Smile (2)
The Beatles The Beatles (The White Album) (2)
The Go-Go's Beauty and the Beat (2)
The Jesus and Mary Chain Psychocandy (2)
The Mekons Rock'n'Roll (2)
The Modern Lovers The Modern Lovers (2)
The Monkees Pisces Aquarius Capricorn and Jones Ltd (2)
The Mountain Goats All Hail West Texas (5)
The Sex Pistols Never Mind the Bollocks… (2)
The Waterboys Fisherman's Blues (3)
The Wrens Meadowlands (2)
They Might Be Giants Flood (2)
Various Artists No New York (2)
Wilco Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2)
X Under the Big Black Sun (2)

Anonymous said...

no LCD Soundsystem on that entire list... shocked.

Anonymous said...

Mayo please!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

wow quite a haul! how many are you hoping to publish, ultimately?

Anonymous said...

Beat Happening, Wipers, Jesus and Mary Chain, and Tubeway Army are all bands I'd love to read more on. :)

Anonymous said...

No New York! Yes!!

Anonymous said...

I know it looks like the Manic Street Preacher's Holy Bible is the favorite here, but Journal For Plague Lovers would be a really interesting read.

Anonymous said...

Would love to see Psychocandy, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and Under the Big Black Sun

KtJ said...

I hope one of the They Might Be Giants proposals was from Sarah Vowell or John Hodgman. I would read the heck out of that.

Peter said...

Mine was one of the two :-0

Peter said...

That is all

Anonymous said...

All mod cons FTW

Steve Marine said...

Tears For Fears "The Hurting"... Yes, oh yes. PLEASE!!!
Honestly, there's many on this list I'd kill for. (Duran Duran, Kate Bush, Bronski Beat, Bowie, Talk Talk, Madonna, Queen, etc...)

Anonymous said...

Devil's advocate: So how much sway does the popularity of an album in the replies posted in response to the list in an proposal being picked?

Anonymous said...

Artists getting more than one proposal:

The Mountain Goats (6)
Bob Dylan (5)
Manic Street Preachers (4)
Pet Shop Boys (4)
Richard Hell (incl. Voidoids) (4)
The Beatles (4)
Van Halen (4)
Wilco (4)
Danger Mouse (3)
Fiona Apple (3)
Frank Zappa (inc. MOI) (3)
Fugazi (3)
Jandek (3)
John Lennon (incl. w/Yoko) (3)
Rush (3)
The Beach Boys (3)
The Go-Betweens (3)
The Mekons (3)
The Monkees (3)
The Waterboys (3)
They Might Be Giants (3)
Van Morrison (3)
X (3)

Cormac said...

quite a few multiple submissions in there, great minds clearly do think alike. Though I would have probably been happier if there wasn't a double of my proposal ;)

Anonymous said...

Boy, after looking at a list that huge and full of notable names, I don't feel like I have much hope, haha. Whatever, it was still a great process and I'm so grateful David Barker and co. allow strangers the opportunity to do this every couple of years.

One thing I did notice: Not one book so far has been published about a post-2000 album. Fingers crossed the trend breaks this year.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting to see some of the patterns compared to last time. There were a few where you could imagine that they kind of cover a unique lane the way the Hawaiian one (Israel Kamaka...) did. For instance, DC Talk is perhaps the only Christian rock pitch I've seen. Then there seem to be a few consensus artists (Mountain Goats, Manics) and last time that artist was Talking Heads and lo and behold... Of course it helped that Jonathan Lethem was one of the ones who pitched Talking Heads! A few seem to presumably be performance pieces like Wilson's book on Celine Dion (I'm guessing Ashlee Simpson??), but there's also a few where I'm not sure the original album sold 5,000 copies so I'm not sure how you pull off a book. To be honest I also feel like some of the semi-obvious ones have been done to death, if not in outright books and documentaries then at least in good music magazines. That said I think a Van Halen one makes a lot of sense right about now, as would a JAMC one. I'd love Tears FOr Fears or the Refused but that's just me. Too bad no one came back to the well with Big Country's The Crossing!!! And then a bunch are on artists who already have books in the series...not that you couldn't do a book on every single Beatles record. I do wonder how many of these are repeat submissions. This is my 5th try I think, although I've pitched a different record each time. This time mine I think is a bit of an outlier which either means it has a great shot or a terrible one (matters of quality being roughly equal, which obviously they won't be, one way or another). Anyway, I'll be curious to see what they wind up with - they could go a lot of different ways here and you never know what angle is behind each title you see here!!!

Anonymous said...

oh man, i jonathan by jonathan richman is a great album

Anonymous said...

Nice selection of hip-hop albums this time round --

AZ Doe or Die
Big Daddy Kane Long Live the Kane
Company Flow Funcrusher Plus
Danger Mouse The Grey Album (3)
De La Soul De La Soul is Dead
Drake Thank Me Later
Eminem Relapse
Eminem The Slim Shady LP
Insane Clown Posse The Great Milenko
J. Dilla Donuts
Jay-Z The Blueprint (2)
Kanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2)
Lauryn Hill The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
Ol' Dirty Bastard Nigga Please
Outkast Stankonia
The Game The Documentary
The Pharcyde Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde
The Pharcyde Labcabincalifornia
The Wu-Tang Clan Enter the Wu Tang (36 Chambers)

I'd definitely buy/read the classic ones... AZ, Big Daddy Kane, De La Soul, Pharcyde, Wu-Tang...

Anonymous said...

Grace Under Pressure could be amazing! The point where a lot RUSH fans either got the hell out of there, or embraced them more than ever? Such a paranoid album..........And NOT an obvious choice I wouldn't think. A guilty pleasure. Sure I'm not alone.

Other than that, there are a lot here I'd love. Fugazi - Red Medicine, Stereolab would be good now, King Crimson - Discipline (great choice), Go-Betweens - 16 Lovers Lane, X, etc.

Wilco? What else is there to say/read on Yankee Hotel Foxtrot? Amazing album, yeah, but it's been done to death and back.

Great list. Was definitely better to read the proposals as they were received chronologically , rather than alphabetically.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Not really fancying my chances now as much as I was when I sent my proposal in. Really interesting list.

Except for a few obvious stunt proposals, and some that seem just impossibly obscure, quite a lot of these are books I would consider buying. And I'm actually quite impressed by how little of this list is represented by the more overly obvious classic rock staples. I mean, only 4 Beatles proposals out of nearly 500? That's amazing.

(No offense to the writers of any of the Beatles proposals, which could be amazing for all I know. But seriously, what is there possibly left to say?)

Anonymous said...

Some great choices in there. The Refused, Helmet and Hum books would be great additions to the series - those kind of bands are really under-represented, not just in the 33 1/3 series but generally.

Anonymous said...

Wow. What a long list!

I'm so happy to see rivulets of hip hop and soul and funk music --plus Miles--in there alongside the mountains of alt rock. Hope some of those proposals are excellent and worthy. Oh, and please pick mine.

Best of luck!

poet said...

There's a lot left to say on the Beatles. Even if there is a lot of retreading out there.

Anonymous said...

I say you sign up both Tudor/Cage Indeterminacy books and publish them outside the series as a single book with the two books presented running in tandem on facing pages.

Anonymous said...

"Couldn't you be any more obvious than that, Rob? How about, I don't know, the Beatles?"

The thing about the Beatles, however is that simply printing the word "Beatles" on the cover of any music book = $$$$$.

Anonymous said...

I vote All Hail West texas again!

Anonymous said...

I'm not saying this to be snarky, but I wonder whether the pool of writers matches the pool of readers. I suspect it largely does, but maybe not entirely. Like in the general reading audience you have to imagine that Van Halen kinda clobbers the Mountain Goats in terms of total traffic, but maybe a Goats book outperforms in this context? For my part, I'm intrigued by a few of the ones that are kind of tucked in here but not commented on that are a mix of popular/critically liked but maybe islands unto themselves somewhat - The Black Crowes, Kate Bush, Parliament.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I see what you're saying. Hasn't there been failed attempts at 33 1/3s on Kate Bush and Parliament in the past?
On a different note, I do think a book about Sandanista would be better than one on London Calling, and it might actually get written.

Anonymous said...

"Like in the general reading audience you have to imagine that Van Halen kinda clobbers the Mountain Goats in terms of total traffic, but maybe a Goats book outperforms in this context"

It's less to do with the number of fans a band has and more to do with how easy/hard it is to reach the fans of the band.

Say the writer was also the head of the Mountain Goats fan club and had a mailing list of 20,000 people who are fans of the band then it'd probably outperform Van Halen, if the writer of the Van Halen book had no way of reaching Van Halen fans.

But Van Halen would probably win out if both of them are just sitting in the store with no marketing, just because more people who happen to be passing have heard of them.

Anonymous said...

I did not submit a proposal for the Mountain Goats, not do I know anyone who did. (You'll have to trust me on this.) But I actually think a MG 33 1/3 book would sell quite well, or at least as well as Darnielle's own book did. They may not be superstars, but that group has some ridiculously committed fans, who seem to be talking to each other all the time. It's almost like the Kiss Army for awkward indie dudes.

If any of those are from reputable writers, I'd think it would be a decent bet.

Anonymous said...

I submitted a Buffalo Springfield - Again previously, but didn't see it on your list of multiple submissions.

Anonymous said...

Question fior the editors... I worked on my proposal right up to the bitter end and now find there are, shockingly, dropped words and typos. Is it possible to submit a cleaner version of the proposal (with no added or revised content, of course), just to make it easier on all of us?

Lew said...

I loved the book on Gentleman, though Black Love is still my favorite album, but I would really love to read a 33 1/3 book on Blackberry Belle.

Anonymous said...

Would be interested to see Helmet's Meantime.

Anonymous said...

Blackberry Belle would be incredible...you know a book about Greg Dulli is going to be good...just look at Gentlemen!

David said...

Thanks for all the comments so far, everyone. Two quick things: I'm hopeful that we'll be able to sign up 15-20 of these. And even more hopeful that one or two of those will be for albums made post-2000. Oh, and comments left here about particular albums don't impact our final decisions at all, sadly - although they're fun to read!

Anonymous said...

to the poster who asked about typos--I can totally empathize. Just like you, I worked up to a few hours before the deadline, tweaking and polishing--but after I sent it in, I noticed maybe 4 or 5 typos in the aprox 7000 word proposal. Needless to say it was disconcerting, but I would imagine such minor things won't be a dealbreaker (right?? lol)

Anonymous said...

Sorry,tidy minds and that... or OCD... I've rearranghed the list (I hope) alphabetically, so as it's too long for here, I'll stick it on Facebook. I've also divided band name from album title, as with some of the more unusual band names I had to look them up to see what part of the line in the original list was band name, and which bit was the album title :) I found the original list too random. A fascinatingly broad range of music. Lots of titles I'd buy here, too.

David said...

Typos, etc: these absolutely will not be dealbreakers, please don't worry about that!

Anonymous said...

:-)

Anonymous said...

Hi David,

If, say, someone submitted early and their CV has experienced a significant change since their submission, would there be a way for someone to make that known to you? Or is that too much minutia?

Anonymous said...

Whoever wrote up the Todd proposal is my new hero.

Anonymous said...

Any clues as to how you're going to go about looking at the proposals?

Eg. just read them one after the other in the order they came in... or divide them into genre first or into types of author?
Or will some be struck off immediately, etc.

David said...

Changes to the CV: no need to let us know about this. (Well, unless it's something absolutely huge, in which case feel free to email me directly!)

Looking at the proposals: yes, it's as methodical and prosaic as reading them, one by one, in the order in which they were submitted. Every proposal will be read in its entirety. That should give us some kind of "longlist", and then I'll probably start asking for a few other opinions...

Anonymous said...

Sigur Ros would be an interesting read. Their music is beautiful and ( ) is one of the best. People have probably heard their music without knowing it is Sigur Ros. Hope it comes through, they are one of my faves!

Anonymous said...

Once they are published, it'll be interesting to see how "academic" they are, now that they are being published under an academic wing.
I would have thought that would shift the focus substantially away from "what the album is and who it's by" to "what is being written about it and who is writing it". Or, to put it another way, it's hard to imagine a book that simply described how an album was made and how the songs were written being of significant interest to that many academic courses. (Other than, I suppose, institutes of performing arts or sound engineering courses.)

Anonymous said...

These books get used in academic courses all the time as it is, I bet it just means there will be less personal reflections about the first time they heard the album as a teen and how sad they were.

Anonymous said...

"Or, to put it another way, it's hard to imagine a book that simply described how an album was made and how the songs were written being of significant interest to that many academic courses."

Most readers want that info though... if you look at any of the reviews on amazon, readers always complain about the ones that don't focus on those facts and which focus too much on the writer and his/her life story/opinions, and not enough on how the album was made...

Milton said...

I don't think Amazon reviews tell you anything about what "most readers want", any more than reviews on TripAdvisor do. That's kind of irrelevant anyway, as texts geared towards an academic market are by no means the same thing as what "most readers want". ( "most readers" don't want books on music full stop! It's simply not a big part of book sales.)

I'm not even suggesting that this series is now entirely geared towards an academic market - the esteemed commissioning editor has been a little equivocal on that topic.

I suppose I'm just saying that I, personally, will be more interested in the series if it turns out it IS moving more in an "academic" direction. I haven't enjoyed the more straightforward "documentation of the band and the recording sessions" books in the series so far - I can take or leave that sort of thing.
I guess I'm saying I prefer music criticism to music 'reportage'.

Anonymous said...

>>>>"I don't think Amazon reviews tell you anything about what "most readers want""<<<<

They do, because there are a lot of 33 1/3 titles and a lot of Amazon reviews and if you take some time to read them all, that's definitely the impression you'll get. Amazon is a great gauge in general of how well books are doing and whether people liked a book or not.

>>>>"That's kind of irrelevant anyway, as texts geared towards an academic market are by no means the same thing as what "most readers want". ( "most readers" don't want books on music full stop! It's simply not a big part of book sales.)"<<<<

The series has never really been all that academic and it would be odd for it to go that way because you'd lose a lot of the fanbase of the series, as academic books don't sell many copies. Music books in general do sell a lot of copies, at least mainstream ones (again, not really academic ones), so I'm not sure where you got that info from.

>>>>"I haven't enjoyed the more straightforward "documentation of the band and the recording sessions" books in the series so far - I can take or leave that sort of thing."<<<<

There haven't really been that many of those (but the ones that are tend to get the best reviews), as most of them tend to be "writer's own musings" type of approaches.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible that we're getting a bit too hung-up on the term "academic" here? My sense is that they're looking for strong narratives, stories that haven't been told about the records, whether that means interesting stories about the recording/production of the album (for example, a bunch of guys in the extremely hot basement of a French mansion producing masterpiece songs in between fights and binges) or whether that means interesting stories about the album's place in history/culture/society/etc. (for example, what a particularly plastic commercial mega-album can reveal about how rock fans/critics define themselves). I suspect telling an important and relevant story that speaks to audiences broader than either the band's fans or the music-academic public is the key here.

Anonymous said...

"I suspect telling an important and relevant story that speaks to audiences broader than either the band's fans or the music-academic public is the key here."

I suspect more important than that is being able to reach the people that want to hear that story, hence why the proposal had to include a marketing plan.

Anonymous said...

whomever proposed the waterboys albums did their homework. http://33third.blogspot.com/search?q=waterboys

Anonymous said...

Glad to see some darker/heavier
proposals in there. The series has
been a little on the
mainstream/bland side of things.
It'd be great to see books on:

Godflesh - Streetcleaner
Faith No More - Angel Dust
Helmet - Meantime
Manic Street Preachers - The Holy Bible
David Bowie - 1. Outside
Emperor - Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk
Rage Against The Machine - S/T

Here's some albums I would have liked to see proposed:

Tool - Undertow
Mr Bungle - Disco Volante
Naked City - Naked City
Big Black - Songs About Fucking
Napalm Death - Scum

Also, now that we have wikipedia pages, books that detail the
A,B,C of a given album are a complete waste of time. I'd
rather something informative, but different.

Betty Granda said...

Would love to see something on the fiery furnaces album Blueberry Boat!

Anonymous said...

"Also, now that we have wikipedia pages, books that detail the
A,B,C of a given album are a complete waste of time."

Right, because all wikipedia album pages are 40,000 words long and detail the making of the album with new interviews, etc...

Books which just detail the author's own musings are a waste of time because that's what message boards are for.

Z said...

which weezer album is being proposed? they have three self titled albums (blue green and red)

Unknown said...

now that you've got this list...when are the next batch of proposals due in? :)

Aurora said...

Kinda depressing to see no proposals for The Roots.

Anonymous said...

If we are unsuccessful, will there be a chance for some feedback?

David said...

Z: it's the blue Weezer album...

David said...

A couple of things, while I have a moment:

Feedback on unsuccessful proposals - we honestly can't offer this as a standard service - there simply isn't the time! But if you genuinely want some feedback, then go ahead and email me in the aftermath of this whole thing, I promise to get back to you at some point during the summer.

And on the whole "academic" discussion, well that's what the grown-ups here at Bloomsbury have asked us to do. And since they were kind enough to pull the series back from the brink, it's something I'd like to honour. Having said that, I find some "academic" approaches to popular music deathly dull. (Just as some "journalistic" approaches can have the same effect.) So if there are brilliant proposals in here that are crying out to be published, then we'll try very very hard to accommodate them in the series, whether they're written by a Professor at Cambridge, or a freelance writer in Minneapolis, or a sound engineer in Brisbane.

Joel said...

If this is anything like the last time, my excitement over the variety of choices will turn to disappointment over what's eventually chosen. Still hurting over that Young Marble Giants book that could've been.

If the Go-Go's or Shaggs get picked this time, though, I'll recover just a bit.

Anonymous said...

Being academic is real easy though... just add footnotes to stuff and maybe even include a bibliography/discography and you're all set. (1)



(1) Jones, Jimmy, 1993, Big University Press. "How to make things seem real academic-like" from "Big Book of Academic Stuff," pg. 165.

Jeff said...

I am acquainted w/four academics. One teaches a course on the music biz & three teach Creative Writing (tho' one is exclusively poetry). Probably should have mentioned that in my proposal for Bed. Oh well...

- Jeff

flowers said...

Flowers bring the silent yet majestic appeal to all the celebrations, and are the perfect decorators for the theme of the same. It’s FlowersToIndiaToday.com again, to flaunt the perfect celebration bash onto your event. Visit us at www.flowerstoindiatoday.com for details.

Jakob Brønnum said...

This IS an interesting discussion. Then one definition of academic would be: Write a text out of your head and sprinkle it with notes and chain a bibliography to it? Hm! A guy in Germany, who lived to be a hundred, once wrote 600 pages about a simple fact: Whenever you think, read or write you don't see, hear or say everything in the whole wide world, just what your perspective allows you to. That's almost common sense. Maybe the concept of academic we're trying to get a grip on here is being seriously aware of your perspective, flashing that awareness very, very subtly, not to choke the text. Kinda the same way Weirs' guitar sits in the background when Jerry takes a long walk in the meadows.

Anonymous said...

There's a couple of ways you can make it academic... the first is just take a generally rigorous approach to the research, cite a lot of sources, and yes footnote those sources. Rather than just writing a stream of thoughts off the top of your head.

The second approach is to do that AND have some sort of general argument you're making, where you cite and engage with a variety of critics on the subject to make your argument clear and show how it differs from previous arguments.

And of course this is usually done in the driest, most obscure jargon-filled way possibly so the text is a thick mess of words that the reader can't get through easily.

So yeah, hopefully the new academic approach just means citing any sources, rather than the full shebang.

Anonymous said...

To contribute to the 'academic' or non-academic debate ... the basic premise of this 33 1/3 series, surely, is that the albums it publishes books about are 'works of art' - agree???

When someone writes about a painting, or a novel, or even a film - i.e., what are unquestioningly taken as 'works of art' - there's a real limit to how much you can rely on an author's subjective response to listening to a record.

A lot of the books in the series that I have read seem to partially have that kind of form - being partly a kind of memoir - and some of them seem to work well, but others less so.

With 30-40,000 words as the standard, there is going to be a need for some research, unless the book is fictional. The academic approach is just a way of taking one of these 'works of art' (if that's what they are), and viewing them within a larger cultural context than 'this had a major impact on my life when I was 18 years old', or whatever.

The artifacts of popular culture, no less than the paintings of Picasso, can shed light on history and culture - approaching an album with that in mind is itself an academic approach. It doesn't have to be dry and boring or driven by theory (as so much writing about popular culture in academia is).

Anonymous said...

I think you also have to respect what the reader wants.
It's cool to have an idea like, "oh, I'd love to write about this album from the angle of this and this," but you have to think about the reader too.

When someone gets one of these books, they're buying a book on a certain album. So they expect the book to be about that album and give them info on that album. They most likely love that album and simply want to know more about it, so that when they listen to it, they can go, "oh, now I see, this was supposed to be two different songs, but they put them together to make one"... things like that.

So if they get a big memoir of the author, I can understand why they feel gipped. It's like buying a box with "donuts" written on it and they get it home, open it and it's full of mini-pizzas. They could be the best mini-pizzas ever, but they're still going to be annoyed because they bought the box under the assumption they were getting donuts.

David said...

Anon (10:49am) - agree, to some extent, and some of my favourite books in the series take the straightforward approach and I hope we can do more of those. But the remit of the series, since day one, has been to explore different ways in which it's possible (and, I hope, entertaining) to write about music. And we try hard in the descriptive copy for each book to convey something about the approach taken by that author - so if anyone bought, for example, the Black Sabbath book or the Smiths book and felt ripped off by it, then to me that's his/her fault entirely.

Anonymous said...

"so if anyone bought, for example, the Black Sabbath book or the Smiths book and felt ripped off by it, then to me that's his/her fault entirely."

I think the problem here is that the books look so blatantly like they're going to contain info on that album, from the title and cover. If you buy a book that has the Black Sabbath album name and the album cover on it, can you really be expected to do some further research just to make sure? Generally, you're excited because you just found a book all about your favorite album! You just want to get it home and start reading.

If I bought a book like, for example, "Tennis for Dummies" and I got it home and it was actually a really long poem about tennis, would I then look at the back cover and go, "oh, silly me, should have looked harder to realize this wasn't Tennis for Dummies as the title had pointed out, but something completely different, I better give the authors the benefit of the doubt and chide myself harder for my foolishness..."?

I understand your point, but I think it's a great way to lose readers' trust unless you make it really clear on the front that it has no info on the album in the book.

Anonymous said...

"If you buy a book that has the Black Sabbath album name and the album cover on it, can you really be expected to do some further research just to make sure?"

Further research, as in flipping the book around to read what the book's about? Geez man, why do you even bother buying books?

Anonymous said...

"Further research, as in flipping the book around to read what the book's about?"

Why would you do that though, when the name of the book is the album title and it has a picture of the album cover on the front? Would you buy a book like "Learn Spanish in a Day" and feel the need to flip it round to figure out what it's about?

I don't think anyone in the store is thinking, "better have a look at the back, just in case the book has nothing to do with the title of the book."

"Geez man, why do you even bother buying books?"

Now I personally look on the back of most books anyway, I'm just saying I think we can forgive readers for assuming a book with the album title and cover art on it is going to have some info on it, without having to check the back to double-check that.

Anonymous said...

interesting discussion.

the best academic writing in the humanities (music) is often very polished and not mired in verbiage, neologisms, or needless jargon. that said, jargon is short-hand and it can be a very good thing. scientists use it all the time; why can't humanists?

Nova said...

I agree that specialist language - or conceptual analyses, for that matter - are not necessarily a problem when it comes to writing about music. Not at all, in fact. Jargon, though, seems to be something that you'll find in academic humanities writing that is too driven by Theory.

I always hated that inane comment by ... Frank Zappa (or maybe it was Elvis Costello) that "writing about music is like fishing about architecture." Even Zappa's music, if it was him, for example - even that only exists in a sense because there is an audience of listeners (god bless 'em, though, 'cos Zappa is one of those musicians whose music drives me up the fcking wall).

Anyway, that aside, the point is that the listener contributes much to the existence, and life, of the music as a result. This is particularly so with popular music, meaning anything that you and I, as readers of 33 1/3 books are likely to listen to.

Sure, music occupies a different realm than words, langauge, and how it can be mangled into incomprehensible forms - if you want to be really picky about it. Music it is a direct mode of expression - a note or sound can express an emotion in the kind of unmediated way that many words, and much language probably cannot. It's a direct route to emotion at its best; but then again, don't all sorts of things that belong to emotion, to aesthetics and the poetic, inspire us to actually pull out the pen and paper to try and understand or work out why the hell music can move us, annoy us, or make us want to smash things up!

To get into this kind of type of writing often means going beyond mere empirical descriptions of the process of music making, historical accounts of events as they unfolded, and even what artists say, after the fact, they were trying to do or achieve (all of which, incidentally, I like to read as well).

I do believe it is true that there is a lot that artists put into their music that is unthought - unmediated, instinctual - and if that is so, then it opens a space for some writer down the line, coming at their work, to suggest that there is something going on that the artist / performer might not have even realised themselves. That can be a very productive space to work in - depends on the subject, probably.

I think John Darnielle's book, Master of Reality, which a couple of people above have alluded to, can be seen to take a certain kind of approach to enter into that space. I liked it. I'd enjoy a more conventional account of the making of that album, too - but there is room for both. At the other extreme you get Paul Wilkinson's book 'Rat Salad: Black Sabbath, 1969-75', which'll give you all the factual info you want, album by album, track by track - but for all its virtues as an example of solid research and chronological analysis, it is a tad boring and predictable.

That is all! Rant over.

Nova said...

Another thing to say is that music journalism, which is long established - much more so that writing in new or unusual ways about music - sets a lot of readers up to expect a certain kind of re-telling of how songs and albums were conceived and made. I like reading this kind of stuff, but when you are talking about books, that's a different matter ...

Read the reviews of any books about music on Amazon and you will eventually come across comments complaining that book x, y or z has no new interviews with the artist. No shit! Try getting interviews with an artist when you don't represent a major media organisation, or magazine with a circulation that will boost sales or albums or tickets.

But, then again, if we are taking these albums as works of art, then they have a life beyond what the artists think about them as well. Whatever has been said about them in the past will end up as the material that any kind of criticism / analysis falls back on.

Nova said...

... which is all to say, rather depressingly, that an awful lot of readers will look at books about primarily as sources of information; rather than experiments in how one can write about music ... i.e., "I really wanted to know what kind of pre-amp Slash was using on that tune, not what some dweeb writer thought about it ..."

I'm on the side of the writers. Facts, mere information, can be found in the journalism (in new and old interviews) and elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

"which is all to say, rather depressingly, that an awful lot of readers will look at books about primarily as sources of information"

I don't think that's depressing at all. I think that's just a natural thing to want... you love an album, you want to hear from the people who made it. If you buy a book on it, put out by a proper publisher and someone is getting paid, maybe it's not too much to expect some new interviews from the band.

I think it's a risky thing to do to go about writing a book with the idea of 'what can I write about and what do I want to write about for my personal enjoyment', because then we get stuff where the writer had a great time writing about his/her upbringing, but no one else is interested in that. Or the writer thinks, "getting an interview is too hard, I'll just make my own stuff up and it'll be just as good as an interview because I want it to be so."

I think it's a great thing as well that a lot of these "mere" music facts get documented while a lot of these guys are still around... what is more useful when they are gone, facts from the actual person who made the music, or the thoughts of someone who had nothing to do with it? You can get random people's thoughts on the album from message boards.

"Read the reviews of any books about music on Amazon and you will eventually come across comments complaining that book x, y or z has no new interviews with the artist. No shit! Try getting interviews with an artist when you don't represent a major media organisation, or magazine with a circulation that will boost sales or albums or tickets."

This is true in both aspects -- most fans want new information from the artists and it is hard getting interviews. But that's why writers are paid to write books, that's why it's their job... I can't do surgery, so I pay someone who can, most readers can't go and interview their favorite artists, so they pay someone who can. If the reader can do as good a job of writing the book as the author, then why would they bother getting the book?

David said...

I've always thought there's room for both approaches in the series. The informational/factual approach (the books on the Beastie Boys and Slayer spring to mind) and the more creative/interpretive. Of course, the upshot of that is that the series is utterly unreliable if you're just looking for one approach only. Guilty as charged!

But I don't buy the analogy with the "Dummies" books - those are How-To / Professional publications. If we'd called our series "Behind the Album" or "The Making of Classic Albums" then your argument would be 100% valid - but I called it "33 1/3" to be deliberately open-ended.

Anonymous said...

"Why would you do that though, when the name of the book is the album title and it has a picture of the album cover on the front?"

Because I don't judge books by their cover? I don't throw money away without knowing exactly what I'm buying? Maybe I'm a far more complex human being than most people. Guilty as charged.

"Would you buy a book like "Learn Spanish in a Day" and feel the need to flip it round to figure out what it's about?"

Yes. Even when I'm at the library and no money is being put down, I always compare language programs to see what which one will give me.

"I don't think anyone in the store is thinking, "better have a look at the back, just in case the book has nothing to do with the title of the book.""

Again, you're arguing most people to be simple and dull.


"I think we can forgive readers for assuming a book with the album title and cover art on it is going to have some info on it, without having to check the back to double-check that."

Haha.

Anonymous said...

“If we'd called our series "Behind the Album" or "The Making of Classic Albums" then your argument would be 100% valid - but I called it "33 1/3" to be deliberately open-ended.”

That may have been the intention, but in practice, a LOT of readers think the series is a “behind the album” series, probably because if you call a book something like, “"Black Sabbath's Master of Reality (33 1/3)" then people just assume you're going to at least explain how it was made.

Looking at the reviews online confirms this, I just checked a whole bunch of them and here are some quotes from them (I found at least 30+ with the same sentiment, but these are a good sample of them) –

"What's missing is any and all historical and biographical information related to the making of this album - which is the entire point of the poignant 33 1/3 series."

"I buy 33 1/3 books to learn the details about how albums I like were made. I want to hear stories from the production, what inspired the songs, what the band was going through, etc. This book doesn't seem to fall in that category."

"I was kind of late to discover the 33 1/3 series, but I was ecstatic! Here...supposedly...was a series of books more focused, about some of the really ground-breaking albums of my time. I looked forward to hearing about the artists, and the ins and outs of recording that particular title... I decided to start with this one; so...imagine my disappointment!"

"I was ready to get into the book when I noticed this is not the typical 33 1/3 book about how the record was made, this is a fiction book which allegedly is based on the record."

"little did i know that, unlike the other books in the series, this one is not about the making of the album, it is a work of fiction."

"A couple of the other reviewers suggest we look elsewhere for bits about the making of the album, what Andy Rourke was drinking, etc. But that's why we looked here. That's what 33.3 is about."

"False Advertising... It claims to be the story of how Prince made a great album and more. IT IS NOT the story of how Prince made Sign O the Times. "

Aurora said...

Well first of all, people who have a negative opinion of something are far more likely to write reviews expressing their disappointment. I haven't left positive reviews of my most loved and cherished books on Amazon, or anywhere else on the Internet for that matter. I tend to reserve such praise for my friends and acquaintances. I don't think I'm unusual in this: many people simply don't have the time or the energy.

I for one have Meat Is Murder and enjoyed it immensely. So too did my friend to whom I lent it.

I enjoy seeing writers and musicians take one of their favorite albums and run with it where ever their wits and/or imagination takes them. If that also ends up including commentary/research/interviews with the artist on the music, all the better. That's not to say I don't like the 'drier' ones, like In The Aeroplane..., which is also superb. Moral of the story: I'm flexible in my expectations and I like to think many 33 1/3 readers are.

And geez, if you're such a huge Smiths fan, wouldn't you already know every detail about the making of MIM and what the bass player was drinking? And if you aren't or don't, you certainly shouldn't need a book to find that out with the internets (I thought I'd bring back that lovely relic of the Bush Jr. era) unless it's esoteric/"insider" info you're after, which in that case might drastically reduce the number of people who could get published in this series.

Aurora said...

Another thing to consider is what makes for a good 33 1/3 book will vary by album. Would a Meat Is Murder style book have worked on In The Aeroplane? Likely not, since ITAOTS is the best-selling 33 1/3 because it sheds a lot of light on an album created by a mysterious and reclusive group of musicians and which is full of arcana to people not well versed in psychoanalysis, the Holocaust, psychedelia, etc. It filled a demand in the market, if that Creative Loafing guy many years back who tracked down Jeff Mangum's family is any indication. (wtf?)

Meat Is Murder, on the other hand, is already in the alt rock canon. We know almost everything there is to know about what inspired the album's songs, what the lyrics are likely about, who the musicians are, etc. The only mystery surrounding it at this point is how the hell Johnny Marr recorded the guitars on How Soon Is Now? And even an interview with the man himself on that matter would be fruitless, since he claims he can't remember. So what would be the point?

Nova said...

Anon, 8:16 - "... most fans want new information from the artists and it is hard getting interviews. But that's why writers are paid to write books, that's why it's their job..."

The majority of writers are not really paid, as such, to write these kind of books - they may end up making royalties, but unless you are selling books in the tens of thousands whatever those royalties are will not make constitute a significant income.

There are very few writers of non-fiction who receive advances to write their books. In music criticism, if you want to call it that, maybe Greil Marcus would get an advance substantial enough to fund things like setting up interviews, if that's what he wanted to base his book on - but he has a name that will automatically guarantee a certain amount of sales, no matter what his subject is.

Anonymous said...

"Well first of all, people who have a negative opinion of something are far more likely to write reviews expressing their disappointment."

You missed the point of the quotes -- they were to show that many people think 33 1/3 is a "making of the album" series, regardless of whether that was the intention or not.
Also, most good books have a lot of good reviews, so I don't think you're right anyway, otherwise everything online would have mostly bad reviews.

I agree with your general points though about there being good ways to approach each album and I'm glad the series does have different approaches, I do think there is something to be said for listening to what readers want in general though, and what they (rightly or wrongly) expect from the series.


"The majority of writers are not really paid, as such, to write these kind of books - they may end up making royalties, but unless you are selling books in the tens of thousands whatever those royalties are will not make constitute a significant income. There are very few writers of non-fiction who receive advances to write their books."

Most non-fiction writers receive advances for books, so I've no idea where you got that info. The only area I've seen where publishers won't offer an advance is generally on academic presses, but even then most of the big ones, OUP, etc. will give out an advance.

With non-academic publishers, even the pretty small ones will give you a $5,000 advance, and pretty much any mid-size one will give around $7,500 to $10,000 as an upfront advance, as well as royalties based on retail price.

Even if you weren't paid much though, you're looking at it again from the view of the writer instead of the reader. The reader just wants a good book that meets their expectations, they don't care about your arguments about how you can't get x, y, and z information. They're not going to make excuses for you, they're just not going to like the book.


"maybe Greil Marcus would get an advance substantial enough to fund things like setting up interviews, if that's what he wanted to base his book on"

You don't need to fund setting up interviews, they don't cost anything except a small phone bill!

Nova said...

Anon, 7:48:

"Most non-fiction writers receive advances for books, so I've no idea where you got that info. "

Really? What, a couple of hundred / thousand dollars - I just wonder what the circumstances would be in which a writer of non-fiction would get an advance that is enough to replace, say, income from a job.

I know from experience that most academic publishers of non-fiction offer ZERO advances, and trade publishers of non-fiction will offer a small advance (maybe a thousand plus dollars) to writers, unless they are established / well-known and represented by an agent.

Ask David Barker how many pitching for 33 1/3 have a literary agent negotiating advances, and my guess is the answer will be 'none'. Others, like Jonathan Lethem, fall into a different category.

It takes time to set up and conduct interviews, and might involve travelling and other expenses. That all translates very quickly into money spent.

Anonymous said...

Point of information for 'anonymous', who appears to have forgotten to read 33 1/3's original call for book proposals: "[t[here will be royalties payable on all print and electronic editions of your book, as well as foreign rights deals, etc – but no advances will be paid against those royalties."

Just in case 'anonymous' tires of reading before he/she reaches the key phrase (reading the back of a book; what's *that* about?), let me isolate it: "no advances will be paid against those royalties".


This reductive 'either/or' conversation, perpetrated and perpetuated by 'anonymous', is uncalled for (as another glance at the 'call for submissions' confirms): the 33 1/3 series welcomes a broad range of approaches and is aimed at a broad range of readers. Why on earth 'anonymous' believes that his, her, or their preferences are normative is beyond me, but his, her or their frequent comments seem to reveal general contempt for readers (plural, not singular).

'most fans want'... 'can you really be expected to do some further research'... 'they expect'... 'respect what the reader [singular, apparently] wants'...


How convenient that THE READER is so indivisible and uniform. (Incidentally, how convenient that 'academic writing' can be so casually dismissed, as if it too is nothing but a monolith.)

A(nother) A(nonymouse)

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

"Is it possible that we're getting a bit too hung-up on the term "academic" here? My sense is that they're looking for strong narratives, stories that haven't been told about the records..."

Well, the story of the album I chose to submit a proposal for has - surprisingly - never been told in its entirity before; the details becoming diluted by later re-tellings. And, as someone side here, I too believe that it's better to capture history while the participants are still alive than posthumously, and have to weed through a load of potentially inaccurate 'opinions' by otheers to get to the truth.

Probably like everyone who did submit this time around, I've been pondering on what constitues an 'academic' approach to the series over and above some of the series previous output.

It seems to me that there could be several possible types of academic approach, although the most likely ones would be the purely factual (with research cross-referenced to earlier publications), or the musical theory approach in which the actual structure of the work is analysed - from use of major/minor chords to tempo changes and composition structure. As a reader of the series, and someone who's now submitted an idea for it, then it has to be the former approach for me.

It did worry me that Bloomsbury might be looking for the latter - in which case I'm not at all qualified to take that approach - but I very much wanted to have a shot at the series, so opted for the factual.

The approach that most engages me is placing the album within the musical scene surrounding it, with new interview material alongside archive material and with some personal recollections and appropriate side-tracking to other relevant topics of interest. In essence trying to tell the story of the album, not just how the actual tracks were recorded, but how it was even recorded at all after what had previously happened with the band.

And this is basically the approach taken by the three titles in the series I have read - and which is what I would have expected from such a series. I've obviously not encountered any of the previous, well, more out there editions, although it sounds as though the Fear of Music volume will be in that category when I order one up :)

I think it's entirely possible to write about the writing and recording of songs without it sounding dry - but it's up to the skill and passion of the author for that music to bring it out. And I think you can certainly explain what the music meant to you without turning it to a long, self-indulgent and self-pleasuring thesis. It's a book on music, so it should by turns be both entertaining, thought-provoking, cliche-shifting and make you want to (re)investigate the music further, as well as being a darn good read. Phew, that was starting to turn into a 'lip-smakin' Pepsi ad style list!

As for the whole royalty debate - my experience is that as the E-book vies with the printed version (and I'm a big fan of the printed word) for supremacy, so royalties are shrinking and the final sales points being tightened. This is not to say that you can't publish a success and proftable book, just that you've got to work a lot harder for it. I wasn't at all surprised, in the vein, that we were all asked for marketing suggestions for our chosen album.

Anyway, long may the series continue, with or without my potential contribution to it ;)

Anonymous said...

@Nova and "A(nother) A(nonymouse)"

This has kind of got sidetracked into a conversation about the writer's pay, which wasn't the point I was making -- my point is simply that a reader is paying money for the book, can't they be allowed to expect certain things?

A(nother) A(nonymouse) -- I'm not saying all the 33 1/3 books should all have interviews... my own proposal is not based around them.

I am simply saying that it is easy to see, if you look around, that a lot of readers DO expect certain things from the series.

I have no contempt for readers. I'm actually just standing up for the reader who was crazy enough to assume a book on an album might have some info on that album.

Everyone else seems to either a) deny the existence of such a reader or b) blame that reader for being so stupid as to not read the back.

All I'm pointing out is that there are plenty of readers who have bought the book just based on the title. Don't shoot the messenger -- check it out for yourself, read through all 800 or so Amazon reviews and see the comments for yourself. This isn't somehow "my" view, this is simply what has happened.

Anonymous said...

"wasn't the point I was making - my point is"

... [that]

"most fans want new information from the artists and it is hard getting interviews. But that's why writers are paid to write books, that's why it's their job".

Ouch. Writers are paid (they aren't) to write books that THE READER wants (these desires may or may not tally almost precisely with yours). Bizarrely, though, your proposed book isn't going to have interviews; apparently you want to be paid to write a book that THE READER does not want to read.


"can't they be allowed to expect certain things"

Once I bought a book by this writer called V. Woolf (she wasn't a wolf), titled 'Orlando'. I cried a river because the book had precisely nothing to do with Florida, but I expected it to do so. Woolf should have written with my expectations in mind. I wonder what Amazon has to say on the matter?


A(nonymouse)

Anonymous said...

Roughly how long until we find out who made the long-list?

David said...

The long-list: not quite sure yet - I've read about the first 80 so far...With any luck, 2 weeks from now we'll have this entire first part of the process done and will be able to let everybody know where we stand.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to read Primal Scream XTMNTR (cast of characters in that one!)and Tricky - Maxinquaye.

Anonymous said...

Realizing that you're still early in the process and any answer may not be indicative of an ongoing issue, have you had to reject any proposals right off the bat for being incomplete?

Anonymous said...

Are there any which you have marked down as pretty much sure-fire winners so far?

David said...

They've all been astoundingly complete and comprehensive so far: I'm bowled over by how much time people put into these proposals. As for sure-fire winners so far - hmmm. Best to keep that stuff quiet for now...

Anonymous said...

Definitely keep that stuff quiet for now. If you're reading on order received, you might not get to mine for a while and I'm hoping you'll still be able to be bowled over by then.

Anonymous said...

I'd be wary of any of the proposals handed in during the final day or two -- do you really want unorganized slackers on your team, who may or may not hand in completed books on time or at all?

:-)

Anonymous said...

Some people's schedules are less forgiving than that, Anonymous 3:53, and they have a scant amount of free time with which to effect the best level of completeness/comprehensiveness. That said, such stuff is probably easier to shift around once the deal is a lock, but "I'm writing a proposal for a book that may or may not happen" is a harder excuse for employers etc. take seriously. Everybody that got it in by the deadline oughta be AOK. It's the ones that didn't that are more suspect... but then they aren't in the running, are they?

Sincerely
The KLF guy (no, not really)

Anonymous said...

Anon at 3:53 made me laugh: "I'd be wary of any of the proposals handed in during the final day or two -- do you really want unorganized slackers on your team, who may or may not hand in completed books on time or at all?"

Alternatively, David, you could be wary of those who fired off a proposal as soon as possible, as if it was all a race to get to the head of a queue!!

Maybe the disappointment of no-shows for previously commissioned books is what led to the requirement for more detailed proposals and writing samples this time around.

Anonymous said...

"Alternatively, David, you could be wary of those who fired off a proposal as soon as possible, as if it was all a race to get to the head of a queue!!"

Nice try, slacker.

Anonymous said...

Anon-6pm – I’d be shocked if the number no-shows wasn’t the reason for the more elaborate proposal requirements. I mean, publishers are used to having a few of their commissioned titles never coming in, but it seems like a rather alarming number of books from the last 33 1/3 open call for proposals ended up fizzling out. Frankly, I was wondering if they’d even do the open proposal thing again, considering all the authors who couldn’t get their shit together last time. (Slackers! Making it more time-consuming for the rest of us!)

Anonymous said...

please please please publish one of the books on my beautiful dark twisted fantasy.

Anonymous said...

I would buy books on these albums without thinking about because they're my favorites:
Bob Dylan Time Out of Mind
Various Artists Nuggets
You Am I Hourly Daily
The Fall Hex Enduction Hour
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds Tender Prey
Cat Power Moon Pix
Refused The Shape of Punk to Come
The Saints (I'm) Stranded
Faith No More Angel Dust
Various Artists No New York
Fiona Apple Extraordinary Machine
Fiona Apple When the Pawn…
I would think about buying books on these album because they are classics:
Janis Joplin Pearl
The Stooges Fun House
Ry Cooder Paris, Texas
Bob Dylan Bringing It All Back Home
Neil Young On the Beach
Blondie Parallel Lines
The Beatles The Beatles (The White Album)
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds The Firstborn is Dead
The Gun Club Fire of Love
The Go-Betweens Before Hollywood
Van Morrison Astral Weeks
I would think longer about maybe getting these ones because they're great albums and you should have a book about them anyway:
Midnight Oil Diesel and Dust
The Church Starfish
Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely
The Go-Betweens 16 Lovers Lane
Cyndi Lauper She's So Unusual
Robert Johnson King of the Delta Blues Singers
M.I.A. Arular
The Go-Betweens Liberty Belle & The Black Diamond Express
Tori Amos Little Earthquakes
Black Flag Damaged
But the 20 books that I think you with published in the end which I might get one, I'm always disappointing what you pick to published:
The Cure Disintegration
Jay-Z The Blueprint
Oasis Definitely Maybe
Bob Dylan Self Portrait
The Strokes Is This It
Metallica Master of Puppets
De La Soul De La Soul is Dead
The Wu-Tang Clan Enter the Wu Tang (36 Chambers)
Red Hot Chili Peppers Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magik
Smashing Pumpkins Siamese Dream
Sigur Ros ( )
The Sex Pistols Never Mind the Bollocks
Kraftwerk Trans-Europe Express
The Doors Strange Days
New Order Power, Corruption and Lies
Bob Marley and the Wailers Catch a Fire
Kate Bush The Sensual World
Madonna Like A Virgin
John Lennon John Lennon / Plastic Ono Band
The Arcade Fire Funeral
Of-course previous published writers gets heads up anyway so who ever is one with a good proposal will go to the top of the pile already but I hope you do published some I would buy.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mr or Ms 11:31, your lists are provocative, but you need to copyedit your prose. We're all writers here, right? Write.

Anonymous said...

7:00 Anon, slacker-detector - haha! My guess is that ability to deliver will not be judged on who got their proposal in two, five or ten days before the deadline, but such factors as:

- is it a subject that is likely to sell?
- has the prospective author got a good angle on it?
- are there directly competing books on the subject
- has the prospective author a track record that would suggest he/she is not a *slacker* (even if their proposal came the day of deadline!), but can deliver 40,000 words (and not just a proposal of several thousand words)
- can the prospective author write (hence the requirement of a writing sample ?!)

Anonymous said...

"... which is all to say, rather depressingly, that an awful lot of readers will look at books about primarily as sources of information; rather than experiments in how one can write about music ... i.e., "I really wanted to know what kind of pre-amp Slash was using on that tune, not what some dweeb writer thought about it ..." – Nova

I now want to read Nova's book, irrespective of what/who it's about.

Anonymous said...

I always hated that inane comment by ... Frank Zappa (or maybe it was Elvis Costello) that "writing about music is like fishing about architecture." - Nova

I think it was Elvis Costello - "dancing" about architecture.

You're right, it's an inane comment. Writing about music is like... writing about architecture! (Or writing about painting or dance or any other art form. Or, in principle, writing about anything whatsoever.) Writing's an abstraction from the thing you're writing about (d'uh!).

It becomes even more of a philistine's maxim if you take every word of it literally. When you consider the work of choreographers such as Pina Bausch or Merce Cunningham. I'd imagine they would find architecture a very easy thing to dance about.in space.

Anonymous said...

"Well first of all, people who have a negative opinion of something are far more likely to write reviews expressing their disappointment. I haven't left positive reviews of my most loved and cherished books on Amazon, or anywhere else on the Internet for that matter."

Yeah, and this is one of many reasons I'm sceptical of the value of Amazon reviews. I'm aware that, yes, there are people that do indeed make book (or album) purchases based solely on the number of reviews that say "this book rocks!" or "the best book on XXXXX there is!".

But the idea that that, in any way, gives you information about whether a work of art or scholarship is actually any good or not seems insane to me. I find it hard enough to decide whether functional items such as toasters are a good buy, via amazon reviews, let alone books or music!

Even whether someone "likes" a book - or equating that with value for money - seems quite a strange one to me. I've bought plenty of books and not liked them for plenty of reasons. I doubt the Amazon readers quoted in this thread would see it that way, but they've gained something in buying a book that they thought would do a particular thing, only to find that is does something else. However you look at them, they are "about" the albums in question. Except they're not. Except they are.

More to the point, what I think is depressing in the tone of many of those reviews is the conspicuous absence of even the concept that what makes a good book on Black Sabbath (or Prince, or Bach, or angling) is the writer's way with prose. I'll read a book about music I hate if it's well written. I won't read a book about music I love if it's boring.

Anonymous said...

"""""My guess is that ability to deliver will not be judged on who got their proposal in two, five or ten days before the deadline, but such factors as:

- is it a subject that is likely to sell?"""""

"Likely to sell" is a funny thing though. Eg. you can put out a really niche book, but if you find the audience then you can still sell a lot, while if you look at some of the 33 1/3 books, even ones on the most obvious, big groups have failed to sell, because they didn't manage to reach those fans for whatever reason. Then you have something like the new Talking Heads one, where the author is a talking point himself, so press cover the book a lot more readily and it sells more because it reaches more people.

If I was choosing, and I wanted to sell a bunch of books, this is what I'd look for:

- Who is the book aimed at and how easy are they to reach? Can we as a publisher reach them, have we reached them successfully before?

- Is the author someone who has any decent ways of marketing the book, and has he/she managed to reach this audience before? eg. does he/she write for music magazines and have contacts there who will help publicize the book to this particular audience? Does he/she run a popular website to do with this particular group/artist?

- Is the book written in a way that will appeal to the audience once they have been reached, eg. do Beach Boys fans want an academic essay on vegetables? Do Kanye fans want to know the history of the koala? Do Prince fans want an epic poem about Derrida?

- Can the writer actually write well and complete the book.


I wouldn't be that bothered about competing books, unless they are really directly competing on the exact same angle (eg. you're writing a whole book about James Brown's dance routine to The Payback and there are seven books on it already). Most people will buy several books on the same subject if they like that subject. You don't just buy one cookbook or one book on the Beatles, etc.

In fact, I'd look at competing books to see how successful they are as a clue to how popular the subject is -- if there are no popular ones already, it could mean no one is really interested in that topic/band.

Anonymous said...

ooo, is there a book about JB's dancing? That could be sooo great...

Anonymous said...

Granted, I'm a bit older and I don't even know about a quarter of this LPs, but I'd like to see a Salty Dog by Procol Harum book.

Anonymous said...

i'm really interested in the britney spears one, i bet they have something really cool to say about In The Zone.

Anonymous said...

Okay, so how long's the long list? : )

Anonymous said...

Yeah, good question... how many people get cut in the first round of cuts to create the long list?

Anonymous said...

100, or lower?

Anonymous said...

Seriously the most interesting might be the Thin Lizzy Vanabounds of the Western World...a black Irish man song writer a hard rock band taht became Europes highest grossing live act in the era of Zepilin and the Stones and a story that brings beat poetry Hendrix and the beginning of metal all together with the road crew that did The Pogues and u2 no brainer ART the best drummer in the world alive topday with a tragic Rimbauesque poet. Loved by Slash The Beasties and Rick Rubin sampled Phils Lynotts bass for Run DMC win win

Anonymous said...

RIP Duck Dunn.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:01PM - staggering claim:

Thin Lizzy ... "a hard rock band taht became Europes highest grossing live act in the era of Zepilin and the Stones"

was that some alternative universe?

Anonymous said...

And the winners are... ? Or are you still reading?

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:01PM - staggering claim:

Thin Lizzy ... "a hard rock band taht became Europes highest grossing live act in the era of Zepilin and the Stones"

was that some alternative universe?


Actually toward the end of the '70s Lizzy was selling out multiple nights at Wembley and the Hammersmith Odeon in London, and touring big halls and arenas all over Europe. The Stones weren't even on the road then (after their '78 US tour) and Zep didn't tour in '78 and '79, so the claim has merit.

Anonymous said...

My wants:

- Psychocandy
- My Life in the Bush of Ghosts
- Damaged
- The Shape of Punk to Come
- Laughing Stock
- Close to the Edge
- Pacific Ocean Blue

I don't know how good these proposals are, in actuality, though

DB said...

The single REGGAE entry I nearly wrote a proposal for, but really glad someone else did- HEART OF THE CONGOS! please make that happen

Anonymous said...

Whoever picked Junie Morrison's When We Do, you get props just for knowing about that record.

Anonymous said...

@ 11:33 Anonymous said...
Whoever picked Junie Morrison's When We Do, you get props just for knowing about that record.


A certainty to make the final list - after all, what you need is a unique selling point, and 'you don't know this album, but you'll love it anyway' is a good 'un.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what's been more entertaining: the anticipation to see if my proposal is long listed, or the amusing bitchiness of some of these comments. :3

Anonymous said...

Classic comments section...

Also, interesting how some of the Amazon reviews of the latest Talking Heads one confirmed what some of these comments are saying-

"The book contains little that most Talking Heads fans wouldn't already know; none of the album's principle players are spoken to (indeed are hardly discussed)...

"Waterman actually went to the trouble of extensively researching his beloved subject, and the world of rock n' pop music writing is all the better for his efforts. Sadly, Talking Heads fans have been short-changed by Lethem's too-clever-by-half-assed approach."

"I like a lot of detail about the recordings, the studio, the songs evolutions, the bands pre and post history, influences the casual fan (or even rabid fan) might have missed, and I am not one to skip through a technical discussion of old analog recording technology or the number of tracks used for bass on a given song! Some authors of this series prefer to talk solely about their relationship with the record, and this is one of them. There's a lot of "boy in the room" drivel. There's a lot of discussion about stuff which is at best tangential to the record. Very very few interesting factoids are slipped in."

Anonymous said...

People review the book they want to read, not the book in front of them, and it's disappointing that books like the John Darnielle Black Sabbath book and the Talking Heads book take flack and get 1-star reviews on amazon because someone wants studio details but can't recognize a far more interesting--sometimes GREAT--piece of music writing right in front of their faces. Which is obviously the case of the reviewer talking about Talking Heads above.

If the 33 1/3 folks wanted a cookie cutter here's-the-album-and-how-it-was-made approach, I'm sure they could do that (though I doubt it would have endured this long), but they've chosen a more diverse and interesting path.

Meh, good for them... And good for us.

Anonymous said...

>>>People review the book they want to read, not the book in front of them<<<

I think in the Talking Heads book's case, it helps if you know and like Lethem's work. If you're a fan of Lethem you'll probably really like the book. If you're a Talking Heads' fan who doesn't know who is he, then I suspect it will be disappointing, because you're going to be like, who is this guy? Why isn't there more about the album?

>>>can't recognize a far more interesting--sometimes GREAT--piece of music writing right in front of their faces.<<<

I think there are only so many times you can blame the readers though. I think this has come up enough times now with the 33 1/3 series that it begs the question, are there just a load of really stupid readers who don't "get" it? Or are a lot of these readers making valid suggestions and sharing valid opinions on what the series should/could offer?

>>>they've chosen a more diverse and interesting path.<<<

I definitely agree that it's great there are so many approaches, but I think readers do expect a certain minimum amount of coverage of the album the book is named after. I can understand why some people are annoyed if the book hardly covers the album it's named after.