The NME’s 100 Greatest British Albums Ever! Like, erm, are you sure about this? Isn’t that a bit like: WH Smith’s 100 Greatest French Arthouse Films Ever! Or Sean Ryder’s 100 Greatest Pre-Raphaelite Paintings Ever!
Conceptually flawed? Have there even been 100 great LPs made by British artists, like, ever? Mmmm? We’re used to musical ineptitude on a regular basis from NME 00s - but historical inaccuracy, gross generalisation & downright fabrication? That’s another story altogether. It would appear these clowns believe they are accountable to no one.
Let’s take a stroll through their list with our trusted bullshit detector & see what we can find:
At number 100 with a bullet: Derek & Clive - “Live”. Solid start - & why not? It’s the only spoken word LP in the 100 - & begs the question: New Musical Express? No Alexi Sayle’s “Fish People Tapes”? No Tony Hancock? No Blue Jam? No fucking idea whatsoever. Comedians.
At 96: Adam & The Fucking Ants? Yeah, I hear you think, that’ll be “Dirk Wears White Sox”, the only half decent thing they ever did. Wrong. In fact, a lake-sized pool of stagnant wrong. “Kings Of The Wild Frontier”! Christ on a micro-scooter, no wonder they only put their initials at the bottom.
At 91: The Fall – “This Nation’s Saving Grace”. What? Better than “Live At The Witch Trials? “You only need one Fall LP, & that’s “Live At The Witch Trials” – Oliver Little (World’s Leading Authority On The Fall). So there you go.
At 84: The Redskins – “Neither Washington Nor Moscow”. Neither great, nor sadly, tasteful either. NME hack, X Moore, could neither sing nor write songs. So ripping off Motown & Stax - & then attempting to fuse them to the rhetoric of Socialist Worker not only looked poor on paper – but sounded like a sack of shit in a wind tunnel to boot. Let’s put this one down to nepotism.
At 80: Black Sabbath – “Paranoid”. Even Ozzy Osborne would be the first to admit: Black Sabbath never made a truly great LP in their whole career. Unless you count “We Sold Our Souls To Rock’n’Roll” - which we don’t – because it’s a compilation.
At 71: Buzzcocks – “Love Bites”. Sorry, kids, this is fucked up. Everybody knows “Another Music In A Different Kitchen” was Buzzcocks finest hour. Or to be justifiably pedantic: the only true Buzzcocks LP was “Times Up” - a bootleg featuring original Buzzcocks’ singer, Howard Devoto. Either way, it’s an open & shut case of wrong.
At 63: David Bowie – “The Rise & Fall Of Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders Of Mars”. Bowie is a cunt. Period. A fucking magpie on some other fucker’s drugs. A stuck-up wannabee rip off merchant who creamed ideas left, right & centre from Iggy Pop, The Dolls - & anyone else truly magnificent he ever came across (& he’s come all over a few!). Oh yeah, the LP’s bollocks too.
At 59: The Clash – “The Clash”. 59? Fifty fucking nine? Is this some sort of wind up? I’m booking this bunch of cunts onto a course of arse/elbow identification lessons, now.
At 52: Madness – “One Step Beyond”. Madness, one of the greatest novelty singles groups ever. Sure. But albums? Have you ever thought of looking the word album up in the rock’n’roll dictionary? It says in big bold letters: DOES NOT INCLUDE ANYTHING BY MADNESS!
At 49: The Who – “My Generation”. Again, I’m afraid it’s universally accepted that The Who did not make any great LPs. At a push, “Who’s Next” is usually the one cited by anyone who considers themselves to have anything other than a passing interest in The Who. Even their Greatest Hits has at least one disc full of utter shit.
At 48: Elastica – “Elastica”. Great name, great idea, great image, great looking chicks – but - great LP is a gross misuse of the word ‘great’. It had about 2 great songs on it – one of them was a Stranglers rip off, the other one a Wire rip off (I think they settled out of court) - & more filler than Madonna’s face.
At 43: The Rolling Stones – “Exile On Main Street”. As with The Who, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin - or any other of the 70s rock dinosaurs - The Rolling Stones just did not make great LPs. Not in the 60s, not in the 70s, not in the 80s, not in the 90s - & most definitely not in the 00s. Just go and listen to the new one. Nothing’s changed. Great singles group, though.
At 39: Ride – “Nowhere”. Prophetic, really, as that’s exactly where Ride went. The sad truth was: no one even noticed. The fact that their biggest claim to fame is that one of them ended up in the pantomime Oasis says it all, really. No songs, no voice, no longevity - & no point. You're blindly pulling rabbits from a hat now, hoping they’ll be doves.
At 37: The Manic Street Preachers – “The Holy Bible”. One of the most embarrassing LPs made by a British rock group ever. Hissy fit, pathetic shit - pissed at being out-rocked by grunge. They promised they’d split up after their first LP. They’re still with us today, peddling their pomp rock meets New Order via Queen shaped shit sculptures - like the Damien Hursts of TOTPs. No wonder that cunt fucked off & never came back.
At 35: Radiohead – “OK Computer”. OK, let’s get his one straight from the hip, Radiohead are THE most overrated bunch of pseudo-intellectual middle-class manic depressives the world, let alone Britain, has ever had the misfortune to own. Thom’s tedious sub-operatic wailing & their hopeless prog-panoramic vistas make the prospect of being locked in a 3 metre by 3 metre padded cell with “Dark Side Of The Moon” on repeat, Michael Barrymore & a can of KY, sound like a THE holiday destination for summer 2006. Judith Chalmers, can you here me? I’ve got a great idea.
At 34: The Jam – “All Mod Cons”. The make or break LP. How many attempts did it take? The Jam did make one great LP, it was called “Setting Sons”. Unfortunately, it isn’t on your list. You twats.
At 30: Suede – “Suede”. Fact: David Bowie tried to book Suede to play at his 56th Birthday party in Berlin. Apparently, he wanted the best Bowie tribute group in the world to mark such a prestigious occasion. Sadly, Suede turned it down. They could have made more money in one single night than they’d made in the rest of their career. Allegedly, they had a poor sense of humour. Can you imagine that? Chris Lowe? Private boy’s schools in Devon? Parties? Oooh, suits you. Can I slap your career up, Bratt?
At 25: The Kinks – “Village Green Preservation Society”. QUOTE – “It wasn’t even the best Kinks LP that year!” – Clinton Heylin – 25/01/06. TRUE. I don’t suppose it’s got anything to do with the book, has it?
At 23: New Order – “Technique”. Again, & I’m sorry for the continual thematic repetition, but these Manc Nazis never made a convincing LP after “Closer”. Of course, they had no idea that Joy Division was the name of the prostitute wing of your average concentration camp, either. Or that using Nazi iconography in general was akin buying into timeshare on the West Bank. Or that New Order had no fascist connotations. Or that Peter Saville’s hero was Albert Speer. Did you see the fat dad twats on the telly the other week?
At 15: Primal Scream – “Screamadelica”. One of the most cynical bandwagon jumps of our time. Boaby & the lads, including my old school chum, David Laycock (aka Henry Olsen - who used to visit museums, read poetry & knit classical symphonies out of bio-yoghurt while the rest of ver Scream took smack & gave Pete Doherty something to aspire to), ditched the paisley shirts & patchouli oil in favour of The Orb, Andrew Weatherall & ‘cultured beats’. Take the production away, & what are you left with? That’s right. A cover version of the 13th Floor Elevator’s “Step Inside This House”. Genius? Erm, maybe not, after all.
At 13: The Verve – “A Northern Soul”. Perhaps one of the most overrated groups in the history of British popular beat combos, but most definitely one of the most pretentious. I bet there isn’t a man or woman alive in the whole of Great Britain that doesn’t hate them & everything they ever stood for – simply because of the ensuing Richard Ashcroft solo career.
At 12: The Specials – “The Specials”. Now, & this is true this is, I used to be in a group from Coventry who rehearsed in the room next door to the Specials. I saw them many a time, hung around with them - & even rubbed off some of the marked notes on Jerry Dammer’s keyboard when no one was looking. The Specials made terrific singles, but had absolutely no idea when it came to long players. So often the classic Achilles heel of any genuine pop group. Putting it at number 12 is a bit like saying: “come on, shoot me down, you know we haven’t got a fucking clue”.
At 9: The Beatles – “Revolver”. Sorry, but here we go again. I don’t care what Mojo, Ucunt or any other of those poncy bullshit merchants have to say on the subject, when it comes to the Beatles, I’m with Bill Hicks: “Hey, the Beatles got so high, they even let Ringo sing a few”. Best stick with a ‘Best Of’.
At 8: The Clash – “London Calling”. Hey, guys, The Clash only made one truly great LP. You left it somewhere back in the high 50s. Do you want to give it a bit more though - & have another go next week?
At 6: Blur – “Modern Life Is Rubbish”. After failing at being shoegazers, the boys hastily popped down to the same outfitters Mr Benn used to frequent, & re-invented themselves as Mods. We should have sent a young Liam Gallagher & a not so young Noel Gallagher round then – we could have saved ourselves a whole bunch of trouble.
At 1: The Stones Roses – “The Stone Roses”. Fed up with chasing ethnic minorities around Manchester for kicks (in the head?), the lads dropped the already out of favour goth look they’d been sporting most of the 80s, to duly re-invent themselves as fashion icons in partnership with the Joe Bloggs clothing company.
Reading the blurb by RF, the claim that hip-hop was a ‘rare creature’ in 1989 only goes to show how little these rose-tinted retrospectives can really achieve. In 1989, hip-hop was already played out, in its purest form, & connoisseurs & pragmatists alike had already ‘gotten over it’. Also, the suggestion that “The Stones Roses” was indebted to The Smiths is spurious – & the implication that Pink Floyd were involved at any stage during the creative process in just fookin’ daft.
The LP’s a good one, no mistaking that (after all, it took 4 years of constant re-invention, so it should have been focused, at least), but the ‘Greatest British LP Ever’? Fuck off. By the way, that ski apparel wasn’t working class cheap either, you know? What happened next? They took 5 years to record “The Second Coming”. What was it like? As I said earlier, Led Zeppelin never really made a consistent long player . . . blah . . . blah . . . blah . . . Mr Knuckles!
What an ultimately futile exercise in self-aggrandisement. Wankers.
Jean Aramis Encoule – tMx 23 – 01/06