|Artists I Like More Than Their Music|
She Who Dwells In The Secret Place...
It's hard not to like O'Connor's off-field work: passionate, defiant yet curiously endearing (and teenage me gives her extra points for still looking hot with a shaved head). Yet that self-assurance never translated into cohesive albums. Ah well. One listen of her a cappella version of 'Danny Boy' and all is forgiven.
Heroes in an age of none. The only band that matters. The example every band should follow... but the Ladbroke Grove lads' total commitment to experimentation - bold on "London Calling" and borderline self-indulgent subsequently - means that in my heart of hearts I would only consider their debut to be truly a classic.
Strangeways, Here We Come
Stylish, independent, creative and utterly irresistible. The Smiths at their peak were as good as any band of their time. However, the only album I can listen to without hitting the skip button is "The Queen is Dead", which is strange given that the Smiths threw around great singles like loose change.
I believe in U2. I believe in a band who finds their own way because they had no idea what they were doing when they started. I believe in a band that stood for what they believed in. I believe in a band that were creative and brave enough to completely reinvent themselves after ten years as the world's biggest band. And for all their dull, generic work over the last 15 years, I believe that we will miss them when they're gone.
In the '90s, Pavement were the walrus. By which I mean they filled a space nobody knew was empty. They were ironic, cool, funny and wrote gorgeous songs. And a whole lot of crap just because they could. Bastards.
Time Out of Mind
Bobby D has been kicking around for nearly 60 years. I break his golden era down to be about four of those with his masterpieces sporadic from thereon in. So how can I say he is the greatest songwriter of all time? I justify it by saying that no one else has ever gone through a five-year, ten-year or twenty-year drought and delivered a "Blood on the Tracks", an "Oh, Mercy" or a "Time Out of Mind".