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August 26, 2005


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Lists are fun to make, sometimes useful (a critic's year end top-ten can at least function as shorthand, getting you to hear, see, read something you may have missed, provided at least that his list is any different from the other critics doing the same thing) but they sure can be maddening.
I've tried it many times, with poor results, always failing to keep my selections within the proscribed number (10, 25, 50 etc).
Rather than a "50 best" or a "50 favorite"
I think lists work better as some kind of biography. Certain things we pick primarily for pleasure, others because they provide some unique vision, still others because they satisfy particular needs,(anger, rage, melancholy, self-loathing, the search for oblivion, whatever)or simply because we need
to fill in the outline. (Box sets are cheating lol.)
Whenever I see another "best-of all time" list (in any medium) I am reminded of what Pauline Kael once said when asked if she would write an autobiography. Kael, a critic who rarely, if ever, did yearly top-ten lists, replied: "I think I already have."


I glad someone else really likes Jimi's 'Axis: Bold as Love'. With the stunning 'Are You Experienced?' before it and the masterpiece 'Electric Ladyland' after, it's easy to overlook the beautiful music Jimi produced on Axis. Songs like 'Little Wing' show that Jimi was more than a great guitarist, he was a musical innovator.


Sean, one could definitely write an autobiography as a "favorites" list, but there's a difference. W/ a favorites list you're always responding to outside stimuli, but there is so much that is purely internal in a life, I think that gets lost in a favorites list. Anyway, my favorites list will certainly be unavoidably autobiographical, but not, as Pauline suggested, autobiography.

Myke, I love Bold as's my second favorite Hendrix album. My favorite will show up on the list, and its a bit of an unusual choice. But Bold as Love was so tight, funky, soulful. The sound was excellent. The songs were excellent. A wonderful record. So, btw, is Sam Cooke's Night Beat, which you should check out. I can't recommend it too highly.


I respect the desire to save the vinyl over the digital version. Hey Jason, you gaonna pick anything that me and Tony can rock out to?


Rock out to? Sure, among the acts w/ records on the short list are The Clash, The Sex Pistols, the MC5, Jimi Hendrix, AC/DC, and then there's Dylan's European tour in 1966 w/ the Hawks (soon to be the band) in which they fought off audiences trying to boo them off the stage every night w/ the loudest, most aggressive, antagonistic, snarling rock and roll than had ever been made to that point and that is still the greatest rock and roll I've ever heard.

If you can't rock out to that, then in the immortal works of Louis Jordan, "Jack, You're Dead."

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