Handed over by Son1 with a knowing ‘well, you’d better get a move on then’, the door-step sized book goes from 1955 (Frank Sinatra’s In The Wee Small Hours) to 2013 (The Next Day by David Bowie).
As suggested listening it struggles with anything post-2000, giving you the feeling that either millennial music has yet to coalesce into a, more or less, canonical list, or that after 2000 the increasingly internet-driven music culture has diverged in so many different ways that consensus will be increasingly hard to reach.
Whatever the reason – and having its first edition published in 2005 is surely too lazy a fallback to be it – the number of albums on the list released after 1999 and that you ‘must hear’ dwindles as each year’s pages are turned.
But looking at the book as a whole, though the obvious ‘classics’ are included, there’s still a lot to investigate – Ravi Shankar’s The Sounds of India, say.
Or Call of the Valley by Shivkumar Sharma, Brijbushan Kabra and Hariprasad Chaurasia – which appears on the page opposite The Velvet Underground’s White Light/White Heat.
And RD Burman’s Shalimar and Bappi Lahiri’s College Girl, both from 1975, sound like a lot of fun.
Plus, thanks to the book I know that 8 minutes of Tubular Bells is 8 minutes too much, and that Jeff Buckley is actually rather interesting.
Nonetheless, my picky side help but note that Suede were not a five-piece band when their debut album was release, and that PJ Harvey’s song Dry was not on the album of the same name but on Rid of Me, which followed it …