QUESTION OF THE WEEK: IF YOU HAD THE POWER TO GIFT A RECORD TO EVERY ACTIVE MUSIC LISTENER IN THE WORLD, WHICH RECORD WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
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Welcome to “Question of the Week,” a (sometimes) weekly debate amongst the MetalSucks staff regarding a recent hot button issue.
This week’s query was suggested by our very own Anso DF…
IF YOU HAD THE POWER TO GIFT A RECORD TO EVERY ACTIVE MUSIC LISTENER IN THE WORLD, WHICH RECORD WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
The MS staff’s answers after the jump.
I know there are all sorts of criteria that Anso wanted us to carefully weigh and consider before providing an answer, but fuck that — I’d give everyone a copy of Appetite for Destruction. It’s my favorite album of all time, and everyone should own it. I don’t give a fuck if they already own it, own it again, cocksuckers. Not only is it, like, the best rock record ever made, but the production is amazing — listen with a great pair of headphones, ’cause there’s so much going on. I still discover new things about it, and I’ve been listening to it for nearly three decades.
Without a doubt, it would be The Ocean’s Precambrian. Why? Because it offers so much in terms of musical content, to all kinds of listeners, and all the styles on the album are done expertly. The band can juxtapose technical dissonance with 2/3 of an orchestra and ballad-esque clean singing. I’m a musician, and I have spun the record at least a hundred times, and I still find things in the album that I have never heard before — anywhere. I know the album better than almost any other, and I still discover hidden instruments time after time. That, in my eyes, is what makes an instrumentally dominant album eternal: if it’s so thorough and so complex that even the most experienced of listeners can’t fully figure it out. And it’s got damn good songwriting. Those who don’t already appreciate this album beyond belief should give it another listen. The second half of the album, “Proterozoic,” provides more depth and variety than anything I’ve ever heard before (the “Hadean/Archaen” side is still great, but doesn’t provide nearly as much music as the second).
– Dave Mustein
I’m going to cheat a little: Iron Maiden’s Best of the Beast. Hits compilations always feature the big songs though actual fans favor songs more often dismissed by everyone else. For example “Charlotte the Harlot,” which I get all sorts of shit for and absolutely adore (except for the lounge-y, meandering middle part), or “Rainmaker” from Dance of Death, an album most fans despise. The good thing about best-of albums though, is they give a decent overview of a band. I wouldn’t use them to define a band but in getting the gist across, they do their job. Maiden is a good starter metal band and Best of the Beast is an excellent indicator of what they’re capable of — as much as a compilation can be. Like it and explore other stuff by them. If you want something harder, you’ll seek that out. And if you love it, you’ll try to find other similar groups. It’s a good band, and album, to use as an introduction to metal. This way, “active music listeners” can have something new, and if they’re already into metal, well, it’s a good mix of classic songs you should own anyway .
The Lemon of Pink by The Books. This album is by no means metal. But it is heavy, as in profound. The band combines chopped up acoustic instrumentation (guitar/cello, mostly) with these really lovely, layered melodies, and weave in found sounds and dialogue samples that they collect on their travels. It all turns into this wonderfully light, embracing meditation on the inherent musicality of language, and conversely, the communicative power of music. Why does every active music listener need it? Because The Books can convince you that the simplest gestures are full of portent and wonder and joy, and that’s something that we forget all too often.
Faith No More’s Angel Dust. It’s not enough to wish that every last human merely hear this masterpiece at a potentially inopportune time. Nay, all must own it, file it with their prized possessions and important documents, and eventually be buried/cremated with it. This way, busy schedules and everyday pressures could only temporarily divert listeners until its appeal can inevitably sneak up and hammer their ballz/boobz. Everyone deserves to have available to them at any and every moment the rapture of Angel Dust: the pop cacophony (“Everything’s Ruined” “A Small Victory”), the cacophonous cacophony (“Malpractice” “Smaller and Smaller”), the biting satire (“RV” “Land of Sunshine”), the sparkling beauty (“Caffeine” “Midlife Crisis”), the neo-noir-meets-Prince boogie-march (“Crack Hitler”), the harrowing romps (“Be Aggressive” “Jizzlobber”), the cover image, the funny Kremlin pic, the freaking credits for fuck’s sake. The. Greatest. Album. Ever.
Okay, kiddies, now it’s your turn! Weigh in with your answer to the question of the week below.