February 16, 2010

Why is The Beatles' "Revolver" the Vatican's idea of the best record album of all time?

Because of the priest and the church in "Eleanor Rigby"? No. Looking at what else they came up with...
Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of The Moon, Oasis’ (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?, and Michael Jackson’s Thriller, whose “illuminating simplicity and musical thrust” they hail. Also: U2’s Achtung Baby, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, Donald Fagen of Steely Dan fame’s The Nightfly, Carlos Santana’s Supernatural, Paul Simon’s Graceland and David Crosby’s If I Could Only Remember My Name.
... I'm guessing they're just Baby Boomers like me.

There's no Bob Dylan though. He's okay himself, but he "harshly tested the ears and patience of listeners with their inferior imitations, thinking that their tortured meanderings might interest somebody." Ha ha. Religious opinions.

43 comments:

Joe said...

Religious people trying to sound hip is one of life's more annoying happenings.

Irene said...

No Madonna, either.

Hahaha.

Flexo said...

Wait just a minute.

Let's bring this record to a screeching halt.

In the last few months, L’ Osservatore Romano has transitioned to more of non-official newspaper, with more autonomous editorial judgments, so that its articles can no longer be necessarily said to be ipso facto the voice of "the Vatican."

Fred4Pres said...

This is going to go badly...like the folk mass.

Which may explain the absense of Dylan.

Trooper York said...

I thought the Pope and Cedarford are the only two guys who still like to hum "Horst Wessel Lied" while they were whittling?

Matthew said...

Maybe Pope Benedict just really digs "Yellow Submarine"?

OneEar said...

No "Shout at the Devil?"

It has been noted that the Pope and Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars look remarkably similar, so perhaps Dark Side of the Moon shouldn't surprise anyone.

traditionalguy said...

Dylan was anti-institution and the Catholic Church is the biggest institution on earth, and a good one, if you like institutions.

Elliott A said...

Why not "Jesus Christ, Superstar"?

Maguro said...

No David Hasselhoff, either. Are we sure this guy's German?

sonicfrog said...

If they do a favorite TV shows list, this probably won't be on it.

Joan said...

Let me further clarify Flexo's point: L’ Osservatore Romano is the Vatican newspaper, not the Vatican itself. This distinction is important, like the difference between The New York Times and New York City's government. Two different things entirely.

Pope B is a classical pianist, I doubt he has much interest in American and British popular music.

Schorsch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Diamondhead said...

traditionalguy, I'm sure you've seen this picture?

http://www.timboucher.com/journal/wp-content/uploads/2007/12/BobPope.jpg

Schorsch said...

The Vatican somehow found the box of tapes I had circa 1994, and decided they comprised the best music of these modern times.

EDH said...

The EW article said the Vatican:

excluded [Dylan] on the grounds that generations of less-talented Dylan acolytes have “harshly tested the ears and patience of listeners with their inferior imitations, thinking that their tortured meanderings might interest somebody.

Thankfully, Althouse is an Instapundit acolyte, not Dylan acolyte, or we could blame her for keeping Bob off the Vatican's short-list.

I suppose Rubber Soul was out of contention because of the whole anti-contraception encyclical thingy.

edutcher said...

Joe said...

Religious people trying to sound hip is one of life's more annoying happenings.

That struck me, too. I mean, no classics, no opera, Sinatra, big bands, folk, Elvis, jazz, soundtracks (the Church doesn't like "The Magnificent Seven"?), not even Slim Whitman? Religious people can be hip as much as anybody, but somebody in the PR office (and I'll bet he doesn't wear a cassock or a Roman collar) probably wanted to polish a few apples.

Trooper York said...

I thought the Pope and Cedarford are the only two guys who still like to hum "Horst Wessel Lied" while they were whittling?

Cheap shot. Ratzenberger was conscripted into both the Hitler Jugend (sp?) - he didn't want to go and, once in, didn't attend meetings, etc. - and, later military service.

Bob_R said...

I'm guessing the byline was Fr. Guido Sarducci.

Trooper York said...

Dude, cheap shots are the only ones you should take.

Unless you are politically connected and know DA Delehunt, then you can shoot anybody you want. No harm. No foul.

Psota said...

Has that David Crosby album ever been on a "best of" list? At one point, he just starts humming because he was too lazy to write lyrics!

ChasMartel said...

this beats the list they used to post a my grade school telling me it was a sin to view certain movies.

The Crack Emcee said...

I've often asked myself What would Jesus listen to?

I always figured David Crosby would be in there, somewhere, spiritual type that he was,...

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I'm surprised Black Sabbath's We Sold Our Soul for Rock 'n Roll didn't make the list.

tim maguire said...

It's a surprisingly narrow list. No big band? No Sinatra? No chanting Monks of Ca...somewhere? No Mozart? No jazz or blues?

Cedarford said...

All it is, is evidence that there are some rockers in the Curia. No sign that Pope Benedict had anything to do with it.
The list isn't half bad. Showing the journalist/rocker/priest who submitted the article only has half bad taste.

As for Trooper York, he is merely bitter that the list ignored his idols David Archuleta and Michael Bolton..and is lashing out.

Popville said...

Psota said:
Has that David Crosby album ever been on a "best of" list? At one point, he just starts humming because he was too lazy to write lyrics!

There's good reason the album was called If I Could Only Remember My Name.

William said...

When I was much younger, one could rely on the Catholic Church to keep one informed of the good books and hot movies. I would pay more attention to their list if it were promulgated as music that should never, ever be listened to on threat of eternal damnation.

John Stodder said...

This list must've been written by Father Guido Sarducci. You've got to be very high to fully appreciate that David Crosby album. However, the wordless songs aren't a matter of laziness. Crosby has listed the Swingle Singers and the Four Freshman among his influences. Like Brian Wilson, Crosby was very tuned into that little niche of choral/harmony jazz and sophisticated pop. He is one of the best pure singers and vocal arrangers to come out of the classic rock period. I have to assume he'd have been more influential and productive if he hadn't been buzzed out of his mind so much of the time. But even with that handicap, he did a few truly great things -- "Guinnevere," "Deja Vu," "Laughing," "The Lee Shore," "Triad," "Dolphin Smile," and that whale trilogy. Mushy sentiments but great music.

Will Collier said...

"The Nightfly" belongs in nearly any best-of list, but "Supernatural"? Bleah. Maybe in the "most egregious sell-out" list...

Matthew said...

Hey! I've just noticed that neither "Frampton Comes Alive!", nor "Cheap Trick at Budukon" made the list, either.

Matthew said...

And no Zepplin or Rush?

Sacrilege!

Quayle said...

The Mormon church doesn't have an official opinion on the best album of the baby-boomer generation.

Notwithstanding, if they did, I feel safe to say it would likely be Frank Zappa's "One Size Fits All".

A masterpiece any Mormon could love.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Oh, they needed Synchronicity, The B-52's, and Super Taranta!

How embarrassing!

Jason (the commenter) said...

Is any of this music played in Catholic churches? I know they stopped having mass in Latin a long time ago (except in special cases) but have they updated the church music, too?

Matthew said...

The local catholic Church in my nabe has recently begun inviting local bands in to play during services.

I'm not big on religion (12 years of Catholic schools will do that to you), but I once I passed by the church and heard some really good Country/Western devotional music, I decided to stop in.

In the past two months, they've had CW, Blues, and some Latin music(there's a rather large Central American community that's recently immigrated here). I've gone just to listen. If you can manage to forget that the music is dedicated to an Invisible Man in the Sky, some of it is pretty cool.

Bryan said...

There was a time--oh, from about 900 AD to 1600 AD--when the music of the Catholic Church was the best music written. They've slipped a bit in their aesthetic judgment. But, yeah, Revolver is arguably the best album ever. Rolling Stone's top 10 albums (from a list of 500) is this:

1. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles

2. Pet Sounds, The Beach Boys

3. Revolver, The Beatles

4. Highway 61 Revisited, Bob Dylan

5. Rubber Soul, The Beatles

6. What's Going On, Marvin Gaye

7. Exile on Main Street, The Rolling Stones

8. London Calling, The Clash

9. Blonde on Blonde, Bob Dylan

10. The Beatles ("The White Album"), The Beatles

Bob gets two, which seems right and the Beatles get four, which also seems right.

But what would be more fun would be to have a discussion over how you decide...

Trooper York said...

You got me good Cederford.

But that's David Archuleta and Fantasia.

And although I don't care for Michael Bolton's music he did bang Nicolette Sherdian in her prime and would that we could say the same. Just sayn'

Jimmy said...

Rubber Soul is better than Revolver.

kynefski said...

You could certainly understand the Church's love for Dark Side of the Moon. If there was ever a lyric sure to send people running to seek shelter from the absurd...

Paul Zrimsek said...

Pope B is a classical pianist

Are you sure? The name suggests a rapper.

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Don said...

L'Osservatore Romano is actually the "semi-official" voice of the Vatican
and is published by a private company. This list has nothing to do with the Church. See:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%27Osservatore_Romano

Bryan said...

@ Jimmy

"Rubber Soul is better than Revolver."

Well, I might even agree, but I'm more interested in the argument than the conclusion. For one thing, the conclusion is just an unsupported opinion w/o the argument. So, WHY is Rubber Soul better than Revolver? Harrison always thought of them as a single aesthetic whole. From his point of view they were the best stuff the Beatles did. They were both experimental, Rubber Soul laying the groundwork and Revolver reaching further. They stand up amazingly well (but so does A Hard Day's Night, for that matter). Sgt Pepper's is good, but A Day In The Life apart, I just hear more good stuff on RS and Rev. The White Album is amazing, but uneven. Take Back in the USSR: good song, but due to some nasty personal fights, Ringo wasn't there to drum and it shows. Comments?