The Guardian has written a great article called Sgt Pepper Must Die! where they interviewed everybody from Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips to Mark Ronson to Billy Childish as to what they considered the most over-rated album of all time. Some interesting choices and I would have to reluctantly agree with Luke Pritchard of The Kook’ take on Pet Sounds (I have it and I have tried to love it but while good and brilliant in places it’s hit and miss for me). Of course Rolling Stone got into the act and is now asking their readers for their choices so that should be a hoot to read.
Speaking of overrated albums, one record that I have found to be criminally underrated is Pink Floyd’s classic 1967 debut Piper at the Gates of Dawn. When we think of Pink Floyd we often think of a lumbering, spaced out dinosaur, Dark Side of the Moon, The Wall and the sound of barking and moaning dogs but Pipers is a pop masterpiece. The brainchild of the late psychedelic visionary Syd Barrett, Pipers is strangely forgoten, especially with all the hype surrounding Sgt Peppers, an album which I feel it trumps in both originality and pop craftsmanship. Luckily, to celebrate its 40th anniversary there will be a special deluxe 3 CD version of the album released in August that will include the singles not included on the album like the brilliant See Emily Play and Arnold Layne. Forget any of your preconcieved notions of Pink Floyd. Slip on some headphones, slap on this CD and immerse yourself in an incredible psychedelic musical playground.
Well another major studio is closing as Sony BMG has announced that they are closing their Hell’s Kitchen New York studio due to harsh economic realities. This should really come as no surprise as more and more artists become proficient with everything from Garageband to Pro Tools and use them in everywhere from their basement to the local church choir loft. The art of recording will never die and producers who understand it will always be in demand but it’s just that these massive facilities will increasingly shrink in relevance as technology has almost (and I repeat almost) made them obsolete.
Well Apple is increasing their impact on music beyond the download as they host 31 Nights in London. Called the iTunes Festival, the iPod company will be hosting over 60 bands in concert at the London Institute of Contemporary Art featuring everybody from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club to Amy Winehouse. Head out to the festival website and enter to win tickets to any one of the shows. As if you needed an excuse to visit London in July!