My longtime friend and personal music attorney, Emmett McAuliffe, is someone who I’m hounding to start a blog on music law.
Emmett just sent me a link to a great article called Idle Worship, or Revisiting the Classics, by Jim DeRogatis.
DeRogatis ostensibly reviews a new book called Kill Your Idols: A New Generation of Rock Writers Reconsiders the Classics. The book has the great premise of having a new generation of music critics look back at some of the “classic” albums of the 60s and 70s and write about why they despise those albums.
From the article:
“If we want to be high-minded about it, we can call it a spirited assault on a pantheon that has been foisted upon us, or a defiant rejection of the hegemonic view of rock history espoused by the critics who preceded us. If we want to use the vernacular, we can say it’s a loud, angry but hopefully amusing “f— you” to the ubiquitous forces of nostalgia: the schmaltzy Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the tawdry VH1 “Behind the Music Specials” and the endless Rolling Stone magazine lists of the 500 Greatest Albums in Rock History (which never, ever seem to get it right).
The point of the book isn’t to make readers change their minds about works they hold near and dear; I agree with only about a third of the essays myself. It’s to make them think about what they value in these allegedly great albums; about why, exactly, these works have been included in the canon, and about whether an art form as loud, rude and unruly as rock ‘n’ roll should even have a canon in the first place.”
That second paragraph of the quote is worth reading again.
DeRogatis goes on to reprint his critique of the “Sergeant Pepper’s” album. There’s some great stuff there, although there’s nothing more fun than hitting a Beatle’s fan with a dead-pan look and a “The Beatles were before my time” comment.
It’s an enjoyable article to read, it makes me want to read the book and it’s a great “find” by Emmett.
Emmett is the author of a now out-of-print niche classic on power pop music called “Pop Power!” Emmett’s blog would be a great place for him to revive and refresh that classic work in addition to providing a great resource on music law for bands and artists – but, hey, that’s just my opinion – no pressure, Emmett.