I pretty frequently get into conversations and arguments about taste, particularly about entertainment or food. Or the relative hotness of a given chick. Actually, the varying levels and degrees of attractiveness always spin out of control. Entertainment and food, I think, are a little easier to tackle.
This is gunna be sort of long read, so if you want to skip to the point, just look for TL;DR.
Lately, a lot of people around me have been changing their opinions about certain musicians. I include myself in this, though I think my opinion changes have been a bit more dramatic then most. I’ve started liking a few musicians that I once disliked, and stopped liking some that I once enjoyed. Some that I used to adore I now flat-out hate. A good example, though it is a few years stale, is Jamiroquai. I used to hate the group. I mean super-fucking-hate them. But then I’d hear an odd song or two at parties here and there, and started realizing I had judged them crappy without ever giving them a chance. Now I really dig them.
A few of us have been talking about The Beatles at work a lot lately. We had a few times before, but with three of us owning and recently playing The Beatles: Rock Band, the subject has come up a lot more. We started tossing around song suggestions to one another, and I started thinking about it. They are basically the first “boy band”. Why do I love them and hate all others? Likewise, some friends of mine have been trying to get me into some of their favorite music. I just don’t dig screamo or nue-metal, but they think I could. And… I don’t know, so other stuff. I want to have a fair system of trading musical tastes. I’m not saying let’s all burn mixed tapes… though we TOTALLY COULD! LET’S BURN MIXED TAPES!!! um… anyway, I’m saying let’s have a little game. We’ll set some rules to suggest music to each other.
You could always go with a set number of songs, like maybe ten. However, I don’t think that would be fair for prolific artists like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, or James Brown. Dude, I don’t even know how many albums any of those bands has put out, and ten songs just doesn’t do it. You can’t possibly get enough of a taste of any of them with just ten. So why not 20? Because I don’t need 20 songs to know that I fucking hate Nickleback – the music snob’s greatest whipping-boy. Also, some great artists haven’t put out 20 songs. So I think the rule should be based on how many albums they’ve put out. I know it’s not perfect, as some albums have six songs and others have like a billion, but it just needs to be enough of a taste to find out if they’re worth looking into. I also don’t think you should have to use a song off of every album, as we all have a hated album from a beloved artist. As an example, I loveMetallica but St. Anger can go fuck itself. However, I do think the point… let’s called it a “token”, for that album still counts. Metallica put out nine studio albums. Therefor, I get nine tokens for that list even if I don’t use any songs off of “St. Junkpile”. There are some intricacies, which I’ll explain in the final rules. Stuff like an artist who was in a lot of different bands (Eric Clapton was the best example I’ve received). Which albums count, minimum and maximum… I’m prattling on. After conferring with some friends, I think we’ve come up with a good system.
TL;DR – Here’s a pretty fair way to suggest music to friends. You don’t actually have to burn them a mixed tape, they can always youtube it. Rules follow.
- Only music directly relevant to the given artist. For “Dr. Dre”, you caninclude all of his solo work, featured, produced, or N.W.A. years. However, for “N.W.A.”, you cannot use the Dr. Dre solo career. Onlyactual N.W.A. work.
- Your list gains 1 song “token” per album.
- Minimum of 5
- Maximum of 20.
- You can use multiple songs from an album or skip an album entirely.
- The song token for the skipped album still counts to the total.
- All studio albums count, unless otherwise noted (For The Beatles, 13 albums are considered “Canon” with 27 total studio albums).
- LPs don’t count.
- EPs and live albums don’t count unless they are significant (or for your own house rules).
- Nickleback sucks.
I would suggest stacking the front of the list with your best shots. With that, here is my inaugural (and softball) list.
- Ride the Lightning
- For Whom the Bell Tolls
- Master of Puppets
- The Unforgiven
- Enter Sandman
- Until it Sleeps
I do think that the EPs and Live albums are significant, but if you are now sure that you super-hate them, there is no need to continue. If you’re on the fence, let’s round out the list.
- Call of Cthulu
- Of Wolf and Man
- No Leaf Clover
- Loverman (Nick Cave cover)
- Astronomy (Blue Oyster Cult cover)
- Stone Cold Crazy (Queen cover)
As a bonus, I’d like to also say that my favorite album is Metallica (the black album), but I think the best probably has to be Ride the Lightning. Hit me up in the comments with your lists, agreements, gripes, tell me I’m an asshats, etc.