KEXP is a Seattle Radio Institution
KEXP completed its pledge drive yesterday evening during which they played songs from their countdown of the top 903 albums of all time as voted on by listeners. I suppose I should mention again that I spent too much time trying to come up with my top-ten and missed the voting deadline. (see related post).
I have been a KEXP supporter since 1987 so I have a pretty good idea of what they are about. That said, it was no surprise to me that a Radiohead album was chosen as the best album of all time. I say that because I think that every year Radiohead has put out an album, they’ve been number one on the list for those years. I’ve never been a big fan of them, but thousands of the stations listeners are.
Here are the top 40 albums on the list:
1 Radiohead – OK Computer
2 The Clash – London Calling
3 The Arcade Fire – Funeral
4 Nirvana – Nevermind
5 Pixies – Doolittle
6 Neutral Milk Hotel – In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
7 The Beatles – The White Album
8 U2 – The Joshua Tree
9 Radiohead – The Bends
10 Pixies – Surfer Rosa
11 Radiohead – Kid A
12 The Beatles – Abbey Road
13 Jeff Buckley – Grace
14 The Beatles – Revolver
15 Sufjan Stevens – Come on Feel the Illinois
16 The Smiths – The Queen is Dead
17 Pearl Jam – Ten
18 David Bowie – The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust
19 The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
20 Radiohead – In Rainbows
21 The Cure – Disintegration
22 Elliott Smith – Either/Or
23 Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon
24 The Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
25 Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique
26 Bob Dylan – Blood on the Tracks
27 Pavement – Slanted and Enchanted
28 Rolling Stones – Exile on Main Street
29 My Bloody Valentine – Loveless
30 The Postal Service – Give Up
31 Modest Mouse – The Moon and Antarctica
32 Built to Spill – Perfect from Now On
33 Death Cab for Cutie – The New Year
34 Weezer – Weezer
35 The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds
36 The Flaming Lips – The Soft Bulletin
37 Bob Dylan – Blonde on Blonde
38 The Replacements – Let it Be
39 The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground and Nico
40 Belle & Sebastian – If You’r Feeling Sinister
Yesterday when I was listening to the top 25, I kept waiting for one of the all-time greatest albums ever to be played, and it never was. I was shocked to find that Patti Smith’s Horses was not in the top 25, not in the top 50, not even in the top 100! It placed number 104 and was played at 5:34 a.m. Friday. I began to wonder who the hell I was sharing this radio station with. Seriously. What’s up with you guys?
Take a look at the top 40 again. Those of you who know Horses inside-out would probably agree with me when I say that it is far superior to at least 30 albums on that list, and it’s fifty times better than the album that came in at number 15. So again, what’s up? Is it a generation gap that I’m dealing with? Probably not… There are other albums from the seventies and earlier on the list. Did people just forget?
So, Patti, if you happen to come across this blog post, I just want you to know that in spite of a disrespectful placing of Horses on this list, we in Seattle love your work and can’t wait for you to come visit us again.
And if any of you KEXP DJs read this, well all I can say is please play more Patti Smith and play it often. Your listeners are in need of some schooling.
Enough about that. Here are some brief notes about some of the artists that placed several times:
Tom Waits had ten albums listed; his highest was #63, Rain Dogs.
REM had ten albums listed; their highest was #67, Murmur.
Talking Heads had eight albums listed; their highest was #54, Stop Making Sense.
Beck had eight albums listed; his highest was #43, Odelay.
David Bowie had eight albums listed, his highest was #18, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust.
Neil Young had seven albums listed; his highest was #65, Harvest.
Bob Dylan had seven albums listed; his highest was #26, Blood on the Tracks.
Radiohead had six albums listed; their highest was #1, OK Computer.
And the greatest living composer of music today, Nick Cave, had six albums listed (including the GRINDERMAN album); his highest was #333, The Boatman’s Call.
One last note: Today I went out and bought my first Radiohead album. I picked up OK Computer and I am listening to it as I write this. I’m trying to figure out what all the fuss is about. While I’m doing that, you all should be listening to Patti Smith and Nick Cave.