A bit of a rant

I’m afraid the target of my vitriol is…NME.

The legendary Chuck Berry

The 'legendary' Chuck Berry

A couple of weeks ago NME announced their Top 100 albums of the decade list. It caused me to raise a “Really..?!  Er…if you say so” eyebrow, but didn’t stir as much emotion in me as it did with Phil Cope, who perspicaciously observed that there list was rather too white.

Since then two other things have happened in NME world that have indeed stirred me to feel  more than a little annoyed.

Last week a news item on nme.com announced that “legendary blues guitarist” Chuck Berry had postponing his tour.  “Legendary f***ing blues guitarist” thought I?!!!  How ignorant is that?!  The man pretty much defined rock and roll, writing and performing some of the genre’s greatest songs, and influencing a whole bunch of white kids, including 4 from Liverpool, to write songs of their own.  Calling him a “legendary blues guitarist” is like calling Kurt Cobain a “legendary heavy metal guitarist” – and I’m sure the uber-cool NME would never be so silly as to do that.  I actually put a comment on their website saying something similar, but they didn’t publish it.

Now, today NME have declared their 100 favourite tunes of the decade.  Number 1 is Beyonce.  “Be-f***ng-yonce..?!” thought I?  Is she not just a symptom of the decline of American RnB into of artists completely detached from their listeners, and music devoid of meaning?  Has this not just become the genre of IFMITYWEB (I’m Far More Important Than You Will Ever Be)?  Maybe I’m missing something though, as several of my friends have today said that Crazy In Love is a good tune.  I tried listening to it on Spotify but 2 minutes is all I could bear.

At least NME have redressed some of the racial balance after their top albums list.  But really, I mean 15-20 years ago I used to respect the NME for bringing me news and views of what was happening left-of-centre, and quite frankly I’m shocked at just how far NME has moved from this to a more populist stance.  I know, even 10 or 20 years ago NME were a bit of a trend chaser, but it has just got silly now.

I’ve not read the NME properly for years.  I just use their website for a decent source of music news.  Can anyone suggest another good source of music news so I can leave them well behind me?


6 thoughts on “A bit of a rant

  1. avatarPhil

    Now then, Bertie – it’s actually not massively wide of the mark to call Chuck Berry a blues legend – he was on Chess alongside Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf and there are a bunch of his tracks that would sit alongside anything by these as “blues” – it’s probably more accurate to call him a rhythm and blues guitarist , but he sounds more like a blues player than any of the other 50′s rock n rollers like Elvis or Eddie Cochran – really he was trying to be an up to date version of Louis Jordan.

  2. avatarPhil

    Oh, and your friends are right – “Crazy in Love” is one of the great records of the last 10 years. A shiny pop nugget with a nonsencical chorus and physically impossible not to dance to, even for a fat old get like me – and surely it gets points for being the only R&B record to mention Ringo Starr!

  3. avatarPhil

    I really can’t seem to stop now, the worst thing about that NME list, is that they’ve put the ridiculously past it by then, Blur at number 8 . For the last 10 years Graham Coxon’s made all the good records and he should leave the terminally irritating Albarn to go and fuck about with his cartoon band

  4. avataradmin

    I like this albo…you should write more angry blog posts. Infact we should have an angry week! NME is getting a hammering on this blog indeed it seems but the truth is they are one of the few organisations that still offer a speedy music news service on-line. The features are a bit rubbish but the front page news is always breaking through the day.

    Regards album of the decade….I am surprised by that as well, that does not even pretend to be cool. Am sure I heard nme had said the strokes was one of the albums of the decade.

  5. avatarAlbert Post author

    Well that’s me well and truly told.
    I hadn’t realised Chuck Berry’s roots. I thought he was Rhythm and Blues through and through. And it is still a mystery to me why, in an industry where new genre labels are constantly invented as marketing tools, RnB has come to signify too such different genres.
    I did try to listen to that Beyonce song on Spotify but I could only stomach 2 minutes, and even that was hard work.
    Adam, yes The Strokes are number one, and I think The Libertines are number 2 or 3, or maybe 2 and 3.
    Phil, personally I rate Think Tank as one of my favourite Blur albums, alongside Modern Life Is Rubbish and Blur. I suppose I’m just a bit of an NME kid at heart…

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