Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Knopfler v. Zevon

Benthoven here...back after a long hiatus with a musically inspired quandary recently encountered at my local Borders. After a particularly stressful week, I decided to unwind in the coffeeshop, catch up on some paperwork and decompress. In order to keep myself on task with the aforementioned work, I decided that if I completed everything I would peruse the bargain music table and pick up an album.

Well, to cut to the end, I did finish doing everything I hoped to do and after careful inspection found myself torn between two albums, each selling for around $10 which was about the right price range for a casual music purchase. The trouble was picking between them...

The two albums in question were Dire Straits' Brothers in Arms and Warren Zevon's Learning to Flinch. I present below an abbreviated summary of my thoughts on each album as I stood looking at the track listings.

Brothers in Arms
  • Dire Straits=quintessential 80s British rock!
  • Mark Knopfler=the man. (Outstanding guitar work and lyrics, plus a wry sense of humor!)
  • Haven't I been looking to expand my British rock knowledge?
  • Walk of Life? Money for Nothing? : I know those songs...and they are good!
  • Didn't someone rank this album as one of the best of all time?
  • Wait a minute...I'll go check. (stroll to music section...check in 1001 Albums You Should Listen To Before You Die)
  • Yup...there it is!
  • Definitely worth considering!
Learning to Flinch
  • Warren Zevon=quirky, sardonic American rock
  • This is an acoustic it's just Zevon, his guitar, and a piano. Could be pretty sweet.
  • Haven't I been looking to expand my American rock knowledge?
  • Werewolves of London? Lawyers, Guns, and Money? I know those songs too...and they are also good!
  • This was probably not ranked as one of the best albums of all time...but Warren Zevon's still cool, right?
  • I mean he lived in Philadelphia.
  • Wait a minute...I'll go check. (stroll back to the music section.)
  • Hmm...this book is relatively Zevon free! And while we're at it...there's no XTC either! (Which says something about the reference book I chose...)
  • Still, definitely worth considering.

Ultimately, I don't think there was a bad choice to be made. But, ultimately, the Straits were two dollars cheaper and on the right side of the coin flip. And having listened through the album several times, I'm happy to say it was a worthwhile purchase. Besides the songs mentioned above, the album's title track and other gems like So Far Away and The Man's Too Strong are all outstanding examples of British rock at its finest.

So did I make the right choice? Does Knopfler trump Zevon or was this really just another case of Money for Nothing?
And what do you think about books like the one I consulted? Are they really worth looking at? Are there any that are particularly reliable?

C'mon you mongreloids...sign in and sound off! This blog's finally getting lively again!


At 10:24 PM, Blogger Mugshot said...

A) You made the right choice, despite the fact that
B) such guide books are meaningless. If we followed the guidebooks and typical lists, we'd find that three of the top 5 albums of all times are Beatles album. And that's just ridiculous. And no, I'm not joking.

At 11:23 PM, Blogger rpshyena said...

Brothers in Arms was the right choice. Dire Straits gets a lot of flak for conservative musicianship during a punk era. This makes no sense to me. If anything they should be extolled for this. Mark Knopfler can be a bit much at times but completely rules when he sticks to the 3-5 minute pop song format. Money for nothing and chicks for free. Playing the guitar on the MTV.

At 11:45 AM, Blogger Mugshot said...

And check out this article: about Oasis having the best album ever. It shows you can't trust lists.

At 7:20 PM, Blogger psonica said...

Here are some links that I believe will be interested


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