Continuum Announces Shortlist for 33 1/3 Series, Angers the Entire Internet

    33 1/3 is a much beloved series of books that explores important albums in depth, one album per book. Part of the charm of the series is its unpredictability–albums that are covered are not always the artist’s most well known, and some albums that are covered seem like they wouldn’t warrant an essay, much less a book (such as Celine Dion’s Let’s Talk About Love ). Contributors to the series range from musicians (John Darnielle wrote one on Black Sabbath) to well-known music critics to previously unheard-of writers. Anyone can submit a proposal, which makes it quite interesting when the shortlist for contracts is announced.

    The shortlist that was announced over the weekend, unfortunately, has a lot of people less than excited. It’s a clear stipulation that the editors at Continuum consider a book’s marketplace potential when reading proposals, but many people feel that this time around they weighed this consideration too heavily. It does seem that the list is made up of rather predictable titles, with many of the artists having already been covered previously in the series, but I don’t blame Continuum for going with the safe bets in this economic climate. Lots of people feel free to blame them though, and the response on the 33 1/3 blog  is pretty overwhelmingly negative. People are (perhaps rightfully) tired of reading about the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.



    AC/DC – Highway to Hell
    Aretha Franklin – Amazing Grace
    The Beatles – The Beatles
    Bob Dylan – Time Out of Mind
    The Cramps – Songs the Lord Taught Us
    David Bowie – Ziggy Stardust
    Devo – Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo
    Dinosaur Jr: You’re Living All Over Me
    ELO – Out of the Blue
    Grateful Dead – Closing of Winterland
    Johnny Cash – American Recordings
    Kiss – Destroyer
    Leonard Cohen – Songs of Leonard Cohen
    Lil’ Wayne – Da Drought 3
    Liz Phair – Exile in Guyville
    Lou Reed – Metal Music Machine [ sic ?]
    Neil Young – Tonight’s the Night
    Operation Ivy – Energy
    Paul Simon – Graceland
    Radiohead – Kid A
    Rolling Stones – Some Girls
    Slint – Spiderland
    Television – Marquee Moon
    Violent Femmes – Violent Femmes
    Ween – Chocolate and Cheese
    White Stripes – White Blood Cells
    Young Marble Giants – Colossal Youth