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

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.

 

Shortlist:

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

[Idolator]

 

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Considering how low the barrier of entry was to submit a proposal, it's probably to be expected that populist outrage would be alive on the internet. Of course, everyone reacted the same way when the Celine Dion book was announced.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/Ethan/nirvana-corporate-rock-whoresjpg.jpg EStan

The Celine Dion book turned out to be pretty interesting. It's not really about Celine Dion as much as it's about the very question of why it is we hate Celine Dion. It was a bold move on the part of the series editors. I think most of these albums are totally deserving...and so the outrage is overblown. Hopefully there will be some really good ones. I'm looking forward to the book on Reed's Metal Machine Music.

Overall, it's not like they won't eventually get to nearly every album we love (though, isn't that kind of scary?)...

/site_media/uploads/images/users/Johnmel/P1270021.jpg Johnmel

I'm pretty excited about Marquee Moon. You could probably devote an entire book to the title track

/site_media/uploads/images/users/prefix/no-user-pic.gif hellsbells53

Well, it's cool to see Young Marble Giants

/site_media/uploads/images/users/alexawinnik/RichardHell.jpg alexawinnik

Has anything been done on Dylan's Time Out of Mind yet? Most of the focus on Dylan seems to be toward his 60's and 70's work, so it's nice to see one of his great later works still in the running. I admit I'm not too thrilled about the list, but they should move some copies.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/ivanmitchell/clockwork_bart2.jpg ivanmitchell

Heaven forbid Continuum would want to publish books about popular albums that lots of people want to read about. Jeez, its like people willfully look for things to complain about. This is a great list, and whoever wants the 331/3 series continue solely to justify their obscure music taste/existence, needs to get over it, and themselves.

jeff

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