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Fear of Music: The Greatest 261 Albums Since Punk and Disco

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The companion volume to 'This is Uncool', Garry Mulholland shifts his focus from singles to albums, making witty and irreverent criticisms on the likes of David Bowie, The Smiths, Eminem and The Prodigy. The companion volume to 'This is Uncool', Garry Mulholland shifts his focus from singles to albums, making witty and irreverent criticisms on the likes of David Bowie, The Smiths, Eminem and The Prodigy.


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The companion volume to 'This is Uncool', Garry Mulholland shifts his focus from singles to albums, making witty and irreverent criticisms on the likes of David Bowie, The Smiths, Eminem and The Prodigy. The companion volume to 'This is Uncool', Garry Mulholland shifts his focus from singles to albums, making witty and irreverent criticisms on the likes of David Bowie, The Smiths, Eminem and The Prodigy.

30 review for Fear of Music: The Greatest 261 Albums Since Punk and Disco

  1. 5 out of 5

    Eric Copeland

    This book is now well over a decade old, so a lot of music has been recorded since its publication. And as others have mentioned, a critic's take on something as subjective as music will necessarily not resonate with everyone, as tastes vary widely. Still, I found it mostly entertaining and made quite a few notes to check out music with which I was unfamiliar -- there were a number of records I didn't really know, partly because there is quite a bit of UK entertainment that doesn't really inters This book is now well over a decade old, so a lot of music has been recorded since its publication. And as others have mentioned, a critic's take on something as subjective as music will necessarily not resonate with everyone, as tastes vary widely. Still, I found it mostly entertaining and made quite a few notes to check out music with which I was unfamiliar -- there were a number of records I didn't really know, partly because there is quite a bit of UK entertainment that doesn't really intersect with the US music scene.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jim Jones

    Of course a music critic's choice of the best 261 albums released between 1976 and 2006 depends a lot on a person's taste. Things included as well as those left out here will drive you mad. Mulholland also tends to like the same artist over and over (PJ Harvey and Nick Cave) and he really doesn't have a lot of new info to ad after an artist has been entered once. Also a writer has to be a pretty damn entertaining to keep me interested in new music after the year 2000. This is one of the flaws of Of course a music critic's choice of the best 261 albums released between 1976 and 2006 depends a lot on a person's taste. Things included as well as those left out here will drive you mad. Mulholland also tends to like the same artist over and over (PJ Harvey and Nick Cave) and he really doesn't have a lot of new info to ad after an artist has been entered once. Also a writer has to be a pretty damn entertaining to keep me interested in new music after the year 2000. This is one of the flaws of this book--as rock becomes less popular, rap takes the lead in the listings and I'm just not interested in 90% of it. Still, I learned a lot, and the author, like me, believes 1979 was the best year in music. A great book to dip into as a pleasant diversion.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Alan

    loved his 'This is Uncool' on the best singles 1975-2000, here he does the same for albums. Dipped in on the way home from the library and couldn't agree more with his assessment of the great 'Remain in Light' (Talking Heads) - augurs well.. Enjoyable, hyperbolic, fun. A lot I already had, and this made me go back and play, like Happy Mondays, Dr Alimantado, Eno and Blur, but also got some new stuff - Le Tigre, mutant Disco, and especially The Congos - that I missed first time round. loved his 'This is Uncool' on the best singles 1975-2000, here he does the same for albums. Dipped in on the way home from the library and couldn't agree more with his assessment of the great 'Remain in Light' (Talking Heads) - augurs well.. Enjoyable, hyperbolic, fun. A lot I already had, and this made me go back and play, like Happy Mondays, Dr Alimantado, Eno and Blur, but also got some new stuff - Le Tigre, mutant Disco, and especially The Congos - that I missed first time round.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Keith Astbury

    I didn't find this quite as enjoyable as This Is Uncool for some reason. Not necessarily because of his choices - our tastes in the first half of the book are very similar but grew apart as the book went on! - but because I didn't find his writing as entertaining as the previous book. I would never accuse Mulholland of being over-reverent, but maybe albums just dictate that writers take their reviews a little more serious then when they are writing about the smaller format? I didn't find this quite as enjoyable as This Is Uncool for some reason. Not necessarily because of his choices - our tastes in the first half of the book are very similar but grew apart as the book went on! - but because I didn't find his writing as entertaining as the previous book. I would never accuse Mulholland of being over-reverent, but maybe albums just dictate that writers take their reviews a little more serious then when they are writing about the smaller format?

  5. 5 out of 5

    TIM HERRING

    Being dipping in and out of this for ages and finally finished it. Very very good choices and largely in line with my tastes, especially the early years. covers from 1976 to 2003. It does cover quite a lot of rap but I actually found this interesting and I do have some of the earlier raps albums. I have even gone and listed to and bought some albums on the back of reviews here. Recommended

  6. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Theaker

    It's easy to love a single without loving the artist, but harder to do the same with an album. That really comes through in this book, where it seems hardly an album escapes adverse comment for one aspect or another of the lyrics or the artist's politics. The writer's a music critic, so it makes sense that he might have fallen in love with lots of different albums by lots of different artists over the years, and after all he gets to listen to an awful lot of what's released, but it doesn't quite It's easy to love a single without loving the artist, but harder to do the same with an album. That really comes through in this book, where it seems hardly an album escapes adverse comment for one aspect or another of the lyrics or the artist's politics. The writer's a music critic, so it makes sense that he might have fallen in love with lots of different albums by lots of different artists over the years, and after all he gets to listen to an awful lot of what's released, but it doesn't quite convince me - it makes him seem like a gadfly, always moving on to something new, dropping bands like a shot when they've worn out their fashionability. I like to listen to new artists, but at the same time I buy pretty much every album by Nick Cave, Stereolab, Sonic Youth, The Wedding Present, the Aphex Twin, etc. The number of grudging reviews of albums in here just makes me wonder if his actual 261 favourite albums would be quite a different, less varied list. My version of this book would be much duller - ten or twenty albums by each of the above, plus a couple of dozen one-offs - whereas my version of This Is Uncool would have been pretty similar to his. In my copy there are quite a few unfinished cross-references (maybe that's why it was going cheap in HMV), and there's also a bit of libel on p. 323, where Mulholland writes about "Woody Allen marrying his own adopted stepdaughter". He didn't, of course, he married the adopted daughter of Andre Previn and Mia Farrow. Mia Farrow was Woody Allen's girlfriend, but they lived in different homes. Still, this is a perfect bathroom book, and it'll encourage you to give a lot of artists a second or third try.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Chris Walker

    One of my favourite books about music - thus one of my favourite books about anything - ever. Mulholland's prose is sharp, witty and passionate, which makes his opinions always worth a read. It's refreshing to read a best albums ever book that isn't burdened by the 60s Classics having to dominate, so starting from Punk and Disco is a brilliant move. Yes it's UK-centric, but that just means there's some names in there that you might not have heard before that are probably worth seeking out. Sure One of my favourite books about music - thus one of my favourite books about anything - ever. Mulholland's prose is sharp, witty and passionate, which makes his opinions always worth a read. It's refreshing to read a best albums ever book that isn't burdened by the 60s Classics having to dominate, so starting from Punk and Disco is a brilliant move. Yes it's UK-centric, but that just means there's some names in there that you might not have heard before that are probably worth seeking out. Sure you won't agree with everything, but that's part and parcel of great music writing. I love this book - would love an updated edition too!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mitch Pendleton

    Fun and well-written, but not a definitive or even particularly well-chosen list. The author leans too heavily on British music of the last 30 years (he is British, so hey), not to suggest that there hasn't been TONS of great British music, but he ignores a ton of other great records. I did learn a few things about some bands I didn't know much about, and that made it worthwhile. Fun and well-written, but not a definitive or even particularly well-chosen list. The author leans too heavily on British music of the last 30 years (he is British, so hey), not to suggest that there hasn't been TONS of great British music, but he ignores a ton of other great records. I did learn a few things about some bands I didn't know much about, and that made it worthwhile.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    It was like reading about my own music collection. I can count how many of these albums I don't own, on one hand. After reading this, I plan to find them! It was like reading about my own music collection. I can count how many of these albums I don't own, on one hand. After reading this, I plan to find them!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    Fast and fun.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Richard Connor

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mark Essner

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mark

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sunhill

  15. 5 out of 5

    Steve K

  16. 5 out of 5

    Neil

  17. 4 out of 5

    David Ashley

  18. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Grewcock

  19. 5 out of 5

    Robert Print

  20. 4 out of 5

    Canice Kenealy

  21. 4 out of 5

    Enda Guinan

  22. 5 out of 5

    Herbert Croker

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tyson Brinacombe

  24. 5 out of 5

    Gavin Wright

  25. 5 out of 5

    Swa

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ste Huux

  27. 5 out of 5

    Marco

  28. 5 out of 5

    George Miller

  29. 5 out of 5

    Birrellesque

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tommy

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