The Word Magazine: December CD
The December issue of The Word (formerly Word of Mouth) includes a CD, as usual. The Edge gave an interview for the magazine and posed for the cover, but didn't smile, as if by compromise. Sharon Osbourne is also interviewed, and criticizes Madonna ("You dress like a hooker, then a librarian, then a hooker again. Who are you? At that age you should know."). Hey, isn't variety the spice of life? Something's the spice of life. I thought it was variety.
There's also a nifty feature settling once and for all the 20 worst and best record covers of all time.
The 20 Worst Record Covers in History, As Decided by "The Word"
20. Doggystyle - Snoop Doggy Dogg - "Just appalling. There are pictures scrawled on your local underpass that show more vision, composition and wit than this."
19. Bury the Hatchet - the Cranberries
18. Blood on the Dancefloor - Michael Jackson
17. Self Portrait - Bob Dylan
16. Be Here Now - Oasis
15. Love You Live - The Rolling Stones
14. Have a Nice Day - Bon Jovi
13. Never Let Me Down - David Bowie - "Oh look, a toy bomb has gone off in the crowded attic of the Dame's creative mind. Special mention for rotten typography, surely a typeface called Pierrot Extra Stupid."
12. The Massacre - 50 Cent
11. Lucky Town - Bruce Springsteen
10. Greatest Hits: My Perogative - Britney Spears - "Terrible Photoshopped dog's dinner plonked on top of a grey doily. Apart from Britter'a bewildered expression, is any part of this picture real?"
9. Hemispheres - Rush
8. Home - The Corrs
7. Waiting for the Siren's Call - New Order
6. Dream Harder - The Waterboys - "Smarmy, pleased with itself and executed to a standard that would make Ronnie Wood laugh."
5. Bunkka - Paul Oakenfold
4. The Ladder - Yes - "Now, of course, Roger Dean art is a staple of stand-up comedy but this eyeball-strainer came out in 1999 when everybody knew better."
3. Bare - Annie Lennox
2. Double Fantasy - John Lennon
And the worst sleeve of all time is...
1. The Miracle - Queen - "In older, wiser cultures, abominations like this are seen as signs that the harvest will surely fail."
The 20 Best Record Covers in History, As Decided by "The Word"
20. Elvis Presley
19. Fire - Ohio Players
18. One Step Beyond - Madness - "Iconic, unhinged and promising more fun than ought to be allowed for 2.99 pounds."
17. Weasels Ripped My Flesh - Frank Zappa
16. Trans-Europe Express - Kraftwerk - "The trappings of a pre-war German cinema publicity shot let Kraftwerk place themselves perfectly, in thrall neither to Germany's past nor the American ideal of rock and roll."
15. American Recordings - Johnny Cash - "Andy Earl's breathtaking shot gives Cash an awe-inspiring biblical dimension appropriate, since he was effectively back from the dead."
14. Windowlicker - Aphex Twin
13. "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" - The Smiths (single)
12. Lost Horizons - Lemon Jelly - "Band member Fred Deakin's wonderful childlike art turned the look of electronica upside down."
11. Breakfast in America - Supertramp
10. Chaos and Creation in the Back Yard - Paul McCartney
9. Actually - Pet Shop Boys - "Brilliant minimalism and the best yawn in entertainment history."
8. Aladdin Sane - David Bowie
7. Sticky Fingers - The Rolling Stones
6. Age of Chance - Kiss
5. Post - Bjork
4. Top of the Pops Vol. 18 - Pickwick compilation - "Now that's how to do casual sexism. Carefree and supremely wonderful."
3. Unknown Pleasures - Joy Division
2. It's Great When You're Straight... Yeah! - Frank Black
And the Best Sleeve Ever Is...
1. Country Life - Roxy Music - "Possibly the sexiest record sleeve there has ever been. Banned in America, obviously."
Word Magazine December 2005 CD Track Listing:
1. Teddy Thompson - Shine So Bright (from Separate Ways. I expected a love song from that title. Not exactly... "I wanna be death-bed thin/Never realize the state I'm in/Walk with my head in the clouds/Be followed around by crowds/I want to shine so bright it hurts". Keen song. Teddy Thompson's latest album is out now in the UK, out Feb. 14 in the US. "Finely crafted songs" on that album, according to Q. Joe Henry produced his first, self-titled album)
2. XTC - I'd Like That (from the box set Apple Box and available elsewhere. A whimsical love song)
3. Cass Fox - Million Dollars
4. Jackson Browne - Lives in the Balance
5. The Fall - Early Days of Channel Fuhrer
6. Misty's Big Adventure - She Fills the Spaces (from The Black Hole. A really fun song. John Peel was a Misty's fan. He even called their singer Grandmaster Gareth "The new God". Streaming audio from Misty's Big Adventure's album, The Black Hole is available on their website.
7. Vashti Bunyan - Here Before
8. Luke Doucet - It's Not the Liquor I Miss (from Broken (and other Rogue States). Songs including handclapping are likelier to be good. This is good. Luke Doucet looks indifferent in the picture on his website. He cares... he even blogs. Wordy fellow, I can't relate. After saying he "had to go" to a Wal-Mart for the first time, he writes "Yup my cherry has been broken." I see I have a fellow warrior in the "brevity is not the soul of wit" battle. Huzzah! Oh, fine. He does share big thoughts about music, war, and politics. It isn't all dirty analogies (and swearing. Dude swears a lot. He's from Vancouver. Is that what they're teaching kids in Vancouver nowadays? To curse like sailors? Awesome. Now America just needs to figure out how to get people from Vancouver to use their mighty swearing power to defend us against the Brits)
9. Francoiz Breut - Le Ravin
10. King Creosote - My Favourite Girl
11. Calexico and Iron & Wine - A History of Lovers
12. Salif Keita - Kamoukie
13. John Vanderslice - Trance Manual (from Five Years Been too wordy... good...)
14. Guillemots - Cat's Eyes