These are the shibboleths perpetuated by all truly hard core rock hacks: The Byrds were better than The Beatles, The Beach Boys’ ‘Pet Sounds’ is a work of transcendent intellectual genius, and Van Morrison is God. [I]Arf![/I]
Recently, writing in [I]The Guardian[/I], an unashamedly snobbish idiot combined two of the above fallacies by claiming that Mr Morrison’s ‘Astral Weeks’ was – get this – a better and fundamentally more important and influential album than ‘Sgt Pepper’s...’. [I]Splutter![/I]
‘Cos as we all know, the facts are these; The Byrds were inconsequential proto-jinglyjangly wank, ‘Pet Sounds’ is nothing more or less than a primo collection of jolly little surf-pop ditties and Van ‘The Man’ Morrison is an amusingly curmudgeonly old fart with one really hummable Radio 2-type song to his name –‘Moondance’ – which is cool, but, heck, that hardly puts him in the same league as Neil Sedaka or Barry Manilow, does it?
Hey, you know when you get in a minicab and the driver’s tuned into Melody FM or some other station dedicated entirely to wankishly tame, ‘nice’ music and it drives you MAD!!!! That’s what this starts like. Only skifflier. And then – as Van rants his way through ‘Lost John’, ‘Don’t You Rock Me Daddio’, ‘Frankie And Johnny’, ‘Goodnight Irene’, ‘Muleskinner Blues’ and ‘The Ballad Of Jesse James’ it gets skifflier and skifflier and skifflier. The question being, do you like skiffle, mudderfaker? Well [I]do [/I]you? Because if you do then this CD’ll make you cream all over your washboard and then die screaming in unmitigated ecstasy.
Me? I’d rather slice off my face and feed it to a pack of slavering semi-aquatic piranha/Pekinese crossbreeds than ever have to listen to a single track of this unnecessary and frankly disturbing piffle ever again. But – there you go – life would be boring if we all agreed about everything, wouldn’t it? Now, where’s me slippers?