Monday, April 21, 2008

Top Thirty Three and a Thirds

Every few months the publishers of the 33 1/3 books about albums publish the top and bottom selling titles.

Here are their top ten sellers from the first part of 2008.

1. Neutral Milk Hotel
2. The Kinks
3. The Beatles
4. The Smiths
5. The Rolling Stones
6. Joy Division
7. Velvet Underground
8. Led Zeppelin
9. Radiohead
10. Pink Floyd

Kim Cooper's NMH book is a little minutiae-heavy, but worth reading if you like In The Aeroplane Over The Sea, so I'm not surprised that it's doing so well. Andy Miller's Village Green Preservation Society book is one of the best music books I've ever read. There aren't enough books about the Kinks.

It also helps to have a book by someone famous. The next book in the series is John Darnielle's on Black Sabbath's Masters Of Reality. I don't know a whole lot about that album, and wouldn't give that book a second look if it was by John Q. Nobody, but I'd be interested in reading John Darnielle's take on just about anything.

Also, FWIW, here's their bottom ten 33 1/3 sellers. I'd be a little embarrassed if I was the author of these, but anyone who writes a book about Throbbing Gristle probably knows what they're getting into.

46. Joni Mitchell
47. Belle & Sebastian
48. Stevie Wonder
49. PJ Harvey
50. Nick Drake
51. Tom Waits
52. Guns N Roses
53. U2
54. A Tribe Called Quest
55. Throbbing Gristle

There was a poll at the site/blog to guess how well Carl Wilson's book on Celine Dion would do. It ended the quarter at #32, above John Dougan's excellent book on The Who Sell Out among others. I'm not sure about that one. Even if you're being detached and/or ironic, there really isn't a whole lot to write about a Celine Dion album.


2fs said...

Actually - although I haven't read the book itself - Wilson's quite an interesting writer (he does the Zoilus blog I've linked to a few times). It's neither a snide snarkfest nor a distant analysis (much less a full-on fanboy crush); instead, Wilson uses the Dion album and people that love it as a springboard for an investigation of taste, and how people decide what's considered "good" and "bad" taste. It's one of the few books in the series, then, that could profitably be read without (having to force oneself to experience) listening to the album that inspired it.

PCarino said...

The Kinks one is the best in the series, IMO, with Joe Pernice's MEAT IS MURDER a close second (or the best in the "fiction" category, if we're making categories, and why not, let's do).

I couldn't stand the Replacements LET IT BE one, though.