For those who came in late...

THINK PINK Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon has made the cut

THINK PINK Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon has made the cut   | Photo Credit: PHOTO: AP

EMI's list of The Albums That Shaped Rock features the usual suspects but is marred by a time warp

If there's one thing record labels are good at, it's making lists - of the twenty best love songs, the ten greatest guitarists in the world, golden oldies and what have you. The latest list to hit the markets is EMI's list of The Albums That Shaped Rock. A collection of all the predictable big names, the list includes The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, The Doors, Queen, CSNY, David Bowie and the Sex Pistols to name a few. Being touted as a point of initiation for those who came in late, the list supplies a basic list of the who's who of rock music in the 60s and 70s. The good news, say most musicians and serious music fans, is that this India-wide promotion makes an attempt at pushing albums at a time when customers are growing increasingly singles-obsessed. Abhijeet Tambe of local band Lounge Piranha, for instance, feels that listening to whole albums or a single artiste over a period of time is much more meaningful than a mishmash of a playlist. "Listening to an album is like experiencing the whole trip that a particular musician or band went through at a particular time. Of course, there are always hits, but I always appreciate albums more than singles."

More good news

The other piece of good news is that this is a good guide to follow for anyone who's looking to find out what classic rock was all about. "Lists like this help because there are tons of people who have no clue what rock music is about," says Rajeev Rajagopal, drummer for Thermal And A Quarter. "From what I've seen of the list," he says, "more often than not it does have some value in it." Agrees Atul Chitnis, one of the advisers behind Radio Verve, India's first internet radio station dedicated to independent music: "If I were to make a list, I'd probably put something like this together." However, he cautions, like most such lists, this one too approaches rock music from a very specific perspective. One that he appreciates, but is still very specific. "If you're saying that this is a definitive picture of rock music, you're being silly because rock music is so wide nowadays."

Problem of segregation

In that sense, he feels, the list might have been more useful if it had been more carefully segregated and had focused on a particular kind of rock music rather than trying to cover all rock music, which it doesn't. It is this ambitious claim of either being a start point or an endpoint to a genre that audio engineer Dharmendra Chakrasali finds objectionable about most lists. "You can't tell someone where to start from, it's an individual thing. And it can't be an end point because there is nothing like the best." Indeed, says Abhijeet, such lists about rock music also smack of unfairness because of the attention they draw to classic rock bands of the 60s and 70s. "It's unfair that classic rock occupies so much space. Most people here are stuck in the 70s. It's like trying to shove Pecos music down everybody's throat," says Abhijeet, referring to the Brigade Road pub famous for its classic rock collection. "I love Pecos, but if Pecos is all we have then there's a problem." In that sense, one finds resonance in Rajeev's sentiment that when he first started to listen to rock music, it wasn't "best of" lists that led him to the bands he liked, but fortuitousness. And so it is, that while rock music fans appreciate the greats, they're also quick to add that there is much more out there of worth. Albums featured in the series The Beatles: Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band Pink Floyd: Dark Side Of The Moon The Doors: The Doors Eagles: Hotel California Deep Purple: Machine Head Led Zeppelin: Led Zeppelin IV Jethro Tull: Aqualung The Rolling Stones: Exile On Main Street Queen: A Night At The Opera The Band: Last Waltz Paul Simon: Graceland CSNY: Deja Vu Paul McCartney And Wings: Band On The Run Van Morrison: Astral Weeks David Bowie: The Rise And Fall of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars Sex Pistols: Never Mind The Bollocks Here Come The Sex Pistols America: America Al Stewart: Year Of The Cat Don McLean: American Pie Peter Gabriel: So Genesis: Genesis John Lennon: Imagine Iron Maiden: The Number Of The Beast Meatloaf: Bat Out Of Hell II (Back Into Hell) Scorpions: Love At First Sting Fleetwood Mac: Rumours RAKESH MEHAR

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