Last year, Stephen King could only pick seven albums that he liked from the year’s offerings, but 2008 has apparently been kinder to King’s ears: Not only was he moved to pick a full top 10, he placed two albums—Buckcherry’s Black Butterfly and the Pretenders’ Break Up The Concrete—at No. 1. Whoa, don’t get too crazy now!
THE GOOD: Hey, I liked that Al Green album too.
THE BAD: The gallisticle (my new term for those pageview-inflating lists that are presented as galleries: feel free to pass it along!) is peppered with “dancing about architecture” punnery and “aw, gosh, EW, you don’t have to give me space in your mag” bloviation like the following: “Of all the things I write about for EW, pop music’s the hardest, because a columnist doesn’t get paid for saying, ‘I dunno, I just like it.’ But can I really explain why I love ‘I Kissed a Girl’ by Katy Perry and would be delighted never to hear Taylor Swift’s ‘You’re Not Sorry’ again? No. All I can say is that I find ‘the taste of her cherry ChapStick’ in ‘Girl’ entrancingly sexy, while everything about ‘You’re Not Sorry’… makes me sorry.” That’s the sort of wordplay that gets Uncle Stevie the big bucks! Suck it, layoff victims!
THE WHAAA? “This is as dense and allusive as James Joyce’s Ulysses, only you can dance to it.” Guess what copyright-busting PC user he said that about? Somewhere, some dude who gets paid to write about rock full-time (well, at least most of the time in this economy) is sobbing for not having thought of the Joyce allusion first.
A year ago, Stephen King published a list of his top 25 rock songs in Entertainment Weekly, and he’s gone back to the “list of my favorite things ever” well with a list of the 20 songs that are most-played in his iTunes library. (Because when you’re a famous writer, thin concepts like this can be spun as “a glimpse into the exciting work lives of the wordsmithing elite” instead of “narcissistic laziness.”) In what’s no doubt an effort to make as much ad revenue as possible off King’s seemingly endless columnist contract and rein the horrorsmith in editorially a bit, EW has forced him to present his list to the clicking public in the form of a photo gallery. I can just see it now: “OK, Steve, we have to cut this blurb down from 400 words to 25 for space reasons! (And also because we want people to click on the next picture without being scared of being confronted by another impermeable block of text.)” List after the jump. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, his repeated listenings to a Tony Orlando and Dawn track are OK because it “sounds like a lost Jimmy Buffett song”!
Idolator’s favorite Entertainment Weekly-enabled amateur rock critic, Stephen King, has joined forces with heartland GOP-hater John Mellencamp to bring a musical to Atlanta’s Alliance Theater. More »
Stephen King, pop cultural pundit and guy who once made John Boy Walton fight a gay clown, has issued a list of the only seven albums he deems worthy this year. Possibly because the modern pop landscape is more frightening for a middle-aged crank than a possessed big rig chasing Emilio Estevez? “Stephen King’s taste in music is more eclectic than scary,” sez AP. Don’t forget boring! The full list is after the jump–y’all can start arguing about Wilco again if you feel like it–but first our impressions.
THE GOOD: Uh.
THE BAD: “In truth, your Uncle Stevie was disappointed with this year’s new music, very disappointed indeed, and his year-end list reflects that,” King says. “I could only find seven albums I wanted to mention.” We know laziness is kind of your thing when it comes to talking about music, Uncle Stevie, but what was so disappointing about ’07? Was your heart broken by Neon Bible? Did you feel ripped off actually paying for a copy of that A Place To Bury Strangers record? Were you bummed to hear how much filler was on the Soulja Boy album after taking all that time to learn how to Crank That? What??
THE WHAAA?: Anyone calling Ozzy’s Black Rain the “finest heavy metal record of the year; a true speaker-buster” needs to have the bridge of his nose rapped with a rolled-up copy of the Decibel year-end issue.
Ed. note: Once again, Stephen King has contributed his keenly observed cultural criticism to the pages of Entertainment Weekly; and once again, in their rush to put out the umpteenth speculative article about Lindsay Lohan’s career, the magazine’s editors were unable to edit King’s essay in time for publication. Brian Raftery’s helpful annotations follow.
In the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, columnist Stephen King compiles his list of the greatest rock and roll songs of all time. However, due to what must have been a production error, the column was evidently published completely unedited. After the click-through, we provide the editorial notes that EW no doubt intended to provide before publication: