Saturday, June 11, 2005

I Am Uncool!

Back when I thought that the greenlighting of two books on Simpsons collectibles meant that my publisher would be more inclined to indulge further suggestions from me, I pitched the idea of a book about all the great singles of the punk era, complete with pix and capsule descriptions that would more or less give us the elbow room to take the subject wherever we wanted.

I wasn’t surprised today when I ran into Garry Mulholland’s This Is Uncool: The 500 Greatest Singles Since Punk And Disco. The title comes from the Revillos’ classic I Can’t Stand My Baby and that may clue you in to the book’s decidedly U.K. stance. But that’s where the great singles were coming from, so you can’t blame him.

According to the intro, Mulholland intended the book as a sort of answer to Dave Marsh’s similar The Heart Of Rock And Soul, a list of his 1,001 favorite singles. There’s a lot more variety here, though, and Marsh doesn’t have much sympathy for anything that’s too out of the mainstream, whereas here Mulholland rhapsodizes about the genius of the Fire Engines’ Davey Henderson and refers to Henderson’s Nectarine No. 9 (see links) as "Bolan-meets-Prince-round-Captain Beefheart’s-place." In other words, my kind of book.

Of course, it made me a little sad to see somebody else run with the idea. On the other hand, after a cursory examination, I realized I couldn’t have written it as well as Mulholland. So the better man won.

I hate when that happens!


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