the best letter in the Rock world (or this post is brought to you by the letter ‘R’)

My first post on Glen Dean’s old group blog about music (Tangled Up in Blue) was about which letter had the best bands..as in, come up with a list of bands that start with each letter of the alphabet and then decide which letter ‘wins’.

I supported the letter ‘R’ back in that day, and I remain fiRm in my stand. I’m guessing that the vast majority of humanity would join together in a collective shoulder shrug and a chorus of ‘who the hell cares’, but hey, I’m a life-long insomniac and this is one of the things I think about trying to go to sleep. I’ve listened to some form of ‘rock’ (yeah, the word is out-dated, but I can’t think of any other single word that comes close to describing the genre) since I was 9 years old (and spent many restless nights since..).

‘R’ kicks butt. Think about it: Ramones, Replacements, REM, Red House Painters, Rolling Stones, Raveonettes, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead, Roches, Roxy Music, and Roots, not to mention the first names of many great solo artists: Ryan Adams, Roy Orbison, Randy Newman, Regina Spektor, Richard Ashcroft, Richie Valens, Roseanne Cash, Rufus Wainwright, and Ry Cooder.

Arguments against ‘R’ range from REO Speedwagon to the ghastly unmentionable.

What bRings all this to mind is a link that leapt off the page from the wonderful Chez Bez blog informing me that the new REM CD (Accelerate) is being streamed in its entirety over at Ilike. I truly have been a fan since I heard ‘Gardening at Night’, many many years ago, and like so many other fans, had begun to think their best music was behind them. They had seemed to lose their way and anything resembling a sense of humor (see Ramones, Replacements). And then, I listen to the joint, and it rocks. Not like anything since Monster (which I mostly loved), but this one is better. Really.

Sometimes I think that the whole thing is played, but then something like this or the new Radiohead comes along, and I believe all over again. Rock on, R, ruler of all the letters…and now I’m going to try to get some of that other R.E.M…

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “the best letter in the Rock world (or this post is brought to you by the letter ‘R’)

  1. You do make a strong argument for the letter R. As long as we’re counting first names, let us not forget Mr. Richard Thompson. (Right Said Fred wants to play as well.)

    Regarding REM, 1994’s Monster was their first album which left me considerably underwhelmed. I may have to go back to it and give it another spin.

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