"I Fucking Hate This Generation": Memorable Comments on Our 50 Most NYC Albums Story
We received more than a few nods of approval for last week's cover story, "The 50 Most New York City Albums Ever," regarding our #1 pick -- Illmatic by Nas -- but many weren't as happy with the order and selections for the other 49.
A few albums we did include but shouldn't have, and a few we didn't but should have, according to readers.
A few readers brought up the same points again and again: We should have included Lou Reed's New York (we did include Songs for Drella, his 1990 collaboration with John Cale, at #19), and we picked the wrong Public Enemy LP. Instead of Fear of a Black Planet, we should have included their It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back.
On Lou, Village Voice music editor Brian McManus says, "We talked a lot about New York over the course of making the list, but on top of it being a bit on the nose, R.C. Baker, who wrote the blurb for Drella and knows more about Lou and New York than everyone Sic-ing up the comments section combined, made a solid, nuanced case for it being the more New York album of the two, in everything but title. If you'd like to hear his explanation, you can reach him at YR@BASIC.com."
J/K here that is: "Songs for Drella over New York because it reunited Lou Reed with John Cale, creating, as those original Velvet Underground albums did, something much greater than the sum of rock 'n' roll. Drella has everything New York does - drugs and drag queens, love and pain, crime and punishment - and tells that most wonderful of Big Apple tales: Someone from somewhere else making it big here. Everyone knows "New York" 's righteous polemics - more folks should know Drella's wry wisdom."
Where P.E. is concerned, "Fear of a Black Planet had 'Fight the Power' on it, which was the aural backbone of Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing," says McManus. "That song alone, in my mind, gave Fear the New York edge over Nation of Millions, which is more to do with black nationalism and self-empowerment. Nation is one of the greatest, most important albums of all time. But Fear is more New York, and that's what the list was about."
Look for an addendum to our list (which rose above 100 albums before we started cutting) very soon, but in the meantime, we present some of the more memorable comments left on the original:
"This is why I fucking hate this generation." - djuridalal
"This list must have been compiled by a mentally retarded pair of tone deaf conjoined twins who [sic] parents owner [sic] a music store in backwoods Ohio that catered to people that know as much about music than [sic] a sack of horse shit on a hot summers [sic] day." - DeeJayStrip
"I also love how you morons still completely ignore 80s and 90s House Music and electronic stuff - Why isn't that 'Elements' or Tourism album by Danny Tenaglia on this list or Junior Vasquez's Arena compilation - but I guarantee if those Swedish jerks did something here it would be your quintessential New York electronic record - god you people suck. - djuridalal
"Theses lists always sway towards heterosexual men and ignore the gay's contribution to musical artists popularity. Do you feel gays don't listen to rock and roll?" - rufus_red
"This list is incomplete, to put it mildly." - mbrachman
"I would take out anything jLo (seriously?)" - soonisnow
"The Most Bullshit 50 Most NYC Albums Ever. I mean Lana Del Rey? What are you? 22 or something?" - brian.bamjamz
"Greatly flawed, like kids who got 'the world according to Rolling Stone' wrote this..." - fablalumia
"How is this list even valid without Lou Reed's New York? It's a complete portrait of the city during a particular time. So much of it is based on New York locations and issues. I jumped to #1 just assuming it would be there, then was stunned to see it missing entirely!" - moogoox
"And finally, here's the biggest miss! How can you have rap albums on the list by Wu Tang, Biggie, Jay-Z and Nas and not have RUN-DMC's first album on the list. Come on Village Voice, WTF! Really! That albums is all about NYC and influenced all NYC rappers that followed!" - vivanoir
"Most of this list is bullshit especially the #1 pick, RAMONES should be #1 and what about Lou Reed's New York album!" - John DeBaun
Not including Laura [Nyro] is a crime. She didn't get the respect she deserved when she was alive; now the city's venerable alt paper has snubbed her in death. - mbrachman
No Anthrax?!! Really?!! - Mark J Babyak
And Lady Gaga??? How is she so NY? LAME. - Brandon Fizer
Leave your own inclusions, exclusions or outrage below the story: "The 50 Most NYC Albums Ever."
Listen to selected songs from most of these 50 albums: