Monday, June 18, 2012

Why Can't We Live Together??

No, seriously. How have I never heard of this before?

"Why Can't We Live Together" by Timmy Thomas (1972)

From a list of 500 worst Rolling Stone reviews, #44:
Rating: Unfavorable

"To get to the point: This record is a piece of junk. It drives me out of the room when it's on the record player; it gives me a headache if I stay. Yet it is one of the top 40 best-selling albums in the country...Thirty minutes of listening to a hack organist and a metronome playing basically the same song in eight variations is one of the most abrasive experiences I've undergone in months."
(Russell Gersten, 4/12/73 Review)

I realize I'm probably in the minority on this, but I think it is kind of awesome that a song that consists entirely of a guy singing and playing an organ, accompanied only by a primitive drum machine, could reach the top ten - the simplicity of the presentation is precisely what makes this record so affecting. And I actually prefer Timmy's "Coldest Days of My Life" to the saccharine Chi-lites version.

#3 on Billboard!!

Why can't we live together?
I also love this one, on the Flaming Lips' The Soft Bulletin (1999), #313:
Rating: 3 Stars

"Their music isn't, how you say, universally accessible, and the weirdness gets same-y, but no one else has posited a parallel universe in which the Sixties and the Nineties exist simultaneously, allowing for a peculiarly convincing brand of monolithic robotic swirl." (Arion Burger, 5/27/99 Review)

"The weirdness gets same-y" in a "monolothic robotic swirl"?? What the fuck are you yammering about??

Yeah. The robotic swirl would come on their next album!!

You can start at the beginning of the list - he's currently up to #376 (Snooki-Riding-A-Metal-Phallus cover).

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