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Slaughtering Sacred Cows, a Reviewer’s List

May 15, 2010

(I posted this list to another blog back in 2004, though it’s early drafts were much earlier. The next track in my Nineties countdown will explain when I made the epiphany that the supposed sacred cows of music could create… well… utter tosh just like anyone else.)

Before reviewing an album, remember that:

Just because it’s by Radiohead doesn’t automatically mean that it is any good.
By the Beatles…
Or the Rolling Stones…
Or the Velvet Underground…
If John Cale was involved…
Or Lou Reed…

Just because Brian Eno raves about it doesn’t mean that it is any good.
Is on Eno’s Obscure Records…
Is by Brian Eno…
Has been produced by Brian Eno…
Especially if it’s late U2…
In fact U2 aren’t necessarily any good…

Just because it’s 90s electronica doesn’t mean that it is any good.
Just because it’s 70s German electronica doesn’t mean that it is any good.
Just because it’s Krautrock doesn’t mean that it is any good.
Even if the band doesn’t like the name Krautrock…
Ditto Progressive Rock..

If it’s deliberately anti-Progressive Rock doesn’t mean that it is any good…
Managed by Malcolm McLaren…
Or involves any members of the Clash doesn’t mean that it is any good (no matter how hard it is to admit…)
In fact if it’s by any Punk Band doesn’t mean that it is any good…
Or Hardcore…

If it’s by the Fall it doesn’t mean that it is any good.
Even if Brix Smith is involved…
Conversely, even if she isn’t…

If the artist hails from Manchester doesn’t mean that it is any good.
Or if they are from Cornwall…
Or Detroit…
London…
Cologne…
Chicago…
New Zealand…
Not even New York…

If the band are endorsed by Sonic Youth…
Toured with Sonic Youth…
Are Sonic Youth…

If it is a remix project…
Or a tribute album…
A live album…
And in no way are the original studio recordings necessarily any good.

If the artist died young doesn’t mean that it is any good.
Even if his father also died young…

If the artist played with Miles Davis doesn’t mean that it is any good.
Nor if it’s by Miles Davis…
John Coltrane…
Ornette Coleman…
Albert Ayler…

If it appears on John Zorn’s label doesn’t mean that it is any good.
Is produced by John Zorn…
John Zorn guests…
John Zorn own work isn’t necessarily any good.
Even if Mark Ribot is involved…
Or Greg Cohan…

If Evan Parker appears on it doesn’t mean that it is any good.
Nor Derek Bailey, Han Bennink, John Stevens, Tony Oxley…

It features David Toop…
David Toop has written a book about it…
Been reviewed by David Toop…
In fact David Toop’s writing isn’t automatically any good…

Just because it’s been reviewed by Ian Penmen doesn’t mean that it is any good.
Even if Ian Penmen liked it…

Just because the artist writes for the Wire Magazine…
Has been reviewed in the Wire…
Melody Maker…
Uncut…
Nor in any magazine…
But especially NME does not mean it is any good.

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3 comments

  1. […] piece called Slaughtering Sacred Cows tries to remind us that no one is […]


  2. i love the punk band slaughtered cows


  3. […] fact brilliant artists produce disappointing music (aka total pap). It’s the concept behind my Slaughtering Sacred Cows list. But I was hoping for something more divergent from Volta, of which I was not a fan. I loved […]



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