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The Pitchfork 500: Our Guide to the Greatest Songs from Punk to the Present Paperback – November 11, 2008
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Scott Plagenhoef, the editor-in-chief, lives in Chicago.
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"The Pitchfork 500", however, does not possess quite as much skill as one might expect from writers of their pedigree (as one reviewer notes, it is probable that Pitchfork actually know this very well). Whilst those songs I do know from the book often are exceptionally good and highly deserving of praise (most especially Godspeed You Black emperor's "Storm"), and no doubt the very many songs listed which I have never heard, there could certainly be better and possibly more concise arguments. Also, having read Piero Scaruffi I do get the impression that there exist a number of omissions that seem serious. Another problematic feature is the way in which categories of song that really have little relevance in the context of post-"punk revolution" rock music.
All in all, "The Pitchfork 500" is a reasonable guide to some of the most acclaimed (and indeed, sometimes "best") rock songs, but it is not as good as Pitchfork's best online reviews and has some disappointing sidetracks.
It's interesting that p-fork ever created this title. It's such an odd concept: it's limited to 1977 - present, it's songs only, and it eschews some standard record guide tenets. I half expected the preface to berate me for even buying it! You will find some interesting nuggets and some b-sides you weren't familiar with. The book delivers in that sense. I agree with another reviewer who suggested that it needs an editor (much like this review). There are some odd little two page spreads where a reviewer extends on a particular genre of music. These essays were interesting, but some are intended as humorous (yacht rock?) while most are straightforward. The inconsistency seems sloppy to me. I was hoping that one reviewer-voice would emerge from the website and take hold of this thing. Instead, it feels like a mish-mash.
In the end, I would recommend this to music nerds like myself but not to the general public. On pitchfork's website they have lists of "best albums by decade." Those lists are more useful in the traditional sense, and I would recommend them to most folks.
I think you should buy this, I'm sure you'll love arguing with it as much as you agree with it. I did. I just expected some professionalism & care.
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A. They deem the bands you like worthy of their love and praise