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William C. Altreuter
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Friday, June 19, 2009

Heavy Rotation: Twenty Writers on the Albums That Changed Their Lives sounds like a great idea, but the examples aren't exciting me. I'd say that this sort of thing is better done in the 33 1/3 series. Just the fact that a 33 1/3 author picks the record in question tells you a lot, and then they write about it, sometimes including personal insights, sometimes not. Rock crit should be serious writing (which is not to say that it should be "serious"). The best writing about rock'n'roll has a genuine literary value, be it Lester Bangs' digressive musings, Christgau's capsule quips, the Mad Peck's multi-media blending or Greil Marcus'sociological tomes.

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