As I think I may have mentioned, I've been working on a book to be called The Greatest Record Ever Made. Here's an extended version of a shorter pitch I've submitted on the book's behalf.
An infinite number of great records can each be THE greatest record ever made, as long as they take turns.
The Greatest Record Ever Made celebrates both the in-the-moment immediacy and the immortality of the rockin' pop music we love, through a collection of 100 essays about 100 great records. The subjects include Rock And Roll Hall Of Famers like The Beatles, Chuck Berry, The Ramones, Dusty Springfield, The Grateful Dead, and Prince, among many others.
But The Greatest encompasses more than just those enshrined in a Hall of Fame. It includes hitmakers like The Monkees and Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, cult acts like Big Star and The New York Dolls, and relative unknowns like Baron Daemon and the Vampires. This is not a definitive list of the 100 best songs ever recorded. Rather, it's a 100-record block party of great records, each one the greatest in its own infinite turn. It's a celebration, exhaustively and enthusiastically crafted by a pop journalist who loves each of these records without reservation.
Why did The Monkees go from the top of the pops in 1967 to seeming has-been status in 1968? How did James Brown respond to the British Invasion? What minefields of racism, sexism, homophobia, ambition, frustration, depression, or loss were navigated by Little Richard, Dusty Springfield, The Go-Go's, Elvis, Sly and the Family Stone, The Kinks, The Beach Boys, The Supremes, and Material Issue's Jim Ellison? Were The Ramones as much a bubblegum band as they were a punk band? When does a group succeed or fail in its quixotic quest to be the next Beatles?
Our favorite records don't live in isolation. Each one has a story.
Carl Cafarelli has written for Goldmine, DISCoveries, The Syracuse New Times, Feral House, Routledge, Visible Ink Press, AHOY Comics, and Rhino Records. Since 1998, he has been the co-host (with Dana Bonn) of the weekly radio show This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio with Dana & Carl, and he is the author of the daily blog Boppin' (Like The Hip Folks Do). The Greatest Record Ever Made mixes history lessons, artist appreciation, and the ways in which the records we love can deeply affect our personal lives.
The Greatest Record Ever Made. Your infinite turn awaits.
The book will run approximately 80,000-90,000 words. Individual chapters will vary in length, from three sentences summing up "Liar, Liar" by The Castaways to in-depth studies of some of the other songs, the emotions they inspired, the circumstances that forged them, and why radio was the best way to hear them, especially if the radio happened to be turned up really, really loud.
Wish me luck!
Our new compilation CD This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio, Volume 4 is now available from Kool Kat Musik! 29 tracks of irresistible rockin' pop, starring Pop Co-Op, Ray Paul, Circe Link & Christian Nesmith, Vegas With Randolph Featuring Lannie Flowers, The Slapbacks, P. Hux, Irene Peña, Michael Oliver & the Sacred Band Featuring Dave Merritt, The Rubinoos, Stepford Knives, The Grip Weeds, Popdudes, Ronnie Dark, The Flashcubes, Chris von Sneidern, The Bottle Kids, 1.4.5., The Smithereens, Paul Collins' Beat, The Hit Squad, The Rulers, The Legal Matters, Maura & the Bright Lights, Lisa Mychols, and Mr. Encrypto & the Cyphers. You gotta have it, so order it here. A digital download version (minus The Smithereens' track) is also available from Futureman Records.