With 24 albums over 30 years, an exhaustive deep dive would be quite an endeavor. But maybe a sampling of the five to ten albums considered their best is in order.
Juliet, Naked, based on Hornby’s 2009 novel, is the latest film adaptation and for my money the best yet. A romantic comedy dealing — like so many Hornby works — with popular music and obsessive fandom, this is another strong entry in what’s turning into the year of the rom-com.
Another 1970 album that I own but haven’t paid much attention is The Kinks’ Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One. I’m familiar with only two songs on this record: today’s SOTD, ‘Lola,’ and ‘This Time Tomorrow,’ which was featured in the Wes Anderson film The Darjeeling Limited.
Based on those songs, and the fact that I love The Kinks’ overall sound, I suspect I’d enjoy the rest of the record, too.
But I have never taken the time to really get to know their music. Just a single here and there on a movie soundtrack.
I’ve always looked at music appreciation as something akin to a scholarly pursuit. I feel it is my duty as a music lover to seek out the cultural touchstones that have shaped popular music over the decades.
I might not like everything I encounter, but at least I’ll earn that opinion. That’s the reason I own several Joni Mitchell albums despite my distinct aversion to listening to any of them — I had to know what I was going to be missing.