I came across this article in The Guardian, about neglected masterpieces, you know, the stuff that’s as good as the ‘same old same old’ list but never gets a guernsey. You know, it’s always Beatles, Dylan, Stones or Mozart, Bach, Beethoven. Or Citizen Kane, You know what I mean.
There was more discussion at The Observe. Some of it made me laugh, such as the folks that would say “if so-and-so becomes more famous I don’t want to like them anymore”. We want to keep out little secret corners of pleasure away from hyping eyes. As someone else said, look what they did to Nick Drake, after the fact. Indeed!
I had a bit of a think about my private lists. So, in film, why not Jacques Rivette’s Celine and Julie Go Boating. I had assumed you couldn’t even get it on DVD but, hey, it does exist. I better track it down now. I saw it twice, late 70s and early 80s. Both prints not so good and only viewed in a mouldy old art house cinema, and when did anyone last mention it to you? To me, it was a complete magic dream, a circling teasing narrative, with a girly friendship at the centre (how often did that happen back then?). Formal as well as loose and improvised. And summer in Paris and thereabouts.
And poetry? Well, I don’t think you can go past Robert Harris’s Jane, Interlinear and Other Poems. So much guff gets talked about this ‘n that these days. Harris’s book is the real deal.
And music. I’d plump pretty categorically for Richard and Linda Thompson’s I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight. Don’t argue with me, “The Great Valerio” is amazing, shattering.
I could go on but it would start to get a bit like trainspotting but maybe there’s other ideas out there, you know, for following up.
But, yeah, it's fun unpicking the canon and top 100s. I mean, hey, I've been on a bit of a Dylan kick lately, don't ask me why, just have, but I gotta go check some of my old vinyl downstairs. Anyone remember Sea Train? Or If?