Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Alternate Title

England, when it comes to musical taste, is like an alternate universe where everything is almost the same but not quite. Certain bands, like Oasis and Radiohead, are much bigger. But what intrigues me more is when they like an artist about the same but for different reasons.

Take Frank Zappa. He was reasonably popular there, but by far his biggest album in the UK--the only one to go top ten--was Hot Rats. In the USA, it didn't even make the top 100.

Or R.E.M. Out Of Time was their breakthrough album in America, and they never topped it on the charts. For some reason, their subsequent album, Automatic For The People, is more highly respected in England.

So I guess shouldn't be surprised, with The Beatles CDs remastered and back on the charts, to find the slight differences in taste between England and America still out there. In the US, their biggest album is Abbey Road, and, once again, with everything else available, it outsells all the others. While in Britain, Sgt. Pepper is their bestseller, and remains so over the past week. How do the people know which one they're supposed to but more of?

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