Sunday, September 16, 2012

I Don't Mean to Bug 'Ya

A few years back, I stumbled across a blogger who had ranked every Beatles song. “Damn,” I thought to myself. “What a cool idea.”*

Now that I’ve (or so it would seem) decided to start blogging again, I’ve been thinking of what a good long-term blogging project might be. And I think this is it. (Hypothetical) longtime readers can probably guess where this is going next, but for those new to these byways, Tosy and Cosh is a long-time, somewhat rabid, loyal-to-a-fault, die-hard U2 fan. So the notion of ranking every U2 song appeals.

As a matter of pure geekiness, I have long maintained a rough list of my 20 favorite U2 songs, both in various paper-based and digital forms and in my head. But it’s been a long while since I revisited that list, and some shake-up is due. Moreover, the idea of revisiting the entire U2 catalog really sits nicely with that small piece of me that craves order and gravitates towards completism. It’s a small part, and one I can usually fend off, but it’s there.

The other blogging project of note that got me thinking about this was this ongoing project by James Smythe at the Guardian to reread and comment on the entire Stephen King corpus, in chronological order of publication. In fact, I was sorely tempted to try to ape him and do my own walk back, but the scope of that reread just, frankly scared the crap out of me. That’s thousands and thousands of pages of King to read, and enjoyable as such a project would be, that’s a hell of a time commitment. Listening to all of U2’s songs, while not insubstantial, is more manageable.

So—a few notes about process, criteria, and other miscellany: 

·         I am considering U2 originals only. No “Satellite of Love.” No “Paint It Black.” No “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home).

·         Whenever I think of the notion of “best” lists I struggle with the distinction between “my favorites” and what I think objectively to be great. For example, my favorite film ever is The Shawshank Redemption. And yet I’ve no illusion that it is the “best film ever” b any reasonable objective yardstick. My solution here is to try and inject a fair bit of objectivity into the proceedings, and to acknowledge that some U2 songs I love are lesser than some great songs I’ve tired of or never hooked into as easily, but to basically admit defeat and acknowledge that this list will be largely “one U2 nerd’s opinion.”

·         My initial thought is to chunk these up into five-song posts, but we’ll see how that goes. I can’t pretend to any kind of rigid methodology here.

So that's it--the 2012-2013 "Big Project." I’m excited. Are you?**

Until Whenever

*I just Googled quickly to see if I could find that blog, but I’m getting a RED security warning when trying to go there, so we’ll leave that alone.

**You don’t have to be excited, really. “Mildly curious” will be great.

1 comment:

Roger Owen Green said...

I actually did a Beatles list myself, all the songs in the canon. (No Anthology stuff or Live at the BBC, and I didn't bother with the instrumentals from the movies.) It certainly became NOT the best songs, but rather a bizarre desert island ranking. So Yesterday, which is overplayed, fared less well than others. At the end I was exhausted by it. Here's the final post.