Tag Archives: Lists

Best films of 1935

1. The 39 Steps (Alfred Hitchcock) 2. Alice Adams (George Stevens 3. Bride of Frankenstein (James Whale) 4. Sylvia Scarlett (George Cukor) 5. The Devil is a Woman (Josef von Sternberg) 6. A Night at the Opera (Sam Wood) 7. … Continue reading

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Like Sunday morning: the best of Lionel Richie and the Commodores

No late twentieth century popular icon has suffered vacillations in critical ardor as severely as Lionel Richie. As singer and songwriter for the mildly funky Commodores, he showed far more interest in balladry and, interestingly, a polished studio kind of … Continue reading

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Giving the world some bonhomie: the best of August Darnell

Among the wittiest of songwriters and producers, Augie Darnell cut quite a figure in Koch-era New York, combining punk and commercial disco with one hand and guiding a throwback combo called Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band with the other. For … Continue reading

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I got to let it show: the best of Nile Rodgers

Glancing at 1986 at random, Nile Rodgers looks busier than a Reagan staffer: Grace Jones, Duran Duran, Laurie Anderson, and Philip Bailey alone. At a cost, of course, according to his memoir — 1986 strikes me as Peak Cocaine in … Continue reading

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Whisper secrets to the wind: the best of Roy Orbison

In his last decade Roy Orbison wrote and recorded at a pace as furious as Thomas Hardy. This time he had help. What a thrill — the entire record industry wanted his comeback in 1988; Little Richard didn’t get this … Continue reading

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Foolish pride is all that I have left: the best of Dionne Warwick

The vessel through which Burt Bacharach and Hal David transmitted their subtlest ruminations, Dionne Warwick has been there/not-there for so long that compiling her is easy. Her last Hot 100 top forty entry was a duet with Jeffrey Osborne. At … Continue reading

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Best films of 1936

1. Modern Times (Charlie Chaplin) 2. A Day in the Country (Jean Renoir) 3. My Man Godfrey (Gregory La Cava) 4. Sabotage (Alfred Hitchcock) 5. Fury (Fritz Lang) 6. Dodsworth (William Wyler) 7. Come and Get It (Howard Hawks/William Wyler) … Continue reading

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There, that’s the problem: the best of LCD Soundysystem

How fitting that James Murphy released his last album in 2010, for LCD Soundsystem lives in a climate-controlled space where college students and post grads, downloading songs onto their new smartphones, got excited about voting for Barack Obama. To say … Continue reading

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Journeyman: Best of Steve Lillywhite

Growing up in the eighties and nineties, spotting Steve Lillywhite’s name in the credits bespoke an aural signature: whether you recorded severe Eno-influenced synth pop like Ultravox, a punk fellow traveler with a histrionic bent like Peter Gabriel, or an … Continue reading

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You be swingin’ like you just didn’t care: best of Aerosmith

If Mick Jagger is the squirmin’ dog who’s just had her day, then Steve Tyler is the reggae woman boogying on, crossin’ the bridge to his sweet sassafrassy. No American front man had his gift for words syncopated to rhythms … Continue reading

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Harboring no illusions and worldly wise: the best of Marshall Crenshaw

Blessed with a voice and songs as clean as his Stratocaster, Marshall Crenshaw has been writing good songs since the early Reagan administration (!) without ever realizing a pay day as a song doctor. Why isn’t he in Nashville? Give … Continue reading

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Some hearts have the stars on their side: best of Diane Warren

With a career that spans from Milli Vanilli and Taylor Dayne to Gaga and Aerosmith, Diane Warren has a decent memoir in her if she writes better prose than lyrics. “Meanwhile, her discography and stylistic scope as a writer is … Continue reading

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