Thursday, March 20, 2008

Entertainment Weekly: Indier than thou (well, than Q, anyway)

Entertainment Weekly - who, frankly, wouldn't have been our first choice for advice on life beyond the mainstream - have compiled a list of the best independent releases, one each, for the last 25 years. Apparently, EW loves its indie:

Why do we love indie rock? Because it shuns everything that is prefab, safe, typical. It's about freedom, expression, passion — no rules, man!

No rules, man. Oh, lord.

It's not actually a bad list:

1984: The Replacements - Let It Be
1985: The Smiths - Meat Is Murder
1986: R.E.M. - Life's Rich Pageant
1987: Dinosaur Jr. - You're Living All Over Me
1988: Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation
1989: The Pixies - Doolittle
1990: Fugazi - Repeater
1991: My Bloody Valentine - Loveless
1992: Pavement - Slanted and Enchanted
1993: Built To Spill - Ultimate Alternative Wavers
1994: Guided By Voices - Bee Thousand
1995: Archers Of Loaf - Vee Vee
1996: Belle And Sebastian - If You're Feeling Sinister
1997: Modest Mouse - Lonesome Crowded West
1998: Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
1999: Sleater-Kinney - The Hot Rock
2000: Yo La Tengo - And then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out
2001: The Shins - Oh, Inverted World
2002: Interpol - Turn on the Bright Lights
2003: The White Stripes - Elephant
2004: Arcade Fire- Funeral
2005: Bright Eyes - I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning
2006: The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America
2007: Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
2008: Radiohead - In Rainbows

[listing assembled by Stereogum], but you can sort-of spot the point where indie went so mainstream that EW started to actually notice it, around the start of the century and thus were able to move from picking actually respected albums to ones that achieved enough commercial success to have been plausible subjects for their magazine. Were EW really dedicating much page space to Fugazi in 1990?