"It’s my fourth favourite service station…"

One of my favourite Rock Anecdotes is the story John Peel used to tell of running into Morrissey at a set of motorway services – I now forget which, Tebay perhaps? During the ensuing small talk, Moz made the radical observation that it was something like his fourth-favourite service station. Peel would round off the anecdote by expressing his astonishment that anyone would ever place service stations in an order of preference, and finish with the observation, “and I’m someone who likes to make lists.”

My appetite for making lists has deserted me a bit lately, which I’m broadly fairly happy about. Even more happily, however, Dan Paton‘s hasn’t, and if you click on that link (or find him on Facebook if you have the necessary friendship in place) you will find a lengthy list of pros and cons of 2007, dealing with art, politics, life and all that. Be warned, it may leave you weeping into your keyboard asking “what have I done with my year?!” Likewise, if you venture into Dan’s epic Top 100 Albums of the year, you will emerge convinced you know nothing about music, whatever you thought beforehand.

It’s an absorbing and thought-provoking list: the best bit is where he describes this blog as “more edifying and cogently argued than almost anything in print” – Gawd bless ‘im! Cheers Dan! He’s right of course, but, y’know, nice of him to say it.

If you want to know the difference between me and Dan, you’ll find his list has more Pros than Cons; if I were to embark on a similar exercise, I’m sure the balance would be tipped substantially in the opposite direction.

However, as I said, I have lost my yen for list-making: in 2006, I reviewed every new album I heard, but this year I gave up when I called it a day with the old website. Curiously, having either reviewed online, in a fanzine or on student radio pretty much every new record I’ve bought for the last, ooh, I dunno, eight years, I have been deserted by any sort of compulsion to do so any more. The overview article I had planned for this blog is now something I can’t even be bothered with – possibly because I think 2007 has been a bit underwhelming for music. I will, however, be putting up a review of the year’s telly shortly – if you find in it the answer to the tortured questioning of what you did with the year when reading Dan’s blog, you’ll be in good company.


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