I think of myself as someone who’s listened to a lot of records, at least within the segment of music I pay most attention to (1977-2000 Anglosphere indie.) But there are some weird holes. I have never listened to an album, all the way through, by:
- Sonic Youth
- Neutral Milk Hotel
- The Fall
These are meant to be in order from most to least surprising. I know one song by Radiohead (“Creep,” natch) sort of know one song by the Fall (“Prole Art Threat,”) have certainly heard a few songs by Sonic Youth but couldn’t hum one (except I know there’s one where the lyric “I don’t think so” is central) and I’m not sure I’ve ever heard a song by Neutral Milk Hotel.
If you define “album” to exclude best-ofs and singles comps, one must add to this list New Order, the Smiths, Squeeze, Elvis Costello, the Ramones, and quite possibly Prince (I know I own one of his mid-80s records on cassette, but I’m not sure I’ve listened to it.) And Joy Division, before I bought the box set. Really!
I don’t own a U2 album, but it’s unthinkable that I didn’t at some point in college I didn’t hear one in toto. I first listened to a Beck album (Odelay) last April. Also, the only Guns N Roses album I’ve listened to all the way through is their covers record, The Spaghetti Incident. Their version of “New Rose” is completely successful.
Share your own surprising rock lacunae in comments.