Thursday, February 18, 2010


In a recent issue of its newsletter, L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican, not unlike countless entertainment organizations before it, released its "Top 10 Albums of All Time" list. More shocking than what made the list, perhaps, is what was omitted. Where is the Benedictine Monks' classic "Chant", or good ol' what's-her-name's album with that song "One of Us?" (I can't restrain myself from commenting that, if God really were one of us, he'd give Joan Osborne a copy of Strunk and White).

But seriously, folks, this is the motherfucking Vatican we're talking about, and what they say is holy decree for a lot of folks. So let's take a look-see at what the world's smallest country with the world's biggest dick thinks are the best tunes in history...

#10 Carlos Santans - Supernatural

LAME! Listen, Santana had his time and place, and it was 1970 in a bong smoke-filled Persian pillow lounge. But it's been a while since then, and now Santana apparently has terrible taste in music. 'Member the single from this album? The one with Rob Thomas singing about, " Spanish Harlem Mona Lisa"? Just terrible.

#9 Oasis - (What's the Story) Morning Glory?

BULLSHITE! Back in the mid 90s I kinda fell for it all. I lamented Kurt's death, I held on to Pearl Jam as tight as I could, and I cringed as Smashing Pumpkins, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Pavement, NIN, and whatever Perry Farrell was doing kind of fell apart at the seams or got boring. Dark times for us all. But I never bought into Oasis because, I mean, fuck Oasis. Feuding, egocentric brothers making played-out, overblown Brit pop? I can't believe this album made the list and Richard D. James Album and Odelay, released at about the same time, didn't. Pope ain't got no freaky groove. Tyler Perry should write a terrible movie about it.

#8 U2 - Achtung Baby

NOPE! I like "New Year's Day", but aside from that, I think U2 has amounted to a dumpster full of turd. They seem to have made quite a name for themselves, and I'm told that Bono is very active in politics, so perhaps they deserve a begrudged footnote of semi-significance. But are they truly worthy of the Pope's official finger-wiggle of approval? Eff no!

#7 Paul Simon - Graceland

FUCK YEAH! This proves that there's at least one chill bishop on the Pope's "appropriate music finding" committee. From "I Know What I Know" to "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes" to "You Can Call Me Al" to "The Boy in the Bubble", and featuring throughout the indispensable vocals of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, this album was the best soundtrack to 1985-1990 that a boy could hope for. A+, Vatican.

#6 Michael Jackson - Thriller

Really, Vatican? Didn't any of your guys see the "Thriller" video? Do you guys even get MTV there? Or the internet? Well Michael Jackson ain't the most Bible-abiding figurehead you could have chosen. It's called homework, guys.

#5 Donald Fagen - The Nightfly

Never heard of him, so I looked him up. Used to be in Steely Dan. Eh. I watched a video on Youtube, and it astonished me that the Vatican would endorse an artist whose videos display such drunkenness and promiscuity.

Could this whole list be the handiwork of a wayward intern at the Vatican, overworked, underpaid, and weak of faith? It would certainly seem so. And the best is yet to come.

#4 Fleetwood Mac - Rumours

I can't for the life of me figure out why the Vatican would have picked this gem of youthful rebellion, but they did. And I give them an A+++! Ponder this lyrical nugget: "Won't you lay me down in the tall grass and let me do my stuff?" Uh, I dunno, Stevie Nicks, because I have no fucking idea what you're talking about. Cocaine? Are you talking about cocaine? Whatever, hippie. But the songs really are quite pretty, so I give it an enthusiastic thumbs up.

#3 Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon

Are you fucking kidding me?!? The Vatican chose Dark Side to be number three on its top ten? Aside from being the most overrated band in history, Pink Floyd stood to many as the antithesis of the Catholic Church. If they'd picked a Syd Barrett album I'd be whistling a different tune, cause at least he knew how to cram some unhinged, ramshackle spirituality into his jams. But Pink Floyd was soaking in bathtubs full of LSD and ego splooge when they made this shit. It's really, really bizarre that this album made the Vatican's top 3. If they were trying to perhaps improve their image by selecting a seemingly rebellious and psychedelic album, they could have aimed much higher. Even within Pink Floyd's tepid catalogue there exist better, and more spiritual, albums (see: Wall, The). I'm guessing some under-cleric chose this album based on the cover art alone.

#2 David Crosby - If I Could Only Remember My Name

I'm glad to see good old "Crack Pipe" Crosby showed up on this list. Nothing says "I support the Vatican's values" more than the exact opposite of everything about David Crosby. Drug addiction, weapons charges, abandoned children. The only role I could picture David Crosby playing in any sort of Catholic pedagogy is if he were to appear as the comedic, faithless "Goofus" in amusing contrast to a pious, upstanding "Gallant". He impregnated Melissa Etheridge's girlfriend twice, on purpose. It was on the cover of Rolling Stone, which made a lot of people (me) incredibly uncomfortable and unhorny. But whatever, because the Vatican's number one fucking album of all time is...

#1 The Beatles - Revolver

AND WE HAVE A WINNER! There's not a single disparaging thing I can bring myself to say about this record. "Tomorrow Never Knows", "Eleanor Rigby", "Love You To", "She Said She Said". Masterpieces, all. But, once again, we must ponder whether the Vatican knew exactly what it was doing when it endorsed Revolver as "the greatest album of all time". It is on this very album that John Lennon tells us to "make love all day long", and paints the picture of a lonely old church lady and the dottering Father McKenzie who prays for her fruitlessly. Not the most pro-Catholic jingle out there. This album also served as in undeniable milestone in the integration of New Left ideals into mainstream American culture. Albums like this and their cultural impact, it could be argued, have damaged the power of the Vatican just as much as certain rival religious organizations, or even a string of scandals.

In conclusion, this list is very real and is fucked up. I'm bewildered, and have nothing more to offer than that. Thoughts?


CF Edley said...

One billion people plus god agree.

Dap said...


Andrew said...

I'd really like to know more about the narrowing-down process involved in formulating this list. What albums barely made the top 10? And, seriously, what set of guidelines were they using here? Catholic Church, I will never understand you.

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