NME decides Dizzee Rascal ‘greater’ than Beatles : Fergal Kinney disagrees
NME decides Dizzee Rascal ”Ëgreater’ than Beatles
In this week’s NME, in a list designed to judge the 100 best recordings released during its own lifetime (1952-present), the NME asserted that Dizzee Rascal’s 2003 hit ”ËFix Up Look Sharp’ is the ninth greatest recording of the last sixty years. Such lists can often be stultifyingly predictable and there’s merit to the madness of throwing a curveball in, but is ”ËFix Up Look Sharp’ by Dizzee Rascal really a wise track to deem in the top ten songs recorded since the inception of rock’n’roll to now? Was ”ËFix Up Look Sharp’ even one of the top ten tracks of its own year of release?
In citing ”ËFix Up Look Sharp’ as the ninth greatest release since 1952, the NME are making what can be described in the mildest of terms as a massive statement, and are quite knowingly declaring ”ËFix Up Look Sharp’ as greater than ANY offering from the Beatles, Elvis, Motown, Bob Dylan, and all of the usual suspects and whichever unusual suspects you want to add yourself. Of course, one cannot and should not downplay the significance of ”ËFix Up Look Sharp’ on breaking the UK grime scene to a new audience and doing great things for British rap ”â but to be seven rungs of the ladder above the list’s first whiff of the Sex Pistols? Even the choice of ”ËLove Will Tear Us Apart’ as the best song of the last 60 years will certainly raise a few eyebrows, and the idea that ”ËA Day in the Life’ is the greatest Beatles song and ”ËWonderwall’ the greatest Oasis song is dubious.
Obviously there will be many who will celebrate the NME’s inclusion of ”ËFix Up Look Sharp’ into the canon of all-time greats ”â usually the stomping ground of ones Dylan’s, Beatles’, Stones’ etc ”â but many have been quick to criticise the NME’s inclusion of ”ËFix Up Look Sharp’ smacks of a misguided ”Ëright-on’ culture often seen as typical of the NME.
Are these kind of lists ever a wise idea? The wholly subjective nature of music firstly makes such lists redundant, and secondly leaves the list in question either dull or completely disagreeable. Similarly, how does one define ”Ëgreatness’ anyway, let alone rank those who espouse it? This writer would see it as some sort of vague term to describe the crossover between musical merit and sheer size and impact.
The full top 100 is published in this week’s NME but the top 20 is:
1. Joy Division ”â ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’
2. Pulp ”â ‘Common People’
3. David Bowie ”â ‘Heroes’
4. The Beach Boys ”â ‘Good Vibratons’
5. New Order ”â ‘Blue Monday’
6. The Stone Roses ”â ‘She Bangs The Drums’
7. The Smiths ”â ‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’
8. The Specials ”â ‘Ghost Town’
9. Dizzee Rascal ”â ‘Fix Up, Look Sharp’
10. Oasis ”â ‘Wonderwall’
11. The Rolling Stones ”â ‘Sympathy For The Devil’
12. The Ronettes ”â ‘Be My Baby’
13. Michael Jackson ”â ‘Billie Jean’
14. Sex Pistols ”â ‘God Save The Queen’
15. The Beatles ”â ‘A Day In The Life’
16. The Cure ”â ‘Boys Don’t Cry’
17. Bob Dylan ”â ‘Like A Rolling Stone’
18. The Beach Boys ”â ‘God Only Knows’
19. Madonna ”â ‘Like A Prayer’
20. The Stone Roses ”â ‘I Am The Resurrection’
What do you think? Are the NME spot on in their decision? Were they merely putting a cat amongst the pigeons and instigating a debate on the essence of ”Ëgreatness’? Is the insinuation that anything by Dizzee Rascal is greater than any of Elvis’ seminal records foolish or even downright blasphemy? And if the Beatles were bigger than Jesus”Â¦.where does this leave Dizzee Rascal?