I recently learned that a good way to get peeps' attention is to call someone or something "the world's greatest". Like, when I reviewed Jeff Beck's Vancouver concert last month and proclaimed him "the world's greatest rock guitarist", it caused quite a commotion in the comments section.
Most folks felt that Beck was certainly awesome, but that there is no "greatest", and that it's futile to compare the world's most revered players. Then you had one opinionated regular--let's call him Sleeps for short--who was adamant that there is indeed a "world's greatest rock guitarist", but that his name is Keith Richards.
This Sleeps character went so far as to suggest that Jeff Beck was a wanker, and that his fans were pud-pullers as well. Those Keef freaks are a testy bunch when you get 'em riled.
Pleased by the controversy that my "world's greatest" headline garnered, I eagerly awaited another opportunity to stir the pot, and I got it today with the release of a boxed set edition of the world's greatest rock album, The Who's Quadrophenia. You'll notice I left out the quotation marks that time.
You got a problem with that, Sleeps? You gonna leave one of your withering comments, declaring that the Stones' Exile on Main Street really deserves that title, and that all Quadrophenia devotees are currently burping the worm? Teasing the weasel? Punchin' the Munchkin? (I watched The Wizard of Oz recently.)
So what if we are? We've got good reason to be ecstatic. I'll let the Universal Music Canada press release explain why:
The box set gives a unique insight into the creation of this landmark album and will feature a remaster of the original double album, Pete Townshend’s previously unheard demos including songs that didn’t make it onto the original album, an exclusive eight-track 5.1 sound DVD, a deluxe hardback book, previously unseen personal notes, photographs, memorabilia and other exclusive material...
That's good enough for me. I'm not even gonna bother trying to explain what it is about Quadrophenia that makes me love it so much. It's just the world's greatest rock album. Balk amongst yourselves.
Oh, by the way, have you seen the world's greatest movie yet? It's called The Big Lebowski.