This is a book for those of us who have the Beatles next to Beethoven on our CD shelves, maybe with Sidney Bechet and Beck in between.
Tom Moon made his name as a pop music critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Rolling Stone, NPR and other outlets. But his new book, 1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die, reveals the mind of a pure music fan who likes anything, as long as it’s good.
That’s a profile a lot of music fans like to have. But most of us have some holes in our passion, often “I hate country” or “that rap crap.”
With Moon, it is hard to find any holes.
Modern classical music?
There’s Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians, along with discs of Elliott Carter, Charles Ives and others.
He’s got yer Bill Monroe, along with yer Flatt & Scruggs and deeper cuts.
Maybe the most impressive thing about Moon’s selections is his command of a wide swath of world music, pulling in favorites from around the globe.
But what really makes the book indispensable is the writing. Moon is a critic at the top of his game, intricately exploring what makes these greats great.