he Vatican has jumped into the always-controversial game of naming the Top 10 rock albums of all time. This "desert island" list, compiled by the official Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, starts with The Beatles — a relatively uncontroversial pick. But things quickly get interesting:
1. "Revolver" The Beatles
2. "If I Could Only Remember My Name" David Crosby
3. "The Dark Side of the Moon" Pink Floyd
4. "Rumours" Fleetwood Mac
5. "The Nightfly" Donald Fagen
6. "Thriller" Michael Jackson
7. "Graceland" Paul Simon
8. "Achtung Baby" U2
9. "(What's the Story) Morning Glory" Oasis
10. "Supernatural" Carlos Santana
What does this odd top 10 say about Pope Benedict's Vatican?
It's a solid, surprisingly liberal list: "I own all but one of the albums," says Carrie Quinlan in The Guardian. "And strangely, that doesn't trouble me." The list has some trippy, "ungodly" gems: David Crosby? He's "fathered children for a lesbian couple" and written about "an acid trip in Winchester Cathedral." Kudos to the Pope "for being a bit liberal."
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Is the Vatican run by hippies? The list's great if you're a "geezer rock–listening baby boomer," says Joe Carter in First Things. Crosby and Donald Fagen are only "desert island" picks if you're "stranded on an island with a bunch of hippies." Maybe the Pope is "trying to convince us that rock really is the devil’s music."
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Leaving off Dylan is a sin: The list is actually "a who's who of safe choices," says Ward Rubrecht in the Minneapolis City Pages. What's surprising is that the Pope "flipped the holy bird to Bob Dylan," saying that, while Dylan himself is great, the legions of navel-gazing artists he inspired have "harshly tested the ears and patience of listeners."
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The list's a farce: Get real — can anyone "really imagine [Pope Benedict] chilling to the stoney jams of Crosby?" asks Gustavo Turner in LA Weekly. The albums aren't "the Pope's Top 10," as some "lazy journalists" will tell you. It's just a "random list by some overworked, underpaid, MOJO-subscribing middle-aged Italian journalists." The pope's real playlist would lead with "something macabre by Bach."
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