Five Minnesota albums deserving of a 33 1/3 book

Categories: Books
God Loves Slug, and perhaps so would 33 1/3 readers.
The 33 1/3 pitches are open again! For music obsessives, this long-running series of short books devoted to iconic albums has been a great resource for amusement and exhaustive reporting.

Two personal favorites from the series are Carl Wilson's tome about Celine Dion's Let's Talk About Love and Christopher Weingarten's take on Public Enemy's It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. But there are titles concerning the Beastie Boys, Fleetwood Mac, Radiohead, and a few with local ties. Prince's Sign "O" the Times  is explored by Michaelangelo Matos and the Replacements' Let it Be is explored by Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy. (And, Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited by Mark Polizzotti, we suppose.)

Now, they're taking some more proposals until April 30, and here are five Minnesota albums that would be a fascinating read.

5. Next - Rated Next (1997)
As Peter Scholtes wrote in 2000, "most white folks in our sticks-on-a-stick hadn't even heard of self-dubbed Minnesota "ghetto celebs" Next until well after their ode to dance-floor penile functionality, 'Too Close,' had gone up and down the charts for nearly a year." And yet, this non-Prince product was one of the biggest R&B hits of the late '90s, and a coveted Billboard Hot 100 number one. The very un-Googleable Next was discovered and propped up by another relic of the era, Naughty by Nature's producer Kay Gee and eventually had the backing of industry heavyweight Clive Davis. It would be fascinating to uncover how they erected their signature hit and career in the unlikely Twin Cities.

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1. Low: The Great Destroyer. The Duluth band dramatically changes their tune, finds a bigger audience, retreats from the bigger audience.

2. Husker Du: Zen Arcade. Seriously? 33 1/3 haven't done that yet? Get on it!

3. Jayhawks: Hollywood Town Hall. I've been meaning to learn about why everyone likes The Jayhawks so much. Reading this hypothetical book would be a good way to do that.

4. Monks: Black Monk Time. While not technically a Minnesota band, the story of a bunch of U.S. GI's in Germany making amazing proto-punk music while dressed like actual Monks is too good to pass up.

5. Howler: America Give Up. They could use a little more domestic press.

Reed Fischer
Reed Fischer

Great list. I considered putting the Jayhawks on this list, actually. I suspect that if you don't like the way they sound, though, a history is not going to help you that much.  

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