Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Amazon skewed logic in action

Because I bought series three of Monty Python's Flying Circus, Amazon.co.uk thinks I might like Punch the Clock by Elvis Costello (fine, if I'm right in thinking "Pills and Soap" is on that) and, eek, The 1954 British Hit Parade Volume 3. Would anyone in the world, ever, of any description, actually want to hear both those albums?

Because I own Mummer by XTC, it thinks I want to hear the Grateful Dead.

Because I own several Jennings books, it recommends Animals by Pink Floyd. I actually already like that album a lot - for me it's far and away their most-satisfying "post-weird" work - but why the equation? It's not as if "Another Brick in the Wall" and "The Happiest Days of Our Lives" (songs far more evocative of the mid-century prep school experience than Buckeridge's semi-socialist fantasy) are even on that album - I can only assume it's because of the probable truth that a great many people who ended up liking Floyd had begun their lives in the world Buckeridge painted as far rosier than it actually was.

At least Animals is a decent album. The same cannot be said for the multiple generations of shite it recommends if you bought the complete series of The Adventures of Black Beauty, from Love Thy Neighbour to Hannah Montana - someone needs to tell Amazon that it isn't just cholerically nostalgic 50-year-olds and horsey little girls (only now in a mid-Atlantic-type-way) who can recognise a great series when they see it. Or indeed that it isn't only horsey little girls who ride, or would if the weather that kept them out of London the one weekend they really, really needed to be there allowed them to.

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