Tangents on pop books: I agree that Gary Mulholland’s book looks like a waste of time and money but the problem seems to be that he’s got nothing much to say about any of the records he selects, not that they’re obvious choices (though they are) or that he’s too middlebrow or populist. Mulholland signally fails to do what Alistair Fitchett effortlessly manages in the second review here – make you want to get your paws on the artefact in question (45 RPM, ed.Spencer Drate). I see where Fitchett’s coming from with the Mulholland – what bugs me is how the book presents commercial-alternative taste as a finished product, not (as all taste is) a work in progress. But stuff like this is missing a point: “I find it vaguely irritating, ingratiating and, well, rather pointless trying to make out that singles by, say, Josef K and Take That are in any way connected other than through a shared medium” – but they are connected, in you-the-listener’s head. What you do with that connection – smooth over the differences or try and strike sparks from them – is surely the point.