The Vatican has prescribed the perfect iPod playlist for Catholics looking to spend their summer trailing between carefree rock festivals rather than scouring their soul on foot-lacerating pilgramages.
The playlist can safely be filed under Dad Rock, encompassing artistes from The Beatles, Pink Floyd and Fleetwood Mac, to Paul Simon, U2 and Oasis.
The list, published in Vatican freesheet Osservatore Romano, is noticeable for having no overtly religious leanings. While it does feature sometime Gloria singers U2, Bono is these days more famous for acting as if he is Jesus than for singing about him.
Of The Beatles' Revolver, the authors note that it marked the point of no return for contemporary pop music. David Crosby's If I could Only Remember My Name, is praised for its the hippy dreamy genius, in comparison with the self-destructive tendencies of 60s martyr in chief, Neil Young.
When describing Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon the writers say "beautiful" does not do it justice. They pooh-pooh some fans' claims that more experimental Floydisms are more deserving, saying the comparison with Ummagumma is "more or less the same one that distinguishes a sushi from a carbonara cooked to perfection".
The 80s is summed up by Donald Fagen's The Nightfly, Paul Simon's Graceland and Michael Jackson's Thriller.
The latter is a somewhat bizarre choice, as not only did the album flirt with supernatural themes, but Jackson was of course a well known... Jehovah's Witness.
The 90s are summed up by Oasis (What's The Story) Morning Glory?, U2's Achtung Baby and Santana's Supernatural.
The authors describe the Gallagher brothers as "to put it mildly working class" and claim that it remains their "masterpiece, never equalled even by the continued Gallagher fisticuffs".
The list could be seen as an embracing of modern culture by the Pope's cultural department. However, diehard Vatican watchers will note that it comes in February, well after the pre-Christmas splurge when the Pope himself and a trio of Irish priests were both vying for a slot in the CD albums chart. ®
That Vatican playlist in full
- The Beatles Revolver
- David Crosby If I Could Only Remember My Name
- Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon
- Fleetwood Mac Rumours
- Donald Fagen The Nightfly
- Michael Jackson Thriller
- Paul Simon Graceland
- U2 Achtung Baby
- Oasis (What's the Story) Morning Glory?
- Carlos Santana Supernatural