Machine head

I saw that Amazon’s chief technology officer, Werner Vogels, has picked up on the album-a-year meme over at his blog. It seems to me that a guy who’s running a heavy-metal utility computing operation should be a serious headbanger, and Vogels, I’m relieved to say, does not disappoint. Fresh Cream, Live at Leeds, Back in Black, Raising Hell, Appetite for Destruction, Nevermind, Rage Against the Machine: yeah, you bet your ass I’d entrust my mission-critical data and apps to this guy. I mean, he even ranks Made in Japan, that ridiculous double-record Deep Purple live album with the 20-minute version of Space Truckin’, as the best LP of ’72. I have to admit that I got a little nervous when I saw The Eagles’ Hotel California in the 1976 slot, but seeing as it’s squeezed between two massive testosterone fests – Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti and the Stranglers’ Rattus Norvegicus – I’m just going to write it off as a momentary lapse. Hell, ’76 was a tough year for a lot of us.

7 thoughts on “Machine head

  1. David Evans

    1976 was a tough year for me too, but mainly due to teething problems – literally, not metaphorically. And speaking as one of the MTV generation, generation x or, like, whatever dude, I don’t have the attention span to work out a list of stuff that long. I’d probably put in ‘…Baby One More Time’ by Ms.Spears just to be, like, ironic. I can also play ‘The Zep’s’ Stairway on a guitar, but without ever having heard the original (that’s the effect of Wayne’s World I’m afraid, but at least I’ve heard of them).

    Just one question, like…who are all these bands you and Werner have in your list? The Beatles? Yeah right, you’re making that stuff up.

  2. grizzly marmot

    You can always tell when someone is having a birthday with a nice round number – and that’s to both of you.

  3. friarminor

    Seeing the Clash’s London calling and U2 is ’nuff for me to give WV a thumb’s up! Would have preferred War over Under Bloody Red Sky but it’s immaterial.

    Will give it a thought though still not having that big round number birthday.



  4. Linuxguru1968


    >> … I got a little nervous when I saw

    >> The Eagles’ Hotel California in the 1976 slot

    Perplexed? Not surprising. Perhaps there was a little voodoo there? At church they told us that there was a subliminal image of Satan in the background of the album photo. Years later I read an interview with Joe Walsh who when to great pains to say that there was no satanic link in the album …still it was a little spooky.

  5. Werner

    Well, what can I say in my defense of the 1976 choice? Some albums you have an emotional bond with, more than a musical one. 1976 was the year I finished high school and for some reason there were lots of memorable experiences that year with this album in the background :-)

  6. Torrefaction

    You know what’s a little funny to me? All of the best techs I’ve ever met listen to metal, or at least hard rock. At first I thought it was coincidental because of a small sampling size. But the truth is that I’ve seen it happen consistently during my 8 years in the industry. Maybe it’s just confirmation bias though.

  7. Mike

    Hotel California, as it turns out, was the top-rated song in PJA/ITtoolbox’s survey of global IT professionals. Glad to see we weren’t totally off base.

    Here is the top-10 playlist:

    1. Hotel California

    2. Summer of 69 (Bryan Adams)

    3. Stairway to Heaven

    4. Layla

    5. Nothing Else Matters – Metallica

    6. Viva La Vida (Cold Play)

    7. Clocks (Cold Play)

    8. Comfortably Numb – Pink Floyd

    9. Imagine

    10. Back in Black- AC/DC

    The link to survey results:

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