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Laibach – Opus Dei (1987)

August 25, 2020

[Album 793/1001]

“A critically important step in understanding our own desires and tastes is to realize that we cannot always explain what we want, deep down.”
– Malcolm Gladwell, “Choice, Happiness, and Spaghetti Sauce” (Ted Talk)

Are you a Malcolm Gladwell fan?

His books are inevitably interesting and I was pleased to learn that his interviews & presentations are equally engaging.

In the Ted Talk below, he tells the story of Howard Moskowitz, a psycho-physicist that revolutionized the way people think about, among other things, spaghetti sauce.

For decades, when consumers / focus group participants were asked, “what do you want in a spaghetti sauce?” – nobody ever said, “Extra Chunky.”

So instead of asking people what they wanted, Moskowitz provided them with 45 (!) different varieties of spaghetti sauce & asked them to give each of the different sauces scores out of 100.

And as it turned out, 1/3 of participants gravitated to the ‘Extra Chunky’ options, even though those same participants would never have said so if he’d asked!



What do you want in a 1987 album?

If I were asked to complete a whole Document of survey questions on the topic, chances are, I’d end of saying something that sounds like R.E.M.

After all, what are the chances that I would have said that I want:

the genre of Martial Industrial?

grunting &/or chanting, often in German?

grandiose arrangements, often paired with a military feel?

But that’s part of the beauty of the 1001 list.220px-Opus_dei_album_cover

Like Howard Moskowitz’s range of 45 spaghetti sauces, the 1001 list provides me with a ridiculous breadth of musical options.

Also like someone doing a quick taste test of the 45 sauce variations, as a musical tourist on the 1001 list, by not sitting down and carefully contemplating each album for days at a time, I’m surely missing a lot of the complexity & context that makes each album significant.

Though while 59 minutes of Laibach’s Opus Dei is likely more than I need, it was interesting to learn that sometimes this sort of seemingly ‘not my cuppa’ music might actually be the kind of thing I want!


Verbalize the Positive

Speaking of 1987, the instrumental melody from The Great Seal feels like it could have been the theme song for the ’87 Canada Cup!

From → 1980s


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. 1987 | 1001albumsin10years
  2. 1988 | 1001albumsin10years

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