Or, as Ben put it himself (and I quote):

Take all the music performed by white people* in the last 50 years (i.e., since 1960). Now, suppose you are informed that you have a terrible choice you are forced to make. For the rest of your life, you will have to give up listening to either (1) music from North America (the United States and Canada) or (2) music from the British Isles (England, Ireland, Wales, and Scotland)**. My question is, which music would you choose to KEEP--North America or British Isles?*** Remember, you will NEVER be able to listen to one group of performers ever again....

* I am limiting this poll to white performers because if I included music performed by non-whites I'm pretty sure this would be an uninteresting landslide in favor of North America. So just to be clear, no matter what you choose, you can still listen to Rockwell.

Interestingly, however, assuming you could still listen to black music you could, for instance, discard the North American side of things and still get to listen to the blues and other related stuff. For the purposes of Hughesy's musings we'll be ignoring that proviso, at least in part.

** To be 100% clear: for purposes of this question, the origin of a given song/composition is determined by the nationality of the PERFORMER, not the songwriter/composer. So if you gave up British music, for example, you would still be able to listen to Linda Ronstadt's version of "Alison."

Another let-off, so that you could opt for Britain and still hear some of your favourite Randy Newman compositions. Again, I'm inclined to disregard that let-off as well.


As usual, this exceptionally intelligent group has wasted no time in spotting (so far) two very important ambiguities in the question. Here are my rulings:

1. If a band's core lineup includes citizens of both North America and the British Isles (the "Fleetwood Mac Scenario"), you will be able to listen to their music no matter what your choice.


B© Ian Hughes 2012