The Vatican’s Desert Island Discs

You’ll find bands like Pink Floyd, The Beatles and even Oasis on the Vatican’s list of “pop milestones.” But don’t look for anything by Bob Dylan. Details after the jump.

Saying Europe is facing a somewhat lackluster music festival season, Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano released a list of classic albums that matter, according to the Times of London.

Who’s on the list? Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon made the cut, as did U2’s Actung Baby and The Beatles’ Revolver, which the newspaper described as a “point of no return in contemporary pop music.”

Photo: AP Photo
The band’s historic return at London’s Hyde Park during Live 8.

The Beatles inclusion is especially noteworthy because of the controversy caused by John Lennon when he said during a 1966 interview that the band was “more popular than Jesus.” The newspaper recently forgave those remarks, describing Lennon’s words as “merely like the boasting of an English, working-class lad struggling to cope with unexpected success.”

L’Osservatore Romano also liked Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, calling it a “fascinating musical soap opera” which, in retrospect, could have described not only the album but also the band at that time.

Surprisingly, Michael Jackson’s mega-hit, Thriller, made the Vatican’s list of musical benchmarks even though the video for the title track depicted the King of Pop dancing with zombies.

The paper even stood up for Oasis, calling the Gallagher Brothers “enfants terribles of the working class,” and described the band’s 1995 album – (What’s The Story) Morning Glory – as a “jewel produced by torment.”

Photo: AP Photo
Oasis’ Gem Archer and Noel Gallagher share an unplugged moment at L.A.’s Wadsworth Theater.

The paper also hailed Santana’s Supernatural, saying guitarist Carlos was “the only member of the Woodstock generation still at the top.”

But don’t expect anything by Bob Dylan The newspaper cited more than one reason for keeping him off the list, saying he “had turned Messianic” after converting to Christianity, and that he had written “three-note songs” that “tried the ears and patience of listeners.”

Also not on the list is Pope Benedict XVI, who sang on an album titled Alma Mater – Music From The Vatican. While the album isn’t along the lines of Dark Side Of The Moon or Rumours it does have its fans, resulting in the Pontiff’s nomination for a Classic Brit Award.

According to the Times, L’Osservatore Romano began taking a more contemporary approach two years ago after Gian Maria Vian took over as editor.

The paper praised TV animated sit-com “The Simpsons” on the program’s 20th anniversary saying it is a “mirror of the indifference and the need that modern man feels toward faith,” and even offered up some love for JK Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” saying the novel depicts “the eternal battle between good and evil.”

Click here to read the complete Times article.