Showdown or snoozefest? It was an odd match up by BBC4 to pit Danny Baker with Jeremy Clarkson in an attempt to fight their way through some of the greatest albums ever made. Whilst Baker has the sort of indie reputation that makes him a darling for these sort of things, Top Gear presenter Clarkson isn’t really known for a sharp ear and a perceptive critique – not when it comes to music anyway. Surely there was going to be a bit of a lack of chemistry.
And so it proved. There was no showdown at all, just a rather tedious procession of Clarkson – as well as other guests, including Blur producer Stephen Street and music critic Kate Mossman – gave their opinions, unchallenged by Baker. Don’t get us wrong, Danny Baker is a most righteous fellow, but he didn’t bring that side of him to the table last night (February 5, 2013). The whole point of the program was to see which 12 albums would make it into the probably not that prestigious Showdown Dozen. Clarkson’s choice of Supetramp’s Crime Of The Century managed to cruise into the dozen, whilst Baker’s love of Frank Zappa saw two of his albums included.
All in all though? A disappointing show, with The Guardian concurring, writing “Where was the promised showdown? Having talked up the idea of the LP era as a heated debate between stoned music nerds over which was the best Led Zep track (Since I've Been Loving You, since you asked) or whether the Beatles were better than the Stones (definitely not),Danny Baker presided over one of the most polite discussions in television history.” Quite.