Originally Posted by deacongreg
Okay mrmusic. I think I understand you. But, I was not talking about sales either. But, its okay.
Real music, creativity, playing real instruments and reading music (no sampling back then) was the way of life. And, should still be. But, we know what we have now. Its amazing when you think about it, without the music we grew up on, what would our kids have to listen to now? Sure, not all forms of music are sampling and using computers and artificial means to reproduce music, but a lot are.
I`m afraid there is no legacy to be left with todays music, with very few exception.
First, let me clear up any mistaken identities. I think you were replying to narcoticprayer's comment, which was echoing part of mine. But I am mrmusic. Have been for years. License plates, multiple net identities, references from friends and foes alike. If you get confused here in the forum, check the accompanying icon. You shouldn't be able to forget that (much as you'd like). (And that was taken on one of my good days ...)
I agree with you about real instruments, and for the most part about reading music -- I know what you mean, but there are some outstanding musicians who don't read, esp some singers, who have incredible "ears" (like my wife, Diane Michelle -- but after almost 35 yrs of singing professionally, she's now learning to read). Unfortunately, such discussions tend to come across like crusty old coots of any era complaining, "Sonny, in my day ..." What I'm really mourning is the Death of the Album, a result of all the same technology you're bemoaning.
As far as legacies -- every single time the thought enters my head that all the great ones have come and gone, some kid or band pops up who amazes me and reminds me musical magnitude will always be with us. Just ... not as often, as you said. And we will never see another Jimi, Miles, John Lee Hooker, the Beatles, the Band, the Doors, the Dead, Love.
What would our kids have to listen to? Well, my 13-yr-old, pretty musically sophisticated, likes most of the music I do including all the great '60s stuff (I just helped her put up posters in her room of Jimi, Bob Marley, Zappa and Fats Domino), but she also turns me on to a lot of what's great today, and I have to say her hip friends network is far faster and wider-reaching than mine ever was. If she didn't have "my/our/'60s" music to listen to ... she'd probably listen to more Ella and Ellington, Robert Johnson and Cab Calloway, Screamin' Jay Hawkins and Professor Longhair, Liszt and Mozart.
Originally Posted by David DelGrosso
The original comment was that they "spiraled down the drain."
So my rebuttal still stands... for I've never seen a drain large enough to swallow up 120 million records!
Everyone has their own personal taste... but bashing Pop Superstars does not elevate your opinion above their millions of fans.
I don't dig the personalities of Mariah and Whitney, but it seems pretty lame to insist that their vocal skills are "bad."
And Celine and Garth are "as good as it gets" within their respective genres. Sure, I am more intrigued by the creativity of Dali, than Picasso... but I would never classify Picasso as a "bad" painter.
And few "artists" throughout time, have touched their fans more deeply than the Jackson 5 did.. or even Bon Jovi. But if you don't like their style of music... does that REALLY make it "bad" music??
There is a drain large enough to swallow up 120 million records, and gazillions more -- it's called popular culture. AM-FM radio. TV celebrity shows. Tabloid press. And its corporate masters feed an ignorant and lazy public a steady diet of platinum-selling, meritless eye and ear candy (under contract to them, of course) that feeds on itself, to the point where it becomes extremely difficult to even know good music exists. Sure, AVRev has 650,000 readers, and our music section offers 10 insightful, no-holds-barred reviews every issue, and our publisher Jerry Del Colliano throws in frequent music commentary that hits even harder, but where does that leave the other 6.2 billion people in the world? Listening to K-Earth or KROQ, watching ET, reading Star and People.
On one level, you're absolutely right: bashing Pop Superstars does not elevate my opinion above their millions of fans. I personally can't stand Barry Manilow. That's my opinion, or more accurately, my feeling. But if going to a Barry Manilow concert or buying the new Madonna disc makes your world a brighter place, I would never argue with that. Good for ya. Have a nice day. No, really.
(Now I'm using "you" in a general way, not about you, David.) I would never tell you your taste in music is worthless. To you, it's nirvana. But don't try to tell me it's art. Or even worthwhile on any meaningful value scale other than your personal one. If someone likes Chicago or Madonna or Zamfir or Gene Autry, if millions of people like them, that means ... millions of people like them. Not a damn thing more. It's a popularity contest, and they've won. But it has nothing -- nothing -- to do with artisitic merit. Every single person I've ever asked can name at least one performer who is or was immensely popular that they think stinks, be it Cher or Bruce, Coltrane or Dylan. Hell, Jerry doesn't like Dylan, or the Beatles that much.
So, either every single person who sings "Happy Birthday" (probably off-key -- most people do), on up to Pablo Casals, is completely equal as a musician, or, there is some way to determine relative artistic merit. I won't go into that discussion -- I've had it lots of times, and I come off sounding at first arrogant and self-important but if people stay with the discussion long enough they start to see what I'm getting at, but this post is already waaay too long (but I hope someone starts a new thread, or several!).
In areas I don't know much about, I look to the experts. I don't blindly agree with them, and I've learned to read between the lines, but if some guy has spent 30 yrs haunting galleries worldwide, after getting his masters from the Sorbonne in Fine Art Curating, and is trusted by the LA or NY Times to represent them day in and day out with opinions and reviews that are constantly nit-picked-over by every expert reader out there, I figure his opinions, based on an incredibly higher exposure to everything there is, are more valid than mine, based on my yearly visits to LACMA. If he insists something is great, inspired, and I don't see it, I'll look again.
I have no problem with you telling me that seeing Celine Dion in Las Vegas was one of the high points of your life. (OK, truth: I will shudder but try not to let a look of pity show on my face, and I'll try to hide the little bit of blood from biting my tongue so hard.) Just don't try to tell me she's a great artist. She's got a great instrument/voice, yes, as do Mariah and Whitney and even Michael Bolton. Great voices -- bad "vocal skills." Not a tenth of an ounce of soul in the four of them put together. I can and do admire a great instrument -- Kenny G can certainly play -- but when it's applied worthlessly or to worthless music, without soul, without evidence of some inspiration at work, it's a sad waste of talent. You may hear Bolton's version of "Georgia" back-to-back with Ray Charles' and really not be able to say one is better than the other. If so, it's because you haven't listened to enough of that kind of music to know what to listen for, or to have yardsticks of dozens or hundreds of other similar singers, or versions of that song, to measure by. That's understandable. Just don't try to tell me Bolton, or Whitney, or any others on that list of 100-million-selling "artists" I was "bashing" are worthy of carrying Ray Charles' dirty hanky. I say if Bolton's "Georgia" doesn't trigger immediate vertigo and nausea, you're just not paying attention.
Not liking a style of music has nothing to do with it. I, personally, am open to almost any style you could name, and a few you may not even don't know exist. That's not what makes it "bad" music; it's their performance of it that makes it bad.
Dali and Picasso were both geniuses, in my very uninformed opinion. I also used to favor Dali more (seeing "The Andalusian Dog" for the first time in film class in college was one of my standout educational moments, I remember seeing him on the Tonight Show, and a few hours I got to spend in the great museum in Tampa devoted to his work was amazing), until my wife taught me a little more about Picasso. I still don't know dick about fine art. I know what I like, I know what uplifts me, but I would never tell you it's quality stuff just because of that.
And please don't hate me more than I'm sure you now do, David, but I just can't let this one pass: "And Celine and Garth are 'as good as it gets' within their respective genres." I can't argue about Celine because I don't know what genre you would put her in, but I'm sure you would consider Garth "country," and all I can say is, I think you need to listen to a lot a lot a lot more country music. You will quickly discover Garth, though I give him credit for many skills and accomplishments, is not even within sniffing range of good, or even real country.
Originally Posted by narcoticprayer
I'm just saying that at a very specific point some of those 120 million records backed up the drain.
I kind of think that a thread entitled Today's Worst Bands is inteded for people to state their opinion in re music & the people who make it?
AND I'm not attempting to elevate my opinion by bashing 'pop superstars' I'm giving what to me is a 'valid opinion'. I respect yours, you love Chicago. Me, not so much anymore.
Each successive release from Chicago Transit Authority on wasn't as good as the one that preceded it.Terry Kath was the heart of the band. They continued to make successful music after he died but...
Everything from Hot Streets on smelled.
See, that's where the confusion came in, when narco took the "bashing pop stars" issue as his own. And Kevin -- my condolences for all that Chicago you so gallantly sat through. Much better to play Chicago I 38 times, than to sit through Chicago I through Chicago XXXVIII. Must be your wife you're talking about. No friend is worth that.
Originally Posted by David DelGrosso
Are you mrmusic?
Because my comment was in direct response to mrmusic's laundry list of Superstars who "aren't any good."DD
By the way, there are a few 100-million-selling Pop Superstars I don't bash:
Beatles, Creedence, Pavarotti, Stones, Zep, Floyd, U2, Dire Straits, Bruce, Fats Domino, Queen, Sinatra, AC/DC, Tommy James (kind of a guilty pleasure), and Elvis/Bowie/Beach Boys/Deep Purple/Who/Byrds/Stevie Wonder/Dolly/Prince/Duane Eddy/Tina/FMac/Rod Stewart because their sterling early output makes up for later missteps.