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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 12:05 pm
by Con Murphy
Charlie wrote:What about hip hop?


I thought about Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five when you started this, but I don't think the same personnel appeared on the three records that moved the genre further into the mainstream (...Wheels of Steel, The Message and White Lines) so the name was more of a brand really, wasn't it? Happy to be corrected on that.

I suppose many people would choose Public Enemy, but I was never a big fan myself. There's no doubting their impact though.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 1:27 pm
by Dayna
I think of MC Hammer. With what I heard in the 80s, he was the one that it started with (Hip Hop) any way. In my opinion, it never sounded like anything but noise after him.

The other 80s groups, I can think of all kinds.
I know what all my favorites are. I like the ones that were artistic & creative.
Gary Neuman I only know of one song by him though.
The Cars
Depeche Mode
Thomson Twins
Human League
I'll think of others. I'm sure

PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 2:45 pm
by Tom McPhillips
Gary Numan is an interesting choice, his first few records seemed to come completely out of left field, and as far as I could tell at the time it was something that was totally original to himself - I'm sure that you others more learned in the 80's than I am (it was a decade that I took off from "popular" music almost completely- so I know nuffin) will point to a whole realm of influences that I was never aware of. His biggest fan, Robert Palmer, was also someone whose work needs to be re-evaluated, despite his prominence at the pinnacle of 80's kitsch, I really think he pushed the envelope. Similarly, The Associates seemed to be seminal in creating something that became the club thing...

I know it's a realm that to this forum is anathema, but since we're talking about influence and origins and the West Coast, Iron Butterfly's Heavy sound really was the inception of Heavy Metal, a genre that despite its continuing dinosaur status still pervades. I wouldn't load the Canon with them though....

I'm no expert on Hip Hop, but LL Cool J seems to have been there at the outset, so I couldn't tell if he was in at the source or he was the result of others breaking the ground before him...

De La Soul and Public Enemy

PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 5:07 pm
by Rod B.
What about De La Soul? Yes, it would have to be on the basis of the one album Three Feet High and Rising, because sadly they have done little to match it since. But IMO it is the one hip hop album that can genuinely be described as a classic, it was the first hip hop CD I bought and still sounds great today. Obviously producer Prince Paul would have to go in as well, as he is as responsible for the sound of this CD as the group itself.

Also I would be one of those advocating Public Enemy for inclusion. There's a very strong case for arguing their impact on political hip hop and alternative rock worldwide - Free Hole Negro have recently cited them as an influence, for example. The album Nation of Millions… is still a great adrenalin rush – a fantastic soundtrack for running to!

Tom Waits

PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 6:30 pm
by Rod B.
On another track...

Howard wrote:

Tom Waits is nowhere else to be seen on the list and the early eighties was when he made his radical transformation from bar room balladeer to weird and wonderful sonic blacksmith, so if he doesn't get put in (I'd previously assumed he was there already) then I will want to know why!


I'm one of Tom Waits' biggest fans too, but I thought a requirement for inclusion to this canon was that the work of an artist had to have a major and beneficial impact on the music that followed. Off the top of my head I can't think of any artists that Tom Waits has influenced in a good way: those that cite him as an influence (remember Gomez, for example) just sound derivative by comparison.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 7:16 pm
by judith
howard male wrote:That's because the eighties were rubbish - end of story. Though I was too busy to actively seek out music to listen to during this scarily dreadful decade, the only things I remember listening to


It was horrible, particularly because I left New Orleans (oh the music) in the beginning of the decade, then lived for while in the only place I've ever been where heavy metal makes sense - L.A. (at last consensus, blamed as the purveyor of all things vapid which suck, now globally experienced as American Cultural Imperialism, which sucks) and when I look at the 80's in the canon, when it comes to media, I fondly remember watching on N.O. tv - Piano Players Hardly Ever Play Together. Beyond that, my memory bank's a mish-mash of alternative, 'ethnic', or classical radio stations, whatever lp's or tapes I had left after moving all over the country, and the music coming out of my son's bedroom.

Con Murphy wrote: I thought about Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five when you started this, but I don't think the same personnel appeared on the three records that moved the genre further into the mainstream (...Wheels of Steel, The Message and White Lines) so the name was more of a brand really, wasn't it? Happy to be corrected on that.


I think Grandmaster Flash should be in there too, without The Furious Five. They, I am told, were rappers who rapped with him for a bit so he'd have a broader appeal. What about:

Eric B & Rakim for all the reasons about influence
Run DMC - lots of firsts, first rap group to go gold
Melly Mel - first solo rap album
The Beastie Boys - tho they did tour with Madonna

PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 7:43 pm
by judith
Is there a reason Allen Toussaint isn't included? Dr.John?

PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 10:53 pm
by Charlie
judith wrote:Is there a reason Allen Toussaint isn't included? Dr.John?

There's no bigger fan of Allen than me, but this Canon is for people whose name is in the largest print on the label and front cover, whereas Allen has primarily been a writer-producer and doesn't qualify. I'd be glad to start a separate list for the backroom boys, in which he would be very high.

judith wrote:I think Grandmaster Flash should be in there too, without The Furious Five.?

Yes

Dayna wrote:MC Hammer
Gary Neuman
The Cars
Depeche Mode
Thomson Twins
Human League

The only one in this list who makes it for me is Gary Numan, who started out in the UK as the Tubeway Army with 'Are Friends Electric?'. Amazing sounds, great atmosphere.
Human League are borderline - they were innovators. But the guy couldn't sing! Does it matter? Over to Howard.

The rest of the list had good songs (sometimes) and I guess Depeche Mode were originals, but I wouldn't choose to play them on the radio...

howard male wrote:Tom Waits is nowhere else to be seen on the list and the early eighties was when he made his radical transformation from bar room balladeer to weird and wonderful sonic blacksmith, so if he doesn't get put in (I'd previously assumed he was there already) then I will want to know why!

For Rain Dogs, Tom gets the nod

PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 12:20 am
by Dayna
There have been a lot of 80s songs I've liked. That is true. There aren't really many that of those groups put out more than one or two great ones.
Devo has been a real favorite of mine & I have heard one of their albums. It seems like they've had several good songs that weren't always on the radio.

PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 5:55 pm
by Charlie
Dayna wrote:Devo ... had several good songs that weren't always on the radio.

Yes, Devo were originals. Their best ever record was the version of 'Satisfaction' released in the UK through Stiff.

When Devo signed to Warner, they recorded the song again. The new version didn't have the spark of the first, but is the one included on compilations, etc, so I don't know if the Stiff version ever made it to CD.

Anyway, Devo are on the subs bench for the 80s and might sneak in there. Lets see who the other contenders are.

By the way, the group's main writer Mark Mothersbaugh (not sure of the spelling) is a Hollywood score composer these days.

PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 9:03 pm
by gordonfmoore
Charlie wrote:Yes, Devo were originals. Their best ever record was the version of 'Satisfaction'


Hear hear, and I still have the original musicassette somewhere. What do you mean, you don't know what a musicassette is?

It was an article that was chewed up in tape recorders. :)

PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 11:02 pm
by Dayna
I have used cassettes for years, for taping things from the radio & I wore a lot of them out. It's good to know Devo has a chance. It always seems like my favorite songs are not what critics pick. I liked I Want To Be A Cowboy. LOL! I should look for a CD of theirs. I'd really love to hear more of what Gary Numan did. Guess I seem to go for things out in left field for some reason. Maybe it's why I like Mannheim Steamroller.
I am listening to a station right now playing all 80s for the weekend & am listening very intently.
Can you believe this? I thought I had heard every 80s song out there. But I haven't apparently. I just heard something by The Cure. I never heard them before. It was good anyway.

They played Gary Numan awhile ago. Boy, it gave me the shivers.
That song by Soft Cell. Tainted Love. Someone's using that & I hate what they're doing with it. One group that alos gives me chills, was one called Heat Wave.It was something they did with the bass guitar in their two songs.

PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 7:04 pm
by Dayna
Is it OK to suggest these?
Van Halen
Fleetwood Mac
Looking for groups from the 80s for this is not as easy as it seems. I thought I knew this music well, but I think my ears are being opened & I'm hearing things I wasn't hearing before.
I really liked the songs by Stray Cats a lot. too bad they didn't do more.

PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 7:41 pm
by howard male
Charlie wrote -

The only one in this list who makes it for me is Gary Numan, who started out in the UK as the Tubeway Army with 'Are Friends Electric?'. Amazing sounds, great atmosphere.
Human League are borderline - they were innovators. But the guy couldn't sing! Does it matter? Over to Howard.


Gary Numan was considered as a Bowie clone when he first appeared on the scene. The fact he couldn't sing is neither here nor there as his voice suited the music he made. The fact that he only made one decent record (as CG said: Are Friends Electric) is the issue. No one should be included in the Canon on the strength of one track.

Whether someone can sing (whatever that means - for Charlie it means having a certain technical finesse, power, and timbre. For me, character is more important) is irrelevant as far as the Human League are concerned because they were awful in every other respect too.

And in response to Des, in another strand, who mentioned The Smiths, Kate Bush, Joy Division etc, to argue the case for the 80's. Obviously it would be kind of weird if not a single artist produced a decent record in that painfully long decade, but the fact is fewer artists produced fewer decent records (by a long chalk) and most great artists produced their worst material in that decade.

Charlie wrote -

For Rain Dogs, Tom gets the nod


Although Rain Dogs is one of his masterpieces, Waits should be included because he is as important an artist as Dylan.

And talking of Dylan, Marcia and I just got back from checking out the Crystal Palace museum (our new neck of the woods) and in the entrance hall was a huge blown up black and white photo of some of the builders who built that extraordinary 19th Century building. The guy in the middle is the spitting image of a young Bob Dylan, even dressed as Dylan might dress. Normally if I say somebody looks like somebody else, Marcia will disagree, and vise versa, but in this instance we were in total agreement: so, Bob Dylan is a lot older than anyone ever imagined. Go look for yourself - the place is open every weekend until 4.30 pm and it's free.

PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 8:24 pm
by Con Murphy
howard male wrote:And in response to Des, in another strand, who mentioned The Smiths, Kate Bush, Joy Division etc, to argue the case for the 80's.


The best thing about the '80s is that they were so bereft* that they left a gaping creative hole that was filled by the roots music revival and emergence of what became World Music. In my humble opinion.




*I blame David Bowie. :-)