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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 1:06 pm
by Ian M
Maybe it is the dominance of the 'sixties' in the public imagination which makes people feel compelled to view music in chunks of decades, but i can't say it is helpful or tells you much. Do people talk about the fifties, for example, as if that encapsulates an era of music in any definable way?

If i think about the seventies I am inclined to think of hirsute men in denims, grimacing artistically as they crank out another interminable guitar solo, crafted no doubt as an essential part of their concept triple album. Or winsome singer songwriters regaling the world with their profound Californian philosophies.

Similarly if you view the eighties as the era of Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet you are missing most of everything interesting which went on then. The explosion of small indie labels in the aftermath of punk, the widening of what could constitute chart and popular music which laid the groundwork for the later rise of dance, electronica and world music genres, the inclusion of politics and the avant garde. there was loads happening for those whose interests lay outside of TOTP, as well as loads of good music.

Really do we care what supposedly 'major' artists were or were not doing? sounds rather like the 'great men' of history argument.

Actually the Human League made some good pop songs (no shame in that either). From their roots in the indie scene, on the Fast label (Being Boiled, Empire State Human) to chart success (Don't You Want Me is a good example of a very successful and memorable pop song, regardless of whether you like it or not). Human was a great song, ably produced by Jam and Lewis.

So really, I think you do music history a disservice by clinging to a rather cliched idea of what happened in the 80s, IMHO. Let's forget about this daft 'decades' conception of music.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 10:52 am
by howard male
b]Ian M wrote -[/b]

So really, I think you do music history a disservice by clinging to a rather cliched idea of what happened in the 80s, IMHO. Let's forget about this daft 'decades' conception of music.


You have a point, Ian, but I rather like the fact that music does seem to confine some of its major stylistic changes to fit into these ten year chunks, however irrational that obviously is.

The eighties in particular - Punk had fizzled out, and the new technology with its ghastly shiny keyboard sounds and primitive, clunky drum machines somehow dictated the kind of music made, as did the advance in the sound quality of digital effects units. Suddenly everyone could make their snare drum of vocals sound like they were recorded in an aircraft hanger, and so they did! Yes, there was the alternative of the Indy scene, but I personally didn't hear anything new there. Just a nostalgia for Punk and New Wave.

But somehow when the clock struck 1990, producers and musicians seemed to have got all that bombast and playing with new toys out of their system. Obviously new technology was still being used, but drum machines could now be programmed with more 'feel' and samples of real instruments replaced dodgy synth facsimiles of those instruments, making for a return to a more naturalistic sound.

PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 9:03 pm
by Dayna
Should I suggest anyone else for the 80s?
Like the Clash?

PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 9:28 pm
by gordonfmoore
The Clash oh yes, but to me they were 70's punk. However what Joe did with reggae is awesome. And so Reggae. Steel Pulse and Handsworth Revolution for me. But what about dub - King tubby. I once had an l.p. - a thing that got punctured by bouncing hypodermics I recall - of some seriously heavy hypnotic reggae type beat. I cannot recall who it was or the exact style, but it was trancelike in the quality of its bass and echo - if anyone could let me know of what the genre might be I'd be grateful. Burning Spear is a name that comes to mind, but I'm not sure. Have the Police been given an honourable mention, Roxanne was pretty cool when it first came out, Walking on the Moon too.

Just random thoughts...

PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 9:33 pm
by gordonfmoore
And whilst I'm ranting, why not the Blue Nile for the Canon. Go on argue with that.

PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 11:38 pm
by NormanD
Charlie wrote:...I would vote for the Searchers, incidentally, even though they only occasionally wrote their own songs. Their twelve-string jangle was the the precusor for the folk-rock of the Byrds, a vastly over-rated group... If The Byrds were in the Canon, I'd vote them out.
Digging up an old quote now, but I've been brooding on this one.

Firstly, a comparison with our own The Searchers is way off the mark. They may have popularised the 12-string electric jangly guitar, but they didn't originate that particular sound. They probably have Americans Jackie DeShannon (writer/performer) and Jack Nitzsche (producer/writer/arranger) to thank for doing the original singles - and creating much of the original sound - that The Searchers came to make their own. Yes, they were a good band, but were not originators.

The Byrds were a wonderful singles band, and a couple of their albums stand out as classic, especially "Sweethearts Of The Rodeo" which single-handedly invented the whole country rock genre (whatever we might think of what it became). And some of their singles were stunning, and still sound good on the radio: "8 Miles High" (with its attempt to musically emulate Coltrane and Shankar) and "So You Wanna Be A Rock&Roll Star?" (with Hugh Masekela's trumpet driving the song along).

Individually, many of The Byrds set off to do other things later, with a high level of musical significance. I may not especially like everything they did - Gram Parsons, Chris Hillman (The Eagles / Flying Burrito Bros), David Crosby (CSNY) - but I can't deny their influence on American music.

Norman

PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 1:28 pm
by Gordon Neill
I'm right behind Normand on the Byrds thing. I know that a fair bit of their success was built on Dylan and Ecclesiastes covers (now how many pop stars can say that, eh?). But they also wrote loads of excellent songs themselves. Also, Gene Clark's 'The Fantastic Expedition of Dillard & Clark' (1968) may well be the greatest person-who-used-to-be-in-a-famous-band-but-left solo album ever.

As I say, I'm right behind Normand. So if anyone disagrees, could they have a pop at him first?

I'm still working on the 80s

PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 3:48 pm
by Dayna
I was wondering if you'd think these two belong here?

Steve Winwood
Billy Idol
They're both original in the sound of the music & had more than one good one.

PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 4:12 pm
by Adam Blake
I think Stevie Winwood did his best work in the 60s - and Billy Idol is not really a master musician to my knowledge.

PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 5:53 pm
by Dominic
Adam Blake wrote:I think Stevie Winwood did his best work in the 60s - and Billy Idol is not really a master musician to my knowledge.

I like Nouvelle Vague's version of Dancing With Myself, though.

PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 11:20 pm
by Adam Blake
I like Nouvelle Vague's version of "Too Drunk To Fuck"... Is it off the same album?

PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 4:23 pm
by Dominic
Adam Blake wrote:I like Nouvelle Vague's version of "Too Drunk To Fuck"... Is it off the same album?

No, that's off the first one, which I can't play in the shop because of that one song. They used it on Trust Me, I'm A Holiday Rep last week.

wots in a name?

PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 10:14 pm
by ritchie
I can't be arsed to scroll through to find out where the list is so in the words of the late Fred ( the butcher and pub owner in Coronation street ...you know Ashley's dad) now then, a say a say I'll say this only once Cat Stevens, you know what i'm saying if anyone should be in it's him Cat Stevens i say...the cassius clay of music...,

PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 10:28 pm
by gordonfmoore
Ohhh you mean Yusif Islam also known as Steven Demetre Georgiou...well known for his hits, Mourning has got slightly damaged, Sun in the blazing sunlight and Father and sons and sons and uncles and brothers-in-law.

Who is he?

Apparently the Americans feel he is an international terrorist ...and with hits like his, they are probably right.

No, John, I'm only joking...btw Dayna, this isn't irony this is just fatuous nonsense,

heyup Ritchie! :)

PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2006 10:56 pm
by Dayna
I wondered what you think of B52s? Do you think they were good?