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Challenge: Disprove CM's Thesis

cheetahmaster posted this thesis on music of our generation. And I'm curious to see if it can be disproved. I think it probably can but I don't know exactly how or with what examples. (Note: I don't think you can or should take CM to task directly for the statement if you think it's wrong, let's just call it a statement that's hanging out there to be disproved.)

It's also hard to define greatest, in the sense that do you mean are they our generation's Elvis? Or our generation's Beatles, Led Zeppelin, or Rolling Stones? The latter of whose influence and greatness is probably widely debatable? [edit] And can our generation even have something seminal like that?

I am thinking of greatness in a sense of popularity + musical quality (or percieved musical quality based on critical repsonse) + staying power. And I don't listen to what people would consider "great" bands by those standards, so I have a hard time coming up with alternatives.

Anyways, discuss.



Jul. 7th, 2006 02:13 am (UTC)
I have no answer to this question. It means you have to limit yourself to a genre, a time period, and a sound. Do you mean what is the Top 40 band with the most staying power? Punk? Hip-Hop and Rap? R&B? Blues? What about Industrial and Techno? Goth? Goth punk?

According to Rolling Stone's Top 500 Albums of All Time (lives on a shelf in my living room for Instant Access) the highest rated album is, unsurprisingly, Nirvana's Nevermind. No album had so much impact on an entire generation as Nevermind. It blew hair bands off the charts. It brought in grunge. It influenced sound and TV and fashion. It saddled us with Pearl Jam. Nevermind has sold 8 million copies.

But the most influential album in our lives, our Generation X culture, and our world is easily Michael Jackson's Thriller. The title single sat at #1 for 37 weeks. Sure, it came out in 1982, but it influenced everyone when it came out.

The Joshua Tree shows up at #26 in the top 500 albums, and Achtung Baby is not too far behind. Most people agree that U2 is one of the 50 greatest artists/groups of all time. They're considered one of the "biggest' bands in the world. They have the most number of grammies. They've sold 170 million albums total.

I would say that U2 is one of the most marketable groups of all time. They certainly move albums. Most critics conclude that they are a landmark band. I'm not as convinced that U2 has had as much permenant impact on music as Nirvana had, though.

Jul. 7th, 2006 04:13 am (UTC)
I think we might be talking about rock and roll. But that was part of the question too, which is, what's the question?

I am not that fond of Nevermind, of course it did rock me at the time.

You make a fine point about whether U2 had an impact on music...