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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 12:45 pm (UTC)
For me, music is such a personal thing that "greatness" really only has meaning to me on a gut level. I note that in your post you state the Rolling Stones' greatness and influence are "debatable" but I suspect that is a personal preference coming through? There's not a thing wrong with that! It's just part of my point, that how I respond personally to a band is the main thing for me. The Stones' influence culturally is vast. Musically, I'm probably not knowledgeable enough to know. To me the main thing the Stones did was help reawaken interest in what had gone before - the blues artists of a previous generation that otherwise might have gone into obscurity.

U2 appeals to me on the gut level, greatly. Their songs can make me cry and shake with rage. If I try to step back, however, I think their longlasting influence will be on the culture. They did not break new musical ground the way that Nirvana did. But they are imprinted in the minds, hearts, and guts of our generation, I think. From the overplayed hits from Joshua Tree to the images from LiveAid to Bono's wailed "Well tonight thank God it's them instead of you," I think they are just a force in music and will be drawing stadium crowds into their 60s if they want to, just like Mick and the boys.

I will also add that the one U2 concert I attended was the closest thing to a religious experience I can easily describe.
Jul. 7th, 2006 02:11 pm (UTC)
This is interesting, because I was just about to comment that I didn't know anyone to whom U2 is a personally important band, unlike, say, Pearl Jam, which someone mentioned above. I know several people who are to some extent "obsessed" with Pearl Jam, travel to see their shows, collect bootlegs, etc. I don't really know anyone for whom U2 is that important. I've always seen them as a great radio band that everyone likes but few people (aside from critics) really love.

I have to agree about the influence of the Stones, too. I am not a big fan of theirs, but like the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and even the Velvet Underground, they made a real impression on the music that followed.

Also, Kim is obviously waiting for me to jump in and say "Rush", so I will. :) I don't think I can really make a case for them being as big as the Beatles, or even them being a band of "my/our generation", but they have certainly sold a lot of records over the past 30 years. Also, unlike the Rolling Stones, Kiss, and Aerosmith, all of which share the same career longevity, they are still getting good reviews and fan response for their new stuff. Not so much with the other three, huh?
Jul. 7th, 2006 02:38 pm (UTC)
My ex-boyfriend Rob had CDs of two bands: U2 and Depeche Mode. He literally listened to nothing but U2. U2 was like a god to him.

Yeah, I dunno.

There is a terrific case to be made for Rush's greatness, and they transcend generations!
Jul. 7th, 2006 03:37 pm (UTC)
I listened to nothing but U2 on my iPod for the six months after I saw them in concert! But I am *so* much cooler than Rob.
Jul. 7th, 2006 03:35 pm (UTC)
I can see it, with Rush. They are steadfast, for sure! Also good call for throwing in Velvet Underground, who threw a good-sized stone into the water and the ripples are still spreading.

Wow, I have no music-related LJ icons. Dang.