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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 02:10 pm (UTC)
Couch it as AWESOME! Who is AWESOME?

I mean, if you want discussion rather than an answer, I think it's a great question. What about, for example, the Police? Popular, influential and with a front man who may be one of the few to define the political rock star more effectively than Bono.

How about the Buggles? First music video, and while the band went nowhere, the members have all strongly impacted the development of music.

Hell, what about Def Leopard? One of the best selling albums of all time, and probably the poster band for Hard Rock, though that title might be wranglable.

Or New Kids on the Block. Sure, they sucked, but they were the spearhead of change in the music industry. If you want the face of a generation of music, NKOTB is the place to be.

Hell, Phish deserve soem props even. I'm nto a huge fan, btu th epower of the Dead's Legacy is also the fuel for Hootie and the DMB, and Phish is really the icon for that.

Lot's of interestign options depending on where you draw the lines.
Jul. 7th, 2006 02:33 pm (UTC)
AWESOME is more easily interpreted as subjective. The wonderful thing about using the word "greatness" is that it can be all the objective and subjective things and each person can interpret it differently and we can all fight. You know, for fun. :)

The Police totally came to my mind too. They did span eras (punk to new wave?) and were BIG and yet still highly respected for musicianship and such. But then Sting went nuts and thought he was the devil and made terrible movies and it all went to shit. The fact that the last Police album came out 20+ years ago made me not try to make a case for them.

Buggles: I might as well say the Monkees, because Mike Nesmith was making "music videos" before MTV was on the air. I think of "Video Killed the Radio Star" as a quaint novelty. And it's been beaten into our heads that that was the first video such that now even the nostalgia about it is kind of tiresome. People would rather not see A-Ha's "Take on Me" video once more godforsaken time. (Or that could be just me.) There's so much more to mine from that era. :)

Def Leppard? How about Metallica? In fact, I think a case could be made for Metallica despite ReLoad. I think Master of Puppets has more lasting significance culturally than Love Bites. :)

NKOTB was, to me, just a reinvention of the Monkees formula. Take 4-5 cute guys. Write them some music. Slap some trendy clothes on them. Sell a gerjillion records to 13 year olds. I give that invention to Bob Rafelson, Bert Schneider, and Don Kirchner. :)

I can't comment on the Phish thing. They've always been very peripheral to me.

I love to explore all the interesting options. :)
Jul. 7th, 2006 03:08 pm (UTC)
Yeah, but pretending this isn't subjective is an impediment.

I agree that Metallica is a better band than DL, hands down, but at the same time, DL is more...emblematic of the hard rock movement. part of that is the level of commercial success, part of it is that lack of quality. They're just the right kind of loud.

Buggles get more props for th efact that their members are all guys whose names show up deep in the jacket info of a lot of albums. The video angle is just the thign that seperated them from other bands and people (like, say, the Alan Parsons projects) who had _huge_ behind the scenes influence.

I call bias on the topic of the Monkees. :) I think they were absolutely an influence on the creation fo the artifical band, as were other efforts, including real winners like Menudo. The reason I pick NKOTB is that it is the perfection of the forumla _without apology_. The Monkees were created to be _derivative_ of other bands, and that was held agaisnt them (Did they play their instruments questiosn being the big indicator). NKOTB was _shamelessly_ shallow, but that's what worked.

That said, Ah ha is actually a wonderful choice, if only to be emblematic of our flash in the pan obsession.
Jul. 7th, 2006 02:43 pm (UTC)
I decree this day to be the day of AWESOME.