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Biggest Acts that Cast the Smallest Shadows

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    #26
    Most popular acts are going to cast a small shadow as the historical view elongates. In 200 years it'll be the Beatles and Elvis and Eminem or something, and that's about it. But relative to their exact contemporaries it would be weird to relegate a band like REM to insignificant status. They summed up the whole indie rock break from 80s pop thing.

    On girl/boy groups only representing cynical capitalist motivations I think a caveat is needed for the Spice Girls, about whom there were noises that their feminist identity (girl power) gave them huge cultural significance. That was a marketing ploy too, I reckon, but it was taken seriously by many, and they were also called the best band in the world by somebody or other, so I think they could qualify as an ostensibly important group that didn't end up meaning shit.
    Last edited by Bruno; 09-08-2018, 14:16.

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      #27
      Couple of points. I still think the Osmonds fit for the reasons stated. I wasn't saying that "The Proud One" was their best record let alone their best known one. Just my favorite. "Crazy Horses" is better known but I don't think that many, apart from my generation will know it now.

      There don't seem to have been any black acts mentioned here. I played "Otis Blue" to some people recently. They were astonished. Never heard of Otis Redding.

      I wonder if an artist has to be sampled now to find recognition.

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        #28
        With black acts it's hard to think of faux-significant examples. It more often seems to be a case of not being recognized enough in their time.

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          #29
          Originally posted by adams house cat View Post
          I wonder if an artist has to be sampled now to find recognition.
          My daughter played me a funky new song the other day called Electric Avenue by Eddy Grant. It was featured in some shitefest called Pineapple Express.

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            #30
            See also Jason Derulo's "Whatcha Say"

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              #31
              Originally posted by WOM View Post
              No, that's a perfect example. And soon, someone will be along to tell you it's a shit example because a lot of 50 year olds have heard of them.
              I think that most current guitar bands would be at least 'aware' of REM - and the overriding majority of them are in their twenties and thirties.

              Young pop kids wouldn't have a clue about them, obviously.

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                #32
                Originally posted by Jah Womble View Post
                I think that most current guitar bands would be at least 'aware' of REM - and the overriding majority of them are in their twenties and thirties.

                Young pop kids wouldn't have a clue about them, obviously.
                Sorry...I thought we were just talking about the general listening public. Obviously bands are far more au courant with musical obscuria and such.


                I mean, I worked with a serious music nut about ten years ago and he started laughing when he read that 'Big Brother and The Holding Company' were coming to town. "Who the fuck are they?" He also thought I was making it up when I suggested he give Moby Grape a listen.

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                  #33
                  The young Aussie eejits downstairs play music that isn't terrible, some of it I own, but it is totally mainstream, dated and ... really random. I play an eclectic mix but it's sort of thematically linked and goes from one to the other without jarring too much (too my ear, and it seems, to others'). The other day we had Africa by Toto, then The Message, then some sort of souly anthem which I quite liked, then a rock anthem. They played a nice dance track the other day, and I was sort of clicking into it hopefully (seeing as I have to listen to it, may as well go with it) but then they abruptly followed it with a loud Boyz2Men type song. I'm more of the gradually-increaseorlower-tempo school.

                  I went to a party thrown by youngsters and it was similarly incoherent, musically. I know some young people who can DJ but there's a lot of this, maybe from people who grew up listening to chopped up tracks and compilations rather than albums.

                  Some music follows nicely, some doesn't.

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                    #34
                    Originally posted by Bordeaux Education View Post
                    Nirvana.
                    You What!

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                      #35
                      Originally posted by G-Man View Post
                      I don't think many people treat the output by the Police as irrelevant. Do they influence people today? Maybe indirectly, via Puff Daddy's theft of Andy Summer's riff. But if we want to measure their irrelevance by direct influence and current popularity, then we might as well go include Sam & Dave or Hank Williams, because young people are not influenced by them or even listen to them, the way our generations might.
                      My argument isn't that they're irrelevant (they stand up as a fine singles act at the very least), just that they influenced little. A +20 year old sample doesn't really mean anything.

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                        #36
                        Originally posted by Bordeaux Education View Post
                        What about "Crazy Horses"? Everyone knows "Crazy Horses"
                        Not me. Puppy Love for Donny and Karawane for Marie, that's about it.

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                          #37
                          Originally posted by Bruno View Post
                          With black acts it's hard to think of faux-significant examples. It more often seems to be a case of not being recognized enough in their time.
                          There's a lot of truth in that Bruno. Singers like, oh, Jackie Wilson, for instance have continued to be hugely influential, the shadow if you will, but most people have not heard the name, apart from Van Morrison. I wonder if Dexy's new of him or just knew a good tune to cover when they heard one.

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                            #38
                            Dexy's will've known. They'd already written and recorded a tribute to Geno Washington.

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                              #39
                              Also the list of black vocal groups that, whilst being largely unknown, have cast a long shadow is long indeed. Going back through the Dixie Hummingbirds, the Inkspots, the Dells, The Temptations, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, so many others. Without these acts there would be no Westlife, Take That, Boyz to Men etc.

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                                #40
                                Originally posted by WOM View Post
                                Sorry...I thought we were just talking about the general listening public. Obviously bands are far more au courant with musical obscuria and such.


                                I mean, I worked with a serious music nut about ten years ago and he started laughing when he read that 'Big Brother and The Holding Company' were coming to town. "Who the fuck are they?" He also thought I was making it up when I suggested he give Moby Grape a listen.
                                This is the problem with this thread: nobody seems in agreement as to what it is. I read upthread about 'influence', which clearly doesn't suggest 'the general listening public' - however, if we are talking of the latter, then there would unarguably be a vast number of under-fifties who know - and have bought - REM (even if it isn't the best stuff). And they really aren't 'musical obscuria'.

                                If we're only talking about 'the kids', well, I'm not sure many of us would be in much position to pass judgement there. The current charts wouldn't suggest that there's much love for anyone with a geetar, whether in his/her early thirties or early sixties - but the charts are no longer especially relevant, so God knows where that leaves it.
                                Last edited by Jah Womble; 09-08-2018, 16:42.

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                                  #41
                                  I infer that the thread OP is suggesting a No. 1 album that was critically respected (at least by some music papers) but for which nobody now has much regard and whose artist is also no longer much valued by critics or public.

                                  On another board someone suggested 'No Parlez' by Paul Young as an album that sold by the bucketload in the 80s but is now found only in charity shops because everyone has thrown it out of their collection.

                                  Alison Moyet's 'Alf' is an album that IIRC even she doesn't like anymore, but Moyet still has critical respect for her Yazoo period and some of her post-fame work AFAIK.

                                  I'm less sure about the 60s because rock criticism was in its infancy then but maybe someone like Herb Alpert, who won a Grammy ffs, is totally disregarded by critics and forgotten by the public now.
                                  Last edited by Satchmo Distel; 09-08-2018, 17:00.

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                                    #42
                                    I don't think you can really understand pop music influence in isolation from the general listening public. A musician can always be influenced directly by something little known, but whether or not it's "influential" is ultimately up to the public buying it.

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                                      #43
                                      Originally posted by Jah Womble View Post
                                      This is the problem with this thread: nobody seems in agreement as to what it is.
                                      This.

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                                        #44
                                        Originally posted by Satchmo Distel View Post
                                        Alison Moyet's 'Alf' is an album that IIRC even she doesn't like anymore, but Moyet still has critical respect for her Yazoo period and some of her post-fame work AFAIK.
                                        Not sure if it's all of Alf, but she does do a little 'blurb' in concert about why she doesn't sing Invisible any more. I think her affection for the Yazoo period goes well beyond critical respect. She does a fair number of tunes on tour, and reunited with VC a few years ago for a tour and live album.

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                                          #45
                                          Originally posted by Satchmo Distel View Post
                                          I infer that the thread OP is suggesting a No. 1 album that was critically respected (at least by some music papers) but for which nobody now has much regard and whose artist is also no longer much valued by critics or public.

                                          On another board someone suggested 'No Parlez' by Paul Young as an album that sold by the bucketload in the 80s but is now found only in charity shops because everyone has thrown it out of their collection.

                                          Alison Moyet's 'Alf' is an album that IIRC even she doesn't like anymore, but Moyet still has critical respect for her Yazoo period and some of her post-fame work AFAIK.

                                          I'm less sure about the 60s because rock criticism was in its infancy then but maybe someone like Herb Alpert, who won a Grammy ffs, is totally disregarded by critics and forgotten by the public now.
                                          Quicksilver Messenger Service? Buffalo Springfield?

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                                            #46
                                            Originally posted by Bruno View Post
                                            I don't think you can really understand pop music influence in isolation from the general listening public. A musician can always be influenced directly by something little known, but whether or not it's "influential" is ultimately up to the public buying it.
                                            No, it really isn't. And one need look no further than the most oft-used example of them all for evidence of that.

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                                              #47
                                              Originally posted by Jah Womble View Post
                                              No, it really isn't. And one need look no further than the most oft-used example of them all for evidence of that.
                                              Trout Mask Replica?

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                                                #48
                                                Robert Johnson, Velvet Underground, Nick Drake.

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                                                  #49
                                                  Originally posted by Jah Womble View Post
                                                  No, it really isn't. And one need look no further than the most oft-used example of them all for evidence of that.
                                                  Am I supposed to know who you're talking about? I meant influential in the sense of significant to many.

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                                                    #50
                                                    As much as l love having him around the place, do we include Shakin Stevens?

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