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  1. #51
    Jah Womble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
    Am I supposed to know who you're talking about? I meant influential in the sense of significant to many.
    Satchmo has since mentioned them: The Velvet Underground. Everyone knows the quote.

  2. #52

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    More people know the quote than can ever have actually heard it!

  3. #53
    Jah Womble's Avatar
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    Isn't that generally the case with quotes?

  4. #54
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    Quote 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.
    See that's part of the problem right there. The OP doesn't mention "albums" at all. Yet there are clearly a whole bunch of people for whom music=album. There are a smaller group of people — generally those who came of age before the 1970s or after the 1990s, for whom that's absolutely not true, music=song or track. This type of assumption is bound to make this type of discussion difficult, if not impossible.

  5. #55
    Don't know the quote you're referring to, Jah.

  6. #56
    Various Artist's Avatar
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    It was Brian Eno, I think, who commented years ago something to the effect of "Only 10,000 people bought the first Velvet Underground album... but every one of them formed a band".

  7. #57
    Ah right, I've heard that. But it still depends on how much notice those 10000 people got. If they got noticed, it makes my point.

  8. #58
    WOM's Avatar
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    Which point?

  9. #59
    The point that Jah responded to in the first place a page ago.

  10. #60
    Satchmo Distel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
    Ah right, I've heard that. But it still depends on how much notice those 10000 people got. If they got noticed, it makes my point.
    Bruno, I don't think it was the "general listening public" (your words) who bought the album; it was people already into the arts who were predisposed to form bands. Some of the latter then eventually reached the general public, most obviously Bowie, but it took 6-7 years for that to happen and it definitely did not happen during the initial period the band was productive (c.1967).

    Similarly Nick Drake sold less than 5000 albums before his death and was not given much public or critical attention until the 1990s.
    Last edited by Satchmo Distel; 10-08-2018 at 09:09.

  11. #61
    That's not what I was saying. There will be bands like VU that are more influential than their record sales, but the only reason many people notice or care (eventually) is because the people they influenced moved a lot of records. I don't think you can talk about pop music influence in isolation from the question of popularity.

  12. #62
    The claim was that influence "clearly doesn't suggest the general listening public." I'm saying it ultimately does unless you want to confine the discussion to obscure people influencing other obscure people.

  13. #63
    Satchmo Distel's Avatar
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    Well I think there are two parallel processes: "obscure people influencing other obscure people" is happening all the time and some of these obscure people become famous for a while, which then influences others who would not have been plugged into the "obscure people" loop. But there is always more evolution going on beneath the surface than above it and I don't think the public ultimately decides the fate of that musical evolution. For example, jazz and blues would have evolved even if Louis Armstrong had never gotten famous outside New Orleans and/or Chicago. Blues evolved in obscurity for decades before white people picked up on it, and it would have continued evolving if whites had ignored it. Same with hip hop and rap.

  14. #64
    I don't disagree with any of that. My point was that the verb influence happens constantly, while the noun influential is generally applied to high-profile cases. In popular media those cases have never not been decided (ultimately) by the number of people voting with their wallets.

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    Cliff Gallup? Paul Burlison?

  16. #66
    Gerontophile's Avatar
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    Oasis. Literally had a song called "Cast No Shadow".

  17. #67
    Jah Womble's Avatar
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    That was about Dickie Ashcroft of The Verve, though. So maybe them?

  18. #68
    Jah Womble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
    I don't disagree with any of that. My point was that the verb influence happens constantly, while the noun influential is generally applied to high-profile cases. In popular media those cases have never not been decided (ultimately) by the number of people voting with their wallets.
    I understand your point, but I can't agree with it. What you're saying might well apply in other areas of the media, I don't know, but music is far too broad a church for this to be the case across the board. I mean, we all discuss a myriad of artists here that - while we mightn't consider them even remotely obscure - will likely always remain largely unknown to the greater public.

  19. #69
    WOM's Avatar
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    Almost everybody on this board, for good or ill, at last knows of The Fall. Most of the rest of the world remains ignorant.

  20. #70
    Okay JW, I guess it depends on how one defines the greater public. I was taking a broad view that success in popular music (in the broad sense) depends on commercial success i.e. the "public" buying your stuff, so the public has to be an essential part of the measure of influence.

  21. #71
    Discussions like this tend to treat each generation as being in the same boat. But I don't think that is right. The experience for a teenager these days is entirely dissimilar to one from the 1980s, in a very specific way - pop music only really started being created 25 years before that. There was music beforehand for sure, but really not in the same way of being something particularly made for and aimed at young people.

    One dynamic that won't change is rejecting the music of the preceding generation from your own. That is important as it is marking out your own space. It is vital to be able to tell your Mum and Dad that 'you don't get it!' and know that this is really true. But consider how that differs from someone born in 1970 to someone born in 2000 - for those with the older birth date, all previous pop music belonged to their parents generation. So it was all in the 'already taken' basket. It was only new stuff that was untainted by association for them to explore and claim. But for a millennial, there are bands and musicians that their parents reject or have never even heard of because they were before their time, but who have interesting cannons. So kids now can grow their musical taste in two directions - forwards and backwards, and still feel like it's theirs. The accessibility of music of all ages on new technology also helps considerably with this.

  22. #72
    Satchmo Distel's Avatar
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    Totally agree and would add that most of the indie music around today is borrowing from the past so a 17 year old may be absorbing The Beatles without realizing it.

    It also corresponds with the fact that Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber are far more musically conservative than The Human League or Adam Ant were in 1981, so kids rejecting their parents' music are not necessarily realizing that they are buying something far more MOR than their parents did.

  23. #73
    There seems to be a lot more mulching over old styles than creating new ones these days. I see/hear a surprising number of "back when music was good" comments from millennials. There's more a sense of emulation than rejection.

  24. #74
    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    The Police - They were a band with a pretty distinctive sound yet how many acts have tried to replicate it since? And they were pretty much the biggest band in the world when they called it a day after Synchronicity
    Bruno Marrs surely?

  25. #75
    A contender for best example here must be Gary Glitter.

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