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Apr. 9th, 2007 @ 08:00 am Rant #13
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Date:April 9th, 2007 02:43 pm (UTC)
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I think the problem is that a lot of people today find the Beatles lame because in some ways they can't live up to artists now, who use fancy computerized recording studios, and have benefitted from and been influenced by 50 years of rock history. Beatles music has been heard so much, that it's lost some of the wow-factor, and people today don't understand that context, and don't understand that it was new and exciting and revolutionary at the time.

It's hard for there to be another Beatles, because we're not really at the advent of rock anymore - we've had rock music for 50 years now. That doesn't mean there aren't good bands though.

I was trying to think of bands that could be considered as iconic as the Beatles, and the only one I could come up with was Nirvana, as far as starting a new movement in rock, added with Kurt Cobain's tragic death giving it some mystique.

Maybe it's off topic, but I'd be curious what other more recent bands people would put in this category.

Anyway, and interesting rant, but my love of the Beatles doesn't make me hate modern music at all. I love rock music of all decades, and my other favorite bands (Crowded House and Barenaked Ladies) were big in the 80s and 90s respectively.
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Date:April 10th, 2007 07:41 pm (UTC)
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Ooh, great topic if it's not too much off topic. I was discussing this with my husband and sons at dinner last night (iconic bands that is) and it isn't easy. I think possibly because we have a diversity now that wasn't there in the 60s. The Sex Pistols though epitomised the zeitgeist in England at least, in the late 70s. How about Bowie, early-mid 70s? Sadly Duran Duran are probably iconic of the 80s although that cuts out a whole swathe of indie music. Mind you, The Beatles being iconic of the 60s, whilst appropriate, cuts out the whole jazz scene that was huge in this country at any rate. Late 80s can be summed up in one word; 'Aciiiiid!' so, possibly M People.

The 90s becomes more problematic as music really begins to diversify, but probably the Spice Girls, unfortunately, and the whole explosion of Britpop so, Oasis/Blur. Late 90s, probably Eminem.

I think it's too early to tell for the noughties, it's only looking back that gives us that perspective but indie influenced guitar groups such as the Kaiser Chiefs and the Arctic Monkeys are making a resurgence.

I should imagine your perspective is very different from over there - what do you think?

But I quite agree with you, good music is good music, whenever it was made. The 60s certainly had no monopoly on that, it was just much fresher. We were also talking about early influences on later genres: Polythene Pam - the first punk record and Hit The Road Jack (Ray Charles) - the pre-cursor of Hip Hop.

Sorry if I've gone too off topic. I will of course delete it immediately if anybody objects.:)
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Date:April 10th, 2007 08:05 pm (UTC)
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Definitely an interesting topic! It's hard to define what an iconic band is though - is it someone that the majority of people have to have heard of? There are plenty of great, obscure bands, but an iconic one has to be well-known and representative of a new kind of music, or have an original statement to make. But at the same time be commercial enough for that widespread popularity. The Beatles were at the forefront of rock, but there's no arguing they were commercial. And I think most people have heard at least one Beatles song even if they're not a fan.

I could see the Sex Pistols as epitomizing punk, though I've never listened to them. I think David Bowie is pretty iconic. I don't see anything really wrong with Duran Duran, even though I'm not a huge fan - that sort of music was big in the 80s. Not sure they are iconic, though I think they're somewhat representative of 80s music. Same era is Madonna and Boy George, for that specific look and feel that was so very early 80s.

I guess we listened to different things in the late 80s - I've never heard of M People! I'm not sure I really even know what acid rock is! Late 80s for me is what was on the radio at the time, and I don't know if I could peg a specific group, but rather songs that remind me of the time. With or Without You. Don't Dream It's Over. Anything by George Michael. I also think of Erasure and Depeche Mode for mid to late 80s. Oh, and there's the "hair bands" of the late 80s. Poison, Def Leppard, Scorpions, Tesla, Warrant, etc. Bands like that always had some big slow ballad song. Some of them were kind of a joke, but some of them were ok. Guns'n'Roses was big - they weren't really metal but weren't really one of those hair bands either. Other heavier groups like Metallica, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, AC-DC were really popular in the 80s. So along with the glam rock, electronica music sounds, there was heavy metal.

90s was grunge - like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots and a hundred other copycats. And alternative - Smashing Pumpkins, Live, Weezer, REM (though they were 80s too)..

Well, if we are including Spice Girls, which is so targeted towards "tweens", then I guess we have to include Menudo and Tiffany and New Kids on the Block and more recently NSync and all those of their ilk. (Note, I've never listened or liked any of them!)

I'm not sure Oasis and Blur are really iconic either. I don't think enough people are familiar with their music. I could probably only name one song by Blur (Song 2) and I'm not sure I could name any by Oasis. My familiarity with them is because I know they fight a lot and have been compared with the Beatles, which I don't understand! Eminem, maybe - is he iconic or a fad? Hard to say. I'm not a fan either! (But that's ok, I don't have to be a fan myself to believe a band could be considered iconic!)

I've never heard of the Kaiser Chiefs or the Arctic Monkeys. :-)

I guess different bands are popular in the UK than here - though right now I think there's kind of a drought of good "popular" bands. Not much on the radio lately has interested me much. That's not to say there aren't good bands, but bands I like that no one has heard of don't really seem like they are heading for icon-hood if no one has heard of them! :-)

Wow - that was long - such an interesting topic though - trying to classify musical sounds by decade, and pick out which the classic bands of that era will be - not easy!
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Date:April 11th, 2007 06:59 pm (UTC)
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It's hard to define what an iconic band is though
Aha! Just apply my alien iconicity test.

Certainly the Sex Pistols epitomized punk, but over here they did more than just that, they summed up the mood of that period of time.

Same era is Madonna and Boy George, for that specific look and feel that was so very early 80s.
Well, yeah, I was going to put them in too for the 80s, along with Duran Duran, for the very reasons you said.

I guess we listened to different things in the late 80s
I guess we did:) Late 80s over here was all about illegal raves in the middle of fields, ecstasy and waving your hands around. A lot. That was Acid House. M People were on constantly in '89 and you heard them at every rave you went to. Did it not hit the States? I think that 'rock' as in Guns 'n' Roses style rock has always had a bigger following in the States than it has in the UK. Not that it doesn't have a big following over here, it's just that it tends to have more of a hardcore following and less of a general appeal.

Again, I think our respective 90s experiences were subtly different. I included the Spice Girls because it seemed like the first time that the tweens were directly targeted, in the same way, I guess, that Elvis was targetting the teens for the first time. I've never heard of Menudo or Tiffany & NKB and NSync, yeh, I've heard of them but they weren't nearly as ubiquitous as the Spice Girls. Mind you I spent most of the 90s up to my ears in nappies, dinosaurs and Toy Story.:)

I think there's a distinct difference emerging between the US and the UK. Oasis & Blur represent the whole Britpop thing and Labour coming in to power after 19 years of the Cons. Eminem, if you apply both the alien test and your criteria, I would give iconic status. Not only was he chronicling the mood of that time but he brought hip hop to the housewives.

right now I think there's kind of a drought of good "popular" bands.
That's a shame, I like a lot of the music I'm hearing at the moment. I'm finding it quite an interesting time, musically. Mind you I think that makes it really hard to find an iconic band, simply because there is so much diversity.

Great topic. Thanks :D
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Date:April 11th, 2007 07:13 pm (UTC)
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I guess it does make a difference in what country you grew up in, and even what genre of music you like. I gues the Sex Pistols don't sum up the mood of that time for me, though they obviously do for you!

I guess there were raves here, in fact, I'm sure there were - but I've never been to one in my life, and never listened to that sort of music. I think it was probably more niche here than widespread.

Yeah - Menudo/Tiffany/NKOTB/Debbie Gibson was the Tween music for the 80s, even if Tween wasn't really a term then. They were faddish and huge with a certain demographic. I don't think the Spice Girls were as big here, or if they were, I was already too old and not paying attention.

If you want more iconic 80s bands, I'd also peg Billy Joel and Huey Lewis & The News. Huey Lewis is probably less iconic than Billy Joel, but their sound is very 80s for me. I love them. I also adore Billy Joel.

What else... Pat Benatar is big in the early 80s. Bruce Springsteen was very mid-80s. Also Michael Jackson for the early 80s. Before he got all wierd. (I was never a fan though.) Also The Police were big in the 80s. Genesis (their Invisible Touch album is very late 80s for me!)

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Date:April 11th, 2007 07:28 pm (UTC)
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Ha! Bruce and Michael. How could I forget them? Maybe they've spanned too many decades to be iconic.
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Date:April 11th, 2007 07:39 pm (UTC)
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I think they were biggest in the 80s though!