Up for Debate

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Live in Phoenix
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Up for Debate

Post by Live in Phoenix » Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:38 pm

Just like every household has a toilet, perhaps our forum is overdue for a debate thread (so that, for instance, TheLastEnemy doesn't have to go "off-topic" by posting something on-topic). This would be for arguments that are reasonably civil but are maybe not going to be resolved shortly, or ever. My first post would be "The E Street Band and the Revolution are backing bands, not 'bands,'" but someone else can go first regarding one of the headaches that the Velvet Underground apparently causes, re: commercial success, proper singing, craftsmanship of music, etc.

Incidentally, I hate to tell Cold Butterfly this, but Doug Yule is apparently the one who sang "Candy Says", "Who Loves the Sun," and "Oh! Sweet Nuthin.'"

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Re: Up for Debate

Post by Cold Butterfly » Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:18 pm

Live in Phoenix wrote:Just like every household has a toilet, perhaps our forum is overdue for a debate thread (so that, for instance, TheLastEnemy doesn't have to go "off-topic" by posting something on-topic). This would be for arguments that are reasonably civil but are maybe not going to be resolved shortly, or ever. My first post would be "The E Street Band and the Revolution are backing bands, not 'bands,'" but someone else can go first regarding one of the headaches that the Velvet Underground apparently causes, re: commercial success, proper singing, craftsmanship of music.

Incidentally, I hate to tell Cold Butterfly this, but Doug Yule is apparently the one who sang "Candy Says", "Who Loves the Sun," and "Oh! Sweet Nuthin.'"
Well shit, in all my years of listening to the VU I always assumed Reed sang lead vocals on all of those tracks :( Either way, i’ve already made clear my position on the role of vocal ability in music. If we were determining the worth of a body of work by commercial success, then Celine Dion, Garth Brooks, Barbara Streisand, and Bruno Mars, etc. would be considered to be more “important” to popular music’s history than The Velvet Underground. However, popular music’s history has shown that is not the case. Everybody has different musical opinions however, and that is okay. I will never understand Queen or U2’s acclaim, for example, but I can’t dispute the influence both of those bands have had on many other musicians. The same goes for The Velvet Underground, except the only difference is that I consider them to be one of my favorite artists ever, and I tend to get a bit passionate when trying to defend a personal favorite. Either way however, the VU influenced ENTIRE genres, and legions of musicians who later became great in their own right. That cannot be disputed. If someone doesn’t like their music, it’s fine, because like I said, everyone’s personal taste is different. But The Velvet Underground are already in the history books, and a specific personal taste can’t wipe that out.

I’m not even gonna argue about whether music is an art form or not, because the argument that it’s not is one of the most inane, ironic, and contradictory things i’ve ever had to read on a music forum. But i’m just gonna leave it at this. If music is a craft, then wouldn’t that apply to all art forms? Is all art essentially meaningless in merit and worth, and strictly product for the masses? I think we all know the answers to these questions.

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Re: Up for Debate

Post by Listyguy » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:12 pm

Live in Phoenix wrote:Just like every household has a toilet, perhaps our forum is overdue for a debate thread
This reminds me of a thread from a few years ago. So this shit with the artist formerly known as Bruce is nothing new:
http://www.acclaimedmusic.net/forums/vi ... f=2&t=1977

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Re: Up for Debate

Post by BobPatience » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:36 pm

Live in Phoenix wrote: My first post would be "The E Street Band and the Revolution are backing bands, not 'bands.
I definitely think they both are bands.

Bobby Z agrees about the revolution:
I'd go out to rehearsals and see how he runs rehearsals with other bands, and my opinion is, he spent hours with us as a member of the band that he probably didn't as a bandleader later. He was our bandleader, but we're called the Revolution in the movie—one name—and he wanted to be a member of this creation. He created a band for him to be immersed in. Sure, he was a solo act when he started, and he was a solo act after us, in my opinion.
It absolutely feels like our music, because the Purple Rain album was a band recording. Fact is fact. There were so many creative ideas flowing, and his were 99 percent right all the time. But if you had 1 percent—first of all, it better be damn good, and if it was good and it enhanced it, it brought everyone closer, and everyone wanted to contribute.
https://www.wweek.com/music/2017/07/12/ ... evolution/


And the Boss about the E Street Band in their RnR HoF induction ceremony:
Now, E Street was a dance; was an idea; was a wish; was a refuge; was a home; was a destination; was a gutter dream; and finally, it was a band. We struggled together, and sometimes, we struggled with one another. We bathed in the glory, and often, the heartbreaking confusion of our rewards together. We’ve enjoyed health, and we’ve suffered illness and aging and death together. We took care of one another when trouble knocked, and we hurt one another in big and small ways.

But in the end, we kept faith in each other. And one thing is for certain: As I said before in reference to Clarence Clemons — I told a story with the E Street Band that was, and is, bigger than I ever could have told on my own. And I believe that settles that question.

But that is the hallmark of a rock and roll band — the narrative you tell together is bigger than anyone could have told on your own. That’s the Rolling Stones; the Sex Pistols; that’s Bob Marley and the Wailers. That’s James Brown and His Famous Flames. That’s Neil Young and Crazy Horse.

So, I thank you my beautiful men and women of E Street. You made me dream and love bigger than I could have ever without you. And tonight I stand here with just one regret: that Danny and Clarence couldn’t be with us here tonight.
https://www.rollingstone.com/music/musi ... ch-242289/


To me the idea of backing band is inherently weird. You're either a band; a, somewhat consistent, group of musicians that records music and plays live shows together, or you're a group of session musicians like The Clique (or The Wrecking Crew) in L.A. and Booker T. and the M.G.'s for Stax, that have no real connection to the featured artist except that you make music for the same record. If you stay together as a music group for years, then I don't think that you're only purpose in the band can be 'just' backing the frontman. I'd even argue that the D.A.M. Trio was more than just a backing group for David Bowie, especially Carlos Alomar, being a consistent factor on recordings and live shows between 1974 and 1980.
Festina Lente

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Re: Up for Debate

Post by Hymie » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:41 pm

Cold Butterfly wrote: Celine Dion, Garth Brooks, Barbara Streisand, and Bruno Mars, etc. would be considered to be more “important” to popular music’s history than The Velvet Underground.
They are all far more important to "popular" music history than the Velvet Underground. It's not even debatable IMO.

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Re: Up for Debate

Post by Hymie » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:49 pm

I'd say that the E street Band and the Revolution are clearly bands. This is just a business thing, as to who gets credited in which way on the records. Bill Haley and His Comets were a band, and Bill Haley was one of the Comets. Same with Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps, and many others like that.

Vocal groups (Temptations, Miracles, Supremes, Dells, etc..) are not bands IMO. In order to be a band the members must be playing the instruments.

The Animals were a band. They did not cease being a band after they became known as Eric Burdon and the Animals.

Frank Sinatra was never a band. He was a singer who would be backed by various bands at various times.

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Re: Up for Debate

Post by Cold Butterfly » Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:50 pm

Hymie wrote:
Cold Butterfly wrote: Celine Dion, Garth Brooks, Barbara Streisand, and Bruno Mars, etc. would be considered to be more “important” to popular music’s history than The Velvet Underground.
They are all far more important to "popular" music history than the Velvet Underground. It's not even debatable IMO.
I can’t tell if this is a joke or not, but if we’re taking about sheer importance and influence on the history of popular music, none of those artists come close to The Velvet Underground despite their massive sales. I’ve already explained numerous times that commercial success and artistic merit aren’t the same thing.

On a side note, i didn’t appreciate you making fun of me for my error about Doug Yule in the artists thread. Everybody makes mistakes for crying out loud. I’m literally just trying to have a respectful discussion about our opposing views.

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Re: Up for Debate

Post by Hymie » Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:14 pm

Cold Butterfly wrote:
On a side note, i didn’t appreciate you making fun of me for my error about Doug Yule in the artists thread. Everybody makes mistakes for crying out loud. I’m literally just trying to have a respectful discussion about our opposing views.
Come on. You don't think it's funny that someone names 3 songs to illustrate Reed's vocal ability and it turns out that he does not sing on ANY of them?

You gotta be able to laugh at yourself.

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Re: Up for Debate

Post by Hymie » Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:19 pm

Cold Butterfly wrote:
Hymie wrote:
Cold Butterfly wrote: Celine Dion, Garth Brooks, Barbara Streisand, and Bruno Mars, etc. would be considered to be more “important” to popular music’s history than The Velvet Underground.
They are all far more important to "popular" music history than the Velvet Underground. It's not even debatable IMO.
I can’t tell if this is a joke or not, but if we’re taking about sheer importance and influence on the history of popular music, none of those artists come close to The Velvet Underground despite their massive sales.
I'm dead serious. Your statement said "more important." There was no mention of influence. I guess we have different definitions of important.

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Re: Up for Debate

Post by Neil » Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:22 pm

Cut it out Hymie!!

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Re: Up for Debate

Post by Cold Butterfly » Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:22 pm

Hymie wrote:
Cold Butterfly wrote:
On a side note, i didn’t appreciate you making fun of me for my error about Doug Yule in the artists thread. Everybody makes mistakes for crying out loud. I’m literally just trying to have a respectful discussion about our opposing views.
Come on. You don't think it's funny that someone names 3 songs to illustrate Reed's vocal ability and it turns out that he does not sing on ANY of them?

You gotta be able to laugh at yourself.
Not really. I didn’t find it funny, and personally I felt like you said that just to sidetrack the discussion. To quote James Murphy, “everybody makes mistakes”.

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Re: Up for Debate

Post by Cold Butterfly » Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:26 pm

Hymie wrote:
Cold Butterfly wrote:
Hymie wrote:
They are all far more important to "popular" music history than the Velvet Underground. It's not even debatable IMO.
I can’t tell if this is a joke or not, but if we’re taking about sheer importance and influence on the history of popular music, none of those artists come close to The Velvet Underground despite their massive sales.
I'm dead serious. Your statement said "more important." There was no mention of influence. I guess we have different definitions of important.
Influence is one factor on an artists’ importance to their field. Like i’ve said already, to be an important “artist” doesn’t mean you have to appeal to the masses. But I guess we’ll agree to disagree.

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Re: Up for Debate

Post by Moonbeam » Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:31 pm

Don't know that I'll ever understand why R.E.M. is so widely acclaimed. This isn't a matter of taste - despite not liking R.E.M., I still far prefer them to The Beatles and Bob Dylan and Led Zeppelin, but I can at least understand why they made bit waves. I'm sure I'm ignorant, but as I've mentioned before, if I woke up suddenly in a world where R.E.M. was the 200th most acclaimed band, it wouldn't surprise me.

Are they considered pioneers or jangle pop or alternative? If so, I don't see why artists like The Feelies and Violent Femmes aren't given the same adulation. Maybe I'll never get it, but I'm curious.

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Re: Up for Debate

Post by Hymie » Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:34 pm

Cold Butterfly wrote:
Hymie wrote:
Cold Butterfly wrote:
On a side note, i didn’t appreciate you making fun of me for my error about Doug Yule in the artists thread. Everybody makes mistakes for crying out loud. I’m literally just trying to have a respectful discussion about our opposing views.
Come on. You don't think it's funny that someone names 3 songs to illustrate Reed's vocal ability and it turns out that he does not sing on ANY of them?

You gotta be able to laugh at yourself.
Not really. I didn’t find it funny, and personally I felt like you said that just to sidetrack the discussion. To quote James Murphy, “everybody makes mistakes”.
Of course, but that was a pretty ironic mistake.

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Re: Up for Debate

Post by Hymie » Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:41 pm

Cold Butterfly wrote:
Hymie wrote:
Cold Butterfly wrote: I can’t tell if this is a joke or not, but if we’re taking about sheer importance and influence on the history of popular music, none of those artists come close to The Velvet Underground despite their massive sales.
I'm dead serious. Your statement said "more important." There was no mention of influence. I guess we have different definitions of important.
Influence is one factor on an artists’ importance to their field. Like i’ve said already, to be an important “artist” doesn’t mean you have to appeal to the masses. But I guess we’ll agree to disagree.
When an act fills big arenas and is covered on mainstream TV shows and the news it means that they are considered important. When an active and successful for 50+ years like Streisand, that makes them important.

If you owned a record label which act would be more important for you to keep on your roster?

The one that has sold 40 million albums over the past 3 years, like Celine Dion, or the one that has a strong cult following like VU, but barely eeks on to the charts with their albums?

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Re: Up for Debate

Post by Cold Butterfly » Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:53 pm

Hymie wrote:
Cold Butterfly wrote:
Hymie wrote:
I'm dead serious. Your statement said "more important." There was no mention of influence. I guess we have different definitions of important.
Influence is one factor on an artists’ importance to their field. Like i’ve said already, to be an important “artist” doesn’t mean you have to appeal to the masses. But I guess we’ll agree to disagree.
When an act fills big arenas and is covered on mainstream TV shows and the news it means that they are considered important. When an active and successful for 50+ years like Streisand, that makes them important.

If you owned a record label which act would be more important for you to keep on your roster?

The one that has sold 40 million albums over the past 3 years, like Celine Dion, or the one that has a strong cult following like VU, but barely eeks on to the charts with their albums?
Yeah, you’re pretty important if you attain that type of commercial success. But does that mean the music is good? The Velvet Underground were, simply put, better musicians than any of those acts. Despite never having vast sales, their music is considered by many to be some of the most extraordinary in the history of recorded music. The history books don’t say that about Streisand or Dion. That alone makes them more important, despise those acts’ huge sales.

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Re: Up for Debate

Post by Hymie » Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:06 am

Cold Butterfly wrote:
Hymie wrote:
Cold Butterfly wrote:
Influence is one factor on an artists’ importance to their field. Like i’ve said already, to be an important “artist” doesn’t mean you have to appeal to the masses. But I guess we’ll agree to disagree.
When an act fills big arenas and is covered on mainstream TV shows and the news it means that they are considered important. When an active and successful for 50+ years like Streisand, that makes them important.

If you owned a record label which act would be more important for you to keep on your roster?

The one that has sold 40 million albums over the past 3 years, like Celine Dion, or the one that has a strong cult following like VU, but barely eeks on to the charts with their albums?
Yeah, you’re pretty important if you attain that type of commercial success. But does that mean the music is good?
Of course not. Lots of popular stuff is shit, but what's "good" is just a personal opinion. Lots of famous trained musicians like Mitch Miller and Nelson Riddle would tell us that VU's music is shit.
Cold Butterfly wrote: The Velvet Underground were, simply put, better musicians than any of those acts.
Nah. They were not even good musicians. Their main lead singer could not even sing, and none of their players were near good enough to have been studio musicians like the Wrecking Crew or the Funk Brothers.
Cold Butterfly wrote: Despite never having vast sales, their music is considered by many to be some of the most extraordinary in the history of recorded music.
Many more feel that way about Streisand, Celene Dion, Garth Brooks and others.
Cold Butterfly wrote: The history books don’t say that about Streisand or Dion. That alone makes them more important, despise those acts’ huge sales.
Methinks that you are being very selective as to which books you are reading. Barbra Streisand has ten Grammy Awards including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and the Grammy Legend Award. There seem to be a lot of music industry people who deem her as being very important.

Does the Velvet Underground have a lifetime achievement grammy?

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Re: Up for Debate

Post by BobPatience » Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:15 am

Hymie wrote:
Methinks that you are being very selective as to which books you are reading. Barbra Streisand has ten Grammy Awards including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and the Grammy Legend Award. There seem to be a lot of music industry people who deem her as being very important.

Does the Velvet Underground have a lifetime achievement grammy?
While I do agree that Barabara Streisand is more important than VU in regards to popular music. I do want to remark that The Velvet Underground are in the RnR HoF, so they have 'music industry people' behind them too (Although the Grammies and the RnR HoF are both kind of flawed in their ways imo).
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Re: Up for Debate

Post by Hymie » Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:40 am

BobPatience wrote:
Hymie wrote:
Methinks that you are being very selective as to which books you are reading. Barbra Streisand has ten Grammy Awards including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and the Grammy Legend Award. There seem to be a lot of music industry people who deem her as being very important.

Does the Velvet Underground have a lifetime achievement grammy?
While I do agree that Barabara Streisand is more important than VU in regards to popular music. I do want to remark that The Velvet Underground are in the RnR HoF, so they have 'music industry people' behind them too (Although the Grammies and the RnR HoF are both kind of flawed in their ways imo).
The VU are one of the most important non hit acts in music history. But that is sort of like being the world's best female linebacker (American football for you non Americans).

The VU is not included on the "100 Greatest Rock Artists" list on Digital Dream Door. And that's just rock acts.

https://digitaldreamdoor.com/pages/best ... ddd-x.html

I work with the editor of that list, Brian, and I assure you that he knows as much about musical history as anybody, including classical music. He has a very detailed explanation of his criteria for that list on the page, if you are interested.

In his judgment VU is not worthy of being among the top 100 rock acts, let alone among the greatest acts in all of popular music history. I really think that they are vastly overrated by those of you who like the type of music that they had an influence on.

They did make the "Most Influential Rock Artists" list at #29.

https://digitaldreamdoor.com/pages/best ... ial-x.html

The editor of that list, Sampson, is also extremely knowledgable of the entire history of rock music.

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Re: Up for Debate

Post by Henrik » Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:48 am

Guys, you just have to agree to disagree. We have different taste, different view on what important music is, etc. We have also already had this discussion numerous times in this forum - and I need to go to sleep without worrying what’s going to happen next - so I’m closing this topic now.
Everyone you meet fights a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.

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