Monday, October 6, 2014

Thirty Days of Blogging Day 22: Musical Lists II

Ha!  As I'd hoped, the musical lists posts has (finally) provoked some responses.  Give the people what they want, that's what I say.

A few replies to your replies....

The reason I didn't bother talking about The Stones, e.g, (as well as a lot of other bands), was because the point of the list is to treat with bands one more or less universally admires.  I think it's interesting to talk about the outliers, the duds, the one or two songs by your favorite bands that you can't stand.  It's even more interesting, to me, if those are songs that many other fans seem to admire.  I mean, it's not so hard to find some late-career B-side that doesn't do much for you; more difficult, I think, is to find a hit from the heart of their catalog that's never, ever, seemed to you worthwhile.

So, the Stones.  I'm sort of generally indifferent to them, is the thing.  Sure, I have songs of theirs I like--maybe a few I love (maybe?)--but in general they don't do much for me.  To me the Beetles/Stones debate is not even a contest--I think the Stones may go down in history as the most overrated band in rock music.  Similarly, Elton John.  I like a few of his songs, but generally I find his work saccharine and inane.  (His lyrics, especially, gall me).  So there's no point in me listing songs of his I don't like, because he's not an artist of whom I consider myself "a fan."  That's the key issue here--being a fan.  Which label, is, I know, nebulous to the point of nonsense.  But, I use it nonetheless.

Though I could, if pushed, come up with criteria for fandom, as I define it.  You own all of their albums, you've seen them live in concert, you can recite most or all of their lyrics by heart, you have detailed and complex opinions about their catalog, you will always follow a link on the internet if it has to do with this band, etc.

There are other bands that I really admire that, when I thought about it, I couldn't identify songs of theirs that I considered were duds.  Like, U2.  There's no song of theirs I can think of that really offends me--and that's always offended me, from the get-go.  (Again: 'grown sick of' doesn't count.  Because there are TON of U2 songs I'm sick of.  All of Joshua Tree, to start. But did I love--or at least like--them once?  I did.)

So that's the thing.

JWM--what's the REM song you don't like?  Are there any? (Again: has to be a hit.  Not track 9 from Up).

Dez, I don't know Springsteen well enough to know if the song of his you listed was really a hit/big deal.  Presumably it was?  I realize, of course, that with non-top 40 artists 'hit' is a vague term.  But, you know.  We do our best.


Dezmond said...
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Dezmond said...

Yeah, it was. It was one of seven (!) Top 10 hits off of 'Born in the USA.' reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart. The video was in heavy rotation on MTV throughout 1985. It is one of his most boring songs, I have always hated it.

JMW said...

I couldn't really think of any Springsteen. I like his big songs. As for REM, kind of the same deal. I really didn't dislike much until Berry left the band, and that stuff is by definition a little more obscure. I don't mind "Everybody Hurts" (I know people think it's sappy, but I like that it's kind of universally directed, the same way "Bridge Over Troubled Water" is). And I'm supposed to hate "Stand" and "Shiny Happy People," but I don't. I don't love them, but I don't hate them. They're catchy. This is why I'm an REM fanatic. Lots of blind loyalty.