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Musical Snobbery


JohnO

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While a couple of us commented about this subject in posts over the past few days (regarding negative comments about the Ramones, Sex Pistols, etc.), I'd just like to add that, personally, this message board has helped me to appreciate what was, in some cases, relatively new music to me prior to starting to post and read here.

For the most obvious example, I never ever really cared about or even liked much of Eric C.'s solo material prior to reading various posts here that compared his work to the Raspberries' records, rated the LPs, etc. I got on this board as the direct result of meeting people at Raspberries reunion gigs. After reading lots of different opinions about EC's solo works, I tracked down the solo LPs/CDs I had been missing (everything after "Boats" - all I had were his first 2 solp LPs), and whaddaya know? Every one of his LPs has some really excellent stuff (well, I'm still not crazy about "Change Of Heart", but....), and I'm glad I now have them, and I listen to them regularly.

Another example - I had totally forgotten about Artful Dodger, who were from my area, until people started posting here about their reunion gig and their old LPs...I've since tracked down the missing pieces (3rd & 4th LP), and it's for the most part, great material.

What am I getting at? I just think it's better sometimes to open one's ears up and listen to other/new/forgotten music in lieu of slagging it off because you didn't care for it 15-20 years ago. You might still dislike it...but dammit, there are obviously lots of others who do...so it's not just worthless crap to everybody. Personally, there's a lot of R&R music that I don't like...but hopefully, I'll continue to respect the fact that somebody else does...and maybe I just might change my mind once in a while if I actually listen to something that's new to me....enough of this rant. I really do appreciate this board!

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Couldnt agree more John,.....except if it involves Paul Mccartney post 1976!

My opinion is that Eric's solo material is inconsistent. Im just repeating myself, but I always have believed that when he is at the top of his game, solo-wise, he's as good as any singer songwriter there is. His voice,songs, his piano playing. He just brings alot to the table stylistically. I always felt that in taking a different tack, post-Raspberries, he took a little of the "rock" edginess out of it and that hurt to some degree. The Raspberries l.p.'s were magical, and remain so even to this day, but the very best of Erics solo material is the exact same way in my opinion. I've always admired musicians with real deep musical talent and I suppose thats why alot of us remain big Eric fans today. Im tired of the creeps that today's music industry spoonfeeds to the public, who would be dead in the water from a talent standpoint, without their electronic drum machines and digital samplers. Even country music stars today have to look like fashion models first before they can score a contract. Its all so artificial and pathetic. Give me the Raspberries at BB Kings in Manhattan. Doesnt get much better than that.

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You're absolutely right, John. This board is very much a wake-up call that the love of music is extremely subjective--even when it's all great music. A friend of mine gave me a cd recorded by a Durch cellist (Wim may know of him, Pieter Wispelwey) playing sonatas of Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Britten. As she handed it to me, she said, "I think he's great--see what you think. I'm not crazy about the Shostakovich, but the Prokofiev and Britten are nice." I thought, "I'm not crazy about Shostakovich either", but some people adore it and it's fine music.

I don't think people mean to be musical snobs, but sometimes we act as if we are. This board and Kay's are nice reminders that we don't all like nor see value in the same things because music is so subjective and emotional.

smile --Darlene

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I think it's a fine line between "snobbery" (bad) and "opinion/taste" (good). It's not snobbery when RWine states post 1976 McCartney music is bad...it's his opinion and it's respected and he should keep posting it. It's not snobbery when Marvin states Eric Carmen's "Winter Dreams" is way below EC's historical standard...it's his opinion, he states it respectfully and it should be respected (and he's right on this one! smile )

I think where snobbery comes in is where one disses an artist/song etc.for the wrong reasons:

-because the artist had commercial success and is no longer an esoteric enigma shared by a few (Green Day comes to mind)

-or because the artist's fan base isn't musically intellectual

-or the artist doesn't evoke "cool" (Barry Manilow & John Tesh come to mind)

-etc.

This is a real good thread topic.

I also love reading others' opinions here and I too have learned a ton from this board.

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....and I agree 100% with Raspberrwine's sentence describing his opinion of country music.

I love the genre and it's hard to beat when it's good....but most what's coming out now is just homogenous phony B.S.,....IMHO...

People starting turning to country probably in the 80s or 90s because traditional pop music was on a fasttrack heading down....country has now taken on that mantle....

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This board has made me reconsider stuff too.I didn't love the "I Was Born To Love You" CD at first-too MOR-too obvious an attempt to reposition as an "Adult Contemporary" artist.But after reading a post about the title song as a great wedding song-I began to listen again and "DAMN" it's got some nice stuff.I may have to go back and reconsider who was right in last night's fight with my wife. NAAH that one I was right about.-Ira.

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When asked about his opinion on the term "power pop" Eric responded with the notion that pop stands for popular, would you rather be the alternative? I never understood why some music that flies under the radar is cool, but if too many people like it, then it's not cool.

Eric's nemesis is also his legacy. He can't be labled, he can and does play/compose/sing everything. Labels want to label you so they can wrap you up in a pretty narrow package and market you. They don't know what to make of him 'cause he's too damn versatile.

Having said that, this little place and time with the reunion is pretty cool, and should be run with while it's hot.

SS

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Some great thoughts and commentary from everyone.

For sure James and also its not snobbery when Marv states that the Royal Canadian Mountie Glee Club sings better than the Beach Boys. Or that the Calgary Flames could play football better than the Detroit Lions. The first statement is clearly false whereas the second statement is most likely true. So we have to be careful when assessing the opinions of others, esepcially those from developing nations.

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Tony - There are tons of songs out there that aggravate me to no end. When I start to hear one, be it on the radio, TV, etc., I simply change channels. That's what the remote control's for!

My earlier rant about snobbery isn't about the fact that you or I or someone else hates a particular song or artist. We all do. It has a lot more to do with trying to keep an open mind about and respecting others' opinions.

For what it's worth, I don't care for the Black-Eyed-Peas either. As incomprehensible as I (and probably you) find it, though, these guys are selling tons of CDs. Personally, I'm just writing it off as a generation gap issue. My parents thought Elvis, the Beatles, Stones, and Byrdes were just noise. Likewise, I feel the same way about a lot of stuff on the Billboard charts nowadays....BUT I have heard it, and decided I don't like it....not the same as dismissing a band like, let's say, Raspberries in the 70s because someone didn't like Eric's hair or their white suits or power pop in general. (or ditto the Sex Pistols, Ramones, etc. because they were are junkies or played too loud....)

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