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Eric Carmen

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Hit songs or not, celebrity or not, when I love someone's music, I love it and I stay with it. One of the problems of our society right now is that society is faddish, shallow and too easily bored. People want what they want right now, to be entertained and titillated to the hilt, and then it's on to the next "cutting edge" or more shocking thing.

Great music, whatever the genre, is enduring and so is the benefit one gets from it. Whatever happened to loving something for its intrinsic value. Forget routing for the underdog-du-jour, whatever happened to loyalty?

:) --Darlene

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I too am constantly mystified by the way people will support an obscure artist few people know of or like, and then when that artist finally finds mass success, abandon him or her or them and label them with that tag "sellout."

I don't think it's always a case of the artist in question having "sold out." Sometimes it's not the artist who changes, but the audience. So it's really not fair to all popular artists to label them "sellouts." As Eric has said, "Given the choice of playing POPULAR music or playing UNPOPULAR music..."

Of course, every artist wants to be appreciated for what he or she does rather than having to pander to market tastes. But when that happens...why is it that so often the original fans then get tired of that artist?

Maybe it's part overexposure. And maybe it's part that we like to flatter ourselves by telling ourselves WE have discovered somebody or something that not a lot of other people have the taste or discrimination to appreciate. When things change and suddenly everyone else starts jumping on the bandwagon, it's satisfying at first to be able to say "Hey, I liked them when no one else did," but then it gets wearying after a while. Or one gets tired of all the last-minute Lous and their hype. Or one feels the artist has been "lost" because now one has to "share" with the world. Or something. And so, off you go to the next undiscovered talent.

It's frustrating!

Oh, and I don't care if I never hear the name Paris Hilton again, but that's mostly because--well, what has she ever DONE to deserve having her name be heard? Besides being born rich and famous? Sheesh, the ditz doesn't even DO anything, aside from getting an occasional sex video distributed against her will. She is the very definition of a useless human being. She is famous for being famous. That's it!

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Eric Carmen said:

Billy Joel is absolutely the real deal. Great writer, great singer, great performer. ec

the only part i would disagree with (or have trouble completely endorsing) is that he is a "great singer." I think he's a "strong" singer, but his use of affectation and enunciation can often times be dreadful & completely ruin a great song. Often times he reminds me of Jerry Lewis (and that's not a good thing).

Still on the upside, his version of "Vienna" on Conan a few weeks back blew me away. Shortly thereafter I caught the repeat of the show and saw the other song he performed & it was totally lame.

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Trindy said:

Of course, every artist wants to be appreciated for what he or she does rather than having to pander to market tastes. But when that happens...why is it that so often the original fans then get tired of that artist?!

If that pandering CHANGES the soul & essence of their music & what made them special in the first place, then the fans feel betrayed, and rightfully so.

The most egregious cases took in place in the '80s when the record companies became more corporate and less artistically driven. Think Rod Stewart.

On the other side: In many cases (like in the UK) the "fans" and media are totally guilty of not sticking by the artists they helped break & totally jump to the next train and it's just as heinous an act as selling out.

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This reminds me of back in the mid and late 70's, when I was a big BeeGees fan from 1974-77. (3 great studio albums and a live double album that knocked my socks off) It wasn't that cool yet to be a BeeGees fan until late 1977. Then I became somewhat embarrased that the Gibb Brothers became mega-stars with the overkill chipmunk falsetto dance tunes and the tight polyester outfits... :( I was happy for them, but Yikes! they ruined too many good songs with freaky vocals in that short time period, that would ultimately lead to being the lead victims of the disco backlash...

As a result, so many great BeeGees compositions created before and especially after the disco detour, are still not taken seriously...

Except in Europe and Britain, where they have better music smarts.

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Tony your story is very similar to what many hard-core Springsteen fans felt when he hit the 'big time' with "Born In the USA." Previous to that, he was our little secret - outside of NJ, Philly, NY, Cleveland and VA, still a relatively unknown commodity by the masses. "Born" was over 20 years ago, and the old fans still consider the "Born" fans as those who jumped on to the bandwagon.

Marv

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I agree with Marvin's Springsteen comment. I consider "The River" as the last great Springsteen studio album, although admittedly, some of his "newer" albums have some great songs. As soon as he started dancing in his "Dancing in the Dark" video, he was never the same. He got about 12 ear piercings, married some actress, added synthesizers to his songs....

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Early, totally and completely agree. I thought it was interesting the sort of irony Springsteen was dealing with in his "Born in the U,S.A." stuff that was interpreted by many as being totally patriotic etc. I think he had a Woody Guthrie thing going that was lost on many. It was easier to paint him as "the Boss" as opposed to looking at the complexity of his work, some of which was quite dark as well as uplifting.

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Nicely stated "raspberrwine." The song "Dancing In the Dark" is a good example. When taken at face value, it appears to be nothing more than a 'dance' record, but listen to the lyrics, and it is something very different. I've got a demo version of the song, it is slowed-down and unrecognizable from the finished version, yet it puts the focus on the lyrics and lets the listener see what is really being sung.

Marv

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