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Impact of "American Idol" on Music


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Eric, et.al.,

Picking up on your earlier thread regarding the "Stepping Down" of today's music...

Do you think that the "American Idol" show is bringing an appreciation of some of the really great music from earlier generations to the younger audiences & musicians? I personally like when the show does the 50's, 60's, & 70's themes, because I think it is important for these kids to hear great music from that era being performed by their peers, since most of what they listen to today is complete garbage. I also think it's great when they have great artists / performers (Barry Manilow last week, for instance) working with them, as I think it gives the younger audiences an appreciation, long overdue, for the great music of earlier times. (By the way, I think they should have you as a guest on the show!!!) Your thoughts???

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Understanding your point about recognition for older songs, I think its dragged popular music into the gutter. First of all, its reduced it down to the level of a high school talent show, with all the bufoonery included. The judges are morons, and they have to put half-assed people in there just for comic relief. Boy there's taking popular music,as an art form, seriously. Sure, there's some decent singers thrown in the mix but all the women singing soul or C&W use the same vocal inflections and style and, even if they have some pipes, it seems almost cliche. Again, you wouldnt get Janis Joplin on today's American Idol unless it was to make fun of her. Ofcourse the winner gets a record contract. Interesting. In a sense its a replacement for the days when people ACTUALLY could audition for record companies. These days the audition is intended to increase Fox televsion ratings, with little expenditure I would add, or to whatever companies that own this program. I think its great some singers cover some solid ballads but its tripe on the whole. If I want to hear Mandy, I'll listen to Manilow as opposed to some ex-pom pom squad drip whose boyfriend heard her singing off key in the shower and said she should audition for American Idol. Buck Owens passed this weekend. California Country. A legitimate American Idol.

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raspberrywine -

I'll second your motion to declare Owens a legitimate American Idol. Fact is, country would probably still be played with acoustic instruments were it not for Buck and his lead player Don Rich. (In the mid-60's, the Beatles and Owens had a mutual admiration society going, and "Act Naturally" and "Who's Gonna Mow Your Grass" are just the tip of the iceberg of that.)

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Personally, I wish the show would disappear. I really thought it would've run it's course by now. Almost all the women I've seen sound like Mariah Carey wannabes. As for talent, has anyone on that show ever played an instrument? and having Paula Abdul as a judge is quite a joke. Here's a woman that as far as her recordings go, had some heavy doctoring to them in post production. I just don't get it...

Jeff

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i totally agree w/raspberrywine's opinion!!!..there also is hundreds of musicians/songwriters/singers out there that deserve a recording contract..not these karaoke wannabes who are handpicked by these "judges"...it's a disgrace to the ones who have working their asses off in the small bars night after night to get recognition from somebody in the music biz...PERIOD !!!...the undiscovered REAL musicians have more talent in their pubic hairs than any of the jokes on this show ever could!!!lol,chris

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I really like American Idol. I think Kelly Clarkson made a great record. I think Simon Cowell is brilliant. I like Randy. I even like Paula. I think Kelly Pickler has a big future. I would gladly take an "All American Idol Top Ten" on the Billboard charts over what we have today. If Simon could just get "Rock Idol" and "Country Idol" and "R & B Idol" going, we could take back music. Imagine finding a new Marvin Gaye, or Faith Hill, or Tom Petty! e

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I really enjoy the show ! Especially once they get past the first few audition episodes when it seems all they want to show us are the WORST singers. That's a bit too "Jerry Springer" for me.... :wacko:

Kellie IS good, and just as cute as can be, but my money is on Chris ! :)

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If someone comes out of American Idol with the artistic depth to make an album of the calibre of "What's Going On," which is still completely relevant today in its deeply spiritual and political themes, I will be shocked and bow down to the program a million times. I dont believe weve seen it thus far to the best of my knolwedge and its sure been around awhile. Agree with Chris, you see such amazing and unique talents in little clubs across the country that most likely will never get a chance. Now if they were to forget their craft, turn on the ole karaoke machine, practice "Mandy " and audition for American Idol, they might stand a greater chance.

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OK, nix the neutron bomb idea. I was just trying to get "Scrubs" up in the top 20 Nielsen's.

Even though it's cornball, and there are way too many commercials, A.I. is a positive thing because they are singing quality songs, the singing talent in the later rounds is real, Simon is a blast to watch as the mean genius...And most of all:

MORE SONGWRITERS WILL BE EMPLOYED TO WRITE SONGS FOR THE TOP A.I. SINGERS WHEN THEY CUT THEIR NEW CDS! :)

But there's something strange about Paula from week to week. It's like she keeps adjusting her medication. Is she bi-polar?

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Way too much undo criticism of the show. There have been plenty of genuine talents that have passed through this show. Many do play instruments too, but don't get to do it on the show. I for one love "Because Of You" by Kelly Clarkson which I believe she wrote. As far as raspberrywine thinking it has dragged popular music into the gutter, I totally disagree. I think it has pulled it out of the gutter a wee bit. I have seen some GREAT performances on this show that have moved me. I really don't get the negativity. It's a bad thing that America can turn on a show and watch talented performers sing songs with substance, melody and soul? I'm curious to hear some ideas of how this show could be made better.

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I'm not a fan of the AI syndrome but there is obviously a reason for it. People do indeed watch and vote and talk about it. (Even we're talking about it!)

I've seen enough of Simon Crowell that I know, genius or no, somebody is going to snatch out his spleen one night... Paula is necessary if not for her talent, at least as a counter-balance to Simon!

I agree that I'd be more impressed if these folks were musicians and songwriters rather than karioke artists... but then there has always been a place for them too... (Tony Orlando and Barry Mannilow anybody?)

The show I really enjoyed was Rockstar INXS. That format, while similar to AI, seemed to at least be a more enjoyable experience for those involved. I watched several of those episodes and it seemed that the performers were given positive feedback and constructive criticism rather than being called "Chicken Little" or told that they were being let go because "We can't afford to feed you."

I'd love a kind of a battle of the bands television show where groups or solo artists acutally played original songs and the like... or even a show for us aspiring song writers to have our work performed and graded...

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I personally think the talented, great performances are few and far between. Guess it's a matter of personal taste. The show could be improved by making it a requirement that the songs are original material, either by the singer themself or an orginal by another as yet unpublished or professionally recorded. The show could be improved by the inclusion of bands. The show could be improved by reducing the inane gibberish coming out of the mouths of judges that , I suppose, passes for witty humor theses days. I think it would be improved by having more professional musicians and industry people as judges. At times I truly have felt the acts they put up as the jokes, to be made fun of, have more unique talent than some of the singers with the maudlin looks of pent-up anguish pouring from their faces as they belt it out. I'm sorry I simply dont see the depth of talent in most cases. Ive heard better singers in high school choirs. As I said, many of the female singers sound the same, and have obviously learned that, in this day in age, there's a certain way to sing R&B, soul or C&W . Or rather there's certain singers to imitate. Look at Eric, as a convenient example, even if he was influenced in his inflections by Daltrey or McCartney at times, it doesnt matter, it's such a unique voice, and you recognize it as such while you absorb the tonal qualities that make it distinctly his. As soon as a female singer starts singing on this show you can often say "Patsy Cline, Emmy Lou Harris, Aretha, Roberta Flack, Edith Piaf, Carole King, Brittany Spears, Brabara Streisand etc. etc. Therefore, it seems artificial, cliche ridden, and often too imitative for my tastes. If a show is primarily geared towards singing, then it's good to hear unique voices frequently. You're misunderstanding my points if you think I am saying none of it's any good. Not saying that at all, I just see most of it as mediocre. Just my opinion.

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I know jules, but he also does hundreds of covers. And after his first four LP's or so, if I'm not mistaken, Barry was predominately a covers guy... He also did advertising jingles early on, though I'm not sure if he wrote them or just performed them.

I probably shouldn't have lumped him in with Tony Orlando, but their styles seemed so similar.

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No way would America take a liking to a show where the material is original. True fans of music..YES, but general public...NO! That's why all bands start out playing covers and working original material in. It's also easy to say that contestants should have distinctive voices, but very hard to do. At that level, you are always going to be compared to somebody. Unfair to compare these young unseasoned performers to some of the all-time greats. If you felt that you were the next Elton John or Carole King, and you couldn't get anyone interested in giving you a fair listen, would you turn down the chance at AI and getting a record deal? I don't think I would.

Oh...I pulled out my first two Manilow CD's. He wrote or co-wrote 8 out of 11 on his first one, and 7 of 11 on the 2nd.

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  • 2 weeks later...

There is no quesion American Idol does get some talented people in their karaoke contest (Kelly Clarkston..wow) , but it really should be called American Vocalist. I enjoyed more what sounds cheesy but the contest for the new Inxs singer, I think because of the hot house band, and the fact the half the songs were original, and some contestants played instruments.

Vicci Martinez from Seattle/Tacoma tried out on the very first American idol and was asked to go to the big show (playing her guitar) but passed because she wrote all her own songs and didn't want to give up any of the rights.

I think Eric would echo, don't give up your songs.

I like original mixed with covers some time live, wish I was part of the Agora days. Remember, the Beatles placed covers of their influences all over their first albums, ironically, the Raspberries, who some knocked becaused they were too influenced, recorded all original. Go figure.

I guess that's why it's the music Biz (capital B on biz)

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