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The most influential pop composer(s) of the rock/pop era ??

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Back in the day (50's 60's) there was Doc Pomus (Jerome Felder) & Mort Shuman. Not always quality stuff but sold millions and millions (Hound Dog for one) for: Elvis, Ray Charles, The Drifters and Coasters also wrote a lot of early doo-wop stuff for Dion and the Belmonts, The Mystics, etc.


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Lotsa great early names, but to be truly fair to the rock genre you'd have to include Page/Plant (although I'd be hard-pressed to call them "pop composers.")

Also, everyone mentions Lennon and McCartney (and rightfully so), but George Harrison's "All Things Must Pass" album was so frighteningly good that it set the bar VERY HIGH for each of the former Beatles when their solo careers began. Lennon's "Plastic Ono Band" and "Imagine" LPs measured up, but Paul wouldn't scale those heights until "Band On The Run" (keeping in mind that "Ram" does have some spectacular moments!)


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For Pure Pop: Benny and Bjorn of ABBA. I don't know exactly how "influential" they are, but the music just keeps going, and going, and going, and ...

I think I read recently that the combined worldwide productions of Mamma Mia are grossing $1 million ... weekly...

I've only seen it twice ... and reco it highly!

Someone also made the point once that B&B have a bagful of hits as full as any team that walked the halls of the Brill Building, including my idols Berry & Greenwich, Goffin & King, Mann & Weil, Sedaka and Greenfield, etc.

And God ... those girls could sing!

Thoughts? Reactions?


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Awww, Bernie, you took my Page/Plant, so I'll add John Paul Jones. While most of the focus of Led Zep was on Plant and Page, JPJ did the most amazing things, I think his contributions to LZ was highly underrated. If you ever see their movie, "The Song Remains The Same," (it's on every once in awhile), just look at what he's doing, and really listen. He's unbelievable, really. Every time I hear them, I'm reminded how incredible they were. The cross-rhythms, just everything. Difficult to call it pop, but very influential. I was a Led Zep fan (Emerson Lake & Palmer and The Kinks too) AND a Berries fan.

I think Dylan, Brian Wilson, Lennon/McCartney are among the most influential as well. As for power pop, I still put the Berries on top, by miles, and their tunes (and Eric's melodies) are among the most recognized of ANY group/composer. THAT is influence for sure.

smile --D

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Chuck Berry and Elvis--oops, wasn't thinking. They really were "it" at the beginning of it all.

During his "Thriller" days, Michael Jackson's creative work showcased his amazing talent, so much so that he influenced so much of what was going on in the '80s, including stage show presentations and video. Whatever else has happened, I have to give credit where it's due.

smile --D

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The RAM album certainly does it for me, that record sure does have some melodic tunes on it, like it, extremely.

Paul and Linda sing great together.

The Bee Gees, without the disco had put out and are still putting out great music.

I prefer the non-disco myself.

But, "Spirits Having Flown" the album which I have, is good to my listening pleasure, especially when, "Tragedy" is sung.

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Well, going with the topic, Chuck Berry, Dylan, Lennon/McCartney and Brian Wilson. Their stuff is copied way more than any other. Elvis didn't compose, even though he was obviously influential in other ways. Some possibly overlooked folks would be Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder, maybe Phil Spector. Don't get me started on Zep - I'm one of the few who thinks they're way overrated, particularly as composers. What about Andrew Lloyd Webber - would he count?

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Led Zep was more of a classical musician's delight, in my opinion. What they were doing was so complex (and masterful) that they were on a totally different plane from other bands, in so many different ways. I hate to bring this up, but it's that Classical music influence/talent/training. It's just a high class undefinable quantity that's either there, or it isn't. I could hear in Raspberries and Eric's music what I could hear in Led Zep: absolute mastery of every element of musical composition and performance. Led Zep's perfection as to their precision, tightness, cross-rhythms, use of modes (harkens to Eric's spectacular modulations), and the complex layering and rhapsodic element in their style just blows me away--still! Instead of looking at Page and Plant, listen to John Paul Jones. He's utterly amazing. Like an orchestrator! Like a Leonard Bernstein, or something. Toscanini! Whether or not one "likes" a song is immaterial to the calibre of musicianship inherent in members of the group. One can dislike every song on an album, and still have to admit that they are by far, beyond the Milky Way in sheer genius of talent. Even if you don't like what they do, if you're really musical, you can't deny that it's there. I see that in Led Zep and in Raspberries/Eric's music, whether I like the songs or not. It's just there, a fact of life, and non-negotiable, whether you want to admit it or not. Led Zep detractors, like those of Raspberries, just didn't get it, because it was over their heads.

If I could personify and address the music of Led Zep and that of Eric and Raspberries, I would paraphrase Greg Lake (ELP)--"Still...you turn me on."

smile --Darlene

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Elton John/Bernie Taupin should be right up there with the rest. From 1970-1977, Those two guys were writing and recording timeless music that rivaled what the Beatles put out in the 60's. Those songs, and the way they were recorded, are still fresh today, even with the 30 year old technology. The Raspberries could have used some of that recording/producing genius back then.

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I agree with that.

They were phenomenal during that time period: 12 studio albums in that 7 year period,.... each being very good to classic great...

I'll go off subject a bit but the guy could not only write but I've never seen a music performance that has come close to the Elton John concert I saw at the Richfield Coliseum in 1976...the type of performance that was so good your eyes would water up.

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Bernie the only Zep songs I recall trying were "Rock and Roll" and one other ballad whose title escapes me right now. Andy could probably remember it. For me, Led Zep epitomized the excess parts of the 1970's that I could not stand. Just my opinion. I'll take a 2 minute Pop song over Bonham doing a 20 minute drum solo any day of the week - even though there's no denying Bonham's abilities as a drummer. Page was a fast guitarist for sure, but also the sloppiest guitarist I ever heard. Give me a Brian May anyd day of the week. Plant? Never liked him as a vocalist. Jones, I admired as a player and an arranger. Ok go ahead, flame away all you Zep fans.


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Okay, umm… GREAT riffs:



Dazed and Confused


Living Loving Maid

Black Dog

GREAT chords:

Communication Breakdown

Whole Lotta Love

Misty Mountain Hop

Song Remains the Same

Rain Song

Going to California

Houses of the Holy

Just plain GREAT:


Stairway to Heaven

Over the Hills and Far Away

- - - -


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