Jump to content

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


Lawyer fan

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 61
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Sorry Bernie but you'll never convince me about Zep, but hey that's ok cos' as they say, "one man's garbage is another man's gold", right? Maybe it's all those drugs I never took?! I simply HATED "Stairway", still do, and think it's got to be the most over-rated song in music. Probably the only Zep song that I can listen to today is "Fool In the Rain" - and that's only because I love Bonham's drumming on the song.

Marvin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay, here's some of what I don't like about Zep. I've played some of their songs in bands, and yes, absolutely many of them are very difficult musically. I can recognize great skill in the playing for sure. And some very beautiful or rocking musical sections, no doubt. But, I do know from listening and reading about them that a great many of their songs were created by Page, Jones and Bonham recording all the music and then Plant would come in and start vocalizing over the nearly finished musical track. And I just think that almost always makes for a weaker song. The melody seems superimposed on top of the music, not a part of it. By contrast, Eric's vocal melodies always seem to be the point of all his songs - the music is constructed AFTER the melody to support it. I've just always had a problem with songs that seem "constructed" rather than organic. I get the same feeling about a lot of Door's music, and R.E.M. as well. In all three cases, I like them when the singers aren't singing, and it's not because they're bad singers! Also, Plant's lyrics seemed pretty lame to me in a lot of cases, like Stairway. A bustle in your hedgerow?? What does it mean? Nothing. It's pseudo-psychedelic nonsense. Plus, Plant always droned on in the press about how he sang using quarter-tones. I think he was just flat a lot, and figured out a good cover story. A lot of Spinal Tap in Zep to my eyes. Give me Deep Purple any day.

But, if I were forced to list Zep tunes I like, I'd pick: Achille's Last Stand, Dancing Days and Nobody's Fault But Mine.

Marv, I think we'll have to wear bulletproof vests for a while now!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I've always been a Brian Wilson fan when it comes to song writing. How could someone write a song like "God Only Knows" in 20 minutes. It's a totally complete, beautiful song that came right from his heart! The words and melody just blown me away!

But there was a song writing team just a little northwest of Cleveland (I'm from Mentor, Ohio)that probably wrote more hits that all the writers mentioned combined. How about Holland-Dozier-Holland. I won't even try to mention the songs they wrote for Motown. There's just not enough space! And talk about songs from the heart, full of emotion, wonderful melodies, I just can't say enough! I can remember years ago going to a club in Cleveland called Leo's Casino with fake ID's to hear these groups from Detroit like the Supremes, 4 tops, Little Anthony, Temptations and on and on! We went for the music and the music was great. Holland-Dozier-Holland has got to be on any list of great song writers!

Jim B

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Marv...it was he tune with "If the sun refused to shine..." intro...

I'm with you on the Zep thang...but it is not the music ( tho, Jimmy Page's messy playing does at times)...it is Plant constantly singing flat and tone of his voice. Over time I have tried to listen, but can't get Plant singing under the note.

Darlene, I agree with you on the JPJ comment. He's awesome. Listen to his playing on >Kashmir>...wicked!

bahoo

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Talking about songwriters, Pete Ham of Badfinger showed promise as a wonderful,influential songwriters of our time. Not only hits like "No Matter What" and "Baby Blue" and "Day After Day", but some of the album tracks "Without You", "We're For The Dark", "Name Of The Game", great songs! His story is so tragic! It would have been interesting to see what his talent would have grown to if he hadn't of commited suicide. Badfinger had their financial problems even thou they had some sucess and some top 40 hits. If only he could have hung on alittle longer!!!!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess I am one of those people that just don't get it. To my ears Led Zep fall into the same category as Vanilla Fudge, Cream, King Crimson and others - they would drift off into 'jamming solo land' then take 10 minutes (or more)to get back to the essence of the song. How boring is that?

I am not disparaging their musical talent, it's the way they chose to express it - outside of the song (for the most part). Eric and the Berries, on the other hand, displayed the talent within the music.

Am I right - Nah! Am I wrong - Nah! That's just how it resounds in my head. I know what I like.

BTW, is JPJ the same one that played in Mike and The Mechanics? And wasn't there a JPJ with Manfred Mann? I'm confused (but you already knew that!), smile

Ted

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Figured I'd better log in on the Led Zep "controversy". Though I'm a Zeppelin fan, I gotta say I've always been more impressed with the instrumental and compositional quality of the band than the lyrics and vocals. Robert Plant, IMHO, peaked with the 1st album. One of the all time freakish voices -- another is David Surkamp of Pavlov's Dog. Jimmy Page, along with Marc Antoine and Wally, is among my guitar idols. He's sloppy, true, but I can recall Carlos Santana once referred to him as "the Stravinsky of rock-and-roll", no doubt referring to Page's love of weird time signatures, dissonance, and ambient sound overtones. The 1998 Page/Plant tour was remarkable - never thought I would see Page that healthy and focused on stage again. JPJ (aka John Baldwin)was and is a genius, he's worked as a producer over the last several years and was an extensive studio musician in England before Zep (hence his work with Manfred Mann and others). And though I've never been a fan of drum solos, period, Bonham was flat-out amazing. All that power from the wrists alone. Zep on record and in concert were 2 different animals, however, and I can understand how a lot of people might be turned off at some of the "noodling" in concert.

And Marvin, seems Robert has pledged never to do "Stairway" again. Seems he has learned to HATE the song, and wishes he never wrote it.

Keith - I too think the Ramones hung the moon. Minimalism works. I sold my daughter (now 16) on the Ramones about 3 years ago, and she now has an absurdly extensive collection of Ramones recordings and T-shirts.

One more contribution to the list of influential ones - Declan Patrick McManus, also known as Elvis Costello. Proved that intelligence and energy don't have to be antithetical in Pop Music.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oldblue hit it right on. The Stravinsky of rock 'n roll?! Al-RIGHT! I agree! Amazing post, Oldblue! We just don't have any "hedgerows" here.

I loved King Crimson--their songs WERE complex for sure. Whatever was up with Plant's voice, maybe he just HAD to improvise. I'm sorry he grew to hate Stairway...I'm damn glad he wrote it. I STILL adore it. Apparently, I have lots of company around the world. What does anyone think about Emerson, Lake & Palmer and The Kinks? I adored RAY DAVIES...L O L A --Lola!

smile --D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bernie, Yeah, you are correct about King Crimson. I haven't listened to them in about 25 years. Funny how time plays tricks on one's memory. Nevertheless, not my cup of tea. Complex? Yes! Memorable - well...I haven't hummed any of their stuff lately.

As I read the posts I am beginning to realize how simplistic my music tastes are. It is, simply, melodies and harmonies that resonate with me. Hence, Raspberries, The Outfield, Beach Boys and Boston (plus a few unknown local bands) head the list (for me).

Ted

Link to comment
Share on other sites

By the way, the best part of "Stairway To Heaven" (and the most fun to play) is the guitar solo -- a really well-structured and immensely melodic lead that is anything but sloppy! Jimmy page was just astounding in the studio, but live, yeah -- he was almost always sloppy. I think it was mostly because he was often too 'messed up' to notice!

:-P

Bernie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With my (very) limited keyboard experience, I have to say that learning the entire song on organ was a real coup for me, because I don't play organ. A local band, called Megaton (you're too young to remember them, Bernie) who were, ironically enough, from Sayreville, and played all the clubs on Route 35, actually used to let me sit in with them and play the organ on Stairway. That was a thrill. I also played violin with them on some things a few times. Memories...

smile --D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

RE: Led Zeppelin

They had a tremendous stage presence and each of the 4 were powerful/exceptional players in their own right. They put out some killer songs:

Nobody's Fault But Mine

Achilles Last Stand

Stairway To Heavan

Rock & Roll

Goin To California

....but having said that, to me, 60% of their songs are basically boring.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hard to have much of a presence (no pun intended) in a band that has personalities such as Plant, Page and Bonham, but in my opinion, the silent JPJ was an incredibly talented producer and arranger and deserved many more accolades than he's received over the years.

Marvin

p.s. Ted he's not the same JPJ who was in Manfred nor the one that was in Mike & the Mechanics.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Check out the Led Zeppelin DVD released in the past year or so to refute the fact that Page is/was a sloppy guitarist. He definitely had his bad moments ("The Song Remains The Same" didn't do anything for Zep's live reputation, in my opinion) but check out the Knebworth show on the second DVD. Awesome! One of the tightest shows I've ever seen. I often credited Page's sloppiness with the fact that he was "going for it" and not just playing rote parts. I'm sure the drugs, etc., at the time added to his inconsistency. As far as JPJ, simply one of the greatest funk/rock bassplayers of all time. The bassline to "The Lemon Song" is fanatstic - great groove and lines. His arranging and keyboard skills added alot to the band also...

Paul

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Would certainly have to add my vote for the Brothers Gibb and big brother Barry. From the standpoint of their personal hits and compositions that spanned the 60's through late 90's as well as the numerous hits they composed for others they are tough to top.

As far as Led Zeppelin I thought they were always one of the most overrated groups of all time. Hard to think of anything more repulsive than the bare bellied, effeminate Plant's ear splitting screeching that was somehow considered to be a voice. If there was ever a group that was appropriate only for a small period of time and totally out of place at any point before or after it was them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Recently, I read in Sound and Vision that Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and the first five Elton albums were going to be released in 5.1 DVD Audio, along with Pet Sounds. Well that was it for me, I ran to Circuit City and bought a universal DVD player that could play these discs. For those of you who are unacquainted, to make a 5.1 disc, they go back to the original multitrack master tapes, and remix the songs so that the different instruments and voices are spread between 5 speakers and a subwoofer. When done right, you find yourself completely surrounded and enveloped in the music in a way you could never experience in stereo. You hear things you never knew were there in recordings you know like that back of your hand. You haven’t lived until you’ve heard “Brain Salad Surgery†in 5.1 surround. The thing that struck me about the Elton John recordings were how great they still sound after all these years, and how well they were produced. I’m always amazed that Eric and Gus Dungeon did not get along. It seemed like a match made in heaven at the time, and there is no denying his talent as a producer when listening to this stuff…

As far as Led Zep. I was in a band at the time and we had to try to play this stuff. Say what you will about Robert Plant, but nobody could hit the notes he did in “Rock and Roll†and the end of “Stairway.†Eric could have done it, but nobody mortal that I knew. Even Robert Plant hasn’t been able to do it for the last 15 years or so. Maybe that’s why he doesn’t sing those songs anymore?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Announcements


×
×
  • Create New...