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Musicians who flummox

Music news, rumors, what you're listening to, how you're listening to it and whether it's all on the up-and-up.

Re: Musicians who flummox

Postby Igor » Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:02 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:By that definition, all of the following are One Hit Wonders: XTC, Hole, King Crimson, Vangelis, Adrian Belew, Michelle Shocked, Big Maybelle, Marshall Crenshaw, The Tom Tom Club, David Gilmour, and Rockpile. Does that really make sense to you?


From a practical standpoint, I think most people mentally combine charts to a certain extent. If you had 15 charted albums but only one single, the moniker is less likely to be applied. Same for people that have 20 R&B or country hits, but only one on the pop charts.

Many of the artists you listed weren't primarily known for their singles. Rockpile seems to fit the bill though.

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Giuffria had three Hot 100 hits, but I'll bet most people don't even remember their sole Top 40 song, "Call To The Heart".


I don't have all the words memorized, but I still know he tune. Greg Giuffria was in Angel before that. Not really my cup of tea, but better than some other hair bands. Winger comes to mind - they probably had the worst ratio of talent (high) to songs (lousy) than any hair band ever.
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Re: Musicians who flummox

Postby ilikebeans » Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:47 pm

The Police had it all the way to their probably-wisely-chosen breakup. Yeah, Sting seems like an ass and certainly didn't get along with Copeland. Unfortunate, since I think the three of them could have worked well with what ended up as Sting's followup solo albums.

That said, Sting's Dream of the Blue Turtles and especially Ten Summoner's Tales are solid albums. You can skip the pop hits if you like-- there are plenty of great performances and songwriting throughout. The live Bring on the Night is really, really good, with one of the best live bands ever put together.

The Police were genius in that you had punk and reggae roots filtered through three fantastic musicians and some killer songwriting that steadily progressed. Copeland is of course amazing, but Andy Summers is one of the most underrated guitarists to play in a rock/pop band. Check out his wiki page sometime-- the guy's played rock, jazz, and composed film scores regularly since The Police's heyday.

Sting's bass playing is nothing to sneeze at either, especially when you consider he's also singing-- a simple but very solid player. He really shone during the 2007 tour with some extended jams that took me by surprise.

These days, what I've heard of Sting's songs are pretty adult-contemporary blah. He's hit the rich-rock-guy problem of losing his muse.
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Re: Musicians who flummox

Postby Kenneth Burns » Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:18 am

It's good when bands call it quits while they're at their peak, commercially and/or creatively. Saves everyone the pain of the decline. The Police did. So did Talking Heads. True, "Naked" wasn't the triumph "Synchronicity" was. So did the Beatles.
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Re: Musicians who flummox

Postby Kyle Motor » Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:53 am

Kenneth Burns wrote:It's good when bands call it quits while they're at their peak.....So did the Beatles.

They quit after Revolver?

MUSIC TROLL GAUNTLET THROWN!
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Re: Musicians who flummox

Postby christopher_robin » Tue Oct 23, 2012 3:42 pm

Kyle is totally right about "Revolver"

You know what I couldn't help but notice?

New Bruno Mars:

http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/ ... n/1421368/

Sound like any bands you've heard before?
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Re: Musicians who flummox

Postby Stebben84 » Tue Oct 23, 2012 3:58 pm

christopher_robin wrote:Sound like any bands you've heard before?


Jeebus, I thought it was a cover at first.
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Re: Musicians who flummox

Postby christopher_robin » Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:49 am

Frank Zappa is a polarizing figure. Some say he's one of the key composers of the 20th century, a peer of Karlheinz Stockhausen and György Ligeti, but others can't get past the adolescent humor.

There's no question he's a highly accomplished guitarist-composer who surrounded himself with the best musicians, but it's equally evident that he would be loved by many more had he found a way to break out of his self-imposed lyrical ghetto.

Where do you stand on FZ?
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Re: Musicians who flummox

Postby wack wack » Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:13 am

christopher_robin wrote:Frank Zappa is a polarizing figure. Some say he's one of the key composers of the 20th century, a peer of Karlheinz Stockhausen and György Ligeti, but others can't get past the adolescent humor.

There's no question he's a highly accomplished guitarist-composer who surrounded himself with the best musicians, but it's equally evident that he would be loved by many more had he found a way to break out of his self-imposed lyrical ghetto.

Where do you stand on FZ?


Genius. The absurdity adds to it.
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Re: Musicians who flummox

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:30 am

christopher_robin wrote:...it's equally evident that he would be loved by many more had he found a way to break out of his self-imposed lyrical ghetto.
Considering the only actual hits he ever had were with some of his goofiest, most adolescent lyrics -- "Don't Eat Yellow Snow" and "Valley Girl" -- I'm not so sure I agree with your assessment. I'd say his unwillingness to conform to standard musical structure was what kept him from mainstream success. (Also, constantly insulting your potential audience probably didn't help either.)
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Re: Musicians who flummox

Postby Marvell » Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:02 am

I think the early Mothers of Invention albums - while occaisionally puerile - are some of the strongest albums of the period in terms of both music and lyrics. "Trouble Every Day" off of Freak Out! is right up there with "Ball of Confusion" and "What's Going On?" as a summation of the rampant social anxiety of the late 60's / early 70's; the entirety of We're Only In It For the Money is pure genius, and is probably the definitive anti-hippie album; and even as late as Weasels Ripped My Flesh! Frank was still ripping George Harrison a new one on "Oh No I Don't Believe It:"

...and in your dreams you see yourself
As a prophet saving the world
The words from your lips
I just can't believe
You are such a fool.


Plus "The Orange County Lumber Truck" is the shit.

I also tremendously enjoy the Flo and Eddie live albums Live From Filmore East and Just Another Band From L.A. "Latex Solar Beef" is both hilarious and one of the greatest hard rock songs of all time, and "Billy the Mountain" is a masterpiece of surreality.

I have a huge sentimental fondness for Sheik Yerbouti, and for the song "Goblin Girl," but I have to admit that I find the late 70's / early 80's Zappa pretty much a case of diminishing returns. Maybe the guy just didn't want to work that hard in the studio any more.
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Re: Musicians who flummox

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:33 am

Marvell wrote:I find the late 70's / early 80's Zappa pretty much a case of diminishing returns. Maybe the guy just didn't want to work that hard in the studio any more.
This period also features what was hands down his worst live album ever: Tinseltown Rebellion. Really hard to justify the existence of that one.

I generally agree with Marvell's assessment, but that said, Joe's Garage Act I is excellent. I find little to recommend on the double-record follow-up, however. But You Are What You Is is almost as good as Sheik Yerbouti and it contains his most devastating takedowns of religion yet in "Meek Shall Inherit Nothing", "Dumb All Over" and "Heavenly Bank Account". Ship Arriving Too Late To Save A Drowning Witch is pretty slight, but besides "Valley Girl" it also features the unstoppable "Teenage Prostitute". The Man From Utopia, on the other hand, I find virtually charmless. He followed that stumble with the back-to-form Them Or Us, but if anybody can actually listen to Thing-Fish, I've never met them, and Meets The Mothers Of Prevention is just plain boring, a sin Zappa is not normally guilty of, even at his worst. But while his studio work became irrelevant in his later years, his live archival work was fantastic. All 6 volumes of You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore are fantastic, as are the chronicles of the last couple Mothers tours on Make A Jazz Noise Here, Broadway The Hard Way, and The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life.
Last edited by Prof. Wagstaff on Thu Oct 25, 2012 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Musicians who flummox

Postby dave esmond » Thu Oct 25, 2012 1:07 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Really hard to justify the existence of that one.


Steve Vai.

Just enough to justify.
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Re: Musicians who flummox

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Thu Oct 25, 2012 1:15 pm

dave esmond wrote:
Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Really hard to justify the existence of that one.

Steve Vai.

Just enough to justify.
I admit it's been many years since I jammed this one but I don't recall there being any particularly great Vai on that album. I mean, he'd barely joined the ranks when the tracks for that album were recorded (most are a couple years old by the time of the '81 release date, I think) and there's at least four other guitar players on there. I don't think he was really utilized much until You Are What You Is. So if you're thinking of something in particular, do definitely tell me and I will check it out.
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Re: Musicians who flummox

Postby Stebben84 » Thu Oct 25, 2012 1:16 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Considering the only actual hits he ever had were with some of his goofiest, most adolescent lyrics -- "Don't Eat Yellow Snow" and "Valley Girl" -- I'm not so sure I agree with your assessment.


This then made me think of Hot Rats. I don't know if this was his way of telling people he was a good musician without the silly lyrics or not, but this is why I like the album. It focuses on his talent as a composer.

As I was looking into the album a bit more I came across this:

This was the first Frank Zappa album recorded on 16-track equipment and one of the first albums to use this technology.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_Rats

That said, I agree with Wags about Joe's Garage act I

I do know a number of people who absolutely hate Zappa and I've never understood why.
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Re: Musicians who flummox

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Thu Oct 25, 2012 1:18 pm

Stebben84 wrote:This then made me think of Hot Rats... It focuses on his talent as a composer.
And musician. Some of his best guitar-playing ever on that record.
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