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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Live Rock Artists
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:37 pm 
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A couple people suggested it on the old forum (including me). I'm not sure if there were arguments or counter arguments, but I don't feel like sorting through 400 pages of Who posts to find them. Does anyone have the link to the search function in the old forum?


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Live Rock Artists
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:00 pm 
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I've seen Green Day and they're very good, but the problem is " very good" or "great" is still subjective. In the criteria they don't do well in two of the categories - no influence as live performers and their live shows didn't really make an impact on their own careers, I mean they were stars from Dookie on and nothing about their touring significantly improved upon that. The other two areas, reputation in music circles is good, but not jaw-droppingly so, and consistency is their best area but is that enough? There's only a hundred artists here over 65 years of rock. That's not much, so breaking into it is hard.

Don't think that it means they're not the equals of some on the list in terms of putting on a show, but following the criteria it's tough to crack the list without more going for them. That's why this list in particular is so problematic, because more than virtually any list on the site people view it completely subjectively - if they like a concert that's all that matters, so criteria is kind of irrelevant to how we ALL actually appreciate live shows, but unfortunately that goes against objective list making.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Live Rock Artists
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:09 am 
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Sampson wrote:
I've seen Green Day and they're very good, but the problem is " very good" or "great" is still subjective.


How about calling James Brown and the Famous Flames "the most explosive act in all of rock"? Is that subjective?


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Live Rock Artists
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:21 am 
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ClashWho wrote:
Sampson wrote:
I've seen Green Day and they're very good, but the problem is " very good" or "great" is still subjective.


How about calling James Brown and the Famous Flames "the most explosive act in all of rock"? Is that subjective?


Didn't say that wasn't a subjective statement. It is. But the list isn't determined by those kind of subjective statements, even if I'm the one making them. It's determined by the criteria and Brown does best in the criteria.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Live Rock Artists
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:22 am 
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ClashWho wrote:
Sampson wrote:
I've seen Green Day and they're very good, but the problem is " very good" or "great" is still subjective.


How about calling James Brown and the Famous Flames "the most explosive act in all of rock"? Is that subjective?


I'd say no more subjective than saying it about The Who. But it CERTAINLY is not a stretch to say it about either of them.
I think Brown is simply a little more important as a live rock artist though.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Live Rock Artists
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:29 am 
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Sampson wrote:
ClashWho wrote:
Sampson wrote:
I've seen Green Day and they're very good, but the problem is " very good" or "great" is still subjective.


How about calling James Brown and the Famous Flames "the most explosive act in all of rock"? Is that subjective?


Didn't say that wasn't a subjective statement. It is. But the list isn't determined by those kind of subjective statements, even if I'm the one making them. It's determined by the criteria and Brown does best in the criteria.


Fair enough.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Live Rock Artists
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:34 am 
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But doesn't The Who destroy Bruce Springsteen in influence?


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Live Rock Artists
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:40 am 
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Sampson wrote:
Based upon reputation within music circles at their peak, consistancy at maintaining that high performance level over time, the impact of their live performances on their own career and influence on the evolution of live performances as a whole.


Yeah I would say The Who are a good deal more influential than Springsteen.
But what about the other areas of the criteria?
Reputation at their peaks? I'd probably say The Who by a very small amount. Springsteen was a beast but he was just one man. The Who's live reputation largely stemmed from the fact that they were exciting showmen (except John), and for the general chaotic vibe they presented onstage.
Consistency? I'm not really sure how long Springsteen was great for, but weren't The Who an enormous live draw even throughout the 80's, roughly two decades into their career?
Impact of live performances on their careers? This one is hard to say but I'm leaning toward The Who by a little.

To be honest I think the perfect top 5 would be like this...

1. James Brown
2. The Who
3. Elvis
4. Springsteen
5. Redding


Last edited by Negative Creep on Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Live Rock Artists
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:59 am 
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ClashWho wrote:
But doesn't The Who destroy Bruce Springsteen in influence?


Yup. But overall, those two are razor thin when the criteria is added up. Springsteen is enormous in Impact Of Live Performance On Their Career, not in one instance but two very crucial moments in his career. After low selling first two albums (at the time, their catalog sales are huge) they built the reputation as the must see band of the time. They were underground legends and that word of mouth generated enormous momentum leading into Born To Run, which was their breakout record and the combination of the two led to their famously appearing on the cover on Time and Newsweek simultaneously, a shocking thing for an artist with no real commercial success to speak of before then. But as well as the album did (#3) it had just one moderate hit (the title song - #23) and it was still his live reputation that was getting him the accolades.

Then just as he should've been able to capitalize on that he gets hit with the lawsuit from Mike Appel where he was blocked from releasing any new material until the suit was settled. All of the momentum he had going for him ground to a halt for three years, an eternity in music. During that time punk and disco hit huge, Springsteen could've easily been forgotten. Rock history is littered with groups with one big album and a small hit that are never heard from again. But Bruce toured relentlessly, that's when he started doing those legendary four hour shows, in part because he was taking out his frustration at not being able to record, he needed to get his music out somehow, building his reputation even higher in the process and when he was finally able to return to the studio, Darkness went to #5 on the charts and he was a certifiable star. The touring was what did it in both cases, got him the initial acclaim that led to Born To Run and the media attention, then kept his career going when he was unable to record for three years. Following that even he continued to build his legacy primarily through touring until Born In the USA made him a megastar.

It's rare that touring provides that big a lift for an artist's viability even once, much less twice. Springsteen kills here. In the rest of the criteria he was also touring more steadily for a longer period than the Who, giving him a slight edge there. The Who get the influence area, as stated. Their peaks reputations are even. So it was Springsteen by a nose (which is strange considering that Pete's nose is bigger), but it was really close.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Live Rock Artists
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:29 pm 
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Although not my personal choice when seeking live entertainment, shouldn't The Grateful Dead be a lock for top 10 greatest live performance groups? Certainly the numbers would appear to bear that out. They've performed more live concerts before more fans than perhaps any band in music history including audiences numbering into the hundreds of thousands (I've heard the figure 800,000) at Watkins Glen. Scores of fans (for some reason) devoted their lives to following them around the country (those Deadheads). True the bands energy on stage appeared to coincide with the drug useage status of it's various members...but when all cylinders were clicking they were highly energetic and firmly attuned to the musical desires of their many fans. The numbers just don't lie. What am I missing here?


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Live Rock Artists
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:55 pm 
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Well, here's my attempt to persuade you that The Who should slightly edge out Springsteen by the criteria.

1964 - The Who initially made a name for themselves by smashing up their gear at the ends of their performances.

1965 - The Who's first single "I Can't Explain" initially peaked at #22 on the British charts. It was only after performing the song live on Ready Steady Go! that it went Top Ten.

1967 - It was The Who's performance at the Monterey Pop Festival that netted them their appearance on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, which helped put "I Can See For Miles" in the Top Ten and is probably where most Americans of the time first became aware of "My Generation".

1969 - Tommy peaked at #7 and then slid back down the charts in the USA. It was the release of the Woodstock film, and The Who's performance contained within, that launched Tommy back up the charts to peak at #4 and become a very long-lasting chart presence. The Woodstock performance, more than any other event in The Who's career, is responsible for launching them to superstar status.

1976 - Voted "Band of the Year" in Rolling Stone on the strength of their live performances alone. There was no new studio album that year.

1979 - Again voted "Band of the Year" in Rolling Stone on the strength of their live performances alone. Again, no new studio album that year.

I'll submit that Bruce Springsteen's lead in "Impact of live performances on career" is smaller than The Who's lead in "Influence on the evolution of live performances" and for that reason The Who should just edge him out. They're both amazingly consistent at maintaining a high level of performance over time. They may be tied in live reputation, but Live at Leeds is frequently cited as the best live rock album ever, while Bruce Springsteen's live albums are not.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Live Rock Artists
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:01 pm 
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StuBass wrote:
Although not my personal choice when seeking live entertainment, shouldn't The Grateful Dead be a lock for top 10 greatest live performance groups? Certainly the numbers would appear to bear that out. They've performed more live concerts before more fans than perhaps any band in music history including audiences numbering into the hundreds of thousands (I've heard the figure 800,000) at Watkins Glen. Scores of fans (for some reason) devoted their lives to following them around the country (those Deadheads). True the bands energy on stage appeared to coincide with the drug useage status of it's various members...but when all cylinders were clicking they were highly energetic and firmly attuned to the musical desires of their many fans. The numbers just don't lie. What am I missing here?


You're not missing anything, it's just the others above them are more well-rounded. The Dead also do incredible in Impact of Live Performances On Their Career, but as you yourself said their consistency could vary greatly depending on where they got their drugs before the show. Plus, their reputation at their peak was more in line with whether or not you were among their legion of followers, many who weren't found them decidedly boring. They're really high (no pun intended) just not Top Ten.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Live Rock Artists
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:28 pm 
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ClashWho wrote:
Well, here's my attempt to persuade you that The Who should slightly edge out Springsteen by the criteria.

1964 - The Who initially made a name for themselves by smashing up their gear at the ends of their performances.

1965 - The Who's first single "I Can't Explain" initially peaked at #22 on the British charts. It was only after performing the song live on Ready Steady Go! that it went Top Ten.

1967 - It was The Who's performance at the Monterey Pop Festival that netted them their appearance on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, which helped put "I Can See For Miles" in the Top Ten and is probably where most Americans of the time first became aware of "My Generation".

1969 - Tommy peaked at #7 and then slid back down the charts in the USA. It was the release of the Woodstock film, and The Who's performance contained within, that launched Tommy back up the charts to peak at #4 and become a very long-lasting chart presence. The Woodstock performance, more than any other event in The Who's career, is responsible for launching them to superstar status.

1976 - Voted "Band of the Year" in Rolling Stone on the strength of their live performances alone. There was no new studio album that year.

1979 - Again voted "Band of the Year" in Rolling Stone on the strength of their live performances alone. Again, no new studio album that year.

I'll submit that Bruce Springsteen's lead in "Impact of live performances on career" is smaller than The Who's lead in "Influence on the evolution of live performances" and for that reason The Who should just edge him out. They're both amazingly consistent at maintaining a high level of performance over time. They may be tied in live reputation, but Live at Leeds is frequently cited as the best live rock album ever, while Bruce Springsteen's live albums are not.


But in all of those cases, The Who were already doing well, the live appearances only nudged things higher, as it does for almost every artist who gets seen live, that's what appearances and touring is designed to do. Appearing on Ready Steady Go was about exposure, it happens all the time. Jerry Lee Lewis's Breathless wasn't doing as well as his previous records until he went on Bandstand and it tied in with a Beechnut promo on the show, the resulting exposure made it go Top Ten.

Tommy was already a Top Ten hit before the Woodstock film. Hell, Sly & The Family Stone's I Want To Take You Higher charted because of the Woodstock film, does that impact their career to the extent that it'd raise them up significantly here? No. Sly was even considered, more than The Who, to have owned Woodstock. As for Monterey, the Who comparatively bombed there, as I said before, wrong show to do.

You're guilty once again of trying to connect too many dots and stretch too many things too far in you're desperate effort to see them raised. If you hadn't done this all over the place for the last half dozen years maybe it'd be more convincing (not with me, because I'd keep sticking to the criteria argument), but your track record works against you (again, not with me, I stick to the criteria, but just in general). You can't obsess over one artist like you do, it does more harm than good. The same holds true for anybody with their favorites, everyone's guilty of it, just not quite to your level. You're like a 12 year old girl fawning over Justin Beiber. If you tried to talk music without mentioning the Who for a year you'd probably explode with more force than Keith Moon's drum kit.

They're really close to Springsteen, but trust me when I say that they get edged out by the slimmest of margins and leave it at that. The one to make the argument to raise the Who's position on any list can't be the one who probably would clean Pete Townshend's toilet bowl with his tongue. Just talk about someone else... PLEASE!


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Live Rock Artists
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:39 pm 
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Don't be a dick, Sampson. I didn't make it personal in my post. Plenty of people have posted in here saying that The Who are too low by the criteria. Negative Creep just did it on this very page. It's not just me. The Who's huge lead in influence ought to more than make-up for Bruce Springsteen's lead in impact of live performance on career.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Live Rock Artists
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:43 pm 
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ClashWho wrote:
Don't be a dick, Sampson. I didn't make it personal in my post. Plenty of people have posted in here saying that The Who are too low by the criteria. Negative Creep just did it on this very page. It's not just me. The Who's huge lead in influence ought to more than make-up for Bruce Springsteen's lead in impact of live performance on career.


Whenever somebody says "Trust Me" you know not to.


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