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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:19 pm 
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ClashWho wrote:
Bruce wrote:
Sampson wrote:
As for Stevie. You DO realize that he is the most singularly responsible person for getting Martin Luther King's birthday a national holiday, don't you? There are how many national holidays in America? Eleven... and Wonder was relentless in forcing the issue, writing the song "Happy Brithday" (which oddly enough went to #2 in the U.K.) for the cause, using his popularity and his influence to constantly pressure people in public office, including Reagan who finally met with him and agreed to sign the bill, to make King's birthday a national holiday. That's pretty freaking huge cultural impact.


To me, this means absolutely nothing towards ranking the greatness of musicians.

Suppose Pete Townshend discovers a cure for cancer? Do the Who now vault ahead of everybody else on the list?

Does Ronald Reagan move up on the list of great actors because he did something great outside of acting?


I agree with this criticism. Cultural Impact should have something to do with the music. Not mere celebrity. Elvis Presley's cultural impact grew directly out of his performances. It was Fats Domino's concerts that helped integrate rock audiences. If kids wore a white glove, it's because they saw it in Michael Jackson's music videos. If Stevie Wonder lobbied Ronald Reagan for a Martin Luther King holiday, that's great, but it has nothing to do with Rock 'n' Roll. And I doubt a song that failed to hit the Hot 100 had anything to do with it. It's nice that it got him a big UK hit, though.


Agreed, as well.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:24 pm 
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Here was my understanding of cultural impact and musical impact

Cultural impact is an artists effect on the general public as an artist, not as an actor, not as a political activist, as an artist.
Musical impact is an artists effect on the music industry and other musicians/studio techniques etc.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:29 pm 
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Here was my understanding of cultural impact and musical impact

Cultural impact is an artists effect on the general public as an artist, not as an actor, not as a political activist, as an artist.
Musical impact is an artists effect on the music industry and other musicians/studio techniques etc.

I think you're right about cultural impact, but I think musical impact has more to do with how they other artists reacted to their work. As in, how much of a positive response they got from their peers. What you described sounds more like influence to me.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:46 pm 
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I would tend to think that "cultural" impact should address how the artist impacts "culture"...which is why it's called CULTURAL impact, with musical impact reflecting an artists impact on music. The Beatles are a prime example, whereas in addition to musical impact, they impacted the culture at large...dress, hairstyles, even their influence on drugs, religion, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:16 pm 
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Classic Rock Junkie wrote:
Here was my understanding of cultural impact and musical impact


That's just it--your understanding.

This is what I've been saying all along: the criteria can be interpreted in a number of ways if not addressed specifically, which the editors here are all guilty of.

For instance, the simple criterion of "popularity". OK. Popularity as in American popularity, English-speaking countries popularity, worldwide popularity...does this factor in concert ticket sales, artist merchandise, artist-propelled TV/radio shows, music charts...

While some of the factors differ in degree of reliability or accuracy, you can use "popularity" with one or some or all of the combinations above.

The visitors to the list would have to work within a vague context of "popularity."


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:25 pm 
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J.B. Trance wrote:
Classic Rock Junkie wrote:
Here was my understanding of cultural impact and musical impact


That's just it--your understanding.

This is what I've been saying all along: the criteria can be interpreted in a number of ways if not addressed specifically, which the editors here are all guilty of.

For instance, the simple criterion of "popularity". OK. Popularity as in American popularity, English-speaking countries popularity, worldwide popularity...does this factor in concert ticket sales, artist merchandise, artist-propelled TV/radio shows, music charts...

While some of the factors differ in degree of reliability or accuracy, you can use "popularity" with one or some or all of the combinations above.

The visitors to the list would have to work within a vague context of "popularity."

It is true. Perhaps the criteria should also be reviewed and explained in the first page. This could avoid some discussions going.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:38 pm 
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Zach wrote:
ClashWho wrote:
Bruce wrote:
Sampson wrote:
As for Stevie. You DO realize that he is the most singularly responsible person for getting Martin Luther King's birthday a national holiday, don't you? There are how many national holidays in America? Eleven... and Wonder was relentless in forcing the issue, writing the song "Happy Brithday" (which oddly enough went to #2 in the U.K.) for the cause, using his popularity and his influence to constantly pressure people in public office, including Reagan who finally met with him and agreed to sign the bill, to make King's birthday a national holiday. That's pretty freaking huge cultural impact.


To me, this means absolutely nothing towards ranking the greatness of musicians.

Suppose Pete Townshend discovers a cure for cancer? Do the Who now vault ahead of everybody else on the list?

Does Ronald Reagan move up on the list of great actors because he did something great outside of acting?


I agree with this criticism. Cultural Impact should have something to do with the music. Not mere celebrity. Elvis Presley's cultural impact grew directly out of his performances. It was Fats Domino's concerts that helped integrate rock audiences. If kids wore a white glove, it's because they saw it in Michael Jackson's music videos. If Stevie Wonder lobbied Ronald Reagan for a Martin Luther King holiday, that's great, but it has nothing to do with Rock 'n' Roll. And I doubt a song that failed to hit the Hot 100 had anything to do with it. It's nice that it got him a big UK hit, though.


Agreed, as well.


It's never easy to quantify "popularity," "impact," and "influence," which can take on various interpretations.

At least Sampson tied a song ("Happy Birthday") to an American cultural milestone (a holiday representing an important historical figure). That song was a basis that helped sign this national holiday into existence.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:45 pm 
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Bruno_Antonio wrote:
It is true. Perhaps the criteria should also be reviewed and explained in the first page. This could avoid some discussions going.


And I haven't even touched upon the overlaps of "popularity," "influence, and "impact." They're not absolute independents.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:48 pm 
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Cultural Impact is very simply the impact they have on culture in general as a direct result of their careers as artists. Steveland Morris, a blind civics teacher in Saginaw, Michigan is not going to have any effect on getting a holiday named for Martin Luther King, no matter how many speeches he gives, or petitions he signs. Stevie Wonder, one of the biggest rock icons in the world has enormous influence in this way, and considering he devoted a good deal of his time, energy and money to see to it that this was done that equates to IMPACT ON CULTURE as a direct result of his career as an artist. There's no two ways around it. Bob Dylan's songs in the Civil Rights protests is what gets Dylan his cultural impact. Take that away and Dylan plummets out of the Top Ten most likely and yet everyone here will try desperately to keep him in there for some unknown reason and it will center around his status as an "iconic figure", only they'll have no category to fit it into.

The fact that cultural impact can take so many forms only shows how big rock 'n' roll itself has become and that was its intent when forming the criteria. Rock music, more than almost any other form of popular entertainment, figures drastically into the way the world gets reshaped over time. It's changed the dominant marketplace, changed who things are aimed at and why, it's affected fashion, language, sexual mores, racial tolerance... the list is endless. Folk music is renown for tackling political issues without nearly the level of mass awareness most of those artists had with the general public as rock had over the years. Countless rock artists have attempted to use their popularity for political causes and failed miserably (Jackson Browne and the Anti-Nukes; the entire Rock The Vote sham), but when someone comes along and actually foces an issue to the point where it becomes a national holiday, somehow this is insigificant? Now you can say it has nothing to do with making his music any more or less worthwhile, but as with Influence, we're crediting people for the change they bring about as a result of what they do, whether we like it or not, or feel those changes were important or not. Impacting culture is something that oftentimes is the very thing that seperates the immortals from the merely great. As popular as Elvis and The Beatles are, they're not really all that much bigger than Bing Crosby in terms of popularity, or even influence, relative to their times, but it's the way they radically changed the culture around them that makes them far bigger figures. Everybody wants to have that acknowledged when talking greatness, but when it comes to actually designating a criteria for it, especially when it gives certain artists that some may not want to see above some others an advantage in the criteria, then people want to see it eliminated.

Some things around here never really change, and sadly it's still largely about people having their tastes validated by positions on a stupid list. Clash's love of the Who shouldn't be affected any if they're 8th all-time or 88th but he takes it so personally that he'll resort at times to disparaging other artists, including even artists he LIKES (saying the Beach Boys FAILED to keep up with the Beatles, when in fact they were seen by the Beatles as the one group who did keep up and challenge them creatively, or using the Who's album success post-1968 when that helps their cause, but then turning around and trying to claim that a #1 hit in 1988 shouldn't matter as much for the Beach Boys as the Who selling out concerts should matter for the Who.... it's so blatantly hypocritical but he's too blinded with his zeal for seeing the Who finish higher that he fails to realize it) because anything that threatens their placement is viewed as some kind of danger that has to be discredited or dismissed. Is everybody really so insecure that seeing their favorite artist in a different spot on a list is going to cause them so much distress that they'll lose their mind over it? It's like a kindergarten class around here sometimes.

While I fully understand (and respect) people having different views on what criteria should be used and how much it should be weighed, the same holds true for me when viewing others lists and criteria that I disagree with, but I say nothing about it because I try and have respect for the people who make those lists, who set that criteria and who do the necessary work involved with both. I don't always like Bruce's criteria but as long as that's what those lists are going by I'll either abide by them and try to factor them as fairly as I can when making a comment on them, or I'll just ignore the list entirely because I don't think it shows anything valid. But I don't think he's got some wild crackpot agenda because of it. As much as he can be a pain in the ass sometimes, I trust that he honestly sees the criteria he chooses to best represent "greatness" in that category and I also trust that when applying that criteria he'll do it as fairly and accurately as possible. I've never questioned his integrity (his sanity, yes, but that's another story) or questioned his intent. Why can't others do the same when it comes to lists using criteria that's somehow different than their own would be? Is it really that hard to simply look at things differently because that's what a particular list is using as its determining criteria?

The funny thing is, when I came back here I was surprised that the forum was as dead as it was and that there were so few people taking part regularly. It seemed a hell of a lot more lively when I was here in the past. Then I made a few posts and everyone (well, ALMOST everyone) was glad to see me back and ask me questions and things started hopping again, but now I see why the forum was dying - it's always the same old nonsense - people wanting to play captain of every list and shape it to suit their personal viewpoints. Why even bother making lists on the site, just let everyone post their own and ignore everybody else's, argue over who has better taste and be done with it.

Have fun with it guys.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 7:30 pm 
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Sampson wrote:
While I fully understand (and respect) people having different views on what criteria should be used and how much it should be weighed, the same holds true for me when viewing others lists and criteria that I disagree with, but I say nothing about it because I try and have respect for the people who make those lists, who set that criteria and who do the necessary work involved with both. I don't always like Bruce's criteria but as long as that's what those lists are going by I'll either abide by them and try to factor them as fairly as I can when making a comment on them, or I'll just ignore the list entirely because I don't think it shows anything valid. But I don't think he's got some wild crackpot agenda because of it. As much as he can be a pain in the ass sometimes, I trust that he honestly sees the criteria he chooses to best represent "greatness" in that category and I also trust that when applying that criteria he'll do it as fairly and accurately as possible. I've never questioned his integrity (his sanity, yes, but that's another story) or questioned his intent.


I don't think your integrity is in question at all. I just don't buy that cultural impact should have a bearing on ranking recording artists (musicians). Or that all parts of the criteria should be weighed equally.

The fact that SW helped make MLK Day a holiday has NO EFFECT on music at all. Even if you tie in the fact that his song was used to help promote the cause, the end result (a holiday) has no bearing on music.

And Clash has a good point about commercial impact. It's not just chart positions (which only measure initial popularity). I also include lasting popularity, and certainly money made touring is also commercial impact. That's one of the reasons I had Bon Jovi so high on the 300 Greatest Popular Artists list. They were the top box office act of 2010.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 7:37 pm 
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ClashWho wrote:
And I doubt a song that failed to hit the Hot 100 had anything to do with it. It's nice that it got him a big UK hit, though.


To be fair, "Happy Birthday" did not make the top 100 in the USA only because it was not issued on a single in the USA.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:24 pm 
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ClashWho wrote:
Additionally, is it Commercial Impact or is it Chart Success? It seems like you think they're the same thing. But they're not. Do you want Pete Townshend's bank account or do you want Brian Wilson's? You sure you know the answer to that? You talk about the Beach Boys' four #1 hits. "Kokomo" was a #1 hit for the Beach Boys in 1988. The Who went on tour in 1989 and netted 50 million dollars. Net. Not gross. Who wins commercial impact for those years? What would you rather have, one percent of the Beach Boys' "Kokomo" or one percent of The Who's 1989 tour? I doubt all four of the Beach Boys' #1 hits equal the commercial impact of one major Who tour.


How many people bought a ticket to The Who's 1989 tour?

How many people bought at least one of those number one hits? Not to mention how many more wanted to hear them on the radio (reflected in requests, research, and the other means that radio uses to figure out what to play)?

In short, "commercial impact" doesn't equal amount of money made. And if it did, I don't think The Who would make the top ten, anyway. The Beach Boys wouldn't either, but you'd certainly have to put Michael Jackson, U2, Madonna, and the Dave Matthews Band up there.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:39 pm 
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Sampson wrote:
Bob Dylan's songs in the Civil Rights protests is what gets Dylan his cultural impact. Take that away and Dylan plummets out of the Top Ten most likely and yet everyone here will try desperately to keep him in there for some unknown reason and it will center around his status as an "iconic figure", only they'll have no category to fit it into.


Dylan has a lot more going on than just writing civil rights protests.

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The fact that cultural impact can take so many forms


And different definitions as I've said.

Quote:
Countless rock artists have attempted to use their popularity for political causes and failed miserably


With countless artists succeeding in a socio-political framework. Live Aid, Farm Aid, Human Rights Now! (with Amnesty International), USA for Africa in the '80s alone...the civil rights movement...the philanthropic and charitable work of many artists...and all sorts of concerts and benefits around the world for decades.

Quote:
Some things around here never really change, and sadly it's still largely about people having their tastes validated by positions on a stupid list.


So now this list is stupid?

Quote:
Is everybody really so insecure that seeing their favorite artist in a different spot on a list is going to cause them so much distress that they'll lose their mind over it? It's like a kindergarten class around here sometimes.


Just who is "everybody"? That's a pretty childish assumption to make.

Quote:
The funny thing is, when I came back here I was surprised that the forum was as dead as it was and that there were so few people taking part regularly.


That's true for a lot of the forum here. There's only several regular posters here that frequent this site, not many, even though we have hundreds of members.

Quote:
Then I made a few posts and everyone (well, ALMOST everyone) was glad to see me back and ask me questions and things started hopping again


I wouldn't call this exactly "hopping." The Rock Artists thread has always been one of the most active threads in DDD history. It has its moments of activity. Even this thread doesn't hold a candle to the "Led Zeppelin vs Who" spectacle of yesteryear.

Quote:
Why even bother making lists on the site, just let everyone post their own and ignore everybody else's, argue over who has better taste and be done with it.


Actually, the forums have improved as people are opening their minds more. It was worse back in 2004 on the old posting board and in 2005 when the first incarnation of the forum began.

As I've been saying from day one, no one is forced to be here, to look at any lists and to comment on them.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:06 pm 
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Trust me...If The Beatles were not "culturally" different (hairstyles, clothing, etc) than the prevailing artists and groups of that time...they would never have become the musical icons they became. They couldn't even find a U.S. record distributer for their early records (even Berry Gordy turned down distribution rights)...but when they were actually SEEN (not necessarily heard)...they became the adorable Brits that everyone fell in love with and only THEN did people far and wide really get into the music they were putting down. THAT'S the significance of "cultural" impact and how it can translate into "musical" impact. It can also work in reverse.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:16 pm 
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StuBass wrote:
Trust me...If The Beatles were not "culturally" different (hairstyles, clothing, etc) than the prevailing artists and groups of that time...they would never have become the musical icons they became. They couldn't even find a U.S. record distributer for their early records (even Berry Gordy turned down distribution rights)...but when they were actually SEEN (not necessarily heard)...they became the adorable Brits that everyone fell in love with and only THEN did people far and wide really get into the music they were putting down. THAT'S the significance of "cultural" impact and how it can translate into "musical" impact. It can also work in reverse.


The Beatles were huge already in the USA before they were ever seen. As soon as "I Want To Hold Your Hand" broke out in NYC and then spread across the country they were huge, It wasn't until Feb 9 that they were on Ed Sullivan. "Hand" had already been number one by then for two weeks, and stations were playing any Beratles song they could get their hands on already.

Actually they were seen for the first time on USA TV on the Jack Parr show in 1963, but it took "I want To Hold Your Hand" to break them over here......NOT being seen.

Their early records came out here, on Vee Jay and Swan. One of them even bubbled under on Billboard in 1963. "From Me To You" got to #116 in August of 1963.


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