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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 12:37 pm 
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Sampson wrote:
Mumei wrote:

I would have to simply cop to some ignorance about Janet's influence in that regard. That said, I think that "merging hip-hop beats to melodic R&B" and "using guest rappers on songs", while they might be related, are not the same thing. You can't really call it a minor influence when that remix was instrumental in making the "add a rapper to a remix" / "add a guest rapper to a single" (Or add two: See Madonna's latest foray) formula the standard for pop music. You might be able to say that Janet's influence in popularizing the NJS movement influenced Mariah to do that - and Mariah dabbled with NJS in remixes as early as 1991:



But I still think that you'd underrate Mariah in that respect if you simply ascribed whatever influence her remix had onto Janet simply because Janet did something related earlier. Unless you want to apply that stuff to musical impact rather than influence? I have a tendency to conflate the two. You might still be right that the merging of hip-hop beats to melodic R&B and the popularization of NJS were more important or influential, but I think that it's underselling things to say that Mariah's influence there is a minor, secondary influence.


Well, primary influence is for true innovation, and Mariah wasn't the first by any means to do that, so as a result it has to be secondary by nature, the way we define it here. But I think it's somewhat more minor by comparision to Janet because the New Jack Swing style is essentially what allowed the hip-hop underpinnings to become pervasive in mainstream music, which anyone listening to current rock over the past two decades can see is an immense change in the overall style of rock. It's not coincidence that the term "New Jack Swing" came and went so fast, even though it continued being the foundation for so much since then, simply because it got so widespread so fast that there was no need to call it anything anymore, other than just mainstream music. That's what broke the door itself down and so Mariah, in what she did, which admittedly was somewhat different, walked through that door. But again, she wasn't the first to use geust rappers, so it diminishes it to a large degree, even though her use of ODB was one of the more renown early examples of it.

So in this regard Janet has to be given a huge amount of Influence credit because she fueled that entire sea change in mainstream music with her late 80's work. What Mariah did later on was add elements of hip-hop to her already established style. I think it's like the difference between designing the house and laying a new carpet inside.


I see.

I don't really agree with that definition of influence - that it is for true innovation and for the first to do X is the one that is influential. Those people aren't necessarily very influential themselves; it takes someone with a lot more visibility and popularity to bring it to wider knowledge, and that person who is responsible for popularizing a particular change does more to influence music in their era. You can't be influenced by something if you never hear it, after all. She wasn't the first, but she was the one who made it de rigueur in pop music. What is that, if not influence? I think that declaring it minor or secondary by fiat is to mislead about how influential it actually was.

I'm also not yet on board with your construction of this as "Janet introduced hip-hop beats to R&B melodies, and therefore any time someone uses hip-hop elements in R&B music, Janet is responsible for that." I think she gets some credit for influencing whoever does that, sure. But simply re-ascribing credit for that onto Janet doesn't make much sense. Nearly 10 years passed between Janet's late 80s career and Mariah's popularization of rappers in pop music.

... All that said, you have convinced me that I really undersold Janet's musical influence.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 2:55 pm 
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Mumei wrote:

I don't really agree with that definition of influence - that it is for true innovation and for the first to do X is the one that is influential. Those people aren't necessarily very influential themselves; it takes someone with a lot more visibility and popularity to bring it to wider knowledge, and that person who is responsible for popularizing a particular change does more to influence music in their era. You can't be influenced by something if you never hear it, after all. She wasn't the first, but she was the one who made it de rigueur in pop music. What is that, if not influence? I think that declaring it minor or secondary by fiat is to mislead about how influential it actually was.


Well, I totally disagree with that for this reason: You can't possibly determine where each artist heard something and since it is the innovation itself which marks the foundation for whoever does it later, regardless of their individual awareness of it, that's the most important thing. In anything creative innovation is vital, it's what alters the direction music itself takes and someone in each case is the one who stepped outside the accepted approach and tried something different. Most times those different things fail. More often than not they even fail to make it onto a released recording, because it becomes obvious when experimenting (in the writing or recording stage) that there's a reason why no one's done it before, it simply doesn't work. So when those innovations DO work and later on down the road, whether a week later or a year or a decade, others pick up on it and do the same thing making it even more popular, the originator has to be singled out. It was their vision that made it possible.

As a result this method of assessing influence gives full credit to the innovators, which oftentimes is that artist's most notable achievement, for as you say, they don't necessarily become famous for doing it (more people think the Beatles, Who or Yardbirds invented guitar feedback for instance when in fact Johnny "Guitar" Watson did it way back in 1954). To instead credit whatever big name artist that adapted something later essentially gives those artists, who are already getting huge scores for Commercial Impact, even MORE credit for simply being popular. That's like giving the smart kids in class the test beforehand to study for the specific questions that will be asked. Eventually you'll get nothing more than Billboard's artists rankings in these lists if we're always skewing it even more towards the one area. Those artists will still do best overall, as they should, because they'll usually be well respected (musical impact) and have a better ability to alter the general culture (Cultural Impact) as well as get plenty of secondary Influence credit for spreading styles wider, but let's not confuse that with innovation, which is where the music actually CHANGES. The ones who do that have to be credited properly and have that stand above those who follow them in the criteria.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 3:20 pm 
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But Sampson, we can't ever really be sure who did something first.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 3:42 pm 
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Gray wrote:
But Sampson, we can't ever really be sure who did something first.


We absolutely can, especially as it pertains to rock 'n' roll. We have access to virtually every single record released and if we know what influence we're looking for it's not difficult to find it. This makes Influence very easy to assess, in the case of primary influence it's the one area of the all of the criteria that there shouldn't even be any debate over. Here's the first example of it on record, therefore that artist gets credit. Simple. How important that innovation is and the amount of influence you'd get for it would still need to be determined and can be argued over, but the starting point itself is pretty easy to pin down.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 4:52 pm 
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So I suppose you've heard every record from before 1954? That's how you're sure that Johnny Watson invented guitar feedback?


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 5:01 pm 
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Brian wrote:
Bruce wrote:
Brian wrote:
What I was thinking on Otis was that he was highly respected, had a lot of top 10 R&B hits, mostly during the era before R&B crossed over to the pop charts, and he's very influential, #24 on Sampson's influential atists list. So he looks like a top 100 to me as a performer alone. I have reservations about the non-performer accomplishments. Carole King's placement in the 2nd 100 was brought up a couple weeks ago. That placement is based on her accomplishments as a performer. If she were also credited with all the songs she wrote before the '70s for other artists, she would be a lot higher.


Is Smokey Robinson credited for all the songs he wrote for other artists?

Not under popularity, but because he wrote those songs at he same time that he was a performer, maybe he should under musical impact. I'd be interested in Sampson's take on that.


Bruce wrote:
Carole King was a performer already in the late 50s and early 60s. Maybe not a real successful performer, but a performer nonetheless.

Here's her first single, from 1958:

Image


Brett Alan wrote:
It strikes me that it should be all or nothing. Either we count outside songwriting, or we don't, but to make it dependent upon when it happens in the artist's life relative to when they were recording would be excessively arbitrary.


Generally, it’s musical impact when an artist’s songs are recorded by other artists, because it’s a reaction from other artists to that artist, and it shows that other artists think that artist’s songs are good enough to record. I had more doubt about whether it would count in King’s case than in Robinson’s, but in both cases I had some doubt because the other artists aren’t doing their songs because of their recording careers. Smokey was a songwriter on the Motown staff, supplying songs to The Temptations and Mary Wells just as H-D-H supplied songs to The Supremes and the Four Tops. I don’t think The Temptations and Mary Wells were doing Robinson’s songs in response to The Miracles' recording career, or that The Drifters, The Shirelles, etc., were doing King’s songs in response to King’s recording career. But I would be interested in Sampson’s views on whether these things should be counted toward musical impact.

The Beatles doing “You Really Got a Hold on Me” is a response to The Miracles’ music, so that would definitely count.

Sampson, another question I have about musical impact is whether it counts when an artist’s songs are remade many years later. Musical impact is generally about the immediate response to an artist’s music, and remakes aren’t considered influence, so does that mean that remakes that are done many years later don’t count for any part of the criteria? For example, do The Beatles get no credit for Tiffany’s “I Saw Him Standing There” because it came too late?


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 5:55 pm 
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Gray wrote:
So I suppose you've heard every record from before 1954? That's how you're sure that Johnny Watson invented guitar feedback?


This is the record that supposedly has guitar feedback on it:



Do you hear it? I don't.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 6:00 pm 
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Sampson wrote:
Gray wrote:
But Sampson, we can't ever really be sure who did something first.


We absolutely can, especially as it pertains to rock 'n' roll. We have access to virtually every single record released and if we know what influence we're looking for it's not difficult to find it. This makes Influence very easy to assess, in the case of primary influence it's the one area of the all of the criteria that there shouldn't even be any debate over. Here's the first example of it on record, therefore that artist gets credit. Simple. How important that innovation is and the amount of influence you'd get for it would still need to be determined and can be argued over, but the starting point itself is pretty easy to pin down.


Geez, man, it's not all about the record. Plenty of important innovations first occurred in the live setting. Heck, probably most of them.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 6:05 pm 
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Gray wrote:
So I suppose you've heard every record from before 1954? That's how you're sure that Johnny Watson invented guitar feedback?


... sometimes you can build a timeline with a specific tune forward, such as What I`d Say which was a piano tune that influenced a generation of guitar music ..... basically guitarists copying the piano line/melody/riff etc ..... Take care

1959 Ray Charles - What I`d Say - Parts 1 and 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTIP_FOdq24

1961 Bobby Parker - Watch Your Step

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvtabNAb_wE

1964 The Beatles - I Feel Fine

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlpMs_R3P6U

1965 The Rolling Stones - The Last Time

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzZHmHqEE7k

1969 Led Zeppelin - Moby Dick

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lw61c8NSejA

1972 Sir Lord Baltimore - Hard Rain Fallin

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kggj-Otadp0

1973 Deep Purple - Rat Bat Blue

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOS99e6Gih0


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 6:10 pm 
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ClashWho wrote:
Sampson wrote:
Gray wrote:
But Sampson, we can't ever really be sure who did something first.


We absolutely can, especially as it pertains to rock 'n' roll. We have access to virtually every single record released and if we know what influence we're looking for it's not difficult to find it. This makes Influence very easy to assess, in the case of primary influence it's the one area of the all of the criteria that there shouldn't even be any debate over. Here's the first example of it on record, therefore that artist gets credit. Simple. How important that innovation is and the amount of influence you'd get for it would still need to be determined and can be argued over, but the starting point itself is pretty easy to pin down.


Geez, man, it's not all about the record. Plenty of important innovations first occurred in the live setting. Heck, probably most of them.


improv and jamming is a live breeding ground for innovation ... Take care


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 6:18 pm 
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ClashWho wrote:
Gray wrote:
So I suppose you've heard every record from before 1954? That's how you're sure that Johnny Watson invented guitar feedback?


This is the record that supposedly has guitar feedback on it:



Do you hear it? I don't.

Thats certainly a progressive performance but I don't think there was any feedback.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 7:13 pm 
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Brian wrote:
Brian wrote:
Bruce wrote:
Brian wrote:
What I was thinking on Otis was that he was highly respected, had a lot of top 10 R&B hits, mostly during the era before R&B crossed over to the pop charts, and he's very influential, #24 on Sampson's influential atists list. So he looks like a top 100 to me as a performer alone. I have reservations about the non-performer accomplishments. Carole King's placement in the 2nd 100 was brought up a couple weeks ago. That placement is based on her accomplishments as a performer. If she were also credited with all the songs she wrote before the '70s for other artists, she would be a lot higher.


Is Smokey Robinson credited for all the songs he wrote for other artists?

Not under popularity, but because he wrote those songs at he same time that he was a performer, maybe he should under musical impact. I'd be interested in Sampson's take on that.


Bruce wrote:
Carole King was a performer already in the late 50s and early 60s. Maybe not a real successful performer, but a performer nonetheless.

Here's her first single, from 1958:

Image


Brett Alan wrote:
It strikes me that it should be all or nothing. Either we count outside songwriting, or we don't, but to make it dependent upon when it happens in the artist's life relative to when they were recording would be excessively arbitrary.


Generally, it’s musical impact when an artist’s songs are recorded by other artists, because it’s a reaction from other artists to that artist, and it shows that other artists think that artist’s songs are good enough to record. I had more doubt about whether it would count in King’s case than in Robinson’s, but in both cases I had some doubt because the other artists aren’t doing their songs because of their recording careers. Smokey was a songwriter on the Motown staff, supplying songs to The Temptations and Mary Wells just as H-D-H supplied songs to The Supremes and the Four Tops. I don’t think The Temptations and Mary Wells were doing Robinson’s songs in response to The Miracles' recording career, or that The Drifters, The Shirelles, etc., were doing King’s songs in response to King’s recording career. But I would be interested in Sampson’s views on whether these things should be counted toward musical impact.

The Beatles doing “You Really Got a Hold on Me” is a response to The Miracles’ music, so that would definitely count.

Sampson, another question I have about musical impact is whether it counts when an artist’s songs are remade many years later. Musical impact is generally about the immediate response to an artist’s music, and remakes aren’t considered influence, so does that mean that remakes that are done many years later don’t count for any part of the criteria? For example, do The Beatles get no credit for Tiffany’s “I Saw Him Standing There” because it came too late?


No, remakes are like any other outside material - artists looking for hits. With something like the Beatles anyway it's not like you need to count the number of hit remakes to judge their impact, it's pretty obvious.

With writers like Smokey who penned hits for others, or Curtis Mayfield, as opposed to guys like Dylan whose songs were covered without his direct input mostly, these guys actually tailored their songs specifically for other artists, that's tricky. Obviously the writing aspect can't be credited to Mary Wells or Major Lance, but since those records were only further evidence of each guy's writing ability it kind of fits in with their roles as performers. In other words, you're not going to be able to divvy up a percentage about which specific songs of Robinson's elicited what acclaim from other artists. If a guy was writing for himself as well as others, it's his overall songwriting that is going to create the impact most likely.

But again, these are OUR attempts to try and neatly classify things to fit criteria, the real world doesn't do that. People take on different roles and don't think about how each thing they do affects each specific aspect of their career. They're just out to make music. Sometimes we get a little too anal retentive about this, but that's the nature of listmaking.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 7:22 pm 
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RE: Mariah Carey and rap guests on record.

Actually Michael Jackson scored two Top Ten singles with guest raps well before Mariah, as did sister Janet. Bill Bottrell guested in 1991 on "Black & White" and then Heavy D on "Jam" in 1993 for MJ. Janet did the same in '94 with MC Lyte guesting on U Want This, another Top Ten hit. Mariah didn't do it until the fall of '95 with Fantasy, which itself wasn't the hit version, but the B-side remix. So you'd be hard pressed to give any influence credit to Carey for something that two of the most popular artists outside rap already did with far more success than she did a few years later. I agree there's some slight secondary influence for it, because it did help spread the trend wider, but she didn't beat either of them to it to get credit for more influence.

Doing it this way, aside from more accurate, also eliminates people's tastes from entering into it. Someone will always say, "Yeah, but HERE'S where it REALLY took off, THIS is what's influencial", but if the timeline doesn't back it up then that argument is squashed. You always want to try and eliminate as much subjective interpretation as possible and doing things chronologically is about as objective as you can get.

Now if something comes to light that places the innovation for anything earlier than it's been given credit for then it's simple to change. No harm done.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 8:29 pm 
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Brian wrote:
Generally, it’s musical impact when an artist’s songs are recorded by other artists, because it’s a reaction from other artists to that artist, and it shows that other artists think that artist’s songs are good enough to record.


So would Guns 'N Roses covering Heartbreak Hotel in their early days score significant musical impact for Elvis?


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 8:32 pm 
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Sampson wrote:
RE: Mariah Carey and rap guests on record.

Actually Michael Jackson scored two Top Ten singles with guest raps well before Mariah, as did sister Janet.


Phil Rizzuto had a guest rap in 1977 on Meat Loaf's "Paradise By The Dashboard Light."


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