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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 9:02 pm 
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Bruce wrote:
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."


Huh?
That is absolutely one of my FAVORITE songs of all time, I've heard it countless times and I dont remember anything resembling a rap in there.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 9:04 pm 
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Negative Creep wrote:
Bruce wrote:
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."


Huh?
That is absolutely one of my FAVORITE songs of all time, I've heard it countless times and I dont remember anything resembling a rap in there.




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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 9:07 pm 
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Sampson wrote:
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.


This is precisely an example of why using whoever was first to indicate who was influential is precisely wrong. Bill Bottrell guesting in 1991 did not start a larger trend of every single female songstress pairing some of their singles and nearly all of their remixes with a male rapper. It simply didn't. Janet doing that in 1994 did not start off a larger trend in the same way. And obviously Phil Rizzuto's guest rap on Meat Loaf's Paradise By The Dashboard Light didn't Mariah's Fantasy remix with ODB did do that, and is widely credited as doing that by rappers and people within the industry.

Five years passed between Michael's and Mariah's. Two years passed between Janet's and Mariah's. Those two singles apparently had no larger affect on what was "normal" in pop music. That's why I think you're underselling with the secondary influence comment. It was secondary, in that it was second (or third, or fourth, and probably even later if we were to look at smaller underground acts and not just huge mainstream acts), but it was primary in terms of people saying "This is what caused this trend."

Sometimes the person who did it first might have introduced a concept or idea to music, but that person was not necessarily the person to make it a requirement to have; in this case having a rapper on a remix is practically sine qua non these days.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 9:53 pm 
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Mumei wrote:
Sampson wrote:
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.


This is precisely an example of why using whoever was first to indicate who was influential is precisely wrong. Bill Bottrell guesting in 1991 did not start a larger trend of every single female songstress pairing some of their singles and nearly all of their remixes with a male rapper. It simply didn't. Janet doing that in 1994 did not start off a larger trend in the same way. And obviously Phil Rizzuto's guest rap on Meat Loaf's Paradise By The Dashboard Light didn't Mariah's Fantasy remix with ODB did do that, and is widely credited as doing that by rappers and people within the industry.

Five years passed between Michael's and Mariah's. Two years passed between Janet's and Mariah's. Those two singles apparently had no larger affect on what was "normal" in pop music. That's why I think you're underselling with the secondary influence comment. It was secondary, in that it was second (or third, or fourth, and probably even later if we were to look at smaller underground acts and not just huge mainstream acts), but it was primary in terms of people saying "This is what caused this trend."

Sometimes the person who did it first might have introduced a concept or idea to music, but that person was not necessarily the person to make it a requirement to have; in this case having a rapper on a remix is practically sine qua non these days.


Then you'd get MORE secondary influence, that's all. Primary influence though, as it pertains to this criteria, is for innovation that later becomes widespread. SOMEBODY has to be first and you can't assume that somebody ELSE would've done something had that original person not done so. To say otherwise is being totally subjective, the very thing that is trying to be avoided. It's a very simple process. Artist A does something original, the innovation. When Artists B, C and D do the same thing later, Artist A gets credit for primary influence. Artist C might be the one who spreads it the widest which leads to artists E-Z doing it and becomes the common reference point in history, and that should be fairly easily discernable if it's true, so Artist C would therefore get the majority of the secondary influence for it (all secondary influence is NOT created equal, it's who spreads it widest), but regardless that still doesn't surpass the primary influence because that's the innovation itself, without which there'd be no Artist C doing it to spread it further.

If you discount the originator of something you are essentially discounting the very thing you're trying to credit someone else with later and that doesn't work.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 11:27 pm 
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it may be somewhere in all this text, but its easier to simply ask: is there a rough weight assigned to primary and secondary influence in the criteria? or is it almost all primary influence that counts? i'm just curious. i'm not asking for a math equation or something, just a rough estimate of how much secondary influence matters.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 12:14 am 
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pave wrote:
it may be somewhere in all this text, but its easier to simply ask: is there a rough weight assigned to primary and secondary influence in the criteria? or is it almost all primary influence that counts? i'm just curious. i'm not asking for a math equation or something, just a rough estimate of how much secondary influence matters.


Well, the way I've done it in the past is there are two different achievements being weighed, even though it's for the same thing in of itself. What I mean is, an innovator gets ALL of the primary credit for something they created. The secondary influence is a seperate thing entirely, even though it's the same innovation they're spreading. Think of funk. James Brown gets the entire primary credit for his innovation. There's nothing "left over" because he was the guy who came up with it. How big that innovation became determines how much it's ultimately worth, which clearly varies from innovation to innovation. But with something like funk the likes of Dyke & Blazers, Sly & The Family Stone, P-Funk, even Lee Dorsey, a whole bunch of others, each get some secondary influence credit for spreading it further. Among those artists you'd have splits based on who hit with it next, who hit with it biggest and who hit with it most, giving that artist or artists the majority of the secondary influence credit with the rest being dished out in small doses. Any new facets added to it along the way would be counted as additional primary influence starting points, but for a smaller subsection of the original primary influence (meaning not as big as the first). Think of it like a family tree, there's the roots and trunk then lots and lots of branches to it plus seedlings being dropped along the way that create new trees, but the forest starts with a single tree which is the most important thing.

It sounds confusing, but you get the hang of it quickly.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 12:26 am 
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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.


Well, that works--sort of--when you're talking about a very specific technical innovation, such as the first use of sitar on a rock record, or the first use of backward sounds. As you say, just listen to every record ever released (hope you don't have to, like, hold down a job or sleep), make sure you have the correct release dates, and, as ClashWho points out, ignore the possibility that someone did it in a live concert setting first.

But when you're talking about things like style, it just doesn't work. Styles don't spring full blown from the head of Zeus; they evolve. (Contrary to the implication your last post made, Sly & The Family Stone and Parliament-Funkadelic didn't spend their entire careers making James Brown soundalikes. James Brown may have invented funk, but funk changed as these other artists built on what he did.) Let's take, for example, Janet Jackson, to whom you were assigning a lot of primary influence for "the merger of hip-hop beats to melodic R&B". How do you objectively define what a hip-hop beat is and what "melodic R&B" is? Because I'd be willing to bet a lot of money that if you pick the record where you think Janet first did that, I can find a record released earlier which reasonably meets that definition. The problem is that if we could really agree on the first record which did that, it would end up being something pretty inconsequential. Because it's not just what you do; it's the way you do it that matters.

Which is why, yes, most credit for influence goes to artists who were very popular. That's not double-counting; that's acknowledging that people are influenced by what they hear. And the fact is that there will always be artists with tons of popularity but relatively little influence (hello, Sir Elton) and artists whose influence greatly transcends their limited popularity (Velvet Underground, Afrika Bambaataa).

You have Elvis Presley as the most influential rock artist of all time, even ahead of The Beatles. But I still haven't heard you mention one specific, particular thing that Elvis did which had never been done before. And I'm not sure there is any such thing. But clearly he is, if not the most influential rock artist, certainly no lower than second. I think if we followed your rules exactly as you lay them out, Elvis wouldn't be anywhere near the top, and the number one artist would be someone we've probably barely heard of, because they happened to make the first record ever with guitar, bass, and drums as the musical lineup, or something like that.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 12:46 am 
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Brett Alan 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.


Well, that works--sort of--when you're talking about a very specific technical innovation, such as the first use of sitar on a rock record, or the first use of backward sounds. As you say, just listen to every record ever released (hope you don't have to, like, hold down a job or sleep), make sure you have the correct release dates, and, as ClashWho points out, ignore the possibility that someone did it in a live concert setting first.

But when you're talking about things like style, it just doesn't work. Styles don't spring full blown from the head of Zeus; they evolve. (Contrary to the implication your last post made, Sly & The Family Stone and Parliament-Funkadelic didn't spend their entire careers making James Brown soundalikes. James Brown may have invented funk, but funk changed as these other artists built on what he did.) Let's take, for example, Janet Jackson, to whom you were assigning a lot of primary influence for "the merger of hip-hop beats to melodic R&B". How do you objectively define what a hip-hop beat is and what "melodic R&B" is? Because I'd be willing to bet a lot of money that if you pick the record where you think Janet first did that, I can find a record released earlier which reasonably meets that definition. The problem is that if we could really agree on the first record which did that, it would end up being something pretty inconsequential. Because it's not just what you do; it's the way you do it that matters.

Which is why, yes, most credit for influence goes to artists who were very popular. That's not double-counting; that's acknowledging that people are influenced by what they hear. And the fact is that there will always be artists with tons of popularity but relatively little influence (hello, Sir Elton) and artists whose influence greatly transcends their limited popularity (Velvet Underground, Afrika Bambaataa).

You have Elvis Presley as the most influential rock artist of all time, even ahead of The Beatles. But I still haven't heard you mention one specific, particular thing that Elvis did which had never been done before. And I'm not sure there is any such thing. But clearly he is, if not the most influential rock artist, certainly no lower than second. I think if we followed your rules exactly as you lay them out, Elvis wouldn't be anywhere near the top, and the number one artist would be someone we've probably barely heard of, because they happened to make the first record ever with guitar, bass, and drums as the musical lineup, or something like that.


I know what you're saying and I agree to a certain extent. But we're trying to come up with something that is doable and accurate and not simply someone's impressions of what matters and where the influence should be credited. So for something that has a definite starting point that we can find it would be foolish to NOT assign the lion's share of the influence for it, because it's the invention itself that added an entirely new element to the game. But as I've repeatedly stated in the past, there's not THAT much innovation out of thin air and so you're left with a shitload of secondary influence.

Maybe I didn't explain it well, but basically the point is there's really only going to be a few significant primary influence moments (the major innovations or new stylistic approaches), then a few smaller, more narrowly defined innovations, but then the overwhelming amount of influence as a whole will be secondary in nature. That's why if you look at the influence list I did, you see guys like Presley and the Stones, who have tons of secondary influence, doing so well. Yes, guys with essentially primary influence (Berry, Brown, VU, Bam, Johnny Otis) do extremely well, as they should for being innovators, but the biggest artists who spread the most things the widest will probably prevail. The thing is, no amount of secondary influence for a SINGLE thing will be worth more than the primary influence (innovation) of that SAME thing. That's probably the best way to put it.

With Funk, the variances that Sly and George Clinton brought to the table had considerable primary influence of their own, as I stated, but they're never going to be worth quite as much as James Brown's original funk prototype simply because it's where the whole funk shebang started. Meanwhile, in your other example, Elvis has a good deal of primary influence though (rockabilly, power ballads, electric bass solos - I'm looking, but haven't found an earlier example than his in rock, if I do, I'd change that), and obviously in terms of cultural influence he's off the charts. So yeah, primary influence is the single biggest achievement you can get for anything, but there's not always much of it to go around and so the secondary influence is what ultimately will wind up affecting the rankings the most overall and as you state, the more popular artists have the built-in ability to achieve that more than most. As long as nobody discounts the greater credit for primary influence and the original innovation.

OH... and one last good thing about this debate is with people suggesting it's impossible to have every recording and so forth, isn't that the goal of all this? These lists, this site, these conversations? To discover as much music as humanly possible, to hear it all and understand how it evolved and how it all ties together? I think of all the four criteria we have, the way influence is credited offers the most opportunity to actually discover things you otherwise wouldn't hear or even look into.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 1:20 am 
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Sampson wrote:
Elvis has a good deal of primary influence though (rockabilly, power ballads, electric bass solos



A bass solo is a bass solo. The fact that he did one with an electric bass is not any kind of innovation. Bass solos had been around for decades already by 1957. Just because technology brought about a new more conveniant style of the instrument does not make the first solo on that new style of bass any kind of innovation.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 1:43 am 
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Bruce wrote:
Sampson wrote:
Elvis has a good deal of primary influence though (rockabilly, power ballads, electric bass solos



A bass solo is a bass solo. The fact that he did one with an electric bass is not any kind of innovation. Bass solos had been around for decades already by 1957. Just because technology brought about a new more convenient style of the instrument does not make the first solo on that new style of bass any kind of innovation.


I assume Sampson agrees, but you're missing the Rain Man bit here. Sampson is reducing many kinds of influence into "primary" and "secondary," where the first time anything is done, no matter how mundane or inevitable, it gets "primary" credit, and then any further linear development from that point gets "secondary" credit which is worth less. However "secondary" credit in major areas can still be worth more than "primary" credit in areas like electric bass solos. The important part is that everything can be neatly put into two boxes, and then you just have to argue about degree of importance for each bit of "primary" influence.

It actually sounds like it works, it just isn't adequately descriptive for some folks including myself. I would use more and different words. I can even make them sound the same just for Sampson...

Innovation
Elaboration
Combination
Propagation

Edit: ...to the evils of the world...


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 1:56 am 
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Eric Wood wrote:
Bruce wrote:
Sampson wrote:
Elvis has a good deal of primary influence though (rockabilly, power ballads, electric bass solos



A bass solo is a bass solo. The fact that he did one with an electric bass is not any kind of innovation. Bass solos had been around for decades already by 1957. Just because technology brought about a new more convenient style of the instrument does not make the first solo on that new style of bass any kind of innovation.


I assume Sampson agrees, but you're missing the Rain Man bit here. Sampson is reducing many kinds of influence into "primary" and "secondary," where the first time anything is done, no matter how mundane or inevitable, it gets "primary" credit, and then any further linear development from that point gets "secondary" credit which is worth less. However "secondary" credit in major areas can still be worth more than "primary" credit in areas like electric bass solos. The important part is that everything can be neatly put into two boxes, and then you just have to argue about degree of importance for each bit of "primary" influence.

It actually sounds like it works, it just isn't adequately descriptive for some folks including myself. I would use more and different words. I can even make them sound the same just for Sampson...

Innovation
Elaboration
Combination
Propagation



ROFL.......we'll see if the "Rain Man" approves.

Time for Wopner.


Last edited by Bruce on Thu May 24, 2012 2:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 2:03 am 
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Eric Wood wrote:
Sampson is reducing many kinds of influence into "primary" and "secondary," where the first time anything is done, no matter how mundane or inevitable, it gets "primary" credit, and then any further linear development from that point gets "secondary" credit which is worth less. [/i]


Is the first electric guitar solo worth as much as the first electric bass solo?

How about the first rock record have hand claps? That's something that became a huge part of rock and roll.

The hand claps on "Hound Dog" by Elvis are annoying, but I don't know if there's anything earlier that has them.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 8:11 am 
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As the biggest Elvis fan on this site, I have a hard time believing that power ballads didn't exist before him.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 10:50 am 
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Bruce wrote:
Sampson wrote:
Elvis has a good deal of primary influence though (rockabilly, power ballads, electric bass solos



A bass solo is a bass solo. The fact that he did one with an electric bass is not any kind of innovation. Bass solos had been around for decades already by 1957. Just because technology brought about a new more conveniant style of the instrument does not make the first solo on that new style of bass any kind of innovation.


I wasn't sure how I felt about this. Then I wondered if the first drum solo on an electronic drumkit was a big deal, and decided it probably wasn't.


Last edited by ClashWho on Fri May 25, 2012 11:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Artists (under revision)
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 11:01 am 
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Brett Alan wrote:
Well, that works--sort of--when you're talking about a very specific technical innovation, such as the first use of sitar on a rock record, or the first use of backward sounds.


Backwards sounds, yes, since that's something you can only achieve in a recording studio. But the sitar? Who knows, maybe George Harrison saw someone else use one in a rock song at a concert he attended. Or maybe he heard about the initial version of "Heart Full of Soul" that wasn't released.

Brett Alan wrote:
As you say, just listen to every record ever released (hope you don't have to, like, hold down a job or sleep), make sure you have the correct release dates, and, as ClashWho points out, ignore the possibility that someone did it in a live concert setting first.


Feedback is an excellent example. For the sake of argument, let's assume that The Beatles' "I Feel Fine" really is the first example of guitar feedback on record. According to Sampson's policy, The Beatles would get primary influence for being the very first to incorporate guitar feedback into rock. But the truth is that guitar feedback was all over the London concert scene by the time The Beatles recorded "I Feel Fine".


Last edited by ClashWho on Fri May 25, 2012 11:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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