Author Topic: A rock music question to my American friends  (Read 1569 times)

hakerdefo

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A rock music question to my American friends
« on: June 09, 2017, 07:14:12 PM »
Recently I introduced a friend to the world of classic rock music. For someone who is born in the mid nineties, Hip-Hop naturally is what he has been listening to and is familiar with. Classic rock and it's artists are a new thing for him. Yesterday he asked me a question and honestly I didn't have any answer to it! He asked me why U.S., the birth place of Rock-n-Roll, failed to produce what can be called the biggest band in the world? The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Queen were/are British, AC/DC are from the land down-under and U2 are from Ireland.
There have been great bands from U.S. like The Allman Brothers band, Aerosmith, The Beach boys, The CCR, The Doors, The Eagles, The Jimi Hendrix experience, R.E.M and many many others. But apart from R.E.M in the early nineties (when they rivaled U2 for the title of biggest band in the world), none of the other American band could have claimed to be the biggest band in the world! Why is that?
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VastOne

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Re: A rock music question to my American friends
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2017, 09:42:31 PM »
Very interesting question and I think I might have an answer.. All the bands you listed, the very last thing that comes to mind for me is where they are from.. Of course in the back of my mind I know where they all originated from, but it is not a thought.. I believe it is because great music transcends geography, race, color, creed, religion etc etc... In the late 60's and 70's when a lot of those bands made their mark, the sales of most of their music was here in the USA and I think the concerts were bigger here.. It was how they were promoted ... so even though we got the best imported music ever, the US just loved the music man... :D

I can list several people (Elvis, Cash, Delta Blues legends, Memphis Blues legends) who brought all those bands you listed their early chops and showmanship.. so even though there may not be any great American Bands, I would say the genesis of most of Rock and Country and Rap all started here..

My son (35 and a 90's child) on the other hand would argue vehemently that the Foo Fighters are as good as anyone and looking at their output, sales, concerts and following, I would have to agree with him.. though I do not like them as much as he does...  And Aerosmith and Metallica also are humongous

Great thread hakerdefo.. I am looking forward to others thoughts

Also

Lynard Skynard
The Eagles (IMO one of the top 3 of all time)
Fleetwood Mac
Jimi Hendrix
Pearl Jam

There is a LOT of great US bands
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hakerdefo

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Re: A rock music question to my American friends
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2017, 05:33:29 PM »
@VastOne Great answer there!
Personally I'm a huge huge fan of many great American bands. What made the question interesting was the fact that there came many many great bands from U.S. and as you rightly pointed out U.S. was the biggest market for the music, both recorded and live, yet not many American bands succeeded on the scales of Beatles, Stones, Zeppelins and Floyds!

Quote
...great music transcends geography, race, color, creed, religion...
So very true!

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PackRat

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Re: A rock music question to my American friends
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2017, 05:44:27 PM »
...none of the other American band could have claimed to be the biggest band in the world! Why is that?

Depends on how you want to define that. They probably can't compete in record sales and airplay, but I know a lot - and I mean a lot - of people that consider The Greatful Dead the greatest band ever, and although not a band, Bob Dylan the greatest songwriter ever. So the criteria is subjective and dependant on what's sound is trendy and who's handling the promotion.

Take a look at this lineup and you'll see a lot of US and British bands.

As vastone says, the music transcends geography etc ... Or, in other words:

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PackRat

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Re: A rock music question to my American friends
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2017, 05:49:51 PM »
And in 1978 these guys hit the scene - and pretty much changed the trajectory of Rock and Roll.
I am tired of talk that comes to nothing.
-- Chief Joseph

...the sun, the darkness, the winds are all listening to what we have to say.
-- Geronimo

hakerdefo

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Re: A rock music question to my American friends
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2017, 05:54:39 PM »
Quote
...My son (35 and a 90's child) on the other hand would argue vehemently that the Foo Fighters are as good as anyone and looking at their output, sales, concerts and following, I would have to agree with him.. though I do not like them as much as he does...
I'm of your son's age but on this one I'm with you  ;)
Foo Fighters and Dave Grohl's earlier band Nirvana are HUGE. I like a few of their songs as well, but in my personal opinion, they come no way close to some of the great bands mentioned in this thread!
For me R.E.M were the biggest and the best band of 90's. Out of Time (1991), Automatic for the People (1992), Monster (1994), New Adventures in Hi-Fi (1996) are easily among the greatest rock music albums of not only 90's but of all time.
As far as the bands that began their career in 90's, my personal favorites are Oasis.
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hakerdefo

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Re: A rock music question to my American friends
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2017, 06:11:02 PM »
@PackRat
Quote
...Depends on how you want to define that...
The question is about being the biggest band (combination of record sales, chart positions, concert audience numbers) in the world, not the greatest  :)
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hakerdefo

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Re: A rock music question to my American friends
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2017, 06:14:44 PM »
And in 1978 these guys hit the scene - and pretty much changed the trajectory of Rock and Roll.
Didn't Clapton, Page, Hendrix, Blackmore do everything there was to do way before Eddie Van Halen?
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hakerdefo

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Re: A rock music question to my American friends
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2017, 06:27:44 PM »
Just to make the thread more interesting and intriguing,
The top three biggest solo acts in the pop music history are,
Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson and Madonna.
All of them are Americans!
Interesting, ain't it?!?

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VastOne

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Re: A rock music question to my American friends
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2017, 01:35:38 AM »
^ This is an interesting discussion.. As pointed out the Grateful Dead may be the most successful band ever .. they will continue to get followers for years and years... and their success has little to do with sales.. they are just flat out cool

The Eagles has sold as many albums as anyone with possibly only Pink Floyd having more.. Both of these bands have one very unique thing in common that sets them apart... (2 actually) The one thing is they sound just as good live as on the album.. they are perfectionists when it comes to this.. the 2nd thing is members.. with 2 very notable exceptions (felder with the Eagles, Waters with Pink Floyd) they have been the exact same band.. In Pink Floyds case the argument was that Gilmour was the music to Waters soul and the music lived on.. With the Eagles, they replaced Felder with Joe Walsh .. W O W...

So in my humble opinion it is these two bands who stand apart globally and like the Grateful Dead will go on and on as each new generation discovers each Classic Rock Albums ...

Funny thing hakerdefo.. I respect the heck out of R.E.M. but see them like another Foo Fighters.. great but not my cup of tea..

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PackRat

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Re: A rock music question to my American friends
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2017, 07:19:45 PM »
And in 1978 these guys hit the scene - and pretty much changed the trajectory of Rock and Roll.
Didn't Clapton, Page, Hendrix, Blackmore do everything there was to do way before Eddie Van Halen?
Cheers!!!

No musician has done that. Every great musician has their own style - add Lou Reed, Frank Zappa, and Syd Barrett (amongst others) to your list - and stand on the shoulders of those that came before them. Nobody was doing what Van Halen (the band, as well as Eddie) was doing in '78; and I suspect nobody was doing what Cream was doing in 1966 or Pink Floyd in 1967. It's the innovation that sets the band apart and sets the trend(s) for those that follow. Van Halen's sound and overall persona set the stage for the '80's heavy metal and hair bands (with some David Bowie glam-rock thrown in) IMO.

And of course, how much does David Lee Roth owe to Berry, Presley, and Jagger who came before him?
I am tired of talk that comes to nothing.
-- Chief Joseph

...the sun, the darkness, the winds are all listening to what we have to say.
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VastOne

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Re: A rock music question to my American friends
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2017, 08:39:34 PM »
Eddie is the grandfather of tap style lead and bends that screeched that brought in a new generation..  Van Halen is a top tiered band of all time

Mick Jagger as best showman ever.. and David Lee right behind him IMO
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riV

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Re: A rock music question to my American friends
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2017, 05:13:20 AM »
good one hakerdefo.  love to chat music.  This has caused me to revisit the biography of Roy Orbison. 
the genre of "classic " rock is not where the best music is heard.  in defense of numbers America has blues, Jazz, east, north, south, west, central, +sounds from bordering countries and influxing amalgam of backgrounds; that's spread thinly to support a lot more music, and groups, than all the british isles.
Respectfully

hakerdefo

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Re: A rock music question to my American friends
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2017, 08:01:30 PM »
@VastOne & @PackRat No offense on Van Halen intended!
It is a band I've not listened-to that much. MTV India used to play "Jump" a lot in the late nineties and sadly that is a song my mind associates with Van Halen  :'(
@VastOne Some folks put Freddie Mercury very high when it's come to showman or the band leader.
@VastOne R.E.M are one of my favorites so I might be a bit biased here but in the early nineties (1991-1994) they released three albums whose combined sales figure is about 45 millions. They were the biggest band in the world in the first half of the nineties! And these three albums often find their places (worthy) in the best albums of all-time lists  8)
@riV Listen to the Traveling Wilburys Vol.1. Roy at his finest on many of the songs plus a great album too  8)

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PackRat

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Re: A rock music question to my American friends
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2017, 11:32:45 PM »
@VastOne & @PackRat No offense on Van Halen intended!
@riV Listen to the Traveling Wilburys Vol.1. Roy at his finest on many of the songs plus a great album too  8)

Cheers!!!

None taken.

Traveling Wilburys - the band that saved Tom Petty IMO. He was a solid musician and bankable recording artist before that, but after being in that band, he took his music to a new level. I read an article in an industry magazine (not Rolling Stone) that Bob Dylan and Roy Orbinson sat down with Petty and a heart-to-heart talk with the young star. Did him a world of good if that's true.
I am tired of talk that comes to nothing.
-- Chief Joseph

...the sun, the darkness, the winds are all listening to what we have to say.
-- Geronimo