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Popular/Successful Acts With Little or No Acclaim

I was curious to see what acts have had big success, but rarely get cited on best-of lists, whether as artists or their songs/albums.

A few may be considered like Frank Sinatra. Henrik- would an act like Pat Boone be considered like that? I wouldn't have thought, but he's among the biggest hitmakers of the rock era, and he has practically no acclaim! What about Connie Francis? I'd guess the same for Nat "King" Cole. How about Bobby Vinton?

Other big-time popular U.S. acts with little acclaim (they may have one song or album that has been listed or is listed, with minor acclaim; or none in some cases):
Mariah Carey, Chicago, Neil Diamond (!), Paul Anka, Olivia Newton-John, Brenda Lee, Perry Como, Kenny Rogers, Andy Williams.

There are more, but those are among those with the most singles success. Who are some others that come to mind? Also, for the UK- an act like Westlife comes to mind- 10 #1s and the group isn't taken very seriously as artists at all.

Then, there's the opposite end of the spectrum- acts with a lot of acclaim, but little commercial success. I think having a good balance is cool, and some acts have managed to pull it off nicely.

Re: Popular/Successful Acts With Little or No Acclaim

You are correct that the artists you mentioned are not acclaimed. To answer you what is acclaimed outside the rock field, I present the list of 33 songs outside rock and/or pre-1949 that surely will make the Acclaimed Music list. This list was previously posted in another thread.

1. Billie Holiday - Strange Fruit
2. Robert Johnson - Cross Road Blues
3. Woody Guthrie - This Land Is Your Land
4. Bobby Darin - Mack the Knife
5. Thelonius Monk - Round Midnight
6. John Lee Hooker - Boogie Chillen
7. Bill Monroe - Blue Moon of Kentucky
8. Leadbelly - The Midnight Special
9. Bing Crosby - White Christmas
10. Louis Armstrong - What a Wonderful World
11. Louis Armstrong - West End Blues
12. Judy Garland - Over the Rainbow
13. Billie Holiday - God Bless the Child
14. Les Paul & Mary Ford - How High the Moon
15. Frank Sinatra - I've Got You under My Skin
16. Glenn Miller - In the Mood
17. Duke Ellington - Take the 'A' Train
18. Dave Brubeck - Take Five
19. Gene Autry - Back in the Saddle Again
20. Benny Goodman - Sing, Sing, Sing
21. Stan Getz & Astrud Gilberto - The Girl from Ipanema
22. Coleman Hawkins - Body and Soul
23. Mahalia Jackson - Move on Up a Little Bit Higher
24. Edith Piaf - La vie en rose
25. Jimmy Rodgers - Blue Yodel (T for Texas)
26. T-Bone Walker - Call It Stormy Monday
27. Hoagy Carmichael - Star Dust
28. Roy Acuff - Wabash Cannonball
29. The Chordettes - Mr Sandman
30. Duke Ellington - Moon Indigo
31. Louis Jordan - Caldonia
32. Robert Johnson - Hellhound on My Trail
33. John Coltrane - A Love Supreme (Part 1: Acknowledgement)

Regarding albums, your guesses in other threads have been very accurate. There will be a lot of jazz added, as well as Sinatra and a few world albums.

Re: Popular/Successful Acts With Little or No Acclaim

Nat "King" Cole is the biggest shocker for me. I have his 4CD box set and it's VERY listenable nearly all the way through. Even when he's mocking doo-wop ("Mr. Cole Won't Rock and Roll") it's pretty entertaining. You even realize he's just doing it to placate his adult audience because later on in the set when he does "Send for Me" it's clear he's been borrowing daughter Natalie's records here and there. (It has a very pronounced "early rock" vibe.)

Cole also was one of the first of the "easy listening" crowd to get hip to bongos by adding Jack Costanza to his band. Cole is my favorite "pure" singer in terms of voice and sonority though he always called himself a "piano player". (Cole usually gets more credit for ivory tickling from crits for his Trio stuff.)

Re: Popular/Successful Acts With Little or No Acclaim

Cliff Richard, as huge as The Beatles in England during the late '50s and the whole '60s.

Re: Popular/Successful Acts With Little or No Acclaim

Garth Brooks has sold more albums in the US than everyone except the Beatles but is he taken that seriously?

Re: Popular/Successful Acts With Little or No Acclaim

half zeitgeist, half corporates, half manbearpig bears out rankings... cope with it or die uncopied!!

Re: Popular/Successful Acts With Little or No Acclaim

Re: Garth Brooks - I'm sure you're well aware that the relationship between sales and acclaim (or quality) can often be tenuous at best. Brooks certainly isn't regarded as a bad artist (except for that inexplicable Chris Gaines fiasco), but just because he's second to the Beatles in sales doesn't mean he's considered anywhere near as artistically significant. (Although "Friends in Low Places" makes the top 500 songs here, and that's appropriate - it's pretty much the most archetypal country single of the last 25 years.)

Re: Popular/Successful Acts With Little or No Acclaim

Garth Brooks is the most significant artist in what arguably is the biggest genre in America right now. It's just that critics and music lovers normally despise that genre. I don't mind Garth but I think he could represent a major turn that this country made about 10 years ago.

Re: Popular/Successful Acts With Little or No Acclaim

I don't think Garth's acclaim should be anywhere near his sales (and I'm a fan) but I surely think in the long run not only "Friends in Low Places" but "The Dance" and "Unanswered Prayers" will creep onto these lists.

And I think, considering it's one of the 4 tributaries of the rock and roll stream, country in general doesn't get as much critical love as it should.

And again...gospel...ONLY Mahalia Jackson and the Fisk Jubilee Singers? Really? Nothing from the Soul Stirrers? Dixie Hummingbirds? Shirley Caesar? Andrae Crouch?(unless I've somehow missed them)

Re: Popular/Successful Acts With Little or No Acclaim

Re: Chris Gaines fiasco. That's an excellent album. I've never understood just why it is hated. I still listen to in once in a while, and there are lots of good songs on it.

Re: Popular/Successful Acts With Little or No Acclaim

Country music could almost be broken down into two "genres." The popular "country" music of Garth Brooks, Shania Twain, et al, has only a tenuous connection to the musical tradition of Hank, Johnny, George, and Merle. It owes a lot more The Eagles and 1970's pop. It's my impress that there are few fans of the Hank school that also really love the Garth school.

At the risk of offending many, the new country music is pretty lousy, so it doesn't deserve any acclaim beyond "Friends In Low Places."

It Carries Over...

into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as well. The number of country acts is tiny- maybe 1 or 2 notables? I believe Hank Williams is in there.

Which brings to mind an act like Bon Jovi- some thought it was a lock as a Hall of Fame nominees this year- but, nope. The band isn't all that acclaimed- if Foreigner and Journey were never considered, why would Bon Jovi? BJ is more akin to those bands than U2 or R.E.M., in terms of acclaim.