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2000s Again

Lately I've noticed something interesting in some of the topics posted. People are giving top 5s and 10s of certain decades on artists, songs and albums.

Now for the 2000s there are some artists that keep popping up and I cant understand why.

Before I say what I have to say, you should know that I'm Australian and obviously different countries have different charts, but anyway:

1)Outkast - The first song i heard of theirs was Ms Jackson, around the 2000 mark. It lingered around 3 or 4 on the charts for a fair few weeks. I thought it was catchy but it was nothing special. It ended the year 2001 at #17. Then in 2003 there came Roses and Hey Ya. I'll give you Hey Ya, its pretty good but i think i can safely say Roses is a very stupid song.

2)White Stripes - I havent even heard any of their songs.

3)Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out came out in 2005 and yes it was a REALLY good song, but lets face it other than that they've made nothing.

Anyway over the last 6-7 years the artists I've noticed the most at the top of the charts would be JT, Nelly Furtado, Eminem, Kylie Minogue (for the first few yrs), Black Eyed Peas, Destiny's Child, Nickleback and unfortunately new age b-grade rock bands such as Panic At the Disco, Fallout Boy and My Chemical Romance more recently.

Re: 2000s Again

"Now for the 2000s there are some artists that keep popping up and I cant understand why."

I don't know, Richard. Maybe, um, it's because a lot of people like them?

And dismissing the White Stripes simply because you haven't heard any of their songs is just, for lack of a better word, dumb. It's entirely possible that after listening to some of their stuff, you'll hate it - plenty of people do. But you have to listen to an artist first before expressing an opinion on their worthiness.

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Richard, you seem to be a little confused.

Critical acclaim is not the same thing as chart success.

How popular an artist is (whether based on airplay, record store sales, or downloads) is NOT the same thing as critical acclaim.

Critics have their own standards for evaluating music, and they are not the same as whatever happens to be popular this week. Sometimes the critics and the charts agree (Justin Timberlake, Gnarls Barkley), sometimes the critics like something that doesn’t do well on pop radio (Arcade Fire), and sometimes an act which the critics hate is very popular (Black Eyed Peas).

What do music critics rely on, if not the charts? Well, most critics have listened to a LOT of music—more than you have, more than I have. They know that pop musicians (of any decade) are not just creating cool songs off the top of their heads. There are traditions of music behind them. For example (yes, I’m simplifying):

We would have no Eminem without Dr. Dre.
We would have no Dr. Dre without Public Enemy.
We would have no Public Enemy without Run-D.M.C.
We would have no Run-D.M.C. without Grandmaster Flash.
We would have no Grandmaster Flash without the Sugarhill Gang…

…and if I knew more about the Sugarhill Gang, I could go farther back than that.

This doesn’t mean that the Sugarhill Gang is “better” than Eminem. It means that if you want to know anything about music on more than a superficial level, you have to know something about its tradition—where it came from (and this is true about Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé, Pearl Jam—everybody, really).

Richard, everybody falls in love with the first pop music they hear (pop=”popular”). My first years as a serious music fan were the 1980s, and that still influences how I listen to everything else. But you can’t expect to understand music seriously—or debate with people who try to take a broader view of music—unless you know about the music of the decades before (and after) the music you grew up with.

The best way to do this, naturally, is to listen to as much music as you can, but there are a lot of good books about pop music to read. Since you’re Australian, may I recommend a good wide-ranging book by an Australian critic? Check out “1001 Songs: The Great Songs of All Time and the Artists, Stories and Secrets Behind Them,” by Toby Creswell. It’s here.

Re: 2000s Again

We would have no Sugarhill Gang without Chic
We would have no Chic without Sly Stone
We would have no Sly Stone without James Brown

Is someone else willing to follow the chain (or to add intermediate links)?

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Hey guys.... it's Anthony. You might remember me from Richard's previous 2000s post, where I made a few ojectionable comments. For that I apologize.

Anyways, since then I've just been a quiet observer on this site. Some comments are good for a chuckle, while others I shake my head at. Regardless, the discussions are interesting. But I digress...

I just wanted to say to Schleuse, your post was excellent. Your remarks about knowing the traditions of music in order to have a deeper appreciation and understanding of it, which perhaps allows for more educated debates, were well written. I hope that others who read it will take some time to re-evaluate their musical tastes, and perhaps it will distinguish those who enjoy music on a superficial level from those who seriously listen to music with it's traditions in mind.

I think this forum deserves more postings from the latter group (which I'd like to think that I belong)That said, my goal is to become a more active member of this forum by contributing when I feel that I have something intelligent to say. But I'll let you guys be the judge of that. :)

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We wouldn't have James Brown if it wasn't for Little Richard.
We wouldn't have Little Richard if it wasn't for Esquerita.

Before that, there was nothing.

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Esquerita...wow. Good job, Pomtidom.

Knowing the controversies he's been involved in, I wonder what Eminem would say if he knew that you, Honorio and I just traced his music pedigree back to two outrageous homosexuals.

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Mainstream is dumb - look at what's in the charts. Most people don't know what's acclaimed - settle for mediocrity cos they haven't heard any of the real stuff. You've got to search out the best stuff - especially nowadays.

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Well, we can go back even further from Esquerita.

We would have no Esquerita without John Lee Hooker
We would have no John Lee Hooker without Robert Johnson
We would have no Robert Johnson without the Devil

So, you all know who started the whole thing…

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...wouldn't have the devil without God!

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So we can blame God for rap? Cool.

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yeh but what has outkast done?

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And saying we wouldnt have Eminem without the Sugarhill Gang is a nothing statement. Thats like saying we wouldnt have Tiger Woods without the guy who first thought of golf. Clearly Tiger Woods could play the game a lot better.

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Tiger wouldn't play golf at all if no one had invented the game.

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Richard, you have missed several of my points.

1. No, the Sugarhill Gang is not necessarily better than Eminem just because they were earlier. In fact, I specifically said that. I said that you can't understand Eminem very well if you don't understand the music that came before him (just as you can't understand Tiger Woods unless you know about his place in the history of golf).

2. I gave Eminem's case as an EXAMPLE, and--again--I specifically said that the same thing applies to other artists. To reply "But what has OutKast done?" misses the point.

3. Most importantly, your OutKast comment also suggests to me that you missed the main point of my post, which, again, is:

Just because something is popular doesn't mean it's good, and just because something is unpopular doesn't mean it's bad.

(Although I'm not sure on which planet the White Stripes and OutKast are unpopular.)

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Schleuse: Why, Planet Richard, of course.

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What has Outkast done ?

One of the greatest rap album ever, Stankonia, and one the "don't really know if it's rap" album, Speakerboxx/the Love Below.

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I was thinking.. can we really blame the 00s for not being as great as say.. the 60s? New bands can never be as innovative, improving and fresh as a Chuck Berry or Bob Dylan. It's just all been done before. All they can do is do stuff a little different and try to be as innovative as possible.

Of course there was not a whole lot of rap in the 60s, so they can be innovative there, but even that's been done (and better) by Dylan.

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In my personal opinion (sorry to disagree w/ you, Pomtidom), the critics' (undeniable) emphasis on the 50s and 60s isn't because artists of those decades were more innovative than artists of the 70s-00s. I'm not saying that the earlier artists weren't innovative--that would be stupid--but I think later artists were at least in the same league.

Many will disagree, but I think that, let's say, Bowie, (adult) Stevie Wonder, the Clash, Prince, R.E.M. and the Pixies can hold their own with the Beatles, Stones, Dylan, the Who, and so on.

But that's to reopen the old decade comparison thing again, which I'm not really interested in.

However, I want to add that, although Chuck Berry and the Beatles were certainly innovators and geniuses, neither of them was creating something entirely brand new. The lists on this site (through no fault of Henrik's) are not very informative about music prior to about 1954 (and it's not just this site...histories of pop music tend to treat the first half of the 20th century as a primordial wasteland). I think this creates an illusion that the songwriters and musicians of the 50s and 60s were creating something totally new, which they were certainly not.

(I mean, for starters there was Esquerita...)

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Esquerita didn't really record anything until the 50s though.

And I wasn't talking about the 70s, 80s or perhaps even the 90s.. but by now (00s) it's hard to do anything really fresh and be as great as the Beatles or the Stones.

Name just one group in the 00s that has even nearly as much influence and fans as, for example, The Beatles?

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Well, the Beatles is setting the bar pretty high--that's a little like holding all basketball players to the standard of Michael Jordan.

But I'll take your word for it that nobody in the current decade inspires the kind of mass loyalty that, let's say, U2 or Nirvana did in the early 90s (I truthfully don't know). However, two points:

1. The music market has splintered into a thousand fragments, which makes it almost impossible for any artist, anymore, to reach even a majority of pop music fans. And this has been true for a while; I think Prince was probably the last artist who was liked by almost everybody from bubblegum-loving teens to grey, withering music critics.

2. As for being influential, well, fair enough...but the decade is only 6 years and 6 months old. Give it time.

Of course, I could be wrong. Maybe we're just playing out the string of pop music...maybe the Hives are just recycled Ramones, Justin Timberlake recycled Madonna, OutKast recycled Prince, rapper X recycled rapper A, the White Stripes recycled (and greatly improved) Led Zep. However, I wouldn't say so with confidence. Not yet.

(BTW--I was kidding about the Esquerita thing. Perhaps I should use smileys more.)

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Hm, hadn't thought of that. Good point. I guess we'll never know for sure though.

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I think video games took over the place that music used to have in teen culture.

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If the Beatles are the 'Michael Jordan' of rock - there's problems - I don't know why everyone goes on about them so much. I think I've heard every single song and every album and there's plenty of stuff I'd put ahead of them.

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Thre would be no devil if it wasn't for mr and mrs devil :)

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Hmm. Maybe the Jordan analogy wasn't quite apt--I didn't mean to suggest that the Beatles were the "best" act, just that they were--undeniably--the most popular pop group in history, and that comparing their popularity to anyone else would be like comparing MJ's basketball skills to anyone else.