Go to the NEW FORUM
Scarrufi is a pretentious arse. Probably a good characteristic for a rock critic. Not a fan of him though.
Scaruffi honest about what his article are full of historical mistakes and musical mistakes. This has nothing to do with someone saying anything bad about the Beatles.
He said the Beatles played simple pop ditties. What compared to the two chord music of the Velvet Underground and the Rolling Stones. The Beatles began releasing songs that stretched the scope of rock and roll beyond three-chord songs. Even while the Beach Boys were still a surf group. Abbey Road was not the Beatles first attempt of faux conceptual or song cycles. I guess he never heard of Sgt Pepper which help influenced the 1968 concept album bug. The Beatles arguably were doing Psychedelic Music in 1965 way before they even recorded Sgt Pepper. Besides the fact Sgt Pepper has a few tracks on it that you would be hard pressed to find in any rock album in 1967
Then "Tomorrow Never Knows" and "Rain" were recorded and released before the Doors, Jefferson Airplane and Pink Floyd. Also the techniques the Beatles were using on Revolver were quickly copied by the Byrds on "Yesterday and Today and everyone else. The Beatles made plenty of tracks without refrains before 1967 namely "It Won't Be Long" and "There's a Place" in 1963.
One classic review of Piero Scaruffi on the Beatles "Hey Jude" as saying the song was a slow Psychedelic Blues Jam.
"The Beatles unlike The Doors and the Velvet Underground actually used classical techniques of Indian Music and Avant Music."
John Cale was an Avant Garde composer before he and Lou Reed started the Velvet Underground. Their music is littered with Avant Garde touches.
I like FastnBulbous even though I don't agree with him a lot. I like Christgau's style a lot but again don't agree with him all that often. But, I do like his style and he doesn't seem to apologize or change things when he pans an acclaimed album. I guess that's what separates a true critic from a music barometer. It's one thing for a site like this to measure universal acclaim, it's another thing for one critic to shape his critique around public appeal... I can stand by any critic who stays away from that.
But, to tell you the truth (I'm almost ashamed to admit this because I would never want to see the death of the music critic) I go to RYM usually to read reviews and I don't usually read them until after I listen to an album. But, I grew up reading tons of music magazines and I'd really hate to see the job of a music critic become obsolete. Same goes for news reporters. I'd hate to see people not get paid to do those jobs.
Scaruffi isn't a good rock critic. It's like being a film critic, but you actually hate film and only like theatre, so you just list films that happen to be of plays.
I've been reading Chuck Klosterman lately. His taste is pretty sound, and he manages to write with eloquence and wit if not flash.
In fact I don't know Scaruffi that well. I just saw his site and heard a lot about him.
I'll check his site.
For the Scandinavians in here, I recommend the great Dane of music criticism, Klaus Lynggaard, who used to write for the daily "Information". A collection of his reviews and essays was published a while back as Et kullet klarsyn (very approximately translated as "A Surreal Sense of Reality).
He has the rare gift of being a wildly entertaining read, not only when he's butchering stuff he dislikes, but equally when he praises favourites. And boy, that man has an unbelievable number of favourites - reading him makes you realise how much more music out there you might enjoy.
I don't like Scaruffi and I will do everyone a favor and I won't bring other bands into this. I will just comment on the Beatles music.
The Beatles did incorporate classical Avant Techniques. It's obvious to everyone except Scaruffi himself the Beatles were incorporating traditional Indian Music. The Beatles had recorded Psychedelic music, complex music and experimental music before Sgt Pepper. The Beatles recorded concept styled music before Abbey Road. The psychedelic arrangements on Revolver and "Strawberry Fields Forever" are very innovative. So the Beatle did this a keen sense of melody and many times complex chord progressions. Is that really a thing Scaruffi should criticize or does he know the Beatles were using complex chord progressions?
Scarufi fails on all fronts is that the Beatles were incorporating these exotic or non rock sources with strong pop elements. The Beatles mixed elements of classical music into pop settings (and The Beatles "A Day in the Life" has long been cited one of the stepping stones of rock music going into the prog-rock era).
"Lucy in the Sky", She's Leaving Home, Mr. Kite, Within You Without You and that closing collection of Good Morning, Sgt Pepper's and A Day in the Life; are all very unique songs in pop and rock music. In my opinion Scaruffi is a hack. See and I did not mention any other bands.
Never trust the rock critics.
I never trust someone who don't PURCHASE the records he reviews. Only someone who do it can really tell you if the record worths the money you spend on it or not.
That's why I think the best critics are music fans (not those hipsters who rate albums they have never purchased and even never heard), I talk about REAL fans of music (it can be you or me).
It's simply statistical : since 4 years (since I have an account on RYM and LastFM and since I stop purchasing/reading rock press), I have discovered more great music than in the 28 first of my life.
Conclusion : the best rock critic in the world is YOU !!!!
Hey, Dumbangel, tell us about the good 2008 records you heard in the "pazz & jop recommendations" thread §§
You can see my list there: http://rateyourmusic.com/list/dumbangel/my_20_favourite_albums_of_2008/
lock clitics just fwustwated musicians. they fail to kick out da jams, muddafukkas. me luv u long time.
You don't have to agree with the critics, but they do serve a purpose.
For instance, this site would not exist without them.
My favorite is Dave Marsh, if only because he was the first mainstream critic I'm aware of to campaign for the worthiness of pop, R&B and dance music in general by going after a singles aesthetic instead of an album oriented one. I own a TON of CDs (including a large number of the acclaimed ones) but I almost never put one on and let it play straight through. I like certain tracks and not others and I appreciated Marsh being able to say "You know what? The number of truly fantastic albums isn't THAT big."
I also like how he points out how weird the "traditional" rock critic universe is in some ways. In the standard critical world, it appears that good music was born in 1955 with rock, died when Elvis went into the Army, didn't occur again until the Beatles, dies in the mid 70s until punk, and then continues from that point on. Also virtually nothing done by a woman or a black guy (since Prince at least) is worth hearing according to some crits. I also like that Marsh is perfectly capable of admitting he wishes he knew more about techno, funk and other forms of music. Too many critics have the whiff of "listen to me for I am GOSPEL" for my taste.
I don't know Marsh but I have that same feeling about albums. There really are only so many 5 star albums and the rest are fall into the categories of almost perfect, good singles or awful. Who does he write for?
Personally, I prefer Florestan to Eusebius.
Dave Marsh and Christgau were great in their time, but both have been woefully inadequate in assessing newer music (Christgau to a lesser extent).
Scaruffi can piss me off, but his assessment of jazz, avant-garde, and 20th century classical is second-to-none. If you have any interest in those genres or generally expanding your mind, look to him for that.
The Fast 'n' Bulbous guy is great.
So are Dominique Leone and Nitsuh Abebe. Doesn't matter if they write for Pitchfork. Greg Kot is pretty good.
Rob Sheffield can be very amusing at times, but only in small doses. I love the fact that he's happy to embrace the most disregarded of genres (i.e. stadium rock).
Tom Moon is my new favorite -- that "1000 Albums To Hear Before You Die" is actually incredible. The guy knows a huge breadth of music, and writes with great love for it. The writing itself is a bit bland, at least in the book, but that's more than made up for in his willingness to seek out music anywhere and everywhere and share his discoveries. Can't ask for much more than that.
Ha - Most rock journalism is people who can't write, interviewing people who can't talk, for people who can't read.
Piero Scaruffi his opinions are statements simply lack with any real knowledge of musicology (www.icce.rug.nl/~soundscapes/DATABASES/AWP/awp-notes_on.shtml).
Basically, it comes down to this - if Scaruffi want to make the claim that the Beatles were a musically insignificant band, you need to claim that you know more about music theory than Leonard Bernstein, Brian Wilson, and Aaron Copland. These guys weren't pumping the Dave Clark Five or the Rolling Stones. And that's a tall task given that Scaruffi seems to lack any serious training in music (as, it seems, in most areas he writes about.
One guy who is great reviewer is Richie Unterberger
his books two-volume history of 1960s folk-rock, Turn! Turn! Turn!: The '60s Folk-Rock Revolution and its sequel, Eight Miles High: Folk-Rock's Flight from Haight-Ashbury to Woodstock ; are great information of Folk Rock and Psychedelic Rock.
Seriously though, I've always enjoyed Mark Richardson from Pitchfork. He doesn't write too esoterically like many of their writers.
Piero Scaruffi his opinions are statements simply lack with any real knowledge of musicology
I love the Beatles, but just because someone doesn't like them mean they don't know about music. That's just silly.
With Scaruffi, I take the good and ignore the bad. His recommendations on more obscure brands of music have been extremely rewarding.
"Dave Marsh and Christgau were great in their time, but both have been woefully inadequate in assessing newer music (Christgau to a lesser extent)."
Marsh admits that his grasp of newer music isn't what it should be. Nor is mine...though I'm working on that actively by forcing myself to listen to more "new" music than I do by nature.
Is there anyone like Marsh writing about modern music? People that have a singles aesthetic?
Is there anyone like Marsh writing about modern music? People that have a singles aesthetic?
That's a very good question, and that definitely was a strong suit of Marsh's. (His Top 1000 singles book from the '80s has so much great stuff.)
I can't think of any 1 critic like that, but there are so many lists now that are super-song based, due I'm guessing to the iPod era and the easy ability of buying any specific particular track. But I can't think of specific critics that focus like this.
there are too many to name
I'll back up Scaruffi. The only problem he has is underrating bands and albums, and that's fine with me. I love the Beatles and Radiohead and I'm sad he thinks they're mediocre, but oh well. The important thing is, there has never been an instance where any album that got 7.5 or higher from him disappointed me. If he likes something, it's always good. If he doesn't like something, it might still be good. To me that's okay.
Oh, and I ABHOR Christgau. What an overrated critic. At least Scaruffi gives 5s and 6s to great albums, but he never totally trashes them. But Christgau gave Achtung Baby a bomb, and there have been more than a few times where he gave great music Cs, Ds and Fs. Inexcusable.
Why? I prefer a critic to have his own voice and not be afraid to disagree with the flock. He also doesn't apologize later. Not only that, he doesn't feel the need to write a long essay about a 60 minute album. Every critic has flaws, but Christgau is the least flawed of any out there IMO.
So you guys have no flaws? You're so perfect you can say that a critic has flaws? You're so high and mighty that you're above the critics? On this site,critics opinion's count towards rankings - you(listeners) do not.
Piero Scaruffi has been taken off the professional list at Wikipedia: WikiProject Albums. All of his reviews on the Beatles have been wiped off. It's obvious he dislikes the Beatles and his article on the Beatles shows musical incompetence and historical inaccuracies.
The Beatles like someone said here are considered Proto-Prog or at some of their songs. They influenced the genre, experimented with complex recording techniques, musical structure and were before the Progressive Rock genre. So to say they played simple pop ditties is basically mindless.
Another example is before the Beatles got to Sgt Pepper you can hear on Revolver early Psychedelia, Avant Garde, Musique Concrete, Classical, Art Rock and the ancient sounds of India. Sgt Pepper put all those elements in a musical concept form.
I don't mind Scaruffi disliking Radiohead but honestly they will go down as this generation most influential rock band or one of the most at least. Frankly I don't get him. I can't believe some of you actually take Scaruffi opinions seriously.
Piero Scaruffi has been taken off the professional list at Wikipedia: WikiProject Albums. All of his reviews on the Beatles have been wiped off.
wow... at last: the Fab4FanBase was lucky to get some adept Scientology attorneys on board..