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We started with 512, now we are down to 2... vote for your champion, results posted tomorrow:
The Beatles vs. Bruce Springsteen
SPRINGSTEEN - The Boss, has made an unlikely run to the championship. Radiohead, Dylan, Zeppelin, The Who, Cash, Sam Cooke, Seger... all artists I voted for over The Beatles.
As boring as it is...The Beatles
The Beatles (can't lie to myself)
And the Beatles...yes.
Bruce had a good run, probably a better one than he deserved.
THE BEATLES. I have been spared a difficult decision.
On October 23, 2007, I posted on the “Reorder the Top 20 Acclaimed Artists” thread. My musical tastes have changed a bit since then, so, rather than write another novella on the subject, I will account for my vote by how I would reorder them now (my 2007 rankings in parentheses):
1. (tie) The Beatles (1)
1. (tie) Radiohead (18)
3. R.E.M. (2)
4. The Clash (4)
5. Bob Dylan (3)
6. David Bowie (8)
7. The Velvet Underground (5)
8. Nirvana (10)
9. Prince (7)
10. The Rolling Stones (6)
11. Marvin Gaye (17)
12. Neil Young (9)
13. Stevie Wonder (11)
14. The Who (15)
15. The Beach Boys (12)
16. Jimi Hendrix (13)
17. Led Zeppelin (20)
18. U2 (14)
19. Bruce Springsteen (16)
20. Elvis Presley (19)
(Three artists jumped ahead of Bruce in my rankings: Radiohead, Marvin Gaye and Led Zeppelin. It was not until the following year that Radiohead finally clicked with me. I have also developed an appreciation for the impact of Marvin Gaye’s long and productive career, and a begrudging respect for the undeniable innovation, influence and power of Led Zeppelin.)
I do not mean to tread on the feelings of people who love Springsteen. As I indicated yesterday, I respect the man and I think he’s done some good work. But for the collective wisdom of the UMT to have him ahead of the Clash, Prince, R.E.M. and, potentially, the effing Beatles? I find that absolutely bewildering.
To end on a more positive note, I think the Forum is at its best when every acclaimed artist has their partisans. As BillAdama pointed out yesterday, for the longest time, Bruce was not held in high regard around here. That has obviously changed. So I’m going to shut up and turn the mike over to the Bruce fans…Henrik, Schwah and nicolas have all weighed in, but anybody else want to answer the question: Why Bruce?
I was intending to elaborate a little further on my one word answer on this thread and now is a perfect time.
Why Bruce? Because while his songs are indeed quite typical "heartland" rock, that is not to say that he doesn't portray a lot of emotions - joy, hope, despair, longing, love (of course), I can feel the whole range of emotions simply on one album, which is Darkness on the Edge of Town (which if you haven't heard properly, I urge you to, it's absolutely magnificent, the only Bruce album in my mind better than Revolver). For every moment in my life (ok maybe that's exaggerating a little bit, but i'll continue regardless), there's a song of Bruce's which encapsulates that moment and how I feel, it's something quite extraordinary. When I desire to just "forget about it all", I listen to Racing in the Street, and when something just makes me happy and full of hope, you can certainly say that I'm a believer in "The Promised Land". I agree that he figuratively wears less masks than Lennon, Yorke and Bowie to name a few, but the one he does wear - that of the human heart - is so multifaceted and few, if any, wear it better.
Sorry for a rather tacky reply!
Edit: One last thing to mention, and I don't think anyone's mentioned it yet, since we've been too bogged down talking about Bruce's "message" - he just makes good albums. I'm not talking about ideas and emotion (which for me is probably the most important thing), but also about flow and consistency. Does one song on an album in Bruce's golden period from 1973 - 1984 flow straight to the next? Are the songs on any one album consistently good? He could be talking about something really stupid like the Cheeky Girls but the answer is still almost inevitably yes. He just makes good albums.
The Beatles, and I don't think it's a boring choice at all.
Yeah, I'm with BillAdama.
The original UMT had a much better finale.
Maybe it's just me, but the decade separation ruined the poll.
Why? Better lyrics, better musicianship, better songwriting, better songs, better albums, more likeable person; it's not even close.
This may be my first vote for Bruce Springsteen in this tournament. Dud final for me, but the masses have spoken!
Bruce Springsteen for the win.
I've felt with a lot of Springsteen songs he was playing a character, even if that character was based on his real experiences, I still associate that character more with his 'brand' than his person. (Which I relate to my previous classification of him as a 'demagogue'.)
Whereas with Beatles songs, at least with the John and George songs, I've felt the lyrics were very personal and based on something they want to express to the world and a desire to change peoples' perspectives.
I dunno, of the four Beatles and Bruce, I find George the most likable, and John the most authentic.