A "Classic"

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    A "Classic"

    Leonard Bernstein once described a "classic" (in his words, the most misunderstood and abused word in the English language) as something that both defines and defies both time and taste.  Isn't that brilliant?

    There is still space for personal opinion re define and defy.....but I think I understand what he means.

    To me, the early Beatles define the early 60s perfectly....but to my ear most/all of that music still sounds fresh, defying time and taste.  Gerry and the Pacemakers?  To me, they define the same era equally well, but I think it sounds terribly dated.

    Other define/defiers to me:  Chuck Berry, Sonics, Stooges, Minutemen, Pixies, Dylan.

    You?

     

     
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    Re: A

    For starters...

    Duke Ellington

    Ray Charles

    Hank Williams, Sr.

    Fats Domino

    Bo Diddley

    Buddy Holly

    Howlin' Wolf

    Sam Cooke

     
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    Re: A

    The term "classic", much like the terms "celebrity" and "superstar" have been  overused, abused and misused in our society for quite a long time.

    A celebrity is more than someone that is gossiped about on "celebrity news" shows and grocery store checkout aisle rag sheets....to me REAL celebrities are famous people with REAL talent....ex: Henny Youngman, Clint Eastwood, Leonard Nimoy, Denzel Washington and Joni Mitchell. However, the term itself has little to do with talent and much to do with popularity. So, I am dead wrong on this one. Apparantly ( and sadly ) the term "celebrity" includes Snooki, Jay -Wow, Lindsey Lohan, and Casey Anthony.

    Superstar is much overused. To me "superstar" is term that should have remained for the best of the best of the best. The Beatles, Bobby Orr, Barry Sanders, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Larry Bird...this is a term that lends itself better to sports than the "chew them up and spit them out" world of movies and T.V.

    Classic is a word that can be used for anything that a person feels is exceptional. You tell an extremely good joke and someone says, "that's a classic!".....well, it isn't....it may be entertaining and funny, but it's not "classic." "Classic" should be reserved for anything that endures the test of twenty years or more and retains it's brilliance. ex: The Marx Brothers comedy, the music of the Beatles, all great classical music ( that's why it's "classical music") the Wizard of Oz, T.V. shows like 'The Honeymooners.'

    I love the Pixies, I don't see them being defined as "classic" , as it is an acquired taste and not very universal....many people you meet wouldn't know who they are.

     
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    Re: A

    What is a classic - I think it is something that not only stands the test of time but continues to influence generations long after their supposed shelf life. This has always been my argument when it comes to the Beatles. We are now officially into generations of musicians whose parents weren't even born at the time of the Beatles breaking up. And these musicians are being influenced by the Beatles. When I see a 16 y.o. wearing a Beatles T and ask him/her what they know about the band and they start reciting the importance of Revolver, Sgt. Pepper and the White Album on today's music, all I can do is smile.

    As important as Elvis, The Stones, The Who, Led Zep and others are, except for one or two tracks by each band, I honestly believe that come 2064, there will be zero conversation about them. In 2064, I think the Beatles will still be major players in the musical conversation of the day.

    When VH1 redid their 100 Greatest Music Artists of all-time in 2010, I found the last statement of the show to be absolutely on the mark. I believe his name is Jim Seer, & he closed the show by saying that although it might not be a shock that The Beatles were #1, what is surprising is that most of the musicians who voted in this poll were not even born until after the Beatles had broken up.

    Stones, Cream and Yardbirds influenced blues based bands, Dylan influenced singer/songwriters, Hendrix, Sabbath and Zep influenced Hard Rock and Metal. As Scott Ian said, The Beatles influenced every single genre that was to come after them. All the way from Love Me Do - Abbey Road Medley.

    Bach, Beethoven, Beatles - 50 years later and it still holds true. Dylan, I think will also still be part of the conversation.

     
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    Re: A

    In response to ZILLAGOD's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    The term "classic", much like the terms "celebrity" and "superstar" have been  overused, abused and misused in our society for quite a long time.

     

    It doesn't matter who uses a word, by default the person using it is offering a stipulative definition of the word "not" the literal meaning when discussing art. Overused, I would agree in some cases - take the Kardashian's (No, really take them!) the prego one made a porn tape and became a "celebrity"(?). While I read/hear these superlatives - I don't feel obligated to agree - never will.

     
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  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from SonicsMonksLyresVicars. Show SonicsMonksLyresVicars's posts

    Re: A

    In response to ZILLAGOD's comment:

    The term "classic", much like the terms "celebrity" and "superstar" have been  overused, abused and misused in our society for quite a long time.

    A celebrity is more than someone that is gossiped about on "celebrity news" shows and grocery store checkout aisle rag sheets....to me REAL celebrities are famous people with REAL talent....ex: Henny Youngman, Clint Eastwood, Leonard Nimoy, Denzel Washington and Joni Mitchell. However, the term itself has little to do with talent and much to do with popularity. So, I am dead wrong on this one. Apparantly ( and sadly ) the term "celebrity" includes Snooki, Jay -Wow, Lindsey Lohan, and Casey Anthony.

    Superstar is much overused. To me "superstar" is term that should have remained for the best of the best of the best. The Beatles, Bobby Orr, Barry Sanders, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Larry Bird...this is a term that lends itself better to sports than the "chew them up and spit them out" world of movies and T.V.

    Classic is a word that can be used for anything that a person feels is exceptional. You tell an extremely good joke and someone says, "that's a classic!".....well, it isn't....it may be entertaining and funny, but it's not "classic." "Classic" should be reserved for anything that endures the test of twenty years or more and retains it's brilliance. ex: The Marx Brothers comedy, the music of the Beatles, all great classical music ( that's why it's "classical music") the Wizard of Oz, T.V. shows like 'The Honeymooners.'

    I love the Pixies, I don't see them being defined as "classic" , as it is an acquired taste and not very universal....many people you meet wouldn't know who they are.



    I agree with all that bar your last paragraph, Zilla.  I don't think whether or not a few million Johnnies from Burger King know something or not has any bearing on its quality.  Beethoven wasn't a huge success during his lifetime, was he?

     
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    Re: A

    In response to devildavid's comment:

    For starters...

    Duke Ellington

    Ray Charles

    Hank Williams, Sr.

    Fats Domino

    Bo Diddley

    Buddy Holly

    Howlin' Wolf

    Sam Cooke



    Agree with all.

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from ZILLAGOD. Show ZILLAGOD's posts

    Re: A

    Sonics, I wasn't trying to say the Pixies aren't "quality" or that they are not a success, I am only saying that they don't fit my definition of "classic."

    But upon reading the true definition of the word classic, I see it says nothing about the test of time or has nothing to with age at all.

    I suppose the term "classic car" in refernce to cars from the past has always left the image in my mind that things that are "classic" have to be a certain age. So, I suppose things can actually be an "instant classic" and the term is not incorrect.

    I apologize, I was dead wrong on that one.

     
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    Re: A

    In response to ZILLAGOD's comment:

    Sonics, I wasn't trying to say the Pixies aren't "quality" or that they are not a success, I am only saying that they don't fit my definition of "classic."

    But upon reading the true definition of the word classic, I see it says nothing about the test of time or has nothing to with age at all.

    I suppose the term "classic car" in refernce to cars from the past has always left the image in my mind that things that are "classic" have to be a certain age. So, I suppose things can actually be an "instant classic" and the term is not incorrect.

    I apologize, I was dead wrong on that one.



    Hi Zilla....I wasn't debating the merits of Pixies but the idea that being widely known impacted on the concept of "classic".  Just my view, and debatable.

    You inspired me to look up the definition of "classic".  The World English Dictionary says:

    World English Dictionary classic   (ˈklæsɪk)  [Click for IPA pronunciation guide]   —  adj 1. of the highest class, esp in art or literature 2. serving as a standard or model of its kind; definitive 3. adhering to an established set of rules or principles in the arts or sciences:  a classic proof 4. characterized by simplicity, balance, regularity, and purity of form; classical 5. of lasting interest or significance 6. continuously in fashion because of its simple and basic style: a classic day dress

     

    2, 5 & 6 seem to support Bernstein's definition.

     

    Re Pixies, it's interesting (to me, anyway) that I included them on my list.  I've never been a huge fan....respected them, but not really my sort of thing.  I recently was given a book about them that has given me a new perspective and, obviously, they are on my mind.  (not to mention the wonderful, amazing Kim Deal)

    On reflection (thanks)....I think I'll withdraw them from my list.  By Bernstein's definition, I think they massively defy time and taste.....as much as / more than almost anyone....to me, up there with the Stooges and the Sonics and the MC5....bands that will always kick the @ss of teenagers for ever.  But define time and taste?  No, I now think.  They were so unusual, maybe unique.  Do the Beatles sound like the 60s?  H3ll yeah.  But do Pixies sound like the late 80s?  I don't think so.

     

     

     
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    Re: A

    In response to SonicsMonksLyresVicars's comment:

    In response to ZILLAGOD's comment:

     

    Sonics, I wasn't trying to say the Pixies aren't "quality" or that they are not a success, I am only saying that they don't fit my definition of "classic."

    But upon reading the true definition of the word classic, I see it says nothing about the test of time or has nothing to with age at all.

    I suppose the term "classic car" in refernce to cars from the past has always left the image in my mind that things that are "classic" have to be a certain age. So, I suppose things can actually be an "instant classic" and the term is not incorrect.

    I apologize, I was dead wrong on that one.

     



    Hi Zilla....I wasn't debating the merits of Pixies but the idea that being widely known impacted on the concept of "classic".  Just my view, and debatable.

     

    You inspired me to look up the definition of "classic".  The World English Dictionary says:

    World English Dictionary classic   (ˈklæsɪk)  [Click for IPA pronunciation guide]   —  adj 1. of the highest class, esp in art or literature 2. serving as a standard or model of its kind; definitive 3. adhering to an established set of rules or principles in the arts or sciences:  a classic proof 4. characterized by simplicity, balance, regularity, and purity of form; classical 5. of lasting interest or significance 6. continuously in fashion because of its simple and basic style: a classic day dress

     

    2, 5 & 6 seem to support Bernstein's definition.

     

    Re Pixies, it's interesting (to me, anyway) that I included them on my list.  I've never been a huge fan....respected them, but not really my sort of thing.  I recently was given a book about them that has given me a new perspective and, obviously, they are on my mind.  (not to mention the wonderful, amazing Kim Deal)

    On reflection (thanks)....I think I'll withdraw them from my list.  By Bernstein's definition, I think they massively defy time and taste.....as much as / more than almost anyone....to me, up there with the Stooges and the Sonics and the MC5....bands that will always kick the @ss of teenagers for ever.  But define time and taste?  No, I now think.  They were so unusual, maybe unique.  Do the Beatles sound like the 60s?  H3ll yeah.  But do Pixies sound like the late 80s?  I don't think so.

     

     




     

    Listen to the Beatles again - but not their hits, although there are so many of them. Listen to everything else. you will find many tracks from just about every album that sound like they could have been recorded yesterday aand it would span a number of different sub-genres of popular music, Rock being one of them.

     
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    Re: A

    In response to jesseyeric's comment:

    In response to SonicsMonksLyresVicars's comment:

     

    In response to ZILLAGOD's comment:

     

    Sonics, I wasn't trying to say the Pixies aren't "quality" or that they are not a success, I am only saying that they don't fit my definition of "classic."

    But upon reading the true definition of the word classic, I see it says nothing about the test of time or has nothing to with age at all.

    I suppose the term "classic car" in refernce to cars from the past has always left the image in my mind that things that are "classic" have to be a certain age. So, I suppose things can actually be an "instant classic" and the term is not incorrect.

    I apologize, I was dead wrong on that one.

     



    Hi Zilla....I wasn't debating the merits of Pixies but the idea that being widely known impacted on the concept of "classic".  Just my view, and debatable.

     

    You inspired me to look up the definition of "classic".  The World English Dictionary says:

    World English Dictionary classic   (ˈklæsɪk)  [Click for IPA pronunciation guide]   —  adj 1. of the highest class, esp in art or literature 2. serving as a standard or model of its kind; definitive 3. adhering to an established set of rules or principles in the arts or sciences:  a classic proof 4. characterized by simplicity, balance, regularity, and purity of form; classical 5. of lasting interest or significance 6. continuously in fashion because of its simple and basic style: a classic day dress

     

    2, 5 & 6 seem to support Bernstein's definition.

     

    Re Pixies, it's interesting (to me, anyway) that I included them on my list.  I've never been a huge fan....respected them, but not really my sort of thing.  I recently was given a book about them that has given me a new perspective and, obviously, they are on my mind.  (not to mention the wonderful, amazing Kim Deal)

    On reflection (thanks)....I think I'll withdraw them from my list.  By Bernstein's definition, I think they massively defy time and taste.....as much as / more than almost anyone....to me, up there with the Stooges and the Sonics and the MC5....bands that will always kick the @ss of teenagers for ever.  But define time and taste?  No, I now think.  They were so unusual, maybe unique.  Do the Beatles sound like the 60s?  H3ll yeah.  But do Pixies sound like the late 80s?  I don't think so.

     

     

    Listen to the Beatles again - but not their hits, although there are so many of them. Listen to everything else. you will find many tracks from just about every album that sound like they could have been recorded yesterday aand it would span a number of different sub-genres of popular music, Rock being one of them.



    Hi Jessey,

    I think we are in violent agreement!  I defined the "Beatles' music" as the epitome of Bernstein's definition of a "classic" i.e. defines yet defies both time and taste and I stand by that....but I mainly was thinking of the Beatles from 22 March 1963 through 31 Dec 1965*  but did not articulate.

    You are right re some of their later tracks....they certainly defy time and taste as much as any of their or anyone's earlier music...but perhaps don't define the time as well (not an insult if true, but I think you're somewhat right).

    * - The earlier date is obviously the release date of the Beatles' first album on Parlophone - don't mean to patronise, just a geek - and the latter a subjective split of Rubber Soul and Revolver's release dates...and a reference to the start of the Best Year Ever.

     

    FWIW, Jessey.....I'm the first guy in line to say it's likely there will be a better {anything} eventually.  "Better than Ruth?"  Hardest to imagine.  Clay/Ali....Jim Abbott....Hesse......Asimov.....Poison Ivy Rorschach (and get into Kid Congo Powers, please)....Billie Holiday, Muddy Waters, Hazel Adkins, St Bo, Jim Brown, Gale Sayers, the Sonics, the Monks, Sergei Eisenstein, 12 Angry Men, Marx Brothers, Minutemen, Stooges, Clash, Churchill, Carver & his white equivalents Franklin and Edison (none of whom espoused slavery), and too many more but will stop now after mentioning my favourite living author, William Boyd.

    But above all, the Beatles.  Best band ever, can never imagine them being topped.  If I rarely/never mention them here anywhere it's just because it's like talking about how much I like air and water.

     

     
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