Analyze this equation: Taylor Swift=Bob Dylan

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from devildavid. Show devildavid's posts

    Re: Analyze this equation: Taylor Swift=Bob Dylan

    In response to ccnsd's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to devildavid's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to ccnsd's comment:
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    So Justin Bieber is more worthy of praise than Muddy Waters. He ships more units and quality is just opinion.

    [/QUOTE]

    That is the key point. Is quality just an opinion? If not, is it a fact? If it is a fact, it has to be backed up with evidence.

    [/QUOTE]

    I already backed it up with sales. If quality is simply a matter of opinion then clearly more people think Justin Bieber is better than Muddy Waters because he sells more. 

    [/QUOTE]

    Sales show popularity. Popularity does not equal quality or lack of quality. Quality is not what people think, it is not a consensus. It is inherent in the song.

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from devildavid. Show devildavid's posts

    Re: Analyze this equation: Taylor Swift=Bob Dylan

    In response to yogafriend's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    What Hfx said above, initially, is that Dylan is a special case. 

    When you have a minute.   A must read: 

    Bob Dylan: Musician or Poet?

    (this article has two viewpoints, one for poet, the other ... read and see)

    ttp://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/22/books/review/bob-dylan-musician-or-poet.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    "Creative activity at a certain level renders genre categorization moot ... "  

    [/QUOTE]

    I find many of Dylan's most "poetic" lyrics to be fairly meaningless on their own. Without the music, I never would have read Bob Dylan, the poet. In my view he posed as a poet, even appropriating his stage name from an actual poet, Dylan Thomas. He created this image for himself and many bought into it. I did not. He is only a wannabe poet. He is, however, a genuine folk/rock singer/songwriter who has written some very good songs and recorded some very good albums. Isn't that enough?

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from ccnsd. Show ccnsd's posts

    Re: Analyze this equation: Taylor Swift=Bob Dylan

    In response to devildavid's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to ccnsd's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to devildavid's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to ccnsd's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    So Justin Bieber is more worthy of praise than Muddy Waters. He ships more units and quality is just opinion.

    [/QUOTE]

    That is the key point. Is quality just an opinion? If not, is it a fact? If it is a fact, it has to be backed up with evidence.

    [/QUOTE]

    I already backed it up with sales. If quality is simply a matter of opinion then clearly more people think Justin Bieber is better than Muddy Waters because he sells more. 

    [/QUOTE]

    Sales show popularity. Popularity does not equal quality or lack of quality. Quality is not what people think, it is not a consensus. It is inherent in the song.

    [/QUOTE]

    That's why the Swift/Dylan comparison is pointless. If we can't agree on certain basics what's the purpose of us having a discussion. I don't hate Taylor Swift. I just don't think she is that original or exciting. She's young so maybe one day she will create an"Off the Wall" or "Thriller". My daughter thinks Justin Bieber is a true original and more talented than anyone else making music and I think my wife must have been having an affair 18 years ago (just kidding).

    If you think Kenny G is a more important Jazz artist than Miles Davis we should not waste our time discussing Jazz. If we both agree that Miles Davis is a giant of Jazz music and one of it's greates innovators we can than argue about his albums or which artists are his equals, about how overrated he is etc etc. I have teenage daughters who hate rock music. Why would I have an argument about which 1966 album is better; Blonde on Blonde or Pet Sounds (they would probably say Pet Sounds since they would recognize at least 1 song off of it). People who prefer Kenny G to Miles Davis are not bad people, heck they are probably a lot nicer than me, but that doesn't mean I will respect their opinions on music. In fact I will probably ignore their opinions on it completely. I know this forum is not a "rock" music forum but I mostly make comments on the rock related posts. If people want to discuss Slim Whittaker or Kenny G I'm all for it but I will probably not be posting on it. We all have guilty pleasures, but if your only pleasures are "guilty pleasures" than I am not too interested in your musical opinions, as valid and as equally important to mine as they may be.

    Sorry for the rant but these discussions are the same as when a child keeps asking why. Before long the arguments always become circular. Lets face it, the Beatles were better than Herman's Hermits because I said so and that's enough. Eat your vegatables.

     

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: Analyze this equation: Taylor Swift=Bob Dylan

    In response to devildavid's comment:[/QUOTE]

    Then I could say Taylor Swift's songs are poetry, or rap is poetry. What is it that make lyrics poetry? What does it imply? I started this thread to attempt to get at that "something" that makes a song special, that sets it apart from the ordinary, the mundane. Is it really indefinable or just a matter of opinion? If so, hoiw do we "know" it when we hear it? Is quality a fact and if so how do we demonstrate how and why it is? Or is quality completely relative, subject to opinion, and thus virtually meaningless?

    [/QUOTE]

    The fact that something is relative and subject to opinion doesn't make it meaningless - not in my opinion, anyway. :-)

    If we want to extend this to a purely philosophical debate, I'm sure you're aware that the argument exists that everything is meaningless.  Further to that, I once took a course on the philosophy of language where we debated the meaning of the word meaning - with inconclusive results, of course.

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from devildavid. Show devildavid's posts

    Re: Analyze this equation: Taylor Swift=Bob Dylan

    In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to devildavid's comment:[/QUOTE]

    Then I could say Taylor Swift's songs are poetry, or rap is poetry. What is it that make lyrics poetry? What does it imply? I started this thread to attempt to get at that "something" that makes a song special, that sets it apart from the ordinary, the mundane. Is it really indefinable or just a matter of opinion? If so, hoiw do we "know" it when we hear it? Is quality a fact and if so how do we demonstrate how and why it is? Or is quality completely relative, subject to opinion, and thus virtually meaningless?

    [/QUOTE]

    The fact that something is relative and subject to opinion doesn't make it meaningless - not in my opinion, anyway. :-)

    If we want to extend this to a purely philosophical debate, I'm sure you're aware that the argument exists that everything is meaningless.  Further to that, I once took a course on the philosophy of language where we debated the meaning of the word meaning - with inconclusive results, of course.

    [/QUOTE]

    But I don't think the word quality is meaningless. We make it meaningless when we reduce everything to opinion. Opinion is what is meaningless, and quality is not dependent upon opinion. I don't like to use analogy to make a point but here is my attempt to do so regarding quality. McDonald's has sold billions and billions of hamburgers. They are an icon throughout the entire world. Yet still we can use facts to point out that a McDonalds hamburger is not the highest quality hamburger. It is not made from top quality beef and it is not cooked by skilled chefs. The book Fast Food Nation presents some of the gory details in how a McDonald's hamburger is produced. Someone may have the opinion that a McDonald's hamburger is the best in the world, but there is plenty of evidence to suggest otherwise. There are certain empirical facts regarding a McDonald's hamburger that undermine any claims for it as being the best hamburger in the world. Why can't this be applied to music as well? Is all music criticism merely one person's opinion, or do some critics have the ability to point out the strengths and weaknesses of music based on their research and knowledge and musical criteria used to examine the ingredients, if you will, of the music.

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: Analyze this equation: Taylor Swift=Bob Dylan

    In response to devildavid's comment:
    [QUOTE]
    But I don't think the word quality is meaningless. We make it meaningless when we reduce everything to opinion. Opinion is what is meaningless, and quality is not dependent upon opinion. I don't like to use analogy to make a point but here is my attempt to do so regarding quality. McDonald's has sold billions and billions of hamburgers. They are an icon throughout the entire world. Yet still we can use facts to point out that a McDonalds hamburger is not the highest quality hamburger. It is not made from top quality beef and it is not cooked by skilled chefs. The book Fast Food Nation presents some of the gory details in how a McDonald's hamburger is produced. Someone may have the opinion that a McDonald's hamburger is the best in the world, but there is plenty of evidence to suggest otherwise. There are certain empirical facts regarding a McDonald's hamburger that undermine any claims for it as being the best hamburger in the world. Why can't this be applied to music as well? Is all music criticism merely one person's opinion, or do some critics have the ability to point out the strengths and weaknesses of music based on their research and knowledge and musical criteria used to examine the ingredients, if you will, of the music.

    [/QUOTE]

    The quality of artistic creations is a matter of opinion.  There's no way around it.  It's an area in which we all get to assert our freedom to decide what's good and what isn't, and to debate it, so it's not necessarily a bad thing at all.

    People can come to agreements between/among each other as to quality.  You and I might agree that Hey Jude is a high quality work.  We might also conduct an opinion poll and find that 95% of respondents agree that it's a high quality work.  None of this enters it into fact though.  Consensus, but not fact.

    Where I really differ with you is the statement that opinion is meaningless.  My own opinion means a lot to me.  And the opinions of other people I judge to be intelligent and knowledgeable also means a lot to me.  Like the people here.

     

     

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

    Re: Analyze this equation: Taylor Swift=Bob Dylan

    In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to devildavid's comment:
    [QUOTE]
    But I don't think the word quality is meaningless. We make it meaningless when we reduce everything to opinion. Opinion is what is meaningless, and quality is not dependent upon opinion. I don't like to use analogy to make a point but here is my attempt to do so regarding quality. McDonald's has sold billions and billions of hamburgers. They are an icon throughout the entire world. Yet still we can use facts to point out that a McDonalds hamburger is not the highest quality hamburger. It is not made from top quality beef and it is not cooked by skilled chefs. The book Fast Food Nation presents some of the gory details in how a McDonald's hamburger is produced. Someone may have the opinion that a McDonald's hamburger is the best in the world, but there is plenty of evidence to suggest otherwise. There are certain empirical facts regarding a McDonald's hamburger that undermine any claims for it as being the best hamburger in the world. Why can't this be applied to music as well? Is all music criticism merely one person's opinion, or do some critics have the ability to point out the strengths and weaknesses of music based on their research and knowledge and musical criteria used to examine the ingredients, if you will, of the music.

    [/QUOTE]

    The quality of artistic creations is a matter of opinion.  There's no way around it.  It's an area in which we all get to assert our freedom to decide what's good and what isn't, and to debate it, so it's not necessarily a bad thing at all.

    People can come to agreements between/among each other as to quality.  You and I might agree that Hey Jude is a high quality work.  We might also conduct an opinion poll and find that 95% of respondents agree that it's a high quality work.  None of this enters it into fact though.  Consensus, but not fact.

    Where I really differ with you is the statement that opinion is meaningless.  My own opinion means a lot to me.  And the opinions of other people I judge to be intelligent and knowledgeable also means a lot to me.  Like the people here.

     

     

    [/QUOTE]

    My opinion is pretty much meaningless. The evidence I present to explain that opinion has some value. If I say I like Bob Dylan's music it isn't meaningful or really open to debate. If I say Bob Dylan is a great poet, I am moving beyond stating a personal preference and should expect that this statement may be challenged. If I say Dylan is the single most important musical performer of the 20th century then I really better pull out the big guns to back this assertion. And if I say Dylan is a wise phlosopher poet with deep insight into the human condition whose every song drips with genius I am at the point well beyond just saying I like his music. And where would I find the evidence to back my most hyperbolic assertions? In the songs and the words themselves. So I really need to be well versed in thsese things before I make any such statements.

    This is because words like poet and philosoper carry a certain weight. Sure, we can say whatever we want, but that doesn't interest me. What interests me is why someone makes these statements. That is where the real debate lies. Far too often differences of opinion end up as an argument with each side insisting they are right.

    The other side of the coin is this, and I do try to avoid it. Sometimes when we praise one artist we feel the need to denigrate others. These two things are unrelated. One thing is not great because another thing is not. Greatness just is, it is not by comparison. But too often, rather than just saying we don't like something, we attempt to justify that dislike by labeling it with denigrating terms such as : sentimental, cheesy, boring, sappy, etc. We use these opinion words both ways and in doing so weaken our case on both sides.

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

    Re: Analyze this equation: Taylor Swift=Bob Dylan

    "The quality of artistic creations is a matter of opinion.  There's no way around it."

     

    I have problems with this statement, because it's only true to a point.  Beyond mere opinion are the concepts of aesthetics, of influence, of importance and of comparison to other works within the same context.

    That's what critics and historians and aestheticians are for: making the intangible aspects of "quality" more tangible.  And while the efficacy of those arguments might vary (in fact, they often do), there can exist a sufficient plurality of opinion that's compelling enough to influence the terms of debate.

    Even if one hates the Beatles, the vast majority of critical and historical opinion over the past 50-odd years has been persuasive and compelling enough to push their work into an echelon of quality more akin to fact than to opinion.

     

     

     

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

    Re: Analyze this equation: Taylor Swift=Bob Dylan

    In response to MattyScornD's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    "The quality of artistic creations is a matter of opinion.  There's no way around it."

     

    I have problems with this statement, because it's only true to a point.  Beyond mere opinion are the concepts of aesthetics, of influence, of importance and of comparison to other works within the same context.

    That's what critics and historians and aestheticians are for: making the intangible aspects of "quality" more tangible.  And while the efficacy of those arguments might vary (in fact, they often do), there can exist a sufficient plurality of opinion that's compelling enough to influence the terms of debate.

    Even if one hates the Beatles, the vast majority of critical and historical opinion over the past 50-odd years has been persuasive and compelling enough to push their work into an echelon of quality more akin to fact than to opinion.

     

     

     

    [/QUOTE]

    This is more in line with my thinking. I would even argue that the quality of the Beatles music could be seen at the tme they were releasing their songs. Pespective over time is helpful, but not essential.

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: Analyze this equation: Taylor Swift=Bob Dylan

    In response to MattyScornD's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Even if one hates the Beatles, the vast majority of critical and historical opinion over the past 50-odd years has been persuasive and compelling enough to push their work into an echelon of quality more akin to fact than to opinion.

    [/QUOTE]

    But fact is fact and opinion is opinion.  The terms are not that vague.  I think the problem here is that the word 'opinion' seems to be devalued.  Your statement above affirms that opinion can be very meaningful when it achieves that type of mass.  It doesn't mean that we have to try to convert it to 'fact'. 

     

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

    Re: Analyze this equation: Taylor Swift=Bob Dylan

    Bob Dylan inspired The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton,David Bowie, The Byrds, Springsteen and no doubt every Rock group that came after him (to some degree). To "influence" or "inspire" artists of that magnitude , to "challenge" them ( and this is what Dylan did, by writing songs with lyrics beyond..."yeah, yeah, yeah" and "shake baby shake" and "come on baby , do the twist") as Dylan challenged Lennon is to write songs that weren't simply repetion , no more " Baby, baby , baby...yeah, yeah, yeah" but more of "I once had a girl or should I say , she once had me"...for surely the great album Rubber Soul owes a huge debt to Robert Zimmerman....the Beatles changed from teeniebopper idols to artistic geniuses, because of Bob Dylan. Jimi Hendrix absolutley adored Dylan's songs and turned 'All Along The Watchtower' and 'Like A Rolling Stone' into even better , more enhanced with the Hendrix guitar wizardy.

    If Taylor Swift inspires some young people to write and sing, ...terrific!, she will never...ever, have the influence on a whole generation of musicians, and songwriters that Dylan did. That is his greatest legacy....he changed music for the better...no one can dispute this ( no sane person, anyway).

    Before Dylan many artists had professional songwriters writing their material (indeed Carole King and Eric Clapton probably would never have sung if Dylan with his nasally, unspectacular voice hadn't shown them that you needn't be an opera singer to sing folk, blues, or rock music.... after Dylan it became an avalanche of Rock groups writing , performing and singing their own material....to that purpose, Taylor Swift is an artist that is "influenced" by Bob Dylan, as was Carly Simon, Carole King , James Taylor , Gordon Lightfoot , Jackson Browne , Warren Zevon and all the hundreds ( thousands?) of singer/songwriter, musicians that have become icons in the music industry.

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: Analyze this equation: Taylor Swift=Bob Dylan

    If we're going to start converting opinions into facts, what are the exact rules of the game? 

    If 95% of critics think the Beatles are great, does that make it fact?

    If only 75% of critics think Nirvana is great, does that make it fact?  Or does that fall below the 'fact threshold'?

     

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from devildavid. Show devildavid's posts

    Re: Analyze this equation: Taylor Swift=Bob Dylan

    In response to ZILLAGOD's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Bob Dylan inspired The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton,David Bowie, The Byrds, Springsteen and no doubt every Rock group that came after him (to some degree). To "influence" or "inspire" artists of that magnitude , to "challenge" them ( and this is what Dylan did, by writing songs with lyrics beyond..."yeah, yeah, yeah" and "shake baby shake" and "come on baby , do the twist") as Dylan challenged Lennon is to write songs that weren't simply repetion , no more " Baby, baby , baby...yeah, yeah, yeah" but more of "I once had a girl or should I say , she once had me"...for surely the great album Rubber Soul owes a huge debt to Robert Zimmerman....the Beatles changed from teeniebopper idols to artistic geniuses, because of Bob Dylan. Jimi Hendrix absolutley adored Dylan's songs and turned 'All Along The Watchtower' and 'Like A Rolling Stone' into even better , more enhanced with the Hendrix guitar wizardy.

    If Taylor Swift inspires some young people to write and sing, ...terrific!, she will never...ever, have the influence on a whole generation of musicians, and songwriters that Dylan did. That is his greatest legacy....he changed music for the better...no one can dispute this ( no sane person, anyway).

    Before Dylan many artists had professional songwriters writing their material (indeed Carole King and Eric Clapton probably would never have sung if Dylan with his nasally, unspectacular voice hadn't shown them that you needn't be an opera singer to sing folk, blues, or rock music.... after Dylan it became an avalanche of Rock groups writing , performing and singing their own material....to that purpose, Taylor Swift is an artist that is "influenced" by Bob Dylan, as was Carly Simon, Carole King , James Taylor , Gordon Lightfoot , Jackson Browne , Warren Zevon and all the hundreds ( thousands?) of singer/songwriter, musicians that have become icons in the music industry.

    [/QUOTE]

    I may agree that Dylan changed a certain genre of music. I don't have to agree that he changed it for the better.

    So if I disgree with your statement, I am insane? That is a very weak assertion.

    Yes, Dylan inspired other musicians. Dylan was also inpired by the same musicians he inspired. Without the Beatles, maybe Dylan doesn't go electric. Without Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Buddy Holly, etc. none of this would have happened at all. Or it would have happened differently, that's all.

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from devildavid. Show devildavid's posts

    Re: Analyze this equation: Taylor Swift=Bob Dylan

    In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    If we're going to start converting opinions into facts, what are the exact rules of the game? 

    If 95% of critics think the Beatles are great, does that make it fact?

    If only 75% of critics think Nirvana is great, does that make it fact?  Or does that fall below the 'fact threshold'?

     

    [/QUOTE]

    It's not about numbers, it's about aesthetics. There doesn't need to be a mathematical formula for quality to be able to describe its attributes or show that it indeed exists.

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: Analyze this equation: Taylor Swift=Bob Dylan

    In response to devildavid's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    If we're going to start converting opinions into facts, what are the exact rules of the game? 

    If 95% of critics think the Beatles are great, does that make it fact?

    If only 75% of critics think Nirvana is great, does that make it fact?  Or does that fall below the 'fact threshold'?

     

    [/QUOTE]

    It's not about numbers, it's about aesthetics. There doesn't need to be a mathematical formula for quality to be able to describe its attributes or show that it indeed exists.

    [/QUOTE]

    Then explain how you prove that aesthetic quality exists.

     

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: Analyze this equation: Taylor Swift=Bob Dylan

    In response to devildavid's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    If you really think there is no way to distinguish between them, I am surprised. 

    If you wan to level the playing field this flatly, it would be 'fun' to do so in another thread.   We could all give examples of "this artist" = "this artist" using the same basic formula.  :)

    [/QUOTE]

    The bolded part is the point. I did not say you couldn't judge by criteria. Just because I didn't provide criteria doesn't mean you can't use any. That is the whole point. There is this thing called quality. It does exist. But quality is not proven by opinion, it is above opinion. It is not proven by accolades or popularity, it is above them. It's not proven by anything except the inherent value of whatever it is. That is the elusive crux of the matter I was trying to elicit by my bold(?) equation.

    So I would argue that it doesn't matter how broad or narrow an audience for someone is. This says nothing about the quality of the music. There exist those people who correctly say that Bob Dylan can't sing very well. Is that a fact? Does it matter? The quality of the songs is not dependent on the social impact they have. That is just a by-product that doesn't reflect on the quality of the music.

    Opera has limited social impact, yet the quality of opera singing towers above many forms of music. Why? Because it takes skill that very few people possess. It takes hard work and training and only the best of the best can perform it. Are these valid criteria to use or is it all just opinion?

    [/QUOTE]

    Is this thread a take-off on the Steve Earle / Tom Petty thread?  I was just thinking I liked that thread a lot better b/c when I asked for input (my original premise was similar to this, but I stated it very differently ("same sentence, same paragraph, same page ..." if you recall).   I was then asked what I meant, because a few people had a "huh?" to my premise, so I tried to clarity.  Then, I listened to the various opinions.  I didn't tell anyone they were wrong, or argue with the words they  used. Not that you can't ...  I admitted that I didn't know that much about Steve Earle other than his major hits (some of which I really like).  I also took a bit more seriously the opinions of people who really knew both artists well; to me, they had more 'weight' -- that's right, all opinions are not created equally, which is something that you seem to insist upon in your arguments, which is a factor you should re-think to tease apart the "weight" of an opinion, not just the idea that it is one. 

    And no offense, but you asked us for our "analysis" of a very simple premise, which you did not put much work into.   They both write, sing, and perform their own songs; they both have many fans.   Therefore, they are indistinguishable.   If that was really your whole premise, then all we had to do is say, you're right.  If that's all you're basing the inability to distinguish them on, we agree.   There's really nothng to analyze, is there, because you gave us nothing.    Instead, you got a lot more from us b/c we are thinkers and not slackers.  :D (just kidding, but really, we create some good discussions here).  

    Look, we've discussed the notion of critical opinions many times, and you always seem to have the same issues, including a basic refusal to listen to those of us that feel strongly that there is such a thing as knowledge, training, experience, that back up "informed opinions", perhaps called educated, informed thoughts (example: even your MD will only have "advice" for you at the end of your exam, once he can tell you "factually" that you have high blood pressure, and will "advise" you to take medication -- but it's still his advice, he can't "make you" take the medicine, although he can tell you for a fact that you are at high risk if you don't). 

    You also seem to be moving the goal posts in some of your responses, so my last comment is in regard to your inclusion of opera as a measurement of quality singing.   Again, you want to compare all forms of singing with operatic singing and training?  That's another apples to oranges comparison and makes no sense.  If you want to compare the level of training that's required to become an opera singer to other types of singing, fine.   But to say they are automatically moved to the top of the "quality" heap above rock singers makes no sense. 

    Furthermore, opera might have limited social impact in your opinion, but not in mine (not that I am even certain wha you mean by social impact -- societal impact? )--  opera was the pre-cursor to musical theatre, and even the concept of the "rock opera" ("The Wall", "Tommy", Quadrophenia") would not exist without the original operas that were written by classical composers.   "Rent" was based on "La Boheme" ; "Miss Saigon" was based on Madame Butterfly.   Gilbert and Sullivan directly influenced and have a permanent footprint in musical theatre.   "Les Mis", "Evita" and "Phantom of the Opera" are all modern day musical theatre done in the style of opera.   The impact was/is huge. 

    In a search of both Swift and old Bob, there were lots of hits linking the two.   Swift is more seen as "the next" Bob Dylan ... not his "=" .  

    Why can't Taylor Swift just be judged on her own merit?  She's fine.  A more apt comparson companion would be Sara Bareilles.   But then that would not have made much of a debate.  :)

     

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from tcal2-. Show tcal2-'s posts

    Re: Analyze this equation: Taylor Swift=Bob Dylan

    In response to yogafriend's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to tcal2-'s comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Stop sounding like your parents.

    Actual quote from an early 1960 thread on this Music forum.

    "How dare you compare that young whippersnapper Dylan to Perry Como?"

    Laughing

    [/QUOTE]

    Comparing is one thing.   No one has said Taylor Swift is not talented or that she doesn't deserve her props. 

    The premise here is that TS and Bob Dylan are indistinguishable.   Look at the OP. 

    Now tell me you agree with that.   You do?  

     

     

    [/QUOTE]


    "They both write and perform their own songs (YES). They both are loved by a loyal fan base(YES). They both aren't, technically speaking, the best singers(YES). Therefore, they are equal." Based on those 3 questions YES 

    I'll go as far as to say Dylan peaked by the mid 60's and has been riding the original wave ever since.  Swift has much greater upside potential.

     

    "In the early 1970s, critics charged that Dylan's output was of varied and unpredictable quality. Rolling Stone magazine writer Greil Marcus notoriously asked "What is this s h i t?" on first listening to Self Portrait, released in June 1970"wikipedia

    Everyone has their critics....lol

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from NowWhatDoYouWant. Show NowWhatDoYouWant's posts

    Re: Analyze this equation: Taylor Swift=Bob Dylan

    There are no truly objective criteria here, just as with the broader question of "what is art?"

     

    I see "aesthetics" "influence" "importance" and "comparison to like works" suggested as ways to objectively measure quality; but really these all boil down to statements of "X number/percentage of people agree"

    Influence: If a musical artist has a lot of influence, that means a lot of other musicians listened to them, thought "oh, now that's quality", and it affected their own work in some way.

    Importance: Again, how is this to be judged, except ultimately by the number of people who listened to the music and thought "Oh, now that's quality" and acted in accordance with their view that it was important.

    Comparison to like works: Again, this is really just looking at what other people have said and comparing the influence/importance/quality/etc they ascribed to the artist in question to the same things about other artists.

    Aesthetics: Again...eye of the beholder, and the most we can do is try to collect all the opinions we can about how aesthetic the music or musician in question is.

     

     

    I'm not saying that it's illegitimate to say or think one artist is better than another; I am saying that there probably isn't any set of objective criteria here.

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from devildavid. Show devildavid's posts

    Re: Analyze this equation: Taylor Swift=Bob Dylan

    In response to yogafriend's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to devildavid's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    If you really think there is no way to distinguish between them, I am surprised. 

    If you wan to level the playing field this flatly, it would be 'fun' to do so in another thread.   We could all give examples of "this artist" = "this artist" using the same basic formula.  :)

    [/QUOTE]

    The bolded part is the point. I did not say you couldn't judge by criteria. Just because I didn't provide criteria doesn't mean you can't use any. That is the whole point. There is this thing called quality. It does exist. But quality is not proven by opinion, it is above opinion. It is not proven by accolades or popularity, it is above them. It's not proven by anything except the inherent value of whatever it is. That is the elusive crux of the matter I was trying to elicit by my bold(?) equation.

    So I would argue that it doesn't matter how broad or narrow an audience for someone is. This says nothing about the quality of the music. There exist those people who correctly say that Bob Dylan can't sing very well. Is that a fact? Does it matter? The quality of the songs is not dependent on the social impact they have. That is just a by-product that doesn't reflect on the quality of the music.

    Opera has limited social impact, yet the quality of opera singing towers above many forms of music. Why? Because it takes skill that very few people possess. It takes hard work and training and only the best of the best can perform it. Are these valid criteria to use or is it all just opinion?

    [/QUOTE]

    Is this thread a take-off on the Steve Earle / Tom Petty thread?  I was just thinking I liked that thread a lot better b/c when I asked for input (my original premise was similar to this, but I stated it very differently ("same sentence, same paragraph, same page ..." if you recall).   I was then asked what I meant, because a few people had a "huh?" to my premise, so I tried to clarity.  Then, I listened to the various opinions.  I didn't tell anyone they were wrong, or argue with the words they  used. Not that you can't ...  I admitted that I didn't know that much about Steve Earle other than his major hits (some of which I really like).  I also took a bit more seriously the opinions of people who really knew both artists well; to me, they had more 'weight' -- that's right, all opinions are not created equally, which is something that you seem to insist upon in your arguments, which is a factor you should re-think to tease apart the "weight" of an opinion, not just the idea that it is one. 

    And no offense, but you asked us for our "analysis" of a very simple premise, which you did not put much work into.   They both write, sing, and perform their own songs; they both have many fans.   Therefore, they are indistinguishable.   If that was really your whole premise, then all we had to do is say, you're right.  If that's all you're basing the inability to distinguish them on, we agree.   There's really nothng to analyze, is there, because you gave us nothing.    Instead, you got a lot more from us b/c we are thinkers and not slackers.  :D (just kidding, but really, we create some good discussions here).  

    Look, we've discussed the notion of critical opinions many times, and you always seem to have the same issues, including a basic refusal to listen to those of us that feel strongly that there is such a thing as knowledge, training, experience, that back up "informed opinions", perhaps called educated, informed thoughts (example: even your MD will only have "advice" for you at the end of your exam, once he can tell you "factually" that you have high blood pressure, and will "advise" you to take medication -- but it's still his advice, he can't "make you" take the medicine, although he can tell you for a fact that you are at high risk if you don't). 

    You also seem to be moving the goal posts in some of your responses, so my last comment is in regard to your inclusion of opera as a measurement of quality singing.   Again, you want to compare all forms of singing with operatic singing and training?  That's another apples to oranges comparison and makes no sense.  If you want to compare the level of training that's required to become an opera singer to other types of singing, fine.   But to say they are automatically moved to the top of the "quality" heap above rock singers makes no sense. 

    Furthermore, opera might have limited social impact in your opinion, but not in mine (not that I am even certain wha you mean by social impact -- societal impact? )--  opera was the pre-cursor to musical theatre, and even the concept of the "rock opera" ("The Wall", "Tommy", Quadrophenia") would not exist without the original operas that were written by classical composers.   "Rent" was based on "La Boheme" ; "Miss Saigon" was based on Madame Butterfly.   Gilbert and Sullivan directly influenced and have a permanent footprint in musical theatre.   "Les Mis", "Evita" and "Phantom of the Opera" are all modern day musical theatre done in the style of opera.   The impact was/is huge. 

    In a search of both Swift and old Bob, there were lots of hits linking the two.   Swift is more seen as "the next" Bob Dylan ... not his "=" .  

    Why can't Taylor Swift just be judged on her own merit?  She's fine.  A more apt comparson companion would be Sara Bareilles.   But then that would not have made much of a debate.  :)

     

    [/QUOTE]

    The reason I use Taylor Swift is precisely because most assume there is no comparison to Dylan. If you remember on the Steve Earle/Tom Petty thread, I recused myself for lacking any knowledge of Steve Earle which rendered me unable to present an informed opinion. I think it was valid to compare the two and in fact it adresses the same issue as I do here. How do we strip away preconceptions and prejudices and truly compare the artistic value of one performer to another? For some on this thread I have elicited emotional responses that refuse to address the issue. How dare I compare Taylor Swift to Dylan! It is obvious he is far greater than her! These reactions just point up what I have said about opinion. It becomes a matter of thinking that just because I like something that is what makes it great and you dare not question that. But someone will always question that. So provide the evidence to support your view. That is all I am asking. Your evidence to support your view. At least attempt to convince me with your own analysis in your own words. Don't tell me the issue has already been decided and there is nothing at all open for debate.

    We do not have to rely on experts to tell us what is great and what is not. We can use the same methods as they do to make our point. Someone can tell me Dylan is great but until I can internalize that same type of "expert" thinking I am not truly understanding what they say. By the same token, critical consensus can be saying that my favorite music is utter crap but if I can make a case with enough evidence maybe I can prove them wrong.

     

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: Analyze this equation: Taylor Swift=Bob Dylan

    In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    If we're going to start converting opinions into facts, what are the exact rules of the game? 

    If 95% of critics think the Beatles are great, does that make it fact?

    If only 75% of critics think Nirvana is great, does that make it fact?  Or does that fall below the 'fact threshold'?

     

    [/QUOTE]

    The problem is in the widespread belief that all opinions are created equal.  They are not.

    As for the Beatles and a 95% agreement among critics:  it's called the consensus opinion among qualified critics or experts.  (IMO).   At least that is what I would call it.  

    If you were stating something with regard to hard data or statistics re: the Beatles, then those would be facts. 

    If I asked you a question or for advice that pertains to your profession ... I would consider your response "professional" advice, or "expert" advice, *not* an opinion.  

     

     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: Analyze this equation: Taylor Swift=Bob Dylan

    In response to yogafriend's comment:
    [QUOTE] 

    If I asked you a question or for advice that pertains to your profession ... I would consider your response "professional" advice, or "expert" advice, *not* an opinion.  

    [/QUOTE]

    Certainly so, I hope...and yet, when people ask us for advice on the tricky stuff, like income tax matters, we often have to be very careful to qualify our opinions with a disclaimer like 'CRA (our IRS) may not agree with this interpretation.'  And if they ask us what to do, we often have to explain that it's their decision, not ours!   

    The world is just a slippery place, I'm afraid...     

     

     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: Analyze this equation: Taylor Swift=Bob Dylan

    In response to devildavid's comment:

    These reactions just point up what I have said about opinion. It becomes a matter of thinking that just because I like something that is what makes it great and you dare not question that. But someone will always question that. So provide the evidence to support your view. That is all I am asking. Your evidence to support your view. At least attempt to convince me with your own analysis in your own words. Don't tell me the issue has already been decided and there is nothing at all open for debate.

    We do not have to rely on experts to tell us what is great and what is not. We can use the same methods as they do to make our point. Someone can tell me Dylan is great but until I can internalize that same type of "expert" thinking I am not truly understanding what they say. By the same token, critical consensus can be saying that my favorite music is utter crap but if I can make a case with enough evidence maybe I can prove them wrong. 



    I think this approach is doomed to failure.  Let's use a Dylan song as an example, say 'Like A Rolling Stone'.  I say the lyrics are great and you say they're not.  What objective evidence am I possibly going to be able to provide to you that will satisfy you that the lyric about the Siamese cat is wonderful?  Do I try to find other lyrics that have a Siamese cat in them?  The process quickly collapses in absurdity.

     

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

    Re: Analyze this equation: Taylor Swift=Bob Dylan

    David, you do not have to agree that Dylan changed music for the better.

    Republicans and Democrats don't agree on much. 

    Some people like steak, some like chicken, some like both.

    I don't disagree wtih anyone's desire to listen to the music they enjoy....even Disco which was very popular at one time....I never could stand it, as you know. But , I won't say that it was a style was unimportant in music history. Even though I hate it.

    You clearly do not care for the music of Bob Dylan, but music history does not lie. Dylan was perhaps the biggest "game changer" of the 60's , maybe of all time. That you don't believe he was a positive influence on music ( not just rock....folk, blues, and even country) is too bad. 

    I feel he is perhaps the biggest , best thing that happened to music at the time. Because he showed songwriters that they could sing without "pretty" voices, that they can write about "real" issues. 

    We don't have Neil Young, Steely Dan, Jefferson Airplane,The Doobie Brothers, (and  could go on) without Bob Dylan.

    You can't dispute this.

     

     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

    Re: Analyze this equation: Taylor Swift=Bob Dylan

    In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to MattyScornD's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Even if one hates the Beatles, the vast majority of critical and historical opinion over the past 50-odd years has been persuasive and compelling enough to push their work into an echelon of quality more akin to fact than to opinion.

    [/QUOTE]

    But fact is fact and opinion is opinion.  The terms are not that vague.  I think the problem here is that the word 'opinion' seems to be devalued.  Your statement above affirms that opinion can be very meaningful when it achieves that type of mass.  It doesn't mean that we have to try to convert it to 'fact'. 

     

    [/QUOTE]

    It's not a conversion, per se; it's an affirmation that defines the exceptional qualities of the art.

     

     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

    Re: Analyze this equation: Taylor Swift=Bob Dylan

    In response to NowWhatDoYouWant's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    There are no truly objective criteria here, just as with the broader question of "what is art?"

     

    I see "aesthetics" "influence" "importance" and "comparison to like works" suggested as ways to objectively measure quality; but really these all boil down to statements of "X number/percentage of people agree"

    Influence: If a musical artist has a lot of influence, that means a lot of other musicians listened to them, thought "oh, now that's quality", and it affected their own work in some way.

    Importance: Again, how is this to be judged, except ultimately by the number of people who listened to the music and thought "Oh, now that's quality" and acted in accordance with their view that it was important.

    Comparison to like works: Again, this is really just looking at what other people have said and comparing the influence/importance/quality/etc they ascribed to the artist in question to the same things about other artists.

    Aesthetics: Again...eye of the beholder, and the most we can do is try to collect all the opinions we can about how aesthetic the music or musician in question is.

     

     

    I'm not saying that it's illegitimate to say or think one artist is better than another; I am saying that there probably isn't any set of objective criteria here.

    [/QUOTE]

    An important distinction is Who is doing the agreeing.  If they are informed to a degree that subjectivity is minimized, then the opinions carry more weight.

    Aesthetics is not just the eye of the beholder; there are conditions of symmetry and dynamism, sensory reactions, as well as defined theories of why some art works better than others (within a given context).  

     
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