Re: Good music, bad music
posted at 2/13/2013 12:50 PM EST
Let's take a step back here as I am seeing both sides of the coin. Although my personal opinion tends to side with Sonicmonk regarding overall influence, I do see where straight out singers/performers who do not write their own music can be influential. Lennon and McCartney both have clearly stated that Elvis was a major influence on them. It may not have been in the songwriting, but the influence was certainly there. Elvis opened up the ears of the British youth and from there they heard Lil Ritchie, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, etc. & from there, The Blues. Elvis, like Sinatra before him was excellent at bringing a song to life. And for my money, Elvis could sing.
Motown - again, mostly artists who sang and performed songs which were written by others plus they had the luxury of having one of the great bands backing them (Funk Bros). And there can be no denying of the influence of Motown through all genres starting with the Beatles.
The Monkees - clearly a created band who achieved success as the voices to some of the great RnR songwriters of all-time. And just like Motown and Elvis, you can see their influence on the Pop scene. Thankfully, the Monkees did not sit on their success and did their own thing. Zappa and Lennon both knew exactly what the Monkees were and took from them.
So it is clear that influence carries over from bands who many of us would not put in the elite category of musicians/songwriters.
This brings us back to Beyonce. and I have to retract my original statement that she is not an influence upon younger musicians/singers. She obviously is. To what extent, I don't know. She is not finished yet. But in this statement, then I have to say that Brit Spears also influenced many that followed. Sad, but true.
Like Matty said, "doesn't matter if it is good or bad, influence is influence." My best example of that is Def Leppard. Much of what happened in the last 2/3rd of the 80's decade was clearly influenced by D.L. They brought a hybrid of hard guitar rock with a crossover pop that just exploded all over the place and that includes Guns and Roses. And puttng aside my dislike for Bon Jovi, Nelson, Warrant and a number of other platinum selling bands from 86 - 90, for they basically ripped off D.L.'s hook based hard rock. I think Def Leppard is one of the top 5 bands to come out of that decade, but they did influence a lot of junk that followed. And because of this, they are looked down upon by many in the industry. Yet 30 + years later, they are still writing, recording and touring. Maybe not like in their hey day, but they remain viable and that is saying something. And yet I cringe everytime I hear Bon Jovi who also continues to write, record and perform.
So influence is influence - good, bad or ugly. But I will hold true to my opinion that at least as far as Pop music is concerned, including Beyonce, it is all disposable and those who have yet to be born will never know who they were. But then I believe this theory will hold true about Madonna as well.
But Led Zeppeiln, like The Beatles, The Who, Kinks, Queen, Clash, etc. will be, because they wrote & performed timeless music that to this day & into the future will influence kids to pick up a guitar and play. "We Won't Get Fooled Again"!!!!!!!!!!!