Monday, December 10, 2007

Nurse the Hate: Overrated Bands

We have a long running argument/parlor game in the van regarding who should or should not be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It's at this point, I'd like to point out how ridiculous a Hall of Fame is for rock n roll. Rock is an art form like writing, painting, or photography. "Dude, can you believe Manet got in the Paint Hall? His shit is so derivative of Monet." Now, substitute a couple names... "Dude, can you believe Aerosmith got in the Rock Hall? Their shit is so derivative of the Stones!" See what I mean? It's pretty stupid.

For the sake of the parlor game though, let's agree with the very concept of the Rock Hall. After you've put in the pillars of rock (i.e. Beatles/Stones/Dylan/Zeppelin), you start to run into the issue of which arguably marginal or nominal artist you admit into the Hall. Admission in this game is based primarily on artistic accomplishment with a small concession on sales. Example, Velvet Underground is "in" despite selling 14 records when they were together. Despite not releasing a worthwhile song since 1977, Aerosmith is "in" due to a huge commercial resurgence and career longevity. See what I mean? Now you've got yourself a game! There is no right or wrong, but it's a great way to start arguments in a van traveling 85 mph down the highway.

Buffalo Springfield in or out? Out! Buffalo Springfield is one of the most overrated bands ever. Yes, they had Neil Young, Steven Stills, and Richie Furay as members. Their big claim to fame was a six week residency at the Whiskey Au Go Go that is steeped in romantic revisionism. Here's the bottom line. They were together for two years, recorded three albums that were essentially solo tracks by whoever wrote the song while the rest of the band played backup. "For What It's Worth" is the only song that charted (and only song John Q. Public knows by the band). Those guys were all good, but this wasn't when they showed what they really could do. Those guys all got in the rock hall with their "real" bands. Do we have to suck their asses with this too?

Iggy Pop in or out? Out! This written statement will get me in many arguments in stinky punk rock bars, but I can back it up. The Stooges are a separate entity onto themselves, but they are no sure thing either. Let's say The Stooges had some great moments. I'd say "Raw Power" is overrated and "The Stooges" is underrated. It's really cool stuff, but didn't the Velvets and the MC5 do the same thing, but a little better? Now, let's peel back the cover on Iggy's VERY spotty solo career. With the exception of side one of the Lust For Life album, I challenge you to come up with 5 great songs in the last 25 years. (Note, I'm not asking for 5 great albums. I am asking for 5 great songs.) Whattya got? "Candy"? "Five Foot One"? "Nightclubbing"? That cupboard is a little bare for 25 years of work, no? Maybe if he had put more than 15 minutes into writing some lyrics, it would be different. Out!

The Pretenders in or out? Out! That first Pretenders album sure seemed dangerous at the time, didn't it? Now it sounds quaint, and a little spotty. The second album was even a little more thin. Then the guitar and bass player died from drugs, and the Pretenders became the No Doubt of the late Eighties with songs like "Back On the Chain Gang" and "Thin Line Between Love and Hate". After you get past the novelty of the band being fronted by a woman, The Jam's discography looks a lot more impressive. Hell, you could make a comparison to Squeeze and not be out of the ballpark.

Stone Temple Pilots in or out? Out! They really seemed like non stop hit machines when grunge was morphing into metal with a new set of fashion rules. (Spandex out! Flannel in! Jack Daniels out! Heroin in! Songs about girls out! Songs about isolation in!) Those guys had fifteen top ten singles. Fifteen!?! five of them. Even tougher...recite the lyrics to any of them. Those guys might have sold a shitload of records, but as far as I can see, they were the Bad Company of the late 90s. Years from now you'll see them playing a set in a packaged oldies tour out in an outdoor shed. You'll be knocking back a $12 Coors Light draft, wishing someone had given you a parking pass for The Gold Parking Lot, and thinking to yourself, "Oh yeah! I remember that tune!". Same thing happened to me in 1995 while I was working at a classic rock radio station, except it was with the band Loverboy. Enough said...

Random Notes: Floyd Mayweather proved once again he is The Man. He may be cocky as hell, but he can back it up. He took everything that bulldog Ricky Hatton could throw at him, and knocked his ass out cold. If you look around that weight class, the only one left is Cotto and I don't think he's ready. If Floyd can get him in the ring now, he could cash out with a big payday and a legacy as one of the all time greats. Viva Floyd!!!...Dallas looks very impressive in the NFC, and you may have heard the Pats are doing well in the AFC. It's hard to imagine anyone beating either of those teams in the playoffs. Hopefully we'll catch few heavy spreads and fade 'em... Everybody is getting on the Colts this week -10.5 vs Oakland. As we all know, the public is ALWAYS WRONG, so take a look at Oakland with the points. That line may move to 11.5 by kickoff. Also, I like Buffalo +5.5 against the Browns this week. Cleveland may win, but Buffalo will do what they always do and just sort of hang around...I like watching Amy Winehouse running around fucked up on drugs, in her bra, and crying about her husband. It's great that you can package that amazing voice in a total train wreck of a person. She's like a punk British version of Brittany.


At December 12, 2007 at 4:56:00 PM EST , Blogger Ken said...

R.E.M. got in this year, which makes me think of other titans of eighties alternative rock. What about The Smiths? The Cure?

At December 12, 2007 at 6:17:00 PM EST , Blogger brandonio said...

Link Wray and The Ventures should both be there, if you really think about it. They both inspired more bands than probably 90% of the artist already in.

At December 19, 2007 at 11:29:00 PM EST , Blogger Josh said...

Buffalo Springfield was inducted in 1997. I think there are a lot of bands/artists that should be inducted that are not, and sadly some never will be, think Hasil Adkins.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home