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Favorite Solo Album?
27 June 2011
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mithveaen
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Inner Light said:

I truly believe that the Lennon/McCartney deal which was in full force wasn't about to admit that George is possibly just as good of a song writer as they were especially at that point of their career as The Beatles.  I know they liked 'Something' (Lennon pushed that one to be the A side) and 'Here Comes The Sun' but what I think happened is George always had a spiritual message in all his songs and I think that songs like the ones you mentioned above got vetoed. I have said this before that George was always due to his humbleness, pushed aside. It is about selling records and when you have a hit team like Lennon/Mccartney, why fix something that isn't broken.

 

That's an excellent point of view. I wonder if someone else besides the Beatles decided which singles were going to be released. If someone else was involved in that, so George had to convince not only Lennon/McCartney but also these guys. Wow.

Here comes the sun….. Scoobie-doobie…… Something in the way she moves…..attracts me like a cauliflower… Bop. Bop, cat bop. Go, Johnny, Go. Beware of Darkness…  I believe in SH...
27 June 2011
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The Walrus
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I know bands nowadays (on major record labels like EMI, at least) don't get a great deal of input on which of their songs are released as singles. The Beatles were pretty different though, I remember John talking about how he made sure Lady Madonna's B side was a George song (personally I think the single should have been Across The Universe backed with Lady Madonna, but hey).

And I neeeeeeeeed her all the time
27 June 2011
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Any band today will take the most "commercial" song as viewed as the label. The Beatles were willing to put Inner Light on a B-side; that's saying something.

I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
28 June 2011
2.08am
GniknuS
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In fairness, that's because the Beatles could afford to release The Inner Light as a b-side. I seriously doubt they would have been able to do so in '64 or '65. But the whole music landscape is different, nowadays labels have to compete with Katy Perry singing about getting abducted by aliens.
There are cool songs out there and music is now easier and cheaper to make and distribute, so there has to be a way to get original songs out there. Pirate radio station? Anyone want to join me? Could be fuuun. a-hard-days-night-george-10

I sat on a rug, biding my time, drinking her wine
28 June 2011
2.13am
mr. Sun king coming together
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Or just listen to your local alternative station. (Oh wait – you're an American. Never mind.) But to make this half on topic, Paul's Chaos and Creation is great.

I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
28 June 2011
2.18am
GniknuS
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Seriously, they used to play our local "alternative" station at my gym and their definition of alternative and edgy was Blink 182 and Linkin Park songs from the early 2000s.

I sat on a rug, biding my time, drinking her wine
28 June 2011
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mr. Sun king coming together
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That's my point. Down in the US, they almost force you to listen to Katy Perry, etc through mass exposure. We at least have these alternative stations to play good stuff like Fitz and The Tantrums, Stone Temple Pilots, etc. But if you are ever in Canada, put on CBC Radio 2. A perfect mix of Funk, Classic Rock and alternative stuff now now. But, this seems like more of a discussion for Derail.

I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
28 June 2011
7.28pm
GniknuS
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I always think about the Boxer by Simon and Garfunkel being released as a single because it's not very commercial, although it could carry so many different meanings and interpretations to different people. I just don't think you can underestimate the effect music (and all art) has on the brain and what that song or so many others like The Inner Light could have had on someone.

Nowadays I think it must be intentional with all of the crap music being released, they are trying to stifle creativity. Just take a look at our consumer culture, I think it's obvious. But it's not just music, it's TV and movies (hey Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake, didn't Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher just release that movie?) It's all just a swarm of mindlessness.

Just my thoughts, sorry. stay-on-topic

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28 June 2011
8.51pm
The Walrus
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We only have 6Music in the UK, local stations tend to be as commercial as Radio 1. Local BBC stations aren't as bad, actually.

Anyway, the year I was born, albums released included Foo Fighters, Different Class, The Great Escape, The Bends and (What's The Story?) Morning Glory. All of those were young, upcoming bands who tried to stretch the boundaries and also managed to have an impact in the charts. 

One of my two favourite albums of the year so far was made by a bunch of middle-aged men who essentially invented alternative rock (R.E.M). They've been recording for 30 years ffs! That's a growing trend, though. Good rock music tends to be made by middle aged men. If a new band gathers a sizeable number of fans, they'll be given a three-album contract by a record label (if they are lucky), and if the third album isn't Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band they'll be dropped. After three albums The Beatles were still at Hard Day's Night ffs!

The only modern band to make that sort of leap to artistic greatness are Arcade Fire, who are signed to indepedent record labels. I doubt most of my friends could name an Arcade Fire song.

When the public are taught that music consists of an attractive person miming along to someone else singing, they're not going to see why they should buy four or five of an artist's albums whilst they refine their sound. The Dark Side Of The Moon was Pink Floyd's eighth album, Exile on Main Street was The Rolling Stones' tenth album, Rubber Soul was The Beatles' sixth, VGPS was the Kinks' sixth, Ziggy Stardust was Bowie's fifth, Green was R.E.M.'s sixth, Highway 61 Revisited was Bob Dylan's sixth album…

To be honest, I think it comes down to piracy. If people will insist on stealing music, then bands will rely more and more on touring in order to make money, and will spend less time in the studio making music that people will just steal. Everybody who posts on this forum knows what a massive leap forward The Beatles' music took when they were spending more time in the studio.

Sorry, that absolutely dwarves Gnik's rant.a-hard-days-night-paul-4

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28 June 2011
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Okay, first: Holy shit. Second, love the mention of Arcade Fire (them Montrealers), and third, you are right. But you are wrong about friends not naming any Arcade Fire songs. At least over here, Suburbs was a big hit.

I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
28 June 2011
10.29pm
The Walrus
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All three albums were massive hits here. My friends aren't really music people though.

And I neeeeeeeeed her all the time
29 June 2011
2.25am
GniknuS
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Really good points Walrus, but I also think you have to consider who mainstream radio is being targeted to. It's mostly 13 year olds who haven't discovered the Beatles and who completely care about image as opposed to sound. That seems like such a crazy statement, but that's what happens when you have a industry like radio completely dependent on advertisers.
The problem with radio at least around where I live is that there's no cool in-between stations. They are either pop stations or "classic rock" stations that essentially play the same endless loop of songs ('oh hey, I haven't heard Hotel California in at least 3 hours!')
I worked at my college station and could play some cool stuff, but I have much better taste now then I did a few years ago so I wish I could go back. But there are a few cool shows on that station.
As to your other points, I feel like it's completely switched because bands can have really good debuts (example being the Strokes) but I'm usually pretty shocked if the follow up is any good. I wonder what happens? It seems so weird that most bands digress as they go, or they lose that original sound that was the reason their debut was so great in the first place.
I still think there is a ton a great music being made and I'm very optimistic that someone will break through and change things, but for the time being, we have to put up with the Beibers a Perrys of the world.
But they'll go away, just like the Spears' and the Nsyncs' of my generation went away.

I sat on a rug, biding my time, drinking her wine
29 June 2011
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Really, I pine for the ideals of Reprise Records. Not EMI, not Capitol, of Reprise. Frank Sinatra got it right in thinking that artists should make the call, not a non musical CEO with more care for money then talent or musical success. Mo Astin said "Artists were given control over both what you heard and what you saw; the recording sessions and album covers were subject to their input and ultimate approval." That was shocking then, and really, what we need now. And, they were willing to give up a small price for future riches, another lesson needed. So, we need to look at the past, but not to the 60's we normally talk of, but another aspect of them. But, looking around now, it's mainstream crap. But that's not what you really see, but that's what they make you think. Music now is far from dead, but the good stuff is just hidden – but they say the thrill is in the chase.

I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
29 June 2011
2.48am
GniknuS
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There just needs to be a change in how music is distributed as well. It's pretty easy and not all that expensive to make a decent sounding record, but after that what do you do? Go the the Internet and hope to find a fanbase, but if you go to a station, you have to fit their mold in order to get played, and even then you have a zero percent shot of getting on a popular station. But it's not the stations fault, they literally cannot afford to lose listenership, so why would they play unknown stuff?
An example would be my cousin who's relatively young (21) and is starting to make some headway in the industry (Brothertiger, check him out a-hard-days-night-george-10 ) but most of his fans are in France and other places in Europe although he's making his albums in Athens, Ohio. It's just weird, on the one hand it's really cool that you can sell your stuff to a huge audience, but on the other hand there needs to be a better way to build up a local following.

I sat on a rug, biding my time, drinking her wine
29 June 2011
2.56am
mr. Sun king coming together
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(By the way – why is the last "why" in your sig spelled "hhwhy," Gnik?)
It's true. Something (or someone) needs to change. The problem is nobody is willing to change a booming business. To them it's "Why fix something that ain't broke?" Whereas we think "FIX BABY FIX (10 apples to any one who gets the joke). It's a joke that people can become famous on limited work. The Beatles never had "American Idol" or YouTube to get them famous. The system is a sham that conspires against the truly talented.

I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
29 June 2011
11.39am
kelicopter
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GniknuS said:

As to your other points, I feel like it's completely switched because bands can have really good debuts (example being the Strokes) but I'm usually pretty shocked if the follow up is any good. I wonder what happens? It seems so weird that most bands digress as they go, or they lose that original sound that was the reason their debut was so great in the first place.

I think it's more that bands are expected to have incredible debuts to get record deals. (Another band I'd throw in there are Arctic Monkeys.) As The Walrus said, if they don't begin with an amazing album, then they aren't given the time of day. It's not that bands tend to have really good debuts nowadays, it's that any band who doesn't usually don't get anywhere.

And I know what you mean about bands not living up to their debuts, again I'd refer to Arctic Monkeys, who are on their fourth album and have, in my opinion, progressively gotten worse. Although again, that could just be them trying to find their sound, and just changing as they get older, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."
"When I cannot sing my heart, I can only speak my mind."
29 June 2011
12.26pm
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The first album is usually all the best songs the band members have written in their lives up until that point. The second album is any left over songs, plus any that have been written since the debut. You can see where this is going…

I think bands also can become complacent. After having loads of energy in an attempt to gain fans, get a record deal and sell an album, they relax after having several top 10 singles and take their eye off the ball. The Artic Monkeys had two UK #1s with Whatever People Say I Am…, Kaiser Chiefs had four singles in the top 11 off Employment (and then Ruby). In the case of the Kaiser Chiefs, I think they've given up on the album format (though they have the talent to put out a really good one) and the Artic Monkeys have obviously had that lull.

The Strokes had a good debut, I think that's rapidly becoming a different era of rock though. Is This It and Your New Favourite Band (The Hives's breakthrough album, though not their debut) were released in 2001… the same year that Pop Idol debuted. I think that killed off the image of music being "garage" and reinforced the idea that pop is pop.

Even then, The White Stripes didn't really peak until Elephant, their fourth album in 2003, by which time they'd quite possibly have been dropped if they were with a major record label and the album wouldn't have had the publicity a blockbuster needs. There does need to be more patience from record producers, which needs the public to buy more albums. 2009 or 2010 was the first year since 1967 that singles outsold albums, and given how high album sales were that year, I think that's a bad sign.

And I neeeeeeeeed her all the time
29 June 2011
1.42pm
mr. Sun king coming together
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The reason the debuts are their bests because they don't have any pressure, and therefor can be loose. This is taken away once on the label, and the quality then drops, almost inevitably. That is what happens all the time. There needs to be this band that changes how music is created, someone. Now, I support my local independent record shops quite a bit (I've dropped $100 before in one shot), and I pine for the ways of the 60's in this regard. Walrus, I still love the "Rubber Soul was the Beatles sixth album" part. It's true. Except for Joe, I don't think anyone claims their favourite isn't post Help. That isn't nocking Joe (never would do that), but the majority of fans prefer their later works more, not their first stuff (which still rocks). Let's look at Simon and Garfunkel. Best album? Bridge Over Troubled Water. That was their last album (and their fifth). Without letting them record multiple albums, no one would have ever heard of them. Their first album flopped, and in today's industry, no one would have given them a shot again. Which proves what we are saying. Something IS wrong, so fix it.

I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
29 June 2011
5.35pm
GniknuS
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I like this discussion, I'd suggest starting a seperate thread for it but I don't think we could possibly live up to this debut. a-hard-days-night-george-10
Many great points have been made, Sun King brought up S&G and another example would be Bob Dylan. While his debut didn't necessarily flop, it still was miles away from what was to come. Imagine a music world without Dylan, now that's depressing.
I think you just have to get lucky, almost every bands story is the same, but take the Beatles. Had one particular thing happened differently or not happened at all, who knows what could have changed?
So bands nowadays have to find that one producer or have that one thing happen to them which triggers something else which leads to this or that. Following that success up is all about finding a fanbase and trying to please both yourself artistically and your fans. That's what made the Beatles great, they could stray away from the norms but still keep that connection.
I also don't know if enough people care about good music anymore. My friend listens to a ton of stuff but he won't check out anything older, so when someone like the Arctic Monkeys makes a bad album, it's more like an 'oh well' than anything else. He and many others haven't realized the weath of music available to them, so they don't demand anything more.
At the end of the day, it comes down to dollars and cents, if a record label can make money putting out lightweight pop or if a band can make money by just making the same song over and over again because their fans don't demand more, why would they stop?
It's easy to get complacent once you've had some initial success.

I sat on a rug, biding my time, drinking her wine
29 June 2011
5.52pm
mr. Sun king coming together
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The only band I can think of who had 2 truly great opening albums is Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. I wrote this on the USA discog about Capitol, but it really works here as well: At Capitol, the dollar speaks louder than artistic integrity or intelligence. Replace Capitol with any other label, and that rings true. Gnik, you said something about being complacent. And that is true. Why stretch your mind if you think that's the be all end all? Because most likely it isn't. I thought the Beatles were it. They're not. I love so many more bands now then 8 months ago. I was talking to a friend about hockey, and he said this: "If the player isn't good enough to make the roster of the best team in the league, don't play him." Well, if you wouldn't buy the record you created, then fix it and make it better. Artistic integrity is the missing ingredient.

I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
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