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Does popularity matter?
15 September 2012
1.45pm
mr. Sun king coming together
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Very simple: Does popularity (and, by the same token, longevity) matter? Does it make a song better or worse if it is popular?

(I know my answer, but it'll be long; I wait until later.)

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
15 September 2012
2.24pm
SatanHimself
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Popularity only ever matters in high school.

 

Look at the things that are popular right now:  Bad pop music, mediocre movies and untalented TV "reality" stars.

 

I think it can reasonably be said that Elvis is far more popular than the Beatles ever will be.  But that's no indication of quality.  I know I've railed against Elvis before, but let's face facts:  His output was 90% utter crap and the other 10% was done mostly within the confines of a 3-year period.

If anything, popularity is quite often an indication of a *lack* of quality.  I think the Beatles gained popularity against all odds.

E is for 'Ergent'.
15 September 2012
7.28pm
meanmistermustard
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As said earlier above i also think its more a big deal for individuals at school, after you leave it becomes less relevent in your life. However the way it is now projected to and upon society is that its all about being popular be it by what you watch or listen to (must watch, must hear, high ratings, likes on facebook etc). Depending on who you listen to if youre not tweeting or on facebook youre not cool. Its all about image and acting in a certain way, the type of thing i dont care about at all. Not that any of that truly matters.

 

Elvis, for me, is more about the legacy and image and less about the quality of his music, which is overall pretty dreary, average stuff.

 

I never came to the beatles because of their popularity, it was just music my parents played on car journeys. My brothers and i found some lps amongst a whole host of other things and it grew from there. Didnt have a clue who they were until later, it was just that the music was fabulous.  For me it trully exploded around anthology time with the discovery of bootlegs. I had all their albums and tons of compilations with strange tracklists but didnt know outtakes and everything was out there.

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
15 September 2012
10.21pm
annab93
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I agree with Satan (never thought I'd say that!): popularity only matters in high school. For instance, Picasso (I think) was never regarded as talented during his lifetime; however, he became a legacy in art after he died. For the most part, what is temporarily "popular" doesn't last. In fact, my mom told me that my grandma said that the Beatles wouldn't last the first time she saw them perform! 

I think the reason the Beatles made themselves a legacy is because of their innovation and versatility. What is considered popular today lacks both those qualities, in my opinion.

You make your own dream.
15 September 2012
10.59pm
minime
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SatanHimself said
Popularity only ever matters in high school.

 

Look at the things that are popular right now:  Bad pop music, mediocre movies and untalented TV "reality" stars.

 

I think it can reasonably be said that Elvis is far more popular than the Beatles ever will be.  But that's no indication of quality.  I know I've railed against Elvis before, but let's face facts:  His output was 90% utter crap and the other 10% was done mostly within the confines of a 3-year period.

If anything, popularity is quite often an indication of a *lack* of quality.  I think the Beatles gained popularity against all odds.

 

Well, I don't if Elvis is more popular, to be honest. Everyone knows songs such as "Hound Dog" or "Love Me Tender" from him, but really, how many songs would an average (non-American) person name that he has performed? Well, I don't know, but I'm positive most people know more Beatles songs than they do Elvis'. That is because his image is more famous than his music; think of Elvis, and this fat guy in white jumpsuit with sun-glasses pops into your mind. In collective mind, Beatles is much less refined; moptops and collarless suits? Definitely not as eye-catching as Elvis.

In conclusion, I think Elvis is more well-known as an icon and performer, but musically, I think the Beatles still has more fans

( a-hard-days-night-john-7I did a very scientific study, as well, I googled "beatles fan" and "elvis fan" and beatles fans won by a clear margin of 300k)

16 September 2012
1.56am
meanmistermustard
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It didnt help Elvis that he was surrounded by yes men and the rule for them was anything is good. No one had the balls to say to him "get up and make a decent record, do something, you're the 'King'" instead it was heres a script youre a milkman. The Beatles were fortunate in that the record company didnt dictate what their music should be. In fact looking at wiki whilst the 60's was happening Elvis was making 3 not very good films a year and soundtracks that were mostly hackwork by songwriting teams.

I actually find it sad that the legend doesnt match the material which should be the main contributing factor. Not that you can discount what he did for popular music in the fifties.

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
16 September 2012
2.12am
mr. Sun king coming together
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I've shared this feeling before, but I always marvel at how, in 1969, being opposite Elvis almost signaled Mary Tyler Moore's career end. Elvis was a joke by 1959.

As to my original point, I don't understand this whole "only in high school" point. Can someone else explain?

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
16 September 2012
2.16am
SatanHimself
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It bothers me that Elvis gets so much praise while others who, pound-for-pound, achieved much more in their careers are practically musical footnotes.

I can make a very solid case for Little Richard, Roy Orbison,  Buddy Holly and Jerry Lee Lewis outshining Elvis in every single way.

E is for 'Ergent'.
16 September 2012
3.33am
annab93
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mr. Sun king coming together said
I've shared this feeling before, but I always marvel at how, in 1969, being opposite Elvis almost signaled Mary Tyler Moore's career end. Elvis was a joke by 1959.

As to my original point, I don't understand this whole "only in high school" point. Can someone else explain?

What I think satan meant (and what I think) is that being "popular" is a priority for high school age kids, who tend to measure their self-worth by what others think of them. and I know it's not true for everyone, but it is typically seen that as we get older, the opinions of others don't matter as much anymore. at least, that's what I got out of it.

You make your own dream.
16 September 2012
3.53am
SatanHimself
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Very well said.  Exactly.

 

I'm 40 now, and I couldn't give a damn about anyone's idea of 'popularity'.  I have two little girls who think I'm the bee's knees as far as Dads go.

 

If the Beatles were any more "popular", they would be in danger of becoming parody.  I like that people really have to go looking for them.  It's like there's an elite club of Beatles fans, and we warmly welcome the newcomers who are discovering an uncharted land.

E is for 'Ergent'.
16 September 2012
4.29am
mr. Sun king coming together
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Then why did you create a thread bemoaning the (apparent) lack of fans in the 20 something generation? Satan, you seem to be of two minds - we have to look hard for it, but if they were more popular, they'd be parody. You claim you don't give a shit what people call popular, but you create a thread stating that not enough teens know the Beatles. Pick a bloody side already, or explain how the above aren't blatantly contradictory. Make up your mind.

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
16 September 2012
4.52am
annab93
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Hm. I can see where you're coming from, but I do think that Satan's post in the Dying Breed thread was a hypothetical question that got carried away in some places. He may have a certain stance on "popularity," but the dying breed question was probably just plain curiosity, just to see what others thought.

You make your own dream.
16 September 2012
5.24am
Wildcat
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mr. Sun king and co.

Kindly allow me to be the snotty, self-possessed yankee 'Merican so rudely intruding on this thoughtful discourse, as us yanks are wont to do, and reply/comment to certain individuals who have posted, whilst hopefully maintaining interest for the others who would rather I crawl back into my redneck hideaway trailer in the foothills:

The term 'Popularity' really shouldn't apply to Elvis or The Beatles, as popularity itself merely means 'of the moment'. Lonnie Donnegan was popular, along with "Rock Island Line" and skiffle music at that time they were popular; Cliff Richard and The Shadows were popular, very popular, when they were consistently dominating the Pop Music Charts, for at least a few years if I've remembered from text properly, before your sort invented a super-group to lead an invasion into my country and change musical history.

It's the 'tense' in how the word 'popular' should be used: how do you fine Beatle admirers ignore the sheer significance of Mr Lennon's own terminology? "The Beatles are more popular than Jesus Christ?"

They were more popular than Jesus Christ, then .

In 1966, world-wide Census polls, ranging with questions from how many times a day does one defecate to how satisfied with your political leaders are you, concluded in written data that, when shown images of Jesus Christ alongside, or amongst others, with images of The Beatles, more people were able to identify The Beatles than they were of Jesus, Elvis, Churchill, or any other past or currently living individual(s) in history, at that time, 'PAST-tense'

Right, then to the actual Topic:

Does popularity (and, by the same token, longevity) matter? Does it make a song better or worse if it is popular?

O. J. Simpson was the most popular man on Earth the day his "Not Guilty" verdict came in;

Adolph Hitler was extremely popular throughout World War II.

'Popular' is not automatically a good word, or a positive reference.

Longevity of Popularity is where we need to start over.

As to the 2nd question: subjectively, "better or worse" is irrelevant.

 

p.s. hi

annab93

I enjoy your comments

16 September 2012
7.27am
annab93
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a-hard-days-night-ringo-8 thanks wildcat! I find that I'm better in writing than I am in speaking. anyways, I think that you prove a great point when it comes to popularity. Certain things are cool in the moment, but will they last? and that's where the legacy/longevity of it all comes in.

I remember reading somewhere that Elvis and Jesus Christ were two of the names that children in China recognized the most, along with the perception that "Jesus Christ" was an American swear word. That really doesn't have to do too much with the topic, but they have both been mentioned in previous comments! :P

You make your own dream.
16 September 2012
2.50pm
SatanHimself
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mr. Sun king coming together said
Then why did you create a thread bemoaning the (apparent) lack of fans in the 20 something generation? Satan, you seem to be of two minds - we have to look hard for it, but if they were more popular, they'd be parody. You claim you don't give a shit what people call popular, but you create a thread stating that not enough teens know the Beatles. Pick a bloody side already, or explain how the above aren't blatantly contradictory. Make up your mind.

I don't think the two feelings have to be mutually exclusive.  

Haven't we all at some point discovered some band, movie, comic book, whatever...  that we thought was absolutely life-changing and awesome and we wished more people appreciated them...?

...But at the same time we were also sort of happy that they didn't fall prey to the popularity machine, making it a bit more 'exclusive' and special...?

 

And yes, my 'dying breed' thread does exist out of curiosity rather than any real concern.  I like to solicit dialogue and theories here, instead of starting threads asking people to rate their favourite of Ringo's drumsticks.

E is for 'Ergent'.
16 September 2012
3.45pm
mr. Sun king coming together
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No, because I don't want artists not to be popular for some selfish, egotistical reason.

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
16 September 2012
3.49pm
SatanHimself
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Wow... I'm curious to find out exactly what I did to inspire so much anger in you.   

E is for 'Ergent'.
16 September 2012
4.46pm
Dipsy
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SatanHimself said
Wow... I'm curious to find out exactly what I did to inspire so much anger in you.   

a-hard-days-night-ringo-8Well...you're Satan. a-hard-days-night-george-10

"I'm not going to change the way I look or the way I feel to conform to anything. I've always been a freak. So I've been a freak all my life and I have to live with that, you know? I'm just one of those people."
16 September 2012
5.05pm
mr. Sun king coming together
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You are saying it's okay to want a band not to be popular because you want to feel some special feeling, derived from the fact you like them when they aren't that popular. Ergo, you are saying because you want to feel better then others by knowing a band they don't, it is okay to want a band to be unpopular. That is, to me, the height of selfishness.

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
16 September 2012
6.18pm
annab93
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Dipsy said

SatanHimself said
Wow... I'm curious to find out exactly what I did to inspire so much anger in you.   

a-hard-days-night-ringo-8Well...you're Satan. a-hard-days-night-george-10

hahahaha good one Dipsy!

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