Which bands do readers thinks have the highest success to quality ratio? In other words, which bands have been very successful yet deserve little success since their music is terrible? I'll stir the pot right away with my #1 choice: Kiss. They were around for a while, made millions, dressed up in makeup because no one would've listened to them otherhwise, and maybe had one good song (but probably not). My next choices would be Aerosmith and Dream Theater, although I'm not sure the latter were very successful. I hope not.
I can somewhat agree that Kiss should be on your list. (They were not very talented musicians/songwriters, but they were showmen first, and musicians second, so that is understandable. A lot like Madonna, IMHO.)
I don't know anything about Dream Theater, so I will not comment upon them.
However, your choice of Aerosmith is way off the mark. I think you are letting your taste in music get in the way of your logic here. They have way too many good songs and albums for you to come to that conclusion.
That would be like me choosing U2 and Radiohead for your list. I dislike both of those bands, and could care less if I never heard them ever again. (Please, oh Please, make it so!). However, I would never state that they have little to no talent as you have done.
So, for my list, I would nominate the aforementioned Madonna, but even she only comes in a distant second to the true number one, which is, (Drum roll please).....
How she has maintained any sort of pretense as a musical artist is beyond me. The utter lack of talent is unbelievable to me. (Apparently being married to John Lennon was enough for some people to think that being close enough to a talented person conveys talent to that person.)
Not including a lot of their earlier material, which was good to average, with a few greats, I would say the last 20 years of the Rolling Stones has been very poor. I agree about Kiss. Aerosmith has had a similar career to the Rolling Stones in a way. They had a couple of really good efforts,(e.g. Rocks)but I find their music for the last 20 years or so to be boring, even annoying. Now I need to think of some others...
Kurt tank, I agree Aerosmith was a stretch. Their 70s work was very good. I love Walk This Way and Back in the Saddle. But what have they for us since? Nothing! Of course I'm letting my musical tastes get "in the way". This whole exercise is about taste. You should put radiohead on your list if you don't like them. They're very successful. I love them. But I think they're super talented. Is that what you're saying, that if I can see someone is talented they shouldn't make this list, even if I can't stand their music? I suspect I don't have respect for the talent behind the music I dislike, but it's possible I guess. Like Yngwie Malmsteen is arguably talented, but he's awful. So should he not be included in this discussion because of his guitar talent? I would argue no, guitar talent is irrelevant if he's got no songwriting talent. Thanks for the discussion!!!
Well, by most measures, Michael Jackson's "Thriller" is the top-selling album of all time. Was he talented? Sure, he was quite talented. But if the question is about success vs. talent, I'd have to think that the King of Pop deserves consideration for a prominent place on that list.
How you could ever think that Aerosmith's music is terrible is ridiculous.Aerosmith is absolutely America's greatest rock n roll band.Toys in the Attic is one of the most complete album's ever.In my opinion it is the best album of all time.Aerosmith has an incredible catalogue of albums and hits spanning many decades. Steven Tyler and Joe Perry are right up there with some of the best ever rock n roll songwriter's. Most every song they ever covered (Come Together,Baby Please Don't Go,Roadrunner,Train Kept a Rollin',etc.)was done better than the original version. Steven Tyler is the best frontman ever.He turns 63 this week and can perform like no other.Plays drums,harmonica,piano,etc. like no other frontman can.Oh yeah, and he has incredible vocal range. Columbia records released Aerosmith's debut album and Springsteen's debut album on the same day in 1973.For every dollar they put into Aerosmith they put a hundred into Springsteen.Although Columbia hit the jackpot with both a couple of year's later(Born to Run and Toys in the Attic),Aerosmith's debut was much better with hits like Dream On,Mama Kin,One Way Street,Movin' Out and a great cover of Walkin' the Dog.The best thing to come from Springsteen's debut was Blinded by the Light which was made most famous by Manfred Mann (#1) five years later.No offence,Springsteen is a favourite of mine.Just making my point that Aerosmith had to work hard touring,and recording. Yeah they did self destruct,but later recovered and returned with more success than ever.
Tocchet, it's that recovery "with more success than ever" than lands them on my list. What was their last great song? Janie's got a Gun? Hardly... It was Walk this Way, approximately, a good decade before their newfound success. I agree with you about Sprinsteen. I've often felt Springsteen is for people who don't like music but feel the need to tell people something when asked what kind of music they like. BTW This whole thread is going to be very subjective. I can't stand Aerosmith (after 1980) or Kiss. Maybe you can't stand Radiohead. That doesn't mean either of us is wrong. Just different tastes. I thought it would be interesting to see who other people thought were undeserving of wild success, and it has been so far. Keep 'em coming!
Really, Michael Jackson? Interesting choice! At least mathematically, that numerator (success) is pretty large. So it would be hard for his talent to measure up to his success, but I think in some ways it does. Or did.
I looked at some lists of most successful rock bands..
Fact is most of them have substantial talent enough to justify their success. Success is easier to measure quantitatively. Units sold, dollars earned, whatever. Talent is a more qualitative assessment. fact is most acts that hit it big have talent, whether you like their act or not. How much they have is harder to assess.
So for me, the acts that had success but for the most part did not even write, help produce or perform their own material are the ones that are most likely the winners.
Actually, based on this, I would scratch "The Chipmunks" of the list. There was a real guy named David that produced and performed most of their hits under "The Chipmunks" moniker. He even won some Grammy's for his work in 1959, I think I read. So there was some unique talent there as well.
The Monkees actually did record and perform their material later on I believe, so there was even some real talent (albeit significantly supplemented behind the scenes) there as well.
Even with the Partridge Family, David Cassidy did sing lead and Shirley Jones backup vocals there.
Ever hear Shirley Jones sing in her "Oklahoma" prime? No doubt there was considerable talent there, abeit not a big part of "The Partridge Family's" success.
David Cassidy, not so much talent really IMHO.
So I'll stick with them as the winners, assuming animated acts performed by anonymous session musicians (who have real talent) do not count.
Initially Drum Theater had vice-versa, but their talent on the scale from 0 to 100 is far away from zero. Check out Liquid Tension Experiment with members of DT and UK. Same I could say about Joe Satriani who eventually became popular artist.
Marakanetz, You hit it! Bon Jovi is a great example. Had a very big hit album, which now sounds embarassingly dated, and has put out crap for years now. It's apparently just his good luck that a lot of grown women get all hot and bothered looking at him.
Any of the big hair bands of the 80s (Bon Jovi, Cinderella, Great White, White Snake, Dokken, Ratt, etc...too many to chose from), boy bands of the 90s (Back Street Boys, New Kids on the Block, 98 Degrees...yech), girl bands from the 80s/90s (Spice Girls, TLC, etc...). I am just keeping this to bands. Individual performers opens up a whole additional category.
Nick-You're a bloody fool. Had to say it. The Beatles have stood the test of time and will continue to do so. The Beatles had, without much argument, 3 of the greatest musical minds in rock history. All in 1 group. No group even comes close.
I'm going with Michael Buble and I actually like the guy. For reasons beyond the scope of this post, I've seen him perform live twice. He's charming and entertaining but his success is WAY out of proportion to his talent
Timrhu, You spelled leopard correctly, thereby spelling the name of the band incorrectly. Roxy54
Funny. I thought about looking up the band's name for spelling, and actually put one of these (sp?) behind it but my wife called me to answer the phone. As I have never owned or even looked at anything by them, please forgive me.
Whoa, Snofun3. Stevie Nicks has an incredible voice that is wholly unique, pitch perfect, and can move an audience. And Rush? Their live shows are unbelievable, really. I encourage you to read Neil Peart's books as well...his lyrics are not inane. Now, Steve Miller...
The rest of your list I could gladly live without, but David Bowie is a cut above the rest. ("Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars" alone gets him off this list, IMHO anyway.)
But then again, I guess everyone gets to shove someone they really dislike onto the list, much like me with Madonna, U2 and Radiohead, (and Elvis and Sting and The Pretenders and The Smiths and The Cure, .....) ;-)
Sorry Bojack, Nicks' voice is far from unique, and her limited skills and range shows in song after song. After the other gal left, all that was heard was Nick's insipid warbling and the band, became, well, nothing. Having some flowing bedsheet around on a stage trying to having some nonsense "witchy" way isn't talent, it's just gratuitous bs. She can get me to move too - out!
Rush - puleese. lyrics that could only make a 12 year old proud but so embarrassing to listen to otherwise. As much as Yes sometimes went off the deep end, they had some skill. I'll give you that their drummer can find his way around a kit, but that band could only have made it by getting the obligatory Canadian airplay, otherwise they'd still be playing high school gyms for pimply sophomores trying to believe the words have some deep meaning. It would be giving them credit to even call them the Wal-Mart of prog rock.
Like this started with - even Kiss had an entertaining stage show - talent no, showmanship yes.
Oh yeah - Chicago was mentioned. What are they up to now Chicago 243? All with the same nondescript tunes, and even if you've never heard them before you know exactly where the horns will go - beep, beep beep, beep, beep beep beep. So far with so little talent. Who buys that dreck?
Michael Bolton - yes, yes. My ex used to think everything he did was "deep" because of his insipid tune renderings. And the hair - what was up with that? - gawd. Thankfully his 15 minutes appears to have been up some time ago. Thankfully.
Didn't see Grand Funk up here yet. Certainly a contender for one of the least talented ever. Saw them at the Yale Bowl a few decades ago. Yes opened for them (right after the Yes Album came out). Needless to say, Grand Funk couldn't have been too pleased with the audience response.
Some mentioned the Dead, the Stones and the Beatles? Guys, get a grip. Please.
While I love the Beatles, what's infinity/infinity? Is it possible that their riches exceeded their talent? I don't think so, but I can understand the argument. They probably had more success than any other artist in any medium ever has. But I personally think they had more talent than anyone since Beethoven. Perhaps since Bach. (Sorry, Mozart.)
Achilles, The denominator of Beatles is finite. It started growing as their ages correspondedly. Their latest albums are substantially better than their debut. The nominator started going the other way trying to stand against Rolling Stones. I recalled another winner/loser hero PAUL SIMON! Oh god as Tbromgard mentioned