The Biggest Disappointments in Rock and Roll

The history of rock music is a tale of squandered talent, over-hyped failures, and missed opportunities. In too many instances, the portend of greatness is followed by the all-too dismal reality. Here are my nominations for the biggest disappointments in rock.

1.The 80’s: 1976 through 1980 were the most exciting and innovative five years in the entire short history of rock music. Even though, by 1980, the punk revolt had petered out, there was an exciting “anything is possible” buzz in the music scene. The two minute, three chord, punk song had given way to some astonishing experimentation. I was enjoying noises as diverse as Gang of Four, Joy Division, Throbbing Gristle, Public Image Limited, and The Clash.
So, what happened? The airwaves were not conquered by these “post-punk”cohorts. Instead, it was the execrable “as if punk never happened” crew (e.g., Duran Duran, Huey Lewis and the News, Culture Club) that came to dominate. Hip-hop was the only music flourishing in the 80’s that broke new ground. Considering the promising way the decade started (i.e., 1980), it sure turned into a rotten decade for pop music.

2.The CD: The compact disc promised clean, crackle-free sound in a durable format (albeit at a higher price). It s soon became apparent that it was sonically inferior to the cheaper format that it had replaced. The compact disc rendered a sound that was sterile, compressed, and cold. Perhaps it was a fitting format for the cold, sterile synthpop of the day. Think about how much personal computers have improved in twenty years. It is truly scandalous that state of the art audio circa 1976 (i.e., a Linn Sondek turntable w/ all-tube amplification) has not been so dramatically improved upon. The compact disc was supposed to be a great leap forward. We got screwed.

3. Paul McCartney’s Solo Career: While there has since been a critical reappraisal in favor of John Lennon, at the time of the Beatle’s disintegration, it was McCartney who was believed to be the superior songsmith. His imminent solo career was awaited with the highest of expectations. While his solo career cannot be dismissed as a total failure, nobody is calling it an artistic triumph. “Silly Love Songs” and “Ebony and Ivory” do not a legend make.

4. US interest in Jamaican music died along with Bob Marley

5. The solo work of Led Zeppelin members: From the early to mid 70’s, Led Zep dominated the music scene. With the interesting exception of Robert Plant’s most recent album, none of the surviving members have released anything worth buying.

6. The Sex Pistols tour of The United States: This was supposed to be The Big One. Instead, they went to San Francisco, and proceeded to bite The Big One.

7. Elvis Presley’s post Sun Records music

8. The Stone Roses: After releasing what was, without a doubt, the most brilliant and beautiful album of the second half of the sorry ass 1980’s, this most promising of all bands then, as Monica Kendrick would put it, dropped the soap in the showers of the big record company. Barred from recording anything for nearly ten years, they sat out the Britpop explosion that they had created. When they did eventually get around to releasing a follow-up, it was nothing but some lame 70’s style guitar rock rehash. The Stone Roses remain rock’s greatest one-album wonder.

9. “End of the Century” (The Ramone’s Phil Spector produced fifth album): I wanted so much to like it. I was, and still am, an obsessed fan of both the Ramones and Phil Spector. The trouble was, it just didn’t work. It sounded trite, forced, and artificial. The tracks bespeak blatant toadying to the tastes of AOR programmers. Sure, it got more airplay than the previous Ramones releases; but at what price? This awkward disc didn’t give them the superstardom that their previous records should have earned them. The only thing worse than selling out is selling out, and finding no buyers.

10. The Ron Wood era Rolling Stones: Mick Taylor was by no means a first-division player when he was recruited for The Stones. However, with him on board, the Stones produced their very best work. Ron Wood was an established A-list player when he joined the band. At the time, the expectation was not only that, with Woodie on the team, The Stones could make records comparable to “Sticky Fingers” or “Exile on Main Street, ” it was even suggested that they would thus be able to make even better records! Instead, the Stones degenerated into a campy, overpriced, touring nostalgia act; kind of like a post-greaser Sha Na Na that charges 150 bucks a ticket.
Without a doubt, Todd Rundgren.

Utopia was a decent and highly promising prog rock band that put out some good records, but as the 70's drew to a close, they were already mutating into a new-wave pop outfit. "Adventures in Utopia" was the last sign of life.

Todd Rundgren then set out on his own to conquer pop, and began singing... BALLADS! Yuck. With "I Don't Want to Work" being his only notable post-70's work (and basically 80's kitsch), you can call his solo career a complete and total wipeout.
Clearly, I have a different perspective on the quality of product in the time periods you mention.

I personally think that by 1976-80 rock was already dead, and I could not agree with your "exciting and innovative" description of the stuff you mention from those years. I think that there were 2 main kinds of popular music at that time(excluding the dreaded disco) and they were either imitators of the first "English Invasion" of the early to mid 60s, or a bunch of really talentless street dreck that tried to pick up instruments and thrash around proclaiming their "angst". I found that entire genre quite revolting and worthless. The "New Wave" was not innovative, but copiers attempting to cash-in on a previously proven formula, and the other type was just pure junk.

So while I am in agreement with your general premise, that the post 80s pop music scene has sunk to incredibly low levels, I would include the period after 1976 as well, and really even after 1973, except for a couple of decent albums by some of the bands that hadn't totally petered out yet.

The truly innovative stuff that happened during the time you mentioned was the fusion era, where all the real musicians went to stay away from the horrible downslide that was happening to pop music.

Never really liked the Stones, anyway, regardless of era. McCartneys first 2 albums were very good.

Totally agree with your assessment of the CD.
How bout the following:

1 - Kurt Cobain's suicide.
2 - Elvis dying young.
3 - Maybe not rock n' roll, but for Pop Music in general... The whole Milli Vanilli incident. This showed just how the mass audience of America can be totally deceived.
4 - Just about everything David Bowie and Lou Reed did from the 80's to today.

Hey Y'all,

I have to say I was/am very disappointed at what happened to Guns N Roses. When I first heard them in the Dirty Harry movie, don't remember which, I thought, holy sh*t, this band has cojones. The release of Appetite For Destruction was even more eye opening. The raw energy and melody intertwined to create a head banging sound that was, at the same time, a heart pumping adrenalin rush and not that hard to listen to. They hit their peek with Use Your Illusion I&II but shortly after that imploded. Axel Rose and Slash had a different vision of the direction the band should go in and they all went there separate ways. With the death Of Izzy Stradlin, the band was truly gone, no matter what Axel tried to do to bring them back this past year. I really felt this band had the talent and presence to be around for a long time. I guess I was wrong. It's not the first time and won't be the last......John

1. Rap....talking is not singing.

2. The BoyBand thing....

2. Almost all current top 40 female singers.
I think the biggest dissappointment is that the Big Recording Labels are driving which new artists get play time. After someone like Avril Levine (I thought she was Alanis Morissette the first time I heard her) gets mentioned as a Grammy contender, it's like The Emporer's new clothes-the mainstream critics all fall in line & praise her! I saw her sing in a live (un-equalized) broadcast, her voice was weak & mid-fi at best.
I can't blame her if some record industry people tell her she's great, she's young!
I'd like to get everyone to sit down in front of a decent system & listen to "For The Stars" with Anne Sofie Von Otter & Elvis Costello. This would give all the new female artists a mountain to climb!
I agree with TWL.Creative or great Rock died around 73.There are of course some exceptions.The best era in Creative Rock was from the mid 60's to the early 70's PERIOD.Punk,Grunge Rap was the worst of it!Made disco tolorable in retrospect.


Uhhh...Izzy Stradlin isn't dead yet. He is working with Slash to put together a new band.
Each time I sit down and listen to King Crimsons album RED I can't help feeling after the last great piece on the album STARLESS that a impossibly gigantic door had closed on an entire era of music(mainly progressive music)and that the thinking persons desire to hear challenging new forms has ceased to be a possibility unless one does it on their own.Please see my question in the music category for another angle on whats going on.
Good point about Bowie, Tok20000:
The long-term reputation of Bowie would have been best served by his sudden death say, right after 'Scary Monsters' was released. Bowie's horrid "Let's Dance" is the absolute epitome of the sterile, soulless sound that plagued pop music in the 80's. You should check out the surprisingly good film "Velvet Goldmine." In this movie, a character closely based on Bowie's 80's persona gets a well deserved skewering.
The '76-'80 time frame that Tweakgeek is so fond of found yours truly scrambling to find some tunes to buy. Thankfully, Steely Dan and some of the Fusion people saved my sanity. This period was filled with Disco and the beginnings of large corporate buy-outs of local radio stations, thus limiting exposure of really creative artists. I can understand however, a certain age group during this time enjoying the grunge sound. No insult intended Tweakgeek. The difference is probably an age thing.

The 80's just about destroyed my interest in music. Between the force fed new digital medium WHICH HURT MY EARS and the likes of Madonna, Cindy Lauper, Michael Jackson and others I found myself buying re-releases on premium vinyl. Geez, the print industry even gave Joe Jackson column inches devoted to his belief that the guitar was on it's way out. Give me a break.

In my opinion, the greatest time frame for innovation and great work was 1965-1973. I have since developed a great appreciation for music from the '55-'65 era, especially the Motown sound and r&b.

Our worst enemy now appears to be radio and the music industry itself what with canned programming and the out of proportion fear of copyright infringement. The sad part is that there are so many great artists who supplement their day jobs by playing for us most evenings in the bar scene.

I only wish I would have discovered Jazz around 1975.
Hey Octopus,

Thanks for the correction, I thought I had something wrong in my lement. I know one of the original band members died recently, I just can not recall their name......John
One that was overlooked ... the demise of FM Radio, specifically Album Oriented Radio (AOR). 25 to 30 years ago, you could sample a diversity of performers and performances and have a real connection to a lot of the rock culture. As the song goes ... "video killed the radio star." AOR became Classic Rock and the never ending playing of songlists comprised only of the top 5 songs by Led Zep; Clapton; Eagles; Stones; and a handful of others ... essentially an AM Top 40 Radio format. Gone forever ... Scott Muni and the Best from Britain (WNEW 102.7); Album of the Day (WQIV 104.3); all those great WNEW DJ's (Allison Steele "the Nightbird'; Meg Griffin; and Pete Fornatel/Mixed Bag and Vin Scelsa/Idiot's Delight (both resurrected by WFUV ). Absolute shame. Regards, Rich
1. The deaths of Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens
2. The deaths of Jimmy Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison
3. The deaths of John Bonham, Keith Moon & Ronnie Van Zant
4. The death of Randy Rhoads
5. The death of Phil Lynott
6. The death of Steve Clark
7. The death of Freddie Mercury
8. The "death" of Van Halen (thanks Eddie & Dave!)
9. The "death" of Guns & Roses (thanks Axl!)
10.The "death, er sell out" of Metallica (thanks Lars and James!)
Point well taken, Rar1
While the AOR FM format went in for some harsh, mostly richly deserved criticism in the late 70's, the playlists of (some) of the FM rock stations in those days seem downright adventurous and expansive in comparison to such contemporary banality as MTV's "Big Ten." (In case you haven't heard, MTV now has a playlist consisting of, you guessed it, ten videos that are marked for heavy rotation.) Though the FM rock stations were never aggressive advocates for good music, there were some remarkably good commercial radio stations.

Though, in the late 70s, it played more crap like Dan Fogleberg than anything else, Chicago's now-dismal WXRT was where I first heard The Sex Pistol's "God Save the Queen." WMMR in Philadelphia, to cite another example, introduced me to Reggae.
I agree with TweakGeek, mostly. And, everyone else has made some good points. I think that a major force in music's demise is big money. The same with sports. I have found that my favorite artists have become people who have been ultimately screwed by the big labels and are now making music because they enjoy it (Colin Hay(.com), Colin Vearncombe(.com), etc...). I no longer listen to music on the radio or look for it on TV. The more popular it is the more likely I am to hate it. But, that's always been true to a point.

Brad Day
Atlanta, GA
I would agree with TWL that the best of rock was over by 1973-74. However, there are people still around that say there hasn't been any good music written since the early 50's. I think as much as anything is what age group you are in - when were you 17-25 years old? What made rock special from the mid-60s to the early 70s was how I could personalize and how much time I had to invest in listening (and partying). Certainly rock has changed over the years but tell our children that there isn't anything good coming out now and they will disagree.
I would disagree about Paul McCartney's contributions since going solo. He has put out many good albums. They are basically like the old Beatles with just McCartney songs. Throw the proper mix of Lennon, Harrison, and even Starr songs and you got the Beatles. Maybe all McCartney albums are boring compared to the Beatles but he still has written alot of good music over the years. In St. Louis, tickets went for between $89 - $250 this past October.
I do agree that everything has become too commercial - too much corporate pressure to pop out albums. Not enough artistic suffering to generate art/music with feeling....
Tweakgeek you sound like one unhappy camper. The best thing that ever happened to me after 1971 was getting turned on to jazz. It started with McCoy Tyner or Roland Kirk, and it took a while to get it, but I know I'd be one sad puppy if I was still trying to find value among the ruins of rock & roll. My CD's are a treasure to me. I'd way glad the format came along.
I think a lot of this is age related. People rarely like the next wave after they started listening. People who grew up in the fifties seldom have any use for the music of the sixties and so on down the line.

TWL mentioned that he was losing interest around '73. I only began listening to Rock and Roll about the time most of you were checking out of the scene. There were. in my mind anyway some very interesting things going on in this period. None of it would have been "Pop" or probably even a commercial success. King Chrimson, Yes, ELP, and Jethro Tull were hitting their stride at this point. You may or may not like them, but they were very creative. Different eras produced a different product. I have been buying music from many of these groups (and attending concerts) ever since.

I was finishing up my second round of college in the early 80's and there was some music I really enjoyed, but a lot of it was MTV trash! Ultravox and U2 were very a refreshing change from the drivel Madonna and Romeo Void were foisting on the listing public.

Now that I'm getting older I really dislike much of what is coming out. Record companies complain about lost sales from people downloading what they want to hear. I'm sure the lack of sales has more to do with the quality of music available than other poor quality sound mediums.
BUT what do I know???
To me, Rock was becoming formulated in the early 70s. Gone were the sitars, harpsichords and guitarist's own distorted, yet distinctive styles of playing. The creativity and diversness was amazing from '64 to '69. If one were to look at a AM radio playlist from that period, they would be in awe of the eclectic music one could hear. Soundtrack titles, mild psychedelia, folk, soul, lounge...just to name a few. And then came FM(WOR in '67)! Whole sides of albums in stereo and no commercials.
But, it seems that after Woodstock, Madison Ave. and record producers jumped on the "hippie" bandwagon. Soon the words celebrate, rock n" roll and something to do with a peaceful exsitence dominated lyrics.

This, for me, made rock unadventurous and well, disappointing. Luckily, this void turned my ears to the world of jazz, international, classical and those import bins filled with bands I never heard of. The adventure started again.

And yeah, I know... what the hell is a harpsichord doing in rock and roll in the first place ?!?!.
I think one could find disappointments in every era of music, but I also believe there is some very good music from every era. I grew up in the 70's and listened to a lot of 60's music too, some of which was very lame. I love listening to some of the new stuff today, and even going to their shows. I feel the biggest problem with music today is that it is too fragmented with too many copycat groups. You might buy a few duds along the way, but you can get some music you enjoy listening to over and over. The only stations I listen to are about half dozen non-commercial college stations, so there is always something new and fresh on. I just refuse to believe rock-n-roll will die before I do.
Tweak...great are a few others....

1.Iggy Pop's solo career...going from the Stooges "Raw Power" to the Iggster's solo work is like going from a single malt to a bottle of Old Crow...and whoring "Lust for Life" and others on TV commericals aint helping the cause...get back on the H Iggy!...great live performer however...

2.Rod Stewart...nobody has "abused his talent" more than Mr Doya think Im sexy...(I dont)...made legendary albums with Jeff Beck(truth) and the Faces....only to end up turning into a watered down,cheezy,adult contemporary balladeer...could redeem himself in Vegas down the road...points for "sperm stomach pumping" story in the 80s...and hate to admit it...."hot legs" kicksass....

3.Lou Iggy...Lou's best effort were with the legendary VU...and solo works like the Bells,Street Hassle,etc...are just plain bad,bad,bad...did i mention bad?
And New York was a pretentious piece of dribble too...

4.David Bowie...Lets Dance...lets not and say we did...dreadful crap...and duet with Jagger on "dancin in the streets"...somebody take these soon to be wearin Depends clowns out...

5.Stones...anything after 1972...and for the clueless hordes that think Black n Blue is a great album...go back to your BOse radios...

6.Stone Roses...yes...the ill-conceived follow up to what many consider the best debut of all time is as patchy as they come...however...iggy like joke...

7.Primal Scream...after the mind blowing Screamidelica...the Scream came out with a follow up that can be best described as a Stones tribute be bad as it still beats any stones album from the last 30 years....

8.AC/DC...after blowing their wad on Back in Black...for those about to rock didnt...and the next one was a stinker too...

9.Kiss solo albums...kiss are bad enough...we didnt need any solo albums to further the joke...

10.Cheap Trick...after one of the best albums of all time...dream police was no was a frickin nightmare..
ROck really hasnt recovered from the loss of Hendrix...the most exciting direction for me is in electronic music...drum n bass,trance,dub,trip-hop, Massive Attack,Grooverider,Photek,Chemical Bros.,Air,etc..I also would like to second GNR...they could have been the next stones...instead...Axl wanted to be Elton Jon...and he doesnt make a good queen...
Kurt Cobain. Making music for 5 minutes, offs his pathetic self, and people act as if he was Bach, Beethoven, and Dylan all rolled into one. In the whole of Rock and Roll his contributions equal a pimple on a flea's butt. While we are on it: why didn't Courtney Love join him?
Easy Slip...remember Courtney squeezed out a puppy...
I am in total agreement with, say nine and a half, of your 10 points. I too have been disappointed by the folks that you mentioned, especially the squandered, or perhaps dried-up, talents of Rod Stewart. However, I do think that some of Iggy's solo stuff, especially the album "New Values," ranks with the best Stooges material. Your point is well taken, though. I would argue that Iggy wrote a brilliant song for the "Repo Man" soundtrack, and that everything he has recorded since has been mediocrity leavened with crap.
Without question, the biggest disappointments for me have been the premature deaths of several artists, including the following:

Buddy Holly
Jimi Hendrix
Nick Drake
Ian Curtis
John Lennon
Janis Joplin
Ronnie Van Zandt
Kurt Cobain
D. Boon

Obviously, the list is much longer, but I shudder to think of the music we lost when we lost these people, most of whom were in their prime or not even there yet when they died. The one name not recognizable to the average rock fan (in addition to Ian Curtis of Joy Division) is DBoon, singer/guitarist from the Minutemen, one of the most underappreciated bands in rock's short history. They had a sound like no one else, and had just begun to find their stride when DBoon was killed in a car accident on Christmas Day (1985, I think). An incredibe waste.

I know there's a backlash against Cobain, but I think it's a bum rap. The man was the genuine article, as far as I am concerned. He wrote and played with an unbelievable mix of intensity and poignancy.

Other disappointments--Neil Young's weird 80s records, the Replacements last couple of records, the proliferation of boy bands, etc.--pale in comparison.

Also..the massive popularity of MTV...which has sold us slutty mid riff divas,pizza faced boy bands,watered down r&B, same old same old rap beats,Limp Bisquick jock metal,etc....the average age of a typical commerical music consumer has declined heavily...and the bubblegum,teenypopper,plastic genres reflect this...thank god I am old enough to see the industry for what it is...a fat,overfed pig that waddles in endless piles of green...only to want more...
Hey Phasecorrect,
don't cupcake us. tell us what you really think. ;)
Phasecorrect & Waltersalas,
Once again, you are both bang on! Most of the rock stars for whom a death cult has emerged were in a severe creative decline by the time of their departure. More often than not, we find that rockers who do in fact live to a ripe old age lose their creative abilities long before they depart this mortal coil. The exceptions are rare.

I do believe that if were born 10-15 years later, I would have been an almighty Nirvana fan. Despite whatever backlash may now be in vogue, I have nothing but good things to say about Kurt Cobain. As for D.Boon, his death was the most tragic of all; more of a loss to music than even the demise of Ian Curtis. I think that D. Boon’s songwriting talents were, at the time of his premature demise, just starting to hit the sweet spot. He could have transformed the music of the 80's to much the same extent that Dylan did in the 60's. Would it be overly maudlin and sentimental for me to add that he was a kind, intelligent, and generous man?

As for MTV, phasecorrect: guilty as charged. MTV achieved the triumph of the look over the sound. Could anyone imagine the mega-talented, but not exactly bootylicious, songwriter Carole King getting even a look at a record contract in the today’s video music era. A big reason why the pop music of the 80's was so crap was the plain fact that bands that made bland music, but were oh so pretty, could now be wildly successful w/o any good songs. May I present Exhibit A: Duran Duran. Yup, the pop music of the 80's sucked, and phasecorrect has identified the guilty party.
Slipknot1, a big nod to your opinion on Cobain. If Kurt is this generation's rock legend/martyr, what a pathetic and sorry lot they/we are. The only thing historic about this celebrity is his album sales, which dovetails into any argument about MTV, VH1 and the tastes of the masses.

Reminds me of the Ryne Sandberg / baseball hall-of-fame argument this year, where a noted sportswriter pointed out that Sandberg was the best second baseman of his time, and seemed so great... when compared to the likes of his closest rivals Juan Samuel and Bill Doran.

It's all relative, and Cobain is low relief compared to the mountains of the art. And so is Sandberg, even though he was a favorite of mine ; )
There's plenty of fantastic musical minds out there making great rock and roll music: Jason Spaceman, Jeff Tweedy, Ira Kaplan for example, would hold out against some of the best superstarts of the 60's and 70's.

While I think that the golden age of rock and roll was definitely that decade ~(65 - 75), I do think that there's this cult of the dead/old that tends to overstate the value of music from that era at the expense of preventing themselves to fully appreciate what's being released now.

I wonder if it's not similar to Jazz which certainly had a tremendous burst of creative talent in the Parker/Davis/Coltraine years, but which subsequently has generated artists that have made music that comprable in quality (Mingus, Jarret, and now, say, Holland) that gets ignored by even most music fans for the 'legends'.

Anyway, While I never personally liked Nirvana (just didn't resonate), I think Cobaine articulated and aesteticized his musical vision as well as most of the rock 'legends'.
Some personal disappointments.
The Waterboys circa 1986 were arguably the greatest live band on the planet,their range of styles was almost limitless-(U2 certainly took a lot from them but ultimately had more discipline and ambition ).
Perhaps this was part of the problem,main man Mike Scott relocated to Ireland and his maverick spirit meant that the power of the 1986 band was never truly captured in the studio nor did any of his subsequent bands ever have the power of the'86 Waterboys-as much as Fisherman's Blues is highly rated (it's a decent record)on it's eventual release(88/89?)I was utter underwhelmed both at the studio versions of some great live songs and the overall concept.
After that it all fell apart slowly but surely.
Respect however to Mike Scott who followed his heart rather than sought worldwide success.

American Music Club-a band ahead of their time(alt country,meets folk,meets rock) but probably too downbeat for major success,Mark Eitzel-lead singer and songwriter won songwriter of the year award in Rolling Stone Magazine in 1991-after three wonderful independant releases Engine,California and Everclear-they signed a major deal but never saw any real success with their subsequent releases (Mercury and San Francisco).
The band split and Eitzel lauched a solo career which has also sadly declined over the years.
A true tale of bad management,bad recording deals,ego's and the sad slow fade out of one of America's greatest contemporary songwriters.

Prince-once had the world at his feet-what happened?-a classic case of over-exposure and lack of development of arguably the 80's most talented individual
The biggest problem with rock today is the riaa and its huge corporte record companys. They are looking only to make money so they create an artificial market for crappy top 40 music, an wont give anybody who wont sell a million records a chance.
On the comment about age, I am 18 and cant stand basically everything that gets airtime on modern radio and mtv. The incredible lack of good music has driven me to listen to classic rock, and underground forms like ska and punk. I am also starting to get into jazz but mostly older stuff there too.
The music business is to uptight and greedy to let anything creative and original get through, they want garenteed sales, nothing else matters.
Sailor..your wisdom at 18 astounds me!
The Flamin Groovies...why these hacks get mentioned in the same breath as the Stones or the Beatles is beyond of the most overated hype jobs...these guys couldnt sing or play there way out of a paper must be record collectors who start pantin over anything on green vinyl that love these clowns...
The corporatization of FM radio is my biggest disappointment in rock n roll. I think it's made finding new good stuff almost impossible and in turn has affected rock by encouraging homogeneity.
Mick Taylor/ creative musician that never got the chance to really shine with Jaggers big fat ego around! Yes he's got some great moments, but there should have been much more. Like Jones before him, Taylor was the creative force! About Todd Rundgren, his something anything album really captured a "cool spirit" that was round about. An interesting sound for me, with Hello Its Me and I Saw The Light, and really the whole album!
Nrchy made a good point, alot of the above answers are age related. Some of you sound like cranky old men. The whole point of youth oriented music is that older people won't understand it nor will they like it. It's the same from generation to generation. There's a reason why P. Townsend wrote "I hope I die 'fore I get old."
Hi-way, I'm not stuck in the sixties, but I am very picky about rock music in general. I sometimes wonder if I like rock at all because I don't like so much of it. Van Halen, Bad Company, the boss, Korn and Limp Bisquik...hundreds more. The "classic" bands just don't do it for me. And yet I realize that they scream true r 'n r. Why do I like the Smithereens, Queens of the Stone Age, XTC, Primus... hundreds more, and not Marilyn Manson, Creed, Live, Foo Fighters...who knows? It's true, that in the last five or so years, these 49 yr. old ears are hard pressed to hear anything interesting in the world of rock. But something has always come around. 70's punk and new wave, 80's new romantic and goth and 90's electronica
The first album I bought was "Kinks Size" by The Kinks in '64. And now I await the new Massive Attack CD. There is no timetable or limit to my rock. As long as it speaks to me. As loud as possible.
I'm 40 and the music of today bores me senseless.From '76 onward with the whole wave scene,Echo and the Bunnymen,Joy Division,Magazine,Gang of Four(neo marxist funk),The Meteors,even the Housemartins(who where Marxist's too)and then to Sonic Youth,The Pixies,Jesus Lizard,Nirvana,the idea was always sonically to kick the corporate induced sellouts squarely in the nuts,I'm trying to imagine Korn Biscuit,the Strokes/Hives/Green day et al doing anything radical/intelligent-maybe burning their bra's.I may be, gulp, middle aged but I'm still angry.
Give me The Strokes over the crummy Housemartins anyday.
Their socialist tendenacies seem to have went down the pan with Norman Cook's hedonist lifestyle and Paul Heaton's drunken thug street style.
Things weren't always better believe me I was there......
I'll give you that.I was there too,but the whole scene today is so bland, clearcut radio who own more than a third of today won't allow anything more challenging than the usual, boy meets girl under a silvery moon crap.Britney Spears on the cover of rolling stone(deliberate lower case)not that it was ever radical-I mean they even had norman mailer writing perodically for them,but I digress,she's sells millions of small aluminium discs-how?Is there that much money in babysitting today?I'm glad I'm not 21 today, their culture is so corporate controlled,and everyone trying so differently to look the same,ironically enough I'm still radical,insofar as i don't have tattoos,my tongue /nose/eyebrows are not pierced and I'm not prominent in a crowd!
Yes Mingus but it's always been thus...the 80's were the same,The Strokes are every bit as original as the Bunnymen i.e not very but like The Bunnymen they are passionate about what they do.
Live The Strokes are miles better than the Bunnymen ever were.
The 80's were full of Britney-like superstars-Madonna was seen as much the same at the time.
Things have got worse overall I'll give you that but plenty of kids are switched on,as are this generations artists who care about such things.........
Compared to the lame commercial fare that has become a festering sore...the Strokes do standout...but then anything (slightly) against the grain does...they look cool(in a GAP ad kind of way)...and some of their songs are catchy...they are a garage version of the Bay City Rollers!
Phasecorrect nice analogy about The Strokes and probably quite accurate however some of us do remember seeing The 80's "critical important bands" like The Bunnymen and thinking- fuck these guys can't play-as much as punk kicked the door down-image became more important around this period and also being cool-playing went out the window for a while ---the falseness of what's hip is no bigger now nor worse than what it's ever been.
A whole load of shit was passed off in the 80's as great because folks forgot what was great in the first place-at least in general things are more open now about musical genres and the root genres are more in vogue.
It might be luck but in a way it's better...............
"Like" is a strong word i use sparingly...and for the Strokes..."tolerate" would be more applicable...they dont annoy me...but I dont think they walk on water either...and despite your derogatory remarks concernig Echo and the Bunnyment(no real arguement here)...they were competent musicians...they just had pompous frontman who sounded way too much like Bono...and thatz a bad thing....
Phasecorrect I saw The Bunnymen on The Heaven Up Here Tour-they were competent at best,lacked energy and were way out of their depth in the size of venue they played-however The Strokes at an even earlier stage in their career carried the whole thing off better,much better.
The Bunnymen made some great music over the years but at the primary stages in their careers I would say The Strokes are ahead-of course whether they can sustain that or progress is anybodys guess-they certainly don't walk on water-but really that blinkered nostalgia that Mingus spoke of puts me to sleep..........................
Blinkered nostalgia!!It's confirmed I'm middle aged.Well I'm always looking for new sounds,at the moment in heavy rotation are Jesus Lizard,Pharcyde,Primus andPraxis(with Bootsy Collins and Buckethead),it just seems good sounds are getting far harder to find.I stopped listening to mainstream radio a long time ago,now it's either college/public funded radio,or word of mouth.To get back to the original thread my biggest disappointment would have to be ,'The Gang of Four',they started off so strong even causing Flea to pick up bass,and died a pathetic death with their last album recorded in of all places L.A.(a far cry from Leeds, U.K.)Blinkered nostalgia indeed.
Mingus try the Liars latest CD they've done with PIL/Gang Of Four/ type sound something reasonably contemporary-and least if you don't like it you can hear "youngsters" making music with influences close to your own.