The Debate's Not Over

Over the last 75 years there have been any number "Who's Better" debates. Johnny Mathis vs. Nat King Cole, the Beatles vs. the Stones, etc. As time has passed, to many some of these debates have been answered, but I just want to re-open a few choice debates and add my $.50.

Dave Clark 5 vs. the Beatles - for those of you old enough to remember, at one time, these two groups were considered equals. I'll grant the Fab Four the musical crown, but "Having A Wild Weekend" (directed by John Boorman )was a better movie than anything the Beatles did. And yes, Dave was a better drummer than Ringo.

Prince vs. Michael Jackson - despite Chris Rock's pronouncement of the Purple Wonder's triumph, I say as of 2005 the title goes to Michael. Sure Prince is still putting out quality music, but it ain't great quality, and his earlier work sounds fairly dated, whereas, Michael's 80s masterpieces still sound quite good. 10 years from now I may change my mind.

Clapton vs. Green vs. Taylor - These are the original guitar gods from John Mayall's 60s Bluesbreakers. Eric Clapton has by far had the most illustrious career, but I rate him behind both Peter Green and Mick Taylor. Green wasn't as flashy, but he had the tone. Green also founded Fleetwood Mac and wrote "Black Magic Woman". Mick Taylor prevented the Stones from becoming an oldies act back in the 70s. He is also one of the best slide player currently working in rock. He deserves to be in the rock Hall of Fame.

Disco vs. Hair Band vs. Boy Bands - everybody lost a little bit of their self respect in this one.

Donovan vs. Dylan - Donovan was right, he was more musically adventurous than Dylan, but only Smokey Robinson wrote better lyrics than Dylan. Despite St. Etienne's lyrics, I guess Dylan really did win this one.

Hwy 61 vs. Route 66 - it depends, are you into the blues, or are you just out to get some kicks?

Chuck Berry vs. Keith Richards - Richards got the money, but Chuck Berry is the king of rock n' roll. Chuck may have only really written two songs, but they were killers. Punch him out again Chuck!

Blondie vs. Bjork - I just made this one up. Bjork would karate chop Ms. Harry and sample her brains.

Fender vs. Marshall - Marshall's may have the mystique, but more great songs were recorded with Fender amps than any other brand.

Earth, Wind & Fire vs. Parliment/Funkadelics - see "Get Up, Get Down" conflict.

Miles vs. Miles - the band with Coltrane & Cannonball? No. The First Quintet or even the second Quintet (Shorter/Williams/Carter/Hancock)? Nope, not them either. The best Miles Davis band was Shorter/DeJohnette/Holland/Corea. "Filles de Kilimanjaro" just does it for me.

and finally,

Elvis vs. Elvis - Mr. Costello is slowly gaining on swivel hips. Within the next 20 years I predict he will catch him and possibly move ahead of Presely on the rock pantheon. I could actually be wrong on this one, but maybe not.

Feel free to agree/disagree or even add you own debate(s). And to all you young dudes out there, best wishes for the new year!
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All I know is this thread is worth it's weight in gold for this line alone.....

Blondie vs. Bjork - I just made this one up. Bjork would karate chop Ms. Harry and sample her brains.

I love Blondie but adore Bjork, funny quote.
Agree with all but the last. Costello is a first-rate poseur (as is his wife) but not an original in any sense. He gets points for copying from the best.
"...Smokey Robinson wrote better lyrics than Dylan"
Not even close!!! And by the way, where is Tiny Tim in this musically musing minefield?
Granted, I preferred his first wife's musical trappings to those of his second, but could you please tell me/us who Elvis Costello is copying from on the following songs:
"Lipstick Vogue"
"Oliver's Army"
"Beyond Belief"
"New Amsterdam"
"Green Shirt"
"Big Tears"
"Boy with a Problem"
"Brilliant Mistake".....

Work through that list, and I'll throw you some more, huh? Everyone is influenced by his/her predecessors, no doubt, but a great number of EC's songs (and albums) could hardly be referred to as derivative.
I wasn't aware that I had to choose sides on any of these "debates." I like what I like. Sue me.

Although, I wouldn't mind watching 1980's Debbie Harry mud wrestling Bjork. Maybe we couldn't even through Sade somewhere in there too.
Boa -- I think of Costello as a "mannerist" (not a plagerist). It means an artist who creates work "in the manner of __________" you fill in the blank with another artist's name.

Your're right when you say all are inluenced. Dylan and the Beatles are prime examples, yet they manage to rework those influences into something distinctly recognizable as their own. I don't find that true of E. Costello. Maybe you do.
Blondie vs. Bjork:

At least Blondie dresses better.
We wouldn't have an Elvis vs Elvis debate if Buddy Holly had lived. Elvis simply filled a niche Buddy left. The Jordanaires were the musical talent anyway. EC. was on the front edge of new musical genre. I'm 52 and I know some of my peers would find this attitude blasphemy, so what, Elvis is dead and has been for a long time.
Gotcha Nsgarch. Thanks for the thoughtful clarification.

Howard (not Hughes...unfortunately)
Dave Carke 5 Hmmmmm?! Please, Not one five star album in the bunch. The Beatles rarely fell short of five stars. Wasn't it enough that the stones followed up with “Their Satanic Majesties Request” only after Mick sat dumbfounded in owe at the recording sessions of Sgt. Pepper's? I was through with the Stones when Mick Taylor was. Can I hear an amen? Isn’t someone going to inform me that Lennon/McCartney ripped off Pet Sounds? OK, maybe not.

At least Prince is consistently original… who the hell is Jackson imitating? I just know he’s imitating somebody! ;^)
I like the companions Prince has chosen over Michael’s as well.

Clapton has the definitive resume for sure,
Has Green got a clear mind yet? Sorry. Beyond “Green Manalishi” what do we got?
Oh well!
Mick Taylor rocked far too short a time as did Janis, Jimi, Nike Drake, Jim Morrison, Tim Buckley, Mark Bolen, had enough yet? , If Keith Richards (probably the finest living rock guitarist) hadn’t been there, the Stones wouldn’t be playing ballparks today. Keith is still alive isn’t he? I know he’s still playing anyway. Just kidding.

Disco vs. Hair Band vs. Boy Bands?…Don’t even get me started. Where is T. Rex or Ziggy Stardust when you need them?

Donovan was more musically adventurous, mystical, ethereal, and psychedelic than Dylan but Jimi Hendrix didn’t carry around a songbook of Donovan lyrics and idealize him for years. Sorry Hurdy Gurdy Man. Hendrix did of course cover “All along the Watchtower” does that make Hendrix an imitator?

61, 66?
220, 221
45, 46 Whatever it takes!

Blondie vs. Bjork? Parallel Lines/ Debut, I wouldn’t want to be without either.

I’ll take a Fender Twin Reverb run through Marshall stacks, thank you very much.

Earth, Wind & Fire are three of the basic elements of alchemy, right? Isn’t Parliment/Funkadelic the forth?

Miles was always at his best. This man is one bad mofo by anyone’s estimations.

Call me a blasphemer but on pure music authoring chops alone Declan Patrick McManus is the King! Long live king Elvis! Pump it up!

All IMHtO (in my humble twisted opinion) of course. Happy Listening!
I agree on Elvis Costello a lovable chap too. I was listening to Flowers in the Dirt the other day and he really wrote some great stuff with Sir paul... again.
Keith Richards has been doing Chuck Berry for years I mean they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
I'll take Debbie Harry over Bork in her hey day. She used to gyrate around stage with no panties on and yes she does shave her monkey.
Miles with Cannonball and Coltrane if not for the fact hat these two artists WITHOUT Miles did O.K. don't you think?
Please Prince in spades over MJ. Just the volume of work and the fact that Prince has pushed the envelope with his music. Was kind of shocked to hear the other day that Prince is going in for a hip replacement. All those platform shoes he used to perform in caught up with him.
"Costello is a first-rate poseur (as is his wife) but not an original in any sense."

I couldn't disagree more - Costello has been among the best song writing talent on the music scene for the past 25 to 30 years.
Good God Marco! Come down off that chandelier, get yerself some Valium with a vodka chaser, and relax!
Good God Marco! Come down off that chandelier, get yerself some Valium with a vodka chaser, and relax!

Hey, I live up here, I ain't comin' down! The valium and vodka sound like a good suggestion though.

Yea Marco, just don’t fall bottom first onto The Perch™ when you land.

..........Unless you have the Valium and Vodka first, then maybe it would be OK.
There's always the morning Albert!

C'mon Marco, you're feeling too ashamed lately, and this community will not stand for it! What you need is a strong dose of Tony Robbins on 78RPM, and no, I'm not talking about that coked-up, bleach blond abdominizer cretin on late night TV. No siree, you need to let 'ol smileyman Tony chomp down on your neck with those quarter horse teeth of his, and drip a little equine anaesthetic into your bloodstream, grasshopper, and you'll be one crazily happy man! You'll pass cloud nine and head straight to audio nirvana.
What, you mean sweater-dude Tony Robbins? Motivational mambo Tony?
He's a vampire?! What does he have to do with horses or audio? You need to
climb up here on the chandelierre (don't worry, you won't need to spell it
correctly to climb it) and check out the view cause you can see for miles and
miles, and ol' Tony's just a pimple on the horizon ready for popping. He's a
puss-fountain waiting to happen. Heck, he can bite my ass first if I'll get a
dose of happy from it, but the dude's gonn'a blow after that.

bloomfield,cippolina,mandell,the under achieving jeff beck, the over achieving jimmy page, and pre eleventh house coryell over clapton, green, and taylor. shuggie otis over jackson and prince. after 'armed forces' costello was over. annie golden or rachael sweet over deb harry and bjork. the greatest unsung record of all time....elliott murphy-aquashow(better lyrics than smokey)
Yani versus John Tesh....???? :-)
Yani vs. Tesh? LOL!
Like the t-shirt says - "If your Elvis is dead, try ours!". Elvis Costello is magnificent.
Dylan vs. Donovan? You're kidding, right?

Cheers, and happy new year.

Just some ramblings,here. (DOB:1938)To get the 'fire' started: Fav. Beatle,?? Well I think Ringo doesn't belong--- "Everybody" was a better drummer__George was my fav.-- None solo; was the equal of the 4. Paul has had the best solo career/ he was ahead back in '81."Double Fantasy" was out of the top 40 on its way to the top 5000__till that fateful day. (Where's capital punishment when you need it.) Buddy Holiday was greater after death__.M. J. must have picked up most of his stuff from James Brown. BUT; he sure did 'take' it further.Elvis was Elvis----The right guy at the right time;I guess you had to have been around at that time. ZEP;?? The right talented 4 guys,all of them,at the right time. Say what you will about any of them as individuals;the 4 together brought hard rock to an elevated status.--Oh, my nurse is ready to give me my morning 'push'.
Mick Taylor is still alive, still touring and still recording.

DC5 still made the better movie.

So Hendrix liked Dylan, so what, who doesn't. But did Led Zeppelin start every band rehearsal/warm up with a Dylan song? I think not! And I don't think it's strange, it must be "The Season of the Witch".

And yes, Led Zeppelin was a better band (over the long term) than Iron Butterfly.
>> but only Smokey Robinson wrote better lyrics than Dylan<<

You really need to enroll in a 12 step program now.
I'd buy a $500 ringside seat to see The Marco & Albert Porter G-String Stuffing Challenge.
Did Dylan ever write as good a love song as "My Girl"? If you doubt me, text message Bob and ask him.

Actually the best all-time greatest lyricist was Johnny (ooh-we) Mercer, at least that's what my momma done told me.
'd buy a $500 ringside seat to see The Marco & Albert Porter G-String Stuffing Challenge.

Hey Albert, sounds like my idea about taking an exhibit room together at CES wasn't a bad one after all, eh? All we need is a pole to share, and we could raise some serious cash. Screw this photography crap. Whad'ya say?

Setup a tripod Marco. Some of us can't make it to CES and photos would be the next best thing. Just think of the $$$$.
Marco, you can count me in.

Might I suggest you bring the deluxe version of The Perch™ as sub for the dance pole (your extra long version), and I think we need to establish early on, we prefer dancing over "flapping."

Now if we could just get Debbie Harry to throw in her talented monkey we would be set.

I'll take Debbie Harry over Bjork in her hey day. She used to gyrate around stage with no panties on, and yes she does shave her monkey.

Wait a minute Qdrone................the last album cover of Blondie I drooled over was "Plastic Letters," wasn't that back in 1977?

Her Monkey may have achieved Gorilla status by now (apologies to Mr. James Taylor). If Debbie accepts our offer, this Perch™-dance is going to require Gunbei's retouch skills to tame the Gorilla back to Monkey status.

Now on the other hand, Bjork's album "Debut" certainly needs no retouch, such a baby girl falls into "chipmunk" status rather than monkey.

A little known fact. The following Beatles hit had a coauthor, (a very young Debbie Harry had a finger in it).

ome on, come on, come on, come on, come on is such a joy, come on is such a
Come on it take it easy, come on is take it easy, take it easy, take it easy
Everybody's got something to hide, except for me and my monkey
Hah, the deeper you go, the higher you fly, the higher you fly, the deeper you
So come on, come on, come on is such a joy, come on is such a joy
Come on it make it easy, come on is make it easy, take it easy, take it easy
Everybody's got something to hide, except for me and my monkey
Your inside is out, and your outside is in
Your outside is in, and you inside is out
So come on, ha, come on, ha, come on is such a joy
Come on is such a joy, come on it make it easy, come on is make it easy
Take it easy, take it easy
Everybody's got something to hide except for me and my monkey
>>Did Dylan ever write as good a love song as "My Girl"<<

Who cares? For every good Smokey wrote, Dylan wrote a dozen or more that buried it. This is an apples and oranges comparison of a good songwriter (Smokey) and the single most important songwriter of the last 50 years. This is irrefutable.
"For every good Smokey wrote, Dylan wrote a dozen or more that buried it... This is irrefutable."

Although I don't disagree with your preference, nothing in issues of taste is "irrefutable." You and I are experts on our own opinions, nothing more. And while I can agree on the superiority of Dylan's writing, much of the time I would rather listen to Smokey.
>>much of the time I would rather listen to Smokey<<

I do not disagree with that. However, I stand by the statement the Dylan is the single most important songwriter of the past 50 years. Whether or not you like his voice, subject matter, or personal life, all other songwriters pale in comparison with regards to volume, quality, and impact of the songs. That is not a matter of taste, simply the fact of the matter.
Now Albertporter I said in her hey day but come on Debbie was still looking good on Eat to the Beat. With her Monkey and your credit card you would be feeling Rapture. I liked Bork when she was with The Sugarcubes,but her solo stuff has done nothing for me.
I know Qdrone, mostly directed at Marco, we have a history of making trouble together with Gunbei.

Besides who can argue with anyone (you) who has posted more on music threads than all his other topics combined? Obviously your motovated for the right reasons.

I love Blondie, have all her albums and not surprised you like her. I am surprised you don't see merit in Bjork. Her solo stuff is harder to get into but very fun and creative.

But hey, that's why there's so many different kinds of music.
Wouldn't that be a more appropiate shootout?

Both were huge at the same time. Both influenced each other in a comeptitive way, etc. Both were original and innovative simultaneously.

Mick may have been inspired to tackle “Their Satanic Majesties Request” after listening to the Sgt Pepper's recording sessions, but it was the master tapes of BB's Pet Sounds that blew Paul and John away and inspired them to do Sgt Pepper's.

So, let's make this far and put the Beach Boys up against the Beatles.
Whoops, my subject line wasn't printed.

I meant comparing the Beatles and Beach Boys.
>>let's make this far and put the Beach Boys up against the Beatles<<

That's even funnier than Smokey Robinson and Bob Dylan. The Beach Boys were a cute band whose strengths were good harmonies and Brian Wilson's superb productions. However, from songwriting and musicianship perspectives, they are bush league. Brian Wilson was a competent guitarist (bass and 6 string) and pianist but the rest of the Beach Boys could barely get out of their way with an instrument in hand. The Beatles remain steps above anybody in those aspects.
Lyrically The beach boys couldn't shine the beatles' shoes. Musically this is true as well. I give the beach Boys the nod at vocal harmonies, few ever did it as well (mamas n papas). I don't think the surf music changed the world whereas the Beatles music did. I think that The Beatles ' music will be listened to long after The Beach Boys' stuff is obsolete.
Surf music did change the world. The most visionary and politically radical statement ever made in rock (prior to the rap epoch) was penned by Brian Wilson's.
If everybody had an ocean...
We'd be surfin' U.S.A.
Nothing produced by Boeing, Disney or McDonald's ever better expressed the true nature of the cultural pax Americana that followed. I believe at the same time the Beatles were shouting "I Wanna Hold Your Hand".

Dylan changed the Beatles and then the Beatles changed the world. Brian Wilson did it without Dylan. Give credit where credit is due.

BTW, even Dylan says Smokey was a better poet/songwriter.
>>BTW, even Dylan says Smokey was a better poet/songwriter<<

The volume of Dylan's work, longevity, and the number of songs covered by other artists speaks for itself. You're fighting a battle with one arm tied behind your back.

And do you really think Dylan would ever say "I'm better than he is".

You need to face reality here and give it up.
In the great Debbie vs. Bjork debate, I go with Bjork. (The other white meat).
Of course Bob says Smokey was better. He also said that everybody who covers his songs does a better job than he did, yet I don't see Martin Scorcese making documentaries about them. What gives?

There are some quirky ducks in this pond.

Might as well jump in.

Beatles catalogue may overwhelm Beach Boys, but "God Only Knows" would be my pick for the most beautiful song out of either (or anyone else during the r'n'r era).

Dylan may top Smokey, but you can build a pretty decent case that Townes Van Zandt combines the former's head with the latter's heart to form the best work of the bunch.

Goodness - is that Annie Golden of The Shirts (and Milos Forman's film version of Hair)? Why not Debra Iyall who combines Dylan's good looks with a certain lyrical "zest for life" all her own?

As to the question of which third generation neo-funk uber-star burns brightest? I'll stick with the first generation bunch J.B., Booker T., along with the criminally underrated transitional figure Edwin Starr ("War", "25 Miles", "I Like the Sound of Funky Music") and maybe a dash of gen2 P-Funk for a change of pace.

Won't compare Elvises, though. Seems pointless.


P.S. Saw a Shirts concert at the late, lamented CBGB longer ago than I care to admit. Great sloppy, drunken fun.
O.K. then let's compare Smokey with Monkey. I'll take Monkey 24/7 over Smokey anyday of the week until my back goes out or my toungue goes numb. Smokey,The Beatles,The Beach Boys, Dylan,The Rolling Stones all went into music for monkey. Monkey wins debate over.
"I don't think the surf music changed the world whereas the Beatles music did."

Aaaah, but Surf Music changed the Beatles - "Pet Sounds" drove the creation of "Sgt Pepper's".
What, no mention of Donnie Iris?
>>let's compare Smokey with Monkey<<

Why stop there?

How about solid state and vacuum tubes, digital and analog, copper and silver, moving magnet and moving coil, unipivot and fixed bearing, solid core and stranded, direct drive and belt drive, push pull and SET, SET and OTL, OTL and push pull, 300B and 845, 2A3 and PX-25, RCA and XLR, monitor and full range and planar?

C'mon let's really liven up this discussion.
Here's a key musical debate. Who was the better singer, Ali or Frazier? The "Knock-Outs" were a killer soul review.
Does Micky's Monkey ring a bell? Now that was real music straight from the heart back in the day when Smokey was singing about his High school sweetheart Micky.
I have never seen Ali sing but please Smokin Joe looked like he was in pain up there and I know I was in pain watching.