Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Best Band in the World

Here's a lively debate for you guys.

This girl I work with and I get into heated "discussions" about music. She's what you would call a music snob, meaning whatever she says, she thinks is also the view of the entire population of the Universe.

When the subject of Best Band in the World came up, I thought it completely obvious to point out that in terms of mere influence on music today, combined with some legendary musical talent, the Beatles would be at the top of the list. Her choice would be Elvis. Ok, sure. Legendary, yes. Influential, yes. I'll give him that, but he's not THE greatest. The average person can probably name and sing 5 times more Beatles songs than Elvis songs.

I'm sure it's generational and all, but the Beatles have been the be-all-end-all for quite some time now. In terms of pure musical influence, I would have to say Robert Johnson, the underappreciated blues legend that quite possibly influenced Elvis himself, is the greatest. No one can really know, and like I said, it's quite a generational question. Sure, I can tell you my favorite band of the moment, but the greatest? That's just too difficult a question.

I mean, what makes a band great? Everyone has their own defenition of greatness, and for bands it's even more particular. Would Nirvana have reached god-like status if Kurt Cobain hadn't committed suicide? Probably not. Were they great? Yea, they defined a generation, much like the Beatles did time and time again. But do they deserve to be played on Seattle radio every 5th song? Hell no, it gets annoying.

Getting back to my discussion, after I mentioned the Beatles, she reacted harshly, swinging her tongue to and fro regarding Elvis. Then began to tell me that The Who and Lynyrd Skynyrd are much more influential than The Beatles. What?!? There would be no Lynyrd Skynyrd without the Beatles and The Who just suck. Behind Blue Eyes was probably their only good song. I'm not denying they had talent, I just think it got lost in the translation somewhere. There is no beating Abbey Road. No way, no how.

I am no expert, but I have an honest opinion. What do you guys think, any comments?


Dana said...

I am with you with the whole Beatles thing...obviously that girl does NOT know what she is talking about. BUT, the whole dissing Nirvana thing that you are doing is quite harsh. They were god-like before Kurt Cobain tragically died. Do you remember all of the tapes (yes, tapes) that I had before he died? I had a least two!!! But that was back when I had no money!!! Nirvana did open some doors for some new bands just as many other bands do. And the fact that Kurt went out on the note that he did, they will always be remembered as "great" and not "well, they used to be great but their new music sucks". But, back to the Beatles, I agree!! Who could beat Abbey Road? Oh yeah, Rob just bought the Motorhead greatest hits. They were an old Heavy Metal band that influenced much of the heavy metal world such as Metallica. So, since we are discussing the best of the best...thought I would mention that! I haven't been able to get "ace of spades" out of my head for two days! Love ya!

Bigelow said...

Dana, if you had read my post, I gave Nirvana a lot of credit for what they accomplished. I was merely saying that it gets annoying when you listen to the radio out here and every other song is Nirvana. I still like them, but I mean, come on, let it go.

Do you remember when the Bills lost that Superbowl to the Giants becuase Scott Norwood can't kick, and people are STILL bitter about it to this day. It's kind of like that, but people are bitter and miserable about Nirvana out here. Holding on to emotions like that is unhealthy, people need to let those things go.

Oh and they play Pearl Jam all the time too! UGH.

Dad said...

When you start talking about “best” that all depends on when and where you grew up. As far as influence on rock , you need to go back to Appalachia and the mix of peoples that made music from old Irish and English beer drinking songs. Then mix in Negro spirituals and electricity along with some brilliant composing and you got Rock. My list starts with the Beatles and goes on and on.

Dalinda said...

I think that you should be able to listen to whatever music you like wether it be rock, country, pop, etc. What I think shouldnt happen is someone else having to listen your preference in music because you have it turned up sooo loud that the car next to you is shaking from the vibrations. Boy do I sound like my mother!!!! I guess thats what happens when you get older.

mom said...

Hey, music makes the world go round...we need it! I like a little bit of almost any of it...x cept the strange or demonic. Blues and the black folks is where it all started and it "evolved" from there. The Beatles were good,Lennon himself was excellent...-Yoko tho!