February 19, 2014

"Jimi is very much into state-of-mind type lyrics, but even so, lines like 'Manic depression is a frustrating mess,' just don't make it."

"It is one thing for Jimi to talk arrogantly, and without any pretense at artistry; it's another to write lyrics in this fashion."

From a collection of bad Rolling Stone reviews. It's fun to read the casual disrespect for things that these days are boringly taken for granted as great.

Via Metafilter, where there are lots of comments.

21 comments:

The Crack Emcee said...

I thought just choosing manic depression for a topic was brilliant,...

madAsHell said...

Filling the space between the advertisements is hard!!

Revenant said...

Every so often I encounter someone who claims to like rock music but doesn't like Jimi Hendrix. I just end up feeling confused.

Some people, given a time machine, would go back in time to kill Hitler. I'm not saying that's a BAD idea per se, but I will say that if you don't at least stop off at the Monterrey festival on the way back you're letting a golden opportunity go to waste. :)

rcocean said...

"All the campus folkies were in a tizzy. The big day had finally arrived! After two years - two whole years - of waiting they finally had a new Simon & Garfunkel album to mull over...That nearly all of those songs were hopelessly mediocre fazed them even less. The new album by S & G (as they're affectionally (sic) known) was in - and wasn't that cause for jubilation?"

Sounds about right.

rcocean said...

Not being a musician - or a Music FAN! (like Gov Christie who spent 30 minutes with a journalist discussing what a Bruce S. song meant) - I never read R&S.

Records aren't like a books. If you liked the Beach Boys, you were probably going to like/buy their new album no matter what RS said.

SteveR said...

I find these difficult to read. There was a period of time (late 70s) when I found RS record reviews useful. Of course there wasn't a lot of choices in the world I lived in so they at least gave me some idea what to choose with my limited money.

RS internet stuff is tedious

AReasonableMan said...

Good to see two Australian proto-punk bands 'The Saints' and 'Radio Birdman' get some love.

William said...

I think the Beach Boys were the most misunderestimated band in rock history. Abba got more respect.

William said...

Can anyone point to who is the best: Glen Miller, Benny Goodman, or Tommy Dorsey? Does anyone even care? In another generation or two, the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and Beach Boys will be background music in period movies, and their sounds will all run together. The boomers now like to think of themselves as posterity, but they're just a fading blip on the radar screen. There's no reason to believe that this music is imperishable.

AReasonableMan said...

William said...
Can anyone point to who is the best: Glen Miller, Benny Goodman, or Tommy Dorsey?


This is easy. Benny Goodman. He could play, and his sextet with Charlie Christian will live on for a few more generations at least.

West Texas Intermediate Crude said...

Naming a song "Manic Depression" is microaggression against the mentally ill.

West Texas Intermediate Crude said...

Naming a song "Manic Depression" is microaggression against the mentally ill.

Revenant said...

Can anyone point to who is the best: Glen Miller, Benny Goodman, or Tommy Dorsey? Does anyone even care? In another generation or two, the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and Beach Boys will be background music in period movies, and their sounds will all run together.

The reason I'm inclined to doubt that is that the popularity of those groups -- or at least of the first two -- has already endured across multiple generations. Hell, the Beatles are in the top ten highest-selling bands of the twenty-FIRST century. You think that's all Boomers picking up yet another copy of the White Album?

Also (and this is just a minor quibble, really) I don't think your examples are good ones. Miller was more his generation's Madonna than his generation's Beatles -- talented but not a talent towering above his contemporaries. I would have picked names like Frank Sinatra, Hank Williams, or Cole Porter.

Mr. Forward said...

Micro aggression is a frustrating mess
I know what I want why settle for less?
Micro aggression has captured my soul
You make war
You hate war
It's all the same
Micro aggression
The sweet cause in vain.

St. George said...

As Zappa famously quipped, RS is a magazine written by people who can't write for people who can't read.

Bob R said...

What masochism! 500 bad reviews. The low hanging fruit is the collection of classic albums that got bad initial reviews. But its almost a definition of innovative art that people (particularly people like critics who are heavily invested in the current scene) don't get at first.

I was interested in the discussion of Exile on Main St. I'm still conflicted on that album (are we giving it extra points for murky recording and a weird mix?) so I'm sympathetic to the critics who didn't "get" it at first.

Bob R said...

Can anyone point to who is the best: Glen Miller, Benny Goodman, or Tommy Dorsey? Does anyone even care? In another generation or two, the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and Beach Boys will be background music in period movies, and their sounds will all run together.

There's a big difference between the two eras. Microphone, preamp, and tape technology had reached a plateau by the late '50's. Since that time, there have been no real improvements in basic audio quality. In fact, some would argue that recording to digital rather than analog tape makes today's audio worse, but I don't know of anyone who would argue that the audio is worse than the audio of the '30's. So relatively few people listen to Miler, Goodman, and Dorsey (or Armstrong, Beiderbecke, or Ellington.) But Harry Connick Jr. and Michael Buble have to compete directly with Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole and every crooner in the future will probably have to do so as well.

Robert Cook said...

"I will say that if you don't at least stop off at the Monterrey festival on the way back you're letting a golden opportunity go to waste. :)"

Fuck that...I'd stop off to see Jimi's BAND OF GYPSIES shows at the Fillmore East, (and The Who performing TOMMY at the Metropolitan Opera House, not to mention their show at Leeds University in 1970, immortalized on vinyl).

Robert Cook said...

"It's fun to read the casual disrespect for things that these days are boringly taken for granted as great."

In many cases it is more than casual disrespect, it's contemptuous hatred.

AReasonableMan said...

Robert Cook said...
In many cases it is more than casual disrespect, it's contemptuous hatred.


To be fair there has always been 'gangs' in pop music. People who like Genesis are unlikely to also like The Band or The Replacements. Part of the pleasure of pop culture is hating on someone else's favorite band, or in my case everything recorded in the 80's.

Mutaman said...

"Can anyone point to who is the best: Glen Miller, Benny Goodman, or Tommy Dorsey? Does anyone even care? In another generation or two, the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and Beach Boys will be background music in period movies, and their sounds will all run together. The boomers now like to think of themselves as posterity, but they're just a fading blip on the radar screen. There's no reason to believe that this music is imperishable."

Right. The Beatles have just been popular for 50 years. Just like Benny Goodman. Just a passing fancy. How many records did Dorsey sell? Moron.