Madonna. Was It Really The Gear and Musicians?
#31
16th April 2012
Old 16th April 2012
  #31
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jimcasy786's Avatar
 

It's funny, I just got back from the bars and was discussing Lou Reed in a similar context. He is/was definitely less about craft and more about style (and pretentious beyond belief haha). I love Transformer, but that album is NOTHING without Bowie and Mick Ronson at the helm (in my opinion).
#32
16th April 2012
Old 16th April 2012
  #32
e - she made some of the best records of all times because she wass honest with herself about the amount of talent she posses !!!

(and that's wisdom 99.99% of people in the business do not have ! to much ego in this town)

she is super professional ! persona ! talented songwriter ! BUT - she never was or never will be the queen of pop - she CAN't get any close to michael jackson ! and also she sold her soul to the devil to be famous !

the only pure thing i can associate with her is ...another person...e.. william orbit !
#33
16th April 2012
Old 16th April 2012
  #33
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I can't figure Madanna out. She's not a great singer, not a great dancer, not a great beauty. But you don't stay at the very top of the heap without being great at something. I think she was the master of having her finger on the pulse of American culture and surrounding herself with the best people.
#34
16th April 2012
Old 16th April 2012
  #34
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The Listener's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by loopy View Post
I can't stand Madonna.
I never could.
I dislike her more these days than ever.
I will grant her kudos for the Super Bowl performance and when ranked along with the garbage that passes for talent these days.

However,regarding her first album, "Like A Virgin", I have to admit it at the time it was released, it was very different. Many of the synth sounds we take for granted these days really got their start on that album.

So my question is, was her first album a mega hit because of her singing, OR was it the unique creativity, and use of the gear at the time?

I say it's the gear, hook filled tunes and great production and musicianship.

They could have found anyone to sing those tunes and they probably would have been hits.

Comments?
No, it's her, not anything else. She has IT... whatever that is... but she has it. Call it "presence", "charisma", "drive", whatever - she wouldn't become such a long going pop icon if she wouldn't have it.

And she is really good at absorbing current trends, making them her own and re-inventing herself with capable collaborators. Too bad Prodigy were not for the game, I'm sure it could have been interesting.
Now there are hints of dubstep in her latest offering - she really knows what she is doing, but this is not music anymore - this is strictly show business and she's good at it.

About the voice - it is not true any singer would do, she has a distinct color and style - the appeal was in the way she sang and expressed that "girl power" with her attitude that influenced so many teen girls in the 80s and even two, three decades later. The same with Cindy Lauper - would any singer bring the same "flair" to "Time after time" for example? Hardly.

But I don't like that tiny voice on the first Madonna recordings, I prefer her deeper timbre as on songs like "Live to tell" and that's a really nice and unique vocal color, immediately recognizable among the crowd.
Even if she is not some especially great singer, she has a special and very recognizable voice that has obviously a certain appeal. And this is also part of the reason "why" all that success happened. But her business talent is even bigger. It's certainly not the "synths". They soud pretty typical 80s on those early albums and there were others doing the same or similar thing before her and her producers.
Quote
1
#35
16th April 2012
Old 16th April 2012
  #35
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Mr.HOLMES's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by loopy View Post
I can't stand Madonna.
I never could.
I dislike her more these days than ever.
I will grant her kudos for the Super Bowl performance and when ranked along with the garbage that passes for talent these days.

However,regarding her first album, "Like A Virgin", I have to admit it at the time it was released, it was very different. Many of the synth sounds we take for granted these days really got their start on that album.

So my question is, was her first album a mega hit because of her singing, OR was it the unique creativity, and use of the gear at the time?

I say it's the gear, hook filled tunes and great production and musicianship.

They could have found anyone to sing those tunes and they probably would have been hits.

Comments?
Not only "LAV" to me the old Songs by her are very very good arranged.
Most people miss that it is not the gear you use.
I bet someone could have a World-Wide-HIT just done internal the DAW.

The Song must be there in first just with Vocals and Piano or Guitar...it needs to have something special....something waht makes you smile or cry depends on the song.

If you have that step taken and people think- WOW I like this song----next step go to someone who is great at arranging this song.
May internal the DAW may for real musicians ....depends on the budget you have.

It always have been the music and its good that this factor is not disputable.
#36
16th April 2012
Old 16th April 2012
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRobb View Post
I think she was the master of having her finger on the pulse of American culture and surrounding herself with the best people.
I would say 'popular culture' rather than american.

She gets the best people of the moment to make her records for her..but the key is in having no loyalty...so she can easily move on and replace.

Most of the people working on her records are half her age.
#37
16th April 2012
Old 16th April 2012
  #37
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DistortingJack's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PRobb View Post
I can't figure Madanna out. She's not a great singer, not a great dancer, not a great beauty. But you don't stay at the very top of the heap without being great at something. I think she was the master of having her finger on the pulse of American culture and surrounding herself with the best people.
I have exactly the same relationship with Madonna and Michael Jackson (and the flurry of admittedly lesser equivalents that have existed since, from Britney to Katie Perry and Lady Gaga); and I think it's because my education fundamentally disables part of what makes this music entertaining to people, not only because of notions of good taste and moral values (I don't get particularly excited about racy entertainers because as an atheist I have few taboos about sex).

I think it's about the very notion of "entertainment", as opposed to "art". I want my music to be art, thus meaningful and intellectually engaging, and that's where this type of music falls spectacularly flat. However, I've never been as "entertained" with the music I enjoy myself as people seem to be when they enjoy this particular brand of pop music. I have had incredibly powerful musical experiences but I would never classify them as "fun" so it seems that it's just a different set of criteria really.

I do respect this type of music and am often impressed by the quality of craftmanship, but as I can't really understand it I tend to leave it well alone.
However, any delusions of meaningfulness people have about this type of music do unnerve me; it's (by design) neither its point or its reason for being.
#38
16th April 2012
Old 16th April 2012
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DistortingJack View Post
I have exactly the same relationship with Madonna and Michael Jackson (and the flurry of admittedly lesser equivalents that have existed since, from Britney to Katie Perry and Lady Gaga); and I think it's because my education fundamentally disables part of what makes this music entertaining to people, not only because of notions of good taste and moral values (I don't get particularly excited about racy entertainers because as an atheist I have few taboos about sex).

I think it's about the very notion of "entertainment", as opposed to "art". I want my music to be art, thus meaningful and intellectually engaging, and that's where this type of music falls spectacularly flat. However, I've never been as "entertained" with the music I enjoy myself as people seem to be when they enjoy this particular brand of pop music. I have had incredibly powerful musical experiences but I would never classify them as "fun" so it seems that it's just a different set of criteria really.

I do respect this type of music and am often impressed by the quality of craftmanship, but as I can't really understand it I tend to leave it well alone.
However, any delusions of meaningfulness people have about this type of music do unnerve me; it's (by design) neither its point or its reason for being.
I think there's meaning in everything, just of a different kind.

So what kind of music do you feel as meaningful and intellectually engaging?
#39
16th April 2012
Old 16th April 2012
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DistortingJack View Post
I have exactly the same relationship with Madonna and Michael Jackson (and the flurry of admittedly lesser equivalents that have existed since, from Britney to Katie Perry and Lady Gaga);
Just for the record- Michael Jackson was an absolutely awesome singer. And an absolutely awesome dancer. And I have to say Lady Gaga, unlike the others, can flat out sing.
#40
16th April 2012
Old 16th April 2012
  #40
Banned
 

To the OP's question : the cause is multifactorial. It really is all of the above. Brainstorm a myriad of reasons, but at the top of the list is Madonna's uncanny ability to pick the right songwriter at the right time.

Examples : for 'Borderline' (my favorite song of hers), she enlisted Reggie Lucas, and for 'Live To Tell' (an awesome ballad, full of suspense and mystery) she worked with Patrick Leonard.

Another thing is her voice. She's limited technically, but the character of her voice (the tonal/expressive nuances and distinguishing characteristics) were always delivered to perfection by the producers working on the project.

It would be a shame to slap auto-tune on her - her voice is *that* unique. And that's what modern producers could learn from the 1980's - let the singer sing, imperfections and all. Reverb simply amplifies and sustains the peculiarities.
#41
16th April 2012
Old 16th April 2012
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Listener View Post
About the voice - it is not true any singer would do, she has a distinct color and style - the appeal was in the way she sang and expressed that "girl power" with her attitude that influenced so many teen girls in the 80s and even two, three decades later. The same with Cindy Lauper - would any singer bring the same "flair" to "Time after time" for example? Hardly.
Interesting you should say that. Madonna and Lauper came out at the same time as "dawn of MTV" video driven quirky women. I thought it was clear that one was a major talent who would have a long career, the other would be more a flash in the pan. I was right, but I had it backwards.
#42
16th April 2012
Old 16th April 2012
  #42
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When I first heard "Borderline", it just sounded like typical stuff from the R&B charts circa 83'-84. Then the video for "Like a Virgin hit. There's a bit of the "Elvis" thing here because the only thing that was actually "different" is that she was white. So there's Madonna on MTV in her mid-twenties rolling on the floor with her finger in her belly-button. As an 18 year old I just kept thinking how generic the whole thing sounded and that even though she was sexy, that this whole thing should be happening to Siouxsie Sioux. A true talent and true original. http://sebastiansimon.blogspot.com/2...sie-sioux.html

Sometimes (most times) the cream doesn't rise to the top. For instance "Strawberry Fields" was the first Beatles song to not go #1. It was beaten out by Engelbert Humperdink's (sp.?) "Please Release Me".
#43
16th April 2012
Old 16th April 2012
  #43
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The Listener's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by PRobb View Post
Just for the record- Michael Jackson was an absolutely awesome singer. And an absolutely awesome dancer. And I have to say Lady Gaga, unlike the others, can flat out sing.
Yes, there is much "meaning" in Michael Jackson's work. Great singer and dancer. Sometimes craft can be so high, that it can compensate for the intellectual "meaning".

I would also opt for Katy Perry, that she can sing really well or at least - interpret really great. There are a lot of vocal timbres and nuances on that last album of hers, maybe the credit goes to producers and vocal coaches or vocal producers, but she was able to pull it off none the less and the technology for voice manipulation was used creatively, not just for "fixing problems".
I think they put a whole lot of work on detail into those vocal lines on "Teenage Dream". And I know really good singers (jazz educated) that I don't think could pull it off that well. She has charm in her voice. Madonna has it too in a different way.
#44
16th April 2012
Old 16th April 2012
  #44
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Originally Posted by evangelista View Post
I can't think of a single of hers I don't like until about '97.
I have never heard a song of hers that I did like.
#45
16th April 2012
Old 16th April 2012
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mellotronic View Post
When I first heard "Borderline", it just sounded like typical stuff from the R&B charts circa 83'-84. Then the video for "Like a Virgin hit. There's a bit of the "Elvis" thing here because the only thing that was actually "different" is that she was white. So there's Madonna on MTV in her mid-twenties rolling on the floor with her finger in her belly-button. As an 18 year old I just kept thinking how generic the whole thing sounded and that even though she was sexy, that this whole thing should be happening to Siouxsie Sioux. A true talent and true original. Sebastian Simon: Style icon Siouxsie Sioux.

Sometimes (most times) the cream doesn't rise to the top. For instance "Strawberry Fields" was the first Beatles song to not go #1. It was beaten out by Engelbert Humperdink's (sp.?) "Please Release Me".
+1

I don't how many of the posters in this thread were there at the time, but it's hard to overestimate the importance of the Like a Virgin video which probably did even more for her career than the Billie Jean vid did for MJ. In the early days of music videos, the M in MTV could just as well have stood for Madonna. Before that, she was a so-so singer with a 'club' dance hit. After the video, she was an international NAME and an instant pop icon.

To this day, most Madonna fans I know spend most of their time talking about her fantastic Image. Much less about the music. Comparisons with Bowie's chameleon like abilities come up. But can you compare them as songwriters or vocalists? um, not really.

Still, I do like some Madonna tracks. Like MJ, she can and does hire the best when it comes to musicians, programmers, producers, etc. And the craftsmanship is pretty damn high. The synth bass (David Frank?) on 'Like a Prayer" is frikkin awesome. And Ray of Light is an exciting, compelling bonafide HIT song if I ever heard one.

But almost all of the rest of it, for me? Meh... Still, the lady knows how to hold a stage, how to divert the cameras, and how to put on a SHOW. That's cool. But I'm a bigger fan of artists like, say, Prince - who can do all of the above, AND brings a boat load of great songs and musical chops to the table too.

Just one semi humble muso's opinion of course!
#46
16th April 2012
Old 16th April 2012
  #46
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The Listener's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by PRobb View Post
Interesting you should say that. Madonna and Lauper came out at the same time as "dawn of MTV" video driven quirky women. I thought it was clear that one was a major talent who would have a long career, the other would be more a flash in the pan. I was right, but I had it backwards.
I think Mrs.Lauper has a nice and long enough career, too, still doing interesting things, just not trying to be what she was in the 80s.

Anyway, from those 80's pop divas none can compare to Kate Bush. Her 80s and early 90s opus is amazing and she possesses an amazing powerful vocal expression/interpretation. She can bring you to tears with really FEELING the words in her singing. Just listen to "This woman's work" again. And the production of her work is alchemical magic, the sound is deep and mysterious, universes beyond what Madonna produced at the time - just compare "Hounds of Love" with "Like A Virgin" from the same year...

But still - Madonna has something in her own right, too. The gear and production certainly ain't it... Those are only well fabricated pop songs, but I am quite sure that her "certain something" is responsible for her success much more than that.
#47
16th April 2012
Old 16th April 2012
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syncamorea View Post
I have never heard a song of hers that I did like.
If you don't hate pop completely try "Ray of Light" and "Live to Tell". I never found any fault in those two.
#48
16th April 2012
Old 16th April 2012
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Listener View Post
I think there's meaning in everything, just of a different kind.

So what kind of music do you feel as meaningful and intellectually engaging?
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Listener View Post
Yes, there is much "meaning" in Michael Jackson's work. Great singer and dancer. Sometimes craft can be so high, that it can compensate for the intellectual "meaning".

I would also opt for Katy Perry, that she can sing really well or at least - interpret really great. There are a lot of vocal timbres and nuances on that last album of hers, maybe the credit goes to producers and vocal coaches or vocal producers, but she was able to pull it off none the less and the technology for voice manipulation was used creatively, not just for "fixing problems".
I think they put a whole lot of work on detail into those vocal lines on "Teenage Dream". And I know really good singers (jazz educated) that I don't think could pull it off that well. She has charm in her voice. Madonna has it too in a different way.
There is meaning in everything human-made, including chairs and transactions, but not meaningfulness, which is the wish and ability to convey a personally important message, and which is quite different.

The intellectual level of the message matters, in terms of value, just like in any other art form using language; a sublime poem with deep, powerful thoughts about human existence (E.G. Ozymandias by Shelley) is surely more meaningful than "Teenage Dream". This doesn't mean that the latter is bad in any way, just that it holds less value, like a Dan Brown best-seller compared to the Umberto Eco works it rips off; there is room for both, although I know which one I'd take.

I don't think craft can ever replace meaning however, in any art form; otherwise we would all be listening to Yamaha school competition winners and instrument solos instead of songs. In this day and age where essentially untrained (which does not make them untalented) musicians make most popular music, performance talent is seen as a massive gift to mankind; a hundred years ago that level of talent would have been barely enough to get a good tutor, who would then develop your skills as a high-end performer.

I don't think this is needed at all anymore and I am very happy to be living in this day and age, but we need to stop being so easily impressed by above-average musicianship and focus on the songs themselves. If there is nothing to transmit the talent makes the experience pleasant, even thrilling, but squarely at the level of entertainment and not of art. Which, again, isn't a bad thing, unless one is mistaken for the other.

I will say it one last time, I don't think making music to sell to people who want to have fun is a bad thing.

I know this is flame war material so I'll stop now. Howeversince you asked politely I will (at the risk of turning this into a "my music is better than yours" war) note the music I hold to be meaningful to me, music that has been created in order to transmit meaning instead of just being liked by the most amount of people.

I like a lot of late 19th century classical music, from Wagner to Strauss, but Stravinsky and Shostakovich are my favourites. As far as rock music I like 60s/70s rock like late Beatles, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull and Peter Gabriel, going through bands like The Cure, to The Smashing Pumpkins, Tool and Rage Against The Machine, all the way into newer stuff like Sigur Ros, Amplifier, The Mars Volta and Porcupine Tree. I am not saying they are objectively better, but their music is created to convey meaning and not just to sell.

By the way, I think that both Katy Perry and Lady Gaga (and their spiritual predecessors Britney and Christina) are great at what they do and great performers and entertainers. Again, not a bad thing. Again, not art.
#49
16th April 2012
Old 16th April 2012
  #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimcasy786 View Post
It's funny, I just got back from the bars and was discussing Lou Reed in a similar context. He is/was definitely less about craft and more about style (and pretentious beyond belief haha). I love Transformer, but that album is NOTHING without Bowie and Mick Ronson at the helm (in my opinion).
Lou was/is about literacy, writing & poetry. He's one of the very best... any period, any record. Ronson was an absolute & unique musical genius. Bowie is great at both & has made one of the best catalouges of music in rock history, but he also owes so much to "Rono" & those who came after to help him like Brian Eno. Bowie became a great writer later ('Life On Mars'... amazing!), but he' was writing crap like "the Laughing Gnome" etc... when Lou was writing "Candy Says".
#50
16th April 2012
Old 16th April 2012
  #50
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Originally Posted by hasbeen View Post
Don't underestimate her talent, songwriting and creative input from the very beginning. If you do some research I think you will find that she (like Lady GaGa) is instrumental to her own success.
well.... she's instrumental to her own success for sure, she isn't a manufactured talent or personality.

however, gaga is a SUPREMELY gifted musician, great piano player, composer, trained and experienced professional musician who was a successful songwriter for other artists long before she decided to create her gaga persona.

Gaga as a public figure is a self invented creature, sure it was inside her before and she has become that figure now, but gaga was solely invented by her as a way to become the larger than life person she felt she needed to be so that her immense gifts, talent, training and success as a supporting musician/composer could finally bring focus to her, not to the people she worked for.

Madonna on the other hand was originally a gifted but not brilliant dancer without a high level of training, she coudl certainly carry a tune and sing alright but mostly had a certain look and personality and self-selling talent. She, like most sexy stars who make it big, can certainly sing and dance and possibly even write a little bit, but she wouldnt' make it on her musical talent or dancing skills alone if it wasn't for her supreme ego, self confidence, extreme intelligence, perception of other people, and ability to self market.

Yes, gaga has all of that too, although without the looks (no offence to her) although she makes up for it with skanky sluttiness and far more bluntly in your face sexuality than madonna has had. She lacks the personal subtlety of madonna and in many ways lacks the cleverness in her personality. However gaga exceeds madonna's musical talent and skill by an order of magnitude.

The only thing they have in common is they're both wildly successful female superstars who wouldn't have their careers without being overtly sexy (or just grossly slutty in gaga's case), shocking people when ever possible, and by trying and succeeding at being the center of attention where ever they go.

Oh and they both have bigger balls than I do as I sit alone in my studio wishing I was a rock star LoL

Cheers
Don
#51
16th April 2012
Old 16th April 2012
  #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRobb View Post
Interesting you should say that. Madonna and Lauper came out at the same time as "dawn of MTV" video driven quirky women. I thought it was clear that one was a major talent who would have a long career, the other would be more a flash in the pan. I was right, but I had it backwards.
Hahaha! Exactly my thoughts back then.

Turned out that Madonna had a huge talent for finding and exploiting great songs. I bet she could have been amazingly successful at A&R. She just turned that skill to herself. Slick move!
#52
16th April 2012
Old 16th April 2012
  #52
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Originally Posted by timtoonz View Post
None of the above. MTV made Madonna, and vice versa to a certain extent.

Without the 80's explosion of "music videos" replacing radio as the primary way to sell records, I honestly doubt Madonna would be much more than a one hit wonder. She's a marginal singer, a passable songwriter, but a Marketing Genius tailor made for the video age. I thought so when she first appeared, and haven't seen much reason to change my opinion since....
This is 100% true.

ANd yo'ure wrong about virgin being the first huge album. Holiday MADE her.

it had millions of teen girls dressing like her and trying to be her. it had millions of teen boys wanting her.

It was much more bubblegum pop which made it safe for parents to buy.

It was like Brittany Spears' first album - very much like it in fact - in what it represented and the effect it had on the world, albeit even bigger than spears due to being the first of it's kind in history.

Virgin was the first that was slightly dangerous - even the title I'm sure had some parents avoiding buying it for their daughters.

so holiday was a huge one hit wonder type of album that made a ton of money which madonna, being a very clever business woman and self marketer, did NOT squander but instead used to fund her followup album Like a Virgin with big name musicians, producer(s), songwriters, and VIDEOGRAPHERS to create one of the first truly integrated tv and store sale targeted video and audio music projects.

Like a Virgin is a very good album for sure, for what it was, and the synth sounds are great. I would like to know more about it too I suppose out of curiosity, but as someone noted it was leading edge mostly because she had the budget to have the best production and musicians working with the same gear everyone else was working with for that same period.

Certainly some solid, clever synth programming and such was at work on that album. NR was a brilliant man to work with for sure. So was BE for songwriting.

Yea Madonna helped with songwriting, but unlike michael jackson who basically did compose many of his own songs including drum parts and bass parts and such by recording them all using vocals into overtracked parts or by demonstrating them all to his musicians, Madonna for the most part helped with the occasional vocal line or lyric concept while the actual songwriting was done mostly by professionals.

She's very clever, a born leader, and a born user of other people. A type, alpha dog, and magnetic.
#53
16th April 2012
Old 16th April 2012
  #53
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NoVi's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by loopy View Post
I can't stand Madonna.
However,regarding her first album, "Like A Virgin", I have to admit it at the time it was released, it was very different. Many of the synth sounds we take for granted these days really got their start on that album.
Really? The instrumentation on that that album was pretty standard Niles Rodgers production in those days...(like David Bowie's Let's Dance, Power Station etc.).
#54
16th April 2012
Old 16th April 2012
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRobb View Post
Just for the record- Michael Jackson was an absolutely awesome singer. And an absolutely awesome dancer. And I have to say Lady Gaga, unlike the others, can flat out sing.
and jackson actually did create his own songs, along with being insanely gifted and honestly deserving the credit he was given.

and gaga is, as noted, a great and true songwriter, writes virtually everything she does herself aside from where she accurately gives others credit (as opposed to madonna), and gaga is a very VERY good instrumentalist as well. Not to mention gaga isn't physically attractive, other than being boney skinny, yet has somehow made a slutty sex attraction out of it, rather I suppose like driving by the cheap hookers on the wrong side of town.

I say these things about gaga yet I have more respect for her as a real musician than of possibly any other "pop" star these days.
#55
16th April 2012
Old 16th April 2012
  #55
Gear nut
 

what is standard about nile rodgers?

he is a production genius and has created some of the best pop tunes of all time
working with biggest names ever...

(david bowie, duran duran, chic, madonna and more)


sorry for crashing in (i just love the guy)
#56
16th April 2012
Old 16th April 2012
  #56
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The Listener's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DistortingJack View Post
There is meaning in everything human-made, including chairs and transactions, but not meaningfulness, which is the wish and ability to convey a personally important message, which is quite different.

The intellectual level of the message matters, in terms of value, just like in any other art form using language; a sublime poem with deep, powerful thoughts about human existence (E.G. Ozymandias by Shelley) is surely more meaningful than "Teenage Dream". This doesn't mean that the latter is bad in any way, just that it holds less value, like a Dan Brown best-seller compared to the Umberto Eco works it rips off; there is room for both, although I know which one I'd take.

I don't think craft can ever replace meaning however, in any art form; otherwise we would all be listening to Yamaha school competition winners and instrument solos instead of songs. In this day and age where essentially crap musicians make most popular music, performance talent is seen as a massive gift to mankind; a hundred years ago that level of talent would have been barely enough to get a good tutor, who would then develop your skills as a high-end performer.

I don't think this is needed at all anymore and I am very happy to be living in this day and age, but we need to stop being so easily impressed by slightly-above-average musicianship and focus on the songs themselves. If there is nothing to transmit the talent makes the experience pleasant, even thrilling, but squarely at the level of entertainment and not of art. Which, again, isn't a bad thing, unless one is mistaken for the other.

I will say it one last time, I don't think making music to sell to people who want to have fun is a bad thing.

I know this is flame war material so I'll stop now. However I will (at the risk of turning this into a "my music is better than yours" war) note the music I hold to be meaningful to me, music that has been created in order to transmit meaning instead of just being liked by the most amount of people.

I like a lot of late 19th century classical music, from Wagner to Strauss, but Stravinsky and Shostakovich are my favourites. As far as rock music I like 60s/70s rock like The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull and Peter Gabriel, going through bands like The Cure, to The Smashing Pumpkins, Tool and Rage Against The Machine, all the way into newer stuff like Sigur Ros, Amplifier, The Mars Volta and Porcupine Tree. I am not saying they are objectively better, but their music is created to convey meaning and not just to sell.

By the way, I think that both Katy Perry and Lady Gaga (and their spiritual predecessors Britney and Christina) are great at what they do and great performers and entertainers. Again, not a bad thing. Again, not art.
Not to drag this further off topic, that's the reason I asked... I can see you appreciate a lot of similar art. I just discovered by chance that it is possible to listen to pop in a "post-modern" way and re-interpret it so it turns into genuine art or at least the perceptions it evokes can be such. It is possible to listen to Katy Perry after "De-loused in the Comatorium" and before "The Rite of Spring" for example, all while reading "Foucault's Pendulum".

I propose a post-modern playing list: The Cure - anything from Kiss me Kiss me Kiss me, Katy Perry - Firework, The Mars Volta - This Apparathus Must be Unearthed, White Lies - Streetlights, Katy Perry - Who am I living for, Dalek - Ever Somber, Jeff Buckley - Corpus Christi Carol (a song by Benjamin Britten), Katy Perry - Hummingbird Heartbeat, Frank Zappa - Outside Now, Prince - Anna Stesia, Katy Perry - Pearl, Stravinsky - Firebird (let's say just the "Inferno Dance"), Sigur Ros - Stalarfur, Katy Perry - Circle the Drain, White Lies - Bigger than Us, etc.

Did it do the re-construction trick?

I also thought that pop artists do it just for the sake of selling, but as I observed more, the ones really successful and appealing to masses in the long run usually also "convey meaning" in one way or another.
#57
16th April 2012
Old 16th April 2012
  #57
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by PRobb View Post
Interesting you should say that. Madonna and Lauper came out at the same time as "dawn of MTV" video driven quirky women. I thought it was clear that one was a major talent who would have a long career, the other would be more a flash in the pan. I was right, but I had it backwards.
oh good point - Cindy Lauper is a VERY talented singer songwriter and a very deep and interesting person. Who the hell would ever have thought this though based on the entire length of her pop star career before she turned legit a few years ago? First time I saw her was on sha-na-na (yea, I know... LoL). We all thought she was a comedy act until the end when it became clear she was actually behaving and singing like that as though it was supposed to be taken seriously (it was a very early "girls just wanna have fun" promo if I recall).
#58
16th April 2012
Old 16th April 2012
  #58
Lives for gear
 
2N1305's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by popote_jr View Post
"Je ne sais quoi"

Merci, c'était pénible à voir...

but good try. we got you.

also I would say Madonna has exactly that al;ong with her producer, songwriter (unless she writes songs, does she? I mean the music)

my 2c
#59
16th April 2012
Old 16th April 2012
  #59
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Papabear View Post
what is standard about nile rodgers?

he is a production genius and has created some of the best pop tunes of all time
working with biggest names ever...

(david bowie, duran duran, chic, madonna and more)


sorry for crashing in (i just love the guy)
100% agree.

his bowie and duran work are some of my all time favorite albums, productions, overall warm sounding creative rock records ever.
#60
16th April 2012
Old 16th April 2012
  #60
What's the future for madonna? Besides raising a family, does she have a draw into her 60's and beyond?

It's pretty tough to watch Mick and the boys at this end of their careers, how will a 65 year old madonna play?

Betty White with a beat?
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