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Name: Jaded Faded
Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: US or UK?
Date: Saturday, March 03, 2018
Time: 10:38:17 AM
Remote Address:
Message ID: 314369
Parent ID: 314342
Thread ID: 314264

RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: US or UK?

What does it mean to be a "quality" act. In determining whether the US or UK are higher quality, and have more higher-quality offerings, how subjective can we allow our thoughts and opinions to be? In other words, do we just go by our personal faves and overall perceived popularity or do we include critical and cultural consensus from within the music industry? Again, the Brits have cranked out a lot of very pleasurable stuff time after time, but to what extent was it original and important and influential for the development of future music (as opposed to just re-creation, imitation, and using the same formula to capitalize on current tastes and success)?

While this is no doubt a much too "professorly" approach, I still enjoy debating it. And I'd say that bands like the Velvets, Jefferson Airplane, Suicide, Bob Dylan, Paul Butterfield, Hendrix, Frank Zappa, The Byrds, the whole of country-rock, the Stooges, Tim Buckley and Love and many more were higher quality than many of their British counterparts. Higher quality doesn't necessarily mean "bigger" or nicer to listen to. It means they were doing more creative things, taking wild risks and experimenting in ways that others would follow on from.

There are times when the Brits were better, such as during the American grunge scene in the very early 90s, which was huge commercially and important for lots of artists to come later but which obscured and relegated what I think was much better music coming from Britain at that time, namely shoegaze, dream/space rock My Bloody Valentine, Spacemen 3, Stereolab, and some early dance/trip hop type stuff (Massive attack, Primal Scream). Then again, simultaneously, much crazier, wilder and what I would call higher quality (and certainly highly respected) american bands with woefully low recognition were also doing really great things at the time: Morphine, Pavement, Mercury Rev, and more from New York and Boston primarily. And although I know virtually nothing about hip-hop, soul, rap, etc, I do know that Americans, and a lot of them, lead the way in the regard. Going back to the Stones, Beatles, etc. who were definitely high quality...even they, however, owe a serious debt not just to the American bluesmen we all know, but to their white American contemporaries, like Paul Revere, Buddy Holly, Beach Boys, Everly Bros, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, and of course Elvis! Although the Beatles, Zepp etc. are dearly loved and for good reason, you could argue that many of these American counterparts were better even though they didn't go as big for as long.(When you really get into it, there were just so many more good americans..)

I don't know, for me there's no contest on this matter even though my own personal tastes skew toward British music in such a way that they account for a higher per-capita amount of listening than they deserve relative to overall quality of music in both the US and UK. And with that, I'm off to challenge myself to some sounds I haven't heard yet.

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