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Who will slip of the radar in, say, 50 years or less?

Discussion in 'music' started by Woodface, Apr 10, 2021.

  1. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    They won’t be gigging in 50 years, will they be remembered by their music alone? Lots of people never saw the Beatles, they haven’t toured in nearly 60 years, half of them are dead but they still sell records & are streamed.
  2. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

    I guess it's all relative. I wouldn't have thought of REM or U2 as being particularly forgotten.

    Looking at this list of the UK top selling LPs of the 70s most of the names are still familiar - Abba, Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Wonder, Bowie, etc.

    Far fewer (Stylistics, Bread) have sunk into obscurity (unless you're in the habit of scouring the £1 bins are record fairs!)

    Perhaps the difference is that music is far more fragmented now so there are fewer megastars. The situation in the 1960s where everyone and their dog rushed out to buy the new Beatles LP just doesn't exist anymore.
  3. matt j

    matt j pfm Member

    And how many bands like the Beatles have we had to compare them with on a like-to-like basis? Hardly a fair comparison is it?
  4. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    The stuff that was genuinely innovative will be remembered, the stuff that wasn’t won’t. This has always been the case and it has nothing at all to do with initial record sales, e.g. Neu! will be remembered long after Adele or whoever.

    The interesting and totally unpredictable thing is what exactly future generations dig up for their influences, e.g. there is a lot of current jazz (Kamasi Washington, Thundercat, Joe Armon Jones etc) hugely influenced by things like George Duke’s early-70s BASF/MPS albums, 24 Carat Black etc that didn’t make that much of an impression at the time. Same with my generation who mined the then comparatively little-known/forgotten Velvet Underground, Seeds, MC5, Can etc. If it is genuinely good it will be immortal, and I am pretty certain it is the current musicians, who always have exceptional musical knowledge, will continue to be the curators of the past. I am certain the likes of Louis Armstrong, Joni Mitchell etc are safe, as are countless other genuine innovators who may still be well under the radar just as VU etc had to. Musical history has never followed the mainstream.
    ThELiZ likes this.
  5. Joe Hutch

    Joe Hutch Mate of the bloke

    My parents used to hum the occasional tune from the '30s and '40s, but the idea of keeping up with music once they'd reached their thirties would have seemed absurd to them. We have bands in their seventies with fans in the sixties still touring.
    DipsyDave, paulfromcamden and fegs like this.
  6. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    Plenty of bands who split up in the 60s, some are remembered, some not. It is a discussion on who we think will be remembered in years to come; all we can do is speculate based upon past form.
  7. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    It is far from predictable & that is the fun. The current new British Jazz could take hold & be genuinely influential or it could go the way of Trad Jazz & be swept away. We don’t really know. Ultimately it probably comes down to songs & how universal they are; can they be rediscovered & covered?

    Frank Sinatra will probably be remembered longer than, say, Tony Bennett; certainly longer than Bing Crosby. The latter was very influential but he’s less memorable.
  8. davidsrsb

    davidsrsb pfm Member

    I hear Tony Bennett on the radio far more than Frank Sinatra. I think of Frank as being a live show star, which might have something to do with it.
  9. Joe Hutch

    Joe Hutch Mate of the bloke

    When it was my late uncle's 40th birthday, in 1967, I asked him what he'd like as a present. 'That record about San Francisco', he replied. I said 'You mean the Tony Bennett one?', and he was offended. 'How old do you think I am? No, I mean the one about going to San Francisco with flowers in your hair.'
  10. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    Tony Bennett is still alive.

    Sinatra was the first artist to really embrace the LP, he had his own label. I don’t share your view on this, sorry.
  11. DipsyDave

    DipsyDave pfm Member

    Not sure I agree with you there. Dylan, The Kinks, The Who, the Beach Boys, they have enough good stuff between them to appeal to a large section of future music fans.
  12. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    They are both at a level where they’ll never be forgotten, but whether they’ll be ‘culturally relevant’ again I have no idea. Only future musicians and trends can define that.

    The point I was trying to make is obscurity isn’t a set or in anyway predictable trajectory. Take Vashti Bunyan, a long forgotten ‘60s folk singer who made very little impression in her time, but was rediscovered in the early 2000s due to the huge influence her one record had on the then large ‘freak folk’ subculture (Devendra Banhart, Joanna Newsome etc). She actually went on to make another couple of albums at that point.

    The big change from say the 1950s onwards is music has been properly documented with high quality recording of the original artists. This means things will be far different to past eras where only the most significant works were documented as sheet music, much died with the people who knew it. This means there is a astonishing wealth of material to mine and take influence from, and the thing that constantly strikes me with sommuch new music is just how informed it is. Folk really do look in the most obscure corners of history for influence and direction.
    Mole Man and Woodface like this.
  13. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    There are so many factors, Bing Crosby was a huge star, very influential but he wasn't really an aspirational figure like Sinatra & for some reason Tony Bennett just isn't 'cool', he's too nice & lived too long.

    Vashti Bunyan is an interesting one, similar trajectory to Terry Callier or even Anne Briggs. I can't see any of these being feted in 20-30 years time but I am wrong about a lot of things.
  14. tiggers

    tiggers pfm Member

    Not sure what you mean by forgotten. I haven't forgotten them, a lot of radio stations haven't forgotten them, REM and U2 are played a lot on many internet radio stations as well as more traditional stations. Radio Paradise still has U2 and REM on their playlist for instance. U2 are already 45 years old as band.... not really sure what we're using as a barometer of forgotten here. Unpopular on pfm does not really mean forgotten in the wider context of the entire world.
    Andrew C!, alan967tiger and Bob McC like this.
  15. Bob McC

    Bob McC Living the life of Riley

    Amen to that!
  16. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    I am not a U2 fan but was a massive REM devotee, I am not sure how often you would hear REM on national radio these days?Internet radio is pretty niche, some bands reach beyond their fan base & achieve chart success. That is probably the ultimate barometer.

    U2 are still an entity, they will tour, Bono will spout some ill-informed crap to get attention. The various members of REM have kept a very low profile in comparison.
  17. 6 Music still regularly play REM and I would imagine Radio X, Virgin and probably Radio 2 do too.

    Cheers BB
  18. onlyconnect

    onlyconnect pfm Member

    Sumer is icumen in has lasted well. Maybe it's the songs rather than the artists who will be remembered?

  19. I thought about this thread when I heard someone talking about the Rolling Stones. Do we think they'll be talked about in 50 years time? I haven't asked yet but I was going to ask my kids at home (22,20 &19) if they knew any Stones songs. My younger daughter (20) often listens to The Beatles but I've never heard her listening to The Stones. She listens to a lot of Van Morrison too.

    Cheers BB
  20. DipsyDave

    DipsyDave pfm Member

    There were a lot of fairly middle of the road singer-songwriter types who sold ridiculous numbers of albums in the late 90s/early 00s - Dido, Duffy, David Gray, James Morrison, Emilie Sandé etc. Considering the sheer number of units they shifted, they've by and large slipped off the radar after 20 years or less, let alone 50.

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