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LarryUK

Would they have made it?

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I was listening to Toto on my headphones at work today

And wondered if they would have made it without 'Luke'?

That got me thinking.

Would G&R made it without Slash or Axl or Zep without Page or Plant or even Bonham?

Would the Who have made it without Keith Moon?

Is a band more than the sum of it's parts?

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Lash...

 

"If" questions always are problematic, but...

 

Honestly I think both perspectives have truth to them. A band is greater than the sum of its parts and yes, a "star" within a group plays a major role in its popularity.

 

But now we come to my major question given how many seriously talented bands there are out there too: How does a great band become popular?

 

Now we're into marketing. One of my concerns for today's variations of popular music is a knife that cuts both ways. We have far more media venues than even in the 1980s, so the power of the big media companies is lessened. So a band might get more exposure through variations of guerrilla marketing, yet I believe personally none will achieve the degree of exposure that bands received in the pre-Web era.

 

So.. to me a band is greater than the sum of its parts and a technical/innovative "star" may greatly aid in its popularity. But marketing remains the measure of overall popularity whether it's a small local weekend operation or a regional band seeking a national/international audience.

 

m

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I'll tell you one thing, I would have liked Zep much better if they'd made it without Robert Plant.

You've gotta be kidding, LOL... Plant is a big part of what made them so good. His voice a big part of their sound. Yes, the rest of the members are equally important, wouldn't be LZ without Page either.

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You've gotta be kidding, LOL... Plant is a big part of what made them so good. His voice a big part of their sound. Yes, the rest of the members are equally important, wouldn't be LZ without Page either.

Yeah, that whiny, girly voice :)

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Often the sum is greater than the individual parts. Would page and plant be famous without the others? Probably - mostly likely for Page. However, their greatest work was as a group IMO.

 

I have found it is the interaction with other players that builds that synergy towards greatness. Personally, I play in a classic rock band and I'm between ok and good. However, 20 years ago I played in a jazz group and they pushed me to my limits. Playing off of what I heard them play inspired me to play introspectively and more outside the box.

 

The answer to your question is ultimately - we will never know

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I was listening to Toto on my headphones at work today

And wondered if they would have made it without 'Luke'?

 

I have never ever thought of Toto in terms of a guitar band. Until maybe 5 years ago I never knew there WAS a guitar player in the band until I stumbled upon some article gushing over Steve Lukather. All their songs I ever heard were synth songs through and through, so I would think they would have had no problems with a different guitar player - or no guitar player. If he was the chief songwriter/arranger maybe he was integral, but I never thought guitar even had a place in that band.

 

GNR needed Slash, he had a trademark gimmick look that was easy to sell.

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I have never ever thought of Toto in terms of a guitar band. Until maybe 5 years ago I never knew there WAS a guitar player in the band until I stumbled upon some article gushing over Steve Lukather. All their songs I ever heard were synth songs through and through, so I would think they would have had no problems with a different guitar player - or no guitar player. If he was the chief songwriter/arranger maybe he was integral, but I never thought guitar even had a place in that band.

 

GNR needed Slash, he had a trademark gimmick look that was easy to sell.

 

Toto not a guitar band? You've not listened to them then? Rosanna? Luke 'is' Toto.

There is a lot of keyboards, but just as much guitar. Very good and classy guitar at that.

Listen to 'Thriller'by MJ. That's all Toto (with a solo by EVH). 'Physical' by Olivia Newton John. Great solo.

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a band needs all members they all fit togther to form the sound so if you change even one member its gunna sound different it might be similar but never the same

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Rush didn't have Neil Peart for their first album. John Rutsey was a great drummer, but Rush would not be who they are today had he remained their drummer. Peart brought a new dimension to the band with his complex drumming patterns and lyrics. I'm not saying they wouldn't have "made" it, but they certainly would not be the same band.

 

 

Rush didn't have Neil Peart for their first album. John Rutsey was a great drummer, but Rush would not be who they are today had he remained their drummer. Peart brought a new dimension to the band with his complex drumming patterns and lyrics. I'm not saying they wouldn't have "made" it, but they certainly would not be the same band.

 

 

Rush didn't have Neil Peart for their first album. John Rutsey was a great drummer, but Rush would not be who they are today had he remained their drummer. Peart brought a new dimension to the band with his complex drumming patterns and lyrics. I'm not saying they wouldn't have "made" it, but they certainly would not be the same band.

 

 

Rush didn't have Neil Peart for their first album. John Rutsey was a great drummer, but Rush would not be who they are today had he remained their drummer. Peart brought a new dimension to the band with his complex drumming patterns and lyrics. I'm not saying they wouldn't have "made" it, but they certainly would not be the same band.

 

 

Rush didn't have Neil Peart for their first album. John Rutsey was a great drummer, but Rush would not be who they are today had he remained their drummer. Peart brought a new dimension to the band with his complex drumming patterns and lyrics. I'm not saying they wouldn't have "made" it, but they certainly would not be the same band.

 

I think we get it dude.

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Rush didn't have Neil Peart for their first album. John Rutsey was a great drummer, but Rush would not be who they are today had he remained their drummer. Peart brought a new dimension to the band with his complex drumming patterns and lyrics. I'm not saying they wouldn't have "made" it, but they certainly would not be the same band.

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Would Bevis and Butthead have been succesful without one of them ??

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I think about some bands in country music, namely Shenandoah, Little Texas, Highway 101, and Restless Heart. All were really successful groups, until the lead singer left to persue a solo career. The solo career of the lead singers flopped, and so did the band.

 

The sum really is greater than its parts.

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I'll tell you one thing, I would have liked Zep much better if they'd made it without Robert Plant.

 

I agree, heartily.

 

The musicianship of Page, Jones, and Bonham could have carried almost any able singer. The sole reason I have not intentionally listened to a note of Zeppelin in over a decade is that Plant's voice and lyrics are like an ice pick in both ears. I don't think his vocal melodies are very memorable, either.

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Toto not a guitar band? You've not listened to them then? Rosanna? Luke 'is' Toto.

There is a lot of keyboards, but just as much guitar. Very good and classy guitar at that.

Listen to 'Thriller'by MJ. That's all Toto (with a solo by EVH). 'Physical' by Olivia Newton John. Great solo.

 

I disagree that there is as much guitar as synth/piano. Guitar is more or less buried under piano and synth, almost like an afterthought. He crawls out from under to do a solo, for sure. I know Lukather did the sessions you mention but when I think Toto, I think vocal harmony/synth/piano. "Africa." I think Journey is more of a guitar band than Toto.

 

All this is beside the point. Superstar bands make it because of luck and people, I think. Sometimes those people are in the band, sometimes they're behind the scenes. Sometimes mystique can be manufactured, like the Beatles.

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Toto not a guitar band? You've not listened to them then? Rosanna? Luke 'is' Toto.

There is a lot of keyboards, but just as much guitar. Very good and classy guitar at that.

Listen to 'Thriller'by MJ. That's all Toto (with a solo by EVH). 'Physical' by Olivia Newton John. Great solo.

 

 

With all due respect to Steve Lukather (a brilliant guitarist IMO too by the way), Toto is all Jeff Porcaro. He was a very underrated drummer.

 

To me, Toto is all about the drums. Rosanna in particular has that awesome half time shuffle too it: "Purdie-esque" if you will. The guy could groove.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwFdExvCxM4

 

 

 

Don

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30 years ago I would have felt a lot better about this sort of discussion because there were far fewer media venues for bands.

 

Back then there were three criteria for "making it." One was an interesting sound, and that brought a lotta one-hit wonders. The second was an interesting sound with sufficient talent in the group to keep going with some "hits."

 

The third? Well, that's management whether internal or external. A lotta the time it was external and a matter of getting the right material, arrangements and PR image that would continue to maintain public interest.

 

Nowadays?

 

I think it's much, much harder. The image thing of a lotta bands that the younger set on here have brought to my attention doesn't often seem to make it for a wider audience as the PR for Elvis and the Beatles in the "olden days."

 

I've been frankly surprised at the quality of music - yeah, that's a grouchy old man talking - but the PR image is so focused, as apparently is distribution of the music, that it can't touch the breadth that we saw popular music stars receive in the olden days. <grin>

 

Very likely the advent of big time cable television, then the Web, are major factors in the above. But I have to admit that I keep getting PR squibs from PR companies pushing this artist or that artist that I've never heard of. Often I've even asked young friends if they have heard of them and get a negative reply.

 

For example, I know I almost gave one lady PR agent caller a heart attack when I told her I'd never heard of Rob Zombie. That's not a comment on the music, but on the PR and degree of general audience distribution IMHO. Believe me, in 1965 people of all age groups and music interests knew at least the names of Beatles, Rolling Stones, Manfred Mann, Animals, etc.

 

But in the 50s and 60s the top "names" also had more general audience distribution and well-honed "image" partly by individual personalities, but also by major record company and personal publicists. Nowadays it seems PR is a dying craft and the lack of muscle by major recording companies seems obvious.

 

m

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Rush didn't have Neil Peart for their first album. John Rutsey was a great drummer, but Rush would not be who they are today had he remained their drummer. Peart brought a new dimension to the band with his complex drumming patterns and lyrics. I'm not saying they wouldn't have "made" it, but they certainly would not be the same band.

I agree 1000%

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I think about some bands in country music, namely Shenandoah, Little Texas, Highway 101, and Restless Heart. All were really successful groups, until the lead singer left to persue a solo career. The solo career of the lead singers flopped, and so did the band.

 

The sum really is greater than its parts.

True, just look at CSN, Kiss, Aerosmith, Journey, all those bands where the members put out solo records.

Stills did had a few good records on his own.

Even Tom Petty mostly used his own band for most of his solo records, but I think his work, and Dave Grohls work could stand on its own. There are other exceptions I'm sure.

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I think Sting got better after the Police.

I also think 'Beady Eye' are ok. I didn't think Liam would survive after Noel.

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I'll tell you one thing, I would have liked Zep much better if they'd made it without Robert Plant.

 

 

 

I couldn't image Whole Lotta Love without Plants voice, or many other Zep greats

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I couldn't image Whole Lotta Love without Plants voice, or many other Zep greats

 

When Zeppelin came out the time was right for the whole sound. Robert Plant included.

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When Zeppelin came out the time was right for the whole sound. Robert Plant included.

I wasn't saying they weren't a great band, but my ears don't like Plant's high pitched, whiny voice.

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30 years ago I would have felt a lot better about this sort of discussion because there were far fewer media venues for bands.

 

Back then there were three criteria for "making it." One was an interesting sound, and that brought a lotta one-hit wonders. The second was an interesting sound with sufficient talent in the group to keep going with some "hits."

 

The third? Well, that's management whether internal or external. A lotta the time it was external and a matter of getting the right material, arrangements and PR image that would continue to maintain public interest.

 

Nowadays?

 

I think it's much, much harder. The image thing of a lotta bands that the younger set on here have brought to my attention doesn't often seem to make it for a wider audience as the PR for Elvis and the Beatles in the "olden days."

 

I've been frankly surprised at the quality of music - yeah, that's a grouchy old man talking - but the PR image is so focused, as apparently is distribution of the music, that it can't touch the breadth that we saw popular music stars receive in the olden days. <grin>

 

Very likely the advent of big time cable television, then the Web, are major factors in the above. But I have to admit that I keep getting PR squibs from PR companies pushing this artist or that artist that I've never heard of. Often I've even asked young friends if they have heard of them and get a negative reply.

 

For example, I know I almost gave one lady PR agent caller a heart attack when I told her I'd never heard of Rob Zombie. That's not a comment on the music, but on the PR and degree of general audience distribution IMHO. Believe me, in 1965 people of all age groups and music interests knew at least the names of Beatles, Rolling Stones, Manfred Mann, Animals, etc.

 

But in the 50s and 60s the top "names" also had more general audience distribution and well-honed "image" partly by individual personalities, but also by major record company and personal publicists. Nowadays it seems PR is a dying craft and the lack of muscle by major recording companies seems obvious.

 

m

in my opinion the only way bands get big is luck and connections which is why some of the most talented musicians in the world are not none by the common public it doesnt really matter if they are talented or not or if they can wright or not. the bands that stick around are the ones that have talent. making their debut on to the big screen is all by by luck staying there is by skill. which is why im not gunna waste my time trying to make it as a professional musician. playing for me is a hobby and at church but im gunna get a real job not hope i might get lucky and strike it big

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