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Do you think they became great partly because they got in early ... ?


EuroAussie

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While were having a debate about tone, which moved to vintage vs modern a thought came to my head ..... do you think the considered great bands that started in 60's, 70's like The Stones, Beatles, Led Zep, Acca Dacca became great simply because they started early in the genre ?

 

Meaning, given how many bands simply rehash the same old licks, did they have a distinct advantage in that there wasnt much out there and they had the first shot at the cookie jar ?

 

Or in other words, would these same bands achieve the same respect and success if they came out now rather than decades ago ?

 

And, given they would be recorded digitally would their sound and tonal mojo be the same, hmmm ?

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It's a different industry these days, if then were now some of these bands wouldn't get signed and one thing is for sure, the long extremely boring self-indulgent sections of Led Zepplin would have to be trashed if they were to aspire to get remotely close to their historical appeal. The Beatles would have to play longer than 20-25 minute sets, the Stones might have to start asking for ID's for proof of age and keef would be knocking about with Pete Doherty. Mick Taylor wouldn't be allowed to join based on that haircut and Michael Barrymnore would be sternly denying he was anywhere near Brian Jones' house ever.

 

And sure enough one of them would be appearing on reality talent TV.... cough cough...... They'd no longer be cool enough for a bunch of middle-aged acoustic guitar fans.

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I feel silly telling YOU this. I thing my opinion is less informed than yours, considereing your expertice.

 

ONE thing, it was a different time as far as media was concerned, and what music meant to a generation and culture. PART of that meant that "black" music wasn't really something the average white American would have an advantage getting into. Therefore, if WHITE poeple played it, it would become WAY more easy to relate to with peer groups.

 

As for media as a whole, there wasn't YouTube, internet, computers that held 5000 songs. You either heard it on the radio, or bought a hard copy, or saw live. And, buying a hard copy meant you spent money, so you THOUGHT about what 6 minutes or 25 or 45 minutes of music you wanted to have. The general public's available attention was much more focused, fewer choices to weed through.

 

Also, when a band would be "marketed", it meant a lot of work, and an actual investment. Touring is still there today to a point, but to sell records, get on the radio, MAKE records, it meant that a person or company COULD back a group and make it happen with LESS attention being drawn away by 300 channels of TV and 600 radio channels and any music media you could want to buy. It was predictable. Therefore, FEWER bands would be marketed because the attention and money of those doing the promoting and marketing would be absorbed.

 

Beatles, Stones, and Zep were just among many. They BECAME great after they were good when they ended up in the right place and time to get a little attention. I believe each one could and would do similar today, but that would be leaving it to the same chance it would go to someone else. They COULD, but can't guarrentee they WOULD.

 

That's enough for someone who actually knows what they are talking about to tell me how it actually is.

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How can we know that The Beatles, Stones, etc. would be as good/great if they came along today? If that happened, it means that all of their blues/country/folk influences had been exposed to and indulged in far more technology than was actually available when The Beatles, etc. were introduced to the music. And, that means that every single one of them would have been different. Personally, I'm glad my introductions to Lightnin' Hopkins, Mississippi John Hurt, Hank Williams, Big Mama Thornton, The Carter Family, and numerous others was on a 45rpm or worse. You know, with today's commercialization and technology, it's doubtful that guys like Cash and Elvis could even get an interview with a sound engineer, let alone the owner of the company. Cash's sound was raw and simple. He made a nusuance of himself until he finally got to talk with Sam Phillips at Sun Records. Today they would try to make him slick and polished and it wouldn't work. Even if they wanted Cash, they wouldn't have kept his two pickers. Same with Elvis. He was a country boy. Would country ballads even be considered for/by him in this era. Part of his appeal was the rebel R&R style and demeanor. He was daring. Today, his actions and style are very tame. Perhaps boring/silly to some. Times were different. People were different. The Beatles, in many ways were eclectic. Yes, Rock & Roll, but much more was in their sounds. Today, someone might add a fiddle to the gang and label them country........If one thing changes, all the dynamics that accompany it change also. All these people are who they are........Plus, think of all the music today (at least the good groups). What would they be if "their" influences from the 50-60's had not been there?................Interesting topic...........One other thing. If the dog hadn't stopped to piss, would he have caught the rabbit?.... [flapper]

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Do you think they became great partly because they got in early ... ?

 

No.

 

A lot of factors weigh on a high level of recognition and greatness. It can be difficult to pin down why one group achieves so much recognition and another doesn't. There's plenty of examples of groups that got in early and never achieved the kind of recognition as the Beatles, Stones or Zep. I'll cite an example from a traditionally acoustic genre - The Dillards - going to amped bluegrass/folk in the 60s. Influential yes, international recognition no, and there's plenty that don't know who they were/are. The number one poster boy for pissing off folkies by going electric - Mr.Zimmerman - everyone knows where that went.

 

 

.

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Early - not sure about that one. Rock & Roll was an established money maker well before the Beatles showed up. What the Beatles did though was free us from all the Bobbys (Vee, Vinton, Rydell, and so on) that the world got stuck with after the death of Buddy Holly.

 

An easier path? You do realize that the Beatles were turned down by virtually every record label in England. It was a long hard pull to get signed. The 20 to 25 minute gig thing happened after they got faomous. Those package tours lasted well into 1967. I saw Cream's first American gig and they were on the bill with something like six other bands (inlcuding The Who) - each of which played no more than 20 miinutes. And Zep. They rode in on the Yardbirds coattails. Page inherited the band's contracts after they broke up and, if ya'll will recall, they were initially known as the New Yardbirds.

 

In what seems to be an endless cycle, once the Beatles broke though, they opened the doors through which alot of music - both good and bad - passed through. The Stones got their Decca contract only because the label was sick of being known as the guys who turned down the Beatles. This scenario has played out time and time again. Look at how the Sa Dranciso scene took off after the Airplane made it, then the whole glam/hair band thing which was virtually extinguished by the Nirvana/Seattle scene, and on and on and on. As soon as one act makes it - the record companies start falling over themslves to sign up more and cash in on it. That is, until the next big thing.

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".. do you think the considered great bands that started in 60's, 70's like The Stones, Beatles, Led Zep, Acca Dacca became great simply because they started early in the genre ?
. Not so much. The weren't just first. They were distinctive. And ZW is right, it wasnt that easy.

 

Or in other words, would these same bands achieve the same respect and success if they came out now rather than decades ago ?
Whole different ballgame. Stones? blues, English offays doing blues, wouldn't be a novelty. They'd be expected be better players [its a post-SRV world]. And own the genre [a post TBirds world]. And (in today's ultra-clinical recording world) it would be near impossible to get such a primitive sound. The Fabs? The Englishness and the goon humor would not longer be novel. And that innocence? Forget it. All warp and woof with the times.
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All the bands might have been successful, but it's likely I wouldn't have cared for them. They'd be too derivative of...bands before them. Or the modern instrumentation and the nods to current trends in order to be commercially successful wouldn't have been appealing to me ear. Or would've been appealing in lesser doses. Also, I wouldn't be hearing them until at least my 30s and I simply didn't have as much time from that point in my life as I did when I was a teen spending hours listening to records and records alone.

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I thought one of the reasons they were famous was because they were the first to: (fill in blank).

 

They were also pioneers of live sound systems as well as recording.

 

 

And none of them got paid until they got their own bank of lawyers and their own contracts.....

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

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Some very astute comments here from those who were there in the 60s. I went to see Zep (liquid zero) in 1967 and can tell you that was the concert of a lifetime. The Stones, Beatles, Yardbirds, Who etc... were the best of that era. Do you know what it took to keep a 4-track Ampex running back then?

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Some very astute comments here from those who were there in the 60s. I went to see Zep (liquid zero) in 1967 and can tell you that was the concert of a lifetime. The Stones, Beatles, Yardbirds, Who etc... were the best of that era. Do you know what it took to keep a 4-track Ampex running back then?

 

 

The best concerts were often those that took place just before a band achieved ultimate success, when you could still get close to them and hear them. The Beatles were effectively destroyed as a live concert group when Beatlemania took over, and the crowds came to see the band as personalities to be screamed at rather than musicians to be listened to.

 

Somehow, I would rather have seen them in the Cavern days.

 

Fortunately, a lot of the best bands back then still played 3,000 seat and smaller venues, and the "stadium" performance was still the exception rather than the rule. And tickets didn't cost $500 for the cheap seats.

 

I was lucky to go to a university that promoted great concerts with fantastic performers, often in venues seating (or standing) a couple of thousand people or less. No, they weren't the Stones or the Beatles, but plenty of great music was made by "lesser" artists in smaller venues. I can't even remember them all, there were so many, but I'm talking the likes of Janis Joplin, John Mayall, The Doors, Taj Mahal, Ray Charles, Smokey Robinson, Dizzy Gillespie, etc. Being less than an hour's drive from Boston didn't hurt, either, as there was no better town in the country for the folk and blues scene in the 60's and early 70's.

 

I've mentioned before sitting on the grass 10 feet in front of James Taylor for an outdoor performance attended by maybe 100 people, just before he broke out. And I spent a magical evening 25' away from Judy Collins (already a star then) sitting quietly on a chair just behind the stage curtain, thanks to her generosity in inviting a penniless college student in out of the snow and cold.

 

Achieving success was a knife fight in the trenches for a lot of these people. Grueling concert tours were meant to drive record sales, before the tours themselves became major sources of revenue. To make money, you had to get the fans to the record store, and to do that, you often had to generate an over-the-top persona that separated you from the others.

 

Somehow, I can't imagine Justin Bieber or Taylor Swift wrestling in the mud for a recording contract, but I guarantee you a lot of folks did back then. Generally, the groups that achieved success had a lot of talent, but there were plenty of others with similar gifts who fell by the wayside due to bad timing or medicore management.

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+1 j45

We used to go out and listen to Duane, Gregg, Dickey, Berry, Butch and Joimoe play in Central City Park in Macon GA on sunday afternoons (circa 1967) with the other local bands.... byob. The Allman Bros Band was born. We also had Little Richard, James Brown & the Flames, plus Otis Redding & the Pinetoppers at that time. The small venues were just as you described and you could never get enough of what those soulful guys were puttin down. Duane Allman is forever my favorite Gibson player and yes they all were the best of best, and for no other reason.

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