Musical betrayals

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The Unfragrant Ox
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Re: Musical betrayals

Postby The Unfragrant Ox » 04 Aug 2017, 23:43

Oh, I know mine isn't a common view. I really don't like Doc, at least.
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Re: Musical betrayals

Postby Sneelock » 04 Aug 2017, 23:43

I think Bruford's a great player but his solo stuff doesn't do very much for me. I think maybe he left those bands because he wanted to make bad records. it's a theory.
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Re: Musical betrayals/Cap'n Beefheart

Postby Sneelock » 04 Aug 2017, 23:44

OH, I'd say more people like "Milk" these days than "Trout".
I think "Doc" is the bee's knees. for one thing - his singing. I think his singing is just spectacular on that one.
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Re: Musical betrayals

Postby yomptepi » 04 Aug 2017, 23:51

The Clash. So much potential, and they made Give 'en enough rope. It made me physically ill when I first heard it. the greatest sell out of all time.
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Re: Musical betrayals

Postby bobzilla77 » 04 Aug 2017, 23:57

Bent Fabric wrote:It could be argued that Neil Young was the ultimate "Later, bitches!" artist (Springfield, CSNY, Stills/Young, repeatedly going off to do one thing or another while some other personnel were sitting around waiting for airplane tickets).

Some would fault him for it.

I certainly wouldn't.

I think there is some legitimacy to the theory (certainly my belief) that he was always going towards a thing moreso than fleeing another (though, certainly the latter was often a justifiable decision). "Serving the muse", if you will (I typed those three words without puking). There's a hell of a lot of static and politics in bands at any level of success, and...I think, truth be told, many artists would look back and consider that they perhaps should have fled "diminishing returns/more habit than fruitful organic peak of chemistry" scenarios somewhat earlier in the agonizing and ongoing decline.


At one point in Shakey the author confronts him with all that & he says, "yeah, I could have probably dealt with those people more kindly and professionally, but it would have taken the equivalent of an entire album's worth of time and energy out of me. And I wouldn't have those albums today, and all those people would still be just as pissed off."

So I guess I agree. Although nowadays, maybe I'd rather have a polite professional Neil than a super-productive one, given the results of all that productivity.
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Re: Musical betrayals

Postby Bent Fabric » 05 Aug 2017, 00:49

bobzilla77 wrote:
At one point in Shakey the author confronts him with all that & he says, "yeah, I could have probably dealt with those people more kindly and professionally, but it would have taken the equivalent of an entire album's worth of time and energy out of me. And I wouldn't have those albums today, and all those people would still be just as pissed off."

So I guess I agree. Although nowadays, maybe I'd rather have a polite professional Neil than a super-productive one, given the results of all that productivity.


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Re: Musical betrayals

Postby toomanyhatz » 05 Aug 2017, 01:33

My ultimate will always be Bowie in the 80s. He basically betrayed everything that made his music so interesting. As pop hits go, he did some good stuff. But it almost feels like someone else did it. I mean, that obviously CAN'T be the same Bowie as Lodger, right?
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Re: Musical betrayals

Postby Matt Wilson » 05 Aug 2017, 02:05

And I love me some solo Lou Reed, too. Hell, there must be at least half a dozen great LPs from Transformer to New York.

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Re: Musical betrayals

Postby never/ever » 05 Aug 2017, 02:16

toomanyhatz wrote:My ultimate will always be Bowie in the 80s. He basically betrayed everything that made his music so interesting. As pop hits go, he did some good stuff. But it almost feels like someone else did it. I mean, that obviously CAN'T be the same Bowie as Lodger, right?


The good life in Switzerland plus mountains of coke.... you try to produce something along the lines of Lodger....
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Re: Musical betrayals

Postby The Unfragrant Ox » 05 Aug 2017, 02:21

Matt Wilson wrote:And I love me some solo Lou Reed, too. Hell, there must be at least half a dozen great LPs from Transformer to New York.


'great'? no.

'good-but-patchy'? probably
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Re: Musical betrayals

Postby never/ever » 05 Aug 2017, 02:22

No one is probably gonna care but Metallica's descent into abject crap release and subsequent cuntery after, I guess, the Black Album is spectacular. As a survivor of the Ride The Lightning and Justice-tours I have been waiting for some sort of resurrection but been shut down with every single mediocre/bad release after another.
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Re: Musical betrayals

Postby Matt Wilson » 05 Aug 2017, 03:08

Dr. B. Eef wrote:
Matt Wilson wrote:And I love me some solo Lou Reed, too. Hell, there must be at least half a dozen great LPs from Transformer to New York.


'great'? no.

'good-but-patchy'? probably


John, you think everything is patchy!

At least two of those VU albums are patchy too.

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Re: Musical betrayals

Postby Quaco » 05 Aug 2017, 03:16

But patchy is cool sometimes and sometimes just a bit sad. There's no way to describe it, but it has something to do with the kinds of sounds, the way the artist may be failing, the state of music at the time, etc.
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Re: Musical betrayals

Postby Matt Wilson » 05 Aug 2017, 03:22

Of course. Very few albums have no duff tracks. Even classic ones.

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Re: Musical betrayals

Postby Snarfyguy » 05 Aug 2017, 04:34

The Modernist wrote:
Snarfyguy wrote:
To answer the question: Lou Reed, who betrayed his talent, which is worse, even, than betraying your bandmates or your fans.



Or maybe his talent didn't stretch that far?

Well, my assertion is based on the premise that his talent only stretched as far as it stretched (I mean, obviously), but within those parameters my feeling is that when he "went solo," he abandoned a set of circumstances in which the particular characteristics of his artistic disposition found their fullest expression, in a bid to be a "rock star." Which isn't to say he didn't do some very good work after that, but for my money it wasn't a patch on his earlier work.
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Re: Musical betrayals

Postby take5_d_shorterer » 05 Aug 2017, 04:48

Who is really to say whether this is a betrayal or not, but it is strange to see the singer change from one character into another.



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Re: Musical betrayals

Postby Charlie O. » 05 Aug 2017, 05:00

The Rolling Stones. Whether or not you like every album they made up through Exile, they all... signified. They all seemed - and still seem - audacious, challenging, scary, exhilarating, and dare-I-say-it important. But after Exile? A hell of a drop. Good songs here and there, even the occasional listenable Stones-by-numbers long player - but virtually nothing that challenges (the establishment, their audience, themselves) - nothing that actually matters. (The Kinks dropped off around the same time, but to give Ray Davies his due, it wasn't because he stopped giving a shit; he continued to push himself and his band to find new ways of extending rock, new ways to communicate. That these attempts usually didn't work - and that his songwriting gift had pretty well dried up - is unfortunate, but you couldn't blame it on laziness.)

X. One of my favorite bands of the eighties made four fantastic LPs, then sold out with a shrill and joyless revival of "Wild Thing" that inexplicably became a hit of sorts, then a shrill and joyless album of original material produced by Dokken and Great White's producer that didn't become a hit, then the singers divorced and the guitarist quit, then they got better but not enough better.

The Replacements. Another of my favorite bands of the era. I tried to enjoy the albums they made after they kicked Bob Stinson out of the band for being an out of control alcoholic (they were all out of control alcoholics and everyone knew it - it was their image, for fuck's sake), but while there were some good songs, it just wasn't The Replacements anymore. Them kicking Bob out felt like if The Beatles had kicked George out.

R.E.M. Yeah, another one - and unlike X and the Replacements, I was certain they could and would become huge - I wanted them to! But by the time they did they had lost most if not all of what had made me love them to begin with. That's probably just a coincidence (as opposed to a selling-out), but that doesn't make it any less disappointing.
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Re: Musical betrayals

Postby Bent Fabric » 05 Aug 2017, 06:33

I will second a great number of the nominated, for sure.

In terms of a number of these acts (most prominently the Replacements, but...also X, Metallica and some others who "lost what they had"), I picture a certain improbable lightning in a bottle effect. Some truly untraceable confluence of factors "allows" their best moments to occur, and it can only be a matter of time before any number of those elements shifts or settles. You wouldn't even know if you were in the eye of the hurricane that X, Y or Z was some crucial load bearing condition of greatness. I mean, yeah - Bob Stinson and Cliff Burton are powerful avatars for "guys who surely took the magic with them when they left/died", but...who knows, really? The former seems (by many accounts) to have been the classic Syd Barrett "It certainly wasn't going to go on with him any longer" case, and the latter may have, indeed, balanced some crucial things that needed balancing, but also serves as a powerful martyr for "They never made a bad record when HE was alive!" cause/effect theorizing.

My obsession with those sorts of "accidental" occurrences is considerable - I think the parents here can consider a child in their "darnedest" stage, all the sort of genius shit they say, and then..they develop some increased working knowledge of their surroundings and the basic mechanics of life...the science, the data, the facts...then we're into a whole sort of "self conscious competence and functionality" that CAN'T be charming the way the work of the young and naive mind was. The Steve Martin bit about teaching a child to "talk wrong" almost has some analogous relevance here as a "forcing good things to happen" methodology. Eno seems to have an advanced understanding of this sort of thing - however evasive and elusive the desired result might be once you introduce intent. But, yeah, people who worship the Shaggs or the more sort of unhinged areas of early blues or rock-era music...I totally fucking get it. There's a purity there that is far easier to lose than it is to maintain. A lot of wonderful things live in that beautiful area between "inept" and "workmanlike", and when the threshold into "mediocre professionalism" is crossed, there's bound to be some major disappointment - never mind that someone may be simply "getting better on guitar"/achieving some long held creative goal. That their sweet spot fell somewhere in the journey and well SHY of the destination is...they'll never know. How could they? I certainly have no love for post-Velvets Lou Reed, but it is interesting to look back on what Lester Bangs was writing about him in the 1970s as he struggled with Reed's creative decline - he says something at some point about a nightmare world in which Reed's next record features all the sort of "Tom Scott/LA Express/Avocado Mafia all stars" just blowing away with impeccable, tasty slickness.

"Specific praise" seems like a similarly risky element. Does a "talented songwriter" theoretically lose some mojo as soon as they have some awareness of "talented songwriter" stature?

I have a distant relative - basically a "cool uncle" for the sake of moving the narrative along. Now, decades ago...real impressionable years for me, my late teens/early 20s, he was probably 15 years older than me. He'd heard it all, had worked in record stores forever, fervent collector, listener, enthusiast, explorer, discoverer of uncharted or unsung music - what would have been called "underground" or "indie" or "post-punk" at some point, fairly wide ranging tastes in that are, and someone who knew how to steer me towards things I'd take with me for a lifetime. Anyhow - he was INSISTENT at the time that a good band or artist who journeyed to a major label would just...change for the worse in some massive way. It was a really strongly held theory...pre-internet, pre-everything has a book about it now...but, yeah, to his mind, there were no exceptions - anyone he could think of that had really kicked ass on an indie just...shit the bed as soon as they crossed the river. To me, even then, it seemed a bit dogmatic and rigid, and...you, dear reader, can undoubtedly summon any number of exceptions that contradict this thesis. But, there he was - his musically obsessed mind perceiving a pattern which became iron clad law in the service of an explanation of diminishing returns. Now - surely there ARE acts who fell prey to tone deaf tampering, the stuck thinking, the hiring of a "name producer", the determination to turn a cucumber into a taco, but...I would venture to say now that - often - it wasn't the logo on the disc that fucked it all up. The machine around the talent may have been pasively witnessing a rather organic creative decline just as we all were. His belief is nowhere near as interesting to me as his NEED to diagnose the recurring phenomenon.

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Re: Musical betrayals

Postby Moleskin » 05 Aug 2017, 10:22

Snarfyguy wrote:
Moleskin wrote:
bobzilla77 wrote:It was interesting to me to see Bill Bruford abandon almost every group he was in just as they started to become popular.

Leaving Yes right on the verge of their breakthrough is the biggest example but, he also comes into and leaves Genesis right as they are going into arenas, he leaves UK before their second album when they're getting pretty big... I don't fault him artistically for any of it, but it does make me wonder what was going on in his mind. Clearly he was more comfortable out on the edge, trying to build something, than serving in something already built. Not big on victory laps. (I guess he take one with Yes on the Union tour, much later.)

I remember listening to an interview with him where he was talking about this phenomenon, and one of my friends said "What an asshole!"


He stuck with Crimson for a long while.

1972-74 and 1981-84, yeah, that's sort of a while.
.

He was back for the double trio stuff in the 90s/00s too. He found something continually challenging in the various iterations of that band.
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Re: Musical betrayals

Postby Tactful Cactus » 05 Aug 2017, 11:49

Anyone mention Elvis Presley yet? A betrayal of his own instincts and a betrayal of his fans in favour of the path of least resistance.