Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 11 to 16 of 16

Thread: Consideration of What Constitutes So-Called 'Overrated,' 'Overplayed' Music

  1. #11
    Stuck on the Border Jonny Come Lately's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Watching the hazy sun sinking in the sea in England
    Posts
    1,974

    Default Re: Consideration of What Constitutes So-Called 'Overrated,' 'Overplayed' Music

    Quote Originally Posted by chaim View Post
    I consider myself a huge Waters fan, but IMO The Wall is overrated. It was a wonderful personal statement from Roger and I appreciate it if someone has really listened to it and genuinely gets something out of it. I know that - lyrically - it's the kind of narrative that must touch some people. But I think it's rather weak musically. So I'm pretty sure that there are tons of people who have learned to love it ("Everyone says it's amazing, so of course it's amazing"). And there must be tons of people who love Another Brick part II and Comfortably Numb and therefore think they love The Wall.

    Personally I get much more out of The Final Cut. And that has been my personal experience, no one has decided it for me.
    There’s a lot I can say about The Wall. For starters, it is probably my fourth favourite Pink Floyd album, behind Wish You Were Here, Dark Side and Animals (I think those albums have the perfect balance of lyrics and music). I personally can’t understand where people who say Wish You Were Here is overrated are coming from, whereas I can sympathise more with The Wall. It is a polarising album – some people love it, some people hate it. I don’t listen to the full album as often as I listen to my top three Floyd albums or Meddle. One reason is that is because I think it is best appreciated as a full record listened to from start to finish (whereas with say Physical Graffiti I often listen to the two discs separately) and it is less easy to find time to do this with a double album. It is also quite an intense experience – it is not a ‘sunny day’ album in the way that an album like the warm, mellow Atom Heart Mother is and I would loathe to ruin it for myself by overplaying it. I once read that the best music is not necessarily the music you listen to most often. I’m not sure I completely agree with that, but I think it applies in this case.

    One weakness of the album is that I don’t think it ends as strongly as its three predecessors – where Dark Side has the cinematic Eclipse, Wish You Were Here has Rick Wright’s beautiful funeral march and Animals has the great outro of Sheep and the soothing second half of Pigs On The Wing. The collapse of the wall at the end of The Trial, although essential to the storyline, is not as satisfying a ‘moment’ as those three album endings. I absolutely love the lyrics to Outside The Wall, but I’m not crazy about the original arrangement – I much prefer the version played in the 1980-81 The Wall shows.

    Having said all that though, The Wall is an album that means a lot to me. It was the first CD album I ever bought for myself in my first year at university. I remember going back to my room to listen to it that evening to listen to the full album and being transfixed by it. Over the last couple of years I have spent quite a lot of time alone on train journeys between home and university. This is roughly a three hour journey and in winter this is entirely in darkness. Much of this is through rural areas with little lighting and nothing to see, leaving me reliant on my music and/or reading material for amusement. I have played many albums on these trips and there are few better travel companions than The Wall, which keeps me greatly entertained for a huge chunk of the journey. Above all, I think it is a hugely emotional album, with so many hugely memorable songs and moments on the album. I love Waters’ berserk rage on One Of My Turns and the vivid lyrics of Nobody Home as much as I love the cathartic guitar solos of Hey You and Mother. There are songs that are despairing, like Don’t Leave Me Now, but I believe the overall message of the album is a positive one. I can understand your comment on the music, as there are a couple of musical themes that appear quite frequently (most notably the 'Another Brick' riff) and there are relatively few memorable keyboard parts. To counterbalance this though, I think David Gilmour was on top form as a guitarist - he doesn't have that many big solos, but there isn't any 'noodling' on The Wall, the guitar parts all seem very focused and powerful to me. I remember a quote from Roger around this time period where he said 'we make a great team', and I think he was right.

    I must admit I was once one of the people who thought they loved The Wall because I loved those two songs – Comfortably Numb was the first song that got me into Pink Floyd in the first place four years or ago, and it has always been my favourite from the album. However, as I listened to more of the songs I found I love most of them too (and the few that I can take or leave as songs I think are essential to the story). I also love all of the references to earlier Floyd songs, many of which are lost on the ‘we don’t need no education’ fans. I think it is the more emotional songs that make it so great, the ones that really capture the bad moments, the desperation and the frustration, which is why I think Another Brick Part 2 is somewhat overrated (while, conversely, I think Another Brick Part 1 is a quietly brilliant piece which doesn’t get enough praise). My final word is that I think the part of me that loves The Wall is closely linked to the part of me that loves Desperado – they both follow the stories of young men who shut themselves off from the world to follow their dreams but are not truly happy or satisfied with their lives or with the people they actually are behind the bravado. That's my take, anyway.

    I'm quite glad you mentioned this as it made me start to think about overrated/overplayed albums as well as individual songs. Having thought about it a bit, I started to wonder whether I would consider The Piper at the Gates of Dawn to be overrated. I guess on balance I would probably say that it is. I enjoy it when I listen to it, and it does contain my favourite pre-Meddle song (Astronomy Domine) but I don’t like it as much as I like A Saucerful of Secrets. I don’t tend to think of it is as ‘overrated’ because it has more of a cult appeal to Syd devotees and certain critics – it isn’t as widely praised as the big 1970s Floyd albums, and the songs definitely receive less airplay.

  2. #12
    Stuck on the Border
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    1,841

    Default Re: Consideration of What Constitutes So-Called 'Overrated,' 'Overplayed' Music

    A wonderful post. I agree that The Wall is very emotional. One thing you usually can't accuse Roger Waters of is lack of emotion - especially from The Wall onwards. And, like I said, I think it's great when people genuinely love the album as a whole. Not just two or three songs and then say it's a great album.

    It has been said, even by David, that Rick didn't play a lot on The Wall. However, a few moths ago I learned that Rick Wright actually played an awful lot of keyboards on the album. A recent book about The Wall (if I understood correctly) has a list, and there's also an interview with James Gutherie in the internet, where he says that Rick played so many great keyboard parts on the album. I remember someone, probably Gutherie, saying that even David and Roger probably don't know how much of Rick's playing there actually is on the album, because Rick's parts were recorded with an engineer and D & R weren't there.
    Last edited by chaim; 08-12-2016 at 11:50 AM.

  3. #13
    Border Desperado WS82Classics's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    On my leatherette looking through pictures...
    Posts
    413

    Default Re: Consideration of What Constitutes So-Called 'Overrated,' 'Overplayed' Music

    I would definitely consider "The Wall" over-rated. A lot of the songs are pretty meh, as Waters pretty much eschewed the Pink Floyd 'sound' when making this album. I would consider 'Dark Side' and "Meddle" to be only slightly over-rated, while "With You Were Here" is fairly rated IMO.

    More thoughts...

    Grateful Dead: Why and how ever did Average Bar Band become the counter-cultural institution that it is? As far as I'm concerned, they had 5 good songs("Beat it on Down the Line," "Uncle John's Band," "Casey Jones," "Scarlet Begonias," and "Touch of Grey") and 1 good album("American Beauty'). The rest is a real blandwagon. They're REALLY not all that!

    KISS: To paraphrase Tom Petty, "Underneath the paint, they're just another band."

    I also think "Taxi" by Harry Chapin gets more than its due. Tells a great story, sure, but it is not his best("Cats in the Cradle" is).
    All carrot, no stick.

    "He's just another power junkie, just another silk scarf monkey. You'd know it if you saw his stuff. The man just isn't big enough."--Glenn Frey/Don Henley

    "You think you know me, but you haven't got a clue."--John Lennon/Paul McCartney


  4. #14
    Stuck on the Border
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    1,841

    Default Re: Consideration of What Constitutes So-Called 'Overrated,' 'Overplayed' Music

    Quote Originally Posted by WS82Classics View Post
    I would definitely consider "The Wall" over-rated. A lot of the songs are pretty meh, as Waters pretty much eschewed the Pink Floyd 'sound' when making this album. I would consider 'Dark Side' and "Meddle" to be only slightly over-rated, while "With You Were Here" is fairly rated IMO.

    More thoughts...

    Grateful Dead: Why and how ever did Average Bar Band become the counter-cultural institution that it is? As far as I'm concerned, they had 5 good songs("Beat it on Down the Line," "Uncle John's Band," "Casey Jones," "Scarlet Begonias," and "Touch of Grey") and 1 good album("American Beauty'). The rest is a real blandwagon. They're REALLY not all that!

    KISS: To paraphrase Tom Petty, "Underneath the paint, they're just another band."

    I also think "Taxi" by Harry Chapin gets more than its due. Tells a great story, sure, but it is not his best("Cats in the Cradle" is).
    I don't think Gene would disagree with that, but Paul probably would.

  5. #15
    Border Desperado WS82Classics's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    On my leatherette looking through pictures...
    Posts
    413

    Default Re: Consideration of What Constitutes So-Called 'Overrated,' 'Overplayed' Music

    Want to take the time to ever briefly note a couple of big time rock acts that have really crossed my radar of late who totally personify over-rated and over-played, more than just about anyone or anything else.

    Bruce Springsteen: While I'd be curious enough to skim his new auto-biography, the vast majority of his songs are utterly over-blown in every regard. Apart from songs like '10th Avenue,' "Hungry Heart," and "Dancing in the Dark," the vast number of his songs stick to the most trite of formulas: Jersey shore, cars, girls, and FREEDOM. Aptly sets the stage for the even more simplistic formulas for modern Country music--Beer, blondes, football, and pickup trucks. Springsteen would be quite at home with the CMT crowd.

    U2: "With or Without You" is a great song, but almost all of their other songs are truly bland and uninteresting, to say nothing of their airplay and recognition by critics. Seriously, though. Why are they a multi-billion selling act with massive radio airplay? In what ways have they been musical innovators and true crafters of music and song? I couldn't even count the ways on one hand.
    All carrot, no stick.

    "He's just another power junkie, just another silk scarf monkey. You'd know it if you saw his stuff. The man just isn't big enough."--Glenn Frey/Don Henley

    "You think you know me, but you haven't got a clue."--John Lennon/Paul McCartney


  6. #16
    Stuck on the Border Jonny Come Lately's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Watching the hazy sun sinking in the sea in England
    Posts
    1,974

    Default Re: Consideration of What Constitutes So-Called 'Overrated,' 'Overplayed' Music

    Sorry I meant to reply to this earlier, just didn't get round to it. I can definitely see your points about both artists (checks to make sure no Rolling Stone journalists are watching...).

    With Springsteen I feel like even though I have only heard a small amount of his music, I have heard all of the mythology. Neither of my parents have ever been particular fans so he's not someone I grew up listening to or hearing about. Seriously, he does have some great songs, but I think his importance is a bit overstated. I do actually have a recording of a Bruce concert on my computer - it's of the gig he did in January when he played Take It Easy just after Glenn passed. I extracted TIE so I could listen to that, although I've not felt much need to listen to his version (by contrast, I have to say I really liked KISS's TIE cover. The performance was less than perfect, for sure, but I think it was a heartfelt tribute).

    As for U2, I can't really disagree with most of what you said. The only album that I sort of like is The Joshua Tree. I agree With Or Without You is a great track and I also like Where The Streets Have No Name (although this is more down to the guitar, which is very similar to David Gilmour's use of delay and effects pedals - think Run Like Hell - than the vocal/lyrical part of the song). There's a few others that are okay from that record too, mainly the more subtle ones. What doesn't help for me is that I find Bono's voice gets annoying quickly and so even their better songs don't really have any longevity for me. I can't stand anything from 2000 onwards - the self appointed 'biggest band in the world' stuff annoys me (it would be okay if the music actually justified that status, but this era has been their blandest). With their earlier 80s and 90s works although I'm not a fan I do at least get the sense that they were stretching themselves artistically and proving themselves and not worrying quite as much about being the 'biggest'. In some ways I think they have been both lucky and unlucky that no one has really come along and conquered the rock world this century, at least not in the mainstream. I feel some need to balance my earlier statements out and say that it isn't U2's fault, of course, and the fact that they can still be considered the world's biggest rock band is more of a reflection on the competition than on them. I have listened to a good amount of their stuff, so I kind of know by now that they're not the band for me - I don't have a problem with anyone who does like them.

    Thanks Toni for your kind comments about my The Wall post! You make a very good point about Rick Wright's playing on the album - although he is less prominent than on pretty much all of their earlier records, his presence is still felt.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •