Bands and artists I should like, but I don’t.Posted: July 30, 2013
I tumbled onto this great discussion at Rock and Roll Tribe. Stan Schweiger’s columns are always worth a read, and this one is no exception: “Bands That I Should Love. But I Don’t.”
There is a group of bands that I should just out and out love, but for whatever reason, they have never risen to the lofty heights. Not that their stuff ain’t all that, because many time it is It is not that I don’t like them, but they remain “just friends.”
You knew I was going to jump on to this one with both feet. It’s hard for me to think of a band or an artist whose songs, ALL their songs, I categorically dislike. Even the dreaded Styx have one good one, anyway. There are a few artists and bands that initially left me cold, but that I’ve grown to like quite a lot: Talking Heads and Prince are two examples. Likewise, there are bands I was crazy for when they burst on the scene, but over the years we drifted apart: The Doors, The Eagles, and Lynyrd Skynyrd spring to mind.
So I had to think long and hard to come up with artists and bands who I categorically Do Not Get, Even Though They Broke New Ground. I don’t hate these performers: I just have little patience for them.
Blood, Sweat, and Tears: As a high-school band geek in the ’70s, it was required that we all liked the horny bands. Chicago is the one everyone thinks of: I liked them just fine until about 1976, when their songs took a disturbing detour in the direction of Manilow Village. Tower Of Power are the cream of this particular genre. But Blood, Sweat, and Tears are the worst. All their songs, “I Can’t Quit Her,” “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy,” “Spinning Wheel,” “And When I Die,” “Hi De Ho,” “Lucretia McEvil,” sound way too forced and are too cute by half. And David Clayton-Thomas has this bull-moose-in-heat voice that makes Meat Loaf sound like Robin Gibb. Speaking of whom:
The Bee Gees: Yes, I know they’re Geniuses Whose Music Defined A Generation. They still sound like The Singing Mice. As I observed once, falsetto is like horseradish: a little bit goes a long long way. All their best songs have been done better by others: “I Started A Joke” by The Wallflowers, “I’ve Gotta Get A Message To You” by Moxy Früvous, “More Than A Woman” by Tavares, “To Love Somebody” by The Flying Burrito Brothers and later by Blue Rodeo. Did you know Otis Redding wrote “To Love Somebody”? Bet he was sorry he gave that one up. (ADD ON EDIT: My bad. Otis Redding did NOT write “To Love Somebody,” Barry and Robin wrote it, in hopes of getting Otis to record it.)
The Sex Pistols: Yeah, yeah, set the template for punk. They’re still unlistenable. Someone once said they’re like The Ramones’ dim-witted cousin that you have to be nice to because he’s related. The Clash and The Jam and Buzzcocks deserve the punk template mantle.
Alabama: I know they’re a mainstay of new country music, which is like being the smartest kids riding the short bus. They did more to emasculate country music in the ’70s and ’80s than anyone besides Kenny Rogers.
Dave Matthews Band: Idoan geddit, and I never will geddit.
Toby Keith, Mariah Carey, George Michael: Further elaboration would be unnecessary.
How about you? Any bands or artists that are supposed to be your fave raves, who just aren’t?