Music/Popular Culture

Tournament of Rock – Legends: the Byrds pod

Results: Surprisingly, the anticipated controversy never developed, as Janis Joplin dispatched one of the strongest pods of competitors we’ve seen so far. The numbers: #8 Janis Joplin 47%; Stevie Ray Vaughan 34%; Bob Seger/Silver Bullet Band 6%; Paul McCartney/Wings 6%; Catherine Wheel 3%; MC5/Wayne Kramer 3%. Janis moves on to the Great 48.

Up next in our quest for the greatest band of all time, a band of jangle-pop innovators faces off with a couple of the most popular bands ever (and a couple of the most influential bands ever).

If you’d be so kind, give them a listen and then vote below. Polls close Friday morning whenever I get logged in.

<br /> <a href=”http://answers.polldaddy.com/poll/1973431/” mce_href=”http://answers.polldaddy.com/poll/1973431/”>Which band/artist deserves to advance in the Tournament of Rock: Legends?</a><span style=”font-size:9px;” mce_style=”font-size:9px;”>(<a href=”http://www.polldaddy.com” mce_href=”http://www.polldaddy.com”>polls</a>)</span><br />

37 replies »

  1. Well, I’ve been worried about you guys, but now I know. You’ve got the Byrds, Velvet Underground, and Fleetwood Mac, three seminal bands, in the same pod. Honestly, what are we going to do with you? It’s a good thing we’ll have Queensryche to vote for in the next round.

    Which Fleetwod Mac is this, btw? Does Peter Green show up elsewhere?

  2. Wow, tough pod.

    The Byrds – yep, legends; if for no other reason than i have a hard time thinking of another band that could play the British Invasion game as Americans. John Lennon may have helped to popularize the Rickenbacker, but I will always associate its sound with Roger McGuinn — and this is coming from a Church fan.

    INXS – I was never much of a fan, but definitely legends. A long string of hits that helped define the times. Probably the only frontman at the time would could give Bono’s charisma a run for his money.

    Fleetwood Mac – If they’d broken up after Tusk, it would have been easy to call them legends. What they’ve done since has tarnished their image, but … hell. I guess they’re legends too.

    The Velvet Underground – Legends if for no other reason than they made you feel like it couldn’t be too hard to start a band. Where would Sonic Youth and their ilk be without VU?

    XTC – Wow. I was ashamed to have seen Oasis havie their own pod when clearly there’s nothing they’ve done (aside from get into fraternal fisticuffs) that XTC hasn’t topped … and regularly. I think XTC’s getting my vote. Andy Partridge’s fear of crowds (I can relate) is no reason to discount their legend.

    The Guess Who – eh? They had a couple of big songs, but seem like a pretty minor light. Did I miss something?

  3. I assumed I was going to go with The Byrds, but after reviewing the bands, I went with INXS. The 80s, by and large, was not kind to rock n’ roll, but their material stands above a lot of their contemporaries. I think I can count on one hand the number of winners I’ve voted for thus far, and INXS probably won’t change that.

    Also, I went ahead and drew a bracket up to see what the next round was starting to look like. There are some blanks that need to be filled, though. What region is this seed in? What region is Graham Parker in? On a side note, seeing Queensryche in the 2nd round made me all sorts angry all over again.

  4. Could have voted for any of a number of acts. Went with XTC. “English Settlement” is one of my five favorite rock albums (not to slight the rest of their work).

  5. Have to go with the Byrds here. VU weren’t a great band–they could barely play their instruments– but they were influential as hell. Lou Reed really was a much better performer than a songwriter, although he did write a couple of great songs. Rock and Roll and Sweet Janes are classics, but that’s about it. FM (who started out as John Mayall’s rhythm section) sold a whole lot of records. Like, really a lot of records, But after Peter Green left, they were very erratic–Kiln House is a strong effort, but then it fell apart. The Bob Welch/Christie McVie version had its moments, but it’s mainly the Buckingham/Nicks verison that folks remember. One and a half good albums, the egregious and unlistenable Tusk, and nothing worthwhile since. And they certainly could have used a guitarist. The Byrds, on the other hand, started the whole thing off here in the US–the chart that Jeff posted does say it all. (You should see the chart for Fairport Convention–it makes this one look skinny). Not only did they create a defining style, they were masters of the three minute song form, repeatedly, album after album, and they could jam like hell in concerts–which rarely showed up on albums. The brought country and rock together in a way that no one had done previously, and that influenced dozens and dozens of bands. They were messing around with electronica way before other US bands. McGuinn was/still is a fine songwriter, but the genius in that space was the late Gene Clark, the main songwriter, who went on to a fine solo career (the recent Robert Plant/Allison Krauss album has TWO Gene Clark songs–nobody else gets that) before drinking himelf to death. No Other is still a great album, as are all of the Byrds’ first six or seven. Then there are the splinter groups, including CSN, Burritos, etc. One of the most influential bands ever.

  6. Burton Cummings of the Guess Who has a great voice, one of my favorites. And they are one of the bands that I like more as time goes by.

    I was a huge INXS fan and would like to see them advance, but this is a tough pod.

    I like a lot of VU, but some of it is awful. They may be the most influential band here though the Byrds could be more so.

    I like a lot of FM, but don’t think they should advance.

    Never could get into XTC. Don’t know why.

    INXS, XTC, any other bands that are just capital letters?

  7. This is a tough pod, but INXS, XTC, and the Guess Who don’t even deserve a vote, in fact they’re laughable being included in the company of the other bands. Fleetwood Mac was big in the mid 70-s, I’ll say that they had 3 decent albums, but that’s it. They were good pop, but nothing groundbreaking there. In any other pod, I would have voted for the Velvet Underground, as they were the genesis of a movement that transformed music. However, the Byrds were one of the few bands that took on the Beatles and Stones and held their own. They also spawned a family tree that is one of the bigger Banyan trees of rock and roll. The Byrds did some damn fine music that sounds as good today as it did 45 years ago.

    Jeff

    • When you dismiss INXS and XTC that way, Jeff, you don’t do you credibility any favors with people who have really immersed themselves in rock from both a fan and critic’s perspective. Since you don’t offer any analysis for your flip dismissal I don’t see any reason to load up on the response. I’ll only say that a lot – a LOT – of very knowledgeable folks would take serious issue with you on both counts.

  8. I voted for The Byrds. fikshun describes them pretty well, but I’ll go further – McGuinn’s, Hillman’s, Clark’s and Crosby’s folk backgrounds allowed them to bring something new to the table of British Invasion power pop – and without them there’d be no REM….

    INXS – a band I respect more than like – worthy and they did some excellent, excellent work – yes, they represent the ’80’s well – a decade of music I respect more than like….

    VU – my hypothesis on VU goes as follows: artsy fartsy types saw VU and said – “Oh, you can have no musical ability (Lou Reed notwithstanding) and be a rock star? Cool….” Does any fucking body understand that Andy Warhol was mocking rock…?

    XTC – great, great band – but a cult band here – and I can’t get past their obscurity – which is a great shames, but there it is….

    Fleetwood Mac – some are going to argue for FLEETWOOD MAC and RUMOURS, but the great Mac was when Peter Green and Danny Kirwan and Jeremy Spencer played with them. Green is the great lost guitar god – Clapton and Page both feared and respected him – and Jeff Beck wanted to be more like him – what’s that tell you – listen to KILN HOUSE or ENGLISH ROSE or THEN PLAY ON and you’ll see what I mean…must say that I admire Christine, though…but nothing makes me switch to another satellite channel faster than Stevie’s bleating like a sheep….

    Guess Who – Better than some here have claimed – Bachman is a terrific songwriter and Cummings is a terrific singer – but it’s really about one marvelous album, AMERICAN WOMAN, and a lot of so so albums with a few superior tunes per…..

  9. “This is a tough pod, but [XTC] don’t even deserve a vote, in fact they’re laughable being included in the company of the other bands.”

    You’re an idiot, and I’m being kind. XTC got my vote, as much as I wanted to vote for Fleetwood Mac too.

  10. Mike said,'”You’re an idiot, and I’m being kind. XTC got my vote, as much as I wanted to vote for Fleetwood Mac too.” I wonder why the moderators of this fine forum never seem to chastise the participants who call me names and start the threadfucks.

    Mike, you’re entitled to your opinion much as I am entitled to mine. Name calling is indicative of a second rate mind, and from what I’ve read of your writing…well, you might be able to figure out the rest. Just give it a rest, as I’m in no mood to pointlessly argue with a troll.

  11. “Mike, Furthermore as a founder of S&R you should be ashamed of yourself to feel the need to resort to vituperation.”

    On the contrary. I suggest when you have time (and since you undoubtedly have the money) that you pick up such XTC albums as ‘English Settlement,’ ‘Skylarking,’ ‘Oranges & Lemons,’ ‘Nonsuch’ and ‘Apple Venus Pt. 1’ and listen to them. They could use the royalties; you could use the listening experience. It’s a worthy investment and a sure cure for the idiocy that ails you.

  12. I have their entire catalog and while they are OK, they still are not in the same league as the Byrds.

    As for the name calling, I feel sorry for your mother as she failed in teaching you any manners. Maybe it’s the Jersey thing, maybe it’s the public school education…..I don’t know, but you certainly could use a course in manners. As far as idiocy….just look in the mirror.

  13. Oh, jesh. Bloggers Behaving Badly! Jeff, get off your cross and freakin relax. I called Slammy the spawn of satan at some point. We’re just pokin fun at each other. Besides, you may have noticed that people tend to get a bit emotional about music here. How about this. Yes, you’re an idiot for saying INXS isn’t worthy. And Slammy is an idiot for forcing me to pick between INXS, Fleetwood Mac, and the Byrds. And 35% of the S&R readers are idiots for picking robert palmer over green day. Of course, ***I’M*** not an idiot because I can write songs like Jimi can. 🙂

  14. “I have their entire catalog and while they are OK, they still are not in the same league as the Byrds. As for the name calling, I feel sorry for your mother as she failed in teaching you any manners. Maybe it’s the Jersey thing, maybe it’s the public school education…..I don’t know, but you certainly could use a course in manners. As far as idiocy….just look in the mirror.”

    LOL! at all of this. You amuse me, Jeff.

      • They’re not mutually exclusive, but they’re not the same word, either. “Fat” and “smart” aren’t mutually exclusive, but if you mean “fat” you shouldn’t say “smart” and expect everybody to be goddamned syntax-adept mind-readers.

        Like right now. I’m thinking that both of you are doofuses. So I’m calling you doofuses instead of “runts,” even though the two aren’t mutually exclusive.

        Looks like Dr Slammy is gonna have to start educating some fools up in here…..

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