Music/Popular Culture

Tournament of Rock – Legends: the AC/DC pod

Results: Our latest pod featured yet another upset that wasn’t really a huge upset, as the unseeded but eminently worthy Dire Straits won handily. The numbers: Dire Straits/Mark Knopfler 48%; Jethro Tull 22%; Tom Waits 15%; #7 The Band 7%; The Buzzcocks 4%; Kansas 4%. Knopfler and Company advance to the Great 48.

S&R’s search for the greatest band of all time stays in the Hollywood Bowl region for our next throwdown, which is hosted by the unusual case of a band that lost its lead singer and somehow found a replacement who helped them scale even greater heights. AC/DC is going to be tough to beat, but the Highway to Hell is, in this case, paved with land mines.

Click to listen, click to vote. UPDATE: Polls close Monday morning. Since we’re not going to launch the next pod until Monday, might as well leave things open until then. Given the present tally, I doubt it will matter…

<br /> <a href=”” mce_href=””>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=”” mce_href=””>survey</a>)</span><br />

22 replies »

  1. AC/DC by a mile. You can’t argue with the riffs, there are too many and they are too awesome. I know people will vote against them just to do it, but in the real world this wouldn’t be a contest.

  2. D: I can respect a vote for AC/DC. But your casual dismissal of Harrison? Are you SURE we’re talking “by a mile” here?

    I’m also betting you don’t know Fish.

  3. Well put me down for “wow,” then. I say this as a guy who loves me some AC/DC (and made the decision to seed them so highly), so no disrespect there. But Harrison’s solo work was simply fantastic. I regard him as the only former Fab who merits serious consideration at this level for his solo work – John’s and Paul’s solo careers were substantially inferior to their work with The Beatles, but since he was a support player with The Beatles George never got the chance to show how great he was until he got out on his own.

    I can rationalize a vote here for AC/DC, George or Fish (although Fish suffers because he’s not nearly as well known once you step outside prog circles), and I couldn’t talk a lot of smack about you if you voted for the Pumpkins, ether. But I can’t make myself see “by a mile,” no matter how hard I try.

  4. In not voting for AC/DC, I basically decided that there were more worthy metal bands already in the running or who got kicked out (Metallica, Black Sabbath, and Queensryche). I’m not a fan of any of the Beatles’ solo work, although I agree that Harrison was the best of the the three. I barely know Badfinger and don’t know Fish at all. So it came down to Smashing Pumpkins vs. Midnight Oil. And in that comparison, I went with the one I can actually listen to (even though I’ve taken Jim to task for using similar reasons to po-pooh industrial and goth) – Midnight Oil.

    I don’t expect them to win any more than most of the bands I’ve voted for over the course of the pods.

  5. Back in Black is a perfect album. It is front to back one of the greatest rock albums of all time. I can’t say that with any album Harrison’s done. I’m not saying that Harrison isn’t rock royalty, or that none of his albums were great, but if we’re going Harrison solo vs AC/DC, it’s really a no brainier for me. They should win based on that one album alone, but they also have about 4 more “must have” albums that you have to take into account.

  6. This is definitely AC/DC.

    Never heard of Fish, but I have heard of Marillion. Not a big fan of that style. (and yes, I did go listen to some Fish)

    Do you realize that there are two Australian bands in this pod? I like Midnight Oil, but not that much.

    The Smashing Pumpkins are unique. I sorta like them. Not sure what else to say.

    Badfinger has some of my favorite songs from my childhood. I’m glad to see them in the contest.

    Harrison is very good, but not good enough for me to vote over AC/DC.

  7. Harrison wasn’t a great guitarist, but it didn’t matter. Actually, the Beatles were better off without a great guitarist–it kept the balance just right. Otherwise, they would have been just an ordinary Brit band. But he did do some great guitar work on various songs–go back and listen to the solo on Fixing a Whole. It’s perfect. And I’m also voting for him because I’m assuming the Traveling Wilbury’s aren’t going to be in here.

  8. No Wilburys. Of course, all the Wilburys except Roy are represented here, and when we do the tournament with all the pre-Beatles greats (Elvis, Holly, etc.) I’d expect him to be a high seed.

  9. I couldn’t in good conscience vote for AC/DC. They made one great album and they’ve remade it about 15 times. Do you salute a band for sticking with what they know or do you point and laugh? Sure, “Back in Black” was the first guitar riff I played when I bought my SG, and AC/DC was the singular inspiration for the Guitar Hero and Rock Band games, but still, it’s easy to take the worship too far with these guys.

    George Harrison’s guitar skill is deceptive, to say nothing of his songwriting skill.

    I ended up voting for Smashing Pumpkins. I hate Billy Corgan’s voice and never really got into them much, but they have written some good stuff, and their influence on the current crop of bands is hard to mistake.

  10. Actually most of AC/DC’s classic albums came before Back in Black. TNT, Dirty Deeds, Highway to Hell. I would say that the Razors Edge is the last great album they made. I don’t think they’ve ever been accused of trying something different on each album, but neither have a lot of these bands in this tourney.

  11. Went with AC/DC. Only Smashing Pumpkins and the quiet Beetle merited consideration among the rest, and Smashing Pumpkins just barely earned that.

  12. Not sure if you all are that familiar with Midnight Oil. You could make the case they wrote more good songs than any band ever — hardly a clinker among them. Subject for a future poll: Which band has the highest ratio of good music to poor or mediocre music in their collected work? Of course, there would have to be a minimum number of hours recorded for a band to qualify.

  13. I voted for George Harrison.

    Wufnik says he wasn’t a great guitarist, then proceeds to point at lead work that’s as good as anyone’s ever done. And can you think of a more achingly beautiful solo than the work on “Something”? I doubt it. I could go into a catalog here, but it seems silly to do so. George did what The Beatles needed him to do.

    I don’t agree with the blather I keep reading here claiming that John’s and Paul’s solo work wasn’t worthy – though I wouldn’t argue that George’s solo work isn’t indeed the best of the three.

    This is a pod full of worthwhile acts, but for the sake of all these Xer voters who may not know them intimately, let me say a few words about Badfinger, a band that represents some of the best of power pop and some of the worst of the music industry’s treatment of its talent. Bruce Eder of AMG describes their fate in an insightful paragraph:

    “There are few bands in the annals of rock music as star-crossed in their history as Badfinger. Pegged as one of the most promising British groups of the late ’60s and the one world-class talent ever signed to the Beatles’ Apple Records label that remained with the label, Badfinger enjoyed the kind of success in England and America that most other bands could only envy. Yet a string of memorable hit singles — “Come and Get It,” “No Matter What,” “Day After Day,” and “Baby Blue” — saw almost no reward from that success. Instead, four years of hit singles and international tours precipitated the suicides of its two creative members and legal proceedings that left lawyers as the only ones enriched by the group’s work.”

    So as my own band still says just before the start of every show, “Don’t forget Badfinger – let’s go knock ’em dead – and let’s keep the money….”

  14. I don’t understand why we’d even be talking about Harrison in terms of his guitar abilities. I don’t recall anybody evaluating Paul as a bassist or Lennon as a guitarist. He was a pretty good player, but no serious conversation about great guitarists is ever going to linger long over Harrison. So what? His greatest points have to do with his songwriting, I’d think. As a creative artists he managed some damned fine solo works. For my part, I’ve always thought 33 1/3 might be the best, but I may be wrong.

    In any case, I’d say a vote for GH would be very defensible here. Also, Jim is right – Badfinger deserves more credit than they’re getting.

    And Tom, your comment @ 17 can be tightened up a bit. Try this: “I don’t know Fish’s music.”

  15. I listened to them all, some of them — the older bands — i’d heard lots of before, but if i was going to choose one i was not familiar with i’d choose midnight oil

    bu that being said,t my vote has to go to harrison.