Music/Popular Culture

Tournament of Rock – Legends: The Rolling Stones pod

Results: Boomer legend nard-stomps Xer legend. In other news, sun rises in East. The numbers: #5 Jimi Hendrix 67%; #4 REM 24%; Joan Jett/Blackhearts 10%. Jimi advances to the Sweet 16.

Up next, our quest to find the greatest band of all time slides over to the Budokan region, where one of the stronger candidates to unhorse The Beatles looks to start it up.

It’s Election Day in America – please, no voter fraud. Polls close tomorrow.

<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=””>surveys</a>)</span><br />

18 replies »

  1. Hate to vote against the Stones — or the Sex Pistols — but had to go with my heart and Marley.

  2. Marley was fortunate to make it this far, since he’s not exactly in a rock n’ roll band. While I recognize the importance of the Sex Pistols, I never cared for them much anyway. This was one of the easier ones.

    Also, are the Stones a #1 or a #2?

  3. Oh, and I think he meant the Tournament of Rock polls close tomorrow. Not the Election Day polls. So vote today.

  4. If the Stones win this one, I’ll definitely agree with Dr. Slammy that we have a Boomer bias going on. I think the number of Stones fans under the age of 50 can be counted on two hands. The Stones did nothing that the Beatles or the Who hadn’t already done (with the possible exception of a Country & Western detour). Both Marley and the Pistols reshaped rock in a way the Stones never could.

  5. “I think the number of Stones fans under the age of 50 can be counted on two hands.” Hm, not wise to blow off the numerous fans of the Brian Jonestown Massacre. Or me (age 41). That should put you in at *least* three-hand territory, heh.

  6. Actually, based on the last Stones concert I went to about six years ago, it’s a pretty broad age range. But that was here in London–maybe in the US it’s just the geriatric set. And so what if there’s a boomer bias? This is a legends TOR. Who do you think invented most of this stuff, anyway? And in the overall methodological critique I’m preparing on this TOR that Sam and Jim know nothing about until now, I did a count–there are more 1970s bands (about 70–starting from when the band released its first album, which is as good a way as any to count this) in this tourney than there are 60s bands (about 50) out of the 180 or so bands.–and another 40 or so from the 80s. I have time on my hands, apparently. So two thirds of the bands in the tourney are from the 60s and 70s. That sounds about right. If you think about it, if you’re talking about legends and influence (as opposed to My Favorite Band Of All Time), that’s probably not enough. I can think of another 8-10 60s bands alone that deserved to be here and weren’t–possibly over a concern about loading it up with 60s bands. About 20 are from the 90s and 00s, which is probably too many. Of course, if people are voting on the basis of MFBOAT, then mileage may vary.

    • As you’re composing this critique of yours, keep in mind that I’m almost certain to say things like “inventing something isn’t the same as perfecting it.” Also, I’m likely to point out that voting against a band that you’ve never heard – something that probably typified 95% of the pods in this tournament – doesn’t really say anything reliable about the winner/band you have heard. Many forces over the past 30 years (well, to be specific, since Reagan took office and put asshats like Fowler and Brenner in charge of the FCC, with an explicit mission to annihilate the public interest standard) have conspired to keep many of our greatest artists as far from the listening public as possible.

      Did I know these things as we were putting the ToR together? Hell yes. Did I know that almost no band since Nirvana (and maybe not even them) had a snowball’s chance on a warm August afternoon in Juarez? Again, that’d be a yes. So at some level, the game was fucked no matter what we did. Could we have included another 8-10 worthies from the ’60s? Sure – easily. I believe you mentioned the Rascals and Animals, for instance, and we could come up with a few more in no time flat. Hell, I even left Box Tops/Big Star/Alex Chilton out. But I also left out a lot of more recent bands that are flat-out better than ANY of the early acts we’re talking about because, really, what would be the point? I know them. Jim knows some of them. Ubertramp knows them because I’ve turned him onto them. But the labels and Clear Channel and American Idol and the Reaganites have made sure that we’re the only ones.

  7. Note that I said critique, not criticism. And you did have The Animals, as I recall. Anyway, a couple of points. I like the ecological analogy–suddenly, there was this explosiion of genres in the mid-late 60s to the early 70s, and within a couple of years the available niches were filled. And there just haven’t been many new niches developed since then. I know everyone likes to think their decade is new and different, but really, the musical landscape hasn’t actually changed all that much the past four decades–and what changes there have been have been largely driven by changes in technology. I’d be happy to be proved otherwise, but there’s not much going on now that people weren’t at least trying back then. I imagine there’s some power law that captures this.

    Second, “better” is a relative (and awfully imprecise) term. And before getting into THAT argument, you would first need to disentangle the impact that technology has had–specifically, the fact that the techology of making (and hearing) music is considerably more sophisitcated than it was 30 or 40 years ago. This is to be expected, given the world we live in. But it’s an important point anyway–bands the past decade or two SOUND much better than 60s bands in many respects–but a lot of that is just the simple application of available technology. If you put on Moby Grape’s first album these days, it’s clear immediately that while this was a great band (that shortly self-destructed) with exceptional musical and songwriting skills and extraordinary energy, the album still sounds as if it was recorded in someone’s basement. Scissor Sisters (or pick your own here) may or may not be a great band–time will tell. But they sure SOUND like a great band.

    Finally, the “inventing” versus “perfecting” thing–I’m not with you there. I can see why it would make for a lively discussion, but I suspect “improving” is probably a better concept–what ever gets perfected in music? Nothing–but there are improvements (and tangents) all the time. Is Dave Navarro, or Slash, a better guitarist than Hendrix? Possibly, in terms of proficiency, and close in terms of imagination. But in terms of importance, there’s no contest. I take your point on Clear Channel, by the way, but I think it’s less relevant than you think–radio already sucked by the 1970s. This could go on for years. But it’s only rock and roll.

  8. “Is Dave Navarro, or Slash, a better guitarist than Hendrix? Possibly, in terms of proficiency, and close in terms of imagination.”

    Slash’s Snakepit vs. guy who did ‘Electric Ladyland?’ Uh, yeah, sure…

    “radio already sucked by the 1970s.”

    Radio may have sucked, but music sure didn’t.