Music/Popular Culture

Tournament of Rock – Legends: the Nirvana pod

Results: About what you’d expect – The Stones laid an Altamont on all comers. Maybe they’ll find stiffer competition at the next level. The numbers: #2 The Rolling Stones 80%; #7 Bob Marley/Wailers 13%; #10 The Sex Pistols 7%. Stones advance to the Sweet 16.

And now, the final Great 48 pod in our search for the greatest band of all time. Let’s head out to the Red Rocks region for a throwdown hosted by one of the most important game-changers in rock history.

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=””>survey software</a>)</span><br />

Image link: AudioHallucinations

28 replies »

  1. I believe that history will ultimately judge Pearl Jam to be more influential than Nirvana, so this was between Los Lobos and Mellencamp for me. And as much as I like Los Lobos, I think Mellancamp has had more influence.

    • Much will have to happen – MUCH – before a band that did one great, potentially game-changing record and then walked away into a self-imposed obscurity that was far less interesting artistically is deemed more influential than the band that singlehandedly murdered rock as it was and altered the course for just about every single band that came along after them. There’s a good argument to be made that no band except The Beatles (and this includes the three bands I worship the most – U2, The Police and Queen all rolled together) ever exerted more profound and lasting impact on rock than Nirvana. If you’d like to counter with Zep or Floyd, go ahead. I’m just saying that there’s a powerful argument to made there.

      PJ, as much as I respect their commitment to following their own muse, isn’t even hanging around the far fringes of that conversation.

    • Also, even if I did buy that PJ was more influential than Nirvana, what the hell does that have to do with Mellencougar and Los Lobos. I love both bands and think they’re incredibly important, but you’re working some severely hutzed logic here. A is more influential than B, therefore the greatest band has to be C or D? Ummm, no.

      As for JM’s influence, let’s play for $5 a hole here. You name all the bands he influenced (there are certainly a few) and I’ll name all the ones that Nirvana influenced, and the loser coughs up $5 for every band they are in the red. If I can sucker you into this bet, I’ll be able to pay off my house…..

  2. You know, that’s a fair point. As much as I think Nirvana are overrated and that Pearl Jam will displace them in the future, they did change rock for a while there (I think it’s changed back in some respects, and not for the better). Certainly (IMO) more than Los Lobos. Probably more than Mellencamp.

    Maybe I’ll vote twice, once for Mellencamp from work and again for Nirvana from home. We’ll see.

  3. As for PJ vs. Nirvana, it comes down to the same argument that will apply to the Beatles here – can anyone who comes after a creator ultimately surpass the creator? If not, then The Beatles have to win this tournament. If so, then maybe Zep or Floyd or U2 or Nirvana has a chance to knock The Beatles out.

    Similarly, if Nirvana altered the course of rock, is it possible that Pearl Jam has surpassed them at the pinnacle of “grunge” or in long term influence? Perhaps so, perhaps not. Or perhaps not yet.

    As I said, I think history will be on my side on this one. It certainly isn’t at this point, however.

  4. Is it possible that PJ has surpassed Nirvana in influence? Well, in a word, no. It’s not even close. Could that change? Well, eventually we’ll have a wave of neo-grunge coming along kinda like the neo-80s and neo-new wave that’s dominating a lot of the indie world now. And at that stage, who knows which band emerges as the dominant influence? It could be Nirvana – that would be the way to bet, probably – but it could also be PJ or Soundgarden or Alice in Chains.

    To illustrate how hard it can be to predict, if you listen to indie these days it’s hard to argue that the single most important influencer was Joy Division. Think about that for a second. Very few people out there buying these records had any clue who JD was, although they may have known New Order.

    So I guess the answer is that 10 or 20 years from now PJ might have vaulted into all-time influencer status. I don’t think that’s likely, but it’s more than possible. But it hasn’t happened yet. Not even close.

  5. Really, Brian? REALLY?!?! Okay, admittedly I lost respect for your musical taste in an earlier pod but taking Pearl Jam over Nirvana is like that Lewis Black “if it’d hadn’t been for that horse …” line. It’s such an unfathomable conclusion that I find myself questioning your global heating conclusions.

    • Now now. Brian is educable, despite his occasionally weird takes on tuneage. 🙂

      Remember, he was the one lobbying the hardest for a lot of the goth and industrialish entries.

  6. Now that all the bands are in, I find it hard to believe that Nirvana only warrants a #3 seed. I’d argue they’re the strongest band in their region. Probably Fillmore, too, though Led Zep is no pushover.

    Maybe it’s a generational thing (my music taste started to develop after Cobain’s death), but Nirvana is the only rock band in the last 25 years that can legitimately claim to be a legend at this point. Others will get there (I’ve made my support of Green Day and REM known), but they’re the only one to reach the spot already. Sadly, that may have more to do with Cobain’s death than any other factor, though their music is assuredly deserving on its own merits.

    In case you couldn’t tell, I went with Nirvana.

  7. I will say this. The New PJ CD is freaking awesome. It’s filled with polished, short, hook driven guitar rock, something I love. Even the songs that are slower are fantastic. If you liked them in the past I highly recommend at least giving it a listen. As far as PJ/Nirvana I liked both band equally for different reasons, but went with Nirvana here.

  8. Yes, fikshun, I think Pearl Jam is much better than Nirvana and yes, I think history will bear me out. Part of that is that Pearl Jam has outlasted Nirvana (due to Cobain) and is still producing great music today, and so Pearl Jam has the potential for a much longer and wider legacy than Nirvana.

    Clearly I’m in the minority, but that doesn’t really bother me. That’s not unusual.

    And as Sam pointed out, this TOR is sorely lacking in some key music. Alas, it was not to be.

    Which pod, if you don’t mind saying? I’m curious. I’d hazard a guess that it was Sisters of Mercy, REM, or Rush.

  9. I can’t speak for fikshun, but I’ve wondered what the heck you were thinking several times. The REM pod was the one that baffled me the most, probably…

    Still, you’ve been right to argue in favor of more respect for genres that have been dismissed out of hand.

  10. Relax, Sam – Nirvana’s going to win unless something really weird happens. They’ve got a comfortable lead in the percentages, so unless that represents less than 10 votes somehow, you’re safe.

  11. And as I pointed out repeatedly, I don’t get REM. At all. I’d probably get native Venusian cloud flutes (if they existed) more easily than I get REM.

    I stopped bitching about some of the music once you pointed out that some of the electronica I thought might fit the definition of rock&roll you’re using for TOR would be handled in a later TOR. Maybe you can pull together a TOR for some of the more maligned genres.

  12. “Mainly because, you know, Pearl Jam isn’t even in the pod.”

    Sam I know PJ isn’t in the pod, and when reread it I realized how that could be mistaken. I hit submit and I planned on rewording it, but you guys ditched the edit feature.

    So basically……..
    Nirvana by a mile over Los Lobos and Johnny Cougar


    I like Nirvana and PJ

    • We’ve had a problem with the “edit” feature recently as a result of a plugin update problem. We’re not exactly thrilled by it, but we haven’t had a chance to revert to the prior plugin version yet. This weekend, hopefully.

  13. I like that Cobain’s wearing a Flipper shirt. Now, where’s their pod?

    Also, while I worship grunge, I can’t stand Pearl Jam. They’re just so… boring. I mean, compared to Nirvana, Screaming Trees, and even Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam just sounds like lame, over-produced, classic rock radio music.

  14. “Nirvana is the only rock band in the last 25 years that can legitimately claim to be a legend at this point.”

    Where’s your IMHO? Myriad Metallica fans would hotly, and rightfully, dispute this claim.

    • Hmmm. Good point. And good question – who have been undisputed game-changers over the past 25 years? Nirvana, to be sure. Metallica. Probably Green Day. U2 and REM. I’d probably add NIN.

  15. Thanks for calling me out on that Mike. Metallica definitely belongs in that camp. Hell, IMHO, I’ve only seen two legends live – a high, calling-it-in Bob Dylan and Metallica.

    Like I said Sam, others will get there. That includes most of those guys. My dislike of U2 could be clouding my judgement, too.

  16. With the Sex Pistols in the last pod and Nirvana in this pod, I can’t help feeling (in regards to Nirvana) “Ever feel like you’ve been cheated?” Nirvana was part of a wave and wasn’t even the best of the wave, but somehow have been elevated above the rest of the lets-kick-rock-in-the-jock-again grunge kids.