Any POP MUSIC achievements comparable to the CLASSICS???

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Wallingford
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Any POP MUSIC achievements comparable to the CLASSICS???

Post by Wallingford » Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:18 pm

Yes--in terms of musical achievement, are there any POP works that (at least) APPROACH the level of classical stuff?

I'm inclined to trot out a couple--first, Brian Wilson's PET SOUNDS....better known as the Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds." The way I see it, one may begrudge all one wants to of the continuing exultation of this album; but by any objective viewpoint, it IS one of the MAJOR musical achievements of the last half of the 20th Century--even if by default. There have been virtually no classically-oriented compositions from this era that have survived the decades & communicated themselves so well to a large group of listeners--and that continue to provide renewed fascinations with each repeated listening.

Apart from the two hit singles hammered mercilessly into one's conscious by those "oldies" pop stations ("Wouldn't It Be Nice" & "God Only Knows"; a third, "Sloop John B," was included under pressure from Capitol Records to up its sales potential), there is endless depth to these despondent songs (it's NOT the kind of album you'd want to hear if you're depressed already); and, perhaps most significant of all, it's a MASTERPIECE OF ORCHESTRATION. Its orchestral texture, nearly all the way through (that, and Wilson's phenomenal work in contrapuntal voice textures, not to mention his curious and almost total avoidance of root-position chords) make this work a continuing source of wonder. The man could use a theremin, a clarinet choir or a bass harmonica like none other.

Not that I'd call "Pet Sounds" a perfect work of art by any stretch: its built-in flaw is NOT the fact it's composed by someone who can't read a note of music (though Wilson DID have it all composed AND orchestrated in his head before gathering the orchestral players to record it). No, the record's flaw is that it's so LOCKED INTO a single mood--the hangdog expression on the composer's face: something that kind of makes Schubert's Winterreise difficult for me to grapple with, too.

Which is why I prefer turning to Joni Mitchell's COURT AND SPARK more as a source of repeated listening......strangely, it hasn't motivated me to check out more of her work, though from all accounts it's more than worth the effort (especially--apparently--her MINGUS album, the result of her study with the late jazz bassist). The only difficult thing to come to terms with in COURT AND SPARK (particularly if you're a male) is that the lyrics lay bare the flaws and frailties of Mitchell's male lovers; the one thing salvaging all this is that she's no less critical of HERSELF. And the one factor magnificently validating all this is the fascination of the music itself; particularly in the purely-orchestral tracks, "Car On The Hill" and "Down To You."
Last edited by Wallingford on Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Brendan

Post by Brendan » Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:32 pm

The usual suspects trotted out, apart from Pet Sounds, are St Pepper's and Dark Side of the Moon. Maybe some of the art-rock of Yes, ELP and Rick Wakeman (Six Wives of Henry VIII etc) and such would qualify.

But, really, there isn't much comparison for me. None of the 'great' rock/pop albums get better over the years the way a symphony, sonata or mere bagatelle can.

Harvested Sorrow
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Post by Harvested Sorrow » Thu Aug 11, 2005 7:25 pm

King Crimson's early material could also account for this, if you want to include rock in the pop spectrum.

BWV 1080
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Post by BWV 1080 » Thu Aug 11, 2005 7:53 pm

Most of the classical inspired stuff like Yes and ELP is a pale imitation to real classical music. The best rock is the music that does not look to jazz or classical for legitimacy, i.e. Elvis, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Black Sabbath, Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Metallica, etc.

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Post by Harvested Sorrow » Thu Aug 11, 2005 8:02 pm

BWV 1080 wrote:Most of the classical inspired stuff like Yes and ELP is a pale imitation to real classical music. The best rock is the music that does not look to jazz or classical for legitimacy, i.e. Elvis, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Black Sabbath, Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Metallica, etc.
Unfortunately, Black Sabbath and Metallica are arguably not rock. Oh, and you forgot Judas Priest!

Brendan

Post by Brendan » Thu Aug 11, 2005 9:46 pm

Well, for me the best rock gave the finger to the boring tripe of the Beatles, Led Zep etc - Sex Pistols, The Birthday Party, Einsturzende Neubauten, Siouxsie and the Banshees and so forth are the bands for me.

But I couldn't compare it to classical the way one can with Led Zep et al.

Steven
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Post by Steven » Thu Aug 11, 2005 10:45 pm

Pop music is meant to be ephemeral, if any lasts a hundred years it will be by accident not design.
:evil:
Steve

Brendan

Post by Brendan » Thu Aug 11, 2005 11:16 pm

Heartbreak Hotel is about 50 years old now, and still gets people, and many more would recognize it than Ave Maria. So does the never-equalled anger of the Sex Pistols 25 years strong. Everyone is teenaged once.

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Post by Steven » Fri Aug 12, 2005 1:58 am

Who wrote the music: without looking it up.
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premont
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Re: Any POP MUSIC achievements comparable to the CLASSICS???

Post by premont » Fri Aug 12, 2005 2:47 am

Wallingford wrote:Yes--in terms of musical achievement, are there any POP works that (at least) APPROACH the level of classical stuff?
Absurd question, as long as you don´t define the level of the classical stuff, you think of. And do you think of the "tecnical" quality of the composition or the level of inspiration? Much so called classical stuff is garbage in one way or the other, and some pop - or would I rather say - beat music may be more tecnically elaborated or more inspirated than the worst classical music.

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Post by BWV 1080 » Fri Aug 12, 2005 8:16 am

[/quote]

Unfortunately, Black Sabbath and Metallica are arguably not rock. Oh, and you forgot Judas Priest![/quote]

Of course they are and I did not forget JP, just excluded them. I should have added Motorhead though
Well, for me the best rock gave the finger to the boring tripe of the Beatles, Led Zep etc - Sex Pistols, The Birthday Party, Einsturzende Neubauten, Siouxsie and the Banshees and so forth are the bands for me.
Its not 1979, these distinctions have no meaning now

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Post by Harvested Sorrow » Fri Aug 12, 2005 7:24 pm

Metal is it's own genre, has been for a while...It's actually got to the point where the most modern (i.e. from the '90s) sub-genres pretty much share the same instrument set up as rock (electric guitars, bass, drums, etc.) and that's about the only similiarity. That's why I stated that they're not rock.

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Post by Barry » Fri Aug 12, 2005 7:29 pm

I love the Beatles and have a great appreciation for Pink Floyd and early Genesis when Peter Gabriel was lead singer, but I would have to say that even this music isn't comparable to the music of my favorite composers.
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Post by BWV 1080 » Fri Aug 12, 2005 8:06 pm

Harvested Sorrow wrote:Metal is it's own genre, has been for a while...It's actually got to the point where the most modern (i.e. from the '90s) sub-genres pretty much share the same instrument set up as rock (electric guitars, bass, drums, etc.) and that's about the only similiarity. That's why I stated that they're not rock.
Metal is rock just like dixieland and bebop are jazz.

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Post by Harvested Sorrow » Fri Aug 12, 2005 11:17 pm

If you say so.

I think I'm gonna hope we can agree to disagree, as I've been in this argument before, too many times. It always ends up going in circles and ending up being very frustrating.

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