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Author Topic: Greatest artist still alive  (Read 10819 times)
Caleb
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« Reply #40 on: April 14, 2016, 02:14:13 PM »

It's all a matter of taste after all and it's silly to dispute taste. I didn't mind some of the things he did with Zappa. Of course, Frank ran a band with an iron hand and operated with controlled chaos. I just remember seeing Vai play with a three neck guitar and I couldn't stop myself from laughing at how ludicrous it was. But that's just me. Great oogly moogly!   
Agreed.  Wasn't trying to dispute taste. Guess I was saying that "soul" comes in different forms. I don't care for the majority of what Vai or any other shredder does, but I would never accuse them of not playing it from the gut. 

When I see most any great guitar player anymore, I usually just sort of shrug.  It's all been done.
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Walkerman
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« Reply #41 on: April 14, 2016, 02:17:31 PM »

The title of this thread implies something that isn't necessarily true: that the greatest artists are all dying off and that there's no hope for future artistry.  At least the 'still alive' comment seems to point that way.

It's very likely the greatest artist still alive is being born right as we read this thread. 

Now, if the thread title stated something about 'Who do you feel is the greatest artist that was popular in our youth?' then there is an eventual end and the 'still alive' comment applies.  In reading the original post, I think that's the sentiment being sought.

But the fact is that there are great artists being born every minute and the privilege we have living in these times is that we have the joy of discovery through the internet, instead of being given a limited menu through the major record companies and who they decide will be popular.

Really?  Then if that is true, why haven't we seen a constant parade of greatest artists?  I cannot think of a single artist around today who tops those of the fifties and sixties.  And, I am talking giants, not favorites.
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rockstar_not
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« Reply #42 on: April 15, 2016, 04:55:13 AM »

Really?  Then if that is true, why haven't we seen a constant parade of greatest artists?  I cannot think of a single artist around today who tops those of the fifties and sixties.  And, I am talking giants, not favorites.

Walkerman - I doubt that we will come to agreement.  What would be interesting would be to add a poll to THIS thread as to age.  My guess average age of the respondents of the 'parades' comments, is 50+.

So, I think that's one reason why you haven't seen a constant parade of greatest artists.  Another reason is that there was a huge shift in the popularity (or lack thereof) for acoustic and electric guitar playing in the early to mid 1980s.  This was my teen years, and I remember the doomsday prediction that guitar playing in general was going to die and the music world would be dominated by keyboards.  That WAS the case for quite awhile - probably a good 10 years.  Think of the iconic 'guitar-centric' bands from the 80's and even Eddie Van Halen did the dabbling in keyboards with Jump and other schlock.  Europe's "The Final Countdown" another example where the most famous sound in the entire song is a brass-patch keyboard dippity doo.  This shift to popular focus on keyboards was enough to skip an entire generation of guitar-centric music.  Since this is a guitar-centric forum, there's going to be pretty significant gap of those recognized by the forum participants as artists.  Someone up the thread mentioned John Mayer.  Killer player across several styles as well as a great songwriter.  He gets lots of hate partially because he seems to also snag all the pretty ladies as well.  I would say Brad Paisley is another example of someone that can smoke the rhythm/lead guitar all the while writing the tunes and singing at the same time.  Dang great artist.  I don't care so much for Paisley's stuff, but I cannot deny his greatness or his artistry.

Then there is the issue of the HUGE difference to how music is marketed now vs. 50 years ago which nearly ensures that 'giants', won't happen today or even in the past 10 years or so.  Many of the greats listed here got there greatness because the record companies decided that you and the general public should hear them.  Not taking away from their artistry, but the exposure to the millions was significantly more controlled by the record companies than it is today.  Today, with the internet, you can choose to find greats in your own preferred little niche - record companies be damned.


There's also a problem with the first two words of the thread title:

Greatest (definition?)
Artist (definition?)

So, while you may disagree with me, I do think that the way these two words are interpreted, the shift in musical style and even instrument choice, as well as how we consume music these days, precludes wide-spread 'greatness' in terms of general popularity and would therefore prevent long parades of names of younger artists.

One of the greatest artists I think belongs on a list is Andrew Peterson, in terms of his long-lasting excellent songwriting, great playing and beauty that he has brought to this world.  There might be one or two people on this thread that have heard of him.  But probably not.  His subject matter is clearly faith-based, his genre too narrow, etc. to become popular in the general public.  Besides his musicianship, his writing has garnered probably more wide-spread knowledge as he writes pre-teen fiction that has become quite popular amongst a broader audience.  An incredible artist.  Here's one of my favorite songs of his, recorded at a coffeehouse - it has a few minutes of context talking ahead of it.  Sorry, he's playing a Taylor in this one:

https://youtu.be/o0SBamE107Y
https://youtu.be/D4e3EXy3nFE is a different one that chokes me up when I listen to it.

You won't hear of him in the general public as a musician.  No less an artist.  His greatness is in a different quadrant than Waylon or Willie, or Eric or Jimi.  No less an artist.

I don't discount the artistry nor the greatness of any of those mentioned earlier - I just cannot come to the point that artistry will be missing from the future.  What a doomed future awaits if that is the case.







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L07 Shooting Star
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« Reply #43 on: April 15, 2016, 05:21:10 AM »

Then there are the still-living classical music composers/conductors and those that write music and soundtracks for the movies we enjoy.  They are certainly great artists and musicians as well.  Maybe the greatest of all.   As I said before, depends on the genre you are talking about.  Popular music?  Rock music?  Guitar music?  Classical music?  Country music?
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« Reply #44 on: April 15, 2016, 12:14:51 PM »

To quote The Incredibles, "If everyone is special, then no one is."  whistling
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Caleb
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« Reply #45 on: April 15, 2016, 05:03:12 PM »

I don't know if anyone mentioned him, but Slash is a really great musician.  I've been going through some YouTube vids with one of my children, showing some of the music I liked when I was younger, and watched some GnR stuff.  Some of Slash's guitar work is flat out excellent: very melodic and unpretentious.  His first solo in November Rain is almost violin-like. 
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Walkerman
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« Reply #46 on: April 16, 2016, 12:16:49 AM »

Walkerman - I doubt that we will come to agreement.  What would be interesting would be to add a poll to THIS thread as to age.  My guess average age of the respondents of the 'parades' comments, is 50+.

So, I think that's one reason why you haven't seen a constant parade of greatest artists.  Another reason is that there was a huge shift in the popularity (or lack thereof) for acoustic and electric guitar playing in the early to mid 1980s.  This was my teen years, and I remember the doomsday prediction that guitar playing in general was going to die and the music world would be dominated by keyboards.  That WAS the case for quite awhile - probably a good 10 years.  Think of the iconic 'guitar-centric' bands from the 80's and even Eddie Van Halen did the dabbling in keyboards with Jump and other schlock.  Europe's "The Final Countdown" another example where the most famous sound in the entire song is a brass-patch keyboard dippity doo.  This shift to popular focus on keyboards was enough to skip an entire generation of guitar-centric music.  Since this is a guitar-centric forum, there's going to be pretty significant gap of those recognized by the forum participants as artists.  Someone up the thread mentioned John Mayer.  Killer player across several styles as well as a great songwriter.  He gets lots of hate partially because he seems to also snag all the pretty ladies as well.  I would say Brad Paisley is another example of someone that can smoke the rhythm/lead guitar all the while writing the tunes and singing at the same time.  Dang great artist.  I don't care so much for Paisley's stuff, but I cannot deny his greatness or his artistry.

Then there is the issue of the HUGE difference to how music is marketed now vs. 50 years ago which nearly ensures that 'giants', won't happen today or even in the past 10 years or so.  Many of the greats listed here got there greatness because the record companies decided that you and the general public should hear them.  Not taking away from their artistry, but the exposure to the millions was significantly more controlled by the record companies than it is today.  Today, with the internet, you can choose to find greats in your own preferred little niche - record companies be damned.


There's also a problem with the first two words of the thread title:

Greatest (definition?)
Artist (definition?)

So, while you may disagree with me, I do think that the way these two words are interpreted, the shift in musical style and even instrument choice, as well as how we consume music these days, precludes wide-spread 'greatness' in terms of general popularity and would therefore prevent long parades of names of younger artists.

One of the greatest artists I think belongs on a list is Andrew Peterson, in terms of his long-lasting excellent songwriting, great playing and beauty that he has brought to this world.  There might be one or two people on this thread that have heard of him.  But probably not.  His subject matter is clearly faith-based, his genre too narrow, etc. to become popular in the general public.  Besides his musicianship, his writing has garnered probably more wide-spread knowledge as he writes pre-teen fiction that has become quite popular amongst a broader audience.  An incredible artist.  Here's one of my favorite songs of his, recorded at a coffeehouse - it has a few minutes of context talking ahead of it.  Sorry, he's playing a Taylor in this one:

https://youtu.be/o0SBamE107Y
https://youtu.be/D4e3EXy3nFE is a different one that chokes me up when I listen to it.

You won't hear of him in the general public as a musician.  No less an artist.  His greatness is in a different quadrant than Waylon or Willie, or Eric or Jimi.  No less an artist.

I don't discount the artistry nor the greatness of any of those mentioned earlier - I just cannot come to the point that artistry will be missing from the future.  What a doomed future awaits if that is the case.









There have been a lot of giants in a lot of musical genres throughout the ages ..... Certainly Beethoven, Motzart are giants of the classical age, Verdi in opera, Segovia in Classical.  Cash, Williams, Nelson in country.  I cannot think of a giant in any musical genre since the 70's-80's.  Fifty years from now, folks will still be listening to all of the afore mentioned folks.  Beyoncé or jay-z ...... Not so much.
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Walkerman
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« Reply #47 on: April 16, 2016, 01:45:02 PM »

The gods must be reading this thread. Just announced:  Coachella Music festival this October. Two acts per night on the center stage.  Full sets, not abbreviated "festival sets." With full touring bands, not "acoustic sets."

Day one: Rolling Stones followed by Bob Dylan
Day two: Neil Young followed by Paul McCartney
Day three: Pink Floyd (Roger Waters version) followed by The Who

Holy crap.  Can anyone say "sweet smell of colitis rising up thru the air" ...

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/posts/la-et-ms-coachella-mega-rock-concert-20160415-story.html
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ducktrapper
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« Reply #48 on: April 16, 2016, 05:34:52 PM »

The gods must be reading this thread. Just announced:  Coachella Music festival this October. Two acts per night on the center stage.  Full sets, not abbreviated "festival sets." With full touring bands, not "acoustic sets."

Day one: Rolling Stones followed by Bob Dylan
Day two: Neil Young followed by Paul McCartney
Day three: Pink Floyd (Roger Waters version) followed by The Who

Holy crap.  Can anyone say "sweet smell of colitis rising up thru the air" ...

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/posts/la-et-ms-coachella-mega-rock-concert-20160415-story.html


Wow, it would be difficult to dispute the greatness of that lineup. Even a much depleted Who. Six out of six ain't bad.  
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Strings4Him
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« Reply #49 on: April 16, 2016, 08:20:21 PM »

It might be easier to answer this question if you allow for different styles of music (i.e. classical, jazz, blues, fingerstyle, et cetera).
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Walkerman
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« Reply #50 on: April 16, 2016, 11:17:25 PM »

It might be easier to answer this question if you allow for different styles of music (i.e. classical, jazz, blues, fingerstyle, et cetera).

I am guessing you did not read my post just three posts before yours.
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rockstar_not
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« Reply #51 on: April 17, 2016, 04:05:23 AM »

There have been a lot of giants in a lot of musical genres throughout the ages ..... Certainly Beethoven, Motzart are giants of the classical age, Verdi in opera, Segovia in Classical.  Cash, Williams, Nelson in country.  I cannot think of a giant in any musical genre since the 70's-80's.  Fifty years from now, folks will still be listening to all of the afore mentioned folks.  Beyoncé or jay-z ...... Not so much.

I choose to find artists, not let mass media tell me who they are.  The world is your oyster, there are so many great artists from the past 30 years that it's mind boggling how many there are.  I would never have listed Beyonce or Jay-z as artists.  I haven't listened to mainstream radio for probably 10 years. 

These are people that I follow on SoundCloud and have had personal interaction with them on-line - relative unknowns, but posses what I would call greatness and artistry in spades.  Just single tracks from their body of work.

Dimitar Nalbantov:  Bulgarian instrumental melodic rock guitarist:
https://soundcloud.com/diminalbantov/dimi-nalbantov-gratitude-2015-full-album-track

Gerrybhoy: This guy is a great songwriter from the UK and participates in the February Album Writing Month (FAWM) challenge:
https://soundcloud.com/gerrybhoy/a-well-of-ink-thats-green-fawm-2016

State Azure:  I collaborate with this guy on his instrumental tracks during FAWM.  Here's one without that, but I just love the soundscapes he creates, mostly sans guitars:
https://soundcloud.com/state-azure/state-azure-phantoms

Mungo Park:  The vocal on this should give you goosebumps. Unfortunately, it's only about 500 plays on SoundCloud - I would guess 50 of those were from me!
https://soundcloud.com/mungopark/frozen-retsina

Kumea/Wuolio:  The main instrument that Lauri plays is the 'Hang Drum'.  Similar to a steel drum, but more pure in tone and struck with the hands.  This one is particularly mesmerizing.
https://soundcloud.com/kumea/unfold-rotate-refold

Heather Bays:  This is my sister - she's a studio singer in Indianapolis.  Mostly what she sings for the studio are choral arrangements
https://soundcloud.com/heather-lake-bays/02-be-still-my-soul

But she has great pop-pipes as well:
https://soundcloud.com/c-evans/2-rooftops-mst

as for popular stuff that will be listened to in 20-30 years.  I think that we will see Nirvana, Foo Fighters, U2, etc. will certainly be listened like that.  There are more, but as the listener is able to pick and choose their niche genre to pay attention to, there will be more and more artists that get exposure but less-so through traditional channels - which means that popularity will be less and less relevant.

Then there are those that the media machine HAS chosen that in their forward guise are just plain weird, but when allowed to stretch out, actually have incredible talent.  Not many, but Lady Gaga fits into this category.  Her duets with Tony Bennett are great.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPAmDULCVrU
Listen to that voice - it's really lovely.  Look away if you have to.

Or how about Herbie Hancock, John Legend, P!nk and Tal Wilkenfeld (she's Jeff Beck's bassist) doing this song by Peter Gabriel that had a guest vocal by Kate Bush: (might be Vinnie Colaiuta on drums even on this song - can't tell, no credits, but it looks like him)
https://youtu.be/uVQxSFG-ahk

It's hard to even imagine the beauty that is out there undiscovered.  Don't let the mainstream force feed you what they say should be popular, and there's plenty of artistry to be enjoyed.






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« Reply #52 on: April 17, 2016, 12:09:01 PM »

"Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness and others have greatness thrust upon them." 

William Shakespeare - 12th Night
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Walkerman
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« Reply #53 on: April 17, 2016, 02:56:00 PM »

"Don't let the mainstream force feed you what they say should be popular, and there's plenty of artistry to be enjoyed."

Those who lived thru it remember that the mainstream media did not force feed Elvis, the Beatles or the Stones to us.  As a matter of fact, they did just the opposite.  In one of the most sordid episodes I remember, religious folks tried to destroy the Beatles, even to the point of having Beatles albums bonfires.  It was fm radio that introduced us to the new artists, not mainstream am radio.
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Caleb
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« Reply #54 on: April 17, 2016, 04:24:01 PM »

It seems like at some point the mainstream became the only stream for a lot of folks, and it was that way for a long time.  The great thing about the internet and the age we live in is that a person doesn't have to listen to the radio anymore or even be concerned about what is "popular."  I haven't listened to radio since the late 90s and a lot of bands have come and gone without my ever knowing about them.  I have probably missed some great music and a lot of not so great. 
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rockstar_not
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« Reply #55 on: April 17, 2016, 07:47:43 PM »

"Don't let the mainstream force feed you what they say should be popular, and there's plenty of artistry to be enjoyed."

Those who lived thru it remember that the mainstream media did not force feed Elvis, the Beatles or the Stones to us.  As a matter of fact, they did just the opposite.  In one of the most sordid episodes I remember, religious folks tried to destroy the Beatles, even to the point of having Beatles albums bonfires.  It was fm radio that introduced us to the new artists, not mainstream am radio.


No argument there but when you list Jayz and Beyoncé as who are the artists these days you are hearing that from somewhere.


My suggestion is to do a little work seeking good art that is new and you will find it, as in the days of FM radio leading that effort.  Not really present with Fm these days except for obscure public radio stations.

Again I posit that the distribution of music is responsible for the dearth of what you would call greatness.
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« Reply #56 on: April 17, 2016, 08:27:11 PM »

No argument there but when you list Jayz and Beyoncé as who are the artists these days you are hearing that from somewhere.


My suggestion is to do a little work seeking good art that is new and you will find it, as in the days of FM radio leading that effort.  Not really present with Fm these days except for obscure public radio stations.

Again I posit that the distribution of music is responsible for the dearth of what you would call greatness.

I must disagree.  For those who seek it out, there is more music freely available than there ever was.  The internet of today is the fm radio of the 60-70's.  I can remember spending hours at a time in record stores, going thru the alphabetical bins of record albums, examining the records one by one, and often walking home with an artist's work of whom I had never heard.  The difference was that back then music was a big part of our lives, and not just something to shake our collective asses to.  And, as a last note, I would posit that it is the public stations, radio and tv, which are leading the fight to limit what information is available to folks. 
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« Reply #57 on: April 17, 2016, 10:23:45 PM »

I must disagree.  For those who seek it out, there is more music freely available than there ever was.  The internet of today is the fm radio of the 60-70's.  I can remember spending hours at a time in record stores, going thru the alphabetical bins of record albums, examining the records one by one, and often walking home with an artist's work of whom I had never heard.  The difference was that back then music was a big part of our lives, and not just something to shake our collective asses to.  And, as a last note, I would posit that it is the public stations, radio and tv, which are leading the fight to limit what information is available to folks. 

Well, you have lost me.  This comment is exactly the point I was trying to make: "I must disagree.  For those who seek it out, there is more music freely available than there ever was.  The internet of today is the fm radio of the 60-70's."

So, I give up.  It's hard for me to give up this because I still believe we have access to so much more great art than in the past, but it seems that I just can't make that point.

I'll just go on enjoying music from the past and the present and look forward to what is coming along.



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« Reply #58 on: April 17, 2016, 11:49:08 PM »

I think we confuse greatness with ability. There are countless artists that I enjoy and think are terrific but greatness eludes them. Not because of lack of talent or ability but because greatness must be bestowed by longevity, consensus and quite often luck whether we agree with that assessment or not. Many incredibly talented artists have died in complete or relative obscurity.
You may not agree but I personally intend to be one of them.      
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Walkerman
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« Reply #59 on: April 18, 2016, 03:10:30 AM »

Well, you have lost me.  This comment is exactly the point I was trying to make: "I must disagree.  For those who seek it out, there is more music freely available than there ever was.  The internet of today is the fm radio of the 60-70's."

So, I give up.  It's hard for me to give up this because I still believe we have access to so much more great art than in the past, but it seems that I just can't make that point.

I'll just go on enjoying music from the past and the present and look forward to what is coming along.





I agree we have access to much more art than ever before.  However, it is the term "great" that I would take issue with. 
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