I seldom call myself a fan of anything these days but I do like Annie Lennox. I like her musical ability to deliver a song with precision, style and feeling and I love her take no bullshit attitude to the Music and celebrity industries, finally I totally concur with her about the execrable talent shows that infest our TV screens.
- Blog bashing: Lennox fires up over ‘horrible’ TV talent shows (smh.com.au)
- Annie Lennox attacks ‘horrible’ TV talent shows with ‘stupid row of judges’ (donnasummerknights.wordpress.com)
Hmm, I’m no fan of Lennox, Iain, and I actually put her in that category of 80s non-music – almost ‘new romantic’ crap – like Spandau Ballet. I reckon that the 80s was about the worst ever era of music, a sort of limbo land of bad taste, even worse than the 70s.
And as tacky as today’s TV talent shows are, there have actually been a few real talents unearthed by the new ‘system’ – Guy Sebastian comes to mind.
Lennox sounds like yesterday’s hero lamenting the so-called ‘easy road’ to the top that she perceives is going on today. But the reality is, it’s still hard to make it and only the best eventually get there. She should just grow old gracefully and STFU.
And there have also been some performances that would put “red faces” to shame Ray. Your comment is very similar to the argument my brother put to me on the phone this morning after reading this post, Ah well it takes all sorts to make the world. but you can’t say that this is a bad song :
Yes I can, Iain: I won’t even play it – it’s rubbish – and every time I hear it I want to rip my ears off.
I think Annie Lennox is a very talented performer, though I’m not a big fan of her songs. I can’t agree that the 80s produced “non-music”. There was certainly a lot of really cheesy new wave nonsense, particularly out of Britain. But the 80s also gave us Michael Jackson, Madonna, U2, Billy Joel, Dire Straits (my personal favourite), Prince, Bruce Springsteen, etc. Many great Australian bands and artists in the 80s too.
I would agree though that Annie Lennox is being something of a hypocrite here. That intermarriage between music, radio, television, fashion, corporate promotion and the media all really kicked off in the 80s. Sure it’s worse now, but she would do well to admit that she actually contributed to and benefited from it, before complaining too loudly.
Well yeah, there were exceptions but I wouldn’t class Michael Jackson as coming from the 80s era – he goes way back to the late 60s when he first fronted the Jackson 5 as a child singer and his best album (Off the wall) was released late 70s. Billy Joel goes back a lot further too as do Dire Straits and Springsteen. And as for Madonna …. well that just proves my point about 80s ‘non-music’. You might as well have added Kylie Minogue.
Well your comments beg the question of just what you consider to be “good ” music Ray and why you make those particular choices.
Care to share your top five songs of all time?
Well they change, Iain, and I could list 100 that are about equal, but at the moment off the top of my head:
1. Ain’t nobody gonna steal my jelly roll – Taj Mahal
2. All along the watch tower (not U2’s version, but either Bob Dylan’s original or Hendrix’s version)
3. Revolution – The Beatles
4. Paint it black – Rolling Stones
5. Roadhouse Blues – The Doors
Yeah, I know, they’re all from the 60s.
You need to widen your musical horizons Ray 😉
They’re pretty wide, Iain, but the best is the best.
Well at least there is no country and western “music” in your list!
In no particular order:
I like Country but not Western.
True, but all of those artists did not mature or obtain any real prominence until the 80s. Michael Jackson was a cutesy child star until the early 80s. Billy Joel and Springsteen were only known in the eastern US and only released one or two albums in the 70s; the same with Dire Straits (I think Sultans of Swing was released in 1979). If you ask the man in the street, he’d say they were 80s artists because that’s when they released their most popular and arguably their best material.
I don’t particularly like Madonna or her music but there is no denying her impact and her success. And you have to give her credit for that because she was largely in control of her music and her image. I think Kylie Minogue is hugely overrated quite frankly.
What is the difference Ray?
There isn’t one but I could make one up.
How about Country = Hillbilly music and Western = Cowboy music?
You know, Jed Clampett meets Clint Eastwood.
Annie Lennox and the Eurythmics were one of the bands that kept the spirit of ‘rock’n’roll’ alive when the 80s threatened to descend into a maelstrom of over-produced studio bands such as ‘Spandau Ballet’. Every decade delivers its shockers. The ‘New Romantic’ bands were the epitome of all that was wrong with the 80s, just as the ‘Bay City Rollers’ weren’t a shining moment for 70s culture.
Lennox and the Eurythmics were a different band altogether. They played gigs. Their records weren’t produced, beyond miking the drums and the guitar and making sure you could hear the singer out front. That’s all they needed, much like the early 60s bands.
Here in Australia, the 80s produced a wealth of pub rock. Bands such as Cold Chisel and the Oils honed their skills in the vibrant and competitive smokey atmosphere of local pubs. Ian Moss, ex Chisel guitarist, summed up the decade with his two albums dedicated to the ordinary bloke. ‘Tucker’s Daughter’ spoke volumes about the average Aussie. His albums sold well. He didn’t need a corporate campaign to prove his worth.
Lennox hits the nail on the head here. Aussie pub rock bands made their name without any sponsorship, let alone corporate sponsorship.
Record companies picked them up after they had built a following. Much like the Beatles at the Cavern.
Lennox’ complaint is that ‘talent shows’ and such are detrimental to the natural progression of music talent. She is absolutely right.
You cannot pre-program music trends. You cannot pre-pick tomorrows ‘stars’.
A case in point is the recent Grammy Award winning Gotye.
Where were the ‘Australian Idol’ winners and the ‘Voice ‘ winners?
Gotye, whose real name is Walter and there’s an interesting explanation for that, didn’t have the corporate backing that other ‘talent show’ performers have had.
While technically proficient performers such as Guy Sebastian and nurtured performers like Kylie Minogue may produce massive sales, incomes and world-wide exposure, it’s doubtful they will ever replicate the magic that a home-grown talent, unencumbered by such distractions, can produce.
As for Ray, I reckon this will make him happy…
I still say that most music that came out of the 80s was crap. And I would include the Eurythmics in that. Hard to call what they did rock ‘n roll, GD. I’d call it hyped-up pop.
We all like what we like and being married to a classically trained Music teacher has given me some insight into what constitutes “good” music. To my mind you can’t appreciate Rock and Roll with out understanding its evolution form Blues, soul and Jazz. The Eurhythmics very much draw upon those precursors, just as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones did. Lennox was anything but your stereotypical manufactured “popstar” she was gutsy and lacking in bullshit like so many of her contemporaries. the songs were well but not over produced
Please watch this one and consider just how unlike your usual ‘fucking*’ pop song it is
I see it a none too subtle critique of consumerism and utopian thinking delivered with some style
*most pop songs are predicated upon one of these scenarios:
A) how I want to fuck you
B)how great it is that you are letting me fuck you
C) why are you fucking him/her rather than me?
D) how sad I am that you are not fucking me any more.
That song gives me a headache, Iain. No, I don’t want to hear it again … even if it’s not about “f*cking”.