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fueledbycoffee
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17 May 2013, 11:51 am

Notice I said innovative, not best. Everyone always brings up iconic bands like the Stones, when all the Stones really did was make a more aggressive, whiter version of the same stuff Muddy Waters had been doing for years. It's hard to determine what's really innovative, though. My way is to listen to old music and see how it's aged, and how it compares to more modern music. I'll start us off with a great example of this:

The Clash

Say what you want about their post-Combat-Rock phase, but go back and listen to London Calling. They weren't just another punk rock band. Even on their first album, they were more focused, more skilled, and more adventurous than The Sex Pistols, who, despite their awesomeness, had probably the worst rhythm section in rock after they ditched Glen Matlock and tended more towards nihilistic shock than the righteous fury of the Clash.

But London Calling... This is easily one of the most diverse records I own, and it's amazing how well it holds up more than thirty years later. Listen to Lost in the Supermarket. The song, both in vocals and style, sounds like one of those modern indie rock outfits. Spanish Bombs is remarkably catchy, belying it's dark subject matter. Guns of Brixton has been sampled by major rap artists (as, of curse, has Straight to Hell from Combat Rock), and with good reason, as the lyrics and slow, steady beat show. There's ska, reggae, pop, straight punk rock, and even on a few songs, like Jimmie Jazz, a weird Jazz/Cole Porter-fusion taste to it (That's what it reminds me of).

Then listen to Sandanista! and Combat Rock. Every song is different. Every song sounds individual and defies classification. The only band I can think of off the top of my head that was as diverse and kind of random in their blending of different sounds was the Beatles.

So what's your idea of an innovative band? Come on, let's hear 'em, FbC needs to talk music!



The_Walrus
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17 May 2013, 2:08 pm

fueledbycoffee wrote:
Notice I said innovative, not best. Everyone always brings up iconic bands like the Stones, when all the Stones really did was make a more aggressive, whiter version of the same stuff Muddy Waters had been doing for years. It's hard to determine what's really innovative, though. My way is to listen to old music and see how it's aged, and how it compares to more modern music. I'll start us off with a great example of this:

The Clash

Say what you want about their post-Combat-Rock phase, but go back and listen to London Calling. They weren't just another punk rock band. Even on their first album, they were more focused, more skilled, and more adventurous than The Sex Pistols, who, despite their awesomeness, had probably the worst rhythm section in rock after they ditched Glen Matlock and tended more towards nihilistic shock than the righteous fury of the Clash.

But London Calling... This is easily one of the most diverse records I own, and it's amazing how well it holds up more than thirty years later. Listen to Lost in the Supermarket. The song, both in vocals and style, sounds like one of those modern indie rock outfits. Spanish Bombs is remarkably catchy, belying it's dark subject matter. Guns of Brixton has been sampled by major rap artists (as, of curse, has Straight to Hell from Combat Rock), and with good reason, as the lyrics and slow, steady beat show. There's ska, reggae, pop, straight punk rock, and even on a few songs, like Jimmie Jazz, a weird Jazz/Cole Porter-fusion taste to it (That's what it reminds me of).

Then listen to Sandanista! and Combat Rock. Every song is different. Every song sounds individual and defies classification. The only band I can think of off the top of my head that was as diverse and kind of random in their blending of different sounds was the Beatles.

So what's your idea of an innovative band? Come on, let's hear 'em, FbC needs to talk music!

The Rolling Stones did Exile On Main Street, which is almost as eclectic as London Calling. They used keyboards to much better effect than Muddy Waters too. They were using drones before the Beatles and arguably Jagger/Richards overtook Lennon/McCartney as the greatest songwriting duo around the time of Out Of Our Heads/AHDN (though they lost that by the release of Rubber Soul).

Anyway, here are some of my suggestions:
1) The Beatles- almost deserves a "duh". One of the first successful bands to write their own songs, for starters. Also invented ADT, pioneered the use of unconventional instruments in rock songs, pioneered the synth, important in the formation of genres as diverse as hard rock/heavy metal, psychedelia, and prog rock. They embraced many different influences, from rock and roll to Eastern music.
2) Paul Simon- really embraces world music, fusing it with rock and folk even in the S&G days.
3) The Moody Blues- fused classical and rock on albums like The Days Of Future Past. I don't think they made great music, but it was certainly innovative.
4) Gorillaz- particularly Plastic Beach, a modern day London Calling. Features a wide range of artists, from Bobby Womack and Lou Reed to Little Dragon and Snoop Dogg via the National Orchestra For Arabic Music



TellEmSteveDave
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17 May 2013, 3:25 pm

fueledbycoffee wrote:
Every song is different. Every song sounds individual and defies classification. The only band I can think of off the top of my head that was as diverse and kind of random in their blending of different sounds was the Beatles!


That's exactly why I love The Clash, I was obsessed with them for a few years. The first Clash album I bought was 'The Essential Clash' compilation released a couple of weeks after Joe died, that album changed my life! Within a few months I had bough every Clash album and every Joe Strummer solo album. They changed the way I listen to music, I have an extremely diverse record collection and I owe it all to Joe Strummer & The Clash!

I think Damon Albarn is a natural successor to Joe Strummer, because every album he releases sounds radically different from the one before.



TellEmSteveDave
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17 May 2013, 3:35 pm

What about CAN? They were a German Progressive rock band who were just as innovative as Pink Floyd, Kraftwerk and The Beatles but they hardly get any recognition which is a shame. They were a big influence on John Lydon's PIL, Joy Division, New Order and most post-punk bands of the 80s, and pioneers of early electronic dance music.



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17 May 2013, 3:39 pm

TellEmSteveDave wrote:
What about CAN? They were a German Progressive rock band who were just as innovative as Pink Floyd, Kraftwerk and The Beatles but they hardly get any recognition which is a shame. They were a big influence on John Lydon's PIL, Joy Division, New Order and most post-punk bands of the 80s, and pioneers of early electronic dance music.


Holger Czukay of Can was also a student of Karlheinz Stockhausen, and has gone on to conduct the Vienna Philharmonic. --Germany produced a LOT of great stuff in the late 60's and 70's. Have you ever noticed how Stereolab's stuff from the 1990's sounds like NEU! from the late 60's early 70's?


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17 May 2013, 4:18 pm

Spandau Ballet!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AR8D2yqgQ1U[/youtube]

Hu hu hu huuu hoo!

:twisted:


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redrobin62
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17 May 2013, 4:29 pm

I give System Of A Down credit for incorporating various musical influences and genre within each song. They're like Mr. Bungle in that sense but more tuneful. Also, the way they changed from genre to genre, so diect and almost without preparing you, it's kind of like schizophrenic rock, if you will.

I also give Jimi Hendrix credit for taking the elctric guitar further than anyone else - the distortion, the burning, the playing with teeth, the octave pedal, playing it behind his back, his reinterpretation of Bob Dylan, and definitely one of the founding fathers of heavy metal. His influence can be felt from Ritchie Blackmore to Yngvie Malmsteen to Eddie Van Halen to Eric Clapton to Alex Lifeson to...you name it. Bandwise, the Jimi Hendrix Experience was pretty innovattive in just being interracial and international, rare in rock.



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17 May 2013, 4:37 pm

TellEmSteveDave wrote:
What about CAN? They were a German Progressive rock band who were just as innovative as Pink Floyd, Kraftwerk and The Beatles but they hardly get any recognition which is a shame. They were a big influence on John Lydon's PIL, Joy Division, New Order and most post-punk bands of the 80s, and pioneers of early electronic dance music.


Yeah I second this. Bands are still copying them. Their albums sound so weirdly contemporary.



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17 May 2013, 6:24 pm

Rorberyllium wrote:
TellEmSteveDave wrote:
What about CAN? They were a German Progressive rock band who were just as innovative as Pink Floyd, Kraftwerk and The Beatles but they hardly get any recognition which is a shame. They were a big influence on John Lydon's PIL, Joy Division, New Order and most post-punk bands of the 80s, and pioneers of early electronic dance music.


Yeah I second this. Bands are still copying them. Their albums sound so weirdly contemporary.


Yesh, Can, and teh Velvet Underground. That stuff doesn't age. Sorry about my typing, I'm drunk.


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aleclair
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17 May 2013, 11:44 pm

Yeah, I'd say the Velvet Underground also. The old cliche is that only a few people were listening to the VU in the '60s, but they all decided to form bands.



fueledbycoffee
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18 May 2013, 12:24 am

aleclair wrote:
Yeah, I'd say the Velvet Underground also. The old cliche is that only a few people were listening to the VU in the '60s, but they all decided to form bands.


VU's definitely up there. I generally don't much care for their stuff (I mean, who actually sits through all 18 minutes of Sister Ray?)(Although VU & Nico was definitely great), but I can't deny how important they are.



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18 May 2013, 12:29 am

I think Big Black was very innovative for its time. (1980's)
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4e49uNs6tU8[/youtube]



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18 May 2013, 12:12 pm

Black Sabbath.


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18 May 2013, 12:48 pm

^ Yes indeed



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18 May 2013, 2:59 pm

Chrome from 1978, but I've always thought that this was recorded during the same sessions that they recorded Alien Soundtracks in 1976-1977.

Mondo Anthem
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMZRE54CaSc[/youtube]

Half Machine Lip Moves
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QU-QAdoRIgU[/youtube]

Both songs are in the same sequntial order in which they appeared on the Album/CD


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