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PaulEdwardWagemann

13 essential Rockism albums:

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I suggested "Never Mind The Bollocks", in the context of a thread about "rockism", largely because it was the landmark album of a musical/cultural trend that dramatically altered the "rock/pop" landscape, and thus appeared to meet one of the significant rockist criteria PEW had just indicated. You perceive things differently: fine.

I fully understand your point about Ultravox and The Stranglers, and if this thread were some kind of a competition to achieve a high chart-placing in the "Rockist Top 20, courtesy of our sponsor Mr.PaulEdwardWagemann", I might applaud your sterling efforts to big-up your own (occasionally fairly obscure) nominations whilst savagely disparaging other people's.

1977 was a really great year for music, in the UK and Europe at least: a hot-bed of creative activity that threw up any number of significant works right across the spectrum. So as well as the frenetic activity at the punk / rock end, you also had innovations in the use of synthesizers in the fields of rock, avant-garde and dance music. This was the year that brought us Anarchy In The UK" and "I Feel Love"! :bow: :bow: :bow:

It's a fair point that Ultravox's "Ha!Ha!Ha!" is not only a really good album, (in your opinion, as a fan of glam-rock/synthesizer fusion), and highly-influential in its own way, (even though it took Uvox disciple Gary Numan and his Tubeway Army to take electro-rock to the masses with "Are Friends Electric?"). It borders on criminal that the music-loving public, on hearing "Ultravox" think immediately of the bombastic synth-pop of "Midge Ure-era" :thumbsdown: , whilst remaining largely unaware of the significantly influential John Foxx-era Ultravox :bow: . So, yes: credit where it's due. But I don't see any benefit in your "track-by-track comparison" method, unless we're going to do that for every album ever recorded, which would take a sod of a long time. Then we're just moving back into the untidy realms of "subjective opinion".

Regarding The Stranglers, I have been a fan of theirs for many, many years and possess quite a number of their albums. Setting aside personal preferences, and striving to adopt "rockist" thinking (as I understand it), I wouldn't nominate any of their albums for consideration. Much as I enjoy those early albums, they didn't/don't signify any major change in music production/presentation, and are characterised most notably by Greenfield's Doorsy doodlings and the best bass sound ever committed to plastic, courtesy of Jean-Jacques Burnel. Plenty of filler on those albums, too, however.

We could go track-by-track comparing 8 songs from one album to 8 songs from the other, and I cannot hear what makes the one of lesser-quality better.

You're bringing in notions of "lesser quality" / "better". Those are always going to be variables, depending on the individual's perspective: "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" and all that...I never said "Never Mind The Bollocks" was better than anything else. There are other albums I listen to far more often... Even if I'm in the mood to listen to some punk rock, it isn't necssarily the first one I'd reach for. This might be X-Ray Spex "Germ-Free Adolescents", The Adverts "Crossing The Red Sea With...", Ruts "The Crack", Buzzcocks "Another Music In A Different Kitchen", Penetration "Coming Up For Air" or whatever. But since these all owe their existence to "NMTB".....

Anyways...better go and get the weekly shopping done. Cheerio and toodle-pip, old bean!

Edited by Guest
Removal of the F-word in relation to JJBurnels bass sound

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The Sex Pistols were not "prefabricated" in any way that resembles other bands renowned for being prefabricated. They formed and developed organically, along very similar lines to most teenage rock bands.

I think that before the Sex Pistols, not too many bands had a McLaren type-character not only managing them, but actually putting them together. The boys hung around his shop, and he decided to make a band out of them in image of punk that he had picked up from the US. Also, McLaren was a Situationalists, and had a reputation for 'creating' situations/groups for the purpose of agitating others...

His motives for creating the band may not have been the same as the Corporate Star-makers that came in his wake, but many of the methods and tactics were the same. So in this context, I see sex pistols doing more harm for Rockism than good.

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Also, McLaren was a Situationalists, and had a reputation for 'creating' situations/groups for the purpose of agitating others...

You spit this out as if "Situationism" were some kind of a despicable crime, or an affliction requiring treatment, rather than a radical political movement which questioned the role of art in society. One could argue that the presence of such an agenda in the Sex Pistols make-up was a distinctive feature setting them apart from the other rock'n'roll outfits you persistently accuse them of ripping off. In any case I can't see that it's any particular reason to condemn them.

For Songfactors unaware of Situationism, here's a wee blurb about it, by way of explanation...

One way or another, the currents which the Situationist International took as predecessors saw their purpose as involving a radical redefinition of the role of art in the twentieth century. The Situationists themselves took a dialectical viewpoint, seeing their task as superseding art, abolishing the notion of art as a separate, specialized activity and transforming it so it became part of the fabric of everyday life. From the Situationist's viewpoint, art is revolutionary or it is nothing. In this way, the Situationists saw their efforts as completing the work of both Dada and surrealism while abolishing both. Still, the Situationists answered the question "What is revolutionary?" differently at different times.

And finally, thanks to Wikipedia for this quote: not particularly relevant to this thread, but substantiating a point I have repeatedly tried to convey with no apparent success.

The Situationist movement exerted a strong influence on the punk rock phenomenon of the 1970s, for example, which in itself could be said to have changed the English cultural landscape during the last quarter of the twentieth century.

.... So in this context, I see sex pistols doing more harm for Rockism than good.

So we continue to condemn the Sex Pistols, this time for introducing "dubious management practice" to the rock-scene :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: Yeah, right. Such as those of Bernie Rhodes, the manager of The Clash, who mimicked McLaren's every move. In any case, if we're to judge a band on the corrupt conduct of those that came in their wake...well, that would seem a little churlish. We might as well blame Nirvana for Nickelback and have done with it.

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I dont see any problem with looking at a band (at least in part) in the context of who they influenced, or what innovations they sparked. In the case of the Sex Pistols, they didnt invent the fabricated teen Pop band. Certainly that goes back to the Monkees or to the teen idotls of the 50s and even 40s. But they did add a new demension to the equation. They ramped it up. And now days we see a assembly line of fabricated bands posing as being the next 'big' thing. These bands are mostly corporate sponsored however, as opposed to the Sex Pistols being sponsored by a small clothing boutique.

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... and thus their 'rockism' credentials , I think . They were unique and revolutionary in that their fans , and the public in general , were supposed to loathe and fear them [ as a portent of what may come ( and eventually did ) and as 'mocking' what they had loved before ] as much as admire them for breaking all the norms of what a band was supposed to be . This certainly was an evolutionary concept or approach which no other band was able to achieve on the scale that they did - worldwide press and critiques . Ask 100 people about the NewYork Dolls/ Richard Hell etc. and expect at least 98 stares of non-recognition ; say ' Sex Pistols' ( even among people who have never heard or thought about them ), and you can reverse those numbers - THAT is impact , and an altering of consciousness .

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It is an impact on SOciety, but that is different than having an impact on Rockism. 9/11 had a big impact on society, but not much of an impact on Rockism as far as I can tell. If the sex pistols had an effect on Rockism, then it is along the lines of Michael Jackson impact on Rockism, and that basically is providing an example of what Rockism should NOT be about...

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