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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Which is the greatest rock band of all time? Why? (Page 4)

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Author Topic: Which is the greatest rock band of all time? Why?
Bokonon
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I have to agree with the side that takes Linkin Park off the list... I was _done_ with rap-rock (Rage Against the Machine was my favorite) before the ever hit the scene...

Honestly, you can trace probably 95% of all rock and roll back to, I would say, 4 bands (in no particular order):

Beach Boys
The Beatles
Rolling Stones
The Who (This can be debated, and I admit is something of a personal bias [Smile] )

I think you can hear echos of just about all later pop, psychedelic, blues, punk, hard rock/heavy metal, fused together with rather impressive rock arrangements... And that is the key. None of these bands had amazing musicians (save maybe The Who, minus Roger Daltry), though most had at least one amazing songwriter. In the end, though, they all had an awesome ability for arranging great songs. They were often followers, rather than leaders (lest you think I believe they created all the genres I listed above), but they grabbed on to good new sounds right away.
--

I'd have Led Zep and Pink Floyd be honorable mentions, and my knowledge of rap history is woeful, or there'd be 5 groups in my list.
--

One of my personal favorite bands, REM, illuminates my point, I think. Not one member of the band is an exceptional musician (and they'd all agree, I think), but there are a bunch of great arrangers (well until one of them left the band) in that group. In the end, it turns them into a band that is way too underrated by their detractors, and way too overrated by their fans. They did, however, create the best "desperation" song ever though (Country Feedback, off of Out of Time). Anyone who can't feel the single-mindedness of emotion (in a skin-crawling sense) in that song needs to check their pulse.

-Bok

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Noemon
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quote:
Originally posted by Bokonon:
None of these bands had amazing musicians.... In the end, though, they all had an awesome ability for arranging great songs. --
-Bok

I was actually just watching a clip from an interview with George Harrison in which he was saying exactly this about himself.
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Bokonon
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I have been listening to The Who lately, and maybe I'm being way to music-snobby, but anyone who thinks My Generation (as an example) isn't one of the most subversive songs of _any_ time, is really missing out. That song's form is more counter-culture than all the f-bombs and other swear words in modern rock, combined. Sometimes subtlety is good.

The lead singer freaking stutters the entire song! And the drum explosion at the end always gives me a chill when it starts, seemingly out of nowhere.

-Bok

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Bokonon
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Noemon, yeah, and I don't think many consider any of The Rolling Stones as more than good musicians, and the Beach Boys, well, basically all they had were Brian Wilson's arrangements.

-Bok

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Zalmoxis
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Many of the bands mentioned in this thread are essentially post-punk or post-post-punk bands.

Punk didn't kill rock. Post-punk did -- it just took awhile and didn't happen in quite the fashion that all those art school grads who decided to become subversive rock stars thought it would.

Therefore, I'd say the most influential rock musician of the past 25 years is Johnny Lydon. PIL inaugurated the indie turn in rock.

Which is not to say that I don't totally enjoy fallen genres. I'm a big fan of the novel, for instance.

-------

P.S. to Bok's post ---- if you are going to include The Who, then you probably should also include Velvet Underground.

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striplingrz
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quote:
Originally posted by solo:
quote:
Originally posted by striplingrz:

Black Sabbath and Lemmy's severed thumb created the deep bass chord still heard in Heavy Metal and all its off shoots today.

Lemmy? Do you mean Tony Iommi and his missing fingertips (causing him to need to lower the tuning of his guitar to be able to play without too much pain)? Lemmy is the Motorhead guy.
Yep, thanks for calling me on that solo... got my L's messed up. Of course I was working and trying to type that at the same time. [Confused]
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Bokonon
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Zal, I knew I was forgetting some... I'd put them as an honorable mention, largely because of my own opinion, but also since I think that they just weren't popular enough, and to me, a great rock band needs to have reached a certain threshold in their own right. I'll grant that they gained an abundance of notoriety though [Smile] Oh, and The Who pre-date them by a couple months.

The popularity thing is also why I don't include any prog-rock bands, despite their musicianship and arrangements.
--

As for today's rock, can I be upset at all the flaccid punk that gets shovelled out these days? It's said when my go-to bands are Pennywise or Bad Religion in the punk genre, even though both haven't changed their sound at all (in Bad Religion's case, that'd be 20+ years). They remain refreshing mostly as an antidote/contrast to what is popular these days.


-Bok

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Mintieman
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As its defined for the purposes of this thread, The Beatles win hands down. Its not even a contest really. The White Album alone is diverse enough to be cited as an influence on everything.

Other than that, it has to be Nirvana/The Pixies, Led Zeppelin, Metallica and of course Radiohead.

Who since the Beatles have made 3 albums so wildly different as The Bends, Ok Computer and Kid A? I mean, does Kid A even count as rock?

I'm not sure if Pink Floyd should be included. While huge in its time, the influence of prog is suprisingly limited now.

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SteveRogers
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quote:
Originally posted by striplingrz:
I didn't say they shouldn't be on the list. I simply said they are overrated in my mind. I think they were influential. And personally I think Dave Grohl is the best musician of his era.

Dave's good. But I am definitely a Kurt fan because he's just better at what he did. But Dave IS good.
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Lyrhawn
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Dave Matthews Band.


They're my fave anyway.

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B34N
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Pink Floyd's fan base is still alive and kicking. The sound carries well in anytime or swing in genre patterns. As do most the bands mentioned in the parts of the thread that I have read so far.

The Beatles - Changed Everything
The Who - Great
The Beach Boys - Great
Hendrix - Changed the way people saw the guitar and yes so did SRV
Floyd - Created an unparalleled sound
The Dead - Changed the way people saw live music
Allman Bros, CCR and Skynnard - Great Southern Rock
The Stones - Great
DMB - Good
Nirvanna - Changed everything all over again

Well there's my two cents.

*edited to remove a mistake*

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GaalDornick
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The Shadows.

Man, I've been listening to them alot lately and they're incredible. I've never heard a band do instrumental rock like they do. They have such a clean sound where every note sounds perfectly in place. My music teacher introduced me to some of their old albums recently and they have quickly become one of my favorite instrumental rock bands ever.

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Qaz
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The Electric Light Orchestra. Because if you dedicate yourself to playing their music, a Time Lord will appear.
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Gecko
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The Earth shaking, heart-breaking, air-conditioner shaking, history making,

E-

STREET-

BAND!!!!

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tt&t
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The choice is so obvious I don't even need to say it. [Wink]
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Alcon
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Clearly, yes you do, cause I have no fracking clue who you're referring to [Razz]
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Eduardo St. Elmo
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The Electric Light Orchestra. Because if you dedicate yourself to playing their music, a Time Lord will appear. And then you'll lose all your marbles. [Big Grin]
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Jim-Me
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But if you listen to Black Sabbath on 78 speed you'll see God... (desperately hoping someone else knows what I'm talking about)
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tt&t
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Then clearly you're not old enough [Razz]
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DevilDreamt
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Greatest rock band of all time? The Misfits.

Why? They epitomize the do-it-yourself attitude, and have been fiercely dedicated to their fans since day one. They make music that's genuinely fun to listen to, and they rock harder than Metallica, AC/DC and the Ramones combined.

I would also cast votes for Rush and Iggy Pop, since both had a big impact on my life and the way I perceive music.

(I'm not voting for the Beatles since they are over-represented anyway, but my first album ever was Rubber Soul, and I still enjoy the band very much).

I am not surprised that no one has mentioned The Offspring. I read an article recently (or was it someone on here?) who claimed that the Offspring were simply a "gimmick," and not punk rock at all, but I think having the most successful independent label album in history is pretty impressive.

Best Performing Band Today: Flogging Molly
I'm not sure what genre they count as, because they really aren't like any other band.

Why do people like The Pixies? Yes, I really want to know. I tried to listen to them and found them to be completely.... unremarkable. Some of my friends tried to explain that they felt the same way at first, but returned to The Pixies like a year later and *suddenly* realized that they were great... I still don't get it.

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Reshpeckobiggle
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Wow. I can't believe how many Rush fans there are. Rush.com Pre-sales starting tomorrow, including August 8th at RED ROCKS!!! Saw them there two years ago from the fifth row. Their new album, Snakes and Arrows comes out in May. Listen to the single on the website. Considering this band has been doing what they're doing after 35 years with the same 3 guys*... yeah, best band ever.

Except for Yes. That's really the best band ever. Influence and all that aside, Yes has created the most original music in history. Not an opinion; that's a fact of life. The fact that you can randomly select nearly any Yes song and it does not sound like any other Yes song...

Dream Theater deserves more credit than Goldner gives them. Those guys aren't merely "talented" or "skilled." Every musician in the band is arguably the most talented and skilled in the world on their respective instruments. When you get to their level, you're just comparing them with others at their level without any objective way of determining who is better. "Who's better, Portnoy or Donati? Petrucci or Malmsteen? Rudess or Wakeman? Myung or Livine?" Forget it. But they're all in the same band, and they're making songs that aren't just excercises in proficiency, but are actually friggin good!

Finally, I would like to mention the man I believe is the greatest composer of rock music living today: Neal Morse. Pick up ? and you will hear an album of just one song, about an hour long, that is one of the most brilliantly constructed pieces of music ever. Or listen to his orignal band Spocks Beard. They never disappointed.


*I know, John Rutsey. He doesn't count.

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The Reader
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The best rock band of all time is the iridum layer* that lies between the Cretacious and Tertiary layers. It represents the end of the reign of lizards and the rise of mammals, which allowed Man to rise and create Rock music.

The best rock band, for real this time, is The Beatles. Not an original choice, I know, and not easy for me to make.

*Given the context, this is a great name for a real Rock band.

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Samprimary
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Oh, the greatest rock of all time? Duh! It is so obvious that there is no room for debate! It is clearly <insert second-rate and clearly subjective fanboy choice here>
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DevilDreamt
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Oh, the greatest rock of all time? Duh! It is so obvious that there is no room for debate! It is clearly <insert second-rate and clearly subjective fanboy choice here>

meh. that's exactly what to expect when asking a question like this. but it's still fun to see what music other people like, and see what kind of reason they give.

Which rock bands do you think are the greatest of all time, samprimary?

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Reshpeckobiggle
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He likes Maroon 5.
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Abhi
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My list [late in the game]

1. The Beatles
2. Pink Floyd
3. Queen
4. Led Zeppelin
4. AC/DC
6. Jimi Hendrix experiance
7. U2
8. Nirvana
9. Aerosmith
10. The Doors

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Paul Goldner
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Hrm. Nirvana were just copycats. They happened to be POPULAR copycats. There's nothing on nevermind that wasn't on REM's "life's rich pageant" and "document," which were half a decade earlier.
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SoaPiNuReYe
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quote:
Originally posted by Reshpeckobiggle:
He likes Maroon 5.

[ROFL]
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TL
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quote:
Hrm. Nirvana were just copycats. They happened to be POPULAR copycats. There's nothing on nevermind that wasn't on REM's "life's rich pageant" and "document," which were half a decade earlier.
I very much respectfully disagree. I'm not saying Nirvana never did anything other people hadn't already done... Sure they did. Almost everyone does. The Nirvana-inspired mini-musical-revolution seemed to be more about culture than music (though the music was good). So, sure. But REM?

Nirvana sounded nothing like REM.

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TL
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Wow, I just wrote a labyrinthine sentence of negatives that makes absolutely no sense to me now. Hopefully it will be understood in context.

Somehow.

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SteveRogers
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You're both right...kind of. It's true that Kurt Cobain was a fan of R.E.M. I mean, he was planning to make an album with them. But the sound IS distinctly different. No music is truly innovational. Everything's been done before. It's really just a matter of who makes it popular.

Anyways, the greatest band of all time is definitely Tenacious D.

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GaalDornick
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Reshpeck, you exaggerate way too much my friend. Yes is definitely not the best band ever hands down like you make them seem to be. Sure they did some really cool stuff with their music and they were very original and I wouldn't mind them being mentioned as one of the greatest ever, but to say it's a fact that Yes is the best band ever? No way.

And one nitpick, while I would agree that Petrucci and Portnoy are most likely the best at their instrument (definitely Portnoy, not so sure about Petrucci but only because I don't think there is a best guitarist in the world), I would never say that Myung is the greatest bassist in the world. Not even the in the top 10. Victor Wooten, Stu Hamm, Les Claypool, and Billy Sheehan are all better then him and I'm sure I could think of some more. He's very good, but can't hold a candle to the bassists mentioned above.

edit: Oh yeah, and Neal Morse is definitely not the greatest rock music writer in the world. Like I said about Yes, he's very good, but certainly not the best.

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striplingrz
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Man, I love this topic!

and I second the Tenacious D quip... (although I was very disappointed in their latest) LOL

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Reshpeckobiggle
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Well, GaalDornick, I just have to say that you are flat wrong. Yes is the best band that ever existed, in history. There is no room for debate here. Like I said, it's a fact of life. For instance, when this thread was started, it was simply understood that we were discussing which is the best band ever, besides Yes, of course. It didn't even need to be mentioned. How could you not get that?

And that's what makes Neal Morse so amazing. He's not even in Yes, and he's still the greatest in the world. Which makes Yes doubly amazing, in that they are the greatest in the world, even though Neal Morse isn't their band! I think it all works out because the universe only continues to exist while Neal Morse and Yes are two separate entities. I think Godel explained why with one of his number set theories.

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Eisenoxyde
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quote:
Originally posted by DevilDreamt:
Best Performing Band Today: Flogging Molly
I'm not sure what genre they count as, because they really aren't like any other band.

They're coming to my school this Friday! I'm pretty exited for the concert. [Big Grin]
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vonk
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Led Zep gets my vote for greatest of all time. Maybe not the most influential, but they sure as heck (IMO) did it better than anyone else.

Vonk's Best Rock Group of the 90's goes to... Beck! Mellow Gold, Odelay and Mutations are the three best rock albums to come out in my lifetime. That man is a genius among geniuses and Radiohead will bow before him as he stands at the right hand of Xenu!

As for personal favorites:

#1 - Allman Brothers Band (jam bands count darnit!)
#2 - Led Zep
#3 - Grateful Dead
#4 - Neil Young
#5 - Doobie Brothers

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vonk
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quote:
Anyways, the greatest band of all time is definitely Tenacious D.
Well, they certainly did play the best and greatest song in the world... a tribute.

quote:
Best Performing Band Today: Flogging Molly
I'm not sure what genre they count as, because they really aren't like any other band.

I know of at least one other band that they are almost exactly like. http://blaggards.com/ But then, Blaggards came later.
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striplingrz
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I know the definition of "Rock" is massively broad, but even I, a huge fan of Beck music, have a hard time agreeing with your assertion there. Mellow Gold & Mutations are really really good, but Beck doesn't fit my definition of Rock band/group. Club-quasy Rock - quasy Hip Hop, maybe, but not the greatest Rock band. But to each his own.
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vonk
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quote:
But to each his own
Indeed. You suprised me by disqualifying (IYO) Beck from the rock genre and I had to rethink my assertions. It's a good thing I didn't actually have to change my assertions, as everywhere I've checked, and I'm still checking, has catagorized those three albums in either Alternative Rock or Indie Rock, and I agree. Both of those genres rock pretty hard, and so does Beck (IMO). But, as you said, to each his own.

1990's Beck for President!

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Paul Goldner
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Yes, each band copycats to some degree off of previous bands or musicians.

My problem with the votes nirvana always seem to get in these sorts of questions is that they werent particularly talented musicians, and there's nothing really new about their arrangements, and their lyrics aren't significantly different from their immediate predescecors and contemporaries.

Some freak set of circumstances exposed the world to nevermind in 1991, but most of those circumstances had almost nothing to do with the quality of the music or the originality of the arrangements. They, basically, get tons of extra credit for timing... for reasling an album that sounded like the albums other bands had put out in the mid-80's, but doing it 5 years later.

Nothing against nirvana... they are not worse then their contemporaries. They just aren't really distinguishablly better or "newer" then them, either.

In terms of instrumental quality, referring back to petrucci... satriani can do anything petrucci can do, and he does it better. You want the best hard rock guitarist? I think the discussion begins and ends with satriani. His music has the soul that petrucci's often loses because he's burried in the technical details... and his technicisionship isn't better then malmsteen's, satriani's, or a handful of other hard rockers.

Best band ever?
My favorite is R.E.M.
Best instrumentation is Joe Satriani.

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Reshpeckobiggle
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quote:
Originally posted by Paul Goldner:

In terms of instrumental quality, referring back to petrucci... satriani can do anything petrucci can do, and he does it better. You want the best hard rock guitarist? I think the discussion begins and ends with satriani. His music has the soul that petrucci's often loses because he's burried in the technical details... and his technicisionship isn't better then malmsteen's, satriani's, or a handful of other hard rockers.


Lies, all lies!! Curses!
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Paul Goldner
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[Wink]
I happen to like petrucci. But I dare you to listen to, for example, Surfing with the Alien by Satriani, or Flying in a Blue Dream, or Crystal Planet, or Summer Song, and tell me Petrucci could do that.

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Bokonon
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Paul, are making a "Nirvana is largely REM with distortion and gravelly vocal instead of nasally vocal" argument? I can see that in a way, but is still a bit of a stretch, they came in from different directions... Especially if you listen to Bleach and see were Nirvana evolved from. REM grew out of Iggy Pop/Velvet Underground/Patti Smith, and Nirvana came out of the Depeche Mode/Metal (who is considered a seminal metal act??mold

Nirvana doing covers of songs like "World Leader Pretend" would have been pretty awesome, no that I think about it. Stupid Cobain.

-Bok

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Paul Goldner
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I agree they came in from different directions, but when I listen closely to nevermind (off of which their status as "best of all time" is usually staked) I really can't hear anything that isn't more r.e.m. then anything else. They may have arrived there from an alternate route, and I think they did, but they got to the same place r.e.m. did with arrnagements, style, and even to some degree lyrics.
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DevilDreamt
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quote:
Originally posted by vonk:

I know of at least one other band that they are almost exactly like. http://blaggards.com/ But then, Blaggards came later.

Okay, I went to the Blaggards myspace page and listened to the songs they had up there. They lack energy in every sense of the word. They are much more overtly influenced by a country/western sound than Flogging Molly is. The Blaggards don't list Flogging Molly in "Influences" or "Sounds Like" sections. Although they have a similar feel, I think Flogging Molly's L.A. punk roots set them apart from the Blaggards in a vital way. Based on the limited songs I have of the Blaggards, I'm going to hazard a guess that their lyrics would have an incredibly hard time standing up against Flogging Molly's, and their music overall doesn't sound as varied, original, or complex as Flogging Molly's.

Anyway, you turned my world upside down because you prompted me to look at Flogging Molly's myspace page, and wow, the music they've selected to put up is absolutely terrible. The songs, presumably off from a new collection called "Complete Control Sessions" sound terrible, and lack the energy that really made this band work for me.

I've gone to their shows before, and they had a ton of energy and the music didn't sound all that different from what's on their CD's. But then, I saw them back when Within A Mile From Home first came out. I really really hope they're not changing their sound.

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GaalDornick
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I just got back from seeing G3 with Petrucci, Satriani, and Paul Gilbert. If God played guitar he would sound like the G3 jam at the end. [Smile]
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vonk
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Well sure Blaggards are different from Flogging Molly in key ways, especially ways that a fan of FM would pick up on right away. But I think they still have a similar sound, similar roots, and a similar genre: Irish rock. So, I was unintentionally exagerating when I said "almost exactly like." What I should have said was "very similar." I was just pointing out that there are other bands in the same ball park as FM.
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Reshpeckobiggle
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I've listened to two of those; Surfing and Blue Dream. I don't know if Petrucci could do all that, because he is not Satriani. I don't think that Satriani could do everything thatMalmsteen does, and I don't think Malmsteen could do everything that Petrucci does. I don't think Vigil Donati could do everything that Mike Portnoy does, and vice-versa. This is my point. Whe you get to a certain level, it is no longer a quetion of who is better. It really is just a matter of taste. Who was better: Mozart or Beethoven? That's silly. Who do you like better? That's the only relevant question.
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Samprimary
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Satriani is a better guitarist than Petrucci, as is his apprentice Vai.
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Reshpeckobiggle
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Oh. I hadn't looked at it that way. Thanks Sam!
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