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Author Topic: Hurt or Strengthen?  (Read 267 times)

2 of 3

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Hurt or Strengthen?
« on: February 27, 2016, 11:44:18 PM »

Merv made a thought provoking comment to me today. I'll paraphrase it to ask my question.

Saturday Night Fever.  What do you think of the Bee Gee's before and then after their disco stage?

I suppose I could ask the same question about Paul. Beatles....then Mary Had a Little Lamb and Silly Love songs.

Hurt...or Strengthen their legacy?
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Mervap

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Re: Hurt or Strengthen?
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2016, 08:11:53 AM »

Weird that I don't recall your posting this.....I would surely have replied!

The answer differs depending on the act in question. So many people would never have heard of the Bee Gees were it not for the "disco" phase. I can speak for myself here....I did enjoy their stuff from that era enough that when someone mentioned they'd been around a lot longer, I was rewarded with discovering their early albums, which are excellent. Same thing kinda happened with the band Yes. I found them thru the album 90125......Two can tell you how much that pains him! However, thru that album, I came to find their back catalog, which is superlative.

Paul is a different case. I didn't discover Macca thru Wings and then find he'd been in some band before then. I have been listening to a podcast called "Something About The Beatles" and they covered this sort of question as it pertains to 1971 in particular. Comparing "Ram" and "Imagine" and the sparring J and P did on those albums and in the press. One of the guys quoted Lennon as having said, later, that Paul is a good lyricist who doesn't think he is. I'd say that, for the most part, is accurate. Many times in his solo career, I have wondered what ever became of the guy who wrote "Eleanor Rigby" or "For No One". I know, I know....he's in a totally different place now. Having said that, Paul's gift for melody has seldom left him, so his stuff is great to listen to. Has all this tarnished his legacy? I doubt it....his bonafides were already well established long before the end of the Sixties.
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If love is blind, how will it ever find a way?

Greg

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Re: Hurt or Strengthen?
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2016, 12:14:54 PM »

I'll just comment on BGs for now.

They did disco before disco was cool (or uncool).  They are the poster boys for disco, and prob should be, but they also wrote several "disco" tunes years before the movie.  In fact, they werent even involved in the movie until it was virtually completed.  They werent supposed to be part of it.

Anyway, they have tons of great songs with great singing and melodies.  They really do have some pretty good lyrics to many of their songs too.  I Started A Joke, NY Mining Disaster 1941, Words, ...

I really like their early stuff.  Though from Sat Night Fever on I dont listen to.  Sat Fever is just too dated.  Those songs are catchy though.  Some of the catchiest ever written, but I can't listen to late 70 Bee Gees or beyond.
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kylenz

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Re: Hurt or Strengthen?
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2016, 04:13:03 AM »

In the Bee Gees' case, I think if you asked anyone on the street to name the first Bee Gees song that comes into their head, I bet they'd name something from Saturday Night Fever. 10 bucks says it would be 'Stayin' Alive'!  ;D

Having said that, my favourite period of theirs is definitely the 60s work. Fave songs are 'New York Mining Disaster 1941', 'World', 'Holiday', 'Massachusetts' etc (as you can see, I'm a HUGE fan of that 'Horizontal' album!). But the disco period is equally as outstanding. 'Tragedy' is a fantastic song.

Heading across to Paul McCartney, I think the 'Mary Had A Little Lamb' thing makes very little difference to his legacy. If you asked the ordinary person on the street, chances are they wouldn't have even heard the song. People generally regard 'Silly Love Songs' as a boppy upbeat 70s tune much like the Bee Gees stuff - they don't regard it in the same terms as a discerning looking-down-his-nose music fan would.

I think the thing that hurts his legacy the most is when he's lined up to perform in VERY public events (like the Queen's Jubilee and Live Aid for instance) and unable to deliver the goods vocally. That always makes me sad as a McCartney fan - I've seen him live in the last 5 years and I know he CAN still sing really well - but he also has his share of off-nights.

The thing I thought would hurt someone's legacy, but doesn't seem to do it, is when an act sings most of their songs in lower keys - Fleetwood Mac, Elton John, Black Sabbath for example. The fans oddly don't seem to notice it or mind it, but to me they can sound like a 45 playing on 33!!
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