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80's vrs 90's Music


62SG

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Greetings 62SG - as one of the resident old guys, who actually liked a good bit of 80's and 90's music, I'm not sure that it sucked, altogether, but I'm not sure I heard music move as far forward in that time period. Sure, we got lots of cool new technology, guitar synths, digital recording, amp & effects modeling, among many other things, but if you listen to rock guitar from say, "Meet the Beatles" through "Are You Experienced", you've traveled a great distance in a very short time - you also have to remember that the bands who would lead the Prog Rock movement, like Yes, Genesis & King Crimson were already recording in '68 or '69. By the mid-70's, much of rock had stratified into different genres, with a lot of help from record companies. Music produced purely for market share always sucks, no matter what kind of music it is, or when it's made.

"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

 

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The 70s had its share of suck also.

Kiki Dee, Disco Duck, and punk.

 

I thought the 80s had some great things going on. Hard Rock thrived and guitarists actually practiced and played well.

The problem with the 90s was that it was cool to suck on guitar and whine about your problems. Thanks, Nirvana. :rolleyes:

 

Regardless of decade, there's always good stuff but you have to go out of your way to find it.

A Jazz/Chord Melody Master-my former instructor www.robertconti.com

 

(FKA GuitarPlayerSoCal)

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I don't think of it so much as "cool to suck" so much as "cool not to be a virtuoso."

 

80's - cool to be a showoff, particularly on guitar. No substance required, just play 90,000 notes per second.

 

90's - cool to be a complete hack, with no musical sense whatsoever. Throw your guitar on the floor several times in rhythm with the drums and record it and sing over it? Sure, why not?

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As a younger member (from what I can read) I wonder if the more experienced players agree with me that 80's rock and 90's rock, with a few exceptions, sucked?

 

Sure, if you want generalizations that one is generally true. 80s & 90s, along with the 70s, 00s & 10s. Obviously the high point of rock decades was the 60s, but we need to remember that there was really a lot of crap in the 60s too. If there weren't always a lot of crap in popular music of any era it would be classical, not pop.

Scott Fraser
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As one who "came of age" in the '60's, I can agree there was a lot of crap then, too. IF you count the entirety of the 1960's.

But a lot of any decades music is judged by what came to light roughly half-way throught the decade. '70's associated with disco, '80's stuck with what I call the "John Hughes songbook".

'60's with Beatles and Stones, Hendrix and Doors, Dylan and CSN.

NOBODY brings up Tommy Roe, Rolf Harris or The Ventures. Or John D. Loudermilk and Sandy Nelson.

 

So, which part of the '80's and '90's are you talking about?

 

For me, there was little I kept with me from the '80's. I DID like what was happening in the earlier part of the '90's; Pearljam, STP, Alice in Chains, Wallflowers, Our Lady Peace. Eventually though, it all softened down into the Greenday, Coldplay formulaic stuff still going on.

 

I immersed myself in "Jazz/Rock" and jazz in general in the '80's, and was familiar with whatever was on MTV when my kids had it on. I liked, and still like Thomas Dolby's "Flat Earth" however.

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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I'm going to get flamed mercilessly for this, but I think that the 60's and 70's are waaaaaay overrated and idealized (good but still overrated). I also think that a lot of the so-called "all you have to do is play a million notes" guys from the 80's are underrated. Personally I think a lot of the anti-virtuoso sentiment is sour grapes from folks who can't hang.

 

I'll admit I'm biased, because my musical tastes developed in the 80's, but I'm not sure how one can not at least appreciate the work and dedication that it took to get to the top of the metal gunslinging heap in the 80's and early 90's. If you weed out the garbage (and there's garbage in every decade) there's some really good stuff in there.

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I'm going to get flamed mercilessly for this, but I think that the 60's and 70's are waaaaaay overrated and idealized (good but still overrated). I also think that a lot of the so-called "all you have to do is play a million notes" guys from the 80's are underrated. Personally I think a lot of the anti-virtuoso sentiment is sour grapes from folks who can't hang.

 

As a student of music, I strongly disagree with your last sentence. Yes, there were guys from the 80's that were underrated, but by and large it was because of the whole "who has the bigger c***" mentality of guitar playing.

 

I have always appreciated virtuosity (one of my favorite guitarists is John Petrucci, the consummate technician) - but there was a lot of stupid pet tricks going on in the 80's that demonstrated someone's ability to play really fast, but also demonstrated their inability to play appropriately.

 

I'll admit I'm biased, because my musical tastes developed in the 80's, but I'm not sure how one can not at least appreciate the work and dedication that it took to get to the top of the metal gunslinging heap in the 80's and early 90's. If you weed out the garbage (and there's garbage in every decade) there's some really good stuff in there.

 

My musical tastes developed in the 80's as well, and believe you me, I was a speed-metal freak before I started to really appreciate music - I've heard the fastest guns in the west - but none of what they were doing was musical by any stretch of the word.

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I think people hang on the the era of their own musical awakening. 60's the high point of rock? Not for me. I discovered prog-rock in the mid 70's (Yes, Floyd, ELP, Genesis, etc.), and my musical tastes still reference the sounds of that time.

 

I can find music to like from almost any decade, but the gold standard for me is rooted firmly in the 70's.

Dan

 

"I hate what I've become, trying to escape who I am..."

 

 

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I'm going to get flamed mercilessly for this, but I think that the 60's and 70's are waaaaaay overrated and idealized (good but still overrated). I also think that a lot of the so-called "all you have to do is play a million notes" guys from the 80's are underrated. Personally I think a lot of the anti-virtuoso sentiment is sour grapes from folks who can't hang.

 

The music of the '60's is celebrated not because the level of musical virtuosity was so great, but because of diversity. You had rock'n'roll of course, but Soul grew to large crossover acceptance, "Folk-Rock", a hybrid of two musical and lyrical ideas, Motown was born, Psycadelia, Mod, "Acid" rock, Jazz/Rock, etc. There was more musical GROWTH that took place in a few short years than ever before or since. Sure, not all of it was golden(Remember "Winchester Cathedral"), but after a number of years of commercial radio "same-old-same-old" the expanded pallette was exciting times.

 

Not too much diversity in the '80's. But it goes back to my "AM on FM" thread.

To get any musical diversity in the '80's, you had to tune into 4 or 5 different stations. I don't know what you mean by the "Virtuoso" thing. Playing a million notes does take some virtuosity, but only if those million notes aren't aimless, which a lot of those note rainstorms were. Add to that the fact that almost every metal band tended to sound and look alike, as well as the pasteurized sounding "New Wave", big haired bands, and the '80's tend to be best forgotten. But not totally(to use the overused '80's vernacular).

When clown costumes equalled or in many cases took on more importance than musical creativity, it spelled doom to musical growth and expansion, in my opinion. In the '60's, look alikes and sound alikes were largely dismissed by listeners. Same goes for much of the '90's, which is why I like that era better than the '80's.

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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anyone who thinks there wasn't much diversity in the 80s isn't familiar with the R.I.O. scene

 

Well, as I've stated before, I spent a lot of time listening to public radio during those years. I don't even know(Or maybe know it by some other referrence)what the R.I.O. scene is. At any rate, my aversion to diversity was to both musical AND racially music diversity. On one radio station.

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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There was more musical GROWTH that took place in a few short years than ever before or since.

 

Agreed. There was definitely more musical growth (from a band and songwriting standpoint) in the 60's, and I think that the 80's was more a decade of guitar-specific growth... the bar got raised, in other words.

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No degree in music, just grew up with a music teacher as a parent and have enjoyed listening to it my whole life and playing it since childhood (voice, cello, guitar), and I stand by my statement: Theodore Sturgeon was right (though his percentages may be off).

 

In this context, that means we've all probably heard a lot of garbage. And just because of the way human psychology works, we probably have a much higher opinion of the crap WE like than the crap others enjoy. (Indeed, I've never seen anyone's music collection that is 100% what I'd call good...)

 

But that also means that in any era we're discussing, you can find gold.

 

And also that musical taste is individual: It will doubtlessly cause befuddlement that despite my love of bands like Yes, King Crimson, and Rush, I really enjoyed Nirvana's low-key minimalist approach. Despite owning a LOT of 80s shredder music, I also recognize that many of those solos were mere wankery...but gimmie my YJM, baby! AND later shredders like Skolnick, Satriani, Buckethead and Lane.

Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: âNinety percent of everything is crapâ

 

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Art and art history is one of my degrees. So, this is one of those real interesting topics for me. I don't know if you guys are familiar with the terms modernism, post modernism, industrialism and post colonialism. Post modernism is a term one can use to describe the period of second renaissance where distant culture, technology and knowledge begin a confluence.

 

Modernism is the trend of thought that we can control and create a better reality as humans. This is a Western society (American inspired I might add) trend. The thought is flawed on so many levels, it was bound to backlash. Who controls that better reality is flaw number one in my book. World Wars back me up there.

 

The second decade of the century sparked the bedrock of integration between distant cultures, communications and the technology to accelerate the spread of the "other". The influence of "other" becomes knowledge, integration components and inspiration. You can trace the development (cyclical ebb and flow to my taste) of music as new influences are tasted, socio-political trends and dogmas fail, integrated and consumed into the collective conscious. This collective knowledge and inspiration is growing and shrinking and billowing like a chemical fire. The collective turns up and down the heat as necessary in a response or reflection of the present world.

 

The 20s see the Jazz age as a great confluence. Still structured and cultivated in a modern way, but a confluence. The 50s see technology integrated with a simpler form. An easy industrial, portable, primitive and personal format. A confluence and acceptance of the other in a more embracing way, mixed with technology and a backlash to simplicity. The 50s are beyond modern because it embraced the primitive. By the 60s, post modernism is full tilt. A real renaissance in music where technology, communication, contact, failing dogmas, social and political turmoil all collide. Counter culture, was a post modern collision, the result of which was wholesale change, upsetting establishment. If you keep the 60s in the test tube, it's pretty friggin' amazing! The music is a total reflection of the world. However, it was not sustainable as the 60s world was Certainly not. Form would need to follow function and the world continued to turn. More and more refinements and structure mix with technology (including video) coinciding by an industrial overtaking and the digital age. A finely polished turd is formed by the 80s. The decade of decadence, debauchery and me. Then the 90s was an angry time. Simplicity and primitiveness is a backlash to the polished turd. Then we polished that turd until the primitive is cliche... Anyway... I wish I lived in the Renaissance, Baroque, 20s, or 60s but could take my 64 core workstation with me. Maybe 2020 will be another awakening?!?!? Where will it come from? The cost of turmoil that accompanies the awakenings have often been catastrophic (war, etc.). Image what the baroque and renaissance masters could have done with super computers...

 

OK - So that was way to deep. Forgive me, I've been studying command line syntax all night and needed to type a little English.

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Hmmm-well by confining your survey to rock, the answer is inevitable-as it would be for anything that starts out as a chaotic but enthusiast-heavy business and then evolves-or degrades-into a global corporate-driven industry. A lot of people would be shocked to find out how many countries have their local version of Britney, or Springsteen.

Basically, of course rock`s development would be hampered once it dawned on various economic interests that it`s WAY more profitable to sell people on the tools of rock than to take someone and try to make them into a rock star. There was a time when many players who now toil away in obscurity would have had a serious shot at getting signed. Now it`s more like, YOU can be a rock star-just buy this DAW. That`s a sure indication of the vultues circling over rock and it has been moving that way for several decades. Is it a death sentence-not necessarily. It`s not a birthday party.

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

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There was more musical GROWTH that took place in a few short years than ever before or since.

 

Agreed. There was definitely more musical growth (from a band and songwriting standpoint) in the 60's, and I think that the 80's was more a decade of guitar-specific growth... the bar got raised, in other words.

 

Not to mention that everything that came after the 60's & 70's couldn't have happened without it. There isn't a guitarist today that doesn't owe a major debt to the musical stylings of what became known as "B.O.F. music" from the 60's and 70's. Anyone who says different has no idea what they are talking about.

I think it's hysterical that every generation comes up with the idea they are onto something new and different from anything that came before. How naive do you have to be to believe that?

Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

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I thought the 90's rocked. King's X, Alice in Chains, KD Lang.

 

I disagree. I think we NEEDED everyone to stop shredding for a spell, you know take the underwear off their heads and get a breath of umm smoke. Alice in Chains is incredible. One of the best metal bands of all time in my opinion.

 

 

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I'm going to get flamed mercilessly for this, but I think that the 60's and 70's are waaaaaay overrated and idealized (good but still overrated).

 

No flame, just an observation. If it can be shown that any decade other than 60s pushed the evolution of the art form as far & as relentlessly as the Beatles, Hendrix, Who, Dylan, Stones, Pink Floyd, Cream, Zeppelin & others, then I would say that we who came of age in that decade are just indulging in nostalgia for our lost youth & exaggerating the importance of our collective beliefs & values. But I don't see it. I don't see any other decade having had a tenth of the impact on popular music (as an art, not just as a business,) that the 60s did. I'm not saying there isn't energy & inventiveness in every generation's decade, but, really, what is the "Sgt Pepper" of the 1990s?

Scott Fraser
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No flame, just an observation. If it can be shown that any decade other than 60s pushed the evolution of the art form as far & as relentlessly as the Beatles, Hendrix, Who, Dylan, Stones, Pink Floyd, Cream, Zeppelin & others, then I would say that we who came of age in that decade are just indulging in nostalgia for our lost youth & exaggerating the importance of our collective beliefs & values. But I don't see it. I don't see any other decade having had a tenth of the impact on popular music (as an art, not just as a business,) that the 60s did. I'm not saying there isn't energy & inventiveness in every generation's decade, but, really, what is the "Sgt Pepper" of the 1990s?

 

I Agree.

SEHpicker

SEHpicker

 

The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it." George Orwell

 

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I'm going to get flamed mercilessly for this, but I think that the 60's and 70's are waaaaaay overrated and idealized (good but still overrated).

 

No flame, just an observation. If it can be shown that any decade other than 60s pushed the evolution of the art form as far & as relentlessly as the Beatles, Hendrix, Who, Dylan, Stones, Pink Floyd, Cream, Zeppelin & others, then I would say that we who came of age in that decade are just indulging in nostalgia for our lost youth & exaggerating the importance of our collective beliefs & values. But I don't see it. I don't see any other decade having had a tenth of the impact on popular music (as an art, not just as a business,) that the 60s did. I'm not saying there isn't energy & inventiveness in every generation's decade, but, really, what is the "Sgt Pepper" of the 1990s?

 

I wasn't there. I was born an Aquarius in 68. But, I agree with you!

 

The guitar ideas developed in the 60s were ruthlessly polished in the 80s and early 90s.

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i can find positive and negative in every decade. we constantly crap on the over playing of the 80's yet seem to embrace the 12 minute bore the hell out of me pentatonic stoned out of your skull solo's of the 70's.

 

And the hair metal formula of the 80's is often matched by the three chord repetition and "i wrote these lyrics when i was 15" of past eras. we are all going to have comfort zones of when we were in our teens and believe that was the best time.

 

there are of course gems in every decade. i like what i like.

which covers every decade i have been alive.

there are so called Gods of guitar that literally bore the piss out of me. and people i appreciate but most claim to hate.

 

i find if i diss something i can find a band i like that falls victim of the same negative comments.

 

funny how we can crap on a band for being puppets of the record label and embrace older artists who obviously have been lucky to be sculptured by a mentor who was like an extra member.

 

music has been a business from day one. The Beatles and all that came after were not grabbed for the sake of art. it was a business move.

 

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I agree. And with that, I see we're headed back to the "Art v. Commerce" thread.

 

I know a lot of people who "came of age" in the '80's, and they claim '80's music is best. Those who "came of age" in the '90's, PICK the '90's. Generally speaking. But not all. My older daughter is a child of the '80's, so to speak, and prefers the '70's "Glam-Rock". A neice five years her junior just loves the Beatles. Go figure...

 

What picker said about the '80's and '90's music not happening without what came from the '60's, '70's and all others is true. I have one nephew who says he "hates" rock'n'roll. I could never pin him down on what he means by that. But he's big into rap and hip-hop(whatever THEIR diferrences are), and can't seem to grasp the realization that none of it would have BEEN possible without rock'n'roll in the first place.

 

To some, music is an important element in their lives. Others don't give it a thought. My wife, for example is older than me. SHE'S a girl who was a teenager in the '50's. But, as she still loves the oldie rockers from her past, she also likes some of the newer crap I have no use for. And oddly enough, she likes both Duffy and Maroon 5! THERE'S an eclectic taste!

 

So, is '80's music better than the '90's? You'll have to ask someone who never heard either, sit them down with the best each decade has to offer, then get an objective opinion.

 

Good luck with that.

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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