Cultural Catch Up

Discussions about serious topics, for serious people

Should we catch up?

Yes, why take average from today when superb from yesterday is available
7
37%
Yes, need the history to understand the present
3
16%
All depends
5
26%
People can do what they want, it doesn't matter either way
2
11%
No, culture is always in movement, look to the now and the tomorrow
1
5%
No, these so-called canons of the greats are meaningless
1
5%
 
Total votes: 19

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lpm
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Cultural Catch Up

Post by lpm » Thu Mar 18, 2021 4:28 pm

We live in an age where the cultural highlights of our modern civilisation are often available instantly and for free. We can watch movies greats from the silent era, get the National Gallery collection up on screen, play video game classics online. If we weren't born or were too young or missed it at the time, any of us can catch up now.

Are we taking advantage of this enough? The Beatles released 213 songs on 12 studio albums. In the lower living standards of the 1960s it would have cost a fair bit to own all their albums and the record player to go with it, today it's all available online for free. Who wouldn't want to listen to all 213 songs, hearing the progression of the most famous group of all time? It's not a lengthy task like reading War & Peace. Fans could go on to listen to the rarities and the live recordings, but simply hearing the core songs once could be a goal for any person's lifetime?

Likewise movies, the greatest art form of the 20th Century. There are the various lists of the 100 greatest movies, watching just two or three a year for free will give anyone a good backdrop over time. Going to the theatre to see all Shakespeare plays would be expensive, but there are free movie versions and free scripts. All out of copyright literature is available free, much else is available cheaply or from libraries. National museums are free in the UK. Pacman is an online game.

Catching up with cultural highlights has never been easier or cheaper.

And then there's expanding out from British/Western culture into global culture, the world of Korean cinema and African literature and Japanese art.

Have we adapted quickly enough to the world of free? Are these things lodged in our minds as exclusive or unavailable or expensive?

Or are we a species who loves the ephemeral, wanting to move on to the next series of an entertaining TV show or the next paperback thriller, not really interested in looking back at the old classics?
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Re: Cultural Catch Up

Post by Lew Dolby » Thu Mar 18, 2021 4:55 pm

But isn't the experience of visiting a gallery or going to a concert, and sometimes as a shared experience, valuable as well ?
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Re: Cultural Catch Up

Post by jdc » Thu Mar 18, 2021 7:07 pm

I voted yes, which is clearly the correct answer. There's a lot more of the past than there is the present so there's bound to be more top-notch music from the olden days than there will be from 2021. And while there's also far more shite from the past than there is from the present, the critics have already helpfully separated your David Bowies from your Meanswears and saved me the job of trawling through dogshit looking for diamonds.

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Re: Cultural Catch Up

Post by tom p » Thu Mar 18, 2021 7:13 pm

jdc wrote:
Thu Mar 18, 2021 7:07 pm
I voted yes, which is clearly the correct answer. There's a lot more of the past than there is the present so there's bound to be more top-notch music from the olden days than there will be from 2021. And while there's also far more shite from the past than there is from the present, the critics have already helpfully separated your David Bowies from your Meanswears and saved me the job of trawling through dogshit looking for diamonds.
Oh god, yes, give me daydreamer over diamond dogs any day

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Re: Cultural Catch Up

Post by Woodchopper » Thu Mar 18, 2021 9:20 pm

Have we adapted quickly enough to the world of free?

I have to a certain extent with music. But not in the way you mention.

Back in the day listening to interesting new music took a lot of time. You had to wait for the reviews in a newspaper or magazine, then go to a record shop and scour through the LPs or CDs, then take it home and listen. Half of the time it would be shite, or half shite with one or two decent tracks on the album and the rest being filler composed by the roadie. So you repeat the same exercise next weekend.

Because it was so much effort people ended up listening to the same bands that they were into as teenagers. Of course there's a bit of nostalgia, but the time required was a big part of that.

Now we get to listen to anything produced anywhere. Better still you can try out a new band for no extra expense and artificial intelligence will work out what you like and make useful suggestions for what you might like. Today I've been listening to French pop and a modern reinterpretation of Bach. None of which would I have encountered in the old days.

Listening to the whole Beatles back catalogue sounds like a great idea. But there's so much interesting stuff being made today.

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Re: Cultural Catch Up

Post by Millennie Al » Fri Mar 19, 2021 4:14 am

lpm wrote:
Thu Mar 18, 2021 4:28 pm
The Beatles released 213 songs on 12 studio albums. In the lower living standards of the 1960s it would have cost a fair bit to own all their albums and the record player to go with it, today it's all available online for free. Who wouldn't want to listen to all 213 songs, hearing the progression of the most famous group of all time? It's not a lengthy task like reading War & Peace. Fans could go on to listen to the rarities and the live recordings, but simply hearing the core songs once could be a goal for any person's lifetime?
Lifetime? It takes a lot less than a day - see https://www.beatlesbible.com/forum/the- ... les-songs/ for various measurements and scenarios.
Or are we a species who loves the ephemeral, wanting to move on to the next series of an entertaining TV show or the next paperback thriller, not really interested in looking back at the old classics?
Do we read old threads on this forum? Some of it is novelty, but there's a lot more to it than that. Sometimes a work is considered exceptional because it was the first to introduce a technique, so it's of interest to someone interested in the history of the medium, but isn't better than more modern works which use that technique and others. Just as you wouldn't read original works by Archimedes or Newton to learn the science of theirs which we still use.
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Re: Cultural Catch Up

Post by science_fox » Fri Mar 19, 2021 8:52 am

I've read a few classics of the genre from time to time. They're pretty much all tedious. Reading around the subject and understanding the time in which they were written you can see why they'd have been groundbreaking and extraordinary then. But now they're dull, cliched almost - yes they were first, but unless they're first to you they're no longer clever or new. From the shoulders of giants we can see so much further.

Art may be a different field, where it only seems to gain reputation once it's creator is long dead, but I'd take Banksy over Bacon anyday.

The Beatles are still modern music! why aren't you listening to the collected harpsichord and lute tunes?

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Re: Cultural Catch Up

Post by secret squirrel » Fri Mar 19, 2021 9:03 am

science_fox wrote:
Fri Mar 19, 2021 8:52 am
...The Beatles are still modern music! why aren't you listening to the collected harpsichord and lute tunes?
Guillaume de Machaut is legitimately better than the Beatles.

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Re: Cultural Catch Up

Post by bjn » Fri Mar 19, 2021 9:27 am

science_fox wrote:
Fri Mar 19, 2021 8:52 am
The Beatles are still modern music! why aren't you listening to the collected harpsichord and lute tunes?
I do!

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Re: Cultural Catch Up

Post by lpm » Fri Mar 19, 2021 10:41 am

Everyone listens to pop music, it's... er... popular. The 3 minute pop song is one of the great art forms of our time. And loads of people love to form their own bands and play a bit of rock and roll. And everyone knows The Beatles are one of the greats, the best selling in history and creating huge innovation in their era.

You'd have thought basic human curiosity would drive people to want to listen to 12 hours of their studio albums for free, if only to hear the progression. People don't though.

Millennie Al has a good point that the original innovators will get overtaken by newcomers making better use of the techniques. But listen to 12 Beatles albums and you'll hear the first concept album, the first of loads of studio recording tricks such as the first fade in, the first electronic music, the first fusion with eastern instruments, the first psychedelic rock, the first heavy metal...

But maybe something has been lost through time. The greatest strength of pop music is it's ephemeral. Which means it links very closely to a particular month in our lives, which means it triggers nostalgia. Any bit of crap works as an oldie - for example Mambo No. 5, virulent across Europe in the summer of 1999, will make people recall that summer. Much of The Beatles work is linked to the 60s and their huge cultural impact on society, leaving a chunk of their musical power lost to those of us who weren't even born at the time.
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Re: Cultural Catch Up

Post by lpm » Fri Mar 19, 2021 10:51 am

My trigger for this thread was seeing the bookshelves pictures. Seems like every one of us has an identical line of Pratchett books and some Bryson, with a Douglas Adams collection in between.

But are Pratchett books now expired? Are they throwaway paperbacks, part of our past but not part of the future of the next generation? Like the Beatles, will today's authors build better works on the shoulder's of Pratchett's ground breaking orginals?

The Woodchopper approach would be to use the free/v.cheap availability of brand new work to explore what's happening today, looking ahead rather than catching up with the past. Time is finite, and spending a month reading War and Peace means a month of not reading new books.

My instinct is to work my way through "The 100 greatest movies" type lists over the years, rather than seek out "The best 2020 movies you never even heard of" type lists.
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Re: Cultural Catch Up

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Mar 19, 2021 10:59 am

lpm wrote:
Fri Mar 19, 2021 10:41 am
Everyone listens to pop music, it's... er... popular. The 3 minute pop song is one of the great art forms of our time. And loads of people love to form their own bands and play a bit of rock and roll. And everyone knows The Beatles are one of the greats, the best selling in history and creating huge innovation in their era.

You'd have thought basic human curiosity would drive people to want to listen to 12 hours of their studio albums for free, if only to hear the progression. People don't though.

Millennie Al has a good point that the original innovators will get overtaken by newcomers making better use of the techniques. But listen to 12 Beatles albums and you'll hear the first concept album, the first of loads of studio recording tricks such as the first fade in, the first electronic music, the first fusion with eastern instruments, the first psychedelic rock, the first heavy metal...

But maybe something has been lost through time. The greatest strength of pop music is it's ephemeral. Which means it links very closely to a particular month in our lives, which means it triggers nostalgia. Any bit of crap works as an oldie - for example Mambo No. 5, virulent across Europe in the summer of 1999, will make people recall that summer. Much of The Beatles work is linked to the 60s and their huge cultural impact on society, leaving a chunk of their musical power lost to those of us who weren't even born at the time.
I'm with Millennie Al. All forms of art are a conversation. Someone produces something, and someone else takes that idea and adds something else, then someone reinterprets it, and that process carries on forever. Listening to The Beatles is like rewinding the tape back to a much earlier part of the conversation, before lots of other new ideas have been added and developed. They are of course geniuses (except Ringo) but their music still lacks everything that's been thought of during the last 50 years.

For example, the above linked reimagining of Bach basically takes some of Bach's themes and expresses them as if he were a late 20th Century minimalist composer. I find that really interesting, but that exercise probably couldn't have happened before the 1980s. La Monte Young, Steve Reich and Philip Glass had to first develop minimalism and it then had to become popular.

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Re: Cultural Catch Up

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Mar 19, 2021 1:17 pm

I'm not sure I'm understanding the question.

I listen to loads of old music. I'm constantly "discovering" stuff from before I was born. Go to any pub and they'll be playing classic rock, nightclubs play 80s dance track, TV and film soundtracks include loads of old things. Loads of artists' back catalogues are on freemium/ad-funded platforms like spotty-fi or youth-tube. Finding fresh ways to "flip" classic or obscure samples is still a big thing in hip hop and electronic music, which often turns audiences on to the original.

There's a huge market for second-hand books, so clearly plenty of people are happy to read things that aren't super-recent. Non-fiction does have a tendency to get outdated, which may or may not be an issue (biologists like David Lack, Konrad Lorenz, Steven Jay Gould and Dicky Dawkins are all still worth a read). Writers are encouraged to produce books rather than articles to generate a long-tailed passive-income stream so it obviously works.

Visual arts. Loads of people don't like anything from the last 100 years and consider Picasso and van Gogh a bit spicy. Old architecture is the only abstract visual art a lot of people dig.

Loads of old TV and films are on Netflix, exposing new audiences to classic stuff like the Godfather for the first time.

So I guess what I'm getting at is, are there really people who don't listen to/participate in culture from the past? It seems to be completely normal and taken for granted. The advertising algorithms don't necessarily push that stuff, but anybody making an independent effort to find things, and anybody consuming content curated by others, will come across it.

Being free isn't much of a novelty though. YouTube videos or Spotify listens are the same price whether the content is from 2021 or 1921. A penguin classics ebook costs as much as a new release (and is probably harder to find a pirate version).
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Re: Cultural Catch Up

Post by dyqik » Sat Mar 20, 2021 2:35 am

I work for the Smithsonian, so I have a conflict of interest on the question.

We publish research from the Harvard plate archives, I recently read Thomas Paine, and I've been listening to Coltrane and Miles Davis recently. Plus the blues recordings in the library of congress archive, and Bach.

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Re: Cultural Catch Up

Post by Boustrophedon » Sat Mar 20, 2021 9:39 am

It's Sturgeon's law innit? 89% of everything is crap.
90% of culture is rubbish but with the filtering of time we see the 10% of old stuff, say some 60's rock and roll, that was good and con ourselves that it was all good. It wasn't.
Why trawl through today's 90% looking for the good stuff? Let others do the searching and in 10 years the good stuff will have survived and the dross will have faded into well deserved obscurity.



Duchamp's "Fountain", the urinal foisted onto the art world as "art" was famously pissed in by Brian Eno. There that's the filtering of time. That and that fire in Saatchi's warehouse of Brit art. Did anyone really mourn the loss? No because it was all rubbish.
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Re: Cultural Catch Up

Post by bjn » Sat Mar 20, 2021 9:56 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Thu Mar 18, 2021 9:20 pm
Have we adapted quickly enough to the world of free?

I have to a certain extent with music. But not in the way you mention.

Back in the day listening to interesting new music took a lot of time. You had to wait for the reviews in a newspaper or magazine, then go to a record shop and scour through the LPs or CDs, then take it home and listen. Half of the time it would be shite, or half shite with one or two decent tracks on the album and the rest being filler composed by the roadie. So you repeat the same exercise next weekend.

Because it was so much effort people ended up listening to the same bands that they were into as teenagers. Of course there's a bit of nostalgia, but the time required was a big part of that.

Now we get to listen to anything produced anywhere. Better still you can try out a new band for no extra expense and artificial intelligence will work out what you like and make useful suggestions for what you might like. Today I've been listening to French pop and a modern reinterpretation of Bach. None of which would I have encountered in the old days.

Listening to the whole Beatles back catalogue sounds like a great idea. But there's so much interesting stuff being made today.
My mate Ben is playing in the background of that Bach piece! </pointless interjection>

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Re: Cultural Catch Up

Post by tom p » Tue Mar 23, 2021 1:17 pm

jdc wrote:
Thu Mar 18, 2021 7:07 pm
I voted yes, which is clearly the correct answer. There's a lot more of the past than there is the present so there's bound to be more top-notch music from the olden days than there will be from 2021. And while there's also far more shite from the past than there is from the present, the critics have already helpfully separated your David Bowies from your Meanswears and saved me the job of trawling through dogshit looking for diamonds.
Thinking about it, by that token one should only ever listen to greatest hits/best of albums by the critically acclaimed bands, since those are the curated highlights of the better groups. That certainly works for the Beatles. Following this topic I tried listening to all of their albums in turn. The first few years they were nothing but a poor man's Little Richard tribute act, so I turned them off and put on a Little Richard greatest hits album to clean my ears and hear what rock n roll should sound like.

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Re: Cultural Catch Up

Post by Woodchopper » Tue Mar 23, 2021 1:54 pm

bjn wrote:
Sat Mar 20, 2021 9:56 am
Woodchopper wrote:
Thu Mar 18, 2021 9:20 pm
Have we adapted quickly enough to the world of free?

I have to a certain extent with music. But not in the way you mention.

Back in the day listening to interesting new music took a lot of time. You had to wait for the reviews in a newspaper or magazine, then go to a record shop and scour through the LPs or CDs, then take it home and listen. Half of the time it would be shite, or half shite with one or two decent tracks on the album and the rest being filler composed by the roadie. So you repeat the same exercise next weekend.

Because it was so much effort people ended up listening to the same bands that they were into as teenagers. Of course there's a bit of nostalgia, but the time required was a big part of that.

Now we get to listen to anything produced anywhere. Better still you can try out a new band for no extra expense and artificial intelligence will work out what you like and make useful suggestions for what you might like. Today I've been listening to French pop and a modern reinterpretation of Bach. None of which would I have encountered in the old days.

Listening to the whole Beatles back catalogue sounds like a great idea. But there's so much interesting stuff being made today.
My mate Ben is playing in the background of that Bach piece! </pointless interjection>
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Re: Cultural Catch Up

Post by lpm » Tue Mar 23, 2021 2:04 pm

tom p wrote:
Tue Mar 23, 2021 1:17 pm
jdc wrote:
Thu Mar 18, 2021 7:07 pm
I voted yes, which is clearly the correct answer. There's a lot more of the past than there is the present so there's bound to be more top-notch music from the olden days than there will be from 2021. And while there's also far more shite from the past than there is from the present, the critics have already helpfully separated your David Bowies from your Meanswears and saved me the job of trawling through dogshit looking for diamonds.
Thinking about it, by that token one should only ever listen to greatest hits/best of albums by the critically acclaimed bands, since those are the curated highlights of the better groups. That certainly works for the Beatles. Following this topic I tried listening to all of their albums in turn. The first few years they were nothing but a poor man's Little Richard tribute act, so I turned them off and put on a Little Richard greatest hits album to clean my ears and hear what rock n roll should sound like.
Greatest Hits albums don't work for The Beatles, Bowie and a handful of others. Sometimes albums are the basic unit, rather than individual songs.

The "first few years" of the Beatles was actually not a few years. Only two years span their first five albums - Please Please Me in March 1963 to Help in August 1965. Then you get to Rubber Soul onwards. Your criticism of those two years isn't entirely invalid, but it misses the joyous quality to those five albums. They were absolutely loving it and that comes across. It might be boy-girl love songs at a fast tempo, but there's nothing wrong with that for 2 mins 30 seconds. But yes, a greatest hits version of those five albums would be better than listening to them in full back-to-back.

But their first five albums weren't really albums. They were a selection of songs. The idea of album as a whole creation in itself hadn't been invented yet - which they themselves invented in late 1965 with Rubber Soul - which leads to Revolver which leads to Sgt Pepper which leads to the music world we recognise today.
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Re: Cultural Catch Up

Post by bjn » Tue Mar 23, 2021 2:12 pm

Am I detecting a bit of Scouse bias there?

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Re: Cultural Catch Up

Post by tom p » Tue Mar 23, 2021 2:14 pm

lpm wrote:
Tue Mar 23, 2021 2:04 pm
tom p wrote:
Tue Mar 23, 2021 1:17 pm
jdc wrote:
Thu Mar 18, 2021 7:07 pm
I voted yes, which is clearly the correct answer. There's a lot more of the past than there is the present so there's bound to be more top-notch music from the olden days than there will be from 2021. And while there's also far more shite from the past than there is from the present, the critics have already helpfully separated your David Bowies from your Meanswears and saved me the job of trawling through dogshit looking for diamonds.
Thinking about it, by that token one should only ever listen to greatest hits/best of albums by the critically acclaimed bands, since those are the curated highlights of the better groups. That certainly works for the Beatles. Following this topic I tried listening to all of their albums in turn. The first few years they were nothing but a poor man's Little Richard tribute act, so I turned them off and put on a Little Richard greatest hits album to clean my ears and hear what rock n roll should sound like.
Greatest Hits albums don't work for The Beatles, Bowie and a handful of others. Sometimes albums are the basic unit, rather than individual songs.

The "first few years" of the Beatles was actually not a few years. Only two years span their first five albums - Please Please Me in March 1963 to Help in August 1965. Then you get to Rubber Soul onwards. Your criticism of those two years isn't entirely invalid, but it misses the joyous quality to those five albums. They were absolutely loving it and that comes across. It might be boy-girl love songs at a fast tempo, but there's nothing wrong with that for 2 mins 30 seconds. But yes, a greatest hits version of those five albums would be better than listening to them in full back-to-back.

But their first five albums weren't really albums. They were a selection of songs. The idea of album as a whole creation in itself hadn't been invented yet - which they themselves invented in late 1965 with Rubber Soul - which leads to Revolver which leads to Sgt Pepper which leads to the music world we recognise today.
They are fun, in isolation, but try listening them one after another. Might as well listen to baby shark.
You're right that they aren't really albums - they are the old style collections of singles, only there's more filler there than in my walls after I've removed a shelf. Unsurprising, really, since they were tossing out an album every 6 months to cash in on the mania.
The greatest hits album for that period is this and it's pretty good.

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Re: Cultural Catch Up

Post by jdc » Tue Mar 23, 2021 8:41 pm

tom p wrote:
Tue Mar 23, 2021 1:17 pm
jdc wrote:
Thu Mar 18, 2021 7:07 pm
I voted yes, which is clearly the correct answer. There's a lot more of the past than there is the present so there's bound to be more top-notch music from the olden days than there will be from 2021. And while there's also far more shite from the past than there is from the present, the critics have already helpfully separated your David Bowies from your Meanswears and saved me the job of trawling through dogshit looking for diamonds.
Thinking about it, by that token one should only ever listen to greatest hits/best of albums by the critically acclaimed bands, since those are the curated highlights of the better groups. That certainly works for the Beatles. Following this topic I tried listening to all of their albums in turn. The first few years they were nothing but a poor man's Little Richard tribute act, so I turned them off and put on a Little Richard greatest hits album to clean my ears and hear what rock n roll should sound like.
No point me listening to the greatest hits of the Beatles or Bowie, I'll have already heard all the songs on there. The thing I'm trying to do is catch up in order to see what I've missed out on. I might start with the greatest hits if we were talking about a band / artist that hasn't been on my radio.

I've no real interest in listening to Bowie's Greatest Hits, but it's been great listening to Width of a Circle, Be My Wife, Panic in Detroit, Queen Bitch etc.

You're also wrong that Greatest Hits are the curated highlights carefully selected as the finest pieces of work produced by an artist. These are the songs that were chosen to be singles by a record company A&R according to what they think will trouser the most cash.

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Re: Cultural Catch Up

Post by tom p » Wed Mar 24, 2021 11:33 am

jdc wrote:
Tue Mar 23, 2021 8:41 pm
tom p wrote:
Tue Mar 23, 2021 1:17 pm
jdc wrote:
Thu Mar 18, 2021 7:07 pm
I voted yes, which is clearly the correct answer. There's a lot more of the past than there is the present so there's bound to be more top-notch music from the olden days than there will be from 2021. And while there's also far more shite from the past than there is from the present, the critics have already helpfully separated your David Bowies from your Meanswears and saved me the job of trawling through dogshit looking for diamonds.
Thinking about it, by that token one should only ever listen to greatest hits/best of albums by the critically acclaimed bands, since those are the curated highlights of the better groups. That certainly works for the Beatles. Following this topic I tried listening to all of their albums in turn. The first few years they were nothing but a poor man's Little Richard tribute act, so I turned them off and put on a Little Richard greatest hits album to clean my ears and hear what rock n roll should sound like.
No point me listening to the greatest hits of the Beatles or Bowie, I'll have already heard all the songs on there. The thing I'm trying to do is catch up in order to see what I've missed out on. I might start with the greatest hits if we were talking about a band / artist that hasn't been on my radio.

I've no real interest in listening to Bowie's Greatest Hits, but it's been great listening to Width of a Circle, Be My Wife, Panic in Detroit, Queen Bitch etc.

You're also wrong that Greatest Hits are the curated highlights carefully selected as the finest pieces of work produced by an artist. These are the songs that were chosen to be singles by a record company A&R according to what they think will trouser the most cash.
That's why i said "greatest hits/best of", where the latter are sometimes (though often not) chosen by someone with a love of the band (for example Universal have over the years allowed a few Motown fans access to the vaults to put together best ofs which have big hits but also unreleased or rare songs which are absolutely wonderful).
Either way, they trousered the most cash 'cos those are the songs the fans of the band liked most. A band who have been around for 10+ albums will have released more singles than can be accommodated on an album, so some will get cut. Therefore the greatest hits for such a band are the ones that the fans thought were the best & demonstrated this by buying the records.

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Re: Cultural Catch Up

Post by Woodchopper » Wed Mar 24, 2021 12:23 pm

tom p wrote:
Wed Mar 24, 2021 11:33 am
jdc wrote:
Tue Mar 23, 2021 8:41 pm
tom p wrote:
Tue Mar 23, 2021 1:17 pm


Thinking about it, by that token one should only ever listen to greatest hits/best of albums by the critically acclaimed bands, since those are the curated highlights of the better groups. That certainly works for the Beatles. Following this topic I tried listening to all of their albums in turn. The first few years they were nothing but a poor man's Little Richard tribute act, so I turned them off and put on a Little Richard greatest hits album to clean my ears and hear what rock n roll should sound like.
No point me listening to the greatest hits of the Beatles or Bowie, I'll have already heard all the songs on there. The thing I'm trying to do is catch up in order to see what I've missed out on. I might start with the greatest hits if we were talking about a band / artist that hasn't been on my radio.

I've no real interest in listening to Bowie's Greatest Hits, but it's been great listening to Width of a Circle, Be My Wife, Panic in Detroit, Queen Bitch etc.

You're also wrong that Greatest Hits are the curated highlights carefully selected as the finest pieces of work produced by an artist. These are the songs that were chosen to be singles by a record company A&R according to what they think will trouser the most cash.
That's why i said "greatest hits/best of", where the latter are sometimes (though often not) chosen by someone with a love of the band (for example Universal have over the years allowed a few Motown fans access to the vaults to put together best ofs which have big hits but also unreleased or rare songs which are absolutely wonderful).
Either way, they trousered the most cash 'cos those are the songs the fans of the band liked most. A band who have been around for 10+ albums will have released more singles than can be accommodated on an album, so some will get cut. Therefore the greatest hits for such a band are the ones that the fans thought were the best & demonstrated this by buying the records.
People looking for curated highlights carefully selected as the finest pieces of work produced by an artist would be better off looking at some playlists produced by fans. Those playlists also usually have a much longer list of tracks than would appear in an album.

tom p
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Re: Cultural Catch Up

Post by tom p » Wed Mar 24, 2021 1:24 pm

That's true. Assuming the fans have good taste. I suppose something voted for by the fans, rather than some random on spotify or you tube.

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