Carl Palmer and the 50 Worst Acts in Music History

dcrigger

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Your move. B)
You know, I knew nothing about 98 Degrees until you lobbed this (as it turns out) softball pitch in my direction...

So what's the story of 98 Degrees... Ohio college student (Jeff Timmons) seeing his dreams of an NFL career fizzling, leaves school and moves to LA to pursue a career as a singer. A friend from an Arts Magnet School in Ohio connected him to another former Ohioan studying sports medicine in Miami (Nick Lachey). They hooked up in LA and decided to form a vocal group... a "boy band". Nick enlisted another friend who had sung with him in barbershop quartets a lot in the past. And eventually added Nick's younger brother to the group.

So a former football player pursuing a dream of being a singer, combined with two longtime singers with long term love of harmony singing and younger brother of one of the Barbershop singers form a pop harmony vocal group... if your love is singing, specifically harmony singing and you don't want to stick to singing 1920's harmonies at old folks homes, how do you "follow your muse" except by forming pop harmony vocal group????

Young amateur singers form a group, get good, get a record deal and become successful???? What am I missing here? How is this not "following their muse"???


Next.... :cool:
 
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5 Style

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Pretty interesting observations here...

My short take on Carl's two groups:

Seems that ELP was a "progressive" band more interested in the music, and if the $$ came, so be it. I think they did OK for a rock group playing Aaron Copeland.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

On the other hand, ASIA seemed like a crass commercial "supergroup" sell-out to capitalize on the MTV explosion ("Heat of the Moment", "Only Time Will Tell").

From wikipedia:

The band's first recordings, under the auspices of Geffen record label head David Geffen and Kalodner, were extremely popular with record buyers, yet considered disappointing by music critics and fans of traditional progressive rock, who found the music closer to radio-friendly album-oriented rock (AOR). However, Asia clicked with fans of popular arena acts such as Journey, Boston and Styx.

Whoa, cruel shoes, dude... a prog band and you get compared to BOSTON!
I remember back in the 80s at the time of Asia that there was really no one doing the kind of long form, complex composition, concept album type stuff that really defined the idea of prog rock. It was like if you were a musician who played this sort of music, your only option for making a living, at least for making it the way that you were probably accustomed to was to go in a direction that was more mainstream and more obviously commercial sounding, as was the case with Asia, Yes, Genesis and probably others that I can't even think of. For those of us who really loved prog type music this was really sad and since there still seemed to be a lot of people who were into that style, I can't help thinking that if the record industry had been a little more open minded and patent that they may have been able to sell enough of this prog type music to make a profit, even if it wasn't ever going to be quite as lucrative as it was some years earlier.

King Crimson is maybe the only bigger progressive rock band that I can think of who didn't cave into the temptation of making really obviously commercial music. They changed their style (as well as their lineup) pretty radically at that time, but even if their music gained a bit of a pop element (but only in some of it) they still remained what most folks would have called a progressive rock band. They almost surely didn't make the kind of money that the aforementioned bands did, but they still seemed to do alright, without compromising their music...
 

DrummerJustLikeDad

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King Crimson...almost surely didn't make the kind of money that the aforementioned bands did, but they still seemed to do alright, without compromising their music...
I am enjoying this thread, and if you'll allow me, I’d like to challenge your apparent distinction that if one is making music that happens to sell well commercially, then he must surely be compromising his own musical goals somehow.

Contrary to conventional understanding, the commercially successful years of Genesis were as much driven by Banks’s and Rutherford’s own musical tastes and desires as they were by Collins’s, if not more so. Even before Collins joined, this was a band who owed their love of music to the catchy chart-toppers they grew up to, and who always longed to learn the craft of writing music that appealed to those urges. Through the years, every interview makes it clear this was a love and desire shared by all three in the band, who clearly enjoyed every creative minute of disciplining and developing those muscles between themselves: the joy of finding a great musical idea, arriving at it quickly while skimming off the rest, then having the discipline and sensitivity to keep it simple and leave it at that.

Their output of that era may not be everyone’s brand of commercially available English tea, but in my strong opinion, such a skillset only serves to fortify their list of musical talents and certainly does not subtract from it.

By the way, I’m a huge Prog fan myself, and I might add Jethro Tull to your list of bands who, with 1987’s Crest of a Knave, happened to achieve success at both releasing a handful of commercial radio singles, while also preserving longer-form deep cuts on the album.
 

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Blender? Really? Who gives a rat's ass about Blender? Did anyone ever buy that magazine? Anyone?

Blender was an American music magazine that billed itself as "the ultimate guide to music and more". It was also known for sometimes steamy pictorials of celebrities.
Blender's final print issue was the April 2009 issue. Subscribers to the magazine were sent issues of Maxim magazine to make up for the unsent Blender issues.
 
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Prufrock

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Maybe I'm the minority but I loved ASIA. I'm sure that when the guys got together and wrote songs they may have had a focus on writing something that would be mainstream but I think the success of that first album really took those guys by surprise. I think by the third album they were getting pressure from the record company to crank out more hits but I still like that album. I think John Wetton had an awesome voice and I loved the keyboards that Geoff Downes put down. They were a great songwriting team I think.

Who in the heck comes up with this list crap anyway? You would put musicians like ELP even on a list with Vanilla Ice? And Vanilla Ice was ranked better? That's some crack pot smoking stuff right there.

ASIA was a gateway to a lot more interesting music for me. I remember thinking as a young lad that ASIA was the most interesting music on top 40 radio (the only access I had to pop music at the time, being totally ignorant otherwise), surely more interesting than most hair metal and electronic pop that I was hearing. I remember going over to the house of some family friends after school. The father in the family liked high culture (although being a really humble person in terms of his own talent), and played bass fiddle in classical ensembles. He was talking to me, and then went to go get something, when one of his daughters - about four years older than me - asked me about the type of music I liked. I mentioned I liked ASIA, and she replied by saying, "so you must like YES and King Crimson." I had no idea what she was talking about (other than knowing YES through Owner of Lonely Heart), so she went over to her music and pulled out The Compact King Crimson and showed it to me, saying that if I liked ASIA, I would really like this. Her father was then returning, and said, "oh, he's not interested in THAT!" Boy, was he wrong. That was a pivotal moment in my musical history, and I like to remember it since the girl (who seemed so much older than me at the time, and infinitely cooler) died fairly young of cancer. She was a unique individual, and I can't say I knew many (any?) teenage girls then who were listening to prog.

There are many pathways to musical enlightenment, including ASIA.
 

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Maybe I'm the minority but I loved ASIA. I'm sure that when the guys got together and wrote songs they may have had a focus on writing something that would be mainstream but I think the success of that first album really took those guys by surprise. I think by the third album they were getting pressure from the record company to crank out more hits but I still like that album. I think John Wetton had an awesome voice and I loved the keyboards that Geoff Downes put down. They were a great songwriting team I think.

Who in the heck comes up with this list crap anyway? You would put musicians like ELP even on a list with Vanilla Ice? And Vanilla Ice was ranked better? That's some crack pot smoking stuff right there.
Agree completely, and my all time favorite band Kansas is on that falutin list ...
 

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I am enjoying this thread, and if you'll allow me, I’d like to challenge your apparent distinction that if one is making music that happens to sell well commercially, then he must surely be compromising his own musical goals somehow.

Contrary to conventional understanding, the commercially successful years of Genesis were as much driven by Banks’s and Rutherford’s own musical tastes and desires as they were by Collins’s, if not more so. Even before Collins joined, this was a band who owed their love of music to the catchy chart-toppers they grew up to, and who always longed to learn the craft of writing music that appealed to those urges. Through the years, every interview makes it clear this was a love and desire shared by all three in the band, who clearly enjoyed every creative minute of disciplining and developing those muscles between themselves: the joy of finding a great musical idea, arriving at it quickly while skimming off the rest, then having the discipline and sensitivity to keep it simple and leave it at that.

Their output of that era may not be everyone’s brand of commercially available English tea, but in my strong opinion, such a skillset only serves to fortify their list of musical talents and certainly does not subtract from it.

By the way, I’m a huge Prog fan myself, and I might add Jethro Tull to your list of bands who, with 1987’s Crest of a Knave, happened to achieve success at both releasing a handful of commercial radio singles, while also preserving longer-form deep cuts on the album.
To be fair, I think that you're proably right about Genesis. I remember being pretty disappointed in their more pop 80s music, but I do think that Collins probably already had the pop thing in his head and that the music was probably made from the heart and no so much to chase some kind of idea of commercial success. The fact that I wasn't too crazy about most of this music probably colors my perfection of it a bit, but it does seem like the the situation was that the true prog sound wasn't being promoted by the likes of MTV and that all of these players who were doing that kind of music a few years earlier were now playing stuff that seemed to be more or less interchangeable with the kind of music that Journey or any other glossy pop group of the time were doing... and that it all did seem to have a lot to do with market pressures...

I'm certainly not any kind of dyed in the wool, music-is-only-meaningful-to-me-if-it's-complex-and-ambitious type of listener as I like music that would certainly fall on the pop spectrum. I dig the Beach Boys, some of David Bowie's most commercial stuff, even some Michael Jackson. I feel like one can make pop music and still have a very distinct identity. Too often though pop strikes me as something that's designed to be so middle of the road that it becomes rather bland and deprosonlized. This is how I felt about bands like Asia, particularly when compared with the kinds of music that these folks were playing before, which was so district and so full of ideas. A band like Asia, or for that matter Steve Howe's other 80s band, GTR just seems to have so little flavor to it... It was as if the folks in this band were thinking "the labels won't buy another prog type album, quick - what can we do that might in some way appeal to this new MTV generation. What super-slick producer can best take the prog out of our sound and make us appeal to the broadest demographic possible? We all have mortgages to pay down after all, dammit!"
 
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dcrigger

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To be fair, I think that you're proably right about Genesis. I remember being pretty disappointed in their more pop 80s music, but I do think that Collins probably already had the pop thing in his head and that the music was probably made from the heart and no so much to chase some kind of idea of commercial success. The fact that I wasn't too crazy about most of this music probably colors my perfection of it a bit, but it does seem like the the situation was that the true prog sound wasn't being promoted by the likes of MTV and that all of these players who were doing that kind of music a few years earlier were now playing stuff that seemed to be more or less interchangeable with the kind of music that Journey or any other glossy pop group of the time were doing... and that it all did seem to have a lot to do with market pressures...

I'm certainly not any kind of dyed in the wool, music-is-only-meaningful-to-me-if-it's-complex-and-ambitious type of listener as I like music that would certainly fall on the pop spectrum. I dig the Beach Boys, some of David Bowie's most commercial stuff, even some Michael Jackson. I feel like one can make pop music and still have a very distinct identity. Too often though pop strikes me as something that's designed to be so middle of the road that it becomes rather bland a deprosonlized. This is how I felt about bands like Asia, particularly when compared with the kinds of music that these folks were playing before, which was so district and so full of ideas. A band like Asia, or for that matter Steve Howe's other 80s band, GTR just seems to have so little flavor to it... It was as if the folks in this band were thinking "the labels won't buy another prog type album, quick - what can we do that might in some way appeal to this new MTV generation. What super-slick producer can best take the prog out of our sound and make us appeal to the broadest demographic possible? We all have mortgages to pay down after all, dammit!"
And beyond the practical (make money) aspects - the desire to simply reach more people, to be more influential is very compelling. Oftentimes in the "get them hooked on something more accessible as an introduction to our more challenging material" sort of way. I think every artist has to give some thought to who their potential audience is and how are they going to get their attention, then win them over.
 

mydadisjr

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To spin this in another (distinctly non-prog) direction...

Quite a few people on the list are in the CROONER/DYNAMIC SINGER category... Michael Bolton, Lee Greenwood, Pat Boone, Celine D, Dan Fogelberg.

While it is easy to criticize these folks (and I have certainly done so in the past, especially Celine), I have to keep in mind that beside drumming, I also sing and strum some guitar. I have been doing solo entertaining at an Alzheimer's Residence place for about 8 years now and I still get a great amount of joy when I can sing a tough old chestnut like DANNY BOY, SHENANDOAH or GOODNIGHT IRENE and really deliver it and make some old folks happy. I gotta be grateful and remember that it is all music (even the 10,000th time I sing THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND), and we cannot all be the drummer for King Crimson and Yes. Love ya, Bill!
 

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You know, I knew nothing about 98 Degrees until you lobbed this (as it turns out) softball pitch in my direction...

So what's the story of 98 Degrees... Ohio college student (Jeff Timmons) seeing his dreams of an NFL career fizzling, leaves school and moves to LA to pursue a career as a singer. A friend from an Arts Magnet School in Ohio connected him to another former Ohioan studying sports medicine in Miami (Nick Lachey). They hooked up in LA and decided to form a vocal group... a "boy band". Nick enlisted another friend who had sung with him in barbershop quartets a lot in the past. And eventually added Nick's younger brother to the group.

So a former football player pursuing a dream of being a singer, combined with two longtime singers with long term love of harmony singing and younger brother of one of the Barbershop singers form a pop harmony vocal group... if your love is singing, specifically harmony singing and you don't want to stick to singing 1920's harmonies at old folks homes, how do you "follow your muse" except by forming pop harmony vocal group????

Young amateur singers form a group, get good, get a record deal and become successful???? What am I missing here? How is this not "following their muse"???


Next.... :cool:
Yup I admit, I knew none of that! I just assumed they were the product of the boy-band craze and most of those were formed for one reason: $$$
 

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You know, I knew nothing about 98 Degrees until you lobbed this (as it turns out) softball pitch in my direction...

So what's the story of 98 Degrees... Ohio college student (Jeff Timmons) seeing his dreams of an NFL career fizzling, leaves school and moves to LA to pursue a career as a singer. A friend from an Arts Magnet School in Ohio connected him to another former Ohioan studying sports medicine in Miami (Nick Lachey). They hooked up in LA and decided to form a vocal group... a "boy band". Nick enlisted another friend who had sung with him in barbershop quartets a lot in the past. And eventually added Nick's younger brother to the group.

So a former football player pursuing a dream of being a singer, combined with two longtime singers with long term love of harmony singing and younger brother of one of the Barbershop singers form a pop harmony vocal group... if your love is singing, specifically harmony singing and you don't want to stick to singing 1920's harmonies at old folks homes, how do you "follow your muse" except by forming pop harmony vocal group????

Young amateur singers form a group, get good, get a record deal and become successful???? What am I missing here? How is this not "following their muse"???


Next.... :cool:
That's a great story and makes an excellent point. I still won't be listening to them, LOL, but I have to respect their story. No different than rock or punk or ska bands coming up in LA or NY or Seattle or Boston to join whatever music scene is happening at the time.
 

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And beyond the practical (make money) aspects - the desire to simply reach more people, to be more influential is very compelling. Oftentimes in the "get them hooked on something more accessible as an introduction to our more challenging material" sort of way. I think every artist has to give some thought to who their potential audience is and how are they going to get their attention, then win them over.
This may indeed be the case and though I'm not aware of it, I suppose that it is indeed possible that Asia did some much more challenging, avant guard leaning material later in their career...
 

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I was going to write a post about Carl Palmer being interviewed about his latest money making schemes (long exposure pictures of him and his light-up drum sticks) in an interview with Rock Cellar magazine.

But, then my research revealed he’s in two bands immortalized in Blender magazine’s 50 Worst Artists in Music History.

Emerson Lake & Palmer and Asia are both in the top 5!

In retrospect, not that surprising. After all, noted Rock Critic Lester Bangs once referred to Tarkus (I think) as a “war crime” in a review ... I listened to a bit of it today, and Bangs (played by Phillip Seymour Hofmann in Almost Famous) certainly has a point. It’s a triple album with a 20-minute opener that weirdly makes you regret getting high to listen to it.

I appreciate some Noodly-Doodly, including some ELP, but that Tarkus is a weapons grade downer.

Surprising, Rock Cellar didn’t ask the P in ELP about any of this. Apparently, he’s restarting Emerson Lake and Pomposity as Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy even though we’ve all suffered plenty already in this pandemic.

Did I mention my power is out?

Now, I’ll get to the point and reprise what’s probably the best thing Blender produced in it’s too short life (1994-2009, RIP).

The 50 Worst Artists in Music History:

01. Insane Clown Posse
02. Emerson, Lake & Palmer
03. Michael Bolton
04. Kenny G
05. Starship
06. Kansas
07. Asia
08. Vanilla Ice
09. Lee Greenwood
10. Air Supply
11. LaToya Jackson
12. Tin Machine
13. Mick Jagger (as a solo artist)
14. Yngwie Malmsteen
15. Yanni
16. Oingo Boingo
17. Benzino
18. Pat Boone
19. Dan Fogelberg
20. Howard Jones
21. Alan Parsons Project
22 Primus
23. Creed
24. Bad English
25. Jamiraqui
26.Celine Dion
27. Color Me Badd
28. Crash Test Dummies
29. Skinny Puppy
30. Richard Marx
31. Arrested Development
32. Hooters
33. Japan
34.Live
35. Paul Oakenfeld
36. 98 Degrees
37. Doors
38. Nelson
39. Bob Geldof
40. Blind Melon
41. Whitesnake
42. Rick Wakeman
43. Mike & the Mechanics
44. Manowar
45. Gipsy Kings
46.Spin Doctors
47. Goo Goo Dolls
48. Master P
49. Toad the Wet Sprocket
50. Iron Butterfly

Oh, here’s the CP interview in Rock Cellar: https://www.rockcellarmagazine.com/carl-palmer-interview-elp-legacy-tour-book-prog-rock/
i have attended many ELP concerts back in the day here in boston. 50% of them sounded great and others no so and disappointed.
his latest trio band is ok. but without keyboards and trying to pull off ELP is not great. only thing about it is bring closeup to catl playing in these small venues.
 

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I love Yoko Ono, especially when the song is over!
My friends had a band called Yoko Ono’s Ass. They won best band name one year in Connecticut. That brought the attention to Yoko’s management. They heard they got their address.

Fearing they were going receive a cease & desist instead they were surprised. Yoko sent them a picture of her ass signed “Love, Yoko”. I had a whole new perception of her after that.
 
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dale w miller

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I’m probably one of the few who likes Tin Machine over anything else Bowie did. The rest of the list I can see why critics don’t like them though some have a song or two I do like.
 

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It's certainly is interesting to think back to when I was a kid just discovering music. I may be a little younger than some having been born in 1970. My parents are not the music type so my love of music didn't really hit me until I was around 11 or so. There was no youTube or instant way to hear music unless a song came on the radio or in my case, I had the record and put it on my parents ancient turntable. I think what is interesting is that at 11 years old, I had no real bias for anything musical. At that age I had no idea that music was made for financial gain and it never would have dawned on me that someone might not actually play music of their own that they did not like.

Music was just music to my young ears and if I liked it, I liked it. I never had cable either and when MTV started happening, I only saw it at friends houses. I certainly remember hearing Only Time Will Tell on the radio and thought it was a great song. It never would have occured to me that these were guys trying to make radio friendly songs. I got into Van Halen around this time too and one of my favorite songs is Dance The Night Away. I have always loved the melody, the tempo, the cowbell intro, the harmonic stuff Eddie plays and mostly the amazing harmonies with Michael Anthony doing the sweet high notes. It would never have occured to me that any of the band members would have disliked the song and yet years later, I read an interview where Alex Van Halen claimed he hated that song. He said they would speed it up live just to get the thing over with. Even though I was older when I heard this, that was kind of like being told that Santa Clause isn't real. My point is that I kind of miss those innocent days when I wasn't so clouded by music and the industry it has become. I miss just hearing a song without any bias whatsoever and liking it just because I liked it.
 


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