13 votes

What 'classic' bands or artists do you think are overrated? And can you suggest any alternatives?

You know how sometimes there's that hit song (or artist) that's super popular but you just don't like it? Sometimes it's because it's ubiquitous to the point you begin to resent it, but sometimes it's actually because the song isn't really that good. Those songs will be considered classics in a couple decades though, and there probably won't be too much push back on that from people who were around when it first came out. Some of my uncles used to be DJs, and they've put me onto old bands I'd never heard of before, but by all accounts the music they think was the best was popular back then too.

I'm sure we can all name examples of current music hits/acts that probably will perhaps undeservedly achieve that classic status in the future, but what about past music? Personally, I'm all about the deep cuts, and sometimes I wonder if I would have liked some of the bigger acts if I came up during those eras. For example, no matter how I try I can't really get into the Beatles, but I'm not sure how much of that is taste and how much is just being from a subsequent era that had already absorbed all the changes they made to pop music.

Of course, radio was a lot more important in the old days, and people having a lot less access to their own choice of music back then as compared to now would have shaped their tastes, but let's try to leave that aside.

Edit: I'm not just talking about rock music, btw. If you think Chopin is overrated, by all means, make your case.

28 comments

  1. [3]
    rosco
    Link
    Ok, I'm sure this will kick up the dust, but I kind of feel this way about Radiohead. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate their music and I do enjoy listening to their records, but I just don't...

    Ok, I'm sure this will kick up the dust, but I kind of feel this way about Radiohead. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate their music and I do enjoy listening to their records, but I just don't understand the cult following they have. Even though I struggle to find a parallel (they have a unique sound) I don't feel like they have been incredibly influential on modern music. I guess it isn't that I dislike Radiohead, I'm just baffled by the intensity of their followers. I had a girl break up with me for having that opinion. If you feel differently I'd love to hear it. It's possible this is a hold over from my contrarian high school days, but unlike many other bands, a decade of continued listening hasn't convinced me otherwise.

    The other band I don't understand the appeal of is U2. I know they are bagged on quite often, much like Nickleback, but I really can't get into the music. I appreciate some of their big hits, but on a deeper listen (my roommate is a big proponent and we've spent days going over their full discography) I still don't get it. Like with Radiohead, if someone has a reason why they love U2 and think they can get me over the hump I'd love to hear it.

    As a response to culturedleftfoot, I really dig the Beatles but take it with a grain of salt as I grew up in a household where it could be found on repeat. For people who usually don't like the sound I'd suggest some of the middle records, after the pop but before the psychedelics. Give Rubber Soul or Revolver a try. It might open you up to enjoying some of the other albums.

    6 votes
    1. johnh865
      Link Parent
      Radiohead is really fucking good live. Other bands are not so great live. So yeah Bonaroo 2012. Radiohead is the first major act for Day 1. I'm there with no expectations; I've listened to and...

      Radiohead is really fucking good live. Other bands are not so great live.

      So yeah Bonaroo 2012. Radiohead is the first major act for Day 1. I'm there with no expectations; I've listened to and enjoyed their music but wasn't a fanatic. Radiohead starts singing their siren's song and everyone, enchanted by their music, move towards the stage in unison for a closer listen. The set is amazing and every song has been rearranged for a new fresh listen. Radiohead was so fucking good the next big set, Red Hot Chili Peppers, started their set with "damn that Radiohead show was amazing". Anyways Radiohead blew away every other act in the rest of the music festival.

      So yeah, one live show and a timely smoked joint cemented for me their status as one of the greatest bands.

      6 votes
    2. Staross
      Link Parent
      I listened a bit to Radiohead when I was a teenager (the first albums) but I don't like them much I have to say. I mean it's not terrible but it doesn't really do it for me. I think there's a...

      I listened a bit to Radiohead when I was a teenager (the first albums) but I don't like them much I have to say. I mean it's not terrible but it doesn't really do it for me. I think there's a certain sentimentality that I don't like. Creep makes me cringe, No Surprises makes me yawn. I much prefer Modest Mouse's album from the same year.

      That said if the band was completely unknown I might be more indulgent, I think there's a also a social thing going on.

      1 vote
  2. [5]
    KapteinB
    Link
    Overrated band: Nirvana All their songs sound like you took a mediocre rock song and slowed it down 10%. It just doesn't sound right. Better alternative: ... I've spent 30 minutes now watching...

    Overrated band: Nirvana

    All their songs sound like you took a mediocre rock song and slowed it down 10%. It just doesn't sound right.

    Better alternative: ...

    I've spent 30 minutes now watching grunge music videos on YouTube to find the best band in the genre, and I think it's safe to say I just don't like grunge at all. This is all pretty awful. If I had to pick one I'd go with Stone Temple Pilots; they sound like you took decent rock songs and slowed them down 10%.

    5 votes
    1. somewaffles
      Link Parent
      I used to not get it either but you have to realize that Cobain was not formally trained as a musician, but the dude wrote INSANE melodies / chord structures. They also were one of the first bands...

      I used to not get it either but you have to realize that Cobain was not formally trained as a musician, but the dude wrote INSANE melodies / chord structures. They also were one of the first bands that brought together the idea of being loud and obnoxious while also being thoughtful and introspective to the mainstream (I'm not saying they were the first, just that they did it very well and brought it to the masses.)

      I'm not a grunge person what-so-ever, never liked pearl jam and sound garden or whoever else. Never got into Nirvana either, until in the past year tried listening to In Utero a few times through, and it has become one of my favorite albums. Take a look at this Rick Beato video that breaks down a few of their songs, and shows how intricate his melodies were. Beato mentions in the video, obviously Cobain didn't sit around thinking he was writing a melody in the Mixolydian mode, but that's what makes his talent that much crazier, he had an amazing ear. You don't have to like their music, but I can't stress enough that we lost a great musician in 1994.

      3 votes
    2. [3]
      dubteedub
      Link Parent
      I am with you there. I really do not enjoy Nirvana and do not understand the cult of personality around Kurt Cobain. I think there are a lot of better grunge / alternative acts from the 90s.

      I am with you there. I really do not enjoy Nirvana and do not understand the cult of personality around Kurt Cobain. I think there are a lot of better grunge / alternative acts from the 90s.

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        KapteinB
        Link Parent
        Do you have any favourites?

        I think there are a lot of better grunge / alternative acts from the 90s.

        Do you have any favourites?

        1 vote
        1. dubteedub
          Link Parent
          Personally I really like Temple of the Dog. The band was created following the tragic death of the frontman for Mother Love Bone and was Eddie Vedder's breakout act that only released one album....

          Personally I really like Temple of the Dog. The band was created following the tragic death of the frontman for Mother Love Bone and was Eddie Vedder's breakout act that only released one album. Their single is Hunger Strike which I really enjoy - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUb450Alpps.

          I also really enjoy Mother Love Bone, but they are a bit more 80s glam than grunge. My favorite track by them is Chloe Dancer / Crown of Thorns -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lH0gnwtSEGI.

          3 votes
  3. [3]
    suspended
    (edited )
    Link
    I won't comment on the classic bands that I believe are overrated. However, one alternative (not the genre) classic band that has never disappointed me is Big Star. EDIT: Forgot to mention Nick Drake.

    I won't comment on the classic bands that I believe are overrated. However, one alternative (not the genre) classic band that has never disappointed me is Big Star.

    EDIT: Forgot to mention Nick Drake.

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      culturedleftfoot
      Link Parent
      Why not? I promise I won't get my pitchfork out. I'm very much liking what I've heard of Big Star and Nick Drake so far, thanks for the recs.

      I won't comment on the classic bands that I believe are overrated.

      Why not? I promise I won't get my pitchfork out.

      I'm very much liking what I've heard of Big Star and Nick Drake so far, thanks for the recs.

      1 vote
      1. ThatFanficGuy
        Link Parent
        You ain't the only one on this forum. Feathers have been raised over less.

        Why not? I promise I won't get my pitchfork out.

        You ain't the only one on this forum.

        Feathers have been raised over less.

        2 votes
  4. [10]
    Dobbie03
    Link
    The Rolling Stones. I don't get it or them.

    The Rolling Stones. I don't get it or them.

    2 votes
    1. [7]
      arghdos
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Heh, this is a judgment free zone, so I’ll just state for context: the Stones have an absolutely insane number of top ten albums (37!) and singles (23). The only band that can credibly be compared...

      Heh, this is a judgment free zone, so I’ll just state for context:

      • the Stones have an absolutely insane number of top ten albums (37!) and singles (23). The only band that can credibly be compared is the Beatles, but the sheer output of the Stones overwhelms their bowl-cut haired counterparts.
      • they only stole from the best, blues, soul, early rock hero’s (e.g., Berry), heck even country from Gram Parsons. Hell they even brought the Meters out for their first and only World Tour as opener’s in 76.
      • say what you want about them, but they had style... album art, branding, huge ludicrous stages, convincing resemblance to Vultures (jk Mick, kinda...)
      • the of albums in the early - late 70s I.e., Jumping Jack Flash-ish to Emotional Rescue-ish is top notch rock.

      For my money, the only band that is more rock and roll (and hilariously, much much less at the same time) is the Dead. Just my 2 cents though.

      4 votes
      1. [5]
        culturedleftfoot
        Link Parent
        I'm not taking sides, but I will say that the Billboard stats are exactly the type of justification that I was trying to discredit in the OP.

        I'm not taking sides, but I will say that the Billboard stats are exactly the type of justification that I was trying to discredit in the OP.

        3 votes
        1. [3]
          arghdos
          Link Parent
          I will counter with: 50,000,000 Elvis Fans can't be wrong :P That said, I agree... billboard stats are mostly meaningless, even if that number of top whatever albums is damn impressive. I do think...

          I will counter with: 50,000,000 Elvis Fans can't be wrong :P

          That said, I agree... billboard stats are mostly meaningless, even if that number of top whatever albums is damn impressive. I do think they stand on their own crazy rock and roll merits.... e.g., crazy stage designs, great albums, etc.

          Not trying to say anyone should think they are amazing! Just explaining a few of the things that make them stand out in RnR History in my mind.

          1 vote
          1. [2]
            culturedleftfoot
            Link Parent
            Elvis was exactly who came to mind when I replied, lol.

            Elvis was exactly who came to mind when I replied, lol.

            1 vote
            1. arghdos
              Link Parent
              Do we need to fight about Elvis now??? :P

              Do we need to fight about Elvis now??? :P

              2 votes
      2. Dobbie03
        Link Parent
        I understand they are huge and are very successful. Personally their music does nothing for me, I have tried many times to listen to their output to see if I can grow the appreciation but nothing...

        I understand they are huge and are very successful. Personally their music does nothing for me, I have tried many times to listen to their output to see if I can grow the appreciation but nothing has ever clicked.

        This is a "it's me not you" situation and in no way am I bad mouthing them.

        1 vote
    2. [2]
      KapteinB
      Link Parent
      Any alternatives in the same genre that you like?

      Any alternatives in the same genre that you like?

      2 votes
      1. Dobbie03
        Link Parent
        The Beatles. I have heard there are two categories from that era "Fans of the Beatles" and "Fans of The Rolling Stones" and very rarely do you get a combination of the two. Though I am sure if I...

        The Beatles.

        I have heard there are two categories from that era "Fans of the Beatles" and "Fans of The Rolling Stones" and very rarely do you get a combination of the two. Though I am sure if I looked into it enough I would probably find more than enough combos.

  5. [3]
    TinmanJones
    Link
    I've never really been a fan of classic rock styled music but I do believe Queen to be the most overrated of them all.... Dunno why, never managed to feel anything but slight irritation towards...

    I've never really been a fan of classic rock styled music but I do believe Queen to be the most overrated of them all.... Dunno why, never managed to feel anything but slight irritation towards their music lol.

    I do think King Crimson and Pink Floyd have some good cuts when it comes to old classic rock music, especially In The Court of the Crimson King and Meddle.

    2 votes
    1. [2]
      Staross
      Link Parent
      Same, never understood Queen's appeal.

      Same, never understood Queen's appeal.

      1 vote
      1. Dobbie03
        Link Parent
        I LOVE their first two albums Queen, Queen II. The following albums up to Sheer Heart Attack I only love (not LOVE). Anything after that I can take or leave, I find them very inconsistent.

        I LOVE their first two albums Queen, Queen II. The following albums up to Sheer Heart Attack I only love (not LOVE). Anything after that I can take or leave, I find them very inconsistent.

  6. [2]
    knocklessmonster
    Link
    This my reflect my own biases than any real truth about the artists. I've got a theory that the "popular" stuff is just what's out there, and people grab what's available. The internet has changed...

    This my reflect my own biases than any real truth about the artists. I've got a theory that the "popular" stuff is just what's out there, and people grab what's available. The internet has changed this drastically, and even soundcloud rappers can get radio play these days (not judging). I came up with this idea back when I was a jaded high schooler, but I've seen enough to sort of go "maybe it's true," even if my attitudes towards many specific artists and genres have changed drastically (usually positively, and I'm more willing to listen to stuff I don't think I'll like).

    Nirvana. I feel they're too close to the blander side of punk, particularly the revival that occurred in hardcore that they came from. I also think Kurt Cobain's suicide did more to boost their profile than their music ever could have (I can't find a better way to phrase this). I would offer Soundgarden as the "better" band, they're technically better, and evolved past the punk sound that gave way to grunge. Soungarden's deeper cuts, that don't see radio play, are usually better, but even their overplayed song (Spoonman) is absolutely solid.

    I think Pink Floyd is simply overrated. There's some better prog rock out there, with King Crimson, Jethro Tull. JT's bad 80s stuff is better than Floyd, I feel. I feel like people fell in love with Pink Floyd because they didn't have anything else but other stuff that was popular, and Pink Floyd offered a breath of fresh air. Everything else since then is basically dad-rock hype and nostalgia for Floyd. (That isn't to say it also isn't a driving force behind Ian Anderson's concerts, performing large swaths of Jethro Tull material. Classic rock runs into this a lot).

    2 votes
    1. culturedleftfoot
      Link Parent
      I kinda expected Pink Foyd to be mentioned at some point, I've heard the argument made before. It's hard to argue they didn't make a genuine contender for best album of all time with Dark Side of...

      I kinda expected Pink Foyd to be mentioned at some point, I've heard the argument made before. It's hard to argue they didn't make a genuine contender for best album of all time with Dark Side of The Moon though, so it's a bit of a tough sell for me.

      1 vote
  7. Staross
    Link
    I need to listen to them more but I find recent Swans's ablums to be disappointing given the raving reviews they get, I like some songs but I find many of them mildly irritating and not very...

    I need to listen to them more but I find recent Swans's ablums to be disappointing given the raving reviews they get, I like some songs but I find many of them mildly irritating and not very appealing musically (repetitive and not very original). I'd rather listen to some good old Sonic Youth or Shub-Niggurath if I want something more edgy.

    1 vote