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Saturday, 4 March 2017

Top 10 Favourite Musical Artists

In no particular order, here are my 10 favourite musical artists with honourable mentions at the bottom. I mostly like funk, soul, soft rock, pop and R&B; hence most of the artists I enjoy come under this musical category.

Prince. One of the most incredibly gifted musicians of the 20th and 21st century, and a legend sure to be missed. Prince was a superb talent – player of all instruments, writer of all lyrics, master of all production. He had the outfits, the dancing, and the style. He blended funk, R&B, rock, soul, electronic and pop sounds all together to create his iconic sound. The man was a prodigy, authentic to his love for music and his vision. He had a band full of men and women of different ethnicities and sexualities, bringing together unity at a time when social change was booming. My favourite Prince songs are When Doves Cry, I Wanna be your Lover, and Diamonds and Pearls.


Alicia Keys. I fell in love with this woman’s music from a young age. She blends soul, Hip-Hop and R&B beautifully with a deep sense of passion and emotion in her voice, particularly in her newest
album Here. Few contemporary pop artists write their own lyrics and music and produce. Not only is she a great singer but a wonderful pianist, with piano intros on all her albums. She has a classical and Jazz background which is heard clearly in her songs. She also has a published book of poetry named Tears for Water and has acted in some films, showing her as an all-rounded artist. Some of my favourite Alicia songs are I Need You, Diary and Try Sleeping With a Broken Heart.

Michael Jackson. I don't think there's a single bad MJ song. His music is catchy, enjoyable and appeals to everyone young and old. Michael’s unique voice and dance moves have captured the souls of millions, to the point where people would cry at his concerts. He was a phenomenal performer and very humanitarian with a lot of his music e.g. Earth Song, They don't care about us, Black or White. Sadly he is no longer with us, but that won’t stop his musical legacy. Fav songs: Billie Jean, Human Nature and Smooth Criminal.

Beyoncé.  She strikes a powerful impact as being very pro-women with an all-female band and lots of songs about female empowerment, such as ‘Run the World’, ‘Single Ladies’ and ‘Independent Women pt.1’ Beyoncé has a great voice and moves, and fun songs with catchy hooks and riffs that make you feel good. (I do think she is over-revered as a 'queen'; you can be a fan of someone without acting like they're perfect. None of the artists on this list have the same level of 'perfection' that she claims to emit. I've always enjoyed her music but she isn't on the talent level of someone like Alicia Keys who writes her own songs and plays an instrument well.) Fav songs: Me Myself and I, Deja Vu, and End of Time.

Terence Trent D’arby. Now known as Sananda Maitreya, Trent was a big R&B singer in the 80s,
with his album ‘Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D’arby.’ Sort of a one-album wonder, the guy seems to have disappeared after that album, but what an awesome album it was. His voice is full of soul, and the songs are authentic and well crafted. Fav songs: Wishing Well, Dance Little Sister and Sign Your Name.

Stevie Wonder. My dad’s always said that nobody dislikes Stevie Wonder. I reckon he’s right. Stevie is just classic. Timeless soulful music, beautifully arranged, songs that make you happy, sad and excited; this man is the package. A blind pianist like Ray Charles; his blindness being the price to pay for being one of the most talented musicians alive. Fav songs: For Once in My Life, As, and Part-Time Lover.

Fishbone. Recently got into this band from the 80s, blending together funk, punk and ska. They sang about social issues affecting people at the time, such as war, family break up and racial issues. A lively, upbeat band that toured alongside the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Fishbone are freaking awesome so you should totally check em out. Fav songs: Ma and Pa, When Problems Arise, and Sunless Saturday.

ABBA. They’re just fun. Great pop band, again timeless music that pretty much everyone enjoys and can sing along too. I used to love dancing to ‘Dancing Queen’ as a kid. And if you haven’t seen Mamma Mia go watch it – man that movie puts a smile on your face. Fav songs: Knowing me Knowing you, Money Money Money, and Gimme Gimme Gimme.


Eminem. The best fricken rapper of our modern times in my opinion. What really drives people towards Eminem is his incredible lyricism; he plays on words, and writes about topics other than money and bitches. He writes about his daughter, his relationships, his alcoholism and drug abuse, his struggling to grow up in a ghetto neighbourhood and get by on little. He has such a rawness and truthfulness in his music, and says it clearly with such authenticity. Even if you’re not a major fan of rap, Eminem can still appeal to you. Fav songs: Mockingbird, Lose Yourself, and Without Me.

Aaliyah. The woman that paved the way for contemporary R&B singers like Beyoncé, Ciara, Rihanna and Shontelle, Aaliyah is still missed today. She had a class and style that seems to have disappeared from the current female musical artists (ahem; Miley Cyrus). Sweet voice, good dance moves and great catchy songs. It’s pretty sad when you think about the state of music today really. Fav songs: Rock the Boat, Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number, and Back and Forth.

Honourable mentions: Rihanna, Neyo, Jimi Hendrix, Kanye West, Caro Emerald, Lauryn Hill, Destiny’s Child, TLC, KT Tunstall, Bob Marley, Lily Allen, Kool and The Gang, Earth Wind and Fire, Motown, Whitney Houston, Rick Astley, Lady Gaga, Jefferson Airplane, Taylor Swift, N-Dubz, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Simon and Garfunkel, Tracy Chapman, Bebel Gilberto, Jessie J, Bruno Mars, Chic, Sade, Sean Paul, The Last Poets, George Benson, James Brown, Miles Davis, Joy Denalane.

VH1 Top 100 Greatest Artists: http://www.stereogum.com/495331/vh1-100-greatest-artists-of-all-time/franchises/list/  (I disagree with this list, but then music is incredibly subjective.)

Who are your favourite musicians or singers? Leave a comment saying who you like!

17 comments:

  1. I'm really glad you posted this because I've been very curious about your musical taste.

    Prince: Of course I agree with you here. He is definitely one of the most incredibly gifted musicians of the 20th and 21st century. Not only was he talented when it came to playing musical instruments, but he also was really good with writing music. He is objectively a phenomenal artist.

    Alicia Keys: I'm not a big fan of her music but I do think she has a really beautiful voice. I didn't know she had a classical and jazz background but it does make sense. I think her music is more talented than a lot of her peers. (I am not a big fan of modern music aka last 20 years.)

    Michael Jackson: I like a lot of his music but I wouldn't call him one of my favorite artists. Human Nature is one of my favorite songs by him as well. :) I was a dancer all throughout high school and I LOVE dance. I certainly appreciate his dancing abilities (used to love watching his music videos, especially Remember The Time & You Rock My World) and I agree that he does have a very distinctive voice.

    Beyoncé: I associate Beyonce with Feminism but not with female empowerment. I don't believe she walks the talk, if you know what I mean. I'm not a huge fan of her songs but I do appreciate her voice, especially in the song "Halo". I think I probably liked Destiny's Child better overall than Beyonce's solo career ever since.

    Terence Trent D’arby: Never heard of him; Don't think I'm familiar with any of his songs but I could be wrong.

    Stevie Wonder: I know Stevie Wonder is a legend but I'm sorry to say, I'm not too familiar with his music. Of course, I know some of it but I haven't really sat and fully checked out his work. Of all of the soul music I have listened to in my life, somehow this artist has eluded me a bit.

    Fishbone: I have definitely heard OF this band but I don't know if I have ever actually heard any songs by this band. I feel like I might have but I couldn't say that confidently.

    ABBA: Really? I find them so cringe-worthy! haha I hate "Dancing Queen". They're just way too corny for me - and I'm one of the few people that sometimes likes corny. This isn't just personal bias but I certainly wouldn't call ABBA "timeless". Even in the 80s they were hated and seen as being tasteless and a joke. Obviously younger generations are more into them again but they wouldn't classify as "timeless".

    Eminem: I definitely think Eminem is one of the most overrated "artists" of our time and certainly not the best rapper of modern times. I also think there are so many better lyricists out there. I'm not a major fan of rap, I do like some rap music, but I just can't get into Eminem. Sure, I see the appeal of some of his stuff but I don't think he appeals that much to people who are not fans of rap music.

    Aaliyah: Ok so I LOVED Aaliyah ever since I was a really little girl! I used to sing along to her in the car with my mom and she was the 1st celebrity that I ever cared enough about, to cry when I found out she died. She was so amazing. I have always thought that she is a gorgeous woman with a GORGEOUS voice and I appreciated her dancing and fashion styles. I also love how she tried to bridge gaps racially and not play into identity politics. I saw both of her movies as well (Romeo Must Die and Queen of the Damned). She was so inspiring and seemed like such a down to earth and humble person. *sigh* Of course, I love all of the songs you mentioned but I think my personal favorites are: One In A Million, 4 Page Letter, At Your Best (You Are Love) [her voice is so gorgeous in this one!], Journey to the Past (for the animated movie Anastasia), I Don't Wanna, I Care 4 U & Miss You. She was wonderful, one of my childhood favorites. <3

    Honourable mentions:

    Never heard of these artists and/or their music: Caro Emerald, KT Tunstall, Lily Allen, N-Dubz, Tracy Chapman, Bebel Gilberto, Jessie J, The Last Poets.

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    1. Familiar with but not really a fan of: Rihanna, Kanye West, Lauryn Hill, Bruno Mars, Chic, Sean Paul.

      Respect their music/talents, might even like them, but not really a BIG fan of: Neyo, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Kool and The Gang, Earth Wind and Fire, Whitney Houston, Lady Gaga, Jefferson Airplane, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Simon and Garfunkel, Sade.

      Used to love (especially in my youth): Destiny’s Child, TLC, Taylor Swift.

      Does “Motown” just stand for all Motown artists?

      And Rick Astley? Haha Really?! Aside from the 1 hit “Never Gonna Give You Up” - which is one of the cheesiest songs ever, though admittedly catchy & has one of the most hilarious music videos ever! – I don’t know of any of his work. I’m honestly surprised you’d name him as one of your favorites.

      I'd have to think about who all of my favorite artists would be. My favorite genre is Rock & Roll but I have pretty varied taste overall in music. My #1 favorite band is easily The Afghan Whigs though.

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    2. Check out my post on Beyonce:
      http://www.thezarinamachablog.co.uk/2017/08/is-beyonce-overrated.html

      Abba are pretty corny, same with Rick Astley, but I like that cheesy 80s music. Most of his songs are similar and were probably produced in a day but I just think they're fun. Cheer-me-up kind of songs. Never gonna give you up is one of my FAVOURITE songs ever and I also like Together Forever by him.

      Lily Allen, N-Dubz, KT Tunstall and Jessie J are all well known in the UK. Perhaps not as famous in the US. Bebel Giberto is Brazilian, The Last Poets were a black conscious group from the 60s, Tracy Chapman was a protest folk/pop singer (like Joni Mitchell/Bob Dylan type), and Caro Emerald is Danish but again I think more known in the UK. I like her a lot, she blends soul, jazz, swing, funk and folk-pop together. Very fun.

      Yeah me saying 'Motown' is just the artists in general. My parents used to play Motown CDs all the time. A lot of my music taste is influenced by them. My dad's a musician and him and my mum love music a lot and we grew up listening to a lot of the artists I mentioned.

      From a musician's standpoint, Abba are quite sophisticated in terms of their arrangement in the same way the Beatles are. They're very influenced by blues harmonics.

      I don't know who 'The Afghan Whigs' are. When I think of rock n roll the Beatles instantly come to mind. I do like them too. My brother LOVES the Beatles, they're one of his favourites (he's also a musician).

      Terence Trent D'arby is often un-heard of by many now because after his first album he had a dispute with his record label and I think that wiped his fame away. You've probably heard of the song that goes 'sign your name across my heart I want you to be my baby.' That's by him.

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    3. Rock the boat by Aaliyah is one of my favourite songs of all time. It just soothes me and makes me feel good. Songs in the Key of Life is a brilliant album (Stevie Wonder). He's definitley worth checking out. Off the top of my head I recommend Superstition, Sign Sealed Delivered, For once in my life, As, Part time lover, and I wish as good songs to check out.

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    4. Will do. Thanks for the info about those artists I'm not familiar with. I have heard of another artists by the Giberto name that is Brazilian, I think they might be related.

      Cool, I figured but I was just making sure. I like Motown too. That was the one style of music that all 3 generations of my family (kids, parents and grandparents) could all agree on listening to at family events.

      I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I didn't say that it's wholly inaccurate and offensive/insulting to say that ABBA are anywhere near The Beatles when it comes to sophistication nor a musician's standpoint. Most musicians would completely disagree with that statement and/or laugh at the absurdity of ABBA being compared to The Beatles. The Beatles are one of the most influential, timeless and cross-cultural musicians of all time but especially over the last 70 years. They are definitely in the Top 5 whereas ABBA wouldn't even be in the Top 500 when it comes to talent or influence. The Beatles have cross-generational appeal, international appeal and cross-genre appeal. They have influenced big-name musicians in just about all styles of music from Jay Z to the Foo Fighters to Tom Petty to The Rolling Stones to The Bee Gees to Michael Jackson, were all influenced by The Beatles and their music. They introduced Eastern scales into Western music and paved the way for a lot of experimentation and branching out in music. And they were doing all of this when you couldn’t create these sound with just a touch of a button either, they had to figure out very creative [and tangible] ways to get their music to sound a certain way. They weren't the first to push with better lyrics but they did have a big influence on lyricists in music too.

      The Afghan Whigs are a rock band from the 90s but they've recently put out a new album with the promotional help of Usher.

      The rock and roll that I tend to like most is often blues-incorporated. It’s tough for me to pick favorite artists because I prefer to think of music in terms of albums or songs but I guess my favorites artists at the time would be:

      Afghan Whigs: What Jail Is Like, Crime Scene Pt. 1, My Enemy, Double Day, Blame etc., Honky's Ladder, Somethin' Hot, Uptown Again, 66, Cito Soleil, John The Baptist.

      Led Zeppelin: Trampled Under Foot, Houses of the Holy, Kashmir, In The Evening, All My Love

      Linda Ronstadt: It Doesn't Matter Anymore, How Do I Make You?, When Will I Be Loved?, The Dark End of the Street, Willin', It's So Easy, I Can't Let Go, Poor Poor Pitiful Me, Tumbling Dice, Just One Look, Back In The USA

      Rolling Stones: Get Off My Cloud, Mother’s Little Helper, Paint It Black, Under My Thumb, Ruby Tuesday, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Gimme Shelter, Wild Horses, You Can’t Always Get What You Want

      Living Colour: Cult of Personality, Desperate People, Open Letter (To A Landlord), Memories Can’t Wait, History Lesson, Pride, Type

      The Police: Can’t Stand Losing You, Message In A Bottle, Don’t Stand So Close To Me, Spirits in the Material World, Wrapped Around Your Finger

      David Bowie: Space Oddity, Starman, Ziggy Stardust, Moonage Daydream, All The Young Dudes, Rebel Rebel, Golden Years, Under Pressure, Let’s Dance

      Morrisey/The Smiths: Suedehead, Everyday Is Like Sunday, Half A Person, There Is A Light That Never Goes Out, Hairdresser on Fire, How Soon Is Now?, Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want

      Tommy Bolin: Marching Powder, The Grind, Homeward Strut, Lotus, Dreamer, Teaser

      Smashing Pumpkins: Cherub Rock, Today, Disarm, 1979, Zero, Tonight Tonight, Eye

      Ride: Drive Blind, Taste, Vapour Trail, Leave Them All Behind, Twisterella, OX4

      Fleetwood Mac: Dreams, Rhiannon, The Chain, Gypsy, Everywhere

      Stevie Nicks: Sorcerer, Rooms on Fire, Stand Back, Planets of the Universe

      Elton John: Tiny Dancer, Bennie and the Jets, Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters, Saturday Nights’s Alright (For Fighting), Rocket Man, Levon

      Joy Division: Ceremony, Dead Souls, Shadow Play, She’s Lost Control, Love will Tear Us Apart, Transmission, Isolation

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    5. You're probably thinking of Gilberto Gil - him and Bebel Gilberto aren't related, but I can see the confusion.

      All you said about the Beatles is correct, they are an extremely influential band. However, music is incredibly subjective. I've heard musicians argue and claim the Beatles are 'overrated.' There isn't really a right or wrong answer when it comes to the arts in most cases.

      I LOVE Cult of Personality by Living Colour and some of their stuff in general. They're a similar 'style' to Fishbone, only Fishbone are more ska/punk whereas Living Colour are funk-metal.

      I don't really listen to most of the others you named, though I respect David Bowie, The Police, Led Zeppelin, Elton John and the Stones. Fleetwood Mac are cool.

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    6. I don't think the name is Gilberto but I can't remember exactly what the name was. I think it was something less common than Gilberto (also why I can't remember it). Where's the confusion you're speaking of?

      Music is subjective because what you LIKE is subjective. TALENT on the other hand, is not subjective. That's why people can say things like "I don't personally LIKE Prince's music but I can't deny his talents."

      I've never heard of any musicians arguing that the Beatles are overrated - especially not any musicians with any kind of talent or knowledge of the history of music.

      If someone claims The Beatles are "overrated" then most likely:

      a) They're not familiar with The Beatles and their international influence; and/or not familiar with the fact that these guys were only 18 - 20 yrs old when they started; and/or the fact that they were putting out 1-2 albums a year, every year for 10 years PLUS a ton of singles in between each album - most of which were all hits.

      and/or b) They're not familiar with music history and The Beatles’ influence and innovation of technology in the music world and/or their abilities during the analog age of music. Aside from introducing Eastern scales and instruments into Western music; The Beatles invented musical instruments (such as the wah wah pedal) and innovated technology in the musical world (when they had to put multiple sounds on a little 4-track recorder - literally cutting the tape and then taping it back together in order to loop the sound etc. - compared to the unlimited tracks available in modern digital technology).

      and/or c) They’re racist, sexist, nationalist or otherwise bigoted against The Beatles and don’t want to give them their deserved and well-earned respect because they don’t like white people or men or British people etc.

      I don’t know what “right or wrong answer” has anything to do with what we’re talking about; There was no question posed? Unless you’re saying the question is: Who’s more talented, The Beatles or ABBA? If that’s the case then there IS a right answer – The Beatles – and a wrong answer – ABBA. Anyone who thinks that ABBA is more talented than The Beatles doesn’t know what they’re talking about or is bigoted against facts. I’d love for you to find me any respected musician that thinks ABBA is more talented than The Beatles.

      You’ve probably never really heard of Tommy Bolin or Ride but I think you’d really like Tommy Bolin. He’s very diverse in his music. Linda Ronstadt has a very talented singing voice and is more folk and blues based. The rest of the artists I mentioned are very rock-oriented so you probably wouldn’t like them if you’re not really a fan of rock music. And while I don’t think you’d like Joy Division (too dark and rock), I do think you’d really like the band they spawned after the lead singer committed suicide, called New Order. They do dance music and were a big part of starting the whole club-dance music scene.

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    7. Oh I meant the confusion regarding the name 'Gilberto' as in if you'd heard of Gilberto Gil you may have been thinking of him when I mentioned Bebel Gilberto. However as you said that wasn't the exact name so that wasn't the case.

      I was just saying there's no right or wrong answer because some people may say Abba are better, some may say the Beatles are better, and some may say neither are that great and name a different artist. It's just a matter of taste and opinion. I agree with everything you say about the Beatles and in terms of talent they are more talented than Abba due to how innovative they were. But some people may not agree purely because they have a different opinion or don't know much about the Beatles. Also some people have a thing against 'popular' artists; because the Beatles were a popular mainstream band that might cause some to not think of them as that great. Stephen King had this problem a lot; as a writer I think he's brilliant, but he's had a lot of criticism over his career due to being 'popular' and therefore seen as 'mediocre' because the view for some reason is that good artists can't be popular and popular artists can't be that good.

      I will give Tommy Bolin a listen :)

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    8. If I think of the name then I'll let you know.

      When it comes to personally LIKE, then the right answer is whatever you like, as that is what is being asked.

      However when it comes to the question of TALENT, the right answer is Beatles over ABBA. No one thinks ABBA is more talented than the Beatles except maybe some really little kids (like 5 years old) who don't know anything and have only ever heard ABBA and not The Beatles. And definitely no musicians of any genre or era think that ABBA is more talented than The Beatles either.

      As I said before, if they have some bias like they’re racist or sexist or against old music or influential music or whatever bigoted opinions they have, then of course that makes sense for them to think The Beatles are “overrated” as they’re bigots who don’t really know what they’re talking about.

      The Beatles were “mainstream” only because they were so talented. Anyone who thinks of them as a purely pop “mainstream” band is severely mistaken and needs to do their research because The Beatles were so good, they made non-mainstream into mainstream. Introducing Eastern scales into Western music was not mainstream. Doing an entire album pretending to be some new band (Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band) and creating completely new sounds and styles of music, all to make sure that they weren’t just being loved for their name-sake, is literally as opposite of mainstream as you can possibly get. So to discredit them just because they broke so many barriers is just ignorant. If someone tells you they think The Beatles were some crappy mainstream band, you should tell them to listen to what kind of music was out when The Beatles first came out, look at the music The Beatles made throughout their career, then look at the plethora of genres and creative music that was coming out AFTER The Beatles. They inspired people in ALL genres of music for a reason and they’re one of the only bands well-known all around the world for a reason too. It’s called “unprecedented talent” and it’s very non-indicative of “mainstream” music. Besides, if someone were actually against crappy “mainstream” music then they’d be more likely to love The Beatles and hate ABBA since ABBA was super generic and mainstream for their time. “Dancing Queen” didn’t break any barriers and the same kind of people who like Justin Bieber, like ABBA. Talk about “popular mainstream” [with little-no talent].

      I don’t know anyone – especially involved in music or a great lover of music – that actually thinks of The Beatles as “not so great” just because they had so many #1s and got popular. That sounds like something someone would say who has either never heard The Beatles, only heard their very early stuff or doesn’t know anything about musical history, technology and progress over the last 60 years.

      No one thinks ABBA is a better artist than The Beatles who knows what they’re talking about. They might personally like ABBA better but no one who respects music thinks that ABBA IS actually a better band.

      Stephen King is just facing the same things a lot of bands face AFTER they go mainstream. Stephen King’s first books were very long and not as popular for that reason. As time went on, he learned to shorten things and get more concise with his writing, which was seen as “selling out”. This happens to bands when they start off artistic and creative but then do more “pop/mainstream” hits. (The Beatles were the opposite. They started off playing more generic stuff like everyone else at the time but quickly started to evolve as a band, pushing boundaries and emerging as what MANY musical experts say is one of, if not thee, most creative and talented artists in musical history. A list that ABBA is NEVER on, by the way.)

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    9. The notion of mainstream/popular being seen as “not good” isn’t really prevalent in today’s time though, especially not compared to Generation X which hit a stride in the 90s. In the 90s mainstream/popular stuff (like ABBA) was seen as the “worst of the worst”, and “sell out” and “corporate garbage” etc. The 90s were very much against that kind of stuff which is why grunge was able to get so big (and on the film side, a lot of independent films were made in the 90s). Nowadays however, with the likes of Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez and One Direction and Fifth Harmony etc. that kind of “mainstream/popular/bubble gum pop” stuff is back to being popular again and the youth today choose that stuff and love it, rather than rejecting it the way the youth in the 90s did (as well as the youth in the 50s-70s; pop got big again in the 80s but much more talented thanks to people like Prince, Bowie & Jackson. Then the 90s gave great grunge and alternative rock music but in the late 90s-early 00s the crappy pop stuff came back again - only with less talent and still hasn't gone away).

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    10. Also just to clarify a bit on The Beatles. I touched on this a bit but I didn't really articulate it the best:

      Part of what makes The Beatles so genius is the fact that they were able to marry the popular catchy and melodic music with the artistic and creative side. They made a bridge so that people from both sides of the aisle would think they were the greatest or one of the greatest. From young girls who liked their catchy music to the decidedly non-mainstream "artistic and creative" artists who appreciated their talent; The Beatles basically appealed to everyone. (As the saying goes, everyone can find at least 1 Beatles song that they like - because their music is SO diverse and talented and catchy.) They could write songs that appealed to intellectual types as well as more mainstream types. They had the artistry and creativity and ingenuity of people like Bob Dylan but they also had the popular appeal of people like Michael Jackson (who LOVED The Beatles too by the way and even collaborated on a few songs with Paul McCartney).

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    11. As I mentioned, I agree with all you say about the Beatles. I was simply saying that some people may just have a different opinion. Also, the Beatles had the four of them working together, whereas with Abba it was just the two guys and the women didn't really contribute to the songwriting, they just sang the songs.

      I personally can't stand most modern pop music, although I do have a few 'guilty pleasures.' Most real musicians (like the people I go to uni with) spurn the likes of One Direction and Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez. Naturally, people who want to go in that direction musically will admire them, but personally I don't see 'bubblegum artists' as anything other than disposable music that sells quick records then fizzles out after a few years. e.g. I liked Taylor Swift's Fearless album, but don't rate her newer stuff as to me it's mostly poppy garbage that is trying too hard to be 'cool'.

      A note about Stephen King: Carrie, his first novel, was actually very short compared to his other stuff (I read it in a day), and in terms of length he's been very up and down. Two of his longest books are The Stand and It, both which were published when he was well established in his field. One of his more recent books, 11/22/63, is pretty long too (though not quite a thousand words!) So I would disagree about his stuff being 'shorter' as time went on, I think he varies with length and actually a complaint people have of him is that he indulges too much in length (this is one of the reason I love Different Seasons, his novella collection; they're four short books that allow his talent to shine through).

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    12. I'm not sure what you mean by "different opinion"? If someone thinks that "The Beatles weren't more talented than ABBA" or that "The Beatles didn't have a bigger impact in the world of music than ABBA" then they are just factually incorrect; That's not an opinion thing, it's a fact. (I'm not saying ABBA had NO talent, just that it was nowhere near the level of The Beatles'.) Also, The Beatles mainly just had McCartney and Lennon doing the vast majority of songwriting as most of Harrison's and Starr's songs weren't up to the level of talent as Paul & John's - which just goes to show you how much more talent there was in The Beatles compared to ABBA.

      I agree with your opinion about modern pop music, but most people who feel that way about music consider ABBA to be in the same style of "bubblegum pop" as One Direction and Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez. That's why I was so shocked to see it on your list here but when I was younger I had some "guilty pleasure" interests of the "bubblegum pop" stuff too. I don't really listen to too much of that stuff anymore but part of that is also that I've been exposed to much more talented music in the last 6 years, so it's harder for me to listen to the same stuff I used to. I had been exposed to most of the good stuff of the 1990s and 1980s but I wasn't as exposed to the good stuff pre-1980s. That Fearless album of Taylor Swift was the last one I listened to/liked from her as well. :)

      About Stephen King, I was talking about in general and looking at his overall career arc. Stephen King gained much more popularity as he went on but he didn't start off quite as popular. He had some recognition and in the beginning of his career, he was often nominated for awards but for the first 7 years of his career (with 10 books) he never actually won (including The Stand which is one of his 1sts). Then he won his 1st award with Cujo, wrote a few more books that got nominated and then starting with IT 5 years later, he started to win some more awards which propelled him to "mainstream" popularity and not just popularity within his designated fan base. And as far as the length, you are right that it goes up and down and not in a straight pattern but I was talking more about how overall, his earlier stuff was more likely to be 600+ pages whereas the later stuff was more around 200 - 500. His longest works are more in the beginning of his career. If people complain his stuff is too long now it's probably because of the fact that younger people have shorter attention spans than older generations, on average.

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    13. I also forgot to mention that The Beatles also had the wonderful skills of George Martin producing and arranging a lot of their songs and he was sometimes known as 'the fifth Beatle.' A great producer can really make a difference. One also shouldn't knock the brilliant arrangement skills of Ben and Byork in Abba and merely write them off as 'bubblegum pop.' Their harmonic and melodic arrangements were great and they churned out a lot of hits that people are still loving today. People often forget how talented George Harrison was too - as a guitarist he was brilliant and added little bits here and there on tracks, and some of his own songs like 'while my guitar gently weeps' is a classic. Ringo wasn't the best drummer admittedly but he worked for their style.

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    14. Of course George Martin contributed to the group; But all 4 members of the band had successful solo careers - to one degree or another - after leaving the band showing how much talent they had. They all had talent and things to offer but Lennon and especially McCartney were on another level. Paul McCartney arranged a lot of his songs and is often undercredited/under-recognized for his talents. There are songs where he is playing multiple instruments himself, plus he wrote the melody and lyrics. George Martin had a good ear and helped, but it's not to say The Beatles wouldn't have been showcasing their talents without him - he just enhanced it.

      What hits of ABBA are there other than "Dancing Queen" that are "loved" today? That's the only song I've ever heard on the radio by them (in the USA).

      ABBA didn't create anything new though; they didn't open any doors and change the way music was approached and executed etc. There are many talented bands/musical artists but they're not all of equal talent. (As you talked about in your post with Beyonce.)

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    15. Hm I certainly wouldn't say Paul is 'underrated' or 'undercredited' at all; he's had the most number ones in the UK and is knighted. Other Abba hits include: Mamma Mia, Knowing me knowing you, The Winner takes it all, SOS, Voules-Vous, Lay all your love on me, Thank you for the music, Chiquitita, Fernando, Money money money (I've busked with that song many times and people often sing along), Gimme Gimme Gimme...there are many.

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    16. I'm sorry about that, totally my fault. I meant to say that in America, Paul is underrated and undercredited - though in England, he is not. In America people treated Lennon the way England treats McCartney. It's only recently that McCartney is starting to get more recognition for his exceptional contributions to The Beatles etc.

      I don't think those are all played on the radio in the USA. None of them sound familiar, I don't think they're "big hits" in the USA.

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