Saturday, May 29, 2021

Why the "Today's Music Sucks" Argument Is Rubbish

image from Love Music and Something Facebook page

This essay was prompted by a post on Love Music and Something which said, “I hope the next big trend in music is talent.”

I responded, “What’s with posts like this which play on the idea that today's music sucks and the music of yesteryear was awesome? Let's dispense with the idea that quality and talent only belong to certain eras.”

This evoked a lengthy discussion with agreement and disagreement. I ended up posting about it on my personal Facebook page. Here's what I said:

I've gotten myself entrenched in a lengthy battle/discussion on Facebook (I know many of you are stunned 😜) about music. At the heart of the issue is the initially proposed view that, in essence, today's music sucks and yesteryear's was awesome. I'm not fond of any overall characterizations subscribed to any generation, but particularly roll my eyes about music. Here's some of my most prominent arguments:

  1. Every generation has music that is "good" and "bad." (We won't even get into how subjective such a comment is).

  2. We tend to fondly remember the music of our youth and anything that comes after pales by comparison.

  3. As people grow older, they seem to forget that music has been marketed toward the youth since at least the rock era, so about 70 years. If you're 54 like me, you aren't likely to hear music targeted to you on the most prominent radio stations.

  4. Which leads to my next point (by this time, I'm sure many of you have moved right on past my rant, which is certainly understandable). Any way, if you are looking to discover new music and aren't in your teens or 20s, you need to expand your search beyond conventional radio.

  5. Last (finally) - luckily, we live in an era where we have more means of accessing and discovering music than ever before. You can find whatever fits your tastes. Soap box preaching over. Thoughts?

I was so encouraged by some of the responses I got on my personal FB post, that I decided to post it here on the DMDB blog.

Karin: I concur & at 54 years of age, also with 2 teen aged sons, I let them introduce me to what current music they like. I, however, usually go back to the music of the 60s, 70s & some 90’s alternative.... because that is what I like. Music touches the soul ... so if it makes you happy, or helps you through a funk, or motivates you to be a kind person ... then I’d say keep listening. Now, back to the issue at hand, we would miss out on great music if we chose to generalize the younger generation’s popular music as garbage. However, I am not actively wanting to expand my listening library - but I’m impressed that Spotify offers me suggestions.

Jennifer: What I like about music today if the wide variety available to everyone! Kids playlists are rarely confined to one genre. When we were kids, we listened to one or two stations and then albums of our favorite artists. Kids today have access to all genres, all cuts anytime they want them. Their musical tastes tend to be much more eclectic than most of us when we were kids.

Mike: Agreed! My daughters have both introduced me to new music. Do I like everything they have me listen to? Absolutely not!! I have, however, enjoyed the moments when I do. I have also discovered a lot of new music via Shazam (then finding it on Spotify). I've also rediscovered some older music, and have a greater appreciation to the nuances of different artists.

Steve: Even though I'm putting the finishing touches on a nearly 500-page book on great song recordings before 1930, I still find time to listen to many music channels on SiriusXM, including a lot of new and recent stuff. The pickings of good music from the current Billboard Hot 100 may be slimmer than before, but there's never a shortage of excellent new material to be found elsewhere.

Dar: Spotify and Pandora have changed everything. The variety is huge and you don’t need to be “discovered” to get airplay. I have found more talent but adventuring down the rabbit hole than I ever heard on the radio.

Forrest: There is a ton of great music coming out now. The Record Company, Lake Street Dive, Samantha Fish, Alabama Shakes (before they broke up), Father John Misty, Dawes, Anderson East, Madisen Ward and Mama Bear are just a few of the “newer” bands and artists putting out fantastic music. A person is doing themselves a giant disservice if they do not continue to try and discover new music.

Stephen: I'll settle this for you. Music I like. Awesome. Music I don't like. Sucks. Glad to be of help. For more answers, follow me on Facebook.

Paul: So here's a weird way to think about it…I’m 40 years old. I had a student this year that loved to talk to me about 90s music, the music that grew up with…I just realized that the 90s are as far away for him as the 60s we're for me (when I was his age). Nirvana for him is the equivalent of the Beatles for me…Fudge…I'm getting old.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Del Amitri released first album in 19 years

Fatal Mistakes

Del Amitri


Released: May 28, 2021


Peak: -- US, 5 UK, -- CN, -- AU


Sales (in millions): -- US, -- UK, -- world (includes US and UK)


Genre: adult alternative rock


Tracks:

Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. You Can’t Go Back (4/30/21, --)
  2. All Hail Blind Love (8/20/21, --)
  3. Musicians and Beer
  4. Close Your Eyes and Think of England (11/13/20, --)
  5. Losing the Will to Die
  6. Otherwise
  7. It’s Feelings (2/18/21, --)
  8. I’m So Scared of Dying
  9. Mockingbird, Copy Me Now
  10. Missing Person
  11. Second Staircase
  12. Lonely
  13. Nation of Caners


Total Running Time: 45:42


The Players:

  • Justin Currie (vocals, bass)
  • Iain Harvie (guitar)
  • Ash Soan (drums)
  • Andy Alston (keyboards, percussion)
  • Kris Dollimore (guitar)

Rating:

3.371 out of 5.00 (average of 6 ratings)

About the Album:

Fatal Mistakes is the seventh album from Scottish rock band Del Amitri. Their previous studio album, Can You Do Me Good?, was released 19 years earlier. In the interim, lead singer Justin Currie released four solo albums and an album with Uncle Devil Show. Reunion tours in 2014 and 2018 sparked the idea of recording together again.

Work was completed on the album before the UK-wide Covid 19 lockdown in March 2020. Justin Currie, the band’s lead singer and bassist, said the songs were recorded over three weeks “in a stately home in deepest England.” CR he called it “a collection of bizarre tales of poisoning, pleading, and bitter acceptance, powered by guitars, drums, and keyboards.” CR

In the UK, the band had five top-10 albums. They didn’t find the same level of success in the United States, but they did have a top-10 hit with 1995’s “Roll to Me” and have sold six million albums in their career. AS With such a long layoff since their last album, the band has “to create songs that match the rousing, resonant melodies of their earlier efforts…Happily they rise to the challenge.” AS Del Amitri “recognizes the difficulty of maintaining a certain standard but…[are] determined to reach new goals.” AS

The first single, “the state-of-the-nation lament Close Your Eyes and Think of England,” CR was released in November 2020. Currie called it the band’s “European vacation, a ballad of pure bile and remorse, sweetened by a sledgehammer of sarcasm.” CR

The opening track, You Can’t Go Back, “is the most impressive of all, an assertive launching pad that paves the way for the driving, determined offerings that follow.” AS

I’m So Scared of Dying may boast an emphatic edge, but it hints at a fear and a vulnerability that are impossible to ignore.” ASLonely hits at the same, while the solemn Second Staircase comes across as a brooding ballad that caps the earlier momentum.” AS

Resources and Related Links:


Other Related DMDB Pages:


First posted 5/28/2021; last updated 8/24/2021.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Neil Finn: Artist Profile

Neil Finn:

Artist Profile


Born: Neil Mullane Finn
Date: May 27, 1958
Where: Te Awamutu, New Zealand
Known As: new wave/adult pop singer/songwriter
Significant Bands:
Check out the Dave’s Music Database podcast: The Best of Crowded House & Neil Finn based on the DMDB list of The Top 100 Songs of Neil & Tim Finn.

Awards:

The Albums:

Hover over an album for the name and year of release. Click to see its DMDB page.


Key Tracks:
  • I Got You (Split Enz, 1980)
  • What’s the Matter with You (Split Enz, 1980)
  • One Step Ahead (Split Enz, 1981)
  • History Never Repeats (Split Enz, 1981)
  • Message to My Girl (Split Enz, 1983)
  • Don’t Dream It’s Over (Crowded House, 1986)
  • Something So Strong (Crowded House, 1986)
  • Better Be Home Soon (Crowded House, 1988)
  • Into Temptation (Crowded House, 1988)
  • Weather with You (Crowded House, 1991)
  • Nails in My Feet (Crowded House, 1993)
  • Only Talking Sense (Finn Brothers, 1995)
  • She Will Have Here Way (1998)
  • Rest of the Day Off (2001)
  • Won’t Give In (Finn Brothers, 2004)
  • Don’t Stop Now (Crowded House, 2007)
  • Silent House (Crowded House, 2007)
  • Saturday Sun (Crowded House, 2010)
  • Song of the Lonely Mountain (2012)
  • Dizzy Heights (2014)
  • Second Nature (2017)
  • Back to Life (Neil & Liam Finn, 2018)
  • To the Island (Crowded House, 2021)

See the DMDB list of The Top 100 Songs of Neil & Tim Finn.

Overview:

“Neil…was born in Te Awamutu, a small town near Hamilton in the volcanic regions of New Zealand…His father, Richard, was a farmer's accountant, and his mother, Mary, a Catholic daughter of an Irish farmhand. Neil has three siblings: Carolyn, Tim and Judy.” SW “From a young age, Neil’s [older] brother Tim…was a large musical influence.” JL Neil “learned to play the piano and his parents encouraged him to sing with his brother Tim at their parties.” SW

“One of Neil's early dreams in life was to become a priest, but soon he got interested in music…As a teenager, while studying at Sacred Heart College (a Catholic boarding school) and later at Te Awamutu College, he performed his music in prisons, hospitals and clinics in his hometown.” SW He sent his brother “recordings of early jam sessions with fellow Sacred Heart boarding school attendee Jonathan Michael Chunn” JL later of Split Enz.

”While a teenager, Neil found an outlet for his music by joining the All'n Some Folk Club, which allowed Neil the chance to play with other musicians and write his own music. In 1975, Neil was critically acclaimed as the support act for the Split Enz Australia/New Zealand tour.” JL

Split Enz (1977-1984):

“In 1976, he quit school and began working as a hospital orderly in Auckland, and formed a group called After Hours with Mark Hough, Geoff Chunn, and Alan Brown. After Hours' debut gig was in Auckland on March 15, 1977. In the audience was Geoff’s older brother Mike, bassist with Split Enz…[He was] in New Zealand to ask guitarist Alastair Riddell to replace the recently departed Phil Judd in Split Enz. Around two weeks later, Neil got a phone call from his brother Tim in London. Riddell had turned the offer down, and Mike…suggested Neil, [who had] impressed [Chunn with his] abilities as a singer and a songwriter…Neil arrived to London on April 7, 1977, to join Split Enz.” SW

”Neil brought a fresh perspective to the songwriting, and…penned many of the band’s major hits, most notably I Got You, which virtually catapulted the Enz from obscurity to international fame. It was the biggest selling Australian Single that year and received the "Song of the Year" award at the ARIA's, Australia's biggest music award.” JL

Neil stayed with the Enz until the end, even fronting the band on their 1984 final album, See Ya ‘Round, after brother Tim left for a solo career. “Neil…decided that it would be better to start from scratch with a new group.” JL

Crowded House (1985-1994):

“After…a farewell tour…Neil went on to form a new group…known as Mullanes after Neil's middle name” SW with “Paul Hester (Split Enz’s last drummer) and Melbourne bassist/artist Nick Seymour…They moved to Los Angeles in 1985 and stayed in a cramped North Hollywood home while shopping for a record label, which inspired a name change to Crowded House. Armed with producer Mitchell Froom and a record deal from Capitol, the band wrote and recorded what was to be their biggest commercial success. Their self-titled debut launched their most successful single Don’t Dream It’s Over, which reached #2 on the US Billboard charts in 1987. This album was followed in 1988 by Temple of Low Men, which drew rave reviews from the critics.” JL

”In 1989, while Neil simultaneously worked on both the next Crowded House album and a project with his brother, Tim suggested a merging of Crowded House and the Finn Brothers projects, combining the best songs from both. Tim joined Crowded House for their 1991 album Woodface and the following tour. Weather With You broke Crowded House into the UK market, reaching #7 on their charts, and Woodface went triple platinum in the UK and double platinum in Australia.” JL

Together Alone, the band's fourth and final studio album…was released in 1993. In 1994, Crowded House won the much-coveted Q magazine award for Best International Act, beating out U2, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam.” JL

Beyond Crowded House (1995-2009):

“After the Together Alone tour, Neil returned home to New Zealand where he spent time with Tim working on the Finn Brothers sessions again. The result was 1995's Finn, an album which the brothers produced and played all their own instruments.” JL

”In 1996, Neil participated in Eddie Rayner’s ENZSO project (the symphonic orchestration of the music of Split Enz). Not long after the decision to break up CH, the band released Recurring Dream, a compilation of greatest hits, live tracks, and three songs that had been written and recorded for what would have been a fifth studio album.” JL

1998 marked Neil’s first solo release, Try Whistling This, an album followed three years later by One Nil. In 2004, the Finn Brothers released their second album.

“Neil Finn lives in Melbourne, Australia, and Auckland, New Zealand, with his wife Sharon (whom he married on February 13, 1982) and their sons Liam Mullane (born on September 24, 1983) and Elroy Timothy (born on October 25, 1989) and their dog Lester.” SW “Neil and…Sharon own and run a pub in Auckland, called Tabac. [Son Liam] heads a band of his own, ‘Betchadupa’” WK and, in 2007, released a solo album, I’ll Be Lightning.

In 2009, Finn assembled many of the performers who’d come together for his 7 Worlds Collide live album. This time out, the collective recorded under the 7 Worlds Collide banner to craft a 2-disc collection called The Sun Came Out.

Crowded House Reunion (2007-2010):

In 2005, Paul Hester, who had played drums with Neil Finn in Split Enz and Crowded House, committed suicide. This prompted a reunion between Finn and Nick Seymour of Crowded House. They enlisted multi-instrumentalist Mark Hart, formerly of Supertramp, and drummer Matt Sherrod, who’d worked with Beck, to record the album Time on Earth in 2007.

The new Crowded House lineup toured in support of the album and re-convened again in 2010 for the album Intriguer.

Family Projects (2010-):

Over the next decade, Neil released another solo album, Dizzy Heights, in 2014 and worked on projects with family members. In 2011, he formed the one-off Pajama Club with his wife Sharon. In 2018, he and his son Liam recorded the album Lightsleeper. In 2021, Neil brought Crowded House together again, this time with his sons Liam and Elroy on board.

In 2012, Neil contributed the song “Song of the Lonely Mountain” to the soundtrack for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.


Resources and Related Links:

First posted 7/13/2010; updated 6/8/2021.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Fleetwood Mac et al: Top 100 Songs

Fleetwood Mac et al

Top 100 Songs

Drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie, Fleetwood Mac’s two consistent namesakes and only members throughout every incarnation, initially formed the group in 1967 as a blues outfit with Peter Green (guitar: 1967-70) and Jeremy Spencer (guitar: 1967-71). Members during the late ‘60s and early ‘70s included included Danny Kirwan (guitar: 1968-72), Christine McVie (keyboards, vocals: 1968-), Bob Welch (guitar: 1971-74), Bob Weston (guitar: 1972-73), and Dave Walker (guitar: 1972-73).

In 1975, Lindsey Buckingham (vocals, guitar: 1975-87,98-18) and Stevie Nicks (vocals: 1975-93,97,03-) joined, giving the band a more California sound and making for their most popular lineup. Other members have included Billy Burnette (guitar/vocals: 1987-93), Rick Vito (guitar/vocals: 1987-91), Bekka Bramlett (vocals: 1993-95), Dave Mason (vocals, percussion: 1993-95),

This list was originally created in honor of Bob Welch, who passed away on June 7, 2012. It has since been updated in honor of Stevie Nicks’ birthday (born May 26, 1948). This includes songs by Fleetwood Mac as well as its individual members.

Click here to see other best-of lists from performers and here to see other best-of lists from songwriters and/or producers.

Awards:


Top 100 Songs


Dave’s Music Database lists are determined by song’s appearances on best-of lists as well as chart success, sales, radio airplay, streaming, and awards. Songs which hit #1 on various charts are noted. (Click for codes to singles charts.)

DMDB Top 1%:

    1. Go Your Own Way (1976)
    2. Dreams (1977)

    DMDB Top 2%:

    3. Don’t Stop (1977)
    4. Rhiannon (Will You Ever Win) (1975)

    DMDB Top 5%:

    5. You Make Loving Fun (1977)
    6. Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around (Stevie Nicks with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, 1981)
    7. Edge of Seventeen (Stevie Nicks, 1981)
    8. Say You Love Me (1975)
    9. Sara (1979)
    10. Albatross (1968)
    11. The Chain (1977)

    DMDB Top 10%:

    12. Tusk (1979)
    13. Oh Well (1969)
    14. Gypsy (1982)
    15. Gold (John Stewart with Stevie Nicks & Lindsey Buckingham, 1979)
    16. Leather and Lace (Stevie Nicks with Don Henley, 1981)
    17. Whenever I Call You “Friend” (Kenny Loggins with Stevie Nicks, 1978)
    18. Stand Back (Stevie Nicks, 1983)
    19. Little Lies (1987)
    20. Landslide (1975)

    21. Trouble (Lindsey Buckingham, 1981)
    22. Over My Head (1975)
    23. Black Magic Woman (1968)
    24. Hold Me (1982)
    25. Talk to Me (Stevie Nicks, 1985)

    DMDB Top 20%:

    26. Silver Springs (1977)
    27. Big Love (1987)
    28. Got a Hold on Me (Christine McVie, 1984)
    29. Everywhere (1987)
    30. Gold Dust Woman (1977)

    31. I Can’t Wait (Stevie Nicks, 1985)
    32. Nighbird (Stevie Nicks, 1983)
    33. Save Me (1990)
    34. If Anyone Falls (Stevie Nicks, 1983)
    35. Rooms on Fire (Stevie Nicks, 1989)
    36. Seven Wonders (1987)
    37. Ebony Eyes (Bob Welch, 1977)
    38. Go Insane (Lindsey Buckingham, 1984)
    39. Magnet and Steel (Walter Egan with Stevie Nicks & Lindsey Buckingham, 1978)
    40. Think about Me (1979)

    41. Sentimental Lady (Bob Welch, 1977)
    42. As Long As You Follow (1988)
    43. Precious Love (Bob Welch, 1979)
    44. Needles and Pins (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers live with Stevie Nicks, 1985)
    45. Sometimes It’s a Bitch (Stevie Nicks, 1991)

    Beyond the DMDB Top 20%:

    46. Love Will Show Us How (Christine McVie, 1984)
    47. Has Anyone Ever Written Anything for You? (Stevie Nicks, 1985)
    48. A Love in Store (1982)
    49. Peacekeeper (2003)
    50. Hypnotized (1973)

    51. After the Glitter Fades (Stevie Nicks, 1982)
    52. Isn’t It Midnight (1987)
    53. Fireflies (1980)
    54. Midnight Wind (John Stewart with Stevie Nicks & Lindsey Buckingham, 1979)
    55. Man of the World (1969)
    56. Maybe Love Will Change Your Mind (Stevie Nicks, 1994)
    57. Need Your Love So Bad (1968)
    58. Holiday Road (Lindsey Buckingham, 1983)
    59. The Green Manalishi with the Two-Prong Crown (1972)
    60. The Two-Prong Crown (1970)

    61. Say You Will (2003)
    62. Hot Love, Cold World (Bob Welch, 1977)
    63. Songbird (1977)
    64. Church (Bob Welch, 1979)
    65. Countdown (Lindsey Buckingham, 1992)
    66. Family Man (1987)
    67. Monday Morning (1975)
    68. Second Hand News (1977)
    69. Rattlesnake Shake (1969)
    70. Paper Doll (1992)

    71. Never Going Back Again (1977)
    72. Oh Diane (1982)
    73. Sisters of the Moon (1979)
    74. Heroes Are Hard to Find (1974)
    75. Skies the Limit (1990)
    76. Sorcerer (Stevie Nicks, 2001)
    77. Violet and Blue (Stevie Nicks, 1984)
    78. Long Way to Go (Stevie Nicks, 1989)
    79. Love Is Dangerous (1990)
    80. Every Day (Stevie Nicks, 2001)

    81. Big Love (live, slower version; 1997)
    82. Tango in the Night (1987)
    83. Enchanted (Stevie Nicks, 1983)
    84. Secret Love (Stevie Nicks, 2001)
    85. World Turning (1975)
    86. Dreams (Deep Dish with Stevie Nicks, 2006)
    87. I Don’t Want to Know (1977)
    88. Nothing Ever Changes (Stevie Nicks, 1983)
    89. No Questions Asked (1988)
    90. I Believe My Time Ain’t Long (1967)

    91. I Will Run to You (Stevie Nicks with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, 1983)
    92. Whole Lotta Trouble (Stevie Nicks, 1989)
    93. Did You Ever Love Me (1973)
    94. Planets of the Universe (Stevie Nicks, 2001)
    95. In My World (Lindsey Buckingham & Christine McVie, 2017)
    96. Dragonfly (1971)
    97. Soul Drifter (Lindsey Buckingham, 1992)
    98. In the Back of My Mind (1990)
    99. Straight Back (1982)
    100. Blue Denim (Stevie Nicks, 1994)


    Resources and Related Links:

    First posted 6/9/2012; updated 5/26/2021.