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Reducing artists to one song
Post by Schrottrocker on Apr 30th, 2016, 12:26pm

I don't know where to put this topic, this is kind of a rant...

Anyway: It's a sad fact how the generation of the musicians who as a matter of fact are right now dying out leave this huge treasure of rock and pop music on us - and yet they all get constantly reduced to one or two songs. Prince has just died and now 'Purple Rain' is being played everywhere. Amazing song, yes - but by no means his only great song! Oh wait, yea, there's 'Kiss' too. Sure, two songs get the focus and everything else this artist ever created falls under the floor. tongue
Last Monday when me and my mate had our little monthly radio show again we decided to play a Prince song but NOT 'Purple Rain' just for the sake of showing our listeners there's more than this one song (and that other song) by this artist. I picked 'Batdance', imho a great piece of music which showcases the multiple talents of Prince very well, plus I appreciate it for being so upbeat and energetic.

Same goes for all the deceased artists (and those still alive too): David Bowie has left us? Let's spin 'Let's Dance' one more time. Glenn Frey? Put on 'Hotel California'. Keith Emerson? 'Lucky Man' it is. And so forth... This is not just annoying, it's worse: it doesn't do the overall work of all these geniuses justice in any way! angry

A friend of mine who is a huge Pink Floyd fan told me this story: some time ago he took part in one of those quizzes on the radio where you can wish for a song when you win - he won and, being aware that a radio station won't play any obscure songs, he asked for 'Wish You Were Here'. Guess what? "We're sorry, we don't have this song. Would you mind if we play 'Another Brick In The Wall' instead?" What more is there to say... rolleyes
Re: Reducing artists to one song
Post by Noni on Apr 30th, 2016, 3:00pm

I'm glad you mentioned Keith Emerson, a Jimi Hendrix on Keyboards, so the music buffs are saying and I agree!.. smiley

I totally agree with your comment above and 'Wish You Were Here' is regarded, one of my best Pink Floyds albums!...

What annoys me the most, is how Camel; were not up their amongst the greats in music history, but will only be remembered by their loyal fans!... sad

On a positive note, their is still a lot of bands out there and growing rapidly.. For me I would like the prog music to be more popular as we have a huge genre in music that would blow the pants off most average folks today!
Re: Reducing artists to one song
Post by FeelItComing on Apr 30th, 2016, 6:03pm

Wish You Were Here is my favourite Pink Floyd song & always will be.

Regarding Glenn Frey he didn't even sing lead on Hotel California. It's either that or Take It Easy which he did sing. When people played tributes to him what did they play - Take It Easy. Purple Rain on the other had was Prince's finest hour.

It seems to me that some people only know Genesis for Invisible Touch. And what baffles me completely is surely Phil would be known for In The Air Tonight, if anything. I find the song most people seem to mention is Against All Odd (Take A Look At Me Now) which is in my view a long way from his best work.

My beloved Dire Straits tend to be reduced not to Sultans Of Swing or even Money For Nothing, but Walk Of Life. I could go on.
Re: Reducing artists to one song
Post by foxfeeder on May 1st, 2016, 07:26am

Sadly, I guess this is inevitable. My mum is 93. She was aware of the existence of Prince, but the only song she could name was Purple Rain. I guess because that's what she was fed by the media for years.

Justin Hayward will be remembered for Nights In White Satin, far from his best song IMO, but covered about once a month by other artists!

I guess it'll be nice for most just to be remembered, without a suffix like "one time drummer for Mott the Hoople"! sad
Re: Reducing artists to one song
Post by Dust on May 1st, 2016, 12:09pm

Sorry, but I don't really agree with any of this. Sure, someone who has virtually no idea who Prince or Bowie or Pink Floyd are may only think of one song when these artists are mentioned, but this is borne of ignorance and innocence and in my opinion is of no consequence to discerning music fans like most of those on this board. "Let's Dance"... "Hotel California"... "Invisible Touch"... I think y'all are reaching, no offense.
Re: Reducing artists to one song
Post by onetwothree on May 2nd, 2016, 06:41am

on Apr 30th, 2016, 6:03pm, FeelItComing wrote:
It seems to me that some people only know Genesis for Invisible Touch.

I've probably mentioned it on this board somewhere before, but some years ago I was annoyed at how radio stations had seemingly reduced Genesis to just "In Too Deep."
Re: Reducing artists to one song
Post by Schrottrocker on May 2nd, 2016, 09:09am

on May 1st, 2016, 12:09pm, Dust wrote:
Sorry, but I don't really agree with any of this. Sure, someone who has virtually no idea who Prince or Bowie or Pink Floyd are may only think of one song when these artists are mentioned, but this is borne of ignorance and innocence and in my opinion is of no consequence to discerning music fans like most of those on this board. "Let's Dance"... "Hotel California"... "Invisible Touch"... I think y'all are reaching, no offense.


Dust, this rant of mine was not directed at anybody on this board. I was expressing my frustration about this phenomenon in general and I did experience it a lot lately. Maybe you are more lucky with radio stations in your country but here in Germany they all seem to have an unwritten to keep just one song by each artist (cf. my friend's story about Pink Floyd). A laudable exception is our station SWR1 who keep surprising me by playing lots of music that gets plainly ignored otherwise, such as Supper's Ready in its entirety or some really obscure Allan Holdsworth tracks and lots more.

Radio aside, I observed the same way of reducing a legend to one song even with other artists who pay tribute. Any musician who recently honoured Prince played Purple Rain - and nothing but Purple Rain. For Bowie it was Space Oddity, for Lemmy Ace of Spades... I really miss the mentioning of other songs all these artists created and imho it does a paint a wrong picture of these legends. Out of all the magnificent artists of, say, the last 60-70 years, I can only think of the Beatles and Freddie Mercury/Queen as the ones who give people a hard time where to begin with all their great songs, somehow they made it to leave people aware they did not just create this one awesome song (or two) but tons of awesome songs.
Re: Reducing artists to one song
Post by Dust on May 2nd, 2016, 09:45am

on May 2nd, 2016, 09:09am, Schrottrocker wrote:
Maybe you are more lucky with radio stations in your country but here in Germany they all seem to have an unwritten to keep just one song by each artist.... Radio aside, I observed the same way of reducing a legend to one song even with other artists who pay tribute. Any musician who recently honoured Prince played Purple Rain - and nothing but Purple Rain. For Bowie it was Space Oddity....

You may be right that this is handled differently in different places. Most of the Bowie or Prince tributes I've observed--on TV, YouTube, Facebook, etc.--have covered a variety of different songs. I don't really listen to music on the radio. smiley
Re: Reducing artists to one song
Post by FeelItComing on May 2nd, 2016, 5:25pm

If people had really wanted to honour Glenn Frey they would have performed New Kid In Town. He only wrote a couple of lines of Take It Easy. A tribute was done in his home town of Detroit which was attended by a couple of friends of mine from the Eagles message board. The songs played were Take It Easy & Already Gone, which he also didn't write. There is nothing to be done about it, I guess.
Re: Reducing artists to one song
Post by Yild4Genesis on May 3rd, 2016, 3:44pm

on May 2nd, 2016, 5:25pm, FeelItComing wrote:
If people had really wanted to honour Glenn Frey they would have performed New Kid In Town. He only wrote a couple of lines of Take It Easy. A tribute was done in his home town of Detroit which was attended by a couple of friends of mine from the Eagles message board. The songs played were Take It Easy & Already Gone, which he also didn't write. There is nothing to be done about it, I guess.


If anything, Take It Easy is more a Jackson Browne tribute
smiley
Re: Reducing artists to one song
Post by Dr. John on May 4th, 2016, 11:35am

Before I clicked on this thread, I thought it was going to be about some kind of music nerd exercise in trying to reduce an artist down to one essential song that encapsulates their artistry best. I think that would actually be kinda fun to do, even though it is obviously oversimplification for many.

Anyway, I agree with the various comments that radio and media in general tend to get this wrong, focusing on the most popular song by an artist, which isn't necessarily particularly definitive.
Re: Reducing artists to one song
Post by AnythingNow on May 4th, 2016, 3:46pm

Interesting thread! I'm thinking that reducing an artist to just one song (or very few songs) would have to do with the overall mainstreaming of music playing and music taste. People (supposedly) don't want to be surprised when listening to radio; they don't want something they don't already know. And many people's attention seems to be so short: if the first 20 seconds of a song aren't catchy they may switch channel.

Or at least some radio stations seems to believe this is the case, and are afraid to lose listeners if they play more unknown music. This can be a curse for an artist, for instance Phil Collins. Radio stations playing "One More Night" and "Another Day in Paradise" have made a lot of people hate him. He even apologized in an interview a few years back, saying something like: "I'm sorry, but I only wrote 'One More Night' once."

Re: Reducing artists to one song
Post by Schrottrocker on May 5th, 2016, 02:54am

I really believe it is this fear of "overwhelming" the average listener that simplified everything in the pop music business more and more. Speaking for me, I just don't buy it. I am friends with a bunch of people who are not music nerds like us forumites are, you might be surprised how many people rely on mainstream radio as their main source for music - and again and again I hear people say pleasantly surprised they are when a song comes up that rarely ever gets played. Just as much as how people often have no clue about songs anymore that used to be hugely successful, just because nobody ever plays them.
Re: Reducing artists to one song
Post by slowdancer on May 5th, 2016, 05:55am

I think, this is sort of inevitable. An average radio station usually depends on playing the songs, that everyone knows. If you want to dive deeper into certain genres or works of special artists, you will have to listen to a station, that is specialized on certain genres. The Delicious Agony station, for instance, is exclusively playing progressive rock. There are other stations, who play country, rhythm and blues, rock, heavy metal, and so on. There, you probably won`t have this "Artist reduced to one song" - problem.

As a constant listener of music, I must confess, that there are a lot of artists and bands, that I do not know more, than one or two songs of. For many years "Do it again" was the only Steely Dan song, I knew, until I became a fan. That is just one example of many. There is simply so much music in the world, that you cannot know any band or artist in detail. That is simply impossible and doesn`t necessarily mean, that you are overwhelmed. Sometimes you may take the chance and get to know a particular artist closer. That is really exciting then.
Re: Reducing artists to one song
Post by Chessman on May 8th, 2016, 1:16pm

I agree totally with Schrottrocker, and it's not just artists who have died who are treated like this. Take the band Travis. Not my type of band but I know many people liked them. Whenever they are mentioned what song is played? 'Why Does It Always Rain On Me?' Didn't they have any other hits? What about Spandau Ballet? 'Gold?' 'True?' Did they sing nothing else? This sort of thing is repeated time and time again. Regarding Queen, even they are not immune to this. They are often reduced to either 'Another One Bites The Dust' - (imo the worst single they ever released), 'Under Pressure' or 'Bohemian Rhapsody'.
I suppose it is true though that you need a radio station that specialises in a certain genre to get a more representative selection of songs by an artist played. rolleyes
Re: Reducing artists to one song
Post by CountingOutTime on May 8th, 2016, 5:32pm

It was always my dream to own a progressive rock radio station where I could play album oriented rock. Each day would be something different. There's a radio station here in SoCal called The Sound. They play mostly classic rock songs that were hits, but hardly ever repeat songs. They're exactly what I've been waiting for.in a radio station with a lot less commercials too.

Check out this link to see what they're playing today.
http://playlist.thesoundla.com/onair/

On the prog side, there's an online radio station named 'Delicious Agony.' 'Papa' Jim Harrell, CalProg promoter, has his own show on there for 4 hours every Saturday night. Great stuff!

http://www.deliciousagony.com
Re: Reducing artists to one song
Post by NoSonOfVine on May 8th, 2016, 6:43pm

on May 8th, 2016, 1:16pm, Chessman wrote:
Regarding Queen, even they are not immune to this. They are often reduced to either 'Another One Bites The Dust' - (imo the worst single they ever released), 'Under Pressure' or 'Bohemian Rhapsody'.

Actually, incorrect. Queen are highly immune to this. They made me so many beloved hits that they've never been reduced to one or even a few songs. Apart from the ones you mentioned, popular Queen songs still frequently played on the radio include:

We Will Rock You
We Are The Champions
I Want To Break Free
Killer Queen
Don't Stop Me Now
Somebody To Love
Bicycle Race
You're My Best Friend
The Seven Seas Of Rhye
Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
The Invisible Man
Radio Ga Ga
A Kind Of Magic
I Want It All
One Vision
The Show Must Go On
Re: Reducing artists to one song
Post by Yild4Genesis on May 8th, 2016, 9:24pm

on May 8th, 2016, 1:16pm, Chessman wrote:
I agree totally with Schrottrocker, and it's not just artists who have died who are treated like this. Take the band Travis. Not my type of band but I know many people liked them. Whenever they are mentioned what song is played? 'Why Does It Always Rain On Me?' Didn't they have any other hits? What about Spandau Ballet? 'Gold?' 'True?' Did they sing nothing else? This sort of thing is repeated time and time again. Regarding Queen, even they are not immune to this. They are often reduced to either 'Another One Bites The Dust' - (imo the worst single they ever released), 'Under Pressure' or 'Bohemian Rhapsody'.
I suppose it is true though that you need a radio station that specialises in a certain genre to get a more representative selection of songs by an artist played. rolleyes


No offense but with regards to Travis and Spandau Ballet, that's pretty much all I know from them. Let's face it, if there is a news report or whatever on those bands, they would play those songs because that's all Joe public would identify with
Re: Reducing artists to one song
Post by paul795 on May 20th, 2016, 09:50am

What about poor old Ralph McTell?


Re: Reducing artists to one song
Post by Schrottrocker on May 20th, 2016, 4:19pm

on May 8th, 2016, 6:43pm, NoSonOfVine wrote:
Actually, incorrect. Queen are highly immune to this. They made me so many beloved hits that they've never been reduced to one or even a few songs. Apart from the ones you mentioned, popular Queen songs still frequently played on the radio include:

We Will Rock You
We Are The Champions
I Want To Break Free
Killer Queen
Don't Stop Me Now
Somebody To Love
Bicycle Race
You're My Best Friend
The Seven Seas Of Rhye
Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
The Invisible Man
Radio Ga Ga
A Kind Of Magic
I Want It All
One Vision
The Show Must Go On


Not all of them get airplay here in Germany but yes, there's at least
- Don't Stop Me Now
- Radio Ga Ga
- We are the Champions
- We Will Rock You
- The Show Must Go On
- Who Wants To Live Forever
- A Kind Of Magic
and surprisingly, even Innuendo keeps coming up. Queen somehow made it to steer around that one biggest song right from the start, unfortunately they are an exception (next to the Beatles I guess).

For Travis, yes I have to agree, most people don't seem to remember that band had any other songs at all. What about "Sing"? That was always my favourite, though not their most successful one.

Funny, this just reminds me how about 10 years ago a number of people I was friends with all wanted to go see Green Day because they loved 'Boulevard of Broken Dreams' so much - and they ended up slightly surprised to find a punk band performing... grin
Re: Reducing artists to one song
Post by FeelItComing on May 20th, 2016, 7:16pm

Neil Young gets reduced to Heart Of Gold.
Van Morrison gets reduced to Brown Eyed Girl.
The Bee Gees are reduced to'disco''.......
Re: Reducing artists to one song
Post by foxfeeder on May 21st, 2016, 08:41am

on May 20th, 2016, 7:16pm, FeelItComing wrote:
Neil Young gets reduced to Heart Of Gold.
Van Morrison gets reduced to Brown Eyed Girl.
The Bee Gees are reduced to'disco''.......


Ironically, missing all the best stuff they ever did! wink
Re: Reducing artists to one song
Post by CountingOutTime on May 22nd, 2016, 2:29pm

Lonely Days is a great Bee Gees song.
Re: Reducing artists to one song
Post by FeelItComing on May 22nd, 2016, 6:29pm

on May 22nd, 2016, 2:29pm, CountingOutTime wrote:
Lonely Days is a great Bee Gees song.


I had the privilege of seeing them play it twice & it absolutely rocks.
Re: Reducing artists to one song
Post by Chessman on May 23rd, 2016, 2:12pm

on May 8th, 2016, 6:43pm, NoSonOfVine wrote:
Actually, incorrect. Queen are highly immune to this. They made me so many beloved hits that they've never been reduced to one or even a few songs. Apart from the ones you mentioned, popular Queen songs still frequently played on the radio include:

We Will Rock You
We Are The Champions
I Want To Break Free
Killer Queen
Don't Stop Me Now
Somebody To Love
Bicycle Race
You're My Best Friend
The Seven Seas Of Rhye
Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
The Invisible Man
Radio Ga Ga
A Kind Of Magic
I Want It All
One Vision
The Show Must Go On


Some of those do get played sometimes, yes, but never as much in my neck of the woods as the three I mentioned already.... rolleyes