Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by bosskeenneat, Feb 6, 2015.
Wall of Sound is not “dated”.
I’m from a Latin-American background. My parents had Cuban, Mexican and other South American music on all the time, not to mention Spanish from Spain, in the early and later 60’s.
I didn’t get into English and US rock till I was in 4th or 5th grade and onwards. High school made the greatest impact on me.
The early music my parents played at home in the 60s was awesome and fun, even though it wasn’t in English. I guess what lotsa people forget in the US and the UK is that the revolutionary 1960s also happened outside their borders. Today I’m rediscovering all of that rich heritage once more.
Phil should be knighted for his contributions.
Although I don't listen to much in the way of early 60's popular
music, it's agreed that it was a great time for music. Now
early 60's jazz, that is another matter entirely for my
The interesting thing about the "forgotten era" of American rock, pop, R&B, blues, country, and jazz of the early 1960s was the massive influence records and performances from that time had on the musicians and bands who went on to become superstars later in the 1960s and 1970s.
It's just one of those not-so-little ironies, along with the fact that perhaps >90% of Classic Baby Boomer era music was made by people with birthdays prior to 1946. We Boomers just listened to it, we didn't invent it.
By the way, anyone interested in reading more on the history of "race music"- black R&B, doo-wop, and soul music- of the early 1960s should read George Clinton's autobiography. He worked in Plainfield NJ and NYC at the Brill Building as a teenager, doing A&R work and getting into songwriting. And later on in the 1960s, he moved to Detroit and got involved with the music scene there. Clinton is a great raconteur, with a very sharp memory for detail about the era- practically forgotten artists, groups, managers, studio, venues, labels....
While Spector deserves praise for his recording techniques and innovations, his Wall of Sound does sound- to my ears--dated and corny.
Yes, it's entirely subjective and I should have pointed that out instead of stating it as fact--and not opinion, which it certainly is.
If it weren't for the early sixties music, my first girl friend would not have sung for me "Angel Baby" and later left me heartbroken when she had to move away with her folks. And also, it was those early 60's Beach Boys records that gave me solace.
And I still dig that Phil Spector Wall of Sound.
In your assessment of this period
You omitted the elements of R&B.
This period of music, which I have elaborated on earlier posts, was a golden age of R&B.
Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, etc.
Of course, all leading up to Soul.
(Check my earlier posts on this thread)
Yes, a whole bunch of great R&B came out during that period. I didn't mean to overlook it.
I suppose my post was more narrowly-focused in that I was thinking of classic rock,
Interestingly Atlantic Records-- and Ertegun, Wexler, Dowd and others --were prominent in both the golden age of R&B and later on in the classic rock era...
Great points. I've always loved pointing out that Dylan, Hendrix, The Beatles and so on were not Baby Boomers. People like to claim "ownership" of their generational music and look at artists as though they were contemporaries.
(And for you younger guys-- people like Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell were Baby Boomers, technically.)
Interesting, Vedder and Cornell, growing up probably considered themselves Gen X, recently I have seen for some reason there has been an expansion of the boomers past '60 up to '64.
Pop was pretty bad. It was formulaic, and shallow. Famously, it was what made Dylan go into folk music. I'm sure it gave the fabs a lot of motivation to not be "Bobbies", even though we know that Decca wanted that and not them. The era had a lot of negative exampling demonstrated.
There was a lot of stuff going on other than that pop, but there always was anyway. Music kept going. I can't say it was a great era except for Jazz.
It's been from 1946-64 for as long as I can remember, but yeah, there's a blurring of the lines after 1960. My sister was born that year and she's definitely a Boomer; I was born in '62 and I've never felt like one. My "profile"--for better or worse--is more GenEx.
(In fact, checking Wikipedia just now, it seems they have GenEx from 1961-1981. This is new.)
Everyone was affected, and especially black US artists. There's a reason they call economics the dismal science. I heard Abbey Lincoln interviewed about the early 60s once and it was a problem for all working musicians. Stax and Motown were contemporaries of the fabs. Sui Generis with geniuses working around the clock. They also had mutual appreciation things going on with the fabs. But what happened to everyone else?
Black presence in pop has taken some big hits, like AOR radio programming, classic rock playlists, MTV, etc. This was a very huge thing that led to those things.
Or a prog record.
The shortest span of age demographic that qualifies as a "generation" is 18 years. Hence, 1946-1964.
I subjectively notice what I would term "fault lines of experience" in the "youth culture" about every 3-4 years within that 18-year time frame. Incidentally, 3-4 years is the timespan of a given cohort in high school or college undergraduate years, from freshman to senior. Four years also denotes the time span of one Presidential term, which has historically had some rough semi-association with shifts in social attitudes and cultural mores in the USA.
The outward and downward spread of Illegal Dope over the 10-year period between 1965 and 1975 was a huge factor, too: outward, from California, the college campuses of the Northeast, and the largest American cities- and the "Indochina theater of war", so to speak- c.1967 to the entire rest of the USA by 1975; and even more significantly, from graduate students and post-college age "beatniks" and "hippies" to college undergrads, c.1964-1967; from college undergrads- and Vietnam vets- to high school kids (aka "teenyboppers", in the argot of the day) 1967-1975; high school kids down to junior high kids, 1968-1975. Mostly about older brothers turning on their younger siblings.
Of course the "Wall Of Sound" is dated. How could it not be? It was of its time. In a great way. Other early sixties music that flourished, and was also "dated", was surf instrumentals, R&B, terrific pop vocals, Bossa Nova, early Motown. All terrific music, and all dated. Nothing wrong with that, right? Absolutely essential and critical watershed movements in jazz were also happening in early sixties, although, I hesitate to call that "dated". Does that make sense? Seems like the jazz stuff doesn't sound like one specific time-frame, but sounds like forever, could have been done currently.
Thé definition of the word “dated” does include negative connotations.
And that term is used so often and loosely...
But yes, obviously all music is of its time and period...
It was a great era.
Please read my previous posts regarding R&B.
You're right of course, but of some of the other types of music you mentioned--surf instrumentals, Bossa Nova etc.--elements of these never really went away and thus sound a bit less dated. For instance, you'll hear surf tone guitar or a Bossa Nova beat on modern songs--think of Beck and people like him--who always rummage through the warehouse of used riffs, beats, sounds and tone of pop music's past.
There were great black records on either side of this era, maybe greater, so I don't see it as exceptional.
Please read my previous posts.
I recommend some CDs and collections that will aid in learning about and appreciating this era...
As far as the "Motown Sound" is considered, it had started in the late-50's. Berry Gordy was behind artists like Marv Johnson and Tamla Records was in it's infancy. I believe Phil Spector's 'wall-of-sound' was influential to Berry Gordy and created Motown's 'over-production' recordings, which proceeded, undaunted, from the early-1960's onward. Phil Spector's 'wall-of-sound' was timeless and influenced music long after Philles Records was no more. Phil Spector was brought in to straighten out the Beatles, adding his signature production to "Let It Be". He also worked with the individual Beatles, like John Lennon and George Harrison on their solo projects. Could you possibly picture the "Imagine" or the "All Things Must Pass" albums withouth the 'wall-of-sound' treatment?
As far as the the 50's rock and popular artists were concerned, many also soldiered on. Pop artists like Sinatra, Bennett and Mathis continued creating new records throughout their lifetimes and sold tons of records, in spite of the British Invasion. Elvis Presley continued to have hit records, even the time he was in the military, through stockpiled recordings, and as soon as he returned to the U.S., he hit the ground running.
Though it is true that the U.S. rock 'n' roll artists went through a lull during the early part of the British Invasion, it only took a short while before U.S. artists were a chart staple once again.
American artists, who had no foreign competition, like the Beach Boys, the Four Seasons plus Jan & Dean continued to successfully make records and only suffered from their own actions or unexpected occurrences.
From the late-50's into the 1970's was the heyday of the studio musicians, making millionaires out of many young people. If their was a dislike of American music in the early-60's, nobody told them. The studio musicians were in such demand that they could work around the clock. Many newcomers flocked to L.A. from the late-50's-on to satisfy the need for studio musicians. Many of these studio musicians became hit artists themselves, like Glen Campbell, in spite of the British invasion.
So, no, there was no dislike of early-60's American music. That was the music that even many in the British Invasion looked to for inspiration.
I don't know about the OP's assertion; this entire era is ruled by Motown and Phil Spector and I don't know anyone who dismisses their importance or influence, even if some of the people involved (Ike Turner, Berry Gordy, Spector) are personally reviled.
How many of these artists best work was in 1960-1963? I celebrate them but I don't focus on that period. My main point is that no one was immune from market pressures, yes, even these people.
Separate names with a comma.