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Nemesis no more
Posted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:27 am
I wonder if this is happening to any of you other aging rockers. In high school, when they ruled the airwaves on rock radio, I hated both Rush and Journey... Rush probably less so, but then the few Journey songs I liked, I liked a whole lot more than the few Rush songs I liked. Anyway, they were not my cup of tea... One was too schmaltzy and ballady; the other was too pompous and soulless. Now? Not so much. I'm not running out to snap up either's back catalog, but when they come on the classic rock radio these days, I find myself tapping my foot and singing along to songs that sent me straight for Van Halen's "Women and Children First" back in the day. Am I alone in these unbidden re-evaluations? And what do you think is going on psychologically here? Have my tastes shifted, or am I so nostalgic that I have nostalgia for things that used to make me want to kick the dog? Your thoughts?
Posted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:29 pm
Rush still sucks.
Other than the Bob n Doug McKenzie albums, I can't tollerate that band. Not 25 years ago and not today.
Although, I've found that today a lot of 90s acts that I ignored are top of mind for me. I intentionally avoided Garbage back then. But now when I listen to their stuff I really like most of it. I didn't care for Blur much, but now I think their first few albums are really really good. While I liked the Pumpkins back then, I didn't think that much about them, but now I think they were one of the greates bands of the past 30 years.
On the flip side, I did for a time in the 90s enjoy Pavement. But I can't fucking listen to a single one of their albums anymore. I don't know what I was thinking.
Posted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:55 pm
I have found that over many years I sometimes forget the politics or context that made me hate an artist or song, so when I hear it now I'll be like, "Hey, that's actually pretty good." Like Stone Temple Pilots for example. I hated them so very much in college, mainly because I perceived them as jumping on the grunge bandwagon and trying really hard to be what I considered better bands with better lyrics. But then I heard "Vaseline" not that long ago and went, "You know that's actually a pretty cool drum part, and.. this song is not terrible. I can't remember why I hated these guys so much." Just like you, I'm not running out to buy their stuff, and definitely not saying Scott Weiland is worth paying attention to, I'm just saying when I forget the details I am forced to take it at face value. I also recently realized that Bon Jovi were actually much, much more talented musicians than Poison after hearing a song by both. I lumped them together and now I realize that just wasn't right. Sorry Bon Jovi.
Also: Pavement is still awesome.
Posted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:16 pm
I think you hit on something with the fading of context and politics. Part of the reason I hated a lot of the bands that I hated was because I was supposed to. You can't listen to Motorhead's "Ace of Spades" and Human League in the high school tribes. It's unseemly. Absent that tribalism, and absent me giving a shit what anyone thinks about what I'm listening to, you don't have so much knee-jerk revulsion.
Posted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:24 pm
I'm having trouble thinking of a band that I first hated, and then much later really liked (I can think of plenty in the other direction, though). That may be because I haven't given bands second chances, and perhaps if I went back and listened to Journey (oh yeah I hated 'em) or REO Speedwagon or Elton John, I might end up pleasantly surprised. Since I listen to basically zero radio, however, that's not likely to happen unless I seek it out.
Posted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:18 am
I used to be such a punk I hated Dylan on the whole politics/context thing - he was fucking hippy music! Eventually I realized what a fucking genius he as (and what a dope I was for hating him on principle). That realization started me on a backtrack of other artists I blew off on 'principle' back when. Okay, obviously Journey isn't the equal of Dylan but so what? They had some great tunes.
GloNo helped me to come out of the Journey closet years ago. As for Elton John, his 70's output is mostly excellent (I think he peaked with 'Captain Fantastic'). And I admit, I do like me some Rush now and then-shit, back in middle school I actually had to look up words from their lyrics and how many bands can make you do that?
REO Speedwagon? I have yet to tackle that mountain, but I will someday.
Point is, once you get old enough you can say, "Yes-Journey is a masterful example of power pop and I don't care who laughs."
Okay, so don't nobody laugh...
Posted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:25 am
Shecks, I am not willing to label Journey power pop. Power ballads, sure. One of the best in the biz. Practically wrote the rules. Power pop? They ain't no db's. Am I the only one who prefers the Greg Rolle songs to the Steve Perry songs?
Posted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:52 am
I think re-assessment of groups that were our original "glory days" period is inevitable, even healthy. Some songs and groups that I thought were dogshit back then continue to be dogshit now. Others, yeah, I do find myself somewhat more open to their charms. I think for me the $2 used CD bin at my local Half-Price Books (and related to that, the impending demise of the CD format) has helped me invest in a lot of CDs both good and bad which I missed first time around; I just picked up Siamese Dream and Robert Miles' Dreamland CDs for $2 apiece, and before that the Cardigans' First Band On The Moon. These were all gaps in my collection so that I could either put food on the table, or to buy more important CDs back then. It's cool to get around to them finally.
And no, I wouldn't call Journey power pop at all; poppy hard rock, maybe, but power pop is a much more specific genre.
And yeah, Shecks made an awesome point about context. I bought Sign "O" The Times, and really want to call it the masterpiece that everyone says it is, but man, I'm just not getting it the same way I get Around The World In A Day. And The Joshua Tree?? What the hell was everyone so damn jazzed about with this album, barring the radio cuts?? Unforgettable Fire and most of the albums prior to that were superior to it; Joshua Tree sounds tepid in comparison.
Posted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:54 am
Sorry, QWW made the point about context; my apologies.
Posted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:55 am
"Anyway You Want It" is not power pop? Okay, point taken - ballads were Journey's bread and butter, but they could unleash some pure bubblegum when they wanted to.