Monday, August 21, 2006

Pop: A Question Of.

I've been thinking.

Ooh dangerous I hear you mutter... and for once I would have to agree.

For I have come upon a musical conundrum, a question of pop one might say.

It hurts my brain so it does.

I have phoned a friend and even done 50/50* but as yet have no answer to that which has been plaguing me.

So now my dear bloggers I shall pose it to you in the hope that you might save me from myself.

If Dylan was the solo artist who's music defined the sixties, Bowie's the seventies and Prince's* the eighties then who the hell defined the nineties?

Is there even an artist who qualifies?

It must be a solo artist, not a band.

Please help.

*Do you not see how bad this is?! I've even resorted to using cliched references to 'Who Want's To Be A Millionaire?' I need your help people.

** In the words of Chris Rock: "Remember when you were a kid and you used to argue about who was better, Prince or Michael Jackson?

Prince won."


skeadugenga said...

I'm afraid you may find that its George Michael, with Robbie Williams or Kylie Minogue a contender (but they didn't span the decade) Its a good question though, no one as iconic as Bowie comes to mind.

Jools said...

Have to agree with skeadoodah, I would say Kylie (rightly or wrongly) you could say George or Madonna but was also very much about in the 80's, not sure when Kylie started but has to be late 80's doesn't it?
Robbie would be quite a good one, however I think in the 90's we became so much more transient. Fashion, music, careers, everything in fact became so much more disposable, nothing has any longevity these days. Apart from cellulite thats stays for effin ages.

realdoc said...

I think Kylie is quite a good call.

chatterbox said...

I was sort of watching on the sidelines in the 90's, like everyone else so far, I can't think of any outstanding individual that you could use for the 90s. Wasn't the 90's more about mainstream manufactured stuff and indie undercurrents? Is that why there isn't one great artist standing out? That tends to lead me back to Robbie, who came out of the boy band phenomenon, but I'm not really sure he defined the whole 90's, so I'm back at Kylie as well.

Thats a lot of words to say 'I dunno' (If I'm an example of what 'ask the audience' gets you, you might be better off with a wild guess)

skeadugenga said...

Well Kylie and Robbie didn't really hit it big until after the middle of the decade (soap operas don't count). The real 90s pheonomena were (spit, spit)Stock Aitken Waterman and The Spice Girls and I don't think that you can disqualify groups H, if anyone summed up that dreadful decade it was TSG.

Heather said...

Nope, no groups. If you bring groups into play then Dylan would be ousted by the Beatles for dominance of the sixties.

Kylie and Robbie also don't count because they don't write their own material, or if they do they have minimal input.

Whereas Dylan, Bowie and Prince wrote all their own songs. In fact Bowie and Prince's talents were so prodigious they were giving songs such as All The Young Dudes, Manic Monday and Nothing Compares 2 U away to other artists!

Billy said...

Who used to win the best solo artist in the NME polls? Beck?

Robert Swipe said...

Pop music died in 1987, Heatster - there was simply nothing to define any longer.

If you're going to tie me toa hot stove and beat me with your tartan slingbacks, than I suppose I'd have to say.......

.....that Pulp made the best records of the 90s, but that Jarvis Cocker certainly didn't define the decade....

But then, I'm an old git who knows nothing....

Gary Barlow?

Heather said...

Bob the problem with the nineties is that it was a decade of two halves musically speaking. The first half could be defined as grunge with Nirvana and Pearl Jam as the 'front bands' for the movement. Then in the mid to late nineties it was Britpop, with Oasis, Blur and Pulp taking over. Trying to think of one solo artist that spans the decade is seemingly impossible.

I think Jeff Buckley had the potential to be that artist, but then he went on died on us.

Talking about definitive bands I would probably say REM as they brought out all their best material in the nineties.

But as I said before it's solo artists that I'm after.

ill man said...

I was going to suggest Morrissey, but then, he doesn't write his own music.

Beck's not a bad bet, but I hate his music.

homo escapeons said...

I am afraid that NOBODY captured the 90s but Nirvana/Pumpkins/Oasis/U2 and Radiohead would probably make it on most top ten lists.

There hasn't really been anything NEW under the Sun since the 70s. Everything has been built upon the shoulders of Giants.

The simple history of Pop music is:
Sinatra was the original teen idol
then Elvis bleached R&B for Middle America and created the Musical Generation Gap
the Beatles arrived and perfected mass marketing and then
Bowie and Pink Floyd opened up Pandora's Box and lay the groundwork for every band since the late 70s.

Try to imagine a truly NEW sound since the 70s...good luck.

Jules said...

Alanis. Sorry. :)

{Minion} said...

Hi Hazel,

Chemical Brothers

are groups I know...
but they are what the 90's make me think of.
Also Nick Cave, but he spans a longer era, and isn't mainstream.
in fact, pop wise, I wouldn't have a clue who did what.
The Stock Aitken Waterman team probably did have the biggest effect on the scene, as much as I loathed 99% of the pap they churned out.
I think they win.... :(

Heather said...

Minion, I get enough of that mis-naming from my boss I don't need you getting in on the act!

Stock Aitken Waterman probably were the biggest influence but since they are a 3 man production team and not a solo artist they don't count.

I can't believe there isn't anyone who qualifies. Before I posted on here I thought quite simply that there was someone really obvious that I was missing. Now it appears that Bob is right and music really did die in 1989.

skeadugenga said...

Well Kirsty McColl spanned the 90s and she wrote her own songs, and you got the constant reinvention...similarly Joni Mitchell. But female singers don't seem to capture the imagination the way the male ones do, apart from Madge, who is a one off and fast becoming a caricature.

POE said...

Top selling solo artist albums of the 90s: Alanis & Shania Twain. Also, does co-writing count? If so, Mariah Carey spans the decade. Much as I hate her stuff. And Elton John managed quite a lot too. Kylie's doesn't count as she is just a performer (and had 3 hits before the 90s). The Spice Girls don't count as their first number one was in 1995.

The 90s suffered because there wasn't one defining genre of music. It wasn't just split into two halves even, there was the rave scene, the madchester scene, the britpop scene, the grunge scene, the alt-rock scene, the gangsta rap scene... I was in education the entire time & remember all the different people liking different music. There was no unifying feature so I don't think there can be one artist.

POE said...

(grr, spotted a typo from rearranging a sentence)

Billy said...

Maybe the 90s have a more 'collectivist' ethos.

homo escapeons said...

Gee I thought that this would be unsettling...but it seems as though everyone is quite resigned to the fact that Video may have killed the Radio Star but the CORPORATION proceeded to finish off the Video Star!

You can't JUST be a Musical act anymore you have to be a triple threat BRAND.
Besides singin/playin/acting in videos you need to be in the Movies and have a Fashion Line too.