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Author Topic: Microscope: Mind Games  (Read 655 times)

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nimrod

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Re: Microscope: Mind Games
« Reply #20 on: August 11, 2014, 10:29:40 PM »

Of course, but I was emphasising some of the fabulous music that 1973 had to offer, different styles than John yes but in any list of greatest albums of 73 Mind Games would be lucky to get into the top 50, I maintain that 75% of that album is filler, Cors review is bang on, it sounds like he made up some of those songs the night before he recorded them, 'I know, lets do a 12 bar rocker, I'll make up some lyrics in the studio.......Welllllllll'
Some people dont like the 70's, but for me the 70's outweighs any other decade in terms of creativity, Selling England By The Pound, Dark Side Of The Moon, Tubular Bells, Innervisions are but a morsel of what the 70's had to offer, I wasnt keen on the glam rock you mentioned, but listen to what Faust, Can, Gentle Giant, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Jethro Tull, Sebastian Hardy, Yes were doing for a taste of serious 70's music

I recommend these also (all from 73. and all superb albums imo  ;D)

Camel - Camel
Le Orme - Felona & Sorona
Renaissance - Ashes Are Burning
Area - Arbeit macht frei
Manfred Mann's Earth Band - Solar Fire
Faust - Faust IV
Berlin - Lou Reed.
For Your Pleasure - Roxy Music
Caravan - For girls who grow plump in the night
Stranded - Roxy Music
Brain Salad Surgery - ELP
Tyranny & Mutation - Blue Oyster Cult
Tres Hombres - ZZ Top
Countdown to Ecstasy - Steely Dan
Desperado - The Eagles
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tkitna

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Re: Microscope: Mind Games
« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2014, 01:39:45 AM »

Wednesday or Thursday for sure.  Just got back from vacation and couldn't trust the internet connection there. 

oldbrownshoe

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Re: Microscope: Mind Games
« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2014, 03:18:05 PM »

Good job, Mr. Mustard, The Beatles didn't think that the only 50s pop that was any good was Roy Orbison and The Everly Brothers, as there would have been no.....zip, zilch, nought, nil.....Beatles!
They simply wouldn't have existed.
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Hombre_de_ningun_lugar

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Re: Microscope: Mind Games
« Reply #23 on: August 19, 2014, 04:26:20 PM »

I think this album is one classic song (title track) and several enjoyable tunes that would have been fillers in any Beatles album. I like both rockers ("Tight A$"; "Meat City"), most of the ballads ("Out The Blue"; "I Know (I Know)"; "You Are Here") and some of the rest ("Bring On The Lucie (Freda Peeple)"; "Intuition"), but none of these tracks belong to the pen of the best John.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2014, 04:28:46 PM by Hombre_de_ningun_lugar »
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Mr Mustard

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Re: Microscope: Mind Games
« Reply #24 on: August 19, 2014, 04:33:38 PM »

Good job, Mr. Mustard, The Beatles didn't think that the only 50s pop that was any good was Roy Orbison and The Everly Brothers, as there would have been no.....zip, zilch, nought, nil.....Beatles!
They simply wouldn't have existed.

I never mentioned the 50s obs.

I said in the pre-Beatles 60s there's nothing I really care for apart from The Big O and The Everlys. Then The Beatles arrived and electrified everything.

I love a lot of that 50s stuff without which, I agree, there'd have been no Beatles.
But by the end of that decade:

Elvis was in the army
Little Richard found religion and "retired"
Chuck Berry was in jail
Jerry Lee Lewis was in disgrace for marrying his 13 year old cousin
Buddy Holly was dead.

As the 60s dawned Rock & Roll had been tamed and given a showbiz gloss with diluted, non threatening acts like Bobby Vee, Fabian, Frankie Avalon and Pat Boone coming more to the fore. Plus jazzy tripe like The Temperance Seven and novelty records by the likes of Bernard Cribbins. Just awful.

1960-62: in my opinion one of the low points in pop music, it didn't get this bad again until the dreadful mid 80s.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2014, 04:35:40 PM by Mr Mustard »
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oldbrownshoe

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Re: Microscope: Mind Games
« Reply #25 on: August 19, 2014, 05:07:25 PM »

Quite apart from 'The Sound of Fury' and The Shadows, virtually the template for The Beatles' look and sound c. 1962, I think you're talking about recorded music, which I'd still maintain was often terrific (and in 2014 often superb value for money away from all the expensive box set nonsense).

With the folk clubs blossoming in Britain in the early 60s, the R 'n' B clubs of London producing The Stones etc., and places like Liverpool, Birmingham and Newcastle producing The Beatles et al, I can think of no patch of time MORE exiting than that 1960/1961/1962 period.

Throw in the theatre, cinema and emerging mod movement in Britain and it seems almost impossible that a 'Beatles' of some sort couldn't or wouldn't happen.

Remember, The Beatles didn't start in 1962, and nor did the 60s, and The Beatles weren't listening to any of the stuff you mention anyway!
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Mr Mustard

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Re: Microscope: Mind Games
« Reply #26 on: August 19, 2014, 07:00:24 PM »

Neither Billy Fury (puzzlingly overrated IMO) nor The Shadows (at times mocked by The Beatles with those cheesy synchronised dance steps) ever provided a template for the fabs. The whole point was that they refused to copy anyone...if they had a blueprint it was those raw fifties rockers like Chuck Berry and Little Richard, and skifflers like Lonnie Donegan - such acts had already had their day by the time the sixties arrived. Of course The Beatles never stopped absorbing influences, from American girl groups to Dylan, Motown and beyond, but I don't believe any of the stuff that inspired them arose in those embarrassingly lame first three years of the sixties.

Don't forget, to the wider British public beyond Merseyside The Beatles DID start in '62... few people had heard of them prior to that. I take your point about vibrant scenes around London/Liverpool/Newcastle throwing up fresh talent in '60/'61 but all of these acts were harking back to the authentic pre sixties rhythm & blues/rock & roll/country stuff, the mainstream hits which define the era and were engaging the public at that time was drivel like "Come Outside" or "Tell Laura I Love Her" and similar rubbish churned out by chart toppers like Floyd Cramer, Anthony Newley and Frankie Vaughan. That may not have been what, say, the embryonic Stones were listening to: it WAS what the general public were lapping up!

A punk fan could just as well argue that the mid 70s were great because they spawned the rise of groups like The Sex Pistols and The Clash... but that time will be remembered as an era of proto disco hits and sugary pop from Abba and The Bay City Rollers - indeed it was that very same prevailing lightweight pop from the likes of Demis Roussos and bloated, self absorbed prog rock from such as Emerson Lake & Palmer which those punk bands were determined to blow away.

By the same token, The Beatles instantly rendered very popular crap like Eden Kane and Johnny Tillotson old hat. The sixties may not have started with The Beatles, but they were in danger of becoming a much poorer decade than the fifties until the fab four rescued them, and that didn't take hold on a noticeable scale until 1963.

You broadened out the argument by bringing up films/theatre etc and on that score I would certainly agree with you.

And whilst I concur that the times were more conducive to producing "A Beatles" of some sort than the decades that followed, I do believe that those four Liverpudlians were a once in a lifetime freak of colliding brilliance/circumstance.... no one else came near them, not The Stones, The Who, The Animals, The Kinks...no one.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2014, 07:12:46 PM by Mr Mustard »
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Kevin

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Re: Microscope: Mind Games
« Reply #27 on: August 19, 2014, 08:38:57 PM »

Hmmmm. I think there is a clear link with acts like Buddy Holly and Everley Brothers (in look and sound) to The Beatles.
I cannot accept that they appeared from a vacuum, or that the supposedly awful charts of the early sixties actually reflects the real music scene of the day. (anymore than you can claim same conditions for punk in the mid seventies (awful charts, the Sex Pistols apparently - but not really- arriving out of the blue.)
Music trends tend to bubble underground for a good few years before they are reflected by charts, all these trends wait for is that one band that with the right image and sound to be the big break through act ( cue Elvis, The Beatles, The Sex Pistols, Nirvanna.....) None of them invented anything, but became the acts the breakthrough acts of heir day.
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Mr Mustard

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Re: Microscope: Mind Games
« Reply #28 on: August 19, 2014, 10:08:02 PM »

Hmmmm. I think there is a clear link with acts like Buddy Holly and Everley Brothers (in look and sound) to The Beatles.
I cannot accept that they appeared from a vacuum, or that the supposedly awful charts of the early sixties actually reflects the real music scene of the day. (anymore than you can claim same conditions for punk in the mid seventies (awful charts, the Sex Pistols apparently - but not really- arriving out of the blue.)
Music trends tend to bubble underground for a good few years before they are reflected by charts, all these trends wait for is that one band that with the right image and sound to be the big break through act ( cue Elvis, The Beatles, The Sex Pistols, Nirvanna.....) None of them invented anything, but became the acts the breakthrough acts of heir day.

For sure The Beatles never appeared from a vacuum and nobody entirely invented anything from scratch. Buddy Holly and The Everly Brothers were indeed definite influences....from the 1950s. My point was that I feel mainstream (i.e. widely recognised/played/purchased) music took a nosedive around 1960 (apart from the emergence of Orbison and Those Everly boys who went from strength to strength). Of course there were some good records about in that era ("Apache", "Shakin' All Over") but I don't believe the general public or even the average teenager were tapped into the waking giant that is always, as you rightly say, "bubbling under" during outwardly stale periods like '60-'62.
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Pothos

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Re: Microscope: Mind Games
« Reply #29 on: August 19, 2014, 10:24:34 PM »

Mr M.

Wasn't Goffin and King an acknowledged influence on Lennon and McCartney. I could be wrong on the time frame of their success but they along with Joe Meak and the early US girl groups  were quality acts.

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Hello Goodbye

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Re: Microscope: Mind Games
« Reply #30 on: August 19, 2014, 10:42:14 PM »

Neither Billy Fury (puzzlingly overrated IMO) nor The Shadows (at times mocked by The Beatles with those cheesy synchronised dance steps) ever provided a template for the fabs. The whole point was that they refused to copy anyone


Yeah, The Shadows were dance stepping in 1969...


THE SHADOWS - Apache (1969)





But in 1960 they were so cool, ciggie and all...


The Shadows - Apache (1960)



...a definite influence on The Beatles...


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nimrod

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Re: Microscope: Mind Games
« Reply #31 on: August 19, 2014, 10:55:08 PM »

Mr M.

Wasn't Goffin and King an acknowledged influence on Lennon and McCartney. I could be wrong on the time frame of their success but they along with Joe Meak and the early US girl groups  were quality acts.

There were many influences, one great source to study them is 'Tune In' of course

I tend to agree with Mr M on that 60/62 period, Im old enough (61) to remember when the Beatles first appeared and I remember the UK charts before them, memories of things like;
 
POETRY IN MOTION
JOHNNY TILLOTSON

PORTRAIT OF MY LOVE
MATT MONRO

PEPE
RUSS CONWAY

GINCHY
BERT WEEDON

RUBBER BALL
BOBBY VEE

A SCOTTISH SOLDIER (GREEN HILLS OF TYROL)
ANDY STEWART

Elvis was in his glamour puss period with songs like 'Are You Lonesome Tonight', and there was George Martins comedy records oh and Mrs Mills of course........it was pretty sad

There was of course The Everlys and The Shirelles and Kevin has a point about the influence of The Everlys on John & Paul with the harmonies, I dont think they wanted the look of the Everly's I think they wouldve been happy to stay in the leather suits......... but I dont know, when I first heard The Beatles it was like a new dawn, suddenly everybody's ears pricked up, they sounded fresh, the had a lot more beat than The Everly's and were just so much more exciting

They spawned countless new musicians who saw them and wanted to copy them
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Kevin

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Re: Microscope: Mind Games
« Reply #32 on: August 20, 2014, 07:21:45 AM »

Do you not think popular music follows a pattern:
-   Charts go soft and soggy (at least in retrospect)
-   Appropriately motivated teenagers, keen for their own sound, meanwhile help create the Next Big Thing in clubs, dance halls and (now) the internet.
-   Break through act explodes into public consciousness. For a year, maybe two, the charts again are exciting and new.
-   Eventually charts go soft and soggy (at least in retrospect)
-   Appropriately motivated…..
-   
The Next Big Thing will more than likey have nothing to do with old codgers like you and me or The Now Version Of 8 Year Old You. It’s probably growing somewhere right now. We’ll see it on the telly and be as surprised as you were in 1963 by it all. The kidz who went to the clubs or dodgy websites won’t be. And loads of teenagers who didn’t keep an eye out will be surprised too, along with their parents and 8 year old little brothers.

And so on it goes. It’s the means by which popular music reinvents itself, appearing to evolve. It’s happened again and again, and in this context The Beatles are neither unique or unexpected. They, or someone like them, were bound to happen. Rock DNA dictates it.


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nimrod

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Re: Microscope: Mind Games
« Reply #33 on: August 20, 2014, 07:30:51 AM »

Do you not think popular music follows a pattern:
-   Charts go soft and soggy (at least in retrospect)
-   Appropriately motivated teenagers, keen for their own sound, meanwhile help create the Next Big Thing in clubs, dance halls and (now) the internet.
-   Break through act explodes into public consciousness. For a year, maybe two, the charts again are exciting and new.
-   Eventually charts go soft and soggy (at least in retrospect)
-   Appropriately motivated…..
-   
The Next Big Thing will more than likey have nothing to do with old codgers like you and me or The Now Version Of 8 Year Old You. It’s probably growing somewhere right now. We’ll see it on the telly and be as surprised as you were in 1963 by it all. The kidz who went to the clubs or dodgy websites won’t be. And loads of teenagers who didn’t keep an eye out will be surprised too, along with their parents and 8 year old little brothers.

And so on it goes. It’s the means by which popular music reinvents itself, appearing to evolve. It’s happened again and again, and in this context The Beatles are neither unique or unexpected. They, or someone like them, were bound to happen. Rock DNA dictates it.

Yes I am in agreement with you on the above, in fact Ive gone soft and soggy as well as the charts  ;D

I do think The fabs were an exception though Kevin in that I really dont think there will ever be a band as big or phenomenal again, I could be wrong of course but when you look at old footage of places like Adelaide where the 8 mile drive from the airport was lined with people (not just kids) and hundreds of thousands were in City square to see them on a balcony, it was just freaky, I cant imagine anybody else being so worshipped ever again, surely it was an exceptional phenomenon ?
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Kevin

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Re: Microscope: Mind Games
« Reply #34 on: August 20, 2014, 07:41:19 AM »

Quote
I do think The fabs were an exception though Kevin in that I really dont think there will ever be a band as big or phenomenal again, I could be wrong of course but when you look at old footage of places like Adelaide where the 8 mile drive from the airport was lined with people (not just kids) and hundreds of thousands were in City square to see them on a balcony, it was just freaky, I cant imagine anybody else being so worshipped ever again, surely it was an exceptional phenomenon ?

I agree. As a phenomenon Beatlemania era Beatles were unsurpassed.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2014, 09:44:55 AM by Bobber »
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oldbrownshoe

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Re: Microscope: Mind Games
« Reply #35 on: August 20, 2014, 05:06:00 PM »

The Shadows might not have been the last word in rock 'n' roll to John Lennon in 1961 but, rather MORE importantly, they might have seemed that way to a certain Brian Epstein and, whoops!, whad'ya know, The Beatles circa 1963 look the absolute spit of The Shads circa 1961!

The Beatles needed the era more than the era needed The Beatles.

Sure without them it would have been different, but the swingin' 60s would still have happened and those pre-Beatles' years are vital to the whole process.

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Mr Mustard

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Re: Microscope: Mind Games
« Reply #36 on: August 20, 2014, 06:19:11 PM »

For me, Kevin nailed it brilliantly a few posts above this one with his cyclical "pattern". Spot on. And I would argue that '60-'62 was one of those "soft and soggy" chart periods. Things just HAD to get better...

I recall a music TV show in the early 80s where the presenter (Mike Read perhaps?) was interviewing his guest (Paul Gambaccini I think) about this very subject, the cyclical waxing and waning of music, and the comment was along the lines of "We don't know WHAT the next big thing will be, but we do know WHEN....1984, because it goes in seven year cycles...." the reasoning being:
1956 - Elvis breakthrough and the rise of Rock & Roll
1963 - Beatlemania and the dominance of the vocal/guitar groups
1970 - The break up of The Beatles and the blossoming of Heavy Rock
1977 - Punk

As far as I'm concerned the 7 year theory ran out of steam after that, I can't recall any seismic sea change in '84....unless perhaps you count the dawn of the giant charity ensemble....

Obs, as far as Brian Epstein goes - yes, we all know he smartened up The Beatles act until they became smartly suited, well groomed and presentable. But most smart young males dressed in sharp suits, slim ties and polished shoes or boots back then. The Shadows were hardly trendsetters and certainly didn't invent that orthodox/uniform early sixties style. Epstein may have admired their professionalism but The Beatles didn't try and copy their style/act/sound (beyond that early, quirky nod "Cry For A Shadow" of course - more of a tongue in cheek pastiche than anything else).

As for The Beatles needing the era... well, they had to come along some time, it was the exciting late fifties which sowed the seeds of their germination. They found themselves turning professional and emerging in one of those soggy lulls ripe and ready for a new sound. Obviously the sixties would have happened without the fabs. But would the decade have "swung"? I doubt it. You could watch a documentary about The Beatles and, whilst conscious of the times around them, you could still admire the timeLESS quality of their brilliance. A documentary about the sixties without The Beatles would, on the other hand, be laughable.

The decade obviously commenced on January 1st 1960 and ended on January 31st 1969, but you could argue the true spirit of the "swinging" sixties began around '63 with The Beatles first LP and ended around '72 with hot pants, kipper ties and the final moon landings. Maybe this sounds daft but I suspect at least some readers will agree with me that there are some records from 1970 which have a more "sixties-ish" (as popularly conceived) sound and feel than some of the hit records from 1960!

One final thought (I promise to shut up after this!) - I'd like to thank Pothos for the pithy and pertinent post about Goffin And King. Yes, a definite and direct influence on Lennon & McCartney from those becalmed years of '61/'62, I must admit. And it reminded me of one other noteworthy (IMO) act from that lull to add to those shining beacons of Everly and Orbison: wonderful Brill building alumnus Neil Sedaka.

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oldbrownshoe

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Re: Microscope: Mind Games
« Reply #37 on: August 20, 2014, 09:48:52 PM »

The Beatles are a vital cog in the 60s but, that's it, they're a cog.

Without the 60s they wouldn't have been the biggest group in the world, someone else would have been.

The 60s were made for the biggest pop group in the world (Pirate Radio, TOTP, RSG!, 4 weekly music papers, pre-stadium rock, pre-logos, singles more important than LPs), no other era.....so, if born 10 years earlier, they'd barely have existed, if born 10 years later they'd have been someone ho-hum who already had the road-map that the biggest group in the world, erm, The Beatles, had created! (e.g. Roxy Music, the clash et al).

I reckon the 60s started much sooner than most would acknowledge (Lonnie Donegan/Elvis in the mid-50s or even The Festival of Britain in 1951) and also ended much sooner, the writing was on the wall as early as 1968, although there are quirks (e.g. Nick Drake's 'Pink Moon' from 1972 is, for me, more a product of the 60s than the plodding, 'ahead of their time', Led Zeppelin or Cream). 
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Moogmodule

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Re: Microscope: Mind Games
« Reply #38 on: August 20, 2014, 11:43:06 PM »

These are all interesting comments. I definitely think the Beatles were in the right place at the right time. They were obviously extremely well placed to take advantage of the changes going on in society, particularly the growth of the teenage consumer market.  As OBS says, if the four lads had come together ten years later they would have been good but just one of many.  Ten years earlier they would have been in national service for their early adulthood.

While subsequent revolutions in popular music have happened, eg punk in the late 70s, I think these have had progressively smaller repercussions outside of the music business itself. Punk was obviously huge and it's influence seen everywhere. New Romantics  in the early 80s also had reasonable wide influence. Grunge though? I'm not sure most people outside of the people buying the records and the attendant critics etc would have noticed it.  Except for Kurt Cobain's suicide.  With the growth in disposable income music has met that demand with increased fragmentation. One trawl of iTunes reveals a multitude of bands in a huge array of styles. It seems unlikely any act could really unite a particularly large part of the buying public behind a single act like the Beatles did.  Lady Gaga and Beyoncé sell huge numbers of albums and awareness of them extends outside the music buyers. But no one would call their impact Beatle like.  The Beatles were a necessary major part of the developing youth oriented music industry. But it's past development stage and is now a mature market. The dynamics are  totally different.



 

 
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oldbrownshoe

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Re: Microscope: Mind Games
« Reply #39 on: Yesterday at 09:01:10 AM »

Most, if not all, post-60s fads, in Britain at least, have been led by the music press and not by the general public, UNLIKE The Beatles whose success was almost entirely fan led, all the way from Liverpool to Hamburg to London to New York.

Check out the chart statistics of the clash (no, that's 'NO', Top 10 hits), the smiths (derisory chart entries when given the huge amount of coverage lavished on them), nirvana etc. etc.

Actually in the case of the first two, they only really had high chart positions with reissues in the 1990s.

In Britain in the 1980s most people, although they wouldn't admit it, were buying Wham, Culture Club and Human League records.
George Michael, Elton John and Phil Collins must have out-sold Morrissey and Strummer 50 to 1.

The 60s revolution was genuine in a way that I don't think subsequent eras have been. 
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