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  1. #1
    Forum Regular newtrix1's Avatar
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    Greatest living rock artist?

    Obviously ludicrous to try and answer, I'm more curious just to see a list of nominees. Last week I was listening to Neil Young's Decade and this week David Bowies greatest hits package. So these two would be my entries to get the rock rolling…..

  2. #2
    Close 'n Play® user Troy's Avatar
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    Ask Bono, he knows.

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    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    3 words....

    Ronnie
    James
    Dio


    (or at least the artist that does his album covers).

  4. #4
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troy
    Ask Bono, he knows.
    LMAO!

  5. #5
    Suspended 3-LockBox's Avatar
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    Sting

    (aka Dr. Zaccary Smith)

  6. #6
    Forum Regular newtrix1's Avatar
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    Probably the best "current" response

    Quote Originally Posted by Troy
    Ask Bono, he knows.
    I'm sure your sarcasm detector was pegged when you posted Bono, but in reality he's a better choice than my noms. I can't imagine another band (worldwide) that could fill a stadium or sell out a show quicker than U2. I'd wager to say that they're the most popular current band in the world, and Mr. Bono is by far the most notable member.

  7. #7
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    oh, please

    Sir McCartney..................without question.

  8. #8
    Forum Regular nobody's Avatar
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    Interesting question from the standpoint that the greatest living and the current greatest rock start are not likely the same.

    For greatest living, I may be inclined to go with someone like Jerry Lee Lewis...still alive, although pretty much out of the picture (although I've heard rumors of a new record in the works for a couple years now). He's one of rock's founding fathers and had enough attitude and style for forty rock stars to share, all rolled up into one fella. The Killer was the original rock and roll wild man, making even early Elvis Presley look tame.

    Unfortunately, most of the really big names are either on the decline by now or off the maps. I mean, while U2 may be the most popular rock band right now, they're hardly at the peak of their powers in my estimation. And, maybe your town is different, but I rarely see a rock band that is popular enough to come through and play the really big venues anymore unless as part of a festival or if they're one of the older past-their-prime acts like the Rolling Stones or something similar. (U2s at the crossroads to me - same with Springsteen) Practically all current rock bands, even those hitting their prime, play small to mid-sized venues, so I can't really place too great value on popularity, although obscurity and rock star aren't exactly complimentary terms.

    I might have to say someone like Jack White. He's a highly visable front man for one of the more popular rock bands out there today. The White Stripes are arguably still at or at least not far removed from their creative peak. To me, they have been pretty much setting the standard for modern rock music the past several years. He's a creative force both instrumentally and vocally, as well as the band's songwriter and has showed enourmous range in writing and producing work for others as well, including the fantastic return-to-the-spotlight album from Loretta Lynn, Van Lear Rose.

    If I stretch the definition of rock and go into hip hop or electronic music, maybe I come up with some competition. But, if I'm looking for someone who fits no label other than a rock star, is still performing at his best, has at least enough popularity to garner a decent amount of recognition, isn't on the last legs of a fading career, has consistiently produced quality music, and can just flat out bring the noise...I gotta go with Jack White.

  9. #9
    Color me gone... Resident Loser's Avatar
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    I'd guess it depends...

    ...on your criteria but, Mick Jagger comes to mind...

    jimHJJ(...of course, everything is debatable on some level...)
    Hello, I'm a misanthrope...don't ask me why, just take a good look around.

    "Men would rather believe than know" -Sociobiology: The New Synthesis by Edward O. Wilson

    "The great masses of the people...will more easily fall victims to a great lie than to a small one" -Adolph Hitler

    "We are never deceived, we deceive ourselves" -Goethe

    If you repeat a lie often enough, some will believe it to be the truth...

  10. #10
    If you can't run-walk. Bernd's Avatar
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    For me it has to be "Mike Scott". He can lead a band, can pull it off solo, writes outstanding music and lyrics, plays blistering guitar and great piano, sings with a great voice and on top of that is a genuine nice guy. But most of all he loves making music and he follows his believes.

    Peace

    Bernd
    "Let The Earth Bear Witness."

  11. #11
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    nobody...

    I tend to agree with good sir nobody's take on things. Proper rock music, be it based in blues or goth or heavy metal or rap, is defined by a certain level of angst. Certainly all mentioned ( Stones, Bowie, Bono, et al.) have achieved a certain iconic world status. That said, I think we see them because they have become tradition--the norm. From the standpoint of emotional content few remain relevant. Where's Axl? It's hard to write about squalor and despair when you're sitting in the lap of luxury. There is a certain difficulty in scribing the next Welcome to the Jungle and have it come off when your entourage is plying you full of mai- tais. Most of the big acts have become lapdogs for the record labels.

  12. #12
    Forum Regular PAT.P's Avatar
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    Although not on this earth Freddie Mercury "Lives" none so far could replace him and probably never! The man ,the voice ,the entertainer, the greatest!

  13. #13
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    How about Van Morrison,Carlos Santana,and David Gilmour.

    bill

  14. #14
    Forum Regular BradH's Avatar
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    I measure "great" by how much influence an artist had. Why talk about Bono when Bo Diddley is still alive (isn't he?). Or Chuck Berry. Or Little Richard. Even people like Brian Eno and David Bowie and Lou Reed had enormous influence on the course of rock music. Ever see Eno fill up a stadium? Look what McCartney did or Ray Davies or Eric Burden or Eric Clapton. All these guys are still living but not in their prime.

    If you want to go with those in their prime then nobody's pick of Jack White is a major contender. I don't hear anyone else form that generation with his range of songwriting styles. Has anyone considered the possibility that the rock industry is not drawing the heavy artistic talent it used to? Like, maybe a lot of creative types are making video games or something. I'm not sure but it's just a thought.

  15. #15
    Forum Regular newtrix1's Avatar
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    more on Bowie

    Quote Originally Posted by BradH
    Even people like Brian Eno and David Bowie and Lou Reed had enormous influence on the course of rock music.
    For a guy who's got a reputaion as being so influential, Bowie sure does ride the wave of whatever style is popular at the time. Maybe his earlier stuff was innovative, but since the 80's & on he just seems to latch onto the current trend of music and put his own twist on it. He usually does it well, and I still like his stuff, but to be honest, you can't label the guy as "innovative" any longer. He strikes me more like a chameleon than a trendsetter.

  16. #16
    Forum Regular MindGoneHaywire's Avatar
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    Brad puts things in perspective, but I think on a question like this there has to be another factor, whether we like it or not, and that's putting butts in the seats, too.

    I say Dylan.

    I don't like others.

  17. #17
    Forum Regular BradH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newtrix1
    ...but to be honest, you can't label the guy as "innovative" any longer.
    I didn't label any of them as being innovative any longer. I said he HAD enormous influence. Everyone I mentioned is past their prime (except Jack White). But they're living. That was the question: who's the Greatest Living Rock Artist? Not "Who's Doing The Greatest Stuff Today".

    Jay, I think you're right about putting "butts in seats" but I don't see any stadium fillers with one whit of innovation about them and I think innovation is highly central to "greatness".

  18. #18
    Close 'n Play® user Troy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newtrix1
    For a guy who's got a reputaion as being so influential, Bowie sure does ride the wave of whatever style is popular at the time. Maybe his earlier stuff was innovative, but since the 80's & on he just seems to latch onto the current trend of music and put his own twist on it. He usually does it well, and I still like his stuff, but to be honest, you can't label the guy as "innovative" any longer. He strikes me more like a chameleon than a trendsetter.
    See, I disagree. The thing about Bowie is that he is always there, finger on the pulse of where rock music is right now and where it's going to go next year. Besides, I don't remember seeing "Innovative" in your original question . . .

    Jack White . . . he's been making albums for what, 5 years? To be considered "Greatest living" you have to have a long and storied career.

    Eno? Eh, no.

    Jagger/Richard? Crapton? Much as I dislike these corporate pricks, their hats need to be in the ring.

    Townshend? As far as "Rocking" goes, he can eat Dylan for breakfast. Dark Horse at best.

    McCartney. *shudder*

    I'm really in a "kill rock stars" headspace these days.

  19. #19
    Forum Regular BradH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troy
    Besides, I don't remember seeing "Innovative" in your original question . . .

    Jack White . . . he's been making albums for what, 5 years? To be considered "Greatest living" you have to have a long and storied career.
    I brought up the issue of innovation. But this is the whole question, isn't it? How do you want to measure these things? Newtrix, you threw Bowie into the mix on the first post so I didn't assume it was because of his current work. And Neil Young to boot! So, obviously we're including past glories here. If not, then sure, we can include Jack White as currently viable. Otherwise we gotta hop in the Wayback Machine and look at huge, long term changes that some artists brought about. And, yeah, I'll include Eno in that anytime, anyday.

  20. #20
    Dubgazer -Jar-'s Avatar
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    What this means to me is an artist who has had a relatively long career and who has consistently been innovative, never resting on their past.

    Sir Paul... sure, he did a lot, and yes, he's still alive, but he's been riding that wave since the Mid-70's. I suspect if Lennon had lived, he would have consistently made challenging, innovative music.

    Stones.. again, they were amazing early in their career, made a lot of fans, and have been living off those fans ever since. They would get my vote above McCartney.

    Brian Wilson? If only he'd not gone "insane" then maybe I'd be able to consider him more. As it stands, he would be close to the top of the list.

    Neil Young. I like him for the top spot. I really liked how he's always reaching out to the younger generation (like in the early 90's during his "noise" phase).. And the guy does keep producing quality music.

    Bowie. I agree he should be at the top of any list. But, on the other hand, what has he done that's truely innovative since the early 80's? It just seems to me that he's bee more about echoing the trends (ie: his "industrial" phase) than creating the trends..

    Peter Gabriel? I'll give it to him that he's managed to make interesting music without being a complete pop sellout.. I'm just not a huge fan so I don't have a great overview of his output.

    Sting? Like McCartney, great early phase and a solo phase that's lapsed into easy pop and lounge jazz..

    Jimmy Page/Robert Plant. Neither of them have done anything important since Led Zep. Popular, maybe, but not important.

    Black Sabbath. Great inventors, poor innovators. Ozzy was extremely important in giving metal a kick up to the next level in the early 80's, but, he wasn't innovative at all after Randy died. I respect the work of Tony Iomi, but really, hasn't he been turning out the same album now for 20some years?

    AC/DC - great band, haven't been innovative since the late 70's/early 80's.

    I wouldn't arge with the vote for Dylan, even though I'm not a huge fan.

    Waters/Gilmour? I dunno.. Floyd were so awesomely good in their early years that it's really hard to think about their careers after. The Gilmour version of Floyd was decent, but not groundbreaking. Waters would be up there on my list.

    I guess I'd have to throw my vote to either Dylan or Neil Young. They've remained more relevant than pretty much anyone else that was making music since the 60's.

    -jar
    If being afraid is a crime we'll hang side-by-side,
    at the swingin' party down the line..


    The Replacements

  21. #21
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    I would not put a lot of importance to putting butts in seats.Hillary Duff sold out her local show,while Van Morrison may have done 2/3 at best.

    bill

  22. #22
    Forum Regular Whooptee's Avatar
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    Neil Young. His new album "Living With War" seals it for me.

    John

  23. #23
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    McCartney and Dylan just for there song writing but i'd vote for Clapton. He's as good as he ever was.
    Look & Listen

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troy
    The thing about Bowie is that he is always there, finger on the pulse of where rock music is right now and where it's going to go next year.
    Totally agree. Bowie gave SRV his big break. He knows music through and through.

    Young and Bowie are definitely up there in my book because they are always changing and imho they've maintained an honesty and a legitimacy throughout their careers, as opposed to many others who try to keep pretending they're in their 20's.

    My current fave as far as hard rock on an arena scale would be Josh Homme. He's got a cool and a poise about him and he does a lot of cool stuff. He's like a Jim Morrison without the high roller/pretty boy routine, and he's got Mark Lanegan on his side.

    Speaking of Mark Lanegan...

    John Frusciante is also up there for me because he is a cool person and I like his outlook on music and art in general.
    Last edited by bacchanal; 04-28-2006 at 02:02 PM.

  25. #25
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    Hasn't been around as long as some of the previously mentioned artists, but Chris Cornell would at least be an honorable mention. Wasn't into Soundgarden in the early 90s, but I picked up his solo album a few years back, and I thought it was awesome. It wasn't like SG at all, but I thought it was very well written. Then I picked up the Temple of the Dog disc and was very impressed with that as well. Although the last Audioslave disc was not as dynamic (IMO) as the first, his music and writing is always interesting and never stale (IMO).

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