View Poll Results: which is your more favorite artist?

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  • Bob Marley

    12 54.55%
  • Bob Dylan

    10 45.45%
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  1. #1
    Forum Regular newtrix1's Avatar
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    March Music Madness: Bob Marley vs. Bob Dylan

    Please vote on your more favorite artist between Bob Marley and Bob Dylan.

    thank you.

    notes:

    Justifying your vote is not required, but....in the event of a tie, winning band will be determined by the voter who posts the best justification (explanation) as to why they like the band they voted for (or why they don't like the other band).

    Winners have been declared for matches 2 & 4. Remaining elimination matches may close as necessary so that next round can begin.

    Status (if you want to vote on one of the open matches below, select the match #):

    elimination match 1 (closing soon): Yes (4 votes) apathetically leads Jethro Tull (2 votes)
    elim. match 2 (winner declared): The Flaming Lips (13) handily eliminate Dave Matthews Band (5)
    elim. match 3 (closing soon): Appears like Wilco (11) will hold off The White Stripes (9)
    elim. match 4 (winner declared): “Old school” Taking Heads (12) teach “Kid A” Radiohead (4) a lesson
    elim. match 5: No Landslide for Fleetwood Mac (9) who leads by a nose over “C-indy-rella” Yo La Tengo (8)
    elim. match 6: (in progress)
    elim. match 7: tba
    elim. match 8: tba

  2. #2
    Forum Regular newtrix1's Avatar
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    Cool pass the ganja mon

    Marley, simply because I can deal with almost anything he's recorded. Dylan is way more hit-n-miss. Oh and then there's Mr. Zimmermans "voice".

  3. #3
    Forum Regular MindGoneHaywire's Avatar
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    I'm the first to vote for Dylan, huh? Well, this one's a lot more difficult for me than choosing between Fleetwood Mac & YLT (Davey, I did read yr comments...I'll surely give a listen to anything more that I come across), or even Wilco & the White Stripes, but in the end I listen to Dylan a lot more often than Marley, so there you go. Sure, he has his detractors, but the guy invented the genre we know today as 'singer-songwriter' pretty much singlehandedly. And this might be easy to lose sight of, but that means a lot more than having paved the road for the likes of James Taylor. Lots of dry periods in the Dylan catalog, but when he had it going on, nobody could match him. Both did great work; Marley had a fine career that undoubtedly would've remained quite distinguished had he not passed at such a young age. But even though I might apparently be on the losing side in this contest, I don't see it as even being close.

    Anybody who still *****es about Dylan's singing needs to listen to some 'folk,' blues & country & western music from 60-70 years ago to offer some perspective; I find that most who have a problem with Dylan's singing have never heard the artists that inspired his vocals. I've never had a problem with his voice, myself, but this is all besides the point. He possessed easily the greatest wit of any figure in popular music, ever...Johnny Rotten & Frank Zappa would be two guys I'd consider witty as hell, but they pale in comparison (and it goes without saying that Zappa did have his, ahem, sophmoric moments). As do John Lennon & Lou Reed, two of the most notable songwriters who Dylan influenced markedly. (What passes for wit in pop music nowadays--Bono?) When you're talking about someone who influenced people like that, as well as Neil Young, Phil Ochs, the Byrds, Patti Smith, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits, Randy Newman, Nick Cave, Elvis Costello...I could go on. And on and on and on. And that's something that might not mean squat to me if I didn't prefer his music, but he's a guy I've always thought deserved the hype, even if it was for stuff he'd done way in the past. That his last couple of proper albums have been real good are just icing on the cake.

    Outside of the Beatles & Elvis, the only other artists I could even think about voting for over Dylan would be choices I'd be making strictly on them being mega-favorites of mine. And that's ignoring a lot. Outside of a folkie or two (such as Woody Guthrie, natch) he was the first pop performer to make any noise whatsoever on the basis of his own material. Hard to believe, but most singers before him who were not blues artists simply did not write much of the material they sang. He opened that Pandora's box pretty much all by himself, which is of course way more than Marley ever accomplished. 'Nuff said.

    I don't like others.

  4. #4
    Toon Robber tentoze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MindGoneHaywire
    I'm the first to vote for Dylan, huh?
    Even though I think this is utterly absurd, I'll be the second. And if ganga is the deciding criteria, I suspect Dylan got THERE first as well.
    ----Never Off Topic, Never Rude-----

  5. #5
    Forum Regular newtrix1's Avatar
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    Well said

    too early to tell, but if there's a tie...

  6. #6
    Forum Regular nobody's Avatar
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    Battle of the Bobs.
    Toughest one yet for me. I'm going with Marley for a couple reasons.

    One, I simply listen to him more. I do pull out Blood on the Tracks from time to time, but I pull out Soul Rebel a lot more. I tend to favor his earlier work with the Wailers, but I can't think of anything I've ever heard from him that wasn't at least somewhat strong.

    Secondly, I guess I would have to say that Marley wins on global impact. Sure Dylan had a strong message for many Americans, but I've met Aficans, Haitians, and people from all corners of the globe who are completely enamored of Marley. Countries heavily influenced by American culture have picked up on Dylan to some extent, at least in the singer-songwriter way J mentions, but Marley's ideals, message and music has pretty much stretched to every corner of the globe. From the first to the third world, Marley is a hero and I see no signs of his fading. There are statues of him back in Jamaica. He's really more than a music star to many, many people around the world. Dylan seems much more confined to a time and place in my estimation.

    And, of coures..."Bob... Dylan... wrote propaganda songs!"
    Last edited by nobody; 03-12-2004 at 06:05 AM.

  7. #7
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    Rastaman Vibration

    I vote for Bob Marley, I have enjoyed his toons since 1975.

    Dave

  8. #8
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    Wow, another tight one. I'm going Dylan on this one. Yes, his catalog is somewhat spotty...but if you eliminate his "misses" and just look at the "hits," who else has put out this much quality over the years?

    BTW, I'm really liking the new Highway 61 hybrid remaster.
    Mr. MidFi
    Master of the Obvious

  9. #9
    Crackhead Extraordinaire Dusty Chalk's Avatar
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    Bobbers Marley and Dylan, hm? I'll go with Marley, just because I think Dylan is over-rated, although he is the better songwriter.
    Eschew fascism.
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  10. #10
    Forum Regular tugmcmartin's Avatar
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    Marley for me. Can't help but get into a good mood when listening to Marley. Dylan sometimes gives me a headache trying to figure out what the hell he's saying . Irie mon!

    T-

  11. #11
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
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    More for the rasta mon. J can use whatever basis he wants to form his preference but I'll use my enjoyment of the music. I will agree with J that it's not even close in my book.

    J, while I don't always agree with your arguments, I can usually see the point but in this case I don't. When you say that, "Anybody who still *****es about Dylan's singing needs to listen to some 'folk,' blues & country & western music from 60-70 years ago to offer some perspective; I find that most who have a problem with Dylan's singing have never heard the artists that inspired his vocals." I have to say-"so what?" Is that other stuff so bad that Dylan seems good by comparision? Is it your contention that Dylan is really a great singer and he's created this voice that by the most generous accounts is not 'traditionally good' on purpose?

    jc
    "Ahh, cartoons! America's only native art form. I don't count jazz 'cuz it sucks"- Bartholomew J. Simpson

  12. #12
    Forum Regular MindGoneHaywire's Avatar
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    >Is it your contention that Dylan is really a great singer and he's created this voice that by the most generous accounts is not 'traditionally good' on purpose?

    Yeah, something like that. Maybe not a great singer, but hearing him do some things, it's clear that he could've sounded quite different than he did most of the time if he'd wanted. Certainly a very good singer, in spite of not having a great voice. Keeping in mind that there's a difference, and that I'll always consider a singer to be very good if they're able to do interesting things & convey emotion well when they're working with a less-than-average instrument. Ironically, it's on what these days is probably Dylan's most played song--Lay Lady Lay--that it's obvious that he had a range & a timbre far beyond what was displayed on much of the remainder of his best-known work.

    If you or anyone else prefers Marley, great. But even if I did I don't think I could vote against Dylan, taking into account his importance & influence. Marley's another guy who came along after Dylan who performed original material. Again, when it comes to pop music, practically nobody did this prior to Dylan. He was the first guy that people took seriously who happened to write his own songs. Obviously someone would've come along to blaze that trail if he hadn't, but he was the guy. By the time Marley & the Wailers formed he'd already opened that door--and if he hadn't it's even possible that at that point in time a potential career performing original material may not have even been a serious proposition.

    I don't like others.

  13. #13
    Forum Regular nobody's Avatar
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    I like Dylan, but think you may be overstating the case of his being the first to write his own music. Of course there were the politically minded folk singers that influenced him, many country stars, and the blues singers writing their own material. But you also have more popular artists like Buddy Holly, Bo Diddley, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis and others.

    I will credit him with expanding the general public's notion of what could be sung in popular music, but saying he was the first to sing his own material either in terms of a political or popular artist isn't really accurate from my perspective.

    Positively 4th Street is still a kick ass song though.

  14. #14
    Close 'n PlayŽ user Troy's Avatar
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    Mob Barley

    Let me go out on a limb here. I can't stand Bob Dylan. Yes, his voice grates like a waiter in an Italian restaurant. And I agree with JC when it comes to J's justification for it. He sung bad on purpose? Yeesh.

    That whole folky thing just makes me wanna vomit. He's just so precious . . . gaaack! His sense of humor has escaped me. He's always come accross as a self important snob. The ultimate in pretentious.

    Good writer, the guy wrote some classics to be sure, but I can't get past his performance of them.

    Bob Marley? It's just good time party music made for suckin a spliff and drinking red wine in the sun. And I much rather do that that than huddle round the speaker reverently studying the other Bob's super serious, supercilious shuck and jive.

  15. #15
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MindGoneHaywire
    >If you or anyone else prefers Marley, great. But even if I did I don't think I could vote against Dylan, taking into account his importance & influence.
    We're always going to have different things make up what's most important to us. As you probably know, I simply can't subscribe to your POV. Here's an analogy that works for me. Henry Ford is credited with creating the first automobile for the masses but more importantly creating the production method that revolutionized the world. To me, that doesn't mean I should prefer a Model T over a Viper. Clearly the analogy will break down if used for a direct comparision of Marley/Dylan, but that's not the comparison I'm making. I think it's OK to recognize the first as important, but that's not the final destination.

    And I do recognize the difference between good voice and good singing however I think that simple things like enunciation can be a valuable component to good singing. Irratating and unintelliglible to me doesn't make it universally so but I have difficulty accepting your assertition that my feelings are such because I haven't heard enough similarly demonstrated singing from years gone by.

    jc
    "Ahh, cartoons! America's only native art form. I don't count jazz 'cuz it sucks"- Bartholomew J. Simpson

  16. #16
    Forum Regular MindGoneHaywire's Avatar
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    >Buddy Holly, Bo Diddley, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis and others.
    I will credit him with expanding the general public's notion of what could be sung in popular music, but saying he was the first to sing his own material either in terms of a political or popular artist isn't really accurate from my perspective.

    Well, he was sure the first one in the pop realm who was taken seriously on the basis that he performed his own material. The guys you mentioned didn't cause too many people to all of a sudden realize that these rock'n'rollers could actually write songs. Few could deny Dylan as someone who put thought into what he was doing. Rock'n'roll was not taken seriously until critics & people too old to appreciate rock noticed the level of his writing. As such, his influence on pop music is beyond description. If you want to say you simply like Marley better & you don't care about who or how many Dylan influenced, like I said, great. But I disagree. He was a huge influence on the entire rock genre, folk music, blues, and, again, 'singer-songwriter.' I don't think it's unfair or overstated to suggest that with him, there wouldn't have been someone like Bruce Springsteen, someone like Tom Waits, someone like Patti Smith, someone like Steve Earle, someone like Phil Ochs, someone like Leonard Cohen. His influence on John Lennon was tremendous & obvious. Marley's simply not in the same universe when you take this into account. Don't get me wrong--I love his stuff. But I don't see a heck of a lot outside of reggae that his work inspired, and that's a big part of the basis on which I'm choosing to view this particular contest, because in this case I think a straight-up comparison needs to be looked at in more ways than just personal preference. Dylan's historical impact & importance can't be overlooked, is the way I look at it.

    >He sung bad on purpose?

    Well, maybe it's bad to you, but it never was to me. And the answer, again, is 'something like that. As far as I'm concerned, anyone who can't get past Dylan's vocals might as well listen to a genre where the vocals are more important than the material. It's just one part of the big picture. None of you reading this has to agree with me on this, but for my money Dylan was by far the best lyricist ever in the rock genre. Nobody ever put words & thoughts & ideas together the way he did, and that's where his influence is felt most. If somebody can't get past that, then how could any rock lyrics be considered important?

    >And I much rather do that that than huddle round the speaker reverently studying the other Bob's super serious, supercilious shuck and jive.

    If you don't think there's a relevance & an importance to songs that raise the question of why the son of a well-connected bigshot of some sort or other gets away with cold-blooded murder with a six-month jail sentence, I would wonder why. I'm not big on politics & topics in music, myself, but nobody did it like this guy. The way he worked with politics & topics was something that few others could do in ways that weren't downright embarrassing. Besides, he had a sense of humor. Didn't I throw on a scene or two from Don't Look Back on that video I sent you awhile back? I really don't get the 'pretentious' jab. This is a guy who's typically thrown critics a curve throughout most of his career. Maybe you could say the born-again period was pretentious, but that's a blip on the radar.

    >Bob Marley? It's just good time party music

    What, like Exodus? Who did politics first, and who did it better? 'I Shot The Sherriff' doesn't strike me as party music, either. Marley was deft when it came to weaving politics into his music, but Dylan was the master. And he chose not to keep it up rather than beating something of a dead horse while his skills might've declined, which is admirable. Meanwhile, the majority of what he's done for over 35 years has been anything but political or super-serious. So I really don't get it. I'm hearing that not liking voice trumps any other consideration. If we were talking about Tom Waits, even, I could see it. But not with this guy.

    I don't like others.

  17. #17
    Forum Regular nobody's Avatar
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    We're gonna just have to agree to disagree on this one, but as you think I am belittling Dylan's influence, I feel you may be doing the same with Marley.

    As I see it, he is one of the most towering influences on global music that have ever existed. Sure, his primary influence is on reggae, but reggae music was a big influence on the development of rap and hip hop in America. He has influenced hordes of musicians from around the globe, in part by taking reggae from Jamaica and spreading it around the world. Marley was a key early figure figure in cross-cultural musical exchanges that continue to breed new innovations. From my perspective, Dylan's influence is more narrow.

    Lyrically, Bob may be more optomistic and less emotionally conflicted than Dylan, but that makes him no less profound. His political message has touched people globally, thanks in part to his simpler more universal message. Bob Marley is seen as a political leder in the eyes of many just as much as a musician.

    I'm not saying a decent case can't be made for Dylan in the argument, you've made one yourself. I just think that there are many solid reasons to pick Marley, even if you are speaking beyond a personal preference.

  18. #18
    Close 'n PlayŽ user Troy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MindGoneHaywire
    >He sung bad on purpose?

    Well, maybe it's bad to you, but it never was to me. And the answer, again, is 'something like that. As far as I'm concerned, anyone who can't get past Dylan's vocals might as well listen to a genre where the vocals are more important than the material. It's just one part of the big picture. None of you reading this has to agree with me on this, but for my money Dylan was by far the best lyricist ever in the rock genre. Nobody ever put words & thoughts & ideas together the way he did, and that's where his influence is felt most. If somebody can't get past that, then how could any rock lyrics be considered important?
    It's all so subjective. I think his voice makes his music unlistenable. I'm pretty sure I'm in the majority (for once) here.

    Best lyricist? Well, I did say he was good. Everybody has to have a best, knock yourself out, J. He was too political for my taste. The first one that that thought he could change the world that spawned all the Bonos on the world . . . what a legacy.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindGoneHaywire
    >And I much rather do that that than huddle round the speaker reverently studying the other Bob's super serious, supercilious shuck and jive.

    If you don't think there's a relevance & an importance to songs that raise the question of why the son of a well-connected bigshot of some sort or other gets away with cold-blooded murder with a six-month jail sentence, I would wonder why. I'm not big on politics & topics in music, myself, but nobody did it like this guy. The way he worked with politics & topics was something that few others could do in ways that weren't downright embarrassing. Besides, he had a sense of humor. Didn't I throw on a scene or two from Don't Look Back on that video I sent you awhile back? I really don't get the 'pretentious' jab. This is a guy who's typically thrown critics a curve throughout most of his career. Maybe you could say the born-again period was pretentious, but that's a blip on the radar.
    I SO don't care for politics and such in music, you KNOW that about me! Dylan reinvented the whole concept of the protest song for the modern world. If you think that sorta thing is important, go for it. But I am too much of a cynic to believe that it works in the modern world. All I see is a rich pop star trying to shed his guilt.

    Yeah, I recall that video. As I recall he was hassling that establishment looking reporter ih a very haughty and ultimately juvenile way. Dylan has always come accross as a smug prick to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindGoneHaywire
    >Bob Marley? It's just good time party music

    What, like Exodus? Who did politics first, and who did it better? 'I Shot The Sherriff' doesn't strike me as party music, either. Marley was deft when it came to weaving politics into his music, but Dylan was the master. And he chose not to keep it up rather than beating something of a dead horse while his skills might've declined, which is admirable. Meanwhile, the majority of what he's done for over 35 years has been anything but political or super-serious. So I really don't get it. I'm hearing that not liking voice trumps any other consideration. If we were talking about Tom Waits, even, I could see it. But not with this guy.
    Yes, I see your point, but the difference is in the music. With Dylan, the whole point of listening to him is in the lyrics. Dylan is one dimensional. With Marley (and all reggae) what most people respond to is the rhythms and groove, not the words. There is zero groove with Dylan's music.

    The difference with Dylan and Waits: I enjoy Waits's voice (in small doses). It's much more dynamic than Dylan's. Wait's comes across as affected, like he's singing badly/strangely to add color and flavor to his all around creepy weird thing that he does. Dylan just sounds like he can't carry a tune.

  19. #19
    Forum Regular MindGoneHaywire's Avatar
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    We've about beaten this to death, I think, and yes, we will just have to agree to disagree. I say that Dylan's influence as a political musician/songwriter was felt throughout the West, and Marley's ascendence to the position he attained was possible in some part due to Dylan's accomplishments. And I've read a lot of interviews with early rap guys & I've heard Kraftwerk, Marvin Gaye, James Brown, & Gil Scott-Heron mentioned far more frequently than I've ever seen Bob Marley's name, so far as a hip-hop influence goes. And Scratch Perry, too. But all that's besides the point.

    Jim: I have difficulty accepting your assertition that my feelings are such because I haven't heard enough similarly demonstrated singing from years gone by.

    Hey, I never said that people who don't like the guy's singing would all of a sudden turn around & love it because they take the time to listen to the people whose vocal styles he was emulating. But I do think that it's possible to understand it a little more, and to perhaps focus on other aspects of the music in order to look at a song as a whole, instead of like a piece of cake that has spoiled Cool Whip on top. It's akin to watching a program like All In The Family & deciding that you don't like it because the Archie Bunker character is abrasive & the things he says are offensive, without having seen a program like Amos & Andy, to look at earlier incarnations of humor having to do with racial stereotypes, or even the Honeymooners, to see an earlier version of a situational comedy based around a guy who was at least partly an obnoxious loudmouth. This analogy isn't perfect, but I think it fits. As I've said before, I do like to look beyond what certain artists have done, to look at their influences. Especially if I hear one aspect of what they do as being brilliant & another as being questionable. I don't have Furry Lewis or Carter Family or Big Bill Broonzy records, and I don't have the Harry Smith anthology either (though I do want to get it one of these days). But I've heard these records, and I hear in those artists something that I've always felt Dylan was trying to channel. A guy who can put forth a vocal that is at least credible, like Lay Lady Lay, or Tangled Up In Blue, but mumbled or spat his way through so much else that he did, is a guy I want to know more about if I think the material is as good & as important as Dylan's. The Harry Smith box is where I first heard that. And as such I think it's something that would be an interesting listen for all the people out there who profess to admire Dylan's songwriting but loathe his vocals. And I stand by that.

    I don't like others.

  20. #20
    Rocket Surgeon Swish's Avatar
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    Dylan was the voice of a generation...

    and some of you youngsters have no clue as to the importance of the man. You don't like his voice? Too bad for you. While not the most pleasant to listen to, it was perfect for his music if you ask me. He could since pretty well when he wanted (Lay Lady Lay), but he didn't need to very often. Blonde on Blonde and Blood on the Tracks are among my favorite records ever recorded, and I'll always have a place in my cd cases for him.

    Hey, I'm also a big Marley fan, but I grew up with Dylan and only got into Marley in my college years. They are both icons and legends, so it's sort of cruel to have to choose between them, but if I'm forced to make a choice, it's Dylan by a mile.

    Swish
    I call my bathroom Jim instead of John so I can tell people that I go to the Jim first thing every morning.

    If you say the word 'gullible' very slowly it sounds just like oranges.

  21. #21
    Forum Regular newtrix1's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Oh, now I'm a sadist, eh?

    Quote Originally Posted by Swish
    They are both icons and legends, so it's sort of cruel to have to choose between them, but if I'm forced to make a choice, it's Dylan by a mile.

    Swish
    I agree, they are both icons and legends within their genres. I don't beleive that there's another singer/songwriter that would have even come close to Dylan (except for Bob Marley). I am quite surprised that Marley is ahead too, I had guessed before posting this match that Dylan would win by a slight margin simply based on how influencial his music, style & lyrics were on music. My comments on his voice were tongue-in-check and don't diminish my respect for his songs & poetry. I also feel that Dylan's quite a bit more versatile a writer.
    As has been my m.o. for voting all along, I chose Marley simply because overall, I listen to his stuff more and find a larger percentage of his music to my liking.

  22. #22
    Toon Robber tentoze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newtrix1
    I agree, they are both icons and legends within their genres. I don't beleive that there's another singer/songwriter that would have even come close to Dylan (except for Bob Marley). I am quite surprised that Marley is ahead too, I had guessed before posting this match that Dylan would win by a slight margin simply based on how influencial his music, style & lyrics were on music. My comments on his voice were tongue-in-check and don't diminish my respect for his songs & poetry. I also feel that Dylan's quite a bit more versatile a writer.
    As has been my m.o. for voting all along, I chose Marley simply because overall, I listen to his stuff more and find a larger percentage of his music to my liking.
    den go dancin' wif de spliff, mon. ain't no big t'ang.
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  23. #23
    Forum Regular MindGoneHaywire's Avatar
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    Wow, Swish, it seems like it's been awhile since we've agreed on anything! Well, maybe not a long time, but too long, anyway. It looks like we're definitely in the minority here. What can you do?

    Nobody & Troy--I know, I said a post or two ago that this has been beaten to death. But I did want to say something I thought was better not left unsaid.

    Nobody: As I see it, he is one of the most towering influences on global music that have ever existed.

    What I was thinking was that you could say the same of Fela Kuti. I can't say that he is or was revered as universally as Marley, but he took bigger risks & paid a big price as a result. He also invented Afrobeat, while Marley worked within a genre that already existed. He certainly expanded its artistic boundaries, and put his signature & stamp on the genre, but I think there's something to be said for the innovation you're talking about when you bring someone like Fela into the discussion. And he was recording, with Koola Lobitos, in 1964, so he went back just as far as Marley. He was far more prolific than either Marley or Dylan...in short, what I'm saying is that I just don't see the 'world music' point of view here. I think that you could draw a credible comparison between these guys, short of knowing who is more popular in the rest of the world. But the thing is, we are living in America, so I have to look at this in terms of what went on here & other Western countries, instead of Jamaica. I understand looking at it from the point of view of global influence, but if you can suggest that Fela belongs in the same discussion...you see what I mean?

    Troy: He was too political for my taste. The first one that that thought he could change the world that spawned all the Bonos on the world . . . what a legacy

    On Rocky Road somebody asked why Dylan's music is considered political. Well, duh, but you know what? He was mostly done with politics by 1965. That's kind of amazing when you think about his legacy, isn't it? Two or three years' worth of a 40+ year career. The thing is, what he created did in fact change the world. I can't see holding him responsible for Bono...sure, he was clearly influential on any political act, to some extent, though that influence wanes over time as people hear artists like Billy Bragg & guys like that before they ever hear a Dylan record. When you're talking about Bono it is fair to point out that the events that U2 wrote about that happened in Ireland were fairly dramatic. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to defend this band in any way. I'm just saying there was more than Dylan in what they did. Not only that, Dylan was a recluse who rarely granted interviews--and remains that way to this day--while Bono is a shameless camera hog who'll seemingly do just about anything for publicity. This is really why I decided to add anything at all to this beaten horse. It's just an unfair way of looking at this so far as I'm concerned.

    I SO don't care for politics and such in music, you KNOW that about me! Dylan reinvented the whole concept of the protest song for the modern world. If you think that sorta thing is important, go for it. But I am too much of a cynic to believe that it works in the modern world. All I see is a rich pop star trying to shed his guilt.

    I'd think that sort of thing was very important if the people who emulated Dylan had been in his league; as it was, they were mostly a bunch of hacks who couldn't find anything more interesting to write about than newspaper headlines. That shouldn't detract from Dylan's work, though. If everyone who put politics in their music did it as well as him, I'd love hearing politics in music. As it is, I don't hate it quite as much as you--but nearly. As for him being a rich pop star--he wasn't either of those things when he was writing protest songs. I don't get the 'guilt' idea, either. Remember, he was mostly done with that stuff by the time of Bringing It All Back Home. After that, there might've been a moment here or there, or a song like 'Hurricane' some years later, but by & large he went in a different direction. I think this is lost when people claim they don't like him for this reason. I understand why he's viewed as being someone who did all this political stuff. That's because it stands out. But he mostly stopped doing this nearly 40 years ago. I don't expect someone like you to like a record like Blood On The Tracks--but if nothing else you can point to that as a widely popular album that isn't exactly political.

    As I recall he was hassling that establishment looking reporter ih a very haughty and ultimately juvenile way.

    It was nasty, certainly. But whenever I see Zappa fans talking about other people being juvenile I have to raise an eyebrow. But I can only say I'm doing that on the computer since in reality I have no idea how.

    With Dylan, the whole point of listening to him is in the lyrics. Dylan is one dimensional. With Marley (and all reggae) what most people respond to is the rhythms and groove, not the words. There is zero groove with Dylan's music.

    One dimensional? Surely you know that there were some people who didn't like that he went electric? Here's a guy who picked Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper, the Band, & more than a few others to play with him. He did acoustic solo folk, electric rock, country & western, gospel, & blues. That's one dimensional? Sorry, I don't get that. Now, so far as reggae goes, it sounds like you're saying that people don't really respond to the words, that it's all about the groove. I know you're not the kind of guy who's going to hear the groove in Dylan's work--it's there--but I can't fathom the idea that songs like 'Get Up Stand Up' were written for people who were only interested in party music with a good groove that they could dance to. It just doesn't make any sense.

    Dylan just sounds like he can't carry a tune.

    If I'd have to name one album with evidence to the contrary, it'd be Blood On The Tracks. But that's a matter of preference. Some of the other things you're saying I just don't get. You wanna help me out here?

    I don't like others.

  24. #24
    Rocket Surgeon Swish's Avatar
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    Was thinking about you on Thursday, J....

    [QUOTE=MindGoneHaywire]Wow, Swish, it seems like it's been awhile since we've agreed on anything! Well, maybe not a long time, but too long, anyway. It looks like we're definitely in the minority here. What can you do?...

    as I was flying from DC to Providence. I was on a small jet, and since it's a short flight, we stayed at a fairly low altitude. I had a left side window seat, and I got to see some fantastic sights on this clear day. The first was Philadelphia, a city I know very well, and a little later, NYC. It was really sweet to see Ellis Island and Manhattan from that vantage point. What a magnificent city! Yes, I've been to NYC a bunch of times, but I've never flown over it like this, so it was a real treat, and I wondered where you were at that time.

    As for Bob Dylan, I'm sure glad we agree on him since, as you pointed out, we don't often agree on things musical. That's probably because of my small-town upbringing versus your big-city culture. I just wasn't exposed to the same things when I was younger so our paths are somewhat divergent (and I'm quite a few years older than you!), although we sure do like some of the same things. I watched a special on Joni Mitchell last night on WITF (public TV in our area) that was very well done. I can't believe how old she looks now. Anyway, she discussed how special Dylan was to her in her formative years,. and credits much of her songwriting direction to Bob. In her words, Bob Dylan "wrote songs about things that nobody else had ever done before". She pointed out "Positively Fourth Street" as an example. Yes, he was political too, for a time, but so was Bob Marley. I guess Troy forgot about that when he wrote of Dylan "He was too political for my taste. The first one that that thought he could change the world that spawned all the Bonos on the world . . . what a legacy."

    What can you do? I can't convince Troy or anyone else to like someone they don't, I just think they can't see the forest for the trees.

    Swish
    I call my bathroom Jim instead of John so I can tell people that I go to the Jim first thing every morning.

    If you say the word 'gullible' very slowly it sounds just like oranges.

  25. #25
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    Dang it J, I even let you have the last word, and now you go openin up a whole new can of worms.

    I actually agree with what you are saying about Fela Kuti, but we're not comparing Marley to Kuti right now, we're comparing him to Dylan, so it's kinda beside the point. It's like if we were comparing the Dave Clark Five to Paul Revere and the Raiders and somebody popped up with "Well, the Beatles are better than Dave Clark Five, so Paul Revere and the Raiders win." It just doesn't have direct relationship to the topic at hand.

    Also, reggae wasn't exactly an established form when Marley started out. He started out in the ska days and was one of a whole group of folks able to bring it up into the reggae age. When I mentioned his influence on rap, I guess I was a bit stretching it to be honest. What I really meant was he took Jamaican music and popularized it around the world, and even though it doesn't get pointed out nearly enough, Jamaican music was a major reason rap sprang up in the first place. They were rapping, or toasting if you prefer the local lingo, over dubs or versions long before rap in the US got rolling.

    I can see how bringing the global perspective can be problematic in this discussion, but I don't see how you can discuss Marley without talking about his global impact, especially if you want to gauge his influence. He was a much more international star than Dylan, and that is an area he pulls some weight. To ignore it would do him a disservice in my opinion. Still, it's kind of like when they toss the odd jazz record on those top records lists, kinda unfair to compare Miles Davis to Led Zepplin or something such as that if you are trying to have a serious discussion. They are just too different.

    In the end, they toss those out there just to sprinkle some variety in the lists, which are really just for fun anyway. I'm thinking the same goes for this contest, so I don't think we have to come to any sort of definitive conclusion as to which of these two great artists would be superior. Just have fun and pick who you like with whatever justification you wish. I personally put Marley ahead and think there are significant reasons someone could do so beyond my personal enjoyment, but I'm not about to claim with any sort of certainty that you can pick a clear winner between the two.

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