• 09-05-2007, 09:46 PM
    Most Versatile Band of All Time?
    Often times when 'the Greatest Bands" are mentioned people are referring to the bands overall contribution to the world of music and such, but this question is much different because even great bands are often not diverse or versatile enough, even if they last a long time. My vote goes to FLEETWOOD MAC and for several reasons....

    The biggest thing that FLEETWOOD MAC has/had going for it is the different lead singers, since the band was initially a blues-based group in the late 60's and then transitioned into a more softer rock group during the 70's with the talents of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham in the group. The different stylistic shifts always gave this band an edge and having a variation in their lead singer, plus different song-writers within the band they kept evolving over time. Though it's easy to say that this bands strongest point was during a 3-album streak starting with the 1975 self titled album followed by RUMOURS and then TUSK, it's hard to argue the vitality of these three masterful albums. The 80's proved to be a difficult time as the band struggled with the solo-careers emerging from Nicks and Buckingham, though even TANGO IN THE NIGHT from 1987 had a few decent hits, which also sounded more like what Buckingham and Nicks were doing on the side, which was a more pop-oriented rock. Buckingham's guitar-style is really what helped give the band it's uniqueness on songs like BIG LOVE, BLEED TO LOVE HER, LANDSLIDE, etc.

    It's probably fair to say that this band has changed about as much as YES and is quite a different band in many regards to what the initial concept was, same goes for bands like PINK FLOYD, but versatility is what really helps make FLEETWOOD MAC one of the most important bands, even if they are not 'technically' still together. 2003's SAY YOU WILL proved to be a melting pot of the bands coming together each person bringing their own material and again joining together to create a really mixed album overall, but again track to track the band is different in many regards, yet still have the signature sound and style that can be attributed to FLEETWOOD MAC.

    I can't think of too many other bands that have lasted this long and have brought as wide or a range of material and has been popular with a large portion of it.

    So what other bands come to mind when you think of versatility???
  • 09-05-2007, 10:05 PM
    Roxy Music
    Beck (not a 'band,' but as versatile as anyone else I can think of)
    The Minutemen
    Tom Waits
    Elvises Costello & Presley both
    Beatles, Stones, Who
    Captain Beefheart & probably Zappa also
    Bob Mould
    David Sanborn, by way of his old late night TV show
    The Clash
    Serge Gainsbourg
    David Johansen
    Beach Boys/Brian Wilson
    Beastie Boys...maybe other rappers who played instruments, or musicians who rapped...but overall I'd say the Beasties were there first & probably best
    Miles Davis & also John Coltrane...maybe Gil Scott Heron and/or Rahsaan Roland Kirk
    Yes? Scott Walker? Dylan, I guess, too. Lou Reed. Hell, Neil Young. But now I'm getting into one-offs and maybe even contractual obligations. Still...

    Too late for specifics, and I know I'm leaving someone out, if you want background on why I chose these names then I'll try to provide it tomorrow or perhaps Friday...but I do think quite a few of these acts could and should be considered contenders.
  • 09-06-2007, 01:15 AM
    1 Attachment(s)

    Originally Posted by MindGoneHaywire
    ...but I do think quite a few of these acts could and should be considered contenders.

    Forget all that.

    This man is a genius...
  • 09-06-2007, 07:35 AM
    The Kinks
  • 09-06-2007, 07:45 AM
    The Beatles

    Both Elvis's

    Frank Zappa

    All had epic careers with much more variety, growth, versatility and surprises than Fleetwood Mac could ever hope to have.
  • 09-06-2007, 08:14 AM
    Mr MidFi
    OK, what is the plural of Elvis? Elvises? Elvi? Not entirely sure...

    Anyway, I just wanted to throw the Rolling Stones in here for discussion. Pop, hard rock, blues, psychedelia, r&b, country, reggae...they've touched on quite a few styles in their time. Certainly worthy of a mention.
  • 09-06-2007, 08:34 AM
    The Monkeys.
  • 09-06-2007, 08:41 AM
    Love Fleetwood Mac myself, but versatile? They've been a one trick pony for four decades. Take Lindsey Buckingham out of the mix and they suck.

    The Beatles qualify here because they made bold artistic statements with every release starting with Revolver, and they did this when it could have been easy to rest on their laurels. The albums they put out in the '60s might sound dated now, but they were bold in their time.

    I'd throw in Genesis, since they changed styles every time a member left, and became more popular with every departure, except when Phil left. (yes, Gabriel lovers will sense a disturbance in the force as I type this).

    I agree that the Stones were a versatile group at one time, but they too have become so stale. I'll go with Led Zeppelin, just because they fit the criteria, don't have any bad albums and don't don't have a long streak of lame albums ala the Rolling Stones of the '80s and '90s. The Stones shoulda retired after Tatoo You, but instead went on to remake the underachieving Undercover, over and over and over.
  • 09-06-2007, 08:42 AM
    The list of versatile artists should begin and end with Neil Young.His discography is far more varied than anyone i can think of.The Stones are close but not quite as varied.
    I was a fan of the origional Fleetwood Mac but they lost me when they became a pop band,really they are the same band in name only,i mean i guess Rumors is a good record if you like that kind of thing.

  • 09-06-2007, 08:57 AM
  • 09-06-2007, 10:50 AM

    Originally Posted by GMichael
    The Monkeys.

    Knock it off with the Monkeys will ya!!! :mad2: They're all a bunch of washed up alcoholics.

    I would agree with 3-LockBox's mention of Genesis. Yes, they have remained popular despite all the personel changes because their musical style has survived all of its varied forms with their fans.
  • 09-06-2007, 12:08 PM
    The Ramones
  • 09-06-2007, 01:10 PM

    Originally Posted by Rich-n-Texas
    Knock it off with the Monkeys will ya!!! :mad2: They're all a bunch of washed up alcoholics.

    I would agree with 3-LockBox's mention of Genesis. Yes, they have remained popular despite all the personel changes because their musical style has survived all of its varied forms with their fans.

    OH OK!

    I'll try to be serious for a change.
    To me, the word versatile means variety. So I would want to point to a band who has made a variety of different types of music. The first one that jumps to my mind is Led Zeppelin. They have soft and gentle songs, blues type songs, heavy metal songs and jazzy songs. To me, this is what versatile is all about.
    Also, Van Halen has swung a few different ways.
    My feeling is that there are older bands that would fit the bill even more, but they "are not my batch" as my wife would say. I don't know their names or all the work they've done so wouldn't be able to speak in their behalf.
    Artists, (I know, these are not bands) like Steve Wonder and Ray Charles could be included.

    See what you did to me? I don't like being serious.


    There, I feel better now.
  • 09-06-2007, 01:46 PM
    Are any of them still even alive? :rolleyes5: (Please folks, if they are, puuuulleeeeezzzzza spare me the pictures okay?) :nono:
  • 09-06-2007, 03:36 PM

    Originally Posted by Rich-n-Texas
    Are any of them still even alive? :rolleyes5: (Please folks, if they are, puuuulleeeeezzzzza spare me the pictures okay?) :nono:

    Oh, you want living people?

    Mike Keneally
    Mike Patton
  • 09-06-2007, 04:46 PM

    Originally Posted by GMichael

    1)I'll try to be serious for a change.
    2)Also, Van Halen has swung a few different ways.

    3)See what you did to me? I don't like being serious.


    1) Oh no...are you sure you're alright?

    2) :sosp:

    3) Don't do it again.
  • 09-06-2007, 05:45 PM
    I think he's still a little *sore* after Jake bumped into him.
  • 09-06-2007, 06:21 PM
    Hawkwind 1969-Present

    I am the master of the universe....
  • 09-06-2007, 06:25 PM

    Originally Posted by unleasHell
    Hawkwind 1969-Present

    I am the master of the universe....

    Just bought Hall of the Mountain Grill, great record.

  • 09-06-2007, 07:55 PM
    Mr Peabody
    Mr Midfi beat me to the punch. The Stones first came to mind for me too. Zepplin too, to a leeser extent than the Stones. The Stones for the same reason given, they were able to do songs like Girl With Far Away Eyes and pull it off, dance songs like Miss You or Emotional Rescue, acoustic like Angie or Wild Horses, no category like Paint It Black; but Zepplin because most of their albums are very good without sounding like each other. I mean they all have some Blues but 3 was quite different, as Presence was, In Through The Out Door.... Physical Graffity, they all have an overall different feel to me.

    Either the sarcasm detectors are going crazy, or some people here needs to look up "versatile" in Webster's :)
  • 09-07-2007, 05:41 AM
    Got some free tickets to go see Peter Tork play some Monkeys songs in a couple weeks...not sue I'll be going, sounds like some people here may want 'em.

    I always think a great underappreciated band with great versatility was the Big Boys. They were a hardcore punk band in the 80s that would pull out a horn section and switch into full on funk mode and play Kool & the Gang songs and stuff straight up, no irony no messing around.

    And, as long as I'm talking about hardcore bands, Bad Brains is at the same time one of the biggest hardcore bands ever and one of the best reggae bands to come from the US. Mid career albums played like a punk/metal/funk hybrid, but their early albums and their latest were split between half hardcore songs and half straight up reggae tunes. And, before they formed Bad Brains, the guys actually played together in a jazz fusion band. So, yeah, those guys can pretty much play whatever you ask 'em.
  • 09-07-2007, 05:07 PM
    A little Monkee's trivia
    I heard this a long time ago, and I figured it might be interesting to the fans out there. Who knows, it might even be true...

    Did you know that Mike Nesmith's mother invented White-Out? After she died, all the royalties went to Mike. In this day and age of computers and word processors the royalties probably don't amount to near as much as they used to (unless, of course, the typist is blonde), but I would venture to guess that it is still a pretty hefty monthly check.

    Has anyone else heard this, or am I just another sad victim of the dreaded Urban Legend Syndrome?
  • 09-07-2007, 05:31 PM
    Did you know that in 1966 the Monkees had an opening act that went by the name of Jimi Hendrix,at least for a couple of weeks,seems he kept getting boo'd off stage.

  • 09-07-2007, 05:52 PM
    Around the same time, I went to a Monkee's concert at Anaheim Stadium in CA. I didn't go to see the Monkees.I was there for the opening act. It was a little-known band (at least in the U.S.) called The Who. I had heard their debut album (British import) and was dying to hear them live.

    From the time they started playing, they were subjected to non-stop verbal abuse from the 12-year-old teeny-boppers that made up the majority of the audience. 25 minutes later, they concluded their set with Pete Townsend carving a hole in the stage, using his guitar as an axe. It took the Monkee's road crew 1 1/2 hours to repair the damage. Only then could the concert continue.

    It was one of the most satisfying moments of my life.
  • 09-07-2007, 06:14 PM
    The Mekons - been around forever and play punk, country, electro-ish, perfectly pitched pop (more akin to Kinks or the Who than Beatles or Stones if we're talkin' what British rock camp), drunken Irish romps, they're always iconoclasts, all over the board...and always do it well.

    Bad Brains was a good call too but don't go much beyond the 2 styles they excel at. The apparent extreme disconnect between the two genres (punk and rootsy reggae) is what makes it seem so 'versatile'. They, too, play whatever style they're doing pretty damn well.