Saturday, August 5, 2017

Everything About This is Stupid

The dumbing down of our culture begins and ends when someone writes something like this:

Pink Floyd may be the only rock band that can credibly be compared to both the Beatles and Spinal Tap.

I'm sorry, but that's fucking stupid.

The article goes on to make a hash out of Pink Floyd. Does anyone really care that some side two filler from a post-Waters album is considered the 153rd worst song? No. This is just random bullshitting. There's no rhyme or reason to any of it. This is just someone taking the piss out of something impossible to calculate or estimate.

Pink Floyd was a group that made albums, not merely songs or singles, for the majority of their career. Every band has an arc that follows the beginning, middle, and end. Were they interesting all the way through? No, of course not. You could throw out thirty songs and not harm their catalog at all. At least one fifth of everything they ever recorded was meant for a film score and, as such, shouldn't even be included in a breakdown of what matters. Judging them by a standard that sorts everything from best to worst ignores the fact that much of their music was never meant to be evaluated in that manner.

During the advent of punk, they released the least punk rock album ever made (Animals) and followed it up two years later with an album that swallowed up the nihilism, the alienation, and the new wave reaction to punk and spit it back out in virtually one song that had everyone singing along as if it was the new national anthem (Another Brick in the Wall Part 2 from The Wall). They went from irrelevant to essential listening in an instant, and did it without even bothering to cater to anyone's taste.

In the case of Pink Floyd, they should have broken up after The Wall. Their legacy would never have been tainted if they had. But, people have to eat, so they kept going. Was it a mistake? Sure, but who cares?

Nobody cares about Ummagumma, for example, so why include it here? At one point, there was a real danger that Rick Wright was going to write all of the songs and sing on all of them. How far would they have gotten if everyone else had let that happen? No one remembers Syd Barrett except people who were into that sort of thing. No one who went to see them in the late 1980s or mid-1990s saw the real Pink Floyd because, without Roger, well, all you were getting was a David Gilmour vanity tour. But, again--so what?

I hate these articles, and I'm not going to tell you that you should hate them, too. I just think it's sad that there is so little going on in music right now that people are concerned that far too many of those Division Bell songs are going to be considered "good."

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