Bands vs. Solo Artists

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Poll Closing Date: Saturday, 31 October 2020 00:00 (in 1 day)

On average, which do you prefer?

Bands
Solo artists


pomenitul, Monday, 28 September 2020 20:44 (one month ago) link

A simplistic binary opposition that doesn't really work for classical music (and jazz is a special case as well). But when it comes to most other types of music, my favourite acts are almost systematically bands. Part of me cannot help but irrationally suspect solo artists of narcissism, which is one of the 'aesthetic' traits I am drawn to the least.

pomenitul, Monday, 28 September 2020 20:47 (one month ago) link

Not even close. IMO although there are many good, great, and excellent albums out there credited to solo artists, the highest highs in music are generally really only achievable through musicians collaborating together and playing in ensemble.

rattle, Monday, 28 September 2020 20:58 (one month ago) link

Not even close. IMO although there are many good, great, and excellent albums out there credited to solo artists, the highest highs in music are generally really only achievable through musicians collaborating together and playing in ensemble.

rattle, Monday, 28 September 2020 20:58 (one month ago) link

Technology lol

rattle, Monday, 28 September 2020 20:59 (one month ago) link

For rock music, I guess mainly bands (though with some key exceptions). For pop/r&b, solo artists rather than groups. Also, how do you count "bands" like the Fall or Red Krayola, which take shape around a particular artist (who does most the songwriting etc.), and have had many lineup changes over the years?

Scam Likely (morrisp), Monday, 28 September 2020 21:01 (one month ago) link

Yeah, that's a tricky case scenario.

pomenitul, Monday, 28 September 2020 21:02 (one month ago) link

(not trying to punch holes in the premise, those just happen to be two of my favorites!)

Scam Likely (morrisp), Monday, 28 September 2020 21:04 (one month ago) link

I listen to a lot electronic music and rap and soul and R&B and jazz, and don't really listen to rock, so solo artists beat bands easily.

Tuomas, Monday, 28 September 2020 21:27 (one month ago) link

And of course jazz and soul especially have bands playing behind the solo artist, which are just as important as the leader, but I don't care about them always having the same musicians or being otherwise cohesive units as long as they play well together.

Tuomas, Monday, 28 September 2020 21:29 (one month ago) link

Jazz is 'band-like' in that each musician's contribution is audibly essential to the whole. Even with stronger jazz personalities, I almost never get the sense that it's just The Miles Show, or whatever, whereas plenty of solo pop artists elicit that reaction from me.

xp

pomenitul, Monday, 28 September 2020 21:31 (one month ago) link

Not even close. IMO although there are many good, great, and excellent albums out there credited to bands, the highest highs in music are generally really only achievable through a single musician pursuing their unique creative path, freed from the need to compromise their vision that inevitably comes with collaboration.

joni mitchell jarre (anagram), Monday, 28 September 2020 21:45 (one month ago) link

^^^ relevant dn.

pomenitul, Monday, 28 September 2020 21:46 (one month ago) link

This is a tricky one. When I was a teenager, maybe into my early 20's, I think the idea of a band was more important to me than the actual collusion of musical personalities. Give me a cute, non-descriptive name, or a studio construction that emulates (or at least refers to) the sound of an ensemble... and that might even have been preferable to an actual band if that makes sense.
Ultimately, I think *real* ensembles were regarded a little suspect, then. If they we're actually playing together in a room, it was old-timey music. I wanted to sense that I was listening to a construction and not a real-time performance. Call it "Arthur Russell" and you would have lost me. If the name is colorless and boring, the music might be too...

I'm far removed from that now, of course. If anything, calling it the guy's real name makes me think "this might be serious music" and calling it something cute makes me think "this might be more for kids." I value the organic collusion of musicians playing together in a room- the drummer is often my favorite player. I also really love solo performers in the true sense of being unaccompanied etc. Would say I gravitate more to one-off "projects", whether solo or collaborative, over artists or bands

Deflatormouse, Tuesday, 29 September 2020 03:53 (one month ago) link

I VOTED

Erdős-szám 69 (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 29 September 2020 04:12 (one month ago) link

Dang, I would have initially thought solo artists because I don't really care about rock bands, but when instruments are played it turns out bands are the way to go. Even in jazz, it usually works out better when there's a working band with an identity and a lifespan longer than the studio date (like the Jazz Messengers, various Miles bands, the Bad Plus, Robert Glasper Trio, Ellington, brass bands, even John Zorn groups where he's the auteur but the personnel are consistent {even if it's only a studio band}).

Electronic music is the solo human's domain though, there's a definite divide there and that's the great thing about it. I'm abstaining.

change display name (Jordan), Tuesday, 29 September 2020 14:20 (one month ago) link

Electronic music is the solo human's domain

I thought the same thing at first but how could I ever do without Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, Autechre, Underworld, Boards of Canada, Orbital, etc.

pomenitul, Tuesday, 29 September 2020 14:25 (one month ago) link

Multiple instruments are better than one instrument. Bands win.

emil.y, Tuesday, 29 September 2020 14:31 (one month ago) link

Bands underneath the iron unbending will of a demonic, single-minded bastard of a leader

imago, Tuesday, 29 September 2020 14:33 (one month ago) link

I'll take that as a confession.

pomenitul, Tuesday, 29 September 2020 14:34 (one month ago) link

Sometimes one of the other members gets to write a song and we all tolerate it

imago, Tuesday, 29 September 2020 14:34 (one month ago) link

Sometimes a song comes about through natural collaboration and consensus and sometimes that song is even half-decent

imago, Tuesday, 29 September 2020 14:34 (one month ago) link

Even with my favorite solo artists, the stuff that I treasure the most as their best/my favorite work usually still involves a key band or group of musical collaborators. Hard to think of a solo artist whose work I love regardless of who theyre working with. So, bands I guess.

turn the jawhatthefuckever on (One Eye Open), Tuesday, 29 September 2020 15:43 (one month ago) link

two weeks pass...

The best solo artists, the real "demonic, single-minded bastards", are their own band, and operate as such. Todd Rundgren is his own band. Haruomi Hosono is a band. Scott Walker is a band. So, bands.

Ilxor in the streets, Scampo in the sheets (Le Bateau Ivre), Thursday, 15 October 2020 07:32 (two weeks ago) link


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