Artists/bands that were once quite popular, yet nowadays are mostly ignored in canonical history books

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I was a reading a book on jazz-rock and fusion, and was kinda surprised to learn that the most popular jazz artist in the US in the late 60s was actually Charles Lloyd, yet he isn't much spoken about in most jazz histories. According to the book that's maybe because he wasn't actually that great a player, and his success came more from him being succesfully marketed to the hippie crowd.

What other examples like this can you think of?

Tuomas, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 10:13 (twelve years ago) link

Wasn't some skiffle band almost as popular as The Beatles in the early 60s?

Tuomas, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 10:16 (twelve years ago) link

Tuomas: Great question! I've always wondered about Lloyd; David S. Ware played a composition of his, and ECM still touts him as a heavy hitter, but (and I HATE to admit this) the fact that he's been ignored in histories has maybe kept me back from actually, you know, listening to him.

I think, jazzwise, Yusef Lateef fits here. He got a big push at Atlantic and sold some records, but isn't much discussed historically.

Rock-wise, I've been obsessed with John Otway lately. I was really surprised to hear he'd had a hit in the UK in the late 70s with "Cor Baby, That's Really Free." Hearing that song for the first time last month, I was shocked it hadn't crossed my path earlier. No one knows who he is!

Usual Channels, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 10:20 (twelve years ago) link

Indeed, he had an even bigger second hit 25 years later with "Bunsen Burner" in which at least one ILxor was directly involved.

Dingbod Kesterson, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 10:24 (twelve years ago) link

In rock I'd say definitely Richie Havens: once upon a time the ubiquitous Voice of Woodstock Nation but no one speaks much of him now.

Dingbod Kesterson, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 10:26 (twelve years ago) link

richie havens used to live near me in the early 90s, he cut quite an impressive figure, still wearing dashikis

m coleman, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 10:49 (twelve years ago) link

add rashaan roland kirk next to chas lloyd on that list

m coleman, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 10:49 (twelve years ago) link

um, "directly" is overstating it: I'm one of the 'crowd' on the b-side, named as such on the sleeve.

Mark G, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 10:51 (twelve years ago) link

Roland Kirk is not exactly ignored, is he? At least I had heard about him before I even started really listening to jazz.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 10:53 (twelve years ago) link

i guess not but I was thinking he's not revered along the lines of Sun Ra, though they were probably equally well known among rok fans in the 70s

m coleman, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 11:01 (twelve years ago) link

What manner of jackass ignores Roland Kirk? I imagine there are a few "crossover" artists - jazz, R&B/soul - who were big in the 60s and 70s but who are ignored now, can't think of one offhand... Lou Rawls maybe? Tryna remember the inner sleeves of 60s records with pictures of Trini Lopez alongside Iron Butterfly alongside Dean Martin alongside Rhinoceros etc etc

Tom D., Tuesday, 13 May 2008 11:05 (twelve years ago) link

Lou Rawls has had a bit of a posthumous comeback thanks to the David Axelrod connection.

Rahsaan definitely NOT forgotten - witness "Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick" complete with Davey Payne's multi-mouthpiece Kirk tribute at number one! And most honest folk still think Mingus Oh Yeah is Chazz's best (yes, yes, I know, Black Saint, but be truthful; which one are you likely to pull off the shelf more often?).

Dingbod Kesterson, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 11:07 (twelve years ago) link

And The Inflated Tear and Rip Rig & Panic and The Three-Sided Dream Of whatever that berserk but brilliant album was called are absolute classics.

Dingbod Kesterson, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 11:09 (twelve years ago) link

John Handy is another Charles Lloyd in this respect.

sonofstan, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 11:12 (twelve years ago) link

Didn't Blood Sweat And Tears sell about 10 million albums around the turn of the 70's, then end up back on the bar circuit 3 or 4 years later? Or are they considered as canonical these days?

Matt #2, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 11:17 (twelve years ago) link

David Clayton Thomas plus a few hired hands probably did. The BST horn section were Premier League session guys like Lew Soloff, Dave Bargeron etc. who have never been out of work since.

Dingbod Kesterson, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 11:20 (twelve years ago) link

Thing is, there are a load of artists who were extremely popular but never considered important, even by their contemporaries - anyone who obessively digs in charity shops will know how popular Paul Young, Yazoo, Phil Collins and going back further, Val Doonican and Jim Reeves were, but its doubtful if any critics considered them interesting or important.

What is more interesting is artists who were revered but have sunk into relative obscurity; August Darnell would certainly be one, Dexy's in their various incarnations another; I know both are remembered around here, but they're neither of them featured much in 'rock's rich tapestry' as curated by Mojo/ Uncut etc.

sonofstan, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 11:28 (twelve years ago) link

You're slipping, Dingbod:

http://img.tesco.com/pi/entertainment/CD/LF/503122_CD_L_F.jpg

Tom D., Tuesday, 13 May 2008 11:29 (twelve years ago) link

grand funk railroad

jhøshea, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 11:29 (twelve years ago) link

(xxpost) You're right about August Darnell and wrong about Dexys

Tom D., Tuesday, 13 May 2008 11:30 (twelve years ago) link

Yazoo were certainly taken very seriously by the music press at the time.

Dingbod Kesterson, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 11:33 (twelve years ago) link

As was Phil Collins up to and including Face Value for that matter.

But how could I forget Garry Bushell's epiphanic five-star rave review of 30 Golden Greats by the George Mitchell Minstrels in the Xmas '77 issue of Sounds?

Dingbod Kesterson, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 11:35 (twelve years ago) link

Graham Parker? Pub Rock in general?

Tom D., Tuesday, 13 May 2008 11:36 (twelve years ago) link

Tom Robinson?

Colonel Poo, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 11:37 (twelve years ago) link

That's why I picked Yusef Lateef instead of Rahsaan Roland Kirk; they both received the same sort of promotion at Atlantic. They were both great. And Lateef appears to be more ignored these days than Kirk.

Usual Channels, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 11:39 (twelve years ago) link

Tom now resurgent thanks to 6Music and involvement in LMHR.

Graham Parker and Pub Rock in general yes, but Nick Lowe no.

Dingbod Kesterson, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 11:40 (twelve years ago) link

I doubt canonical history is ever much of a guide to what people were actually listening to at the time. I remember looking at a chart from 1967 thinking it would be all psychedelic rock etc and being surprised at how much Dean Martin-esque easy listening was on it. Didn't Engelbert Humperdink outsell the Beatles or something?

Zelda Zonk, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 11:45 (twelve years ago) link

If you go a bit beyond the canon, Phil Collins is still played a lot on MOR radio stations.

Geir Hongro, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 11:55 (twelve years ago) link

Thing is, there are a load of artists who were extremely popular but never considered important, even by their contemporaries - anyone who obessively digs in charity shops will know how popular Paul Young, Yazoo, Phil Collins

Yeah, but Paul Young and Phil Collins are still discussed in most histories of 80s pop, even if they weren't considered that important, whereas the book I'm reading is basically the only jazz history where I've read about Charles Lloyd.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 11:57 (twelve years ago) link

I don't know if Lloyd was so much ignored as eclipsed by Keith Jarrett, who went on to greater notoriety with ECM while Lloyd essentially got out of performance for quite awhile.

briania, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 12:10 (twelve years ago) link

Went to Russia, didn't he?

Tom D., Tuesday, 13 May 2008 12:10 (twelve years ago) link

http://www.strummernews.com/longpigs3.jpg

Dom Passantino, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 12:12 (twelve years ago) link

Yeah, but Paul Young and Phil Collins are still discussed in most histories of 80s pop, even if they weren't considered that important, whereas the book I'm reading is basically the only jazz history where I've read about Charles Lloyd.

Jazz is not pop. Thus, being popular doesn't necessarily mean anything in jazz while it is kind of impossible of ignore in pop.

Geir Hongro, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 12:12 (twelve years ago) link

Impossible TO ignore, I mean

Geir Hongro, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 12:13 (twelve years ago) link

Went to Russia, didn't he?
Well, that'd do it. The Lloyd/Jarrett dynamic is kind of like the Spencer Davis/Steve Winwood situation, where the supposed sideman turned out to be the star.

briania, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 12:20 (twelve years ago) link

Engelbert Humperdinck is a good example of a once-popular artist who is now ignored in the canonical history books, whatever those are. Even among comparable schlagers of the day, it's Tom Jones who continues to resonate. And rightly so -- please god call me home before the Humperdinckian reappraisal takes place.

briania, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 12:27 (twelve years ago) link

Um, "Lesbian Seagull"?

Dingbod Kesterson, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 12:29 (twelve years ago) link

(aargh, now posting from beyond the grave)

briania, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 12:35 (twelve years ago) link

gay dad
terris

Herman G. Neuname, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 12:44 (twelve years ago) link

oh wait "popular" ;)

Herman G. Neuname, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 12:44 (twelve years ago) link

America

Dingbod Kesterson, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 12:46 (twelve years ago) link

James Taylor

Tom D., Tuesday, 13 May 2008 12:48 (twelve years ago) link

Acker Bilk

Herman G. Neuname, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 12:50 (twelve years ago) link

That's Mister Acker Bilk to you.

briania, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 12:52 (twelve years ago) link

The Seekers

Tom D., Tuesday, 13 May 2008 12:53 (twelve years ago) link

Jim Reeves

Dom Passantino, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 12:55 (twelve years ago) link

Anyone hailed as "the new Hendrix" after Hendrix died, viz. Alvin Lee, Robin Trower, Frank Marino.

Dingbod Kesterson, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 12:56 (twelve years ago) link

Ditto, sundry new Dylans

Tom D., Tuesday, 13 May 2008 13:02 (twelve years ago) link

Roy Harper doesn't get spoken of a lot these days - less than Nick Drake or John Martyn, f'rinstance

Tom D., Tuesday, 13 May 2008 13:04 (twelve years ago) link

Three Dog Night

kornrulez6969, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 13:29 (twelve years ago) link

a bunch of stuff from the late 60s/early 70s that looked like it could be some kind of cool psych band but a lot of it was horn rock.

The crate-digger's bane

Cornelius Fondue (Matt #2), Sunday, 3 November 2019 00:09 (eight months ago) link

The first few Chicago records are pretty good. I got the first three on vinyl years ago for like $5 bucks. I've loved listening to Danny Seraphine's drumming on "Make Me Smile" and "25 to 6 to 4" since I was a kid, the drum fills on those tunes are awesome. The tunes where Terry Kath is the lead singer and has more guitar are usually the best ones.

earlnash, Sunday, 3 November 2019 00:18 (eight months ago) link

^haha, thanks — I read Dan S’s post, and was like, “noooooo... not again”

dracula et son fils (morrisp), Sunday, 3 November 2019 03:03 (eight months ago) link

lol sorry! I didn't realize

Dan S, Sunday, 3 November 2019 03:15 (eight months ago) link

I occasionally check out a message board largely populated by millennials, I've given up potsing there because it's far too depressing but the other day there was a thread on favorite horn rock. The first five posts all mentioned Chicago independently. Nobody seemed to have mentioned Blood, Sweat, and Tears.


tbf, Chicago was much bigger: 12 top ten albums, 21 (!) top ten singles (BS&T only managed three top ten albums and singles). But Chicago’s big horn arrangements became less prominent as their career wore on, pretty much vanishing altogether in the ‘80s.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Sunday, 3 November 2019 11:42 (eight months ago) link

I saw one very sad mimed tv performance (Solid Gold maybe?) In 86 or 87, in which the horn players were all there on stage but there was no horn part in the song. They were each standing in front of a Yamaha DX7 and pretending to play it.

And it was a ridiculously small circular riser as well, so they were like crowded inside a weird triankle of non-plugged-in keyboards. I was sad for them in that moment.

tempted by the fruit of your mother (Ye Mad Puffin), Sunday, 3 November 2019 12:58 (eight months ago) link

I was imagining all the horn players huddled around a single DX7 like a trash-barrel fire.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Sunday, 3 November 2019 13:05 (eight months ago) link

Oops, I should have been clearer. The three of them sharing one DX7 would also have been embarrassing, but in a different way.

tempted by the fruit of your mother (Ye Mad Puffin), Sunday, 3 November 2019 13:30 (eight months ago) link

"Hey Pankow, stay outta my octave!"

"Fuck you, Walter."

tempted by the fruit of your mother (Ye Mad Puffin), Sunday, 3 November 2019 13:32 (eight months ago) link

I saw a Chicago/REO Speedwagon double bill with my mother last year. My mother and father attended the Carnegie Hall show that was released as a live album in the 70s. She's a lifer.

Also they were playing the entirety of Chicago II, and half the fans didn't seem to know this as it wasn't heavily publicized. The REO heavy crowd looked confused the whole night as they were expecting the 70s soft rock hits and the 80s power ballads, which came much later in the set.

So it was a steady stream of people headed towards the exits the entire show. My mom got visibly angry and basically kept muttering that they were poser Chicago fans the entire show.

"Question 67 and 68 - You call yourself Chicago fans? Why did you even fuckin show up?"

When I am afraid, I put my toast in you (Neanderthal), Sunday, 3 November 2019 13:47 (eight months ago) link

Wow.

Lol, Tarfumes.

Ferlinghetti Hvorostovsky (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 3 November 2019 13:48 (eight months ago) link

So it was a steady stream of people headed towards the exits the entire show

The band should have admonished them as follows: if you leave us now, you'll take away the biggest part of me. Oooooooh baby please don't go. How can we end it all this way?

tempted by the fruit of your mother (Ye Mad Puffin), Sunday, 3 November 2019 17:53 (eight months ago) link

Lol otm

Jordan Pickford LOLverdrive (Neanderthal), Sunday, 3 November 2019 17:55 (eight months ago) link

Ooh, ooh, I thought of another one. War! The band War. The World is a Ghetto topped the US chart in 1973 and was apparently the best-selling album of the year in that country, and they had a string of gold records. I've always had the impression they were a big thing at the time but in the UK they were a speck, even including the early version with Eric Burdon. The only song I remember hearing in the media was "Low Rider" and probably only in a commercial.

I've always loved the way on the original version of "Spill the Wine" Eric Burdon almost sings the first line, but then immediately gives up and just speaks the rest of the lyrics, as if he decided that he couldn't be bothered:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3i0DMbCKnAg

Ashley Pomeroy, Monday, 4 November 2019 20:59 (eight months ago) link

In the US, I still hear a couple of War songs fairly regularly on oldies stations (mostly "Low Rider," but also "Why Can't We Be Friends," and once "The World Is A Ghetto"). And on two occasions within the last year or so, I've heard "Cisco Kid" in the supermarket.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Monday, 4 November 2019 21:08 (eight months ago) link

War is amazing and their songs have been used in TV and movies *a lot*

Οὖτις, Monday, 4 November 2019 21:12 (eight months ago) link

Looks like some lineup shenanigans happening with War, too: the only original member in the current lineup is keyboardist/vocalist Lonnie Jordan, while four other original members tour under the name The Lowrider Band.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Monday, 4 November 2019 21:13 (eight months ago) link

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0911271/#soundtrack

Οὖτις, Monday, 4 November 2019 21:14 (eight months ago) link

I think any critical discussion of west coast funk would include them

Οὖτις, Monday, 4 November 2019 21:15 (eight months ago) link

checks out https://m.imdb.com/title/tt0109912/soundtrack

now let's play big lunch take little lunch (sic), Monday, 4 November 2019 21:16 (eight months ago) link

"Slippin' Into Darkness" gets play too. Especially in Vietnam/Watergate docs

Muswell Hillbilly Elegy (President Keyes), Monday, 4 November 2019 21:18 (eight months ago) link

Killing Joke...

https://www.you.tube.com/watch?v=HSeXkoakaLI

... were certainly familiar with War...

https://www.you.tube.com/watch?v=Oa-87PfFT4A

Michael Oliver of Penge Wins £5 (Tom D.), Monday, 4 November 2019 21:20 (eight months ago) link

'Spill the Wine' memorably used in the pool scene in 'Boogie Nights'.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-vmdBKX40I

Dan Worsley, Monday, 4 November 2019 21:20 (eight months ago) link

"Low Rider" is in Friday and Dazed and Confused ("Why Can't We Be Friends" also in the latter), "Pass That Dutch" is in Mean Girls, "Cisco Kid" and "Me and Baby Brother" in the Wire, etc etc

Οὖτις, Monday, 4 November 2019 21:43 (eight months ago) link

also really heavily sampled and referenced in rap up to the present

Οὖτις, Monday, 4 November 2019 21:44 (eight months ago) link

problem with the metric is obv if Ashley doesn’t know War’s music, then even if they watch The Wire and Friday they’re not gonna come away going “heard War in another movie/TV show!”

now let's play big lunch take little lunch (sic), Monday, 4 November 2019 21:52 (eight months ago) link

the point is they are not culturally forgotten, as their music is still in circulation in very popular media. I don't think their critically neglected either but I don't have textbooks handy.

Οὖτις, Monday, 4 November 2019 21:58 (eight months ago) link

(this is a very hard band to search for info about)

Οὖτις, Monday, 4 November 2019 21:58 (eight months ago) link

don't think their critically neglected either

yeah the entire thread premise is flawed by the lack of a defined canon really, we should pivot to establishing this first

(salute to sund4r’s valiant efforts in this regard already)

now let's play big lunch take little lunch (sic), Monday, 4 November 2019 22:05 (eight months ago) link

well they've never been reviewed by Pfork lol

Οὖτις, Monday, 4 November 2019 22:07 (eight months ago) link

Never realised War were such a deal in the States, in the UK they're completely unknown really

Cornelius Fondue (Matt #2), Monday, 4 November 2019 22:16 (eight months ago) link

Hmmm, three Top 30 singles, "Low Rider" got to #12.

Michael Oliver of Penge Wins £5 (Tom D.), Monday, 4 November 2019 23:05 (eight months ago) link

Mostly unknown then (i.e. I don't know them)

Cornelius Fondue (Matt #2), Monday, 4 November 2019 23:44 (eight months ago) link

Never realised War were such a deal in the States, in the UK they're completely unknown really

― Cornelius Fondue (Matt #2), Monday, November 4, 2019 2:16 PM (one week ago) bookmarkflaglink

I feel like they're mostly a west coast phenomenon? My parents and their friends all (rightfully) LOVE them.

Get Me Bodied (Extended Mix), Wednesday, 13 November 2019 06:59 (seven months ago) link

In AZ you could an outdoor party and put on War or Santana and the neighbors wouldn’t call the cops

Muswell Hillbilly Elegy (President Keyes), Wednesday, 13 November 2019 14:05 (seven months ago) link

seven months pass...

As far as I can tell this is the only thread with more than just a passing mention of Juice Newton, and even then it's not like it goes deep. But I just heard "Love's Been a Little Bit Hard On Me" for the first time since I was, I dunno, five? And damn it's a fun ditty, like a great lost Nick Lowe/Rockpile song. Maybe because it is totally echoed by Lowe by way of Hiatt's "She Don't Love Nobody:"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cviRnBD8Bmw

Anyway, good for Juice Newton for having all those hits, with some neat connections to hipper folks than Juice. "Queen of Hearts," for example, was written by Hank DeVito, who was in Emmylou's Hot Band. Dave Edmunds recorded it first in 1979 (there's another Nick Lowe connection), Rodney Crowell recorded it again in 1980, and Juice recorded it the next year. "Angel of the Morning" (written of course by Chip Taylor; you could do worse than be the guy that wrote this, "Any Way That You Want Me" and "Wild Thing," which makes up for him being Jon Voight's brother) came out the same year, in 1981; good instincts to whoever suggested it, since it had already been recorded something like 5 times.

"Love's Been a Little Bit Hard On Me," which was from 1982, was the first hit written by some dude named Gary Burr, who has written seemingly dozens of hits I've never heard for pop and country stars. I was curious, and it turns out Burr was the guy that replaced Vince Gill in Pure Prairie League. Gill, of course, had already replaced a couple of others that had been replaced. Gill, incidentally, had left Pure Praise League in 1981 to play with Rodney Crowell.

Anyway. Juice Newton.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 25 June 2020 14:24 (one week ago) link

Personally, I love the Juice hits. That were my prime radio years and all that stuff will stick with me forever, though it never inspired me to search out rare JN album cuts or whatever. Those songs sounded perfect coming out of the PA speakers at the swimming pool.

A more recent example is Tokio Hotel, who were a worldwide arena-playing band for about a year or three, even managed to land a MTV VMA Award in the US for best new band, sold ten million records, but absolutely nobody seems to acknowledge they ever existed.

Siegbran, Thursday, 25 June 2020 15:33 (one week ago) link

so i remember juice from my mom's tape collection in the 80s. just looked her up on discogs, and hey, we we share a birthday.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Thursday, 25 June 2020 15:35 (one week ago) link

I don't know if I have even heard of Tokio Hotel before. Apparently, they had a #6 album in Canada, albeit when I was in the US. Did they have a top 40 single in the English-speaking world?

Feel a million filaments (Sund4r), Thursday, 25 June 2020 15:43 (one week ago) link

They were pretty much exclusively marketed to the teen/emo crowd.

Siegbran, Thursday, 25 June 2020 16:02 (one week ago) link

i bumped some other thread a while ago, maybe last year, to talk about Juice Newton -- I heard a song of hers that I had never heard before, "Heart of the Night" on MeTV radio! I totally wanted to be her when I was a little kid.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1VAMl9dA64

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Thursday, 25 June 2020 17:12 (one week ago) link

Ive never heard of Tokio Hotel

Muswell Hillbilly Elegy (President Keyes), Thursday, 25 June 2020 22:05 (one week ago) link

Ive never heard of Tokio Hotel

Muswell Hillbilly Elegy (President Keyes), Thursday, 25 June 2020 22:05 (one week ago) link

Ive never heard of Tokio Hotel

Muswell Hillbilly Elegy (President Keyes), Thursday, 25 June 2020 22:05 (one week ago) link

Well now I have

Muswell Hillbilly Elegy (President Keyes), Thursday, 25 June 2020 22:06 (one week ago) link

Tokio Hotel were huge with European teenagers at the summer camp I worked at in 2008.

Anti-Cop Ponceortium (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Thursday, 25 June 2020 22:08 (one week ago) link

They were a very mainstream screamo / emo rock band and the singer was about twelve.

Anti-Cop Ponceortium (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Thursday, 25 June 2020 22:09 (one week ago) link

I remember you well
In the Tokio Hotel

pomenitul, Thursday, 25 June 2020 22:11 (one week ago) link


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