Overrated.....Underrated....

dogbox

New member
Flamin’ Groovies and NRBQ are the 2 most chronically under-rated bands in the history of rock music. I got into both bands “late” like 1981, as both bands had been around since the 60s. Honourable mention goes to Evan Johns (and H-Bombs) as the best guitarist you never heard of. Wild Billy Childish achieved some modicum of fame about 10 years ago, so he just escaped the most under-rated list. Over-rated...hmmmm
 

grimtraveller

If only for a moment.....
Thin Lizzy are an interesting example of a band that was underrated in its day but have become overrated subsequently.
 

dogooder

Well-known member
Sometimes I am overrated and sometimes I am underrated but most of the time I am under paid and over worked.
 

Papanate

Active member
I disagree with overrating and underrating of any band - they all rise to the level they are capable of - the over appreciation or under appreciation of anyone is just peoples opinion but doesn't mean anything - people get appreciated to what level they get - Someone like Bowie - well he fascinated a lot of people - to me he was a just a series of characters - I don't think we ever saw the real David Jones nor did he reveal it outside of his private life - I liked some of songs - I think Ashes to Ashes is brilliant - but I think Let's Dance is just a pop song - for me it doesn't carry the weight of Ashes To Ashes or even Changes.
 

RFR

Well-known member
I disagree with overrating and underrating of any band - they all rise to the level they are capable of - the over appreciation or under appreciation of anyone is just peoples opinion but doesn't mean anything - people get appreciated to what level they get - Someone like Bowie - well he fascinated a lot of people - to me he was a just a series of characters - I don't think we ever saw the real David Jones nor did he reveal it outside of his private life - I liked some of songs - I think Ashes to Ashes is brilliant - but I think Let's Dance is just a pop song - for me it doesn't carry the weight of Ashes To Ashes or even Changes.
He was like a chameleon
 

TalismanRich

Well-known member
I don't really worry about underrated or overrated. Most of it is due to the media picking a darling and pushing it until they move to a new target. Somebody decides that the BeeGees are just wonderful and they are the next great thing. Somebody else decides that the BeeGees is the worst example of disco trash and derides them whenever possible. The next person jumps on the bandwagon and it becomes hyped up. If it generates ad revenue, then it's great. It has very little to do with quality or lack of it.

Who cares. If you like something, great. Enjoy it. If you hate something, don't bother listening to it. Don't worry about validating your views with other people.
 

grimtraveller

If only for a moment.....
If you like something, great. Enjoy it. If you hate something, don't bother listening to it. Don't worry about validating your views with other people.
I agree.
That said, sometimes, one might experience that thing where a whole lot of people gush over a particular song or album or producer or band or writer or artist and wherever you turn, there seems to be no balance about that entity, yet, you just can't see what the fuss is about. Well, not that you can't see what the fuss is about, more that it seems to be overly. The vice is also versa. There might be one of those that you feel has played a more important part than is ever given credit for.
Either way, it makes for an interesting talking point. It's not really about validating one's views with others, just more a point of interest that someone else feels as you might.
 

grimtraveller

If only for a moment.....
Bob Dylan's music from the mid-60s is underrated in its role in the development of the bass guitar in rock. On a couple of songs there, like "It's all over now, baby blue" and "Desolation Row" the bass plays a melodic counterpoint role which was another bass voice to that which John Entwistle was working through with the Who. Put that together with what was coming from the Motown stable and you can see that the bass guitar was starting to carve out its own path.
 

dogooder

Well-known member
Bob Dylan's music from the mid-60s is underrated in its role in the development of the bass guitar in rock. On a couple of songs there, like "It's all over now, baby blue" and "Desolation Row" the bass plays a melodic counterpoint role which was another bass voice to that which John Entwistle was working through with the Who. Put that together with what was coming from the Motown stable and you can see that the bass guitar was starting to carve out its own path.
The bass player I was working with said Bob Dylan was the first singer who couldn't sing.
 

DM60

Well-known member
Bob Dylan's music from the mid-60s is underrated in its role in the development of the bass guitar in rock. On a couple of songs there, like "It's all over now, baby blue" and "Desolation Row" the bass plays a melodic counterpoint role which was another bass voice to that which John Entwistle was working through with the Who. Put that together with what was coming from the Motown stable and you can see that the bass guitar was starting to carve out its own path.
I am leaning towards an opinion that vinyl records held bass back. Because of the grooves that had to be cut and if the speakers were too close, bouncing the needle. I think digital was one of the best things that happened to bass. But as with all things, now it is a bit over the top.

These last few years recording has given me an appreciation of bass.
 

dogooder

Well-known member
I am leaning towards an opinion that vinyl records held bass back. Because of the grooves that had to be cut and if the speakers were too close, bouncing the needle. I think digital was one of the best things that happened to bass. But as with all things, now it is a bit over the top.

These last few years recording has given me an appreciation of bass.
Bass and percussion, everything else is window dressing.
 

grimtraveller

If only for a moment.....
Bob Dylan was the first singer who couldn't sing
In his heyday, I really liked Dylan's voice. It was expressive and contrary to much opinion, when he was ready, he had a very tuneful voice. But one of the things I liked about him was that he wanted to do things on his own terms, rightly or wrongly. His albums from the mid-60s contain a useful combination of beautiful singing, fake accenting {only he could say "Rrrruuuurrrssse !" when he meant "Rose"}, near rapping in a White man's take-off of the Black preacher and scrawly neo-howling which lend themselves well to the variety that was coming in in that period. The Beatles had 4 vocalists. Dylan had 4 vocals !! :LOL:
I am leaning towards an opinion that vinyl records held bass back. Because of the grooves that had to be cut and if the speakers were too close, bouncing the needle
I think that is true of quite a few British albums as far as the 1960s was concerned. But in America, they seemed to have that problem sorted. British artists working in British studios were envious of the bass sounds that came off American records. But it pushed the Brits to find ways of developing the bass guitar sound themselves.
bouncing the needle
"Needle" is such a funny-looking word when you read it.
I think digital was one of the best things that happened to bass
I think digital was simply the next logical phase in recording. I think both the Brits and the Americans had the bass sussed long before there was digital recording.
I think that part of it was simply the newness of the bass guitar. It didn't exist prior to 1952 and even then, acoustic bass players, rather than take up the bass guitar, would rather use a pick-up and amp. Interestingly, it was the British bands that no one had ever heard of {including the Beatles in their pre~1962 incarnations} that really went for the bass guitar in their droves. But it wasn't regarded as anything to write home about. As Paul McCartney once put it, the bass was for the fat boy at the back. Their "bassist" Stuart Sutcliffe, couldn't really play the instrument but that didn't stop the band getting gigs. And when he left, they asked George Harrison if he'd take over bass and his reply was three steps north of "fuck off !"
The bass guitar being taken seriously took quite a long time. Jazz bassists tended to regard electric bassists as charlatans playing with toys, Phil Spector didn't really have much idea of what to do with bass guitars which is why they got doubled.
But gradually, they began to assume more importance, especially when Brian Wilson, the Motown guys {including Carol Kaye on occasion}, then the Who and others started to see that it was one of the parts of a band that could really alter how a song sounded and was a versatile instrument, more diverse than had been supposed when Leo Fender was making the first one.
I've long felt that studio engineers never really knew how to capture a definitive sort of bass sound until into the 70s, which is why so many of the bass tones of the 60s and early 70s are so varied and fantastic.
 

dogooder

Well-known member
Lets get one thing straight. I never said Bob Dylan was the first singer who couldn't sing.
"The bass player I was working with said Bob Dylan was the first singer who couldn't sing."
If you are going to quote me get it right.
 

DM60

Well-known member
I think that is true of quite a few British albums as far as the 1960s was concerned. But in America, they seemed to have that problem sorted. British artists working in British studios were envious of the bass sounds that came off American records. But it pushed the Brits to find ways of developing the bass guitar sound themselves.

"Needle" is such a funny-looking word when you read it.

I think digital was simply the next logical phase in recording. I think both the Brits and the Americans had the bass sussed long before there was digital recording.
I think that part of it was simply the newness of the bass guitar. It didn't exist prior to 1952 and even then, acoustic bass players, rather than take up the bass guitar, would rather use a pick-up and amp. Interestingly, it was the British bands that no one had ever heard of {including the Beatles in their pre~1962 incarnations} that really went for the bass guitar in their droves. But it wasn't regarded as anything to write home about. As Paul McCartney once put it, the bass was for the fat boy at the back. Their "bassist" Stuart Sutcliffe, couldn't really play the instrument but that didn't stop the band getting gigs. And when he left, they asked George Harrison if he'd take over bass and his reply was three steps north of "fuck off !"
The bass guitar being taken seriously took quite a long time. Jazz bassists tended to regard electric bassists as charlatans playing with toys, Phil Spector didn't really have much idea of what to do with bass guitars which is why they got doubled.
But gradually, they began to assume more importance, especially when Brian Wilson, the Motown guys {including Carol Kaye on occasion}, then the Who and others started to see that it was one of the parts of a band that could really alter how a song sounded and was a versatile instrument, more diverse than had been supposed when Leo Fender was making the first one.
I've long felt that studio engineers never really knew how to capture a definitive sort of bass sound until into the 70s, which is why so many of the bass tones of the 60s and early 70s are so varied and fantastic.
I think there is some validity in your statements. A couple of things between Brits and Europeans and Americans in the way they played records. When I lived/stationed in Europe in the late 70's, most of the people I knew had the single unit record players. Even the ones who had nicer ones had their speakers very close to the turntable. Plus the "flats" were very small. By American standards, European apartments were like closets. Which Europeans mostly didn't have ;)

Therefore, deep bass probably wasn't a priority in the mastering. Since part of mastering back then was cutting the vinyl aka master (I think we forget this when discussing mastering). But when digital came along, IMO, then bass could be more pronounced. 80's synths, EDM (Pump Up the Volume was released around 86), Hip Hop, Funk and it was on for the bass. While bass became more a part of the music in the later 60's and 70's, I think it was the 80's that began to bring it to the front. Heck, Bootsy Collins didn't get popular until the 90's, 2000s after remastering and people realize how important the bass is to the music. And Bootsy is a lead bass player (I had to write that as it sounds funny).

All of the above is pure opinion and can change at anytime. :)
 

Mick Doobie

Resist We Much
As Paul McCartney once put it, the bass was for the fat boy at the back. Their "bassist" Stuart Sutcliffe, couldn't really play the instrument but that didn't stop the band getting gigs. And when he left, they asked George Harrison if he'd take over bass and his reply was three steps north of "fuck off !"

Imagine if that would have happened, George taking over bass duties. The Beatles as we know them may have never been The Beatles. That's not to slight George. To the contrary, it's actually a compliment. That's not to slight Paul either, he was/is a decent guitar player, probably the most rounded musician of all The Fabs. But he's no George Harrison, with his Chest Atkins influence. Good songwriting is essential, but ultimately execution is the key. It arguably would have been a totally different band, different dynamic. They may have never made it, longevity, and history.

Dylan was a better singer than he let on. You can hear it in certain periods of his career, Knocking on Heaven's Door, Lay Lady Lay. Pretty voices were/are a dime a dozen. No doubt his delivery was influenced by the likes of Woody Guthrie. Interesting in the documentary Don't Look Back, the artists that caught his attention he said it was something in the eyes, it was like "they knew something you didn't". I think that was more of what he was shooting for, the narrator of the lyrical content rather than just another pretty voice.
 

DM60

Well-known member
Dylan was a better singer than he let on. You can hear it in certain periods of his career, Knocking on Heaven's Door, Lay Lady Lay. Pretty voices were/are a dime a dozen. No doubt his delivery was influenced by the likes of Woody Guthrie. Interesting in the documentary Don't Look Back, the artists that caught his attention he said it was something in the eyes, it was like "they knew something you didn't". I think that was more of what he was shooting for, the narrator of the lyrical content rather than just another pretty voice.
I think this is closer to reality. As you stated on the songs you mentioned, he was very melodic on those. Like Picasso, he knew how to paint, he was just showing us something different.
 

60's guy

Active member
I think that was more of what he was shooting for, the narrator of the lyrical content rather than just another pretty voice.
I agree. Bob Dylan was and still is a poet.
Born Robert Zimmerman, he adopted Dylan as his last name in honor of his (and my) favorite poet, Dylan Thomas.

Armed with a guitar, Bob Dylan could sing/narrate his poetry.

Every songwriter is a poet.
 
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