Soulful Detroit Archives - July 2004 Longevity and music Previous Next

Author Message
Top of pageBottom of page

Satipe (satipe)
3-Pundit
Username: satipe

Post Number: 31
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 66.185.84.74
Posted on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 6:40 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It is always so great to read about The Dells as they have been a group with only one change for fifty years; only illness and the death of Lawrence prevented The Four Tops from the same. The test of time was music and friendship.

I have read many comments here about how most groups or artists today do not last long as they are put together by producers, are pretty boys/girls, etc. (in my opinion, videos had a lot to do with this as talent took a back seat to looks). The music industry is failing because there is no longevity as a group is here today and gone tomorrow. Even if there is longevity, radio will not play older artists so it is a catch-22.

Music once shaped culture and now it shapes business. I will finish with these questions:

Could a talented group of ugly people make it today?

Who will SoulfulDetroiters be talking about twenty years from now?

Is longevity in music a thing of the past?
Top of pageBottom of page

Gil (gil)
4-Laureate
Username: gil

Post Number: 73
Registered: 5-2004
Posted From: 65.3.17.208
Posted on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 1:38 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hopefully, longevity isn't a thing of the past. But with all of the music companies merging and cutting budgets constantly, an act has to be very successful with every release to get the next one. If not, they get cut by the label.

Record companies today also don't look for anything original. They seem to just copycat whatever is hot at the time. Also, artist development seems to be a thing of the past. Companies deem it too expensive.

I'm sure some acts will have longevity, but they will begin to be few and very far between.

end of ramble.
Top of pageBottom of page

Brian T. (mrclemma)
3-Pundit
Username: mrclemma

Post Number: 62
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 63.164.145.198
Posted on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 3:06 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My answers to Satipe's questions:
1) Yes but they'd hire a couple of guys with names like, oh I don't know...Rob and Fab to be the figureheads.
2)Probably the same people we talk about now because today's artists don't seem to be very soulful. Most attempts at heart and soul today seemed forced and phoney.
3)I'm afraid so. As Gil said, the labels don't want to invest the money and the time into artist development. They prefer to grab the next silicone-breasted barely-pubescent pop-tart, have her bleat some soulless dance-friendly poptune and shit-can her before she finishes high-school, so they can move on to the next big thing.
Top of pageBottom of page

isaiah imani (isaiah)
1-Arriviste
Username: isaiah

Post Number: 2
Registered: 8-2004
Posted From: 64.12.116.138
Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 6:16 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Tim, I believe the Dells and Four Tops longevity is based more on their strong affinities for one another beyond the realm of their art... In short, they are just great friends(smile!) It cannot be based on business alone, because neither of these groups have had a hit record for more than a decade... The same is true of those other groups with great longevity, such as the O'Jays, the Spinners, and my favorite group, the Whispers...

In truth, the one-hit wonder has always been around in this industry, and the shelf life of more than 90% of the people in this business has been as long as their last hit record(s)... Some of the "newer" artists have been around a lot longer than many of the artists revered at this discussion forum, but these are not artists whom folk at this board listen to...

I think, also, many of us are wedded to an idea that has never existed in show business, that it is all about talent, no matter how one looks... Is Diana Ross more talented than Martha Reeves or Gladys Knight??? Beauty, and what is pleasing to the eye, is such a subjective thing anyway... I have read at this board, for example, kmuckleheaded negative comments about Gladys Knight's appearance, as opposed to say, Freda Payne... Didn't matter that Gladys could sing Freda and Jean Terrell under the table, and did at every turn...

Believe it or not, Tim, R. Kelly doesn't have Jackie Wilson beat in the looks department, but he's definitely as talented, if not moreso... More hit records in 2 years than Jackie had over his lifetime, regardless of what some old folks at this board think about him - including me... So what is this longevity about which you speak??? Is it the real thang, or is it just a figment of our imaginations???(smile!) Please explain...

Peace!
Isaiah
Top of pageBottom of page

Gil (gil)
4-Laureate
Username: gil

Post Number: 92
Registered: 5-2004
Posted From: 68.19.57.247
Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 9:51 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Four Tops, Dells, Temptations, and especially The Supremes were all successful due to artist development.

Remember, the Supremes were known as the "no-hit" Supremes before "Where Did Our Love Go" finally broke them. If they were out today, they would have been RELEASED from their contract after their first flop...if they were even lucky enough to get to that first flop.

Acts in the past were allowed to learn and grow (develop). This DOES NOT happen in today's industry. It is all about the immediate BOTTOM LINE! R. Kelly is definitely successful. He is definitely talented. But if that first record with Public Announcement would have tanked. We would not know him as we do today.

New acts can have every major label bidding for them, only to find themselves canned BEFORE their first record is released. A perceived change in the music climate can have a debut album permanently shelved. It happens on a regular basis.

As I've said, the R. Kellys will continue to happen, but they will be fewer and a lot farther between.

end of tirade
Top of pageBottom of page

Chi Drummer (chidrummer)
4-Laureate
Username: chidrummer

Post Number: 91
Registered: 5-2004
Posted From: 24.15.230.119
Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 3:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Aren't Longevity and the Music business mutually exclusive terms?

Maybe not. I've often thought of the business the same way I think of pro sports. The industry is not set up for most people to be at the top levels for very long. Most pro athletes are in the big show for less than 5 years. It seems to me that even really good acts only have the masses attention for about 5 years before either styles/tastes move on or the act has pretty much run out of things to say. I think Isaiah's observations are correct.

In this way, I would make the argument that music still shapes the culture. You need only look at the fact that it's now OK to use HipHop tracks in main stream commericals (JC Penny has a great one out now).

The aspiring artist of today has to development themselves. I think the Rap community knows this. I see it in the sheer number of independant operations out there. Once an act proves it can sell alot of product on its own a major label will pick them up and basically act as superdistributor.

Can ugly people sell records? Quick, name a good looking rapper. See, it's not easy is it?

the SDF of tomorrow will be complaining about these new upstarts who don't know how to write a decent lyric they haven't heard before. They'll bitch about the verses not rhyming anymore and how come these young people are too decedent or prim & proper.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
Top of pageBottom of page

Destruction (destruction)
5-Doyen
Username: destruction

Post Number: 264
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 199.173.224.23
Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 8:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The term "longevity" itself no longer means what it used to. We live in "Internet" time now. Instead of days or weeks between letters...it's minutes between email. Instead of years on the chitlin circuit...insult a talent show judge and weeks later, you've got a hit CD. Well maybe not a hit, but a hot selling one nonetheless.

Ike, sniff sniff, dude is it really u....lol?
Top of pageBottom of page

Lady Mystique (ladymystique)
6-Zenith
Username: ladymystique

Post Number: 518
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 216.37.228.252
Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 8:20 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

A lot of these groups, etc. don't have the qualities that help them achieve longevity. I mean, these people get millions offered to them and they don't even have to audition! I find that messed up...I mean, what happened to those days of competing to be the best...now all you have to do is sing half way, show skin, and you have a deal. :-(

I would love to run the A&R departments of some of these labels! Not to toot my own horn, but things would be different! :-)
Top of pageBottom of page

Gil (gil)
4-Laureate
Username: gil

Post Number: 97
Registered: 5-2004
Posted From: 68.19.57.247
Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 8:46 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I see ChiDrummer's point and agree with it. But others are thinking that what happened in the past in the industry can happen today. It's a totally different environment.

Add Your Message Here
Posting is currently disabled in this topic. Contact your discussion moderator for more information.