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 How soft rock got cool
Author: Michael Toland 
Date:   10-27-17 12:24

I don't know if I agree with the headline's premise, but I will say I'm hearing not only a lot of indie rock but a lot of outsider R&B (think Thundercat) drawing from this music.

From the Guardian.

My question is: how do bands like Everything But the Girl, Prefab Sprout and Swing Out Sister fit into this? Since this is a story in the Guardian, I thought they might address that.

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 Re: How soft rock got cool
Author: mats84 
Date:   10-27-17 17:48


It's tempting to say mostly bad music (except for Steely Dan notably) eventually will come back in style based on that article.

I think Everything But the Girl, Prefab Sprout and Swing Out Sister owe some of their style to Balearic and New Order's Technique (even if they predate it). That was a crucial record that I remember striking a lot of these same feelings. That might be the hipster tipping point at that time except now its been replaced by a possible smirking self awareness added in.

The "sophistication" part of it is troubling to me because its almost as if your drawn to something you're not - as opposed to punk rock expressing something you genuinely feel.............but that's a very Rockist thing to say I suppose.




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 Re: How soft rock got cool
Author: Delvin 
Date:   10-27-17 19:05

From the article:

> And there is an entire US radio station dedicated to "smooth-sailing soft rock from
> the late 70s and early 80s ... The kind of rock that doesn't rock the boat!"

I realize that almost nobody wants to hear hard, fast, energetic music all the time. (I certainly don't turn up my nose at Steely Dan, though I'll never pay to see them live again. And I don't really dislike Michael McDonald.) I'm certainly aware that punk is not everyone's ideal of rock. And of course, for a lot of people, those yacht/soft-rock songs are the soundtrack to their high-school years ... and I have to remind myself that not everyone shuns such reminders. And, true confession: I'm going to see Al Stewart in two weeks.

All of that aside ... a tag-line like the one above fills me with the urge to go to that station and slap the shit out of the DJ on the air.



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 Re: How soft rock got cool
Author: steevee 
Date:   10-28-17 01:16

I think Steely Dan and RUMOURS-era Fleetwood Mac were legitimately great bands, and if anyone thinks Steely Dan's music was an escape from '70s reality, they didn't listen very hard to the words. Even Mac songs like "Dreams" and "Go Your Own Way" have an edge that wasn't apparent at the time - they were written by musicians who had to spend an awful lot of time working and traveling with former lovers they pretty much hated. As I grow older, it seems increasingly apparent to me that the punk rulebook about what's cool to like was just as blinkered as the hippie rulebook - or rather, it made sense for 18-year-olds in 1977 but doesn't make sense for me as a 45-year-old in 2017. But I'm not really interested in Loggins & McDonald beyond their collaboration with Thundercat, and the best thing Daryl Hall did was his solo album produced by Robert Fripp, SACRED SONGS, and providing a sample source for De La Soul's "Say No Go." At the same time, I don't hate McDonald or. Hall & Oates either, but I'm not interested in yacht-rock crate-digging.

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 Re: How soft rock got cool
Author: Post-Punk Monk 
Date:   10-28-17 09:15

“People thought having to listen to my music was like having to swallow dish detergent” - Michael McDonald

I'd say that Michael McDonald is smarter than I ever gave him credit for! Some people still think that! I gladly fess up!

Except for Steely Dan, who had jazz chops and proto-punk brains, all of that 70s slop stinks to my ears! It was decadent and slack to me. Fleetwood Mac and The Doobie Brothers were galling to me then…and especially so 40 years later!!

There was a huge difference between UK 80s bands like EBTG, Prefab Sprout and Swing Out Sister and those 70s clowns because the latter were drawing from a 60s MOR/Jimmy Webb/Bacharach/David template that was - crucially - absolutely unhip in the "hip" 70s period where the likes of The Mac established dominance. The 70s was a decade where taste and class were sent packing. It still is to me. There was great music in the 70s… some of the best ever [Roxy, Bowie, Krautrock, Punk, Post-Punk], but it was largely in the margins. Musical cream definitely did not rise to the top; at least in America, where Roxy Music was a footnote and even Bowie's best work was practically unknown at the time.

Former TP subscriber [81, 82, 83, 84]

https://postpunkmonk.com
For further rumination on the Fresh New Sound of Yesterday®

Post Edited (10-28-17 09:20)

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 Re: How soft rock got misspelled
Author: Paganizer 
Date:   10-29-17 05:56

Fleetwood and Doobies were the perennial examples of anti-TP. The ones that make me run for skatepunk. I've since come to appreciate Buckingham's chops and Johnston's arrangement skills. But I can't even type the other guy's name.

Likewise there are elements of Steely Dan I appreciate today. But to actually listen to any of them...

But the thing I like to point out about '70s chart fodder; in the first years of the decade, hard rock charted as well as goofy greats like Troglodyte. You could turn on AM and get a real mixed bag.

tldr=
Life is too precious/skatepunk at heart





edit::execrable & egregious spelling



Post Edited (10-29-17 05:58)

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 Re: How soft rock got misspelled
Author: Post-Punk Monk 
Date:   10-30-17 08:31

Ooooh. "Troglodyte!" Now there's a record that my seven year old self just loved. I still own the 45!

Former TP subscriber [81, 82, 83, 84]

https://postpunkmonk.com
For further rumination on the Fresh New Sound of Yesterday®

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 Re: How soft rock got cool
Author: jothoma 
Date:   11-01-17 18:51

I was born in 1969 so my early years as a kid were spent sitting in my room playing with legos and listening to AM radio. I remember, at age 6, telling my dad my favorite song in the world was "Hotline" by the Sylvers. I had a steady stream of Doobies, Loggins-Messina, Steely Dan and America, et al. all through my adolescent years.

Around age 11 and 12 stuff like Blondie, OMD, Devo, Stray Cats and MTV hit videos from Duran Duran, Human League and Naked Eyes were added to the mix. I didn't live in a hip town so the primary delivery method was still what was on the Radio.

At age 16 I got a job and started buying records. A buddy of mine recommended "The Head on the Door" by the Cure and it literally cracked my brain. I went out and bought the "Trouser Press Guide to New Wave Records" and started educating myself on the music that didn't get played on local radio.

Now that I am on the back end of 40 I find myself revisiting the so called "Yacht Rock" stations on Spotify from time to time. I completely realize that it is total nostalgia for the innocence of youth. I am boggled that I still know the words to songs I haven't heard in 40 years.

I still prefer The Cure to Michael McDonald but every once in a while it's a nice place to visit and I still find this song damn catchy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErU8Lo2WcO4

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 Re: How soft is your rock
Author: hoip chiggs 
Date:   11-01-17 18:55

Pretty soft.

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 Re: How soft rock got cool
Author: BCE 
Date:   11-01-17 21:06

Actually, with regard to Swing Out Sister - aren't they still fairly popular in Japan? They are pretty much relegated to "one hit wonder" status in the U.S. and U.K., but they still record and tour on a lot of new music that still gets decent distribution elsewhere.

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 Re: How soft rock got cool
Author: Post-Punk Monk 
Date:   11-08-17 08:34

Actually, the US and Japan are their primary markets. When I saw them in 1993 in Atlanta at the Variety Playhouse in Little Five Points, I was surprised to see that half the audience was African American, and they had the Japanese import CDs to get autographed the same as me. They still manage to occasionally tour here every now and then but I've not had the pleasure in a long time.

Former TP subscriber [81, 82, 83, 84]

https://postpunkmonk.com
For further rumination on the Fresh New Sound of Yesterday®

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