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Bowie, genius or not...
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Lawrence
9525 posts

Re: Bowie, genius or not...
Jul 27, 2010, 20:35
zphage wrote:


Good point, about bringing in the avant garde, but Bowie only really did that on Low, Heroes, Lodger, and Scary. Prior to that he was a tad derivative: pop, folk, soul, dance, hard rock, etc.

Bjork has been able to be adventureous from the get go, partly being exotic and female. Non convetional song forms, not guitar centric, and because of technology she has been able to approach sound purely for textures and rhythms: tonal/atonal/rhythmic/arrhythmic


I thought the Man Who Sold the World was pretty weird for something from 1970. And his lyrics were heavily inspired by William Burroughs amongst other avant garde writers...
vince
vince
1628 posts

Re: Bowie, genius or not...
Jul 27, 2010, 20:48
It also takes some genius to pull together all of those collaborators and make it work.

Even The Beatles were only ever at their best when they worked together.('tho McCartney came close, just the once, when he worked with Costello).

You only have to listen to the drivel that Coldplay & U2 come up with to see that Eno is also only as good as the people he collaborates with...
Hunter T Wolfe
Hunter T Wolfe
1601 posts

Re: Bowie, genius or not...
Jul 27, 2010, 21:14
Bowie's great. Definitely not over-rated. I hesitate to use the term 'genius', but then I'd hesitate to use that term about anyone in rock n' roll.

Apart from everything else that's been mentioned, he has an incredible voice: for me he's one of the best and most distinctive singers / vocal stylists in the game. That's the main thing.

He's a showbiz trouper and a visionary artist. He bought a multimedia approach to pop and rock, balanced the experimental with the commercial, wrote and performed an incredible run of albums in a relatively short space of time and chose his collaborators and facilitators well.

If he borrowed from many sources, then many more have borrowed from him in turn. His influence equals or outweighs the degree to which he was influenced by others. And lets not forget that Bowie's adoption of The Velvet Underground, Iggy Pop, Kraftwerk etc helped bring those artists to a wider audience.

Personally, he remains a fairly central pivot on which the rest of my musical universe turns.
Lord Lucan
Lord Lucan
2702 posts

Re: Bowie, genius or not...
Jul 27, 2010, 21:52
I agree. All his albums previous to the Berlin lot have got touches of sonic weirdness and avant-garde leanings in there to differing degrees, as well as self-conscious references to leftfield interests in the lyrics.
anthonyqkiernan
anthonyqkiernan
7084 posts

Edited Jul 27, 2010, 21:56
Re: Bowie, genius or not...
Jul 27, 2010, 21:56
Lord Lucan (with AQK's emphasis) wrote:
when you consider how few...match him for quality

Probably the most important point in this thread: His records are bloody good.
Carlos
Carlos
3842 posts

Re: Bowie, genius or not...
Jul 27, 2010, 22:23
Good description, if I may say so. And all the things you mention is what makes him a genius!
Carlos
Carlos
3842 posts

Re: Bowie, genius or not...
Jul 27, 2010, 22:27
Your words are my words!
IanB
IanB
6761 posts

Edited Jul 28, 2010, 11:18
Re: Bowie, genius or not...
Jul 28, 2010, 08:49
Hunter T Wolfe wrote:
Bowie's great. Definitely not over-rated. I hesitate to use the term 'genius', but then I'd hesitate to use that term about anyone in rock n' roll.


Well said. Genuis is over used in rock n roll criticism as a noun. As an adjective it is perfectly acceptable!
Vybik Jon
Vybik Jon
7701 posts

Re: Bowie, genius or not...
Jul 28, 2010, 10:40
You don't like him then?
Vybik Jon
Vybik Jon
7701 posts

Edited Jul 28, 2010, 10:45
Re: Bowie, genius or not...
Jul 28, 2010, 10:45
The Free Dictionary:

Genius

1.
a. Extraordinary intellectual and creative power.
b. A person of extraordinary intellect and talent: "One is not born a genius, one becomes a genius" (Simone de Beauvoir).
c. A person who has an exceptionally high intelligence quotient, typically above 140.

2.
a. A strong natural talent, aptitude, or inclination: has a genius for choosing the right words.
b. One who has such a talent or inclination: a genius at diplomacy.

3. The prevailing spirit or distinctive character, as of a place, a person, or an era: the genius of Elizabethan England.

4. Roman Mythology A tutelary deity or guardian spirit of a person or place.

5. A person who has great influence over another.

6. A jinni in Muslim mythology.

A strong argument could be made that Bowie does meet a lot of the definitions there, though I think number 6 is the clincher.
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