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Thread started 08/24/18 8:51am

JoeBala

TTD/Sananda Maitreya – Symphony Or Damn 25th Anniversary + Interview

Interview & 20/20 Review: Sananda Maitreya – Symphony Or Damn

SymphonyOrDamn.jpg

One of my absolute favorite records of the 90’s was Symphony or Damn by Sananda Maitreya, then know as Terence Trent D’arby. This year is the 25th anniversary of that brilliant album.

It’s the kind of album that had it all for music fans. It had the hard edge of She Kissed Me but the gentleness of Delicate, which features a beautiful duet with Des’ree. If you wanted to dance it had the body moving, Do You Love Me like You Say, but it also had the piano driven Let Her Down Easy.

In this business you’re lucky when you get what I like to call “a front to back” album. An album that is one that I can honestly listen to from beginning to end. Symphony is most definitely this, for me.

Sananda, born in Manhattan, now resides in Milan, Italy. I had the opportunity to correspond with Sananda and ask him questions regarding Symphony as well as his current projects. He has not slowed down in any way, shape or form. He has been busy creating music, touring and enjoying his family!

SoundVapors: Symphony or Damn is such a special album. Do you have any memories you can share about the recording of it?

Sananda Maitreya: It was a very heady time. I was coming off of my disappointment in my record company having failed to embrace ‘Neither Fish Nor Flesh’ as the leap forward that I felt it was.

It wound up influencing a lot of artists and genre’s (including ‘Alternative’ & ‘Grunge’ as well as what was later to be called ‘Neo-Soul’), and played a role in the very early establishment of Alternative Radio in America. But I still couldn’t fire up the Record Company at the time to do more for it than they did.

In that light, I recall spending A LOT of time with friends in FLORENCE, ITALY soothing my wounds because the PRESS had turned on me as well, and I needed another space to lick my sores with people who knew how to help me heal. The Italians are great at this.

So many of the SONGS for ‘Symphony Or Damn’ came to me while hanging out in
Florence & Rome. I was seeing a Countess at the time who came from a very old family
long known for their patronage of the Arts. And I was visiting lots of museums & partying with good people. This journey produced a lot of songs, which I commenced to begin recording once I got back on my feet & moved to California, where I recorded it in my house in the Hollywood Hills with a great young engineer from Australia, named CRAIG PORTEILS.

I recall that recording it was pretty easy & a lot of fun. I was free to do whatever I wanted to do, and being able to roll out of bed in the mornings and STRAIGHT into the
Studio was like living in Paradise. And I felt no pressure to follow up the previous album.

It all felt like a dream.

SV: How long did the recording process take?

SM: I suspect that it took about 2 months top to bottom.

Sananda_Maitreya_PP_2017_021.jpgphotos by Michela Zizzari for TreeHouse Publishing

SV: The mix is superb and makes me wish more records were mixed like that today. Were you involved in the mixing process?

SM: Thank You. My Engineer CRAIG PORTEILS & I were very much involved in the mix.
It was a special time in the transition of music. I am always involved in the mixing of any of my work, it is a very big PART of my work.

SV: How long did it take you to write it? Were there any songs that were completed sort of on the fly?

SM: As previously stated, it took root mainly from my travels the year before to Florence
& Rome Italy where I spent a great deal of time with friends hanging out. Most of the songs were already written by the time I began recording. A few of course were written AFTER the recording began. In fact ‘LET HER DOWN EASY’ was written WHILE Craig PORTEILS & I were Mixing the album in Sunset Sound in Los Angeles. I went back to my house to write it & 2 hours later we had a recording.

I then went to LONDON to Master it with MARK ‘SPIKE’ STENT, who was a WIZARD of whom I am proud to say I’ve worked with.

SV: I love the entire album and listen to it front to back. But if I had to list a Top 3 song list I would list: Castilian Blue, She Kissed Me and Penelope Please. Do you have 3 or 4 songs that really stand out for you? (note: as I write that top 3 I’m remorseful to not put Do You Love Me Like You Say and Seasons)

SM: I am always loathe to choose tracks since they all meet their logic with me.

Perhaps for EMOTIONAL reasons several songs stand out because they were tied to special stories. The OTHER Songs I came up with in America were ‘Frankie & Johnny’ because I was asked by the film of that name for a TITLE SONG, which was a great honor & ‘ She Kissed Me’, which was originally written because my publisher had asked for a song for a new GIRL GROUP they were sponsoring. I wrote it and did the demo in a day, brought it back to him and he said to me: “No, This Is Too Cool, You’ve Gotta Keep It”. So I changed the title of it from ‘He Kissed Me’ to what it is now, re-recorded a few pieces and the rest is on the Record!

Sananda_Maitreya_PP_2017_001.jpgphotos by Michela Zizzari for TreeHouse Publishing

SV: There seems to be some personal experiences throughout the album. Is there any one song that is very personal to you and why?

SM: There were a batch of songs I wrote while living in Florence the previous year that all have a very powerful attachment to my memories. I remember spending a lot of time listening to the ‘Stone Roses’ and writing tons of songs. It would be difficult for me to separate one memory from another. It was a very special time. I was young and growing up fast. There were many ‘APEX’ moments.

SV: Are there any un-released songs from that session?

SM: I am sure that there are. One day I may even search for them. Meanwhile THIS LIFE
consumes my attention much more.

SV: You are a talented multi-instrumentalist. Outside of singing, do you have a favorite instrument to play?

SM: Again, thank you for your kindness & generous ear.
I am blessed to play the instruments I play and LOVE being able to make music with ANYTHING. But IF I’d be forced to choose just one, I would say GUITAR because it was my biological father’s favorite instrument. It was HIS desire to be a Rock & Roll guitarist that I carry with me today. He passed his legacy on to me & I LOVE that it is a unifying bonding thing between me and a father I never knew.

SV: I listened to Prometheus & Pandora a while back liked it right away. Can you give us some background on the title of the album?

SM: ‘PROMETHEUS & PANDORA’ was born out of the previous projects that preceded it,
it completes a ‘Quartology’ that begins with ‘The Sphinx’. It was meant to be the ‘Reconciliation’ project after ‘The Rise Of The Zugebrian Time Lords’.
Prometheus as the one who was cast down from Heaven and gave fire to man
and who facilitated Pandora being raised from the Clay, as the first woman.

It starts to sink into the narrative the more it is absorbed.

SV: There’s so much material! How long did it take to record all of these songs?

SM: All In All, it took about 6 months to record it mix it & about another few weeks to Master it. I record in my own studio, so I can set my own pace and get a lot of work done.

SV: Can you talk about versions that are Pegasus, Prometheus and Pandora versions? What is the overall concept?

SM: Each CD/Volume has its own thematic space. Such as does the Positive Force, the Negative Force & the Neutralizing. Prometheus is the MASCULINE Principle in Action, Pandora the FEMININE,
& Pegasus the RECONCILING, MEDIATING force. Since Pegasus choose mainly to remain silent, he was given most of the ‘Instrumentals’ which is meant to be a ‘Chill-Out’ kind of space before the hurricane that is Pandora.

SV: Your vocals are solid as usual. On a song like Mid Life Crisis Blues you really seem to push your voice and give your fans that classic tone. How long does is generally take to lay down vocals for a song like that?

SM: I allocate the same amount of time to every song in the sessions. After about 3 takes I should have every thing I need. We don’t normally spend (by ‘We’, I mean myself and engineer ‘Matteo Sandri’), more than an hour after we get up & rolling.
Often to warm up my voice I will begin with the backing vocals first.

SV: Are you planning on releasing future albums?

SM: If all goes according to plan and God’s Willing my next project will be ‘PANDORA’S PLAYHOUSE’. Whereby I finish portions of Pandora’s journey & perspective through various filters. I’ve already got some songs lined up.
It should be fun! As long as I have ideas to work with AND a place to work comfortably at my own pace,I will be predisposed to making records. IT IS WHAT I WAS TRAINED TO DO, WRITE SONGS & Record them.

SV: Do live exclusively in Italy or do you also come back to the States?

SM: I have lived exclusively in Milan Italy since returning to Europe in 2001.
I live with my wife Francesca & Our 2 Sons. Life is a little less crazy here & has always been a culture supportive of the arts. As an artist I feel at home.

SV: Can you give a message to your fans about the past, present and future?

SM: The Message Is This: ‘IT AIN’T ALWAYS WHAT YOU THINK IT IS, BUT IT
IS WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE’. Go In Peace, & Much Gratitude,
Sananda!

Just Music-No Categories-Enjoy It!
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Reply #1 posted 08/24/18 10:13am

luvsexy4all

one of the best albums of the 90's

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Reply #2 posted 08/24/18 10:39am

JoeBala

luvsexy4all said:

one of the best albums of the 90's

I agree, although released in 89 I favor the Neither Fish Nor Flesh alot more.

Would be great to get outtakes from those sessions.

Neither Fish Nor Flesh

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Reply #3 posted 08/24/18 9:24pm

mynameisnotsus
an

I probably like it the least of his first four albums - might have to give it a spin because I haven't listened to it for probably 20 years.
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Reply #4 posted 08/25/18 8:14am

NorthC

It's pretty good, although I don't agree with the writer that it's a "front to back" album. But that was something that happened when the CD was invented: albums became longer and longer. Before, 70 minutes was a double LP and that was an exception, but with CDs, it became the rule and 70 minutes, that's a lot.
I may disagree with everything you say, but I will defend your right to say it.
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Reply #5 posted 08/25/18 9:03am

nextedition

avatar

I listened to this album a lot, i think if he would had released this as a second album, he would have been way more succesful. Its kinda experimental, but still easy to listen to. The fist three songs really rock it. And of course...Let her down easy. What a song. There are no filler here, althoug it is pretty long.

He really lost me after this album. Think he tries to hard to be different.

Sometimes its really weird to me that people with such talent and oppertunities really get lost.

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Reply #6 posted 08/25/18 5:08pm

mynameisnotsus
an

NorthC said:

It's pretty good, although I don't agree with the writer that it's a "front to back" album. But that was something that happened when the CD was invented: albums became longer and longer. Before, 70 minutes was a double LP and that was an exception, but with CDs, it became the rule and 70 minutes, that's a lot.


:nod: P and MJ both got trapped in the false 'longer-is-better' format. Symphony or Damn is at least a couple songs too long. I prefer Vibrator - that is a great front to back album.
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Reply #7 posted 08/27/18 1:32am

PeteSilas

his triumverate of hardline/NFNF/SOD all deserve accolades, my own opinion was Hardline was the greatest debut ever, NFNF was leaps and bounds beyond that but it wasn't quite as accessible even with the traditional soul of songs like "To love someone deeply is to love someone softly" but SOD is the last great concept album. Some people here even, Prince fans have said that that album was better than what he was doing at the time (maybe true).

JoeBala said:

luvsexy4all said:

one of the best albums of the 90's

I agree, although released in 89 I favor the Neither Fish Nor Flesh alot more.

Would be great to get outtakes from those sessions.

Neither Fish Nor Flesh

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
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Reply #8 posted 08/27/18 2:49pm

databank

avatar

nextedition said:

I listened to this album a lot, i think if he would had released this as a second album, he would have been way more succesful. Its kinda experimental, but still easy to listen to. The fist three songs really rock it. And of course...Let her down easy. What a song. There are no filler here, althoug it is pretty long.

He really lost me after this album. Think he tries to hard to be different.

Sometimes its really weird to me that people with such talent and oppertunities really get lost.

To be honest Sananda didn't really "get lost": he's been living off his royalties and occasional live shows for 25 years, he's married to a gorgeous woman, he's totally free to record whatever he wants in his home studio and release anything whenever he wants (and he does release albums every other year or so), he can tour pretty easily and he still has a core audience of fans who follow him faithfully. He's often bitter in interviews because he could, and it could be argued should, have been a major star beyond his early years, and I guess when you reach superstardom at 25 it's hard to not see life fulfill your expectations, but the degree of material comfort and artistic freedom he enjoys is what many a professional musician would dream of.

.

Symphony Or Damn (as well as his second and third records) were awesome records that the label certainly could have pushed more, but they were maybe too sophisticated for mainstream audiences. What TTD was doing in the 90's wasn't too different from what Lenny was doing: black rock with a 70's vibe, only Lenny kept it much more accessible. Fish/Flesh, Symphony Or Damn and Vibrator are dark, tortured records, with deep, instrospective (quite literary in fact) lyrics. I remember at the time people my age (late teens) tripped on Kravitz but TTD was a downer to them, they just didn't get it. Those records were ambitious, and I don't remember the reviews but I hope they were good because they're damn masterpieces, but they weren't easy to sell. On the otehr hand, whomever enjoyed them back then still remembers them foundly after 25 years.

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
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Reply #9 posted 08/27/18 2:55pm

NorthC

He can tour pretty easily? I wish he would. This year, he played in Italy three times and that's about it.
I may disagree with everything you say, but I will defend your right to say it.
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Reply #10 posted 08/27/18 3:00pm

databank

avatar

NorthC said:

He can tour pretty easily? I wish he would. This year, he played in Italy three times and that's about it.

Is it that he can't or that he won't, though?

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
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Reply #11 posted 08/27/18 3:03pm

PeteSilas

reviews for NFNF were generally good but mixed, alot of people called it pretentious, SOD got rave reviews. I don't think it was just him not being pushed enough, right around that time, hip hop and grunge were changing music. overnight, the style and flashiness of the 80's performers was gone, replaced by idiots with green, scraggly hair, plaid shirts and heroin addictions. All the 80's guys had problems in 92 or so, when the changes really started getting underway. Springsteen released two of my least favorite bruce albums and tried to change his image from the plaid shirts and jeans to some kind of nuevo gypsy type of thing, criticizing his former attire with the singing about being a rich man in a poor man's shirt. they bombed, bad, MJ was famously knocked off the numero uno by nirvana and Prince was embarking on his long battle with wb after his first album after the big contract failed to sell enough, even with his concessions to hip hop. hard to say with Terence, his audience wasn't that established like the others so he had a helluva time, even though his work was probably the best.

databank said:

nextedition said:

I listened to this album a lot, i think if he would had released this as a second album, he would have been way more succesful. Its kinda experimental, but still easy to listen to. The fist three songs really rock it. And of course...Let her down easy. What a song. There are no filler here, althoug it is pretty long.

He really lost me after this album. Think he tries to hard to be different.

Sometimes its really weird to me that people with such talent and oppertunities really get lost.

To be honest Sananda didn't really "get lost": he's been living off his royalties and occasional live shows for 25 years, he's married to a gorgeous woman, he's totally free to record whatever he wants in his home studio and release anything whenever he wants (and he does release albums every other year or so), he can tour pretty easily and he still has a core audience of fans who follow him faithfully. He's often bitter in interviews because he could, and it could be argued should, have been a major star beyond his early years, and I guess when you reach superstardom at 25 it's hard to not see life fulfill your expectations, but the degree of material comfort and artistic freedom he enjoys is what many a professional musician would dream of.

.

Symphony Or Damn (as well as his second and third records) were awesome records that the label certainly could have pushed more, but they were maybe too sophisticated for mainstream audiences. What TTD was doing in the 90's wasn't too different from what Lenny was doing: black rock with a 70's vibe, only Lenny kept it much more accessible. Fish/Flesh, Symphony Or Damn and Vibrator are dark, tortured records, with deep, instrospective (quite literary in fact) lyrics. I remember at the time people my age (late teens) tripped on Kravitz but TTD was a downer to them, they just didn't get it. Those records were ambitious, and I don't remember the reviews but I hope they were good because they're damn masterpieces, but they weren't easy to sell. On the otehr hand, whomever enjoyed them back then still remembers them foundly after 25 years.

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
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Reply #12 posted 08/27/18 3:37pm

MickyDolenz

PeteSilas said:

right around that time, hip hop and grunge were changing music. overnight, the style and flashiness of the 80's performers was gone, replaced by idiots with green, scraggly hair, plaid shirts and heroin addictions. MJ was famously knocked off the numero uno by nirvana

The idea that grunge took over music in the 1990s and killed everything else is false. The same time grunge was popular, so was Ace Of Base, the Bodyguard Soundtrack, Celine Dion, Hootie & The Blowfish, Kenny G, C+C Music Factory, 2 Unlimited, Spin Doctors, Garth Brooks, Shania Twain, Billy Ray Cyrus, Boyz II Men, Mariah Carey, etc. Even Bon Jovi, U2, Aerosmith, & Van Hagar were still popular in the mid 1990s. Here is the Top 50 albums on the Billboard 200 for June 12, 1993, which is around 2 years after Nevermind. The only acts that could be related to Nirvana are Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, & maybe Primus.

https://78.media.tumblr.com/655c04ba3be0a54df4ed2b6c0f28f522/tumblr_p8jhabhsct1rw606ko1_1280.jpg

This is the chart the following week after Nirvana replaced Michael's Dangerous at #1. Garth Brooks is # 1. Garth has 2 albums in the top 20. Mike is at #2 and Nirvana dropped down to #4. I'd say more people are into Michael Bolton & Natalie Cole's duets album with her father than grunge. I listened to the radio then too, and I remember stuff like Right Said Fred, Scatman, Counting Crows, and dance music artists like Crystal Waters, Cathy Dennis, & Black Box getting a lot of airplay too. The rock press made grunge more popular than it really was, writing about it long after it was dead. The popularity of grunge didn't last that long, even glam metal was mainstream popular longer. It was hip hop that had the longevity.

iPyj90K.png

For 75 years straight, the #1 genre in music, selling wise, was rock n' roll worldwide. Last year (2017) in June, it got de-crowned by hip hop. Hip hop is the #1 genre. It's hip hop - rock - country - pop or pop - country. ~ Pras
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Reply #13 posted 08/27/18 3:51pm

PeteSilas

grunge or alternative definitely made everything else seem uncool for awhile. i think alot of that won't be reflected in the charts either, i knew a lot of musicians who always seemed to like nothing but the small time acts, not what the majors shoved down everyone's throats. I never liked grunge or hip hop, grunge, because it wasn't really anything other than rock and roll dressed down, didn't have the longevity because it was really a subgenre not a whole new category. People said the same thing of the minneapolis sound but really, any sound that is that influenced by what came before is destined to just be incorporated into the next things. I think it's still safe to say that overnight, the biggest stars, the "hot" guys were Nirvana's etc.., You're mentioning all these also rans but they weren't the guys of that time, Nirvana, NIN, Pearl Jam and an array of smaller bands like soundgarden was the hot thing.Hip Hop was radically different from just about any american music, didn't have melody to speak of, often was totally unoriginal with the samples. I've never been sold on it either, guys that can't even carry a tune are suddenly bigger stars than guys like TTD and Prince. Kids are kids though, they are the ones with time to worship these idiots (just as you or i probably was when we were young), the record companies took advantage of hip hop the same way early rock did, by creating the juvenile,violent delinquent, that only sells because young men are stupid, insecure, want to be omnipotent and stupid girls have some kind of attraction for that, probably partly evolutionary but could be just because they want someone who's going to give them drama. At any rate, TTD was late with the refinement of Prince and Michael, the look, the clothes, he had not established his base like the other two. Prince had fans who'd follow him to hell and back, Michael would probably never sell below 5 mill in his lifetime by that point, Invincible was torn apart, i'd be interested to see what the sales for that were at the time.

[Edited 8/27/18 15:54pm]

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
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Reply #14 posted 08/27/18 4:00pm

PeteSilas

also, hate to mention it but TTD's biggest enemy might have been himself, not everyone likes big mouth rockstars. He copied ali, but people went to see ali in equal parts to watch him win and hoping he would lose. with a rockstar, they just will change the channell or not buy your record. Maybe if he could have dropped the semantics after the first album, that's another thing, grunge, sold as an antidote to all the overblown personalities and antics of the 80's guys, even though they were just as phoney and pretentious with their poor boy, fucked up, "angst" ridden act. It was a backlash to the MJ's, Prince's, Guns'and roses, George Michaels and let's not forget that people were getting real tired of obviously phoney acts like new kids, paula adbul, milli vanilli, it was all part backlash. SODS' failure was certainly not because the music wasn't brilliant, no one wanted to give it a chance. as far as rumours that he was sabotaged by mj, i believe that if people really want to hear you, they will get ahold of your stuff no matter waht.

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
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Reply #15 posted 08/27/18 4:30pm

MickyDolenz

PeteSilas said:

You're mentioning all these also rans but they weren't the guys of that time, Nirvana, NIN, Pearl Jam and an array of smaller bands like soundgarden was the hot thing.

Garth Brooks outsold all of those acts in the 1990s, so he was hotter than they are. He's the only act to have 7 diamond albums. Neither The Beatles or Michael Jackson can say that. Garth, Brooks & Dunn, Shania Twain & the Dixie Chicks are probably the main reason country music became mainstream popular. They were the first to really get huge blockbuster sales like pop & rock acts. It started with Kenny Rogers in the late 1970s and the Urban Cowboy movie. Country is still big today in the US unlike grunge. A lot of people don't realize that the heartland is a big buying audience and they're less likely to be into grunge style acts, maybe rock acts John Mellencamp or Bob Seger, the types of artists who perform at Farm Aid.

For 75 years straight, the #1 genre in music, selling wise, was rock n' roll worldwide. Last year (2017) in June, it got de-crowned by hip hop. Hip hop is the #1 genre. It's hip hop - rock - country - pop or pop - country. ~ Pras
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Reply #16 posted 08/27/18 4:37pm

PeteSilas

MickyDolenz said:

PeteSilas said:

You're mentioning all these also rans but they weren't the guys of that time, Nirvana, NIN, Pearl Jam and an array of smaller bands like soundgarden was the hot thing.

Garth Brooks outsold all of those acts in the 1990s, so he was hotter than they are. He's the only act to have 7 diamond albums. Neither The Beatles or Michael Jackson can say that. Garth, Brooks & Dunn, Shania Twain & the Dixie Chicks are probably the main reason country music became mainstream popular. They were the first to really get huge blockbuster sales like pop & rock acts. It started with Kenny Rogers in the late 1970s and the Urban Cowboy movie. Country is still big today in the US unlike grunge. A lot of people don't realize that the heartland is a big buying audience and they're less likely to be into grunge style acts, maybe rock acts John Mellencamp or Bob Seger, the types of artists who perform at Farm Aid.

i don't doubt it but that is a whole different demographic, i don't know anyone who listened to that kind of music, so it's a regional/rural phenomenon, kinda like trump winning. So, you take a whole segment of the country, the south and also the people who aren't much different than southerners, I don't know those people and their voice is a bit muted. I'm only aware of Garth because of the big sales, i don't think i could name a single song, maybe one, something about thunder rolling, apparently written after he ate a can of beans and franks.

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
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Reply #17 posted 08/27/18 5:14pm

MickyDolenz

PeteSilas said:

i don't doubt it but that is a whole different demographic, i don't know anyone who listened to that kind of music, so it's a regional/rural phenomenon, kinda like trump winning. So, you take a whole segment of the country, the south and also the people who aren't much different than southerners, I don't know those people and their voice is a bit muted. I'm only aware of Garth because of the big sales, i don't think i could name a single song, maybe one, something about thunder rolling, apparently written after he ate a can of beans and franks.

You could say that about grunge. That's why it isn't reflected on the pop charts, what records sold the most, or what was played the most on the Top 40, which is what the mainstream audience listens to and buys. Grunge was mainly played on alternative rock stations, which was generally not what mainstream audience listened to. That's why it was "alternative" to Top 40. Hip hop became more mainstream popular on the Top 40 then, that's why it lasted all this time. Grunge was mainly popular to a particular audience, that's why it died quickly. Grunge was more an albums genre, not a singles genre. It was Whitney Houston who had a huge hit with I Will Always Love You and Eric Clapton with Tears In Heaven right in the middle of the popularity of grunge. It was TLC, Alanis Morissette, & Boyz II Men who sold a lot of albums. Kid n Play had movies and a cartoon series. The Fresh Prince got a TV show and later became one of the biggest movie stars. Metallica had their biggest success with the black album in the 1990s. Posion by Bell Biv DeVoe is still a popular party song to this day. Bono was dressing like a devil pimp, so flashy dressing hadn't totally left either. That's why I said grunge wasn't as popular as rock fans made it sound. It was popular for a brief period, but it did not affect other popular music in general.

For 75 years straight, the #1 genre in music, selling wise, was rock n' roll worldwide. Last year (2017) in June, it got de-crowned by hip hop. Hip hop is the #1 genre. It's hip hop - rock - country - pop or pop - country. ~ Pras
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Reply #18 posted 08/28/18 2:56am

tump

Interesting interview about one of several masterpieces he delivered in his youth.

Like mentioned above, he was his own worst enemy.

Not the record company he signed with. Not a dead man (MJ). Not his lack of artistic freedom (he had plenty). Not all the money they mined from him and the lies about sales (you wanted the fame, you played their game). Not the lack of promotion. He was his own worst enemy. That still applies to this day.

With all the 'freedom' he has now, why do my ears hear stagnation and more 'playing-it-safe' than ever before? If I had to judge freedom and innovation sonically, I'd pick out the old material in a second.

Symphony Or Damn is a masterpiece, created in the Slave years.
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Reply #19 posted 08/28/18 4:05am

Purplegarden

He was great and songs like Let Her Down Easy and Delicate are amazing, the rest of the album is pretty good too. But like someone said here or on another board years ago - He disappeared up his own ass. Still nothing tops the debut.

.

We all know we are getting old, when albums like this are 25 years old.

This is the place where emotions grow. 24 Feelings all in a row, its alright, its alright
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Reply #20 posted 08/28/18 4:45am

SilverNight

His dizzying, melody-rich magnum opus. I still get floored when I listen to it.

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Reply #21 posted 08/28/18 6:27am

TheFman

I think the idiot is you here.

PeteSilas said:

...replaced by idiots with green, scraggly hair, plaid shirts and heroin addictions.

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Reply #22 posted 08/28/18 11:54am

PeteSilas

TheFman said:

I think the idiot is you here.

PeteSilas said:

...replaced by idiots with green, scraggly hair, plaid shirts and heroin addictions.

you are a grunge fan huh? I didn't get it, sorry, little whiney white boys talking about how tortured they were, I didn't want to hear it, I've seen real oppression and they don't know what the fuck they are talking about.

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
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Reply #23 posted 08/28/18 12:02pm

PeteSilas

tump said:

Interesting interview about one of several masterpieces he delivered in his youth. Like mentioned above, he was his own worst enemy. Not the record company he signed with. Not a dead man (MJ). Not his lack of artistic freedom (he had plenty). Not all the money they mined from him and the lies about sales (you wanted the fame, you played their game). Not the lack of promotion. He was his own worst enemy. That still applies to this day. With all the 'freedom' he has now, why do my ears hear stagnation and more 'playing-it-safe' than ever before? If I had to judge freedom and innovation sonically, I'd pick out the old material in a second. Symphony Or Damn is a masterpiece, created in the Slave years.

ya, i've heard good and bad about his later releases, I've only listened to a little, I do that when i can't find interest. What i've heard just doesn't sound interesting to me. I still love him to death, correspond of FB with him every now and again and ask him to come back to America for a tour. I even asked him to write a book recently, out of all of my heroes, he's the one with the least bit of info on him, even much less than Prince had at his most mysterious in the 80's had decent books about him.

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
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Reply #24 posted 08/28/18 12:06pm

PeteSilas

also, for whatever reason, it's been pointed out in the 50's and 60's that the charts didn't reflect the success of rock and roll, there was lots of other genres on the charts, a lot of stuff that we don't even hear today. Take a look at those charts, there are a lot of songs i can't even recognize, especially in the 50's when the older generations were worried about the menace of Rock And Roll.

MickyDolenz said:

PeteSilas said:

i don't doubt it but that is a whole different demographic, i don't know anyone who listened to that kind of music, so it's a regional/rural phenomenon, kinda like trump winning. So, you take a whole segment of the country, the south and also the people who aren't much different than southerners, I don't know those people and their voice is a bit muted. I'm only aware of Garth because of the big sales, i don't think i could name a single song, maybe one, something about thunder rolling, apparently written after he ate a can of beans and franks.

You could say that about grunge. That's why it isn't reflected on the pop charts, what records sold the most, or what was played the most on the Top 40, which is what the mainstream audience listens to and buys. Grunge was mainly played on alternative rock stations, which was generally not what mainstream audience listened to. That's why it was "alternative" to Top 40. Hip hop became more mainstream popular on the Top 40 then, that's why it lasted all this time. Grunge was mainly popular to a particular audience, that's why it died quickly. Grunge was more an albums genre, not a singles genre. It was Whitney Houston who had a huge hit with I Will Always Love You and Eric Clapton with Tears In Heaven right in the middle of the popularity of grunge. It was TLC, Alanis Morissette, & Boyz II Men who sold a lot of albums. Kid n Play had movies and a cartoon series. The Fresh Prince got a TV show and later became one of the biggest movie stars. Metallica had their biggest success with the black album in the 1990s. Posion by Bell Biv DeVoe is still a popular party song to this day. Bono was dressing like a devil pimp, so flashy dressing hadn't totally left either. That's why I said grunge wasn't as popular as rock fans made it sound. It was popular for a brief period, but it did not affect other popular music in general.

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
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Reply #25 posted 08/28/18 12:10pm

NorthC

Dammit! James Brown and Bob Dylan weren't the best selling acts of the 1960s, but did they influence music? Of course they did!!!
I may disagree with everything you say, but I will defend your right to say it.
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Reply #26 posted 08/28/18 12:34pm

PeteSilas

NorthC said:

Dammit! James Brown and Bob Dylan weren't the best selling acts of the 1960s, but did they influence music? Of course they did!!!

ya, i was shocked when i was a kid, in the 80s, reading rock and roll lists, they had a list of legends that never had number one hits, james was one, i think dylan was another and i think Hendrix was another, Chuck Berry never had a no. 1 until the totally forgotten "my ding a ling" was released in the 70's. Charts and stats only tell part of any story, same with sports.

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
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Reply #27 posted 08/28/18 1:05pm

MickyDolenz

PeteSilas said:

also, for whatever reason, it's been pointed out in the 50's and 60's that the charts didn't reflect the success of rock and roll, there was lots of other genres on the charts, a lot of stuff that we don't even hear today. Take a look at those charts, there are a lot of songs i can't even recognize, especially in the 50's when the older generations were worried about the menace of Rock And Roll.

I'd guess the people who go to Broadway plays today or listens to Michael Bublé & Josh Grobin are likely to be aware of that era's non-rock music. Because a lot of Broadway is influnced by standards, crooner pop, and Hollywood movie musicals. The popularity of Tony Bennett has been resurrected with younger generations. He even has an album with Lady Gaga. Rod Stewart had his biggest selling albums since the late 70s or early 80s when he did those American Songbook records. It's the rock press/media like Rolling Stone & MTV who make it sound like rock was the only thing happening. The 1960s wasn't only The Beatles, Motown, & British Invasion. There was a bossa nova craze during the 60s. Herb Alpert was really popular in the late 1960s during the psychedeclic era. The Sound Of Music soundtrack was big then too. Also during this time The Lawrence Welk Show was on TV and it made new episodes until the early 1980s. In the late 1950s, Johnny Mathis & Harry Belafonte were popular on the charts. The parents were more likely to buy albums, and teens were more likely to buy singles. Johnny Mathis sold a lot of albums, but the average doo wop & early rock n roll act were mostly known for singles. Then it was like Pat Boone who had bigger hits with his remakes. Pat's singing style & image was closer to the crooner singers of the teens parents, than he was to Elvis or Little Richard. The reason those artists aren't as known today as much is because they got rid of radio formats like easy listening & oldies but goodies and replaced it with classic rock, 1980s & 1990s hits, and old school rap hits.

For 75 years straight, the #1 genre in music, selling wise, was rock n' roll worldwide. Last year (2017) in June, it got de-crowned by hip hop. Hip hop is the #1 genre. It's hip hop - rock - country - pop or pop - country. ~ Pras
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Reply #28 posted 08/28/18 1:24pm

MickyDolenz

NorthC said:

Dammit! James Brown and Bob Dylan weren't the best selling acts of the 1960s, but did they influence music? Of course they did!!!

What does that have to do with the popularity of grunge? It had no long lasting influence on popular music, maybe it did on underground music. James Brown had influence on hip hop. The music of Nirvana & Pearl Jam has nothing to do with what is popular now like Drake, Nicki Minaj, Lady Antebellum, Cardi B, Bruno Mars, Blake Slelton, Taylor Swift, Adele, Migos, etc. Adele is closer to Whitney Houston & Celine Dion than she is to Soundgarden. The majority of what is mainstream popular in the US now is rap & then country to a lesser extent. Rappers have become movie stars & TV stars in a way many pop & rock performers couldn't. Not many people were checking for Mick Jagger & Madonna movies, but The Fresh Prince & Ice Cube movies make a lot of money at the box office. Dr. Dre made a lot of money on his Beats headphones. Then there's the teen idol singers like Justin Bieber & Ariana Grande that have always been popular since Frankie Avalon in the 1950s. Teen idols and adult contemporary have never went out of style, no matter what the popular trend was. During disco & arena rock, there were hits like You Light Up My Life by Debby Boone, Music Box Dancer by Frank Mills, I Write The Songs by Barry Manilow, & Feelings by Morris Albert.

For 75 years straight, the #1 genre in music, selling wise, was rock n' roll worldwide. Last year (2017) in June, it got de-crowned by hip hop. Hip hop is the #1 genre. It's hip hop - rock - country - pop or pop - country. ~ Pras
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Reply #29 posted 08/28/18 1:27pm

TheFman

PeteSilas said:

TheFman said:

I think the idiot is you here.

you are a grunge fan huh? I didn't get it, sorry, little whiney white boys talking about how tortured they were, I didn't want to hear it, I've seen real oppression and they don't know what the fuck they are talking about.

It's the best thing to come out of the 90's...

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Forums > Music: Non-Prince > TTD/Sananda Maitreya – Symphony Or Damn 25th Anniversary + Interview