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The Real Buffalo Joe

Greatest Musical Composers in Rock/Pop/Country/etc

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Not talking about lyricism, raw instrumental talent, vocal, etc. Are there any artists in "popular music" for lack of a better term, that deserve to be remembered in history with the likes of Beethoven, Mozart, etc? The only ones I can think of off the top of my head are Elton John, and Lennon and/or McCartney. Possibly Brian Wilson, but that might be stretching it. 

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No, not at all.

 

Kids today mostly have no ideal of Lennon any more.

 

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Honestly I'd put McCartney over Lennon as far as composition goes.  I realize we get three extra decades of McCartney work but still.

 

But no, I can't say I can think of anyone in the modern genres that can compare to the great orchestral composers.  But I also think it isn't a comparison that should be attempted.

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Posted (edited)

 

Are there any?

 

I’d proffer Van Morrison, knowing full well he’d decline the honor.

 

Perhaps the late Warren Zevon, or Frank Zappa.

 

If you’re putting Elton John on the same stage as anyone but Liberace, you should have your head examined.

 

(And, BTW, Liberace was a far better pianist than EJ.)

.

Edited by The Senator

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XYeKk1.jpg

 

A little off topic and hard to read, but it’s what immediately popped into my head

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, LeviF91 said:

Honestly I'd put McCartney over Lennon as far as composition goes.  I realize we get three extra decades of McCartney work but still.

 

But no, I can't say I can think of anyone in the modern genres that can compare to the great orchestral composers.  But I also think it isn't a comparison that should be attempted.

 

agreed, music fads and genres should change over time, we had a great run with pop music from 1955 to about 1985, and hopefully it holds in culture for my last 3 or so decades,

 

 

Edited by row_33

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Actually on the level of Beethoven/Mozart?

 

Maybe John Williams, if you consider film music pop music.

 

Zappa was great but that's not pop music.

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I think the answer is no.

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8 minutes ago, Gugny said:

I think the answer is no.

this. big difference between entertainer/musician and greatest musical composer.

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i'll take the radical view that I can confidently place Mahler, Bruckner and Shostakovich just below Beethoven and Friends.

 

 

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20 minutes ago, dickleyjones said:

Actually on the level of Beethoven/Mozart?

 

Maybe John Williams, if you consider film music pop music.

 

Zappa was great but that's not pop music.

John Williams is definitely up there. But even though his music is for films, I wouldn't consider it "popular" music. 

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Brian Wilson! I prefer the Beach Boys over the Beatles. The Beach Boys have that wonderful harmony sound. 

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Apples and oranges.    Composing a symphony (70 to 100 musicians, 35 to 50 minutes in length) is nothing--repeat, nothing--like writing a five minute rock/pop song for 3-5 musicians.

 

That said, if I had to pick one name--Miles Davis...

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16 minutes ago, The Real Buffalo Joe said:

John Williams is definitely up there. But even though his music is for films, I wouldn't consider it "popular" music. 

 

during WW2 many top European composers sought refuge in the US and ended up writer movie soundtracks

 

 

 

 

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17 minutes ago, The Real Buffalo Joe said:

John Williams is definitely up there. But even though his music is for films, I wouldn't consider it "popular" music. 

 

it's debatable.

 

my opinion is it is pop music. i mean, i actually can't think of music much more popular than the star wars themes or the harry potter title. but i can see why you disagree, it's not drums and bass and singer.

24 minutes ago, row_33 said:

i'll take the radical view that I can confidently place Mahler, Bruckner and Shostakovich just below Beethoven and Friends.

 

 

but definitely not popular. i agree with your radical view though, i prefer Mahler and Shostakovich (and Bartok and Berio and others) to Beethoven.

 

and how is Bach lost in all this? Bach is #1 baby!

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13 minutes ago, dickleyjones said:

 

 

 

but definitely not popular. i agree with your radical view though, i prefer Mahler and Shostakovich (and Bartok and Berio and others) to Beethoven.

 

and how is Bach lost in all this? Bach is #1 baby!

 

Mahler was great.  Bach was excellent as well.  I'm a Liszt guy all the way though.  Perhaps that's because he and I share traits like having large hands and being strikingly handsome :D

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13 minutes ago, LeviF91 said:

 

Mahler was great.  Bach was excellent as well.  I'm a Liszt guy all the way though.  Perhaps that's because he and I share traits like having large hands and being strikingly handsome :D

 

not a huge Lizst fan, the triangle "Jimmy Page-like" solo in his 1st piano concerto is a good novelty.

 

listening to Lizst sonatas sounds like stuff Dracula would play on his grand piano before going out into the night

 

 

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Just now, row_33 said:

 

listening to Lizst sonatas sounds like stuff Dracula would play on his grand piano before going out into the night

 

 

 

Perhaps that's another similarity he and I have.  He was awfully pale...

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I mean no disrespect to modern age pop music composers, but let’s face it, they aren’t composing pieces with anywhere near the complexity of classical composers. It’s night and day. So no, none of them should even be considered in that realm. 

 

Relative to each other, yes, there are better ones than the other. 

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21 minutes ago, LeviF91 said:

 

Perhaps that's another similarity he and I have.  He was awfully pale...

 

he got around

 

15 minutes ago, K-9 said:

I mean no disrespect to modern age pop music composers, but let’s face it, they aren’t composing pieces with anywhere near the complexity of classical composers. It’s night and day. So no, none of them should even be considered in that realm. 

 

Relative to each other, yes, there are better ones than the other. 

 

many men and women made a fortune in the 20th century not being able to read a note of music

 

one in particular is really aggravating as he keeps talking about basic chord changes during interviews... "you have a C, then a G which is really nice..."

 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, row_33 said:

 

he got around

 

 

many men and women made a fortune in the 20th century not being able to read a note of music

 

one in particular is really aggravating as he keeps talking about basic chord changes during interviews... "you have a C, then a G which is really nice..."

 

 

 

More power to them as I don’t think it detracts from their musical genius or the mastery they achieved playing instruments or singing. Some great musicians invented their own forms of notation as well, so I just can’t hold a lack of formal musical training against them, either. 

 

But classical composing is just a different animal entirely vs. pop music constructs, even though some pop pieces are far more complex than others in their own right. But it’s like comparing a Renaissance art work to a paint by numbers. 

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Posted (edited)

Mark Knopfler is a legitimate composer which can be seen not just in his work on albums but also on soundtracks he scored.  A lot of his music is very complex.  I'm not sure who composed Close to the Edge by Yes but whoever did is also damn good.

Edited by OGTEleven
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15 minutes ago, K-9 said:

More power to them as I don’t think it detracts from their musical genius or the mastery they achieved playing instruments or singing. Some great musicians invented their own forms of notation as well, so I just can’t hold a lack of formal musical training against them, either. 

 

But classical composing is just a different animal entirely vs. pop music constructs, even though some pop pieces are far more complex than others in their own right. But it’s like comparing a Renaissance art work to a paint by numbers. 

 

for sure, nobody who is academic or up there in the clouded has found anything but decline in culture the last 50 years.

 

but i still like it

 

 

14 minutes ago, OGTEleven said:

Mark Knopfler is a legitimate composer which can be seen not just in his work on albums but also on soundtracks he scored.  A lot of his music is very complex.  I'm not sure who composed Close to the Edge by Yes but whoever did is also damn good.

 

the Prog Rock era gave us a lot of amazing musicianship (and pretension)

 

 

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