Friday 3 February 2017

Iconic UK rock and popsters. Bowie and friends.

Royal Mail are continuing with their sometime series of pop icons on stamps with a David Bowie set.
The previous UK popular beat combo that RM chose was Pink Floyd. Before them, the Rolling Stones and The Beatles.

Despite the Uk's view of itself as a world leader in popular music. Rivaling the USA for talent and sales, it is quite difficult to point to Tier 1, superstar, internationally renown musicians.

In the girl band pop group category The Spice Girls are undeniably the world's best selling all girl band. A UK hit who would easily claim a set of stamps on all measures except longevity, which was mercifully short.

But the next most successful ever all British, all female line up, is Bananarama. Who are still going after their formation 37 years ago. But have under half the sales the Spice girls managed, even though they existed during the easier to rack up volumes, peak vinyl sales era.

So, Dave B aside, and allowing that Posh and co are a definite, which British music artist is successful enough to warrant their very own fame sticker?

Who is known throughout the globe? Has had their music played in taxi cabs from Mogadishu to Montpelier. Has sold tens of millions of records and played packed out stadiums? Who is so well known, so iconic, that they can carry the UK flag around the globe on our new Post-Eurovision age?

Its harder than it seems. We have, and have had, many, many good musicians. Many well known. Many successful. far more than our island population should warrant.
{That WORLD language we own, helping us out yet again.}

But Headliners?

Madonna - Sprinsteen  - Beyonce - Michael Jackson -  level front rankers.

We do have them. But trying to get another ten, has proved quite hard for the BQi offices.

So - Given Bowie, Floyd, Stones, Beatles are already taken, can we agree another batch?

I have pitched in with Spice Girls {I'm no fan..its just that they fit the criteria!} and Elton John.
70s superstar. 80's star and multi-million selling artist, Still performing, still selling out stadiums, still with his original albums on sale in shops and digitally.

Anyone else worth a lick ?


Blue Eyes said...

George Michael?

Joy Division/New Order? They are apparently still touring!

Of course some of our cultural exports predate the mass media, and some aren't literary or musical.

If you get into a taxi almost anywhere in the world (bar North America) you can strike up a conversation by asking "what team do you support?" and expect the answer to be an English team. This is not only extremely impressive in itself but a brillian icebreaker when travelling.

hovis said...

Not always my cup of tea, but I'd guess (havent looked at the recent figures, but for longevity and stadiums (still) despite little UK coverage: Iron Maiden?

Bill Quango MP said...

I am still in a state of mild surprise when I think of the restaurant manager who elbowed my wife out of the way so he could pull a chair up to our table and he could explain why he thought Wes Brown was not even good enough for his rotation slot at Manchester United.

We were on honeymoon in South Africa and he struck up the football conversation and his depth of knowledge was far greater than mine.

" are newlyweds ..excellent...champagne for this table my friend...we drink..we drink to your happiness..and we drink to find out..why...gerrard and lampard are not allowed the space they need to play in for England...move up please ..he cuts in from left wing centre..but Chelsea because he is supported by.."

And off he went ..him and all the waiters chipping in too. And then the kitchen staff.

And as you say, that's not an uncommon event in a uk citizen doing world travel.

But...back to pop music... the premier league vs China's money another time.

Nick Drew said...

I think Rod Stewart would probably meet the criteria: IIRC, he pulled the biggest live audience ever (in California, from memory)

Nick Drew said...

oh yes - live audiences - which brings us to Queen

and maybe Genesis / Bald Phil ?

Blue Eyes said...

Did Oasis and Blur do OK around the world? They were quite big for a bit.

Sting? The original Englishman in New York.

Gary said...


Charlie said...

U2 aren't British - they're Irish.

If you're going to put the Spice Girls on stamps, you're also going to have to have Oasis, Coldplay and Robbie Williams.

I can't believe you've forgotten about Queen. Surely they outsold Pink Floyd and Bowie?

Loads of other "Dad" bands had global success - Genesis, The Who, Fleetwood Mac, Dire Straits.

I wouldn't be surprised if Adele is up there in terms of sales. She's incredibly popular throughout the world.

Out of those, I'll go with Queen.

dustybloke said...

Nick, I think Rod was on a straight night and only pulled 50% of the audience...

It's weird but there are some artists whose popularity in their home country is dwarfed by their worldwide fame.

Dire Straits, Jethro Tull, yikes! even Chris Rea! Megastars. Big, to coin a phrase, in Japan.

Anonymous said...

We've had some surprising exports - Shampoo, the original Girl Power band, were huge in Japan, and Bush, who'd fill stadia in the US, tended to struggle to fill small venues in their home country.

Depeche Mode and Morrissey still fill stadia up around the world, despite not having much chart success of late.

And given it's their last ever gig tonight, a cheer for Black Sabbath? Saw them last week, Ozzy was very quiet, which was a pity as he used to engage an audience like few others can. Shagging hairdressers behind your wife's back is obviously worse for stage performance than alcohol and drug addictions.

Or how about Madness? One of the very, very few bands you can recognise inside 5 seconds of a tune striking up.

The Cure too, a wealth of pop-goth tunes who fill stadiums up (had to pop over to the continent to see them, tickets in the UK were snapped up in minutes) and still manage to do three hour sets even though Fat Bob must be closing in on a hip replacement.

But recently, the only artists to have much impact have been Adele and One Direction, maybe we have a largesse of 40-something Bridget Jones', screeching down a bottle of recently emptied plonk at 1am about their shitty love life, and teenagers with awakening ovaries?

And a lot of our potentially world-beaters tend to self destruct - there was a band called Senser in the 90's, really melodic mix of rock, rap and beats. Their first album sounds rather dated now, but at the time was something new, and had they not decide to implode chances are they'd have had Linkin Park levels of success, headlining festivals across the globe. And the music scene isn't as vibrant as it once was, I still recall going to see a range of local bands dreaming of making it big, nowadays it's mostly cover bands who throw in the odd original tune almost apologetically.

As for the Spice Girls, I actually went to see them (I mostly listen to metal and rock, but can appreciate good pop tunes) when they briefly reformed, and they did a good show. Even if you didn't appreciate their music, their live effort was something to be respected.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and as who'd I love to see on a range of stamps?


His death started the current avalanche of celebacide, I can only imagine when La Morte rocked up he just chuckled, raised his glass and announced if he was going a whole set of bastards were coming along for the ride too.

I wonder if everyone who went after, in their final seconds, wondered what was smelling of Jack Daniels and who the hell was humming "Killed by Death"

John in Cheshire said...

Cliff Richard. You may not like him - I don't like many of those who have been given a set of stamps - but he's stood the test of time.

Chris Rea. Another quiet but competing artist.

Steeleye Span. The whole band. I just love Maddy Prior's voice.

Anonymous said...

Muse arguably the biggest and best rock band in the world for at least the last 5 years. Adele is doing pretty well. Coldplay.

John in Cheshire said...

Change competing to compelling for Mr Really.

John in Cheshire said...

Mr Rea.

Anonymous said...

Eric Clapton?

Bill Quango MP said...

Plenty of opinions as expected. And many similar conclusions to what I found earlier.

Rock and pop is a shallow business. A teenager and fashion business. A big money, low discipline, artistic, ego-driven, celebrity mayfly like existence.
Any lifespan at all is a feat. A generation surviving progression is incredible.
In many cases, with the drink-drugs-excess lifestyle, generational survival is genuinely incredible.
A band that survives, or who's music survives multiple generations, has performed a minor miracle. Making music that appeals to new and existing audiences takes supreme talent and skill.

The elite of the elite we are looking for should have those elite qualities.

So - Cliff Richards could be a contender. He has produced the most number of successfully charting records of any British and most world artists. A number 1 single in five consecutive decades.
But he isn't cool. And hasn't had that much US or even worldwide success.
As a tier II artist - no question. His achievements are impressive. But i don't think stamp-worthy.

George Michael is probably going to make the cut. Massive in the Uk and has the advantage over Cliff of being 'influential'. Has the necessary troubled backstory.
If we decide to allow a solo and band career to be counted as one then I think he is in. And that mean Sting/Police and Take That/Robbie Williams get a stamp too.

I believe the Who are in too. Rock operas. Power Chords of infinite volume and length, plus the whole rock legend lifestyles, plus a catalogue that has fairly well stood the test of time.

Joy Division. Blue Monday best selling 122 ever. Manchester's finest. But they are not on the same global scale as the others.US sales are not that good. I would have Oasis above them {as a big oasis fan, of course i would} but even the Gallaghers , despite a record breaking stadium sellout season, might not quite make the list. Even with what looks like from wiki 25 UK top ten hits out of 28 released.
But again, only 1 makes a US top 10. Wonderwall.

U2 is a definite. No question. has everything in terms of hits, style, lifespan, success..But as charlie says , they ain't British. U2 has been claimed as a UK bank because 2 members are English and they signed to a UK label.
But just imagine going up to Bono and saying "So..are you an English or Irish band? English right?"

Steven_L said...

Carl Cox.

Bill Quango MP said...

Black Sabbath over Iron maiden. Ozzie gives the whole band Kardashian US celeb. neither have really broken into that consistent number one area. Its the metal genre. The following isn't large enough vs mainstream

In the 70's rod Stewart was regularly topping UK and US charts. Big star that faded after that. i would suggest if rod gets in, then Tom Jones should join him. Though it looks from chart sales as if rod had the better time of it.

Coldplay - everyone's forgotten cd in the boot og the car. Coldplay have the most impressive album sales of anyone. Its Elvis Presley astoundingly good. They had three albums that were each at number one in all the major countries of the world. That's Beatles level of success. So the boring boys have to get a stamp. Which means Genesis can join them . Especially if we Phil Collins/Genesis them.

Queen, who were a band with a very up and down success rate on their singles had excellent worldwide album success. And their best songs are still played often today. And don't really sound as if they come from another era, despite being ancient epoc by music years. So ..probably Queen.

Madness..nah! not big enough. Big and British. But 2nd tier. They had faded very fast even by the mid 80s. Cure - same.
Depeche mode - still going strong . Have adapted and adapted .. but nah. Not big enough .
Muse have an impressive record in albums. Worlwide number one selling albums. But are poor on singles charts. I don't know .i don't think they have the reputation to make tier 1. U2 concert tickets that I tried to get on Monday were starting at £170. If you could get. Which you couldn't. I don't know if Muse have reached that desirability yet.

Adele is a possible. And One Direction should be there. They tick all the right boxes. fame, fortune, identity, and chart success. Even if it was in an easier time, they still did it. And they are only children. They might go on to George Michael the whole pop sensation into serious artists.
And it stop the stamp set being a best of Clarkson's in-car audio.

Eric clapton. peter frampton. Fleetwood mac. Dire Straits. Kate Bush. Duran Duran.
i don't think so.

And poor fat boy slim,90s mega man -barely registers outside the uk.

But if you want to make you case for inclusion - ,,, ...

Electro-Kevin said...

I'm surprised Cat Stevens didn't make that league. I admit he is not of stamp worthy note... but he should be !

John in Cheshire said...

I really dislike oasis. I really dislike blur. I really dislike U2. I like Travis, Snow patrol and Razorlite and would buy stamps with them on the front before I even looked at the others. Why should the stamps be awarded to performers who are inherently rubbish when there are many English and ( in the original meaning of the word) British performers who are just good. Not as good as, but who are good in their own right.

Nick Drew said...

I suppose BeeGees may not count as Brit

The 'big in the USA' phenomenon is odd. Englebert Humperdink, to name but one. Herman's Hermits, for another.

(just as Tracey Ullman was (is?) bizarrely popular across the Pond)

Steven_L said...

poor fat boy slim,90s mega man -barely registers outside the uk

You're [gangster] tripping BQ. The charts are just a corporate stitch up. They bear no resemblance whatsoever to the music people who don't habitually tune into the radio actually listen to on their iPods or like to party to at the weekend.

You see all those artists and bands you've all named above. Well apart from the metal (which you dismiss as not 'mainstream' because metal fans weren't stupid enough not to copy each others cassettes and CD's) it's all utter s***e. It's seriously uncool to listen to any of it, but Norman Cook still rocks.

Go to any of the worlds best nightclubs and (other than some of the 60's stuff on a Monday night at Pacha) none of that complete load of codswallop you are blathering on about will get a single play. No normal people want to hear any of it. It's simply forced down impressionable teenagers' throats by greedy, cynical record moguls and retailers.

And these folk don't go to 'concerts' because they like the music enough to pay £85 to get almost crushed to death for three hours, they go for the bragging rights, because they think it makes them look cool, because lots of other sheeple are going or simply because their tedious girlfriend wants them to.

This year on holiday mine turned her nose up at going to the uber-cool Paris by Night with Louie Vega in favour of F*** Me I'm Famous with David Guetta. Not that we could actually see him without risking being asphyxiated by hordes of chivvy British teenagers uploading iPhone clips to Facebook.

As revenge I took her to Elrow at Space to see Sasha and Eats Everything. Judging by the silent strop she got on about it, she's probably the sort of person who would actually listen to all that c**p you're on about. I toyed with the idea of tricking her into Circoloco at DC10, but decided it would have probably ended our relationship there and then.

Elby the Beserk said...

Sex Pistols.

No contest.

E-K said...

Elby +1


Black Sabbath


Dire Straits


E-K said...


Anonymous said...


Someone had to mention it.

Anonymous said...

I would also suggest Led Zeppelin. In their heyday they were the biggest band in the world. That heyday was sadly cut short by the death of John Bonham - apart from one notable night at the O2 some 3 decades later. The albums continue to sell well, Robert Plant has had an impressive if not spectacular solo career and Jimmy Page remains high up on pretty much everyone's list of top guitarists. He also got that strange gig on top of a London bus at the closing of the Beijing olympics to promote the London games. It may have seemed a slightly odd to us Brits but not to the rest of the world to whom he is pretty instantly recognisable along with the riff from Whole Lotta Love.

P.S. I think you're wrong about Eric Clapton, he has transcended national treasure status to something approaching world treasure status. Not that I personally like much of what he has done since Cream.

Bill Quango MP said...

There is a fairly easy criteria to test 'super-great status.
The chosen artist or band play a single night at Wembley. Tickets start at £400 each.

If you think the stadium is sold out within hours, then its a super-glam-prog-metal-dance-indy-pop status group. Same with the Beatles. The Stones can manage it even now, never mind in their pre-care home days.

Sex Pistols.. No. Not a chance. Fat Boy Slim can sell out Brighton beach any month he wants. But that is the limit of his power. Tempo giusto, one of my favs, wouldn't manage it.Nor Radiohead. The Jam. The Clash.Elvis Costello - nah. Can't see it. Led Zeppelin or Status Quo ..that's a possibility.

We are talking all time,worldwide appeal here.

If it helps think of Abba.
One of the most successful super-groups of all time.

Maybe that's a good guide to the stamp index. How many tribute bands do you have? How many holiday reps dodgily performing your hits in the entertainment suite?

This is a list of all time greats ; There are many lists, but most have the same people on them.
US and UK
So - Elvis comes back. Even today, he would sell out

Bill Quango MP said...

Can't believe I've left the Kinks off again - mentioned above and I think its possible they might be stamp suitable.

Blue Eyes said...

Sheeple Klaxon.

Anonymous said...

Probably me, but I can't remember a single Beyonce tune, though I might say "was that her?" if you played one. Famous for being uber-nubile only lasts so long, ask Kylie.

The Georges Jackson and Michael are both dead, surely you have to exclude the departed. You also have to exclude those with no image - would you recognise Coldplay if they were in your tube carriage? They've sold as many as Bowie over a shorter period, but not really stampable. I'm suprised Floyd got a stamp, wouldn't recognise Roger Waters in either 1971 or 2017 incarnations. Whereas Bob Marley, who sold far fewer records, is an icon up there with Che.

Can you really hear Springsteen in Mogadishu taxi-cabs or Eastern tuk-tuks? I'd have thought he's more popular with "music fans" and "music press" than yer man in the street. This list is interesting (although biased to recent artists), we just don't have the stars any more. Elton, Led Zep definitely, Queen and Fleetwood Mac perhaps - they both have image.

Adele might be up there in a few years - she really can sing. No one seems to remember Dire Straits any more, though once you couldn't avoid their music.

Maybe the 60s are long gone, and we've returned to the decades when we had Vera Lynn, Dorothy Squires and Ann Shelton and they had Ella Fitzgerald, Patsy Cline and Nina Simone.

Charlie said...

Anon: "the music scene isn't as vibrant as it once was"

I disagree. The manufactured shite pumped out on the radio has all merged into a kind of "grey goo" in the name of chart success, giving the appearance that the music scene is as exciting as this week's number one. Can you name it without Googling? Thought not.

There's a simple formula for a high chart position, and guess what - pretty much everything that gets a high chart position adheres to that formula. For "dancey" tunes, 120 bpm, oodles of repetition (we're up all night to get lucky, we're up all night to get lucky, we're up all...), loudness turned right up. A good melody is not necessary - it just needs to be very danceable.

For ballads, quiet first verse and chorus, loud verse and chorus, bit of a change for the middle 8, chorus, then dramatic key change with stupidly bombastic drums for the last chorus.

There is loads of live music on offer. I live in London, but it's the same when I go back home to Leeds too. Granted, it has changed - live music isn't just four guys with guitars and drums anymore - but there is still loads of variety out there if you go looking, and it doesn't cost a fortune. I often think that the idiots who are paying £200 for tickets to see Adele or whoever are actually only doing it so that they can post a photo on social media. The "fan experience" at those mega concerts is utterly crap - you can either get close enough to see and get crushed half to death, or be comfy at the back, where you can't see and the sound is rubbish. Not worth twenty quid, never mind 200*

* I'll make an exception for Muse - they're a fantastic live band and their music works in a stadium. Still wouldn't pay more than face value though.

Anonymous said...

He's sold nowhere near the numbers of records, but Van Morrison is worthy even if he'd stopped after 'Astral Weeks'. (Sir Ken Morrison is also worth a stamp.)

Anonymous said...

dearieme said...

George Formby.

Jan said...

No-one has mentioned Amy Winehouse...she must be in there surely.

Steven_L said...

There is a fairly easy criteria to test 'super-great status ... Wembley ... £400 ... blah blah blah...

Bollocks. Global GDP per capita is only £12k a year. For people aged 16 - 26 £400 is probably a months wages.

Has the average 18 year old in Brazil heard of them? Does the average 18 year old in Columbia think they are cool. These are the tests of musical greatness. The Spice Girls would not pass these tests. Carl Cox would.

Electro-Kevin said...

"here is a fairly easy criteria to test 'super-great status.
The chosen artist or band play a single night at Wembley. Tickets start at £400 each."

MUSE will be able to do that one day. The thing is they are so busy filling stadia - all around the world every week, a band that busy won't be charging one-off £400 ticket prices, but say they quit and reformed for the odd reunion...

How they have not become household names. I often hear people say "Can't name a MUSE song" no. But when I point out how many programmes and films their music is included in...

They've got it all. Their shows are staggering theatre and they make a real effort to dress and play the part. There is no slacking in a MUSE gig. They have brought something new to music as well. New styles of singing and playing instruments and are at the cutting edge in musical/technological interface.

Dig those vocals ! And they do it better live.

How this did not become a Bond theme - it would have been worth changing the film title for. Instead we got some fat lass pub singing:

Sky fawwww

Apple grumbawwww

We will stand tawwww

Face it awll TAGEVVVA !

(Arrrrgh !)

James Higham said...

Madonna - Sprinsteen - Beyonce - Michael Jackson

Each a lowlife, as is Bowie. Can't they find anyone with a bit of pride in themselves?

Blue Eyes said...

I agree with SL on one point, which is that measuring global success is actually impossible these days. 10-15 years ago you might have been able to count the number of knock-off CDs sold in Vietnam or Thailand. Now most of the world doesn't pay for Spotify et al.

I listen to a trance podcast (yes, it is good to run to apart from anything else) and the producers give the impression that they have a genuinely global audience. They run big live events too and they sell out quite big venues around the world.

Steven_L said...

It's no coincidence you can see just about every episode of 'The Cook Report' on youtube except the one where they hyped a crap record into the UK top 40. Roger Cook Wikipedia pages have been edited to the point this inconvenient truth is given only a passing mention. I'd imagine it a hell of a lot worse in the USA.

I often think that the idiots who are paying £200 for tickets to see Adele or whoever are actually only doing it so that they can post a photo on social media. (Charlie)

That's exactly what F*** Me I'm Famous at Pacha was like. Despite being a Thursday, it's the most expensive night out in Ibiza, simply because David Guetta headlines (and he just plays his and his mates' tracks with no mixing whatsoever), but it's full of British chavs on their smartphones. There were a few folk wondering onto the dance floor with their iPad the year on the Saturday (Paris by Night headlined by Basement Jaxx that night). But by and large it was just a cool crowd aged 18 to 50+ having a good night out.

I couldn't think of anything worse than going to a Sheeple concert. At least at F*** Me I'm Famous I could amuse myself by propping the bar up, enjoying a few cold beers and perving on the 19 year old chavs in short skirts.

There was a mile long queue of junkies for the mens cubicles at F*** Me I'm Famous (the empty urinals give it away). Whereas the Saturday night crowd were a lot more relaxed about simply having a few bottles of San Miguel at 10 euro a pop.

K said...

Go on YouTube and compare the views for say Oasis vs Madonna. Oasis probably have more views and also probably more non-English comments (i.e. comments from South America, Russia, etc). Yet common wisdom would say Madonna is the bigger act.

Muse are definitely one of the biggest bands in the world. One exception though is the US where their second album Origin of Symmetry (2001) wasn't released until 2005 because the US record labels didn't like the falsetto singing. Even then it didn't chart in the US until 2010 after Muse were featured heavily in the Twilight series of films. It's created a weird situation where globally Muse fans tend to be 30-40 but in the US they're like 15-25.

The US is really good at pumping out short lived superstars which we don't really do. Even the government backed BRIT School mostly pumps out alternative acts. Culturally this is probably the right move as a teenager in 2027 is not going to have an Ariana Grande poster but they might have a Florence + The Machine poster.

Electro-Kevin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Electro-Kevin said...

The MUSE demographic is up to 60 I'd say. The band members are in their thirties. It is not unusual to see grandparents accompanying grandchildren at concerts.

So in that way, MUSE have traversed the decades - well before their time.

It's something you have to see to understand. My wife and I first experienced them via a free invitation to the local gig, reluctantly. (I loathed them on radio for some reason.) We were hooked from the first bar.

We have seen them all over England and in Europe since.

(Milan was their best.)

Steven_L said...

Youtube hits is a good one, first page of hits, top #of hits on a single video:

Bruno Mars: 2,174,253,451
Calvin Harris: 1,246,002,241
Avicii: 1,214,087,825
Lady Gaga: 777,668,324
David Guetta: 722,461,292
Skrillex: 521,598,275
Coldplay: 493,543,845
Britney Spears: 246,355,323
Madonna: 229,075,264
Spice Girls: 224,037,467
Pink Floyd: 215,373,180
Elton John: 89,664,499
Robbie Williams: 72,221,269
The Prodigy: 71,988,345
The Beatles: 49,270,666
Rolling Stones:36,940,498
Carl Cox: 20,806,834
Fatboy Slim: 13,797,901
Sex Pistols: 9,116,527
Jean Michel Jarre: 1,393,757

Dance music Brits in the top 2 slots, swivel on that you sad old git BQ!

Steven_L said...

Music and politics just don't mix :)

Electro-Kevin said...

K - Yes. It was the falsetto singing that put me off whilst listening as background when it was on the radio. At a concert it all makes perfect sense.

MUSE are fighting a cosmic battle. One comes away from a concert having felt aggrieved, angry, liberated, exulted - the 'enemy' (none existent) VANQUISHED !

Steven_L said...

Oasis: 66,661,475
Martin Solveig: 64,886,316
Blur: 64,230,231
Engelbert Humperdinck: 8,458,879
Curbi (a teenager from Essex who isn't even old enough to play live): 3,167,551
Barry Manilow: 2,801,992
Eats Everything: 1,372,487

Need I go on?

Electro-Kevin said...

Steven L - The Prodigy. Jesus. What they've been up to (and still going)

Yes. Definitely stamp worthy.

Electro-Kevin said...

Shall we stick to who clicks on Spotify to those who bother turning up to a concert ?

K said...

@Steven_L With YouTube views it's interesting to compare the older songs. New releases are obviously going to have more views.

So in that vein:

Oasis - Champagne Supernova (1995) - 23m views
The Verve - Lucky Man (1997) - 30m views
Radiohead - No Surprises (1997) - 43m
Madonna - Music (1999) - 9m views
Madonna - Ray of Light (1999) - 5m views

And that's purposefully avoiding super hits like Wonderwall and Bittersweet Symphony.

Steven_L said...

Madonna is very well hyped, she's a well connected US A-lister that gets to snog Britney Spears on stage, but a crap musician. All her good 90's music was composed by a Londoner, William Orbit. William Orbit's biggest hit in his own name - Barbers Adagio For Strings - has only 1,396,114 youtube hits though.

Why is it obvious new songs will have more hits? Surely if the Rolling Stones had more global appeal that Calvin Harris or Avicii they would have more hits on youtube?

Steven_L said...

And Best of Mozart has over 100 million views, more than Elton John and twice as many as the Beetles. Beethoven has 73,994,189 for Moonlight Sonata. So old acts do get hits. It's just that globally, most people think Elton John is s**t.

Bill Quango MP said...

Barbers Adagio For Strings is a fantastic piece of music. Albinoni-Adagio a feast for the ears.

And yes..I always have the William Orbit version on spotify or itunes too.

K said...

@Steven_L Because a new song will have marketing pushing people to watch the video on YouTube. Plus to kids these days YouTube is the modern MTV so they just leave it on a playlist in the background which racks up views on the new songs.

Steven_L said...

So does Calvin Harris get a stamp? Or is he too young and fashionable?

Electro-Kevin said...

The Jam

Paul Weller

The Bee Gees

Iron Maiden...

Electro-Kevin said...

The guitar aficionados go mad for Nick Drake and also John Martyn:

The musician's musician. Clapton et al loved him to bits.

Blue Eyes said...

Not knocking William Orbit or his talents for a moment but he is only known because someone did a dance remix of his Adagio.

In fact there should be a whole category of musicians who are only famous because of a remix or bootleg.

Who were those guys whose record was sped up for the Levi's advert? And of course Brimful of Asha only did anything because Fatboy Slim sampled it.

Anonymous said...

Steven_L - Bruno Mars is a Septic.

Anonymous said...

E-K - John Martyn did three great heartbreak songs on "Grace and Danger", his split-up-after-one-too-many-domestic-abuse-incidents LP. The musical guru of the hippy-trippy rainbow sweater crowd wasn't a good husband or father if his ex is to be believed.

Hurt In Your Heart, Baby Please Come Home, Sweet Little Mystery - why some boy band hasn't covered them I can't fathom.

Electro-Kevin said...

Thanks Anon - I didn't imagine a guy whose greatest was called Dealer would make a good husband or father.

I remember seeing this live on TV and it stuck with me for life:

One of the few people who could cover a Martin D28 in gaffer tape and increase its value.

In fact I think that this the mark of a truly great guitarist. If he can smash one up and make it more valuable.

Steven_L said...

Apologies, I meant Brit Mark Ronson, who wrote/produced Uptown Funk. Yank Bruno Mars just sang it.

The point still stands, it's the 2nd most viewed youtube music video in the world, after Korean entry Gangham Style.

Anonymous said...

Mark's uncle Gerald will be more familiar to C@W readers!