Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Ruined Music

My favourite band as I grew up were called Ten Years After. Between the death of Hendrix and the maturing of Clapton, Alvin Lee was probably the finest rock guitarist in the world. I have said before that Leo Lyons would always be the bass player in my supergroup.

Trouble is that Alvin Lee couldn't really sing. He was in tune and could scream a bit but didn't have the added extra that would make him a great vocalist. Other examples of this phenomenon, off the top of my head, would be Rory Gallagher (RIP), That Petrol Emotion and The Smiths.

The Smiths? He's going to have a go at the Smiths? Indeed he is. For although Johnny Marr is an axe-handler supreme there were very few tunes (say What Difference Does It Make; Hand in Glove) which Morrissey couldn't spoil by sounding like, well that.

This morning I popped Twisted Tenderness by Electronic on the CD player as I made my toast and danced around the kitchen to Like No Other enjoying Marr's guitar being complemented by a singer who could sing.

I also avoided the CD in the toaster, bread in the CD player problem so I must be getting less weary.

Which bands do you wish weren't spoiled by one member?


Jonathan Potts said...

I saw the Stone Roses legendary - as in legendarily bad - "last ever" gig at the Reading Festival in 1996. Although their first album is surely the finest Indie/Rock/Pop you could ever care to listen to, I was put off listening to any Stone Roses song for a good 6 months due the bad memories of Ian Brown's terribly off-key warbling.

Remarkably, though, Ian Browns solo albums are far better than John Squire's (the latter being the Stone Roses' tremendous guitarist).

Other bands that are spoilt by one member? Eminem.

Caroline said...

hmm, Two not sures here:

I'm not sure if Chris Martin's thin whiney singing ruins Coldplay or if they were dull before he started singing, love some bits bored by other bits ..

going back in time, Barclay James Harvest, surely the greatest 'nearly' band - not down to one person, so possibly doesn't count?

Similar to Smiths: wonderful guitar licks singer (especially live) drowning it: Red Hot Chillie peppers

genesis, utterly, totally, completely destroyed after Steve Hackett by Phil Collins pop tunes dominating every thing; is there grace enough to forgive him?

ahhh, nostalgia ain't what it used to be :-) down to my tape/cd collection

Mike said...

Agree with the Genesis comment (and the facetious comment re Eminem). Had a flat-mate at Uni who really liked Rush. I was nenver that keen on any of it, but I really couldn't cope with the vocals. There were also times when Steven Still wrecked CSNY, but other times of genius.