Feel free to make it as a subjective claim though
which is why they are not better than Blur.
In australia blur is only known as the 'woohoo' band, so i was never subjected to Country House. But i'd much prefer to listen to that then Pop Is Dead...awful song.
of what the word objective means
I mean, what can you say with regard to music that is truly objective? I could make a statement like, 'The album Person Pitch by Panda Bear is a lot better than anything The View have ever released*' and most people on here would agree with me, but it still wouldn't be objective. I don't think.
*these were the first two band name that came into my head
As worded, the title means 'is it objectively fair to say Radiohead are the greatest band of all time?' rather than 'is it fair to say Radiohead are objectively the greatest band of all time?'.
Though I suspect that's more down to poor grammar on Mr. and/or Mrs. OnAntibiotics's part, but who can say?
Even those who despise Radiohead would probably have to agree with that because many of them despair of how much they have been 'copied' by bands ever since to varying degrees.
It must be pretty tough to be honest because if you don't like them then the fact that their style(s) have infected British music for a quite a while, must drive you nuts.
Thankfully, I have been a Radiohead fan for a long time and I would not describe myself as a fan of many bands at all.
how extreme a reaction they provoke.
People who like them tend to love them and be rather blinkered to any criticism of the band.
People who dislike them tend to hate them and froth at the mouth with fury and scorn when they are mentioned.
people yammering on about them being great irritates people who don't like them.
Hmmmmm. I know what you mean. But I think the opposite could be true also. The vitriol and sneering flung at them could breed a defensive 'Fuck off they're the most awesomest thing in the universe, better than oral sex and icecream mixed together' mentality.
I think Radiohead provoke extreme reactions because I'd suggest that, to most people on here (though by no means all), they were adored at some point, even if it was only The Bends for one summer in 1995.
I loved Radiohead dearly as a teenager, but at 24 I'm blessedly free of the need to discuss them with everyone in such comically inflated terms.
Having said that, my flatmate was the same, and now tries too hard to dismiss them completely (despite admitting, on separate occasions and under duress, that at least four of their albums are brilliant - which they are). I totally understand both sides of the divide though.
I put together a nicely thought-out Spotify playlist for them, and now they're well into them and can't understand their previous stance. Wouldn't work for everyone I'm sure, but there are a lot of casual haters out there.
I'd quite like to get in to radiohead I guess but've never managed it beyond the odd song.
Also a couple of solo efforts/collaborations at the end
I'll give it a listen
I make fun of Radiohead all the time, and I have a Radiohead tattoo.
But I mean if for sake or argument we say it's a formula consisting of popularity x critical acclaim x enduring appeal x influence then it's clearly The Beatles, and I think I say that objectively because I don't really like them very much.
this is an opinion, it's subjective, you can't objectify a form of expression like music.
I've honestly got no idea who I'd award the "greatest band of all time", there's no way I could decide.
Contrary to popular view on this site I think it is possible to have an objective view on popular / alternative music based on criteria gained by consensus or expertise. Under any criteria I can think of (to be debated and agreed) Radiohead are not the greatest band of all time. What a bloody crazy thing to say in the first place though!
If you say music is subjective you are basically saying that Britney spears is just as good as Mozart/Rachmaninov/Liszt/etc etc, of course this is impossible. Also if music were subjective universities/conservatoriums couldn’t say that some one that can play the previous mentioned composers on piano is better than someone who can’t play piano at all.
Of course a lot of people I know can’t tell the difference between enjoying music and good music, I really enjoy listening to Franz Ferdinand but I would never say that they are a great band.
I think the main way to judge how good music is by how far ahead the musicians were compared to their peers at the same and what came before hand, wether it be stylistically, technicality wise or musicality wise. Radiohead gets a lot of credit because of OKC and Kid A and Johnny greenwood gets a lot of credit for being able to write symphonies and his own computer programmes to make music but I wouldn’t say they are the best band ever. O f course radiohead and their music/influence shouldn’t be judged until 50 yeas or so this enables their music to be viewed from a proper context.
Of course when trying to decide how good music is now a few pieces of criteria that I think are particularly important is style(originality), technical ability of musicians, musicality of piece and musicians, complexity of compositions, lyrics and does the music acheive waht its wants to (as in, is this song that is trying to be scary, scary?. That’s all I can think of now.
In that sense, Britney Spears is no better and no worse than Mozart/ Rachmaninov/ Lizt, because devoid of a set of values by which to make judgments between them, you are inevitably left to accept that nothing is better or worse than anything else.
Subjective evaluations mean that those values by which we make statements of the type "A is better than B" or "A is more important than B" are entirely based on subjective opinion, circumstance and perspective and not on any objective fact (if there are any objective facts).
People have a real tough time trying to argue that there is any such thing as objective values in the sphere of morality so you can hardly be surprised that such an enterprise might prove similarly unsatisfying when considering music and the arts.
all whilst doubting there are such things as objective facts. OH THE IRONY
as far as I can see, nobody on this thread has said that nothing is objectively true - only that there is no objectively right or wrong answer as to whether band A are better than band B. There's no contradiction there.
"Subjective evaluations mean that those values by which we make statements of the type "A is better than B" or "A is more important than B" are entirely based on subjective opinion, circumstance and perspective and not on any objective fact (if there are any objective facts)"
and leaves open the question of whether there are any objective facts.
and the assertion that value judgements are subjective (made without argument, presented as a self-evident truth) presupposes some corresponding objective fact. Maybe this isn't an out and out contradiction, but there's certainly an uncomfortable tension here.
It pretty well reflects what I think - basically some things are matters of fact and some of opinion. Value judgements are matters of opinion.
The problem with your argument is you're getting opinions and facts mixed up. Of course there are objective facts. But all opinions will be, by their nature, subjective as they are impossible to quantify or prove (for, if you could prove them, they would be facts not opinions) and rooted in the biases of the persons stating the opinion. So stating as a fact that opinions are subjective is not at all contradictory because it's being presented as a statement of fact rather than a matter of opinion. I myself would agree that it's a statement of fact that all opinions are subjective.
Of course it can only be a fact so long as nobody is able to disprove it. If you can disprove the theory that all opinions are subjective then you obviously have every right to do so and so feel free to go ahead. But I don't really see how you could successfully argue against that premise.
and from the belief in an absolute distinction between (and opposition of) subjectivity and objectivity.
The hardest thought to think in these debates is the idea that neither the objectivist nor the subjectivist position is right (and not because it's some "happy median" between the two, but rather because both positions presuppose that "consciousness" is autonomous and pregiven).
I've had it out a few times in these parts, and coincidentally enough once was in a thread on Radiohead. What is it about Radiohead that provokes philosophical discussions on the nature of aesthetic perception and/or appreciation?
There is a clear distinction between objectivity and subjectivity. The fact people frequently confuse the two doesn't alter the fact that a clearly defined distinction exists.
An objective statement is one that can be independently tested and either verified or disproven. (Hence why "all opinions are subjective" is an objective statement - if someone proves that an opinion can be subjective then it can be said to be false. If nobody can prove that an opinion can be subjective it can be held to be true.)
A subjective statement is one that it is impossible to independently rest and verify. "Radiohead are the greatest band of all time" is as such a subjective statement as there's no way to test and verify that theory as all assessment of it would come down to individual opinion.
People sometimes blur the edges and get confused but objectivity and subjectivity are two distinct concepts with a clear difference between the two.
I mean that in the same way the Great Pyramid at Giza is objectively amazing, yeah?
You could certainly dig up a LOT of commentary to the effect that the Great Pyramid isn't all that or that really it's too popular and the Red Pyramid is far cooler, or that if you REALLY want to see an amazing monument then you're kidding yourself starting in Egypt at all...But we accept that as a...um...Minority report? Is that the right term.
I guess what I'm saying is there have been so many, many good things written about the Beatles, they have been so loved, emulated and rated over the years that if one were to say, "Find me a band that are objectively the greatest of all time," The Beatles would fit that bill. And it wouldn't mean all their songs were greatest songs ever written, or that they played the best gigs, or had the best ideas, or philosophies. Because when it comes to an objective view point you have to take things as read, you have to make approximations, like in science. And by its nature, an objective thing can be overridden by a subjective thing: objectively the world is a sphere but subjectively it's flat and both statements are in a sense completely valid.
I'd still question whether it's truly objective though.
"objectivity" and "subjectivity" are concepts that have a history. E.g. your working definition of "objectivity" above ("An objective statement is one that can be independently tested and either verified or disproven") amounts to only one definition of objectivity.
For evidence of this point (objective evidence? subjective opinion?) one might refer to the following:
Note the different disciplinary/professional uses or formulations of a concept of objectivity. "Objectivity" in journalism isn't the same as it is in science, nor in philosophy. Nor, indeed, does the notion of objectivity function uniformly within each context — such that, for instance, "objectivity" in journalism might be seen on the one hand as a kind of "neutrality" attained through "balanced" coverage, or on the other hand as "non-distortion" attained through the avoidance of "value-laden" words, etc. This inconsistency in turn leads to situations where the two definitions contradict each each other. (I can cite a study that makes this point, if you really want me to.)
Of course, we might challenge the authority of wikipedia — just a website edited by people who know nothing, blah, blah, blah. I'm versed enough both in journalism and in philosophy to be broadly satisfied with overviews provided on each, and I'd certainly stake my house on the accuracy of the summary paragraph at the start of the "Objectivity (philosophy)" entry:
"Objectivity is both a central and elusive concept in philosophy. While there is no universally accepted articulation of objectivity, a proposition is generally considered to be objectively true when its truth conditions are "mind-independent"—that is, not the result of any judgments made by a conscious entity. Contrary to this, most recent philosophers, since the Critique of Pure Reason (1781) by Immanuel Kant, have concluded that scientific knowledge is systematic knowledge of the nature of things as we perceive them rather than [as] they are in themselves."
For Kant — and for a significant proportion of Western philosophy since then — "objectivity" is grounded in *universal* reason. "Objectivity" is thus grounded in, conditioned by, "subjectivity" (albeit as *universal* subjectivity, which is a very different understanding of subjectivity to that thrown around in these debates). This seems to me to be what you're referencing (whether knowingly or not, I could not say) when you describe an objective statement (by which I assume you mean "objectively true statement" or "objective false statement") as "one that can be independently tested and either verified or disproven". The definition of objectivity provide by Gaukroger in the "Objectivity (science)" entry seems at first to resonate with Kant's, but it's reference to objective accounts "not draw[ing] on any assumptions" potentially conflicts with Kant's, since in order to produce the objective account one would first have to demonstrate "objectively" that the distinction between "objective" and "subjective" is an objective one, rather than merely assuming it. But how could one objectively show this without presupposing the concept that one sought to justify objectively?
None of this means for a second that I don't believe that there are facts out there that aren't subjective (i.e. that I reduce the claim that "the Earth orbits the sun" to subjective opinion). The point is simply that the term "objective" is called on to do a lot of work, to mean a lot of different things (e.g. transcendentality, universality, neutrality, non-distortion, detachment, factuality, and more) such that "objectivity" is far from a rigorous concept, and certainly not rigorous enough to provide the self-evident basis to the distinction you want to make between objectivity and subjectivity — especially since the concept of "subjectivity" is even less coherent than that of objectivity.
Oh god, I can't believe I've allowed myself to get drawn into this again...
I agree. But otherwise, how does that relate to what you were saying before about neither the subjective or objective position being correct? In laymans terms. I did study philosophy but it was ages ago and I haven't got the foggiest what your first post means.
since I was responding directly to theguywithnousername's post. Regarding the point about the non-absolute nature of the distinction between objectivity and subjectivity, I can't help but cop out by referring you to a previous debate:
I kick in about the 7th or 8th post, but it gets interesting around this point, when I get into an exchange with Anikulapo:
It's also worth keeping in mind that both in that debate and here, I'm aiming to critique knee-jerk affirmations of subjectivity, rather than to defend (or challenge objectivity). The bit about the fact/value distinction is something else altogether — though part of the problem in these debates is the conflation of the two distinctions.
I think I put the objectivity/subjectivity issue clearest in the older thread, but I'm happy to elaborate here (over the course of days, perhaps),
For me personally objectivity is a misused term in terms of both journalism and philosophy (in so far as that in both of those objectivity is clearly an impossible aim) and I'd only use it in the far more rigorous scientific definition. But fair enough - I'd not considered the other ways in which people use the word.
I largely disagree with Kant et al. Or more strictly consider it a wholly academic debate in that we can only experience the world as we perceive it and cannot possibly know or test whether such things are as they are in themselves. So for all practical purposes we might as well assume the world as we as humans perceive it and the world as it is are one and the same (in so far as all experience where human perception is essentially universally the same go at least). But I also agree I've probably opened a can of worms that doesn't really need to be opened here.
so we have a set of reference points from which we can begin to make judgements or start the debate on our set of values. I agree that any evaluation of those are subjective but you'll easily find that a common opinion or ground can be established. Films have a set of values for objective evaluation which we're all happy to use - plot, acting, dialogue / script, cinematography, directoring etc so there's no reason why these can't be developed for music. I mean, we can all come up with the same reasons why Jedward's 'Ice Ice Baby' is a bad recording or why The Beatles 'Eleanor Rigby' is a good one. Personal enjoyment of music should be separated from a critical evaluation. 'A' better than 'B' is a more difficult prospect but can be achieved once we've started the dialogue on the values that we're applying.
why? sorry if that sounds like a stupid question. I just don't see what value a debate about music that set aside personal enjoyment could possibly have.
my favourite conversations about music are all about personal emotions and what one person enjoys and why, that's what we're all here for, sharing in the joy. And that's subjective. What I'm suggesting is that we could elevate the debate above 'I like this, buggers to the rest of you' to something more sophisticated. I mean, we recognise that an episode of Hollyoakes is inferior to a Scorsese film or a dirty kebab to a Michellin star Sunday roast. If there's no objective values then everything is as shit or good as anything else but that's ok as long as someone likes it.
and give detailed, intelligent reasons, without ever claiming to be objective. I think the thing is to think in a bit more depth about why something does it for you. If you get a lot of peoples opinions together, you'll have a consensus, and some things will prove more popular, (either with critics or the public), than others.
I think value judgements are all subjective - that doesn't mean all pieces of music, for example, are exactly as good as each other. It just means there is no objective way to rank them.
And I don't think a discussion of music or film which accepts this need be any less sophisticated than otherwise. You can still talk about plot, acting, musicianship... everything. You just don't get to end it with a big fat "and that's why X is better than Y and I'm right and you're wrong".
I mean you talk about a set of values for objective evaluation of films. But they're in no way objective. Nobody could present a criteria everyone would agree on for what constitutes a good script, good directing or good acting. There's a mass consensus some films are better than others but even this is to an extent a preference of fashion and subjective to the tastes of our times. There's no objective way you could ever demonstrate a Scorsese film as being better than a Hollyoaks episode. Sure, lots would agree with you but it's not demonstrable.
I mean even if you were to try to evaluate music objectively, you'd be judging it up against a set of criteria that has been subjectively determined by critics according to the standards of our society. For example in Western music it's assumed there are only 12 tones and any deviation from those twelve tones is out of tune but Arabic music allows for half-tones, quarter-tones etc. So even our most basic way of assessing music is by no means an objectively established principle.
And then how would you judge it? Using critical acclaim is entirely objective - who decides a certain person's opinion is of more value than another person's? Ultimately the most objective tool you could find would be how many people like something and even that's deeply flawed as you can't quantify how much they like it. I know it's depressing to think there's no objective values but sadly as soon as you try to apply objective criteria to music or films or any other aspect of culture you immediately start making subjective value judgements so the whole process is impossible.
I don’t believe that judging music will ever be 100% objective. People will always argue, but I do think that it isn’t completely subjective.
When people listen to music they automatically have standards that they use to judge it wether they know it or not. For example how catchy it is, how attractive the lead singer is etc etc. What Im basically saying is that there are better and worse standards to judge music by, these can be chosen by experts (doctor’s and scholars) in the field of music and when we get these standards that stand the test of time we can start analyzing music with these standards and see where they are on the scale. This of course will be done with argument and reasoning all on its own.
Are you really saying that how attractive the singer is, is just as important as how technically talented the musicians are in the group when trying to find out how good the music is? I didn’t think so.
I think when we judge music we should be basing our judgment of the music on the music itself. I think this is a pretty basic/agreeable step. It also means that popularity/attractiveness/ influence (which is a result of success and acclaim) cannot be the criteria for judging the music.
Then what parts of the music makes music good and bad? The best way to do this I think would be to look at some past examples. Why do scholars and professionals (across different culture and countries I might add) in music say that Chopin/Rachmaninov /Beatles (I thought the rock example might help) are great. Its because they were all so far ahead of their time in terms of technical ability/structure/ style etc etc. I also believe that this has to be the ultimate step of comparing bands against each other, how much they progressed music.
I also think you will find that in the classical world there are standards that everyone agrees on that goes beyond countries and culture, these are mainly technical ability (scales, runs, technique you use) and musicality (how emotional you make the music).
As I said before its not 100% objective but I mean it just as good as science or maths.
Also with the culture relativist stuff, you seem to be saying that because someone/a culture believes something it means it’s correct or right or that we should care for the opinion just because its someone opinion, we shouldn’t, some things are just wrong. Some one actually said “objectively the world is a sphere but subjectively it's flat and both statements are in a sense completely valid” after doing philosophy I guess the term ‘valid’ has a different meaning to me but its not valid to say that the world is flat (its understandable to see why someone would believe that form the technology they had in those days) but the view is still not valid it is completely objectively wrong and it is not subjective wether the world is flat or round because it is one.
If someone is going to reply this (far too long) rant please say specifically where I am wrong in my reasoning and not just say that I am, also please just don’t have a counter argument, I do genuinely want to know what is correct.
there are obviously lots of objectively verifiable things that you can say about music. We can say that a band has a certain number of members, or that they tend to play at a certain tempo, or we could even say that a certain song or guitar solo is of higher technical ability than another - ie fewer people would be able to play it - but when you decide which of these criteria make a band or a piece of music "better" than another piece of music, you are making a value judgement. You are telling us what you value, not some fact about the world outside of yourself.
We couldn't live without them, you know.
But I think they are the one band that stands out in the last twenty years that if someone says "I think they're rubbish", then your eyebrows can legitimately be seriously raised.
God I phrased that poorly. Basically, I fully understand if you don't really like them, but if you genuinely think they're rubbish, then you're probably a bit of a moron.
If it weren't for Pablo Honey
but Radiohead are and have been the most consistantly great band for me since The Smiths. Pablo Honey was bish, but everything since then has been fucking beyond ace. Of course with a band as critically (and commercially) lauded as Radiohead you are always going to get haters. The kinds of people who pathologically cannot allow themselves to like something that is universally popular. The bottom line is, if you like alternative music of any kind and you claim to hate Radiohead - you're lying.
with the last line there.
Radiohead third best band from Oxford (so far). OFFICIAL.
Rock of Travolta, Goldrush, MBICR, or Hester Thrale?
Peter! You've lost the news!
you're getting that glazed over feeling that makes you feel like everyone likes them. They don't.
Don't worry most Radiohead fans experience this.
all music is subjective. those 12 year olds who say miley cyrus is the great musician of all time opinions are as valid as yours on the matter
also most people in this thread need a good hard shag amirite
are some subjective opinions not more grounded in experience, knowledge, comparison - the realm of the objective - than others? I could ask a 10 yr-old child who the greatest author of all time is, and they might say JK Rowling. Now, presuming I'd read all of JK Rowlings books (which I certainly haven't, but let's presume) as well as a great selection of literature from across the ages, would my opinion - while still fundamentally subjective - not be somewhat more objective than that of the child who has little or nothing else to base her assertion on?
are Radiohead the least divisively great band in the world? In that, everyone, even if they didn't like the music, would have to agree that they can understand how others like Radiohead.
But they are a marmite band, they're loved and hated, so no.
The Beatles would be less divisive..or Dylan. But no, it's a silly question to ask.
some folks like 'em. You can say THAT.
contain more ivenention, playfulness, joy, integrity and pure pleasure than Radiohead's supposedly 'experimental' Kid A, Amnesiac, Hail To The Thief, and In Rainbows.*
And on that basis, I'm out.**
*If there's gonna be such a flippant OP, I'm gonna be just as flippant.***
**I've no beef with the 'head, but the reverence reserved for 'em is just plain daft.
***Flappancy doesn't mean I don't believe it, though.
1 thread and yet so many arseholes.
You all know what they guy's trying to ask, if you've got such a problem with his wording don't fucking reply, you miserable cunts.
PS I don't think Radiohead are the best band ever.
People are discussing whether a band can be objectively defined as great.
People are therefore answering exactly what he's trying to ask.
No, I really don't.
Unless it's along the lines of:
"OH HAI GUYS, Radiohead are teh graytest evvah!!1!!!one, and we defanutly agree, yeah?"
It's a trolling (or woefully innocent) non-starter of an OP, with many more eloquent replies than it ever deserved.
Chances are it was an innocent post, and surely worthy of the benefit of the doubt either way (or until more evidence of trolling came to light)?
DiS: Where the cynics of the world unite. And spaff over eachother.
If so, PigOnAntibiotics has been schooled.
It's happened to us all at some point. It's for the best. And most of us tend to get the gist of the intertrons fairly quickly. No harm done.
I've seen very little cynicism on this thread. One man's eloquent reply is another man's spaff, I guess.
must be easuly into double figures by now.
I agree with OP. Seriously.
Subjective = I like/don't like, that music does nothing/everything for me.
One can be measured, the other can't. That's why the music business likes 'charts', the best bands are 'objectively' those who shift most units.
How fiendishly cunning of you.
you seem to have this'd that post after OBT, you could argue that this happened at the time of the post and it's just a coincidence that you two are interacting in this thread. OR you have also participated in this thread a long time after it has been posted, making your sarcastic 'or reading post dates' comment hypocritical.
This seemed like an appropriate thread to make an incredibly dull and pedantic point.