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Has a millionaire fine artist for a dad and is brilliant. Plenty of good musicians went to public schools, including Radiohead. Whats your point?
think he's pretty overrated.
Radiohead's main strength is their sense of melody, which I'm thinking benefited from their privileged backgrounds. at least through Jonny being classically trained. or just cribbing from Cardiacs, whatever.
my point? I'm just bored by all the canon-obsessed album-centric threads and felt this was fertile ground for actual interesting chat.
they don't strike me as overprivileged, public schoolboy-type people at all.
Disproportionately loads, probably, given all the hurdles needed be overcome to learn an instrument, learn music, record songs, practice and gig for no financial benefit, release a record, get press attention, radio play and exposure etc etc.
So much of what is written and so much of what we are then able to hear and like, has had to pass through all those filters and barriers.
came from underprivileged backgrounds.
and this is just a scan of western, U.S.-centric milieu.
just thought that a lot of great Brazilian music came from privileged guys. so score one more to Battery's post.
how many bands in the 60s-70s came from low income families. I think the frame work now is different now, perhaps because record labels invest much less in new artists. I think it really helps to be loaded to make it in music, it certainly helps as you can tour and advertise rather then spend all your time in a dead end job. Im sure there was an piece on this change a few years back.
music from privileged backgrounds often seems to suffer from being too studied.
and that old chesnut 'necessity is the mother of invention'... music from lower classes tends towards the utilitarian. most really vital music came from humble origins
also limitations often facilitate better results.
E.g. the families of Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk and Sonny Rollins all were well off and they sent their kids to learn to play instruments at a young age.
try to make out music's "of the people maaaaaaan". Fucking isn't. See marckee's post. The bourgeoisie are always going to be the main proponents and consumers of art.
but the bourgeoisie are rarely the creators of art.
Which is pretty outdated and limited.
Happy to help.
But who cares, good music is good no matter if mum & dad have money.
When its shit its see through regardless of money and wealth.
It's important to have a variety of people involved in things to keep it innovative, vital and relevant. Good music might be good music, but, as with anything else, drawing from a small pool of talent is always going to hinder its potential.
There's also the question of the exposure that music is getting. The best song in the world might have been written yesterday by a kid on the bus to his job at the call centre, but you'll probably not hear it over the Brit school graduate fast-tracked on to the Radio1 playlist.
Adele fucks up your whole argument. Sorry about that.
I wanted to start a proper discussion about this. fully aware that people from privileged backgrounds have made good music.
I read that Quietus piece about Jungle and I was feeling all edgy and whatnot.
They went as far to say that musicians from privileged backgrounds would make better art because they weren't under the same pressure as working class bands were to "make it" and so there was less chance of them diluting their work to gain commercial success.
Are people who already have money really less driven to acquire further wealth than people without? You can just as easily argue that the pursuit of commercial success is more likely to be seen as the main goal of making music by people from a privileged background, and working class people are more concerned about artistic integrity. In either case, it is an oversimplification of the motivations of aspiring musicians.
Jagger's dad was a teacher, mum a hairdresser; Keef's dad was a factory worker
Keef paints a picture of his upbringing like he's the Artful Dodger in his autobiog. But "I was really hard up maaaaaaaan" seems to be a mandatory staple of rock stars' autobiogs anyway, ghost writers must love it.
good music though?
The problem is not about the children of the rich making music it's about them monopolising popular culture in the same way they have always monopolised, say The City and the professions.
That's a new development over the past ten years or so and it is a depressing development - not only is talent elsewhere in society not developed but the culture itself stops reflecting society.
Back in the seventies and eighties we had a load of intelligent, feisty non-conformists from working class and lower middle-class backgrounds (ME Smith, Morrissey, The Specials, John Lydon, Kevin Rowland etc). I think since Oasis there has been a patronising idea that in order to be 'authentic' working class music has to be simple, 'anthemic' and non-engaged (loads of bands ready to give the music industry a 'kick up the arise')
Meanwhile the privately educated careerists have colonised the charts and also the 6 Music/ Later end of the alternative music market (see Alt J and Jungle kicking off the new series last night).
Thank god for Wlld Beasts and, of course, Sleaford Mods.
That's not really true, is it?
It's all good and well looking back at the 80s and reminiscence about Mark E Smith and Morrissey, but they didn't really storm the charts as such. That was left to proper pop music.
For arguments sake, let's take a look at no. 1 hit singles in 1985. Ignoring the glut of charity singles that year, 15 Brits topped the chart:
Elaine Page - middle class
Barbara Dickson - working class
Pete Burns (Dead Or Alive) - middle class
Phil Collins - middle class
Paul Hardcastle - middle class
Annie Lennox (Eurythmics) - working class
David A Stewart (Eurythmics) - middle class
Campbell brothers (UB40) - working class
David Bowie - middle class
Mick Jagger - middle class
Midge Ure - working class
Feargal Sharkey - working class
George Michael - middle class
Andrew Ridgeley - middle class
Shakin' Stevens - working class
The working classes did get a look in, but 60% of our chart toppers came from well-to-do families, and several of the above people went to prestigious stage schools before embarking on a career in pop.
More than Madonna and Jacko!
The striking thing now is the dominance of the privately educated, who represent a narrow band of the financially privileged (about 8% of the population) and an increasingly disproportionate part of popular culture.
I don't think many of the people you define as 'middle class' come from that band of the population. They mostly come from that part of society which you might define as upper working or lower middle. That's always been fertile territory for the popular arts (it's where The Beatles, The Stones and Bowie and many other come from). It's solidly in the middle of British society as a whole.
It's pretty clear that the centre of gravity in popular culture has switched upwards quite significantly from that area towards the privately educated elite.
Also popular culture is not just the people at the top of the charts. I would argue that Morrissey for instance (solidly working class) has had a far more significant impact on the culture as a whole than Elaine Paige, Paul Hardcastle or Barbara Dickson.
As that was the music everyone would hear on daytime radio, and those were the records everyone was buying from their local Our Price.
With the benefit of hindsight it is easy to say now that Morrissey had a bigger influence than Elaine Paige, but no one can predict which current acts will be inspiring music in 2045.
And finally, you're wrong about Paul Hardcastle, who is a major influence on electronic music, and whose music has been sampled by many people. Bear that in mind next time you listen to Michael Jackson's Thriller.
was a working class boy from Brixton.
and didn't George Michael write songs about being on the dole or something?
His dad worked for Barnados.
He failed his 11 plus and went to a Technical School.
George Michael met Andrew Ridgeley at the Comprehensive School they both went to.
Their backgrounds could fairly be described as 'ordinary'. Nothing like the privately educated rich kids we are talking about dominating music at present.
have had a huge effect too in my opinion. Back in the 80s your dole money went a lot further, it was easier to get housing benefit, there was less pressure on you to prove you were looking for work, and you could even get money from the Enterprise Allowance Scheme to start a band, all of which made life a little easier for struggling musicians.
Likewise, the student grant system and free university tuition meant that, instead of leaving uni 20,000 quid in debt, most students graduated either with no debt or comparatively little, so there was no immediate pressure to go straight into a career.
Both factors which help explain why music is now dominated by those from more privileged backgrounds.
But it's always been financially difficult to start a band.
The real difference is that here is now little chance of ever making money from being in an indie band. I remember that recent article about Field Music (and established, hard working and moderately successful band) where they said they made about £5000 a year and could only keep going because their wives had full time jobs.
Sleaford Mods would qualify if they were actually good.
He always comes up in these threads.
Why the fuck would that be important?
not limited it to financial security.
I think comfort in general is the issue. in western popular music, there seems to be less sociopolitical agitation than ever before. less technological upheaval, too.
and I think there's a lot to be said for the bubble. I feel like these are such subdued times; any desire can be cheaply satiated at a moments notice by technological means.
Music's never been particularly political, and (with a few notable exceptions) most sociopolitical music has been the subject of mockery. It's easy to cherry pick from the past and imagine we've suddenly arrived in an era of banality and uniformity but it's just not the case. False nostalgia has always been a thing though.
I'm not talking about protest songs or anything, I'm talking about what the music is a product of, culturally.
the more comfortable and privileged someone is, the less likely they are to have anything really compelling behind their music.
seems to be rare that worthwhile music comes from people with easy lives. you so often end up with most prog, some of the worst Britpop, scores of classical composers, Brit school toss, etc.
lots of the worst 80s music, I'd have thought. when you needed to be loaded to get a synthesizer.
I leave it up to you to decide if this can be filed under "the worst 80s music" or not.
(all UK #1 hits, obviously)
Especially as he admits he's trolling in first few posts.
I think it's apparent that it's more of an issue within the whole hype thing. That Quietus article about Jungle kinda says it all; and that whole period when it seemed like there was a Mockerney Brit School grad waiting round every corner
take advantage of the system.
what marckee said up there, essentially.
strokes debut; sean lennon's 1st; does rufus wainwright count? lenny kravitz? hunt & tony sales with todd, bowie & iggy. lucinda williams.
I actually meant the kind of privilege that Jungle come from. that level, not merely anything above the breadline. should have pointed that out earlier.
you wouldn't have guessed it from that name.
Genesis (early stuff plus Peter Gabriel solo stuff) is good
Queen (Freddie Mercury went to public school, dunno about the rest)
all went to public school, but I think you have to take into account things like whether or not they had some sort of scholarship and how rich their parents' parents were, etc.
I find the best artists are usually those who've a real insight and exposure into to both working/lower-middle-class and upper-class environments and realise how fucked up everything is.
Apart from that, there are maybe a few artists (I like) from comfortable backgrounds/nice towns (e.g. Pink Floyd, Kate Bush) but no one alarmingly posh or overprivileged.
Than most bands you hear being interviewed on 6 music.