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"Elvis and the Beatles stole from black music."

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Showing 476-500 of 566 posts in this discussion
Posted on Nov 2, 2012 6:57:14 AM PDT
stevign says:
Some people are obsessed with Race. The black man is almost always in the right and the white man is almost always in the wrong. A certain song or genre being derivative is just not a concept they care to entertain, it is either outright theft or it is not. For this type of person there are no degrees and there always has to be a victim. Why? Because the psychological payoff is too enticing, it makes them feel good about themselves to play a hero and come to the aid of who they see as a poor hapless victims.
Call me cynical but I imagine it even makes them feel superior to those they argue with at times. I'm sure psychologists have studied this but my guess is that part of it has to do with trust issues, but I'm no psychologist so I'll leave the reasons and explanations up to them.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012 8:37:57 AM PDT
Hinch says:
True! Some see everything through the prism of race. As far as I'm concerned there is no 'race', only skin color. Under our skin we're all the same. Of course there will always be those who cannot be convinced.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012 12:33:09 PM PDT
stevign says:
re: "Under our skin we're all the same."

Except of course those guys over there. No one likes them anyway.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012 12:16:02 AM PDT
Sam Clemens says:
Yes, and the rotten scoundrels with whom we happen to be at war with, at any given moment in time. Sheesh!! We keep "saving the world for democracy." Yea, right!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012 9:49:32 AM PDT
Mr. P says:
J. Hand,

"I agree that many White artists didn't cover music by Black artists out of benevolence or to promote said artist, if that was what you meant. If anything I believe it was an easy way to make a hit and some $$$ with little chance of legal repercussions or having to actually pay royalties. I also know not all musicians were that way."

Thats exatcly what I meant....and this apologist attempt to somehow charaterize the situation that Black American artists should somehow be thankful for White pop acts is naive [yay!] at best & at worst nauseating.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012 9:55:28 AM PDT
Mr. P says:
No Mark......Gospel is not a fusion of British hymns....that came later [Amazing Grace being the most famous example]. Gospel came from African Gospel.

Dont know what research/reading u've done but this supposition was proved 2 be another attempt by some 2 'own' somehow this African music. Many musicologists have shown empirical evidence that while ALL music is related [we are all born anew with the concept of music]....African influence can be traced and proved clearly on Western culture.

And dont forget, just because a Black musician picks up an instrument of European origin....does not make that music European/White. Of course, this all forgets also that their were African equivalents 2 a lot of these European instruments also.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012 10:08:34 AM PDT
Mr. P says:
In this case a Psychoanalyst would see this as Denial and Resistence. Also, transference....the reversal of the characterisation of race politics and an inability to understand scale and historical context. This often leads to this narcissistic projection that 'they' are somehow the more important issue and infact the real 'victim.' Thus dispacing their anger against the 'almost always right Blacks' and all who seem to express any historial facts that support this idea.

This comes from poor attachment [insecure/avoidant] to one or more parent[s] issues are a part of this. The child has been traumatized by abandonment and is full of grief and rage....and projects this onto the 'other' [most common for the other 2 be of a different race, class, religion or ethnicity in adult life]. Thus replaying the original trauma of being neglected, abandoned and unwanted.

But this displacement continues towards the 'other' until the original trauma is relived in the safe environment of analysis.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012 12:46:55 PM PDT
stevign says:
re: "Sheesh!! We keep "saving the world for democracy." Yea, right!!!"

I'm with you Sam, screw everyone else in the world. Let them get mass murdered, raped, imprisoned, tortured, mutilated and treated like second-class citizen, the United Nations has it totally under control and we should stay out of it. Oh, and what's so wrong with making women wear a sack over their entire body? If men in other cultures want to treat their women like cattle along with stoning, beating and honor-killings, why can't we just respect our differences? They're just doin' there thing man.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012 2:53:16 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 3, 2012 3:02:19 PM PDT
J. Hand says:
Mr. P- That is what I meant. If nothing else, this repackaging of music performed by Black artists frequently happened within the same time frame that the original versions were released. Historically, not many non-Blacks were seeking to , as Zappa put it, "move [ing] the project forward..." in the context of promoting equal rights, etc. In absence of that, it doesn't leave many other reasons why it was done other than the fast cash. Again, I have to acknowledge that I don't believe this was universal and that some artists did truly like the music. I think back then in the blues/jazz era there wasn't a lot of image and overt "coolness" that drew people in with their primary goal being to wear the image like a costume such as happens with rap/hip-hop culture rather than for the music. I enjoy both rap and hip-hop music (and I'm uncomfortably close to 60) but find no reason to dress like I'm from the Inner City or speak that way. I see so much of that 'body in search of personality' thing by White kids who want to play "gangsta". I often think that their attatchment to rap/hip-hop music is just another accessory to enhance what they pretend to be. For that matter, too much music is just an audio bauble for image enhancement than enjoyment of art. Again, I know these aren't Universal Truths but in my experience, the exceptions are pretty scarce.

I have a little trouble wrapping my head around you last statement. Personally I don't think it's wrong to say that White artists, especially from the UK didn't have a powerful influence on showing Americans just how good the Blues and other forms of music created and played predominantly by Black artists was. I don't think it should be viewed that somehow Black artists should be beholden to them, act humble, and all "Awwww shucks!" about it. I really don't know of any White acts that ever said or did any such thing. I tend to think musicians see the music first and the artist second. Now, the audience for the music of which we speak- nothing that comes out of that group surprises me. It's more than just that attitude I find quite naive AND nauseating.

I liken it to when I get -ahem- 'expansive' on a subject and 99% of the people I'm globbing it onto don't get it, but a couple do. I'm happy somebody, anybody gets what I'm saying/doing! But I certainly don't feel they have somehow done me a favor by understanding me and I am somehow in their debt.

People are allowed to be stupid and many make it a lifestyle. But those in the know- they/we KNOW and that's all that matters.

BTW: Someone recommended Black Culture and Black Consciousness: Afro-American Folk Thought from Slavery to Freedom to me some time ago from another discussion. Would that have been you? If so, thanks for the recommendation. It was an excellent read!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012 3:17:35 PM PDT
Mr P

I also noted the use of western tuning. Most of the African slaves came from West Africa so a great many were muslim, and christianity was not established there at that time. Also, by singing in English,m the form automatically has European influence. I'm not sure where I said African music didn't have a big effect on Western music, because I've never said it didn't.

Yes, musicologists made many mistakes about European music. For instance, the myth that somehow Europeans didn't use percussion prior to influence. I distrust any claim that any music is not effected by the ambient culture. Listen to the earliest available gospel and then to the (secular) praise songs of the West African griots. There are obviously similarities but there is also a change in the relationship of the vocals to the music which bespeaks European influence.

African popular music uses electric guitars and basses, drum kits, keyboards and brass. Plus the occasional accordion (Unfortunately piano style) and violin. They have not electrified the ngoni/hoddu (banjo ancestor) or the njarka (1 string fiddle). Fortunately they are still being recorded. So there is a western influence in contemporary African

But don't lean the other way and pretend that there would be no modern American music without Black influence. It would be different, but it would still exist, whatever it sounded like.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012 4:48:46 PM PDT
Hinch says:
I'm not an apologist. I was stating the fact. Covering songs helps give the songwriter recognition, whatever his/her skin color. The same could be said of Dylan who was helped by the artists who covered his songs. Everything is not always about 'race'. I'm still waiting to hear why I should be losing sleep.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012 4:59:42 PM PDT
Hinch says:
You've got it all intellectually analyzed and figured out haven't you? Bravo!! Well here's some news for you. The human race originated in Africa. We're all related. Some of us don't care about skin color and never have.

Posted on Nov 3, 2012 5:12:20 PM PDT
Hinch says:
The fact is mainstream America wasn't listening to American blues and r&b until it was repackaged and brought here by British artists.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012 8:46:06 PM PDT
stevign says:
Are you still making sense Hinch? Well STOP IT, this is the internet for god's sake!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012 8:50:45 PM PDT
stevign says:
The Brits definitely threw American Blues back in our face but I'm pretty sure the average American was a fan of R&B (think Motown and Stax) before the Brits.

Posted on May 14, 2013 7:02:36 PM PDT
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Posted on Sep 26, 2013 7:48:55 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Sep 26, 2013 7:49:18 AM PDT]

Posted on Feb 9, 2014 11:59:16 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Feb 12, 2014 4:32:00 PM PST]

Posted on Feb 12, 2014 4:32:17 PM PST

Posted on Feb 12, 2014 4:59:19 PM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Feb 12, 2014 9:51:36 PM PST
Well, nearly. "They took the unmelodic jungle music and fused it with classical music, creating a more bland music of our time."

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 13, 2014 5:15:10 AM PST
Mr. P says:
No surprise at the level of ignorance on this pitiful thread that chooses arrogantly 2 refer 2 Black music in blatant racist terms as "unmelodic jungle music".

Beatles also didnt originate blending popular music with Classical, they stole that idea too. And as 'John Lennon's Jukebox' clearly shows they not only blatantly stole Black American music as inspiration for their pitiful copy but lifted whole lyrics, guitar licks, arrangements, phrasing and singing styles. Beatles were just a poor bland impersonation for the uninitiated who hadnt heard the original authentic music. And have been overrated and over-promoted, and choked down the throat of the western world and deigified for their kareoke ever since!

Only reason they got so big was a concerted effort to fiercely sell them in any form of media 7-24 from day one [oh, and they White!]. Ok, so they wrote a few [a few] catchy tunes....but essentially they a slightly more clever One Direction.

Posted on Feb 13, 2014 7:44:50 AM PST
It's not a rip-off. It's an homage!

Posted on Feb 13, 2014 8:01:38 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 13, 2014 2:52:27 PM PST
Geffers says:
Elvis ,billed at first as a Hillbilly singer really borrowed from both white and black styles . Looking at his first few recordings for Sun he took Bluegrass and gave it a Black R&B edge ,he took some R&B numbers and gave them a white country style .His dress style was straight from Beale Street ,he loved Gospel and he also Liked Mario Lanza . He was probably the first artist to jumble all these genre's in to his own inimitable style . Maybe that's why he appealed to so many .
The Beatles on the other hand revered in the main black artists and tried to emulate them in their own style which was not as successful as Elvis 's efforts.

Where Elvis often improved or equalled a particular style the Beatles did not . Twist and Shout ,Chains and Lennon singing Ben E Kings ,Stand by Me were pale imitations of the originals . The Beatles only created their own style after about their second or third album .

I don't think personally that they were a Rock n Roll group .R&R in its purest form was mainly for dancing and like when Be Bop came along a couple of decades previous to them ,they ensured with Sgt Pepper that in the main that was an album purely for listening to .

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 13, 2014 9:06:02 AM PST
stevign says:
Sometimes that is indeed true, most of the time it's not a "rip-off" at all but merely an artist being too derivative of a previous song or style. Every musician builds on those who came before them. There is no moral or ethical rule in music that says you can't play a certain genre or even mix, change, add, subtract or sound like it.

If an artist loves a certain style or genre so much that they adopt any or all of it, then that's a matter of love and respect for the inventors, not theft.

In the end music is there for us to express our emotions through, and if we musicians find a certain way of expressing that, then we should be free to do so without being accused of a crime by some self-righteous clown who claims to know something about music.
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Discussion in:  Music forum
Participants:  162
Total posts:  566
Initial post:  Aug 17, 2011
Latest post:  Feb 18, 2016

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