All Time Best Group of Rock Musicians, Who Didn't Just Make A Music Product To Sell

StrangerNY

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Though I do think everyone ( really, despite what they may claim, or think), would rather make money, than not!

I agree. Anyone I know who went chasing a record deal (myself included) had the dream of being rich and famous, not merely famous. And record labels have never been about signing a band out of the kindness of their hearts. It's called the music business for a reason.

I'll add John Coltrane!

That's a pretty good one.

- D
 

oregomike

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Everybody's about the music first. Money, as the song goes, changes everything.

And everyone who signs to a major label, for better or worse, ultimately becomes a 'manufactured artist' - thanks to marketing departments.

And if we're talking 'legacy' bands like the Dead and ABB, who out of that era would be considered a 'corporate supergroup?' Blind Faith?

I will admit that your example of Fugazi is a really good one. I'd add Ani DiFranco and maybe Billy Bragg, even though he was on a major.

- D


Yeah, I guess that's sort of my point. I mean, you want to make a living, right? Back when the RC's had more pull, it was harder to cave to the demands placed on artists to create what the RC's considered marketable. Hence, easier to "sell out". I think the power has shifted to the artist though, and we're all the better for it. I'll add Wilco to the mix, now that I think of it. The I Am Trying to Break Your Heart documentary really captured a band in the throws of putting a record out they wanted vs what their record company wanted, and ultimately refusing to remix their album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. They were lucky enough to be able to buy it back from Reprise. They then signed with Nonesuch, (both a division of Warner Records). They joked that Warner liked the album so much, they bought it twice. Lol.

BTW, probably my favorite music documantary. Worth a watch.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Am_Trying_to_Break_Your_Heart:_A_Film_About_Wilco#Overview
 

sax4blues

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I know people like to make revisionist history about themselves, but I’ve never read or heard a single musician say they started and pursued music for money. Fame, attention maybe, but every interview talks about love of music and creativity.
 

Strebs

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Neil Young talked about leaving Buffalo Springfield and CSNY when they got too commercial.
 

StrangerNY

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I know people like to make revisionist history about themselves, but I’ve never read or heard a single musician say they started and pursued music for money. Fame, attention maybe, but every interview talks about love of music and creativity.

(I'm starting to sound like the resident cynic in this thread, so I may as well roll with it. :lol: )

Of course you get into playing for the love of it, because at the start, what else have you got? I had a couple of run-ins with the music biz (neither one particularly successful), and after nearly 60 years I still get a thrill picking up my guitar and playing, even if it's in some crappy bar. But once you get a peek at all the money that flows through the industry (and the focus of the record company folks on getting a piece of it), you kinda want to get a piece of it, too. It's an influence that you can't ignore, and I think the trick of it is to keep your passion for creativity alive once you've spent time with the label dorks who are constantly, constantly keeping their eye on the bottom line.

Some people get there and hate it. I'd say Cobain was one of them, who loved the music but hated the business. Once you cross over from being just a band or an artist and becoming a brand, your love of what you're doing gets pretty heavily tested. That territory where art and commerce collide is tricky.

- D
 

Killing Floor

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Maybe The Rakes. The remind me of Gang of Four musically. They knocked it out of the park with their first album and split.

Lou Reed! He was about as hard working against his own success as you can get.
 

Double Stop

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Grateful Dead

I'm a huge Grateful Dead fan, too, but they, and every other band that strives to make an actual living playing music, are selling a "product", no? Not to say they intentionally formed the group with the goal of becoming filthy rich, but perhaps making enough to make a lifetime living out of it, able to quit their "day jobs" by making the type of music they were truly passionate about. Well, they certainly succeeded, but the music (whether by album sales or concert tickets) was the "product" by which they made their living.

I dunno though, maybe T-shirts and bumper stickers were more their "product".:lol:
 




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