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David Bowie Overrated?

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Were the Beatles overrated? The Stones? The Who? David Bowie?

While I can’t stand listening to more than a few Stones songs, thing the Who were uneven at best, and think that David Bowie is well past his sell-by date, I wouldn’t say that any of the above are overrated. See, there’s a difference between being overrated and being disliked by me–the difference is that, in some situations, you could still see the artistic value whether you enjoy the work or not.

You could easily make the case that all of those artists were extremely influential in their field whether you like the music or not.

Again, one thing that I want to return to is the idea that you can dislike the music without thinking that the artist is overrated. I’m not a fan of I.M. Pei, for instance, and happen to think that his designs are violate what is best about architecture, but I would never say the man is overrated. His designs are wildly influential in the field of architecture.

As for me, I prefer Mies Van Der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright.

Does my personal dislike of Pei’s style make him overrated? No. (Michael Graves, on the other hand, can’t be forgiven for the abomination that is the Denver Public Library.)

See, in my world there are three basic classifications of art (it’s a simplified world view, I know):

  1. Art that I like that is good. (Screaming Trees)
  2. Art that I don’t like that is good. (Rolling Stones)
  3. Crap. (New Kids on the Block)

If I were feeling honest, I would also note the existence of a fourth category: Crap that I (a-ha and OMD). I’m not feeling honest right now, so we’ll just pretend that the fourth category doesn’t exist.

That’s why I would tell Mark (aside from the fact that I really like Bowie’s pre-90’s work) that, no, David Bowie isn’t overrated.

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About Zombyboy


    I agree with your points and regarding David Bowie, it’s true he hasn’t turned in awe inspiring work for the last…20 years, but he satisfies himself and doesn’t resort to the ‘ole ‘Greatest hits’ tours. His 70’s work was always truly original – Hunky Dory, Ziggy, Aladdin, Diamond Dogs, Young Americans, Station to../Low/Heroes/Lodger/Scary Monsters/Let’s Dance. All classic albums. Thanks for letting me have my comment – Luke

  • zombyboy

    Amen, Luke. I’m right there with you.