Why Is British And American Music So Superior?

by bravo75 78 replies
Sure, there are a few German bands, Spliff, CAN etc. Dutch bands, Bloef, Doe Maar, Golden Earring etc.

But why is British and American music so overwhelmingly superior? Is it the language, the culture? Why hasn't China or India got spectacular artists such as Hendrix, Lennon, Paul Weller, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Bob Dylan, Tom Waites, Beefheart, Zappa...? I could go on all day.

What makes British and American music so great?
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  • Profile picture of the author george b
    I have always assumed its because of the language barrier. Its not easy to sing, so it must be even harder to sing in another language.

    I imagine there are many great foreign performers, who sing in there native language, but we wont hear about them because we are not interested in listening to song we dont understand.

    Personally even though I am biased, I believe the UK destroys the US in terms of credible talent in the music department.

    Beatles, Stones, Floyd, Zep, Queen, David Bowie, U2, Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden, The who, The clash, Deep Purple, Oasis, Stone Roses, Pulp, Arctic Monkeys, The Jam.

    The list is endless. Any top ten band list would feature at least 3-4 of the above.
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    • Profile picture of the author joseph7384
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      • Profile picture of the author lcombs
        Originally Posted by joseph7384 View Post

        I think you are biased, there are plenty of great rock bands from the US.


        Aerosmith
        Nirvana
        The Ramones
        Metallica
        Van Halen
        R.E.M.
        The Beach Boys
        Guns N’ Roses
        Eagles
        Lynyrd Skynyrd
        Pearl Jam
        The Grateful Dead
        KISS
        Red Hot Chili Peppers
        Foo Fighters
        ZZ Top
        Talking Heads
        The J. Geils Band
        Cheap Trick
        Creedence Clearwater Revival


        These are just a few and our list is also endless.
        Leave us not forget the forefathers of Rock-n-roll;
        Carl Perkins
        Elvis
        Jerry Lee
        And...
        The Beatles modeled themselves after Buddy Holle and The Crickets, ( hence The Beatles, couple of 'insect' bands.:rolleyes
        And the Stones were strongly influenced by US rhythm and blues.
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        • Profile picture of the author bravo75
          Originally Posted by lcombs View Post

          Leave us not forget the forefathers of Rock-n-roll;
          Carl Perkins
          Elvis
          Jerry Lee
          And...
          The Beatles modeled themselves after Buddy Holle and The Crickets, ( hence The Beatles, couple of 'insect' bands.:rolleyes
          And the Stones were strongly influenced by US rhythm and blues.
          That's exactly the point. Every Tom, Dick and Harry in the world was listening to that stuff when it came out.

          People in China weren't listening to Lee Ho Fook's doo wop band. Indians weren't listening to the Govindishas, they were listening to Elvis.

          Kids in Europe were bopping to the Beatles when they came out. Again, why is British and American music so superior? Why does the whole world want to listen to it as opposed to, say, Chinese or Saudi Arabian music?
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          • Profile picture of the author lcombs
            Originally Posted by bravo75 View Post

            That's exactly the point. Every Tom, Dick and Harry in the world was listening to that stuff when it came out.

            People in China weren't listening to Lee Ho Fook's doo wop band. Indians weren't listening to the Govindishas, they were listening to Elvis.

            Kids in Europe were bopping to the Beatles when they came out. Again, why is British and American music so superior? Why does the whole world want to listen to it as opposed to, say, Chinese or Saudi Arabian music?
            I thought Lee Ho Fook's was restaurant:confused:

            Go see what the most popular music in Japan is.
            Russia?
            Europe?
            It's rock-roll. And the bands are all modeling themselves after US rock-n-roll.
            Including the Brits.
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        • Profile picture of the author KimW
          Originally Posted by lcombs View Post

          Leave us not forget the forefathers of Rock-n-roll;
          Carl Perkins
          Elvis
          Jerry Lee
          And...
          The Beatles modeled themselves after Buddy Holle and The Crickets, ( hence The Beatles, couple of 'insect' bands.:rolleyes
          And the Stones were strongly influenced by US rhythm and blues.
          Yes, America is also home of the blues.
          Many British bands are influenced by the early blues players.

          The real thing about music is good music (and I can name plenty that in my opinion is crap,not good) is universal.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
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        Originally Posted by joseph7384 View Post


        I think you are biased, there are plenty of great rock bands from the US.
        No doubting it however the British artists are absolutely killing it in the American music charts at the moment (and have been for some time) and the place to be seen undoubtedly for many an American music band is in fact playing at The Brit Awards in London.

        The point though is perfectly mute, what really matters isn't where you come from but how much people can relate to the music being played. Who gives a fig where the artist is from as long as the music is damn good.


        Mark Andrews
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    • Profile picture of the author art72
      Originally Posted by george b View Post


      Personally even though I am biased, I believe the UK destroys the US in terms of credible talent in the music department.

      Beatles, Stones, Floyd, Zep, Queen, David Bowie, U2, Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden, The who, The clash, Deep Purple, Oasis, Stone Roses, Pulp, Arctic Monkeys, The Jam.

      The list is endless. Any top ten band list would feature at least 3-4 of the above.
      Hey...You forgot OZZY!

      That's ok, we have Metallica...
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      • Profile picture of the author TimPhelan
        Wikipedia has a pretty good article about the origins of the Blues:

        Blues has evolved from the unaccompanied vocal music and oral traditions of slaves imported from West Africa and rural blacks into a wide variety of styles and subgenres, with regional variations across the United States. Though blues, as it is now known, can be seen as a musical style based on both European harmonic structure and the African call-and-response tradition, transformed into an interplay of voice and guitar,[48][49] the blues form itself bears no resemblance to the melodic styles of the West African griots, and the influences are faint and tenuous.[50][51]

        In particular, no specific African musical form can be identified as the single direct ancestor of the blues.[52] However many blues elements, such as the call-and-response format and the use of blue notes, can be traced back to the music of Africa. That blue notes pre-date their use in blues and have an African origin is attested by English composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's "A Negro Love Song", from his The African Suite for Piano composed in 1898, which contains blue third and seventh notes.[53]

        The Diddley bow (a homemade one-stringed instrument found in parts of the American South in the early twentieth century) and the banjo are African-derived instruments that may have helped in the transfer of African performance techniques into the early blues instrumental vocabulary.[54] The banjo seems to be directly imported from western African music. It is similar to the musical instrument that griots and other Africans such as the Igbo[55] played (called halam or akonting by African peoples such as the Wolof, Fula and Mandinka).[56] However, in the 1920s, when country blues began to be recorded, the use of the banjo in blues music was quite marginal and limited to individuals such as Papa Charlie Jackson and later Gus Cannon.[57]

        Blues music also adopted elements from the "Ethiopian airs", minstrel shows and Negro spirituals, including instrumental and harmonic accompaniment.[58] The style also was closely related to ragtime, which developed at about the same time, though the blues better preserved "the original melodic patterns of African music."....[59]

        The origins of the blues are closely related to the religious music of the Afro-American community, the spirituals. The origins of spirituals go back much further than the blues, usually dating back to the middle of the 18th century, when the slaves were Christianized and began to sing and play Christian hymns, in particular those of Isaac Watts, which were very popular.[63] Before the blues gained its formal definition in terms of chord progressions, it was defined as the secular counterpart of the spirituals. It was the low-down music played by the rural Blacks.[64]


        Depending on the religious community a musician belonged to, it was more or less considered as a sin to play this low-down music: blues was the devil's music. Musicians were therefore segregated into two categories: gospel and blues singers, guitar preachers and songsters. However, at the time rural Black music began to get recorded in the 1920s, both categories of musicians used very similar techniques: call-and-response patterns, blue notes, and slide guitars. Gospel music was nevertheless using musical forms that were compatible with Christian hymns and therefore less marked by the blues form than its secular counterpart.[64]
        Blues - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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  • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
    Originally Posted by bravo75 View Post

    But why is British and American music so overwhelmingly superior?
    You must mean the American continent or else shame on you for excluding Canada.

    But "superior"? That's a subjective judgement, and purely a matter of taste. And a taste that's been formed, I would suggest, by the culture in which you've grown up.

    The artists you've listed were also influenced by others in their culture. Rock and Roll was a western phenomenon. Jazz, an American invention.

    Other cultures have always had their own music and their own superstars. You just wouldn't have heard much of them, growing up in the west.

    We're all products of our time and culture. A century or two ago, our contemporaries might have been claiming all the best music came from Europe or Russia.

    Just be thankful you're alive in this era. Music had never been as culturally important as it was in the last few decades of the 20th century.

    Nor is it ever likely to be so again.


    Frank
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  • Profile picture of the author bluecoyotemedia
    Originally Posted by bravo75 View Post

    Sure, there are a few German bands, Spliff, CAN etc. Dutch bands, Bloef, Doe Maar, Golden Earring etc.

    But why is British and American music so overwhelmingly superior? Is it the language, the culture? Why hasn't China or India got spectacular artists such as Hendrix, Lennon, Paul Weller, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Bob Dylan, Tom Waites, Beefheart, Zappa...? I could go on all day.

    What makes British and American music so great?
    Mate


    open your mind just for a little bit and ask yourself a few questions;

    1.) population

    2.) is because you do not speak any other language besides english

    if you spoke.. fluent spanish just for example and you lived in mexico

    you would see many stars that are huge in thier respective markets

    they just never get out of thier markets

    every once in a while the U.S. embraces a particular person and they make enough sales that they cross over

    because in the end as well all know its all about SALES!!!!!

    Selena for example

    there are tons of examples

    one recent crossover although I personally dont consider this music

    the korean ganga whatever

    but i am sure you get the point

    just asking this type of question reveals again the bubble english american/brit mentality that the world revolves around them


    it doesn't by the way


    here are some famous artists in india

    #1 CWG Theme Song - AR Rahman -
    #2 Pehla Pyar Rush - Veronica Veronica Universal Music India
    #3 Waada Hum Yaadon Ke Sang Raeth Universal Music India
    #4 Bandish Bandish Bandish Feat Pete Lockett Universal Music India
    #5 I Love You Twist & Shout Stereo Nation Universal Music Records
    #6 Tum Jaan Lo Tum Jaan Lo Surinder Kumar -
    #7 Do Ghoont Mujhe Bhi Pila De Uai aa Uai Maa Survi -
    #8 Harjai The Harjai True Emotion DJ Sheizwood Jaina Music
    #9 Hum Yaadon Ke Sang Hum Yaadon Ke Sang Raeth Universal Music India
    #10 Jan Gan Man (National Anthem) Phir Mile Sur Various Artists MTV


    here are some in brazil

    Brazil - Top Singles Chart


    here are some in china

    China Top 20 @ Top40-Charts.com - Songs & Videos from 49 Top 20 & Top 40 Music Charts from 30 Countries

    and so on and so on...
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    Musical superiority is subjective, it's a matter taste. I'm sure many denizens of other nations would prefer their own country's musical stylings over the US or UK.

    For my taste, yeah, I'd agree with you ... but maybe I wouldn't if I were born and raised elsewhere.

    And for my taste, there's some mighty fine musicians from Australia and Canada as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    Look at the roots. American and British music are a European creation. European influence has dominated the world in many, many respects for, what? Nearly 2000 years.

    That's changing though. This is a pivotal time. White European culture is fading while others are becoming dominant. The change of the guard.
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    • Profile picture of the author lcombs
      Originally Posted by travlinguy View Post

      Look at the roots. American and British music are a European creation. European influence has dominated the world in many, many respects for, what? Nearly 2000 years.

      That's changing though. This is a pivotal time. White European culture is fading while others are becoming dominant. The change of the guard.
      Ok....
      Gospel, Jazz, Blues, Rock-n-roll, the most influential music of the last 100 years have absolutely no influence from or connection to anything created in Europe over the last 2000 years.

      No doubt some of the best and most timeless music ever was composed during the
      renaissance. Perhaps the greatest musical geniuses ever were composing during that era.
      However, there is little connection to that and modern era music.
      I would liken Lennon and McCartney to those composers. Forward thinking. leading the way into an entire new era of musical creativity.
      But, where did their influence originate?
      Carl Perkins;
      Who was influenced by Gospel and Blues as was Jerry Lee and Elvis.
      Who in turn, influenced EVERYONE who followed in their footsteps.
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      • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
        Originally Posted by lcombs View Post

        Ok....
        Gospel, Jazz, Blues, Rock-n-roll, the most influential music of the last 100 years have absolutely no influence from or connection to anything created in Europe over the last 2000 years.
        Really? They were created by people living in a country settled by Europeans. The Blues came about from slave campfire gatherings. Who enslaved those poor people? White Europeans. Same for the roots of Rock. Gospel too. Every one you mentioned was born in an environment created by European influence.
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        • Profile picture of the author TimPhelan
          America was, and still is, rightfully known as the melting pot of the world. Blues, Jazz and Rock come from this melting pot. Blues didn't originate in Africa but African Americans created blues, along with Jazz and Rock, by combining parts of European and African culture.
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          • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
            Banned
            Originally Posted by TimPhelan View Post


            America was, and still is, rightfully known as the melting pot of the world.
            Do you seriously believe this Tim?

            Hmmm okkkkk.

            Hmmmmm.


            Mark Andrews
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            • Profile picture of the author TimPhelan
              Sure. Why do you have a problem with that term Mark?
              Originally Posted by Mark Andrews View Post

              Do you seriously believe this Tim?

              Hmmm okkkkk.

              Hmmmmm.


              Mark Andrews
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            • Profile picture of the author bravo75
              Originally Posted by Mark Andrews View Post

              Do you seriously believe this Tim?

              Hmmm okkkkk.

              Hmmmmm.


              Mark Andrews

              What are you implying? That the U.S is not a melting pot of people and cultures?

              :confused:
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        • Profile picture of the author lcombs
          Originally Posted by travlinguy View Post

          Really? They were created by people living in a country settled by Europeans. The Blues came about from slave campfire gatherings. Who enslaved those poor people? White Europeans. Same for the roots of Rock. Gospel too. Every one you mentioned was born in an environment created by European influence.
          OK....
          you're right.
          EVERYTHING can be traced back to Adam and Eve.

          White Europeans did not enslave those poor people.
          Other African tribes enslaved those poor people and sold them to the Europeans.

          But that's an entirely different story.
          Simply because our ancesters came from Europe has absolutely no baring on what followed.
          Europeans had little influence on what would become the Gospel music that was originated by black slaves in the US.
          Show me the connection of Europe to Jazz, Blues, or any other US born music.

          Don't know why, but, you're grasping at straws to give credit to Europe where no credit is due.
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          • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
            My thoughts are that I personally don't care where the good artists originated or what influenced the music they make. If it is good, it is good. If it is good, I listen to it.

            That being said, I have to agree with Bravo that music from the US and the UK is superior.

            Terra
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    • Profile picture of the author TimPhelan
      That's just not true. It's a combination of cultures but most contemporary American music, and then British music, came from the artistic creations of African Americans.
      Originally Posted by travlinguy View Post

      American and British music are a European creation.
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  • Profile picture of the author hardraysnight
    strictly regional and cultural

    many great australian and new zealand bands, which like l & p are world famous in new zealand - and australia, sorry trevor

    check out crying nut from south korea sometime
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  • Profile picture of the author madison_avenue
    "I believe the blues is originally African not American or British - The blues led to to the delta "American" blues. Mixed with Jazz to become Rhythm and Blues. All these groups like the Rolling Stones etc copied people like Robert Johnson.

    Wiki.

    "The origin of the term of was most likely derived from mysticism involving blue indigo, which was used by many West African cultures in death and mourning ceremonies where all the mourner's garments would have been dyed blue to indicate suffering. This mystical association towards the indigo plant, grown in many southern US slave plantations, combined with the West African slaves who sang of their suffering as they worked on the cotton that the indigo dyed eventually resulted in these expressed songs being known as "the Blues."
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    • Profile picture of the author Kurt
      Originally Posted by madison_avenue View Post

      "I believe the blues is originally African not American or British - The blues led to to the delta "American" blues. Mixed with Jazz to become Rhythm and Blues. All these groups like the Rolling Stones etc copied people like Robert Johnson.

      Wiki.

      "The origin of the term of was most likely derived from mysticism involving blue indigo, which was used by many West African cultures in death and mourning ceremonies where all the mourner's garments would have been dyed blue to indicate suffering. This mystical association towards the indigo plant, grown in many southern US slave plantations, combined with the West African slaves who sang of their suffering as they worked on the cotton that the indigo dyed eventually resulted in these expressed songs being known as "the Blues."
      I disgree. Blues legend Buddy Guy took a tour of Africa looking for the origin of the blues. He didn't find anything he'd call the blues and was dissapointed that blues wasn't African.

      The blues was influenced in the 1800's by Irish spirituals such as Swing Low Sweet Chariot and Amazing Grace. These songs evolved into a "call and shout" style with a distinct rythm.

      Black slaves used these cadences and rythms while working in the fields so they would all work at the same pace, helping prevent some from getting beaten for working "too slow".

      As slavery ended, many blues songs weren't about sorrow but rather to cure the blues by dancing and just having fun. They would "rock" and they would "roll" to the beat, both blues terms, and just have a good time at the local juke joint, escaping their "blues" for a time.

      Later, Americans invented and made popular electric guitars, arguably the most expressive and versatile of all the instraments.

      Add the sound of the electric guitar to the beat and rythyms of the blues meant to get your body moving and you have fun music that was created just for having fun and for the first time in history there was music perfect for stomping your feet and dancing without any formal training.

      American racism played a big part in the popularity of the "invasion" UK bands. Many American kids weren't allowed to listen to music played by blacks, but it was OK to hear white kids from the UK play Howlin' Wolf and Chuck Berry songs.

      IMO, it was the invention of fun music and electric guitar, plus the UK kids willingness to play songs by American black artists and put their own twist on the music is why the USA and UK have the most popular artists. Ever tried to do the Twist to Indian sitar music?

      IOW, American rock and roll is physical music.
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      • Profile picture of the author lcombs
        Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

        I disgree. Blues legend Buddy Guy took a tour of Africa looking for the origin of the blues. He didn't find anything he'd call the blues and was dissapointed that blues wasn't African.

        The blues was influenced in the 1800's by Irish spirituals such as Swing Low Sweet Chariot and Amazing Grace. These songs evolved into a "call and shout" style with a distinct rythm.

        Black slaves used these cadences and rythms while working in the fields so they would all work at the same pace, helping prevent some from getting beaten for working "too slow".

        As slavery ended, many blues songs weren't about sorrow but rather to cure the blues by dancing and just having fun. They would "rock" and they would "roll" to the beat, both blues terms, and just have a good time at the local juke joint, escaping their "blues" for a time.

        Later, Americans invented and made popular electric guitars, arguably the most expressive and versatile of all the instraments.

        Add the sound of the electric guitar to the beat and rythyms of the blues meant to get your body moving and you have fun music that was created just for having fun and for the first time in history there was music perfect for stomping your feet and dancing without any formal training.

        American racism played a big part in the popularity of the "invasion" UK bands. Many American kids weren't allowed to listen to music played by blacks, but it was OK to hear white kids from the UK play Howlin' Wolf and Chuck Berry songs.

        IMO, it was the invention of fun music and electric guitar, plus the UK kids willingness to play songs by American black artists and put their own twist on the music is why the USA and UK have the most popular artists. Ever tried to do the Twist to Indian sitar music?

        IOW, American rock and roll is physical music.
        Should have known you'd chime in with, perhaps, the best explanation.
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      • Profile picture of the author lcombs
        Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

        I disgree. Blues legend Buddy Guy took a tour of Africa looking for the origin of the blues. He didn't find anything he'd call the blues and was dissapointed that blues wasn't African.

        The blues was influenced in the 1800's by Irish spirituals such as Swing Low Sweet Chariot and Amazing Grace. These songs evolved into a "call and shout" style with a distinct rythm.

        Black slaves used these cadences and rythms while working in the fields so they would all work at the same pace, helping prevent some from getting beaten for working "too slow".

        As slavery ended, many blues songs weren't about sorrow but rather to cure the blues by dancing and just having fun. They would "rock" and they would "roll" to the beat, both blues terms, and just have a good time at the local juke joint, escaping their "blues" for a time.

        Later, Americans invented and made popular electric guitars, arguably the most expressive and versatile of all the instraments.

        Add the sound of the electric guitar to the beat and rythyms of the blues meant to get your body moving and you have fun music that was created just for having fun and for the first time in history there was music perfect for stomping your feet and dancing without any formal training.

        American racism played a big part in the popularity of the "invasion" UK bands. Many American kids weren't allowed to listen to music played by blacks, but it was OK to hear white kids from the UK play Howlin' Wolf and Chuck Berry songs.

        IMO, it was the invention of fun music and electric guitar, plus the UK kids willingness to play songs by American black artists and put their own twist on the music is why the USA and UK have the most popular artists. Ever tried to do the Twist to Indian sitar music?

        IOW, American rock and roll is physical music.
        You look this shit up, don't you?
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      • Profile picture of the author madison_avenue
        Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

        I disgree. Blues legend Buddy Guy took a tour of Africa looking for the origin of the blues. He didn't find anything he'd call the blues and was dissapointed that blues wasn't African.

        The blues was influenced in the 1800's by Irish spirituals such as Swing Low Sweet Chariot and Amazing Grace. These songs evolved into a "call and shout" style with a distinct rythm.

        Black slaves used these cadences and rythms while working in the fields so they would all work at the same pace, helping prevent some from getting beaten for working "too slow".

        As slavery ended, many blues songs weren't about sorrow but rather to cure the blues by dancing and just having fun. They would "rock" and they would "roll" to the beat, both blues terms, and just have a good time at the local juke joint, escaping their "blues" for a time.

        Later, Americans invented and made popular electric guitars, arguably the most expressive and versatile of all the instraments.

        Add the sound of the electric guitar to the beat and rythyms of the blues meant to get your body moving and you have fun music that was created just for having fun and for the first time in history there was music perfect for stomping your feet and dancing without any formal training.

        American racism played a big part in the popularity of the "invasion" UK bands. Many American kids weren't allowed to listen to music played by blacks, but it was OK to hear white kids from the UK play Howlin' Wolf and Chuck Berry songs.

        IMO, it was the invention of fun music and electric guitar, plus the UK kids willingness to play songs by American black artists and put their own twist on the music is why the USA and UK have the most popular artists. Ever tried to do the Twist to Indian sitar music?

        IOW, American rock and roll is physical music.
        Interesting point about Irish spiritual! But without black Africa slavery I don't think there would have been any blues in America. The OT was about why does Europe and america have all the best music, but I think american music is so heavily intertwined with and influenced by black African immigrants/slaves that some of the credit must go there too! Sure everything evolved and the music was made more palatable to the popular taste and made cool and that's great.

        Buddy Guy must have met Ali Farka Toure the blues player, when he went to Africa.
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        • Profile picture of the author Kurt
          Originally Posted by madison_avenue View Post

          Interesting point about Irish spiritual! But without black Africa slavery I don't think there would have been any blues in America. The OT was about why does Europe and america have all the best music, but I think american music is so heavily intertwined with and influenced by black African immigrants/slaves that some of the credit must go there too! Sure everything evolved and the music was made more palatable to the popular taste and made cool and that's great.

          Buddy Guy must have met Ali Farka Toure the blues player, when he went to Africa.
          I thought I gave alot of credit to American slave from African decent? I just don't think the music came from Africa, but instead developed in American by black slaves that had other influences, such as Irish spirituals.

          IMO, and the opinion of many, all American music descends from the blues, which was first acknowledged coming to life in about 1870. Gospel, rag (which became jazz), hillbilly (which became C/W, bluegrass, etc) all evolved from Blues.

          We can also give credit to the Catholics of New Orleans. Catholics believed that the slaves had a soul, unlike their counter parts of the era. Because of this, Catholics gave their slaves Sundays off, whereas every other area in the South had slaves work 7 days a week.

          And because they got Sundays off, slaves in the New Orleans area would gather every Sunday for 350 years and play their drums in an area that became known as "Congo Square".

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          • Profile picture of the author madison_avenue
            Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

            I thought I gave alot of credit to American slave from African decent?
            Yes I know you did! I was talking about the OT, I just felt there was hint of self aggrandizement about it which was a bit grating. The history of the blues is complex and not uncontroversial and you know more about it than I do and have some great insights into it! The fusion of different musical forms is one of the great things about America.
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          • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
            Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

            ...an area that became known as "Congo Square".

            John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers Congo Square - YouTube
            One of my favorite Mayall songs from one of my favorite Mayall albums.
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            • Profile picture of the author Kurt
              Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

              One of my favorite Mayall songs from one of my favorite Mayall albums.
              To make it even better (for those that don't know) Sonny Landreth, who wrote Congo Square, plays guitar on Mayall's version. It's a truly great song that pays tribute to an important but little-known part of American history.

              And John Mayall is a great example that you don't have to be American to play American music very well. Just like you don't have to be Italian to sign opera or European to play classical music.
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  • Profile picture of the author KimW
    Canada:
    ( I could add a lot more bands)

    Australia? Yeah they represent too
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  • Profile picture of the author Sumit Menon
    Originally Posted by bravo75 View Post

    Sure, there are a few German bands, Spliff, CAN etc. Dutch bands, Bloef, Doe Maar, Golden Earring etc.

    But why is British and American music so overwhelmingly superior? Is it the language, the culture? Why hasn't China or India got spectacular artists such as <snip>
    We got great artists too... You've never heard of them because you don't understand the language. Here are some -

    A. R. Rahman - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Lata Mangeshkar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Kishore Kumar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    And they compose/sing in Hindi. There are many big artists from other regional languages.

    Our musicians don't do concerts, only recordings (and 99% of them for movies). They practice all day. So, although the lyrics may not be that good, your artists stand no chance against ours when it comes to vocals!
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  • Profile picture of the author LarryC
    Most likely people from the US and UK (and English speaking countries in general) are more familiar with English and American artists. The marketplace is also dominated by English speaking companies.

    That's like asking, "Why do Americans make the best movies?" That perception exists because Hollywood is the center of the global film industry, so movies made elsewhere get less attention.
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    The only unbiased way to judge music is from nature.

    The closer music is to the songs of the birds then the
    purer the music.

    Who taught the birds to sing?

    Everything else is subjective.

    -Ray Edwards
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  • Profile picture of the author johnben1444
    U.S and Europe got to dominate for these simple fact that are still very much in existence:

    1. Culture
    2. Language/accent
    3. Professionalism

    Anyway, PSY did great from Korea and JeeYo (ME) coming out real soon from Naija..
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  • Profile picture of the author hardraysnight
    so the million dollar remains

    which is the greatest, american or british?

    i vote for the poms
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    • Profile picture of the author bravo75
      Originally Posted by hardraysnight View Post

      so the million dollar remains

      which is the greatest, american or british?

      i vote for the poms
      I would have to say, I love both equally.
      Couldn't imagine never listening to Jimi, Stevie Ray, Zappa, Beefheart, Waites again.

      Never listening to the Clash, The Beatles, Led Zep, The Specials, The Smiths, Floyd, Jeff Beck would be equally tough.

      That's like asking: Would you rather loose your eyes or your ears?
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  • Profile picture of the author lcombs
    When Paul Simon came back from Africa and recorded Graceland, many well know black musicians, (mostly rappers. Which really doesn't qualify as music), were pissed because he 'stole' their music.

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    • Profile picture of the author TimPhelan
      I don't recall that happening. I know Los Lobos accused him of stealing one song. Don't recall any well known black musicians saying he stole their music. By the way, I'm not a big time fan of rap but it is as much music as rock, which I am not a huge fan of either.
      Originally Posted by lcombs View Post

      When Paul Simon came back from Africa and recorded Graceland, many well know black musicians, (mostly rappers. Which really doesn't qualify as music), were pissed because he 'stole' their music.

      Billy Madison - Ultimate Insult (Academic Decathlon)[Forum Weapon][How To Troll][Ignorance Is Bliss] - YouTube
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      • Profile picture of the author lcombs
        Originally Posted by TimPhelan View Post

        I don't recall that happening. I know Los Lobos accused him of stealing one song. Don't recall any well known black musicians saying he stole their music. By the way, I'm not a big time fan of rap but it is as much music as rock, which I am not a huge fan of either.
        Music consists of melody, harmony, and rhythm.
        Rap consists of rhythm. Therefore not a viable music form.
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        • Profile picture of the author lcombs
          Originally Posted by Ken_Caudill View Post

          Gene Krupa is rolling over in his grave.
          Jazz, most assuredly, employs some of the most creative and talented musicians of any music genre.
          And, most definitely, consists of melody, harmony, and rhythm.
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        • Profile picture of the author TimPhelan
          I think that's your definition. Here's one I found that seems more broad: "Music is an art form whose medium is noise and silence." I can think of many other examples of music, besides some rap, which have little to no melody or harmony. I have also heard some rap and hip hop which was pretty harmonic and which did have a melody also.

          Originally Posted by lcombs View Post

          Music consists of melody, harmony, and rhythm.
          Rap consists of rhythm. Therefore not a viable music form.
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          • Profile picture of the author ThomM
            Originally Posted by TimPhelan View Post

            I think that's your definition. Here's one I found that seems more broad: "Music is an art form whose medium is noise and silence." I can think of many other examples of music, besides some rap, which have little to no melody or harmony. I have also heard some rap and hip hop which was pretty harmonic and which did have a melody also.
            Same here Tim.
            Though I'll admit most of the rap I listen to is Cannabis related like in Kottonmouth Kings and Cypress Hill.
            As far as harmonics and melody go, to me this is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard.
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  • Profile picture of the author hardraysnight
    easy for me, miss flamin' groovies, ramones, harry chapin, turtles, sure, but could not imagine a life without oasis, here they come again

    even The Beatles, although i am told i think they suck as well, or, at least, are old and out-dated and "that European guy that died of a drug overdose", although i tend to listen to george more
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  • Profile picture of the author barefut
    The UK and USA have a lot more drive to promote their music it seems, and they are similar enough to one another to in language to have cross over support with one another. I'd say Canada could go in the lot as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author lcombs
    Originally Posted by Ken_Caudill View Post

    It isn't superior. It's just promoted better.
    Promotion is a great leverage, however, no matter how hard it's promoted, if people don't like it, they won't listen to it.

    Hank jr. is the perfect example.
    His mother insisted on making do Hank Sr. tunes and/or that style.
    The first time I saw him he had short hair and was wearing a suit and tie.
    He was horrible.
    As he got older he told everybody to f* off and started doing his own stuff.
    He is a star in his own right.
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    • Profile picture of the author ThomM
      Originally Posted by lcombs View Post

      Promotion is a great leverage, however, no matter how hard it's promoted, if people don't like it, they won't listen to it.

      Hank jr. is the perfect example.
      His mother insisted on making do Hank Sr. tunes and/or that style.
      The first time I saw him he had short hair and was wearing a suit and tie.
      He was horrible.
      As he got older he told everybody to f* off and started doing his own stuff.
      He is a star in his own right.
      First time I saw Hank Jr. was on his "If you don't like my daddy, you can kiss my ass." tour.
      It was one of, if not the loudest concert I've ever been to.
      One of the best also.
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  • Profile picture of the author DireStraits
    Well, if you insist on using popularity as the measuring stick of excellence or "superiority"...

    (Some of the big 'uns weren't and aren't quite as popular abroad as what you might think anyway, and certainly don't enjoy the same revered status as back home.)

    If there is one, the simple answer is probably that western music, by design - like so many other things here - appeals, however unflatteringly, to the lowest common denominator.

    It has nailed the art and science of exploiting that weakness we have for trancelike monotonous beats and catchy melodies in a way that music from elsewhere hasn't and doesn't attempt to.

    No great mystery, I think.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Durham
      Originally Posted by DireStraits View Post


      If there is one, the simple answer is probably that western music, by design - like so many other things here - appeals, however unflatteringly, to the lowest common denominator.

      It has nailed the art and science of exploiting that weakness we have for trancelike monotonous beats and catchy melodies in a way that music from elsewhere hasn't and doesn't attempt to.

      No great mystery, I think.
      As much as it hurts,

      I think Dire Straits nailed the answer to this thread best.

      We are the three chord wonders of the world. There is a hypnotic power in the monotony, much like the Cat In The Hat is memorable for children, and the "ABC Song", we learn as children which has a monotonous, easily memorable rhythm and rhyme...

      -John
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  • Profile picture of the author maddyy
    The common language !
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    • Profile picture of the author Benny L
      Great discussion.... but as an American, I have to admit... we're going down to other cultures. I won't get into the politics of why I feel this is the case; that's a big can of worms.

      Our music is "the best" because historically, everybody wanted to be us. And it was helped along by the fact that as "a melting pot", we could take African Styles, European styles, etc., riff on it, and make it our own.

      But I predict that the next step from Metal --> Grunge --> Rap --> won't be American. And I doubt it will be British either.

      Am I the only one who's noticed the increasing influence of asian culture? Yeah... it's true... that's because they're starting to kick our ass. Anime. Tuner Cars. Gangnam style. I'm in my mid-thirties and don't like ANY of those things. However, I look at the knuckle-dragging Ford-vs-Chevy losers and have to admit, "when it comes to the numbers, a Skyline kicks the ass of either." I don't like anime, but can't deny, it's the most interesting and diverse form of animation out there right now. I laugh at the Gangnam Style video... but what else is there besides rap that's really drawing a crowd... besides jingoistic country music (the last refuge of a people who are fearful of becoming irrelevant? Maybe so...).

      We're slowly becoming cultural followers. Just as the Europeans were doing towards the Americans starting 150 years or so ago.

      Don't worry though. It will be a slow transition. You'll hardly notice.

      Nothing lasts forever... But don't worry. We'll have our last moment in the sun. We'll have our last hurrah. The Brits had the Beatles. We'll have that last big thing too. Who knows though... Maybe that last big thing was Kanye or Jay-Z. Maybe it's already passed. What can I say? We live in interesting times... oh wait... that's an Asian saying.

      Well, at least we still make the most reliable cars... and make the best computers... and have the most people per capita graduating college... and have the most engineers... and have the lowest mortality rate, and a great healthcare system, and a robust and growing middle class to spread around the wealth and encourage innovation... oh wait... none of those things are true anymore? Hmmm.... maybe there's a reason we're starting to look up to other cultures...

      How embarrassing, in this modern day and age, with all of our collected knowledge and wisdom, to see plainly what a nation needs to do to remain great and powerful... and yet not have the will to do it.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
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  • Profile picture of the author Adam Hill
    I don't know. Personally I can get down to some Indian music. Gotta love the sitar.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jacob Padget
    As many people here have probably already mentioned, music is reflective of a country's culture. In some countries, music may not play a part in their culture at all. In others, such as India as you have mentioned, their music is different as it reflects their own culture. Therefore, they are less likely to be proficient at Western-style rock music, just as British and American musicians are unlikely to be proficient at Indian-style music.
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  • Profile picture of the author bravo75
    I don't believe that it's just down to good promotion. It's a cultural thing. You listen to The Clash, The Who, Floyd, The Verve for example and you just know it's British.

    It reflects English culture, you can almost feel a grey, drizzly sky over London when listening to the Clash. Or listening to The Verve, you can picture grey industrial chimneys dominating the Wigan skyline.

    It just so happens, that these musical paintings appeal to a larger audience than most music from other countries, except the U.S, of course.

    A German friend of mine, (he was a master guitar builder) once said to me that he loves English music because it sounds like "als ob ein Schaufel voll Dreck reingeschmissen wurde." or it sounds like: "as if a shovel full of dirt has been thrown in (to the music).

    Always stuck with me that sentence. Again, I don't agree that it is only down to good promotion.
    It is promoted so well, because it appeals to so many.
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  • Profile picture of the author marquede7
    Most of the responses on here are incredibly narrowminded and myopic. Just take the argument of "greatest musicians" on here between the british and americans: consistently reference "white bands" like that is the only music created even in the UK or America. . . . . .and no wonder because the people listing what is or is not great music . . . . are WHITE.

    UK and American Music dominate due to both countries having culturally and economically dominating the world for the last 200 plus years and having the power to project their culture.

    Furthermore, I personally have never heard of some of the bands you call great:
    The Specials, The Smiths, Floyd, Jeff Beck and so on . . . didnt grow up listening to that as an African American.

    and comments like this:

    "Personally even though I am biased, I believe the UK destroys the US in terms of credible talent in the music department.

    Beatles, Stones, Floyd, Zep, Queen, David Bowie, U2, Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden, The who, The clash, Deep Purple, Oasis, Stone Roses, Pulp, Arctic Monkeys, The Jam.

    The list is endless. Any top ten band list would feature at least 3-4 of the above.


    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,that's laughable . . . .the last sentence only displays ignorance really . . . . since when are bands the only music that exists or "Rock" the only genre that exists. . . and you certainly have not seen a sales chart in the past 30 years AND where did you get that terrible list. I could kinda support you if it was a list that attemptedddd to list artist from more than one genre.

    Where are the people of color in your responses: Michael Jackson (sales killer), ella fitzgerald, stevie wonder anyone?, Motown?, Jimi hendrix?, Duke ellington


    I listen to a myriad of music from great Brazilian Bossa Nova, Mexican bands such as Natalia y La Forquetina, Australian music, japanese jazz (yes it exists), old school people like sara vaughn and billie holiday of the jazz and blues era and personal favorites such as carol king adn the eagles. (VERY eclectic mix here)


    Just REALLY amazes me how narrowminded we Americans or you British can be at times.

    Just because you grew up with it "DOESNT MEAN IT IS POPULAR"
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    • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
      Originally Posted by marquede7 View Post

      Most of the responses on here are incredibly narrowminded and myopic. Just take the argument of "greatest musicians" on here between the british and americans: consistently reference "white bands" like that is the only music created even in the UK or America. . . . . .and no wonder because the people listing what is or is not great music . . . . are WHITE.

      UK and American Music dominate due to both countries having culturally and economically dominating the world for the last 200 plus years and having the power to project their culture.

      Furthermore, I personally have never heard of some of the bands you call great:
      The Specials, The Smiths, Floyd, Jeff Beck and so on . . . didnt grow up listening to that as an African American.

      and comments like this:

      "Personally even though I am biased, I believe the UK destroys the US in terms of credible talent in the music department.

      Beatles, Stones, Floyd, Zep, Queen, David Bowie, U2, Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden, The who, The clash, Deep Purple, Oasis, Stone Roses, Pulp, Arctic Monkeys, The Jam.

      The list is endless. Any top ten band list would feature at least 3-4 of the above.


      ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,that's laughable . . . .the last sentence only displays ignorance really . . . . since when are bands the only music that exists or "Rock" the only genre that exists. . . and you certainly have not seen a sales chart in the past 30 years AND where did you get that terrible list. I could kinda support you if it was a list that attemptedddd to list artist from more than one genre.

      Where are the people of color in your responses: Michael Jackson (sales killer), ella fitzgerald, stevie wonder anyone?, Motown?, Jimi hendrix?, Duke ellington


      I listen to a myriad of music from great Brazilian Bossa Nova, Mexican bands such as Natalia y La Forquetina, Australian music, japanese jazz (yes it exists), old school people like sara vaughn and billie holiday of the jazz and blues era and personal favorites such as carol king adn the eagles. (VERY eclectic mix here)


      Just REALLY amazes me how narrowminded we Americans or you British can be at times.

      Just because you grew up with it "DOESNT MEAN IT IS POPULAR"
      With all due respect, your post seems narrow minded and myopic too.

      Furthermore, I personally have never heard of some of the bands you call great:
      The Specials, The Smiths, Floyd, Jeff Beck and so on . . . didnt grow up listening to that as an African American.
      See what I mean?

      My music tastes are eclectic as well and Motown? I love it! I grew up with it as well as the classic rock.

      By the way, Classic Rock is extremely popular, I don't know where you get that it isn't. Think Baby Boomers, lots of them. Grew up listening to it. Well, you get it, right?

      And again,
      Just because you grew up with it "DOESNT MEAN IT IS POPULAR"
      That works for you too.

      The thing that you seem to be missing here is that everyone has their own music tastes and just because someone else doesn't have the same taste in music doesn't make that music bad, or the person liking it narrow minded.

      Perhaps you could have just came into the thread saying "American music is superior in other genres too, like Motown", with out the name calling. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and can state it without belittling others. Just saying is all.

      Terra
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    • Profile picture of the author bravo75
      Originally Posted by marquede7 View Post


      Where are the people of color in your responses: Michael Jackson (sales killer), ella fitzgerald, stevie wonder anyone?, Motown?, Jimi hendrix?, Duke ellington


      I listen to a myriad of music from great Brazilian Bossa Nova, Mexican bands such as Natalia y La Forquetina, Australian music, japanese jazz (yes it exists), old school people like sara vaughn and billie holiday of the jazz and blues era and personal favorites such as carol king adn the eagles. (VERY eclectic mix here)


      Just REALLY amazes me how narrowminded we Americans or you British can be at times.
      Not being funny, but most of the bands you listed are all American. Thanks for strengthening my point, though. Lol.:confused:

      P.s, how many albums have these Japanese jazz bands sold on a global scale, compared to, let's say John Coltrane, The Eagles or Carol King?

      Plus, name me a few Australian bands of the top of your head, omitting the obvious ones like AC/DC, John Hiatt,( Kyle Minogue and Jason Donavan??(. Lol.

      Edit: AC/DC was more Scottish than Australian.
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  • Profile picture of the author madison_avenue
    I've always thought self praise is really no praise at all - as well being somewhat classless. "Look how great I(we) am!". Praise has real value when it comes from others . Let others be the judge rather than giving yourself pats on the back.
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    • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
      Originally Posted by madison_avenue View Post

      I've always thought self praise is really no praise at all - as well being somewhat classless. "Look how great I(we) am!". Praise has real value when it comes from others . Let others be the judge rather than giving yourself pats on the back.
      I can't give myself a pat on the back for American, British, or any other nation's music for that matter.

      I didn't write the lyrics, compose the music, or play and record it either. For me to pat myself on the back for the hard work and success of others that I had absolutely nothing to do with would be assnine and classless. Hello??:rolleyes:

      Terra
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      • Profile picture of the author bravo75
        Originally Posted by MissTerraK View Post

        I can't give myself a pat on the back for American, British, or any other nation's music for that matter.

        I didn't write the lyrics, compose the music, or play and record it either. For me to pat myself on the back for the hard work and success of others that I had absolutely nothing to do with would be assnine and classless. Hello??:rolleyes:

        Terra

        Germans are quite good at that. I worked with quite a few of them over the years and time and time again I would hear: "we invented the BMW" or "we invented rockets".

        I once turned around to one of them and told him: "well, you didn't invent it! You have the IQ of boiled cabbage!"

        He didn't know what to say.
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  • Profile picture of the author Underground
    Because of Black people. Otherwise there would be no real soul in western music by organic means.

    That's not to say white people don't have soul. But the potential needed to be awakened to that kind of visceral, physically felt music that came naturally from subjugated and oppressed people of African origin.

    Thank god it managed to find it's way to Britain and escape the heinous white american puritanical censorship, where even Otis Reading's Sitting on the Doc of the Bay met opposition, and they wanted a white, more staid version. Otherwise we'd have just have pathetic big haired ''hard-rawk'' bands who vie with each other to squeeze as many power chords and as many note into their solos as possible on the one hand (without melody or rhythm), and saccharine sweet ballads of Joni Mitchell and Simon and Garfunkel on the other.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gonzosan
    I'm American but half my iPod library is filled with Japanese bands. I'm pretty sure it's the language barrier. American and British music are so popular because the English language is used in tons of places. How many other countries speak Japanese, Cantonese, Mandarin, or any of these very localized languages?
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  • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
    Cherokee Morning Song - Music for Native Americans - Robbie Robertson - YouTube

    If you define superior by quality of music, you can't say one over the other.

    If you define superior by revenues and how well known, then it has to do with promotion and governmental freedoms or restrictions and technology. In this sense, then I think a Canadian sums it up best by summarizing the West's earlier advancements in media and creating the "Global Village" and emulation of our culture:

    "The medium is the message."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshall_McLuhan
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    "If you think you're the smartest person in the room, then you're probably in the wrong room."

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