Originally Posted by Deltadrummer
I was hoping you'd give some insights. Great post.
I did want to say something about the self-loathing aspect of alt rock. In the early 1980s, U2 were considered an up and coming alt rock band. They were influenced by all the right bands: The Velvets, The Ramones and The Clash. By Rattle and hum, they were porraia, and part of it was Bono's huge ego. In alt rock, you had to be self-loathing, you couldn't be boastful or prideful. Maybe it rebelled against 80s excess in that way.
I still love the first four U2 albums. I think they are just amazing pieces of work.
In retrospect, it's easy to see where there influences came from, but at the time, they seemed rather different. And to me, they had that lost late 60's era attitude about them, signing about trying to find your place in the world, political and social commentary.
The funny thing is, I remember being the only one in my Jr High who knew who they were. I visited my family, and my cousins had no clue who U2 were. Which didn't make sense, because I discovered them by watching MTV, who played "Gloria" and "New Years Day" all the time. But then "Pride" became a huge single a few years later, and suddenly everyone claimed to be a fan.
But I agree, after Rattle and Hum, Bono's ego got huge, and it was a huge turn off.
Someone comped me a ticket to see them on the Pop tour, and I walked out, they had become such a bad parody of themselves, and they even seemed to make fun of their old material.
But I never tire of hearing the "Boy" album.
From my perspective, I never hated corp rock, and I know you are a big Journey fan. Corp rock was the derogatory word alt rockers used for Arena rock. But those guys could sing and play their instruments. I don't want to go there .:p but living in the world, you have to adapt, which could be construed as selling out. Otherwise you can live in a commune or the desert.
I never fully understood the term "corp rock" as it's applied to bands it's often applied to. Journey's first three albums bombed big time. Their 4th album was only a minor hit. The band never turned a profit until their 5th album. They didn't become mega-huge until their 8th album. If they were a corporate product, they would have been turning out catchy hit songs from day one, not jazz-rock fusion songs they were making. Even much of their later material had fusion elements laced through it.
Many other so called "corp rock" bands had similar stories of humble beginnings. It's not as if were assembled by corporations with writers handing them pre-fabbed hit songs like New Kids on the Block, Tiffany and Debbie Gibson were.
There were a few exceptions. When Paul Katner left the Jefferson Starship, the remaining members did abandon writing their own material for pre-fabed crap and were re-born as the "Starship".
Anyhow, there is more to this post, but I really have some stuff I need to go do.