Originally Posted by larryace
I dunno the general consensus here seems to be that, at best, the lyrics are equal to the other elements of a song. Again, I feel that the lyric is the reason for the song and that the music is there to support the lyric. Even if the lyrics were thought of after the music was recorded. So I put the lyrics easily as the most important element of the song. If you were the singer, you would likely agree. The lyric defines what emotion the song is trying to tap in too. Again, dance song lyrics like "give it to me baby baby" isn't what I'm referring to.
I said I'd stop harping and I didn't, I apologize.
Keep harping, Larry. It's a good debate :)
Thing is, a pretty high percentage of songs are written music first with the lyrics as an afterthought. It totally depends on both genre and modus operandi of the performers. I saw a Leonard Cohen concert play last year - now there the lyrics are paramount. This year I saw Grace Jones - in that gig the music, er ... no ... Grace was paramount :)
Let's take Led Zep, one of the most popular bands ever. I'd say the lyrics took a back seat to other elements. How about The Beatles? There I'd say it depended on the song - sometimes the lyrics were the biggest thing, like Eleanor Rigby but in other tracks like Helter Skelter
, Come Together
and A Day in the Life
the lyrics were just one element.
Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum
That's a broad stereo type there though.
Just because there are a lot of bad lyrics out there in dumb pop songs doesn't mean all lyrics are that way. Much like the "Rant on today's pop music" thread, you can't paint all music with such a broad stroke just because you have a lot of examples of crap.
There certainly are some bands that I just do not understand why they are so popular because every song does seem to be about the groin, but whatever, there are a lot of other bands out there that don't bog themselves down with such limited subject matter.
DED, I said "many songs", not "all songs". Bear in mind, boy-meets-girl isn't the only way a lyric can be pretty ordinary. What about the Tolkien fad amongst prog groups in the 70s? Those words were like wallpaper. There's also a lot of very unsophisticated lay philosophy in lyrics. A lot of heavy rock lyrics are hilarious is their naivete and goofiness.
In the end, if the singer is garbling and mumbling the words then the issue is moot. There are tons
of songs I enjoy where I'll be damned if I can make out what the singer is carrying on about!