Does "popular" equal "influential"?

mikel

Platinum Member
Just to throw a thought out there. Is it possible to be really influential if you are not popular?

Surely the more people you can reach the more influential you will become.

Not saying that all very popular artists/groups are musically influential, they are not. But if you only influence a couple of people, they then influence another few, and so on, the later influenced will not be aware of the original source and , surely, there influences will have diluted or put there own stamp on the style/genre, so the influence will be different.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
Yeah, I guess we have to define the audience here.

If we're talking musicians, then influence often comes from obscure records that most people have never heard. But as a musician, you hear through the grapevine about these things and seek them out.

But in terms of influencing everyone - audience included - then we have to look at someone like Madonna, who got young girls wearing junk jewelry, trying to look and dance just like her back in 1984.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
..................Hitler?
Hitler was incredibly popular. He promised all the things Germans wanted to hear after the hyper-inflation and economic episodes of the late Weimar Republic. He did most of them, too. This is in no way an endorsement, just fact.

Either that or you're just invoking Godwin's Law for the sake of it.
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
Hitler was incredibly popular. He promised all the things Germans wanted to hear after the hyper-inflation and economic episodes of the late Weimar Republic. He did most of them, too. This is in no way an endorsement, just fact.

Either that or you're just invoking Godwin's Law for the sake of it.

I had to Google Goodwin.

I was just searching my brain for unpopular+influential and came up with Hitler.


He was popular for a few years with some of the sheeple in Germany.

World wide, including Germany, up thru present day,.... not so much.

I'd go out on a limb and say that he is the most despised person on the planet. Of course, there are those who still praise him.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
In terms of 'popularity', yes. Hitler's popularity has faded.

To paint the German people as 'sheep' though at that stage in history is deeply disingenuous. The country was in desperate straits and Hitler promised (and in the short-term) delivered his promise to reduce the economic difficulties facing Germany at that time. Then made it a Hell of a lot worse by losing a war. It would be hard to commit yourself to an opinion without the historical context and indeed without having directly lived through it.

I'm not a Hitler apologist, far from it - but he certainly was popular at the time. The most despised man in History? Arguable. Unpopular now? Certainly. At the time though, he was popular and it wasn't just in Germany. There were plenty of British aristocrats (and Royalty) that actively expressed their admiration for the man. Lord Halifax, Edward VIII, etc.

If you regard influence as a product of contemporary recognition - in whatever context (not necessarily how famous/infamous they are) then Hitler certainly was both popular and influential. Goebbels, Hess, Dönitz, Himmler et. al were certainly not popular at the time.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Did Hitler ever release an album? If so, he's a contender here, if not, it's completely off topic, the OP here question is about music...

So I guess Hitler has no room in this thread.
^ This.

We don't discuss politics here.

So, instead, let's discuss the music Germany is know for:



 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
Did Hitler ever release an album? If so, he's a contender here, if not, it's completely off topic, the OP here question is about music...

So I guess Hitler has no room in this thread.


What's with all the Hitler hate? I really want to put a moderator Nazi reference here...but I digress.


:)



My mind just wanders off topic sometimes. Carry on with your musical discussion. I will help get it back on track.


Wouldn't the true shape of the history of music have been directed by the albums that the general public didn't enjoy as much as us musos?

If the musicians alone directed the history of music, of course it would been radically different. On the creative side as well as on the practical side. There may have been more creation going on but no one would have sold any records. It's a huge machine.





.
 
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wildbill

Platinum Member
Yeah, I guess we have to define the audience here.

If we're talking musicians, then influence often comes from obscure records that most people have never heard. But as a musician, you hear through the grapevine about these things and seek them out.

But in terms of influencing everyone - audience included - then we have to look at someone like Madonna, who got young girls wearing junk jewelry, trying to look and dance just like her back in 1984.

I agree with this, but you could also take it a step further down to individual influence.

One musician might be very influenced by hearing something that is neither popular, nor has an influence on other musicians.

It could be even further parsed down, depending on how far you take it.
 

Donnie

Junior Member
I don't think it equals. However in music it should be kinda like that. I see why Barker is more popular and influential than some of the most talented drummers on earth. It doesn't really bother me. People who comment about how fast or how accurate does Joey Jordison play his singles or paraddidles is not what influences his audience at all
 

larryz

Platinum Member
What about After the Fire and Der Komissar? Great song. Nena and her 99 luftballoons? Yes there was a period of German rock popularity in the U.S. from early to mid 1980s. Fun times.
 

SquadLeader

Gold Member
I had to Google Goodwin.

I was just searching my brain for unpopular+influential and came up with Hitler.


He was popular for a few years with some of the sheeple in Germany.

World wide, including Germany, up thru present day,.... not so much.
You mean Time's 'Man of the Year' for 1938...

Are we talking about the same Adolf Hitler here ??

Time's a US magazine ?

Hitler was the 1930's equivalent of a global rock phenomonen. He was immensely popular in large swathes of the world, by an audience who largely despised what had been unfairly wrought on Germany post WW1. To suggest otherwise is completely innacurate. Even good old blighty believed he was a man "we could do business with"

He then started killing lots of people because, after all it turned out he was a psychopath...and became infamous rather than famous.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
I just posted to a thread, that is still there and probably still in bold letters, asking what the most influential albums of a certain genre of music are, and it got me to thinking (oops).

As a musician, I have always delved into the deeper cuts of any artists' albums that I really enjoy, and tend to find that I like those gems more (in general) than the songs that became popular hits off of those same albums...

Sometimes, I find that I like the obscure albums more than the top selling albums as a whole.

Is this true of a lot of, if not most, players? If so, then doesn't that beg the question: Wouldn't the true shape of the history of music have been directed by the albums that the general public didn't enjoy as much as us musos?

There's no answer, of course, but I thought it might be interesting to hear some thoughts on the subject; if anyone's interested.
Perhaps the obscure albums are obscure for a good reason, ie there not really very good. I realise, as a musician, that I am supposed to be windswept and interesting and quote obscure and largely un heard of music to none musicians, but I believe that great musicians can put there music over and make it both innovative and accessable.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
It depends on the form of music though, Mikel. Sometimes obscurity is not as a result of a lack of compositional ability but also through obscurity of the aesthetic values of the piece. Take somebody that I adore - like Merzbow - and try to analyse his music through the 'traditional' methods. It doesn't work. He's writing music that challenges convention and the idea of beauty.

As a result, some music is inherently obscure and difficult. It doesn't mean it's not influential, though.
 
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