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The 5 Most Overrated Male Musicians, Part One

They're world famous, even beloved. They've sold billions of records and millions of concert tickets. And they're god-awful.

Kathy Shaidle


April 23, 2013 - 7:00 am
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#4 – Bob Marley

The king of rasta “music” (and his idiotic “religion”) inspires so much loathing I barely have to do more than cut and paste this entry. Thanks, other people!

Punks like me were supposed to love reggae — The Clash and The Slits said so! — but luckily I got hold of The Boy Looked At Johnny, a collection of Julie Burchill and Tony Parson’s music criticism at the NME. (My stinky, brittle copy is the only book, besides a thesaurus, that is a permanent fixture of my writing desk.)

While cheerleaders for punk, Burchill and Parson hated reggae and Rastafarianism — the two were and are inseparable — and I inherited their disdain:

To Rasta, man is Stud, woman a sperm receptacle, who couldn’t possibly enjoy sex unless she was the lowest whore in Babylon. Rastas believe in God whom they call “Jah” and smoke dope all the time in the hope that this will help them communicate with him. Rastas believe that Haile Selassie (unsuccessful military dictator of Ethiopia, ousted by invading Italians in 1936) is the Son of God. Rastas preach black supremacy, and prophesy that unless they return to Africa by 1983 the world must perish.

Had this view since been refuted by contemporary idols Dillinger, Black Slate and batty bald headed Bob Marley, then their rights would be worth standing up for. As it is, who would raise a hand if the National Front treated the Rastas as the Rastas treat their women?

And themselves: his “religion” supposedly kept Bob Marley from seeking cancer treatment.

Remember that “tribute to Bob Marley” at this year’s Grammy Awards? Neither does anyone else, because it was terrible. The most entertaining part? You can actually see all these A-list performers suddenly remembering, too late and on live TV, that Bob Marley’s songs are, in fact, really really bad.

I don’t know how anyone who basically “wrote” the same dirge-like, nonsensical “song” over and over again qualifies as a genius, but I suspect that (along with heavy and regular drug use) the soft bigotry of low expectations played an enormous role in Marley’s megastardom (which was engineered, by the way, by a wealthy white toff.)

White people are Marley’s biggest fans, which tells you all you need to know.

A deliciously nasty entry devoted to Marley at “Stuff White People Like” notes, however:

Under no circumstances should you ever bring a white person to [an authentic] dancehall reggae concert,  it will frighten them.

Indeed. Not for nothing did The Clash — having made their obligatory pilgrimage to visit that “government yard in Trenchtown” — return and declare, quite balls-ily:

I went to the place
Where every white face
Is an invitation to robbery
An’ sitting here in my safe European home
I don’t wanna go back there again


The conclusion with the final 3 most overrated male musicians can be read here.

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(KATHY SHAIDLE is a blogging pioneer who runs FiveFeetOfFury, now in its 15th year. She's been called "one of the great virtuoso polemicists of our time," by MARK STEYN. Her NEW book is Confessions of A Failed Slut (Thought Catalog, 2014).

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Top Rated Comments   
#3 Jim Morrison

#2 Jim Morrison

#1 Jim Morrison

That is all...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (91)
All Comments   (91)
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Let me get to the punch-line as we all have laundry: The near-entirety of the five entries rely on the meaning of lyrics. Perhaps someone could invoke a better comparison than: This is like judging paintings on solely the set of color-numbers used. (Not number of colors.) Entire-nearly refers to the Waters and Marley entries which rely--in part--on ad hominem.

On second thought, the following might be the punch-line. On Marley: "White people are Marley’s biggest fans, which tells you all you need to know." I do believe that's all one needs to know about the author--that she would write such a thing. (Her thumbnail picture suggest that she possess a serious level of self-loathing. Just saying...)

Unless you have laundry to do, below is further commentary on this fatuous--and inane--review of 5 males.

I'm going to get to the punch-line for this section, as I've got laundry to do for someone: There is much more to music than lyrics. This statement is quite inadequate as words have no relation to music. This statement is not true for the vast majority of the subject music. Therefore, it is best to treat lyrics as a kind of problem for this music--or potentially. If one takes this position, then it solves this potential problem and enjoyment of the music at hand may ensue freely.

There's more! As the enjoyment of music may be destroyed by the meaning of the accompanying lyrics, knowledge of the musicians can be very destructive of enjoyment of the entire work. The example of Roger Waters is apt: In the midst of deep appreciation of the pre-Wall Floyd albums and Waters' first and second solo albums, I made the mistake of reading some statements by Roger Waters which were so idiotic that I stopped immediately and never read interviews of him again.

It was then that I adopted the rule of ignorance with respect to valuable works: to preserve the art; that is, my enjoyment of that art. Anyone who objects to deconstructionism should find this method to be essential. The author of the five males suffers from the extreme opposite of my rule of ignorance which, to all appearance, she is ignorant. I've used the method perfectly for Joanna Newsom and Yes, for example.

On some detail from the five-male entries.

Jim Morrison is really, really bad because, "Oliver Stone is one of their biggest fans." Oh, wait! This in quotes is a statement about the band and not their lead-singer/lyricist. I'm a bit confused as the entire entry supports the author's dislike of one of the four members.

About that guy, Jason Gilbert's opinion, we get, "Just saying". Does this mean the quotation doesn't adduce toward support of the entry for Morrison?

Just asking...

But wait! This must be super-duper correct as Gilbert is a "fan of The Doors"!--The band--though he may not like Morrison? I shouldn't be confused by this as, I repeat myself, "Just saying"; to be read: just fiddling and bearing no relation to the subject.

Off to the Laundromat.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Eagles, all male, are still stalking the face of the face of the earth and you couldn't shoehorn them in above Springsteen, Marley et al? You could have just listed the members of the band (with the possible exception of Joe Walsh) and been done with it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Overrated male musicians remaining, hmmm....

Kurt Cobain. The late-Layne Staley/ AiC had more thought provoking and talent in ANY of their catalog to Cobain. As well as the 'Mad Season' Above album. Jmo.

Jerry Garcia. To this day I still don't understand the allure, praise given him, his solo career and The Dead, collectively. The Allman Brothers, heck the 1-2 hit wonder Ram Jam band are better jam bands than The Dead. That goes double for Widespread Panic!

Paul McCartney. His 'Wings' syrupy crapola and empty storytelling stuff the last ~ 20 years is forgettable nonsense. I do like his Lennon homage, 'Here with Me' though that's about it.

Fellow Beatle, truly talented the late-George Harrison's 1st solo double album, 'All Things Must Pass' is incredible. A greatest hits in one album, Imo. 'Wah-Wah' is still a great jam and can be heard in the movie, 'Goodfellas' or many funk-up tempo jazz clubs live venues.

~ Cheers
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I am in awe of all that eminates from the land of Dudus Coke.
Stink Floyd is the most pretentious crap ever created. I swear to God if I found myself in the same room as Roger Waters I would have to pray an entire Rosary not to beat his brains in. I prememtively admit to having anger issues against any form of progressive rock/rockers.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
As you may have guessed, Kathy, 2 things:

1) Even the least of this board is well immersed in the history of the music in question. 2) You didn't discover it, the party has been going on for a long time, a looooong time. 3) Music, like history, is something appreciated both on its merits and in context to what preceeded it. I read one comment about Jimmy Page being overrated. Fine. Did you know that he wrote out his solos? Listen to 'Heartbreaker' and describe to me the kinds of work that were able to blast through, if they even existed, into the popular mind 4) People hear music in different ways, not unlike their receptivity of art. I don't own ' Dark Side' but it is impossible to dismiss the atmospherics, the amount of space created between the grooves.
What was being produced at that time? Nothing like it. For years on end it remained on the list of 100 highest selling albums in ANY year. Why was that?
Do we attribute such popularity to the statistical mean, do we say that only the least is appreciated by the most? Or, do we consider that it simply has a sort of universal appeal that crossed over many barriers?

And, yes, we may as well forget that Wagner existed (See, I do appreciate the cogency, RT) if we use every monster who thought they appreciated his work as the benchmark of our judgements.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. Should read 3, no,

Thank you.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
1.Elvis Presley
2.Elvis Presley
3.Elvis Presley
4.Elvis Presley
5.Elvis Presley
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment

Justin Bieber, Justin Timberfake, The "Edge", all of U2 really, all of them far worse than PF or Bob Marley, politics aside.

I'm not a big fan of Jay-z or Kanye West either. These guys can hardly string together a coherent rhyme, much less sing.

Make sure you don't forget McDonna when you compile your worst females list.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment

I think Bono is far worse than Pink Floyd. Actually he deserves top honors along with Springsteen.

Please do NOT leave out McDonna when you do your worst females list. She is in a League of Her Own when it comes to horrible, awful, ripoff I won't call it "music".

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
First of all, Pink Floyd isn't a male musician, it's a band. If you want to take shots at male musicians, particularly Roger Waters, #5 on the list should be Waters, not Pink Floyd. Or change the title of the article so that it says "5 most overrated males or bands".

Second, I was surprised at who was omitted from this list. It seems to me that Bob Dylan and Michael Jackson are conspicuously absent from a list that they should dominate. I can't think of anyone who has been more lionized - undeservedly - than those two.

Dylan has to be one of the very worst singers I've ever heard. After over 50 years in the business, he still can't carry a tune in a bucket. His guitar playing is no better than the average kid after a dozen guitar lessons. After 50 years, he should be a lot better than he is. Now, I've made these points in past discussions of musicians and no one has ever disagreed; but the argument always ends with the claim that he can't play or sing but he's a brilliant songwriter. Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder so if he floats your boat as a songwriter, great. I really don't want to stand in the way of anyone's pleasure. Heck, I even like a few of his songs, although I usually like other people's covers of them better than his original versions. For example, I far prefer Hendrix's All Along the Watchtower to Dylan's.

As for Michael Jackson, the less said the better. I know he sold a gajillion records but I can't think of any song he ever did that I actually liked, either musically or lyrically. I'm truly sick of all the people who talk about him as if he was a great genius. If he was so good, why didn't he do anything that ever moved me? Why can't I recall even a fragment of the melody of any of his big hits?

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Roger Waters is a complete, self-involved jerk, however, Floyd produced some of the most brilliant melodies and lyrics of all time. I remain a David Gilmour fan.

Springsteen works hard but sings about stuff I do not care about. I've been to New Jersey and don't like it.

I once saw the Doors live. It was one of the most appalling concerts I ever wasted money on. Jim Morrison was so blitzed, he couldn't remember the lyrics and ended up laying down on the stage.

Stevie Wonder started out as a child curiosity and ended up as an adult...what? I don't know. I don't hate his stuff, but it doesn't do anything for me either. If I were to "choose" a blind musician it would be Ray Charles.

I didn't smoke nearly enough dope to enjoy Bob Marley.

The all time worst "musician" and human being wrapped up in one totally disgusting package: Axl Rose
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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