We along with many of you have been reading stories about the value of U2 today. In today’s music culture does U2 really have a place?
Matt McGee along with others has captured some thoughts from music industry greats. However before we share the story we thought about the question.
Do they matter? Does the Beatles matter? Do the Rolling Stones matter? Does Pink Floyd matter? Music always matters. The idea that a song can define a time period, a person and a generation as we define what matters ask yourself what mattered most in your life. What was your soundtrack? Do others hear your music? Now most will focus on the political views of Bono and hey he even said once “Nothing worse than a Rock Star with an conscience” at a Harvard commencement speech.
If you judge how a band matters based on soundscan, or billboard you really just focused on the business side of the industry. Maybe what’s wrong with the whole music industry as band emerges their music grows on you, taking hold in a place that a void needs to be filled. You can look at the thousands of “one hit wonders” and see that some music ex had to produce a hit to keep the lights on.
Sometimes the hits take time to grow on you. Remember “Streets without names” that was not a hit at all. In fact MTV named it one of the best songs/video of all time that never won a moon man.
In order for music to move forward it may be time to view music as the true art that it is. A price on art has only the value that you would pay. Radiohead tried to blaze forward with “Pay what you think” concept moving the Music Ex’ out of the way of the fan. Truth is that we need those music industry ex’s because thats the only way money can be made to let bands like U2, Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, Van Halen grow into their own.
So from our view point. U2 has a place in todays music, its defined be the idea that we are greater than we claim to be. We can become “One” and focus on a greater good. The soundtrack of your life has been playing for sometime and you have heard the voice calling to be greater.
Question: How does U2 matter to you? What would you say was the song that moved you, What U2 songs would be the sound track to your life? Share your comments below.
Bertis Downs: “Of course U2 still matters—they make music all their own, are many people’s favorite band, carry themselves in a manner like no one else, and make a huge difference with their approach to their responsibilities as a role model for so many others.”
Bob Lefsetz: “They’re meaningless in terms of new music. If only they’d realize this, and start to record and release new music that’s not overmanaged and overmanipulated to try and be successful, but is recorded for the pure joy of it.”
Quincy Jones: “Their relevance transcends music—it’s almost like its own belief system, which is probably why those four dudes have stayed together for so long.”
Bertis Downs, R.E.M. advisor
“Of course U2 still matters—they make music all their own, are many people’s favorite band, carry themselves in a manner like no one else, and make a huge difference with their approach to their responsibilities as a role model for so many others. And, to my ears, they are still pushing their creative envelope every time they release a record.”
RJD2 (a.k.a. RJ or Ramble Krohn), artist/producer
“U2 sells out venues that are literally 100 times the size of rooms that I play. So if U2 doesn’t ‘matter,’ then what is a degree 100 times smaller than ‘mattering’? Does it surpass ‘existing’? Whatever it is, that is what I am—sub-existence. Also, for the record, anyone who goes around saying things like ‘someone doesn’t matter’ is a status-obsessed douche.”
Glenn “G5” Gyorffy, bassist, Anvil
“Absolutely! U2 have been, and still are, one of the biggest bands in the world. They’ve inspired some of the greatest music of the past two-and-a-half decades as well. There was a time when they sounded unique but now you can hear their sound in just about every pop band. U2 will always matter! Just like the Beatles will always matter!”
Doug “Cosmo” Clifford, drummer, Creedence Clearwater Revival
“I have nothing but respect for U2 because they have managed to stay together as a band for decades. They have stayed viable at a very high level through the many changes in the industry over the years. They have given back so much to people in need, making a real difference in the lives of millions of people around the globe. They are truly a class act. Bravo!”
John Baldwin Gourley, singer/guitarist, Portugal. The Man
“U2 will matter forever, that is not up for debate. I just can’t imagine charging your fans, who have made you, that much for a concert or a T-shirt, but maybe I have no perspective of the size of things”
Kasim Sulton, bassist/singer, Utopia, session and touring pro
“Very few bands/musicians have the capacity to remain popular and contemporary after 25 years together. Much like a roman candle, there might be four or five truly good records before the magic sputters and the artists find themselves held hostage to their initial success, playing the same old songs because that’s all the audience really wants. U2 is one of the only bands that consistently tops the last record, the last tour, and continues to remain one of—if not the only—bands that can release an album and have it mean more than the previous one. Consistently. Case in point: The Rolling Stones, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, Aerosmith and most other artists in that stratosphere of success can still sell out tour after tour, yet nothing they’ve released in the last 15 years compares to their early material. U2 still matters.”
So whats your thoughts ? Do they matter and if not why not ?