Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Nirvana v Beatles

In my mind, music peaked in the early 90s with the whole grunge thing. For my parents, it was the 60s with the Beatles and the Stones so its especially exciting that The Beatles are being pitted against Nirvana in the latest round of guitar games.
Activision have announced that Nirvana feature as a playable character in Guitar Hero 5 in direct competition with MTV's The Beatles: Rock Band which is released at the same time.
Of course those of us wearing the ripped jeans in 1991 would prefer Kurt's gang over George Harrison's, just as i can assume anyone who was sporting a mop-top in 1964 would take Lennon over Dave Grohl. That's as expected but to compare the two, and to pose the question who was best, is just silly.
Given the choice, i would take Nirvana's music over the Beatles every time but in almost every aspect, the Beatles knock Nirvana into a crocked hat.
If you compare their influence, longevity and record sales, Nirvana are not even in the same country, let alone the ball park. I would take Kurt over Paul McCartney, 'Nevermind' over any Beatles album and 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' over any Beatles single but then anyone of my parents age would do the opposite and that's how it should be. The Beatles were of their time and Nirvana were mine, both had decent songs and both have stinkers.
Asking 'Who was best' is completely subjective and depends on the age group of the person being asked. I imagine if we asked today's kids they would say someone like Coldplay, so let's not ask them. They're obviously idiots.
If you are after the band with the greatest impact then i would suggest the next game is made up of Sex Pistols songs. They kick-started the whole punk movement that influenced most of the guitar bands on the video games today which leads us back to Nirvana who were arguably the best thing in the 90s in terms of music and impact, but best ever is stretching it.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lucy,

you need to revist history :-o

elvis and buddy holly made the transition from bebop to rock...

beatles and stones made rock mainstream...

madonna led the way for females mainstream rockers...

5 or 6 artists made rap & hip hop maintstream...

metallica made hard rock mainstream...

garth brooks shifted country to rock like...

q

Lucy said...

I would argue that all of the above were imitating or basing their act on someone else but the Sex Pistols were the start of something.
I may be on shaky ground with Elvis i admit but wasn't his whole schtick about a white man doing black music?

Annie said...

How about a John Lennon quote? "Before Elvis, there was NOTHING."

As for Nirvana... They ended before their greatness could be fully realized, in my opinion. If Curt had stayed alive, who knows? Are you not a Pearl Jam fan, Lucy? They personified grunge in their way too.

Lucy said...

I was a big fan of the whole grunge thing Annie. The music, the look and the participants but it was so short lived. When Kurt died, it just seemed to fizzle out.

Anonymous said...

lucy,

i see your point, but the sex pistols didn't start from scratch either now did they?

q

Lucy said...

I know there is some debate over who was the very first proper punk band, but the general feeling is that it was the Pistols so they could be said to have started the punk genre from scratch.

Annie said...

Some would say that the first punk band was the Who.

Anonymous said...

lucy,

again, i hear you, but the sex pistols didn't make a mega jump from something like big band to punk.

they made a small little hop (albeit a deranged hop) from hard rock to punk, which is understandable since their skills were mediocre. they had to do something to distinguish themselves from all the other mediocre noise makers...

q

pd - the who, hmmm, never viewed them as punks...

Cheezy said...

Punk was necessary, but necessarily short-lived IMO... Now post-punk... That was when music got really interesting... e.g. Joy Division, Echo and the Bunnymen, Cabaret Voltaire, Magazine, Talking Heads, The Specials, The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, PiL, The Fall etc, etc...

Lucy said...

I do agree with you Q, you can hear influences of lots of other musical genres in punk and it was very basic '3 chord' tunes but that seemed to be the attraction. Easy to play songs anyone could knock out, and did. What punk did have though was a philosophy and image behind it which set it apart from everything else before it.

I think the best genres come out of nowhere, rattle around for a short time and then implode before they get chance to grow stale Cheezy. Or some record executive dilutes it with manufactured pap
dressed in its clothes.


I always associated The Who with the Mod era Annie.