Grab a Revolver and Believe that music still has its Heroes
Music. There’s a lot to it. Some of it is incredible, some of it is terrible, the terrible stuff is incredible and the incredible stuff is terrible. Such is the paradox created by the opinions of people. The same piece of music can be reviled, worshipped, and ignored simultaneously. That all means that nothing I or anyone else can say about music is right or wrong, true or false. There’s probably some types of music you enjoy, there are some I enjoy, and our opinions are as valid as each other, as are those of anyone else. With that in mind, I’d like to take just a few minutes to compare 4 artists. The first comparison is one that’s been made before, much to many people’s horror; The Beatles vs One Direction. The second will be equally as appalling to many; Justin Bieber vs David Bowie.
Firstly, The Beatles and One Direction. The Beatles had millions of die-hard screaming fans, One Direction have millions of die-hard screaming fans. That’s an obvious similarity. The Beatles were pioneering, changing the face of music as we know it, One Direction are, erm, apparently very good looking. The Beatles formed in school before working hard off their own backs prior to being discovered, One Direction were put together by Simon Cowell after each was deemed not good enough to be a solo singer. One Direction sing (but don’t write) some very catchy songs. The Beatles wrote and played some catchy songs too, but clearly lacked One Direction’s creativity and ability to tell stories through music. Lady Madonna’s all well and good, but did she ever know she’s beautiful? McCartney told Jude he was “Made to go out and get her” but he left out some vital advice – how could he not tell him to live while he’s young?! A real blunder from Paul there.
Both bands have become massively popular across the Atlantic, and One Direction are probably close to being as big as The Beatles. In fact Harry Styles reckons they’ll be bigger than them, and subsequently, bigger than Jesus. That’s quite a claim, Harry, and you’re a moron for making it. You may think that’s a bit harsh to Harry, but no, that’s an unbelievably ridiculous thing to say. The Beatles transformed music. One Direction haven’t even dented it.
Justin Bieber’s quite the phenomenon. He’s got millions of fans, most of them 12 year old girls, but fans nonetheless. He’s a singer-songwriter who’s famous worldwide. David Bowie is also a world-renowned singer-songwriter. They’ve both had tremendous chart success, Bieber’s Baby was a huge hit, Bowie has hit the top of the charts a few times himself. But Life on Mars? Has nothing on Bieber’s work. Bieber’s songs are so evocative, so powerful, so inspiring! He sings about real things, not alien rock stars and spiders from Mars, what were you on about Bowie?
Maybe Bieber’s been listening to Bowie though, he’s definitely made some Changes and he’s even dabbled in drugs, a signature Bowie move. However, moving back to sincerity for a minute, Bowie is one of the real legends of music. His constant reinvention allowed him to stay at the top for years, and his latest release showed the power he continues to yield, leading him to be named as one of the 100 most powerful people in media. Bieber is a temperamental teen whose ego far exceeds his musical ability and who’s contributed less to music than Jimi Hendrix’s appendix. He’s led millions of preteens to believe that meaningless pop drivel is the pinnacle of music and his antics show that he’s not worthy of the adoration he receives. As far as a comparison between Bieber and Bowie goes, it’s like refusing to use a Macbook pro and instead showering praise and admiration on an Amstrad CPC 464. Sorry to bring my own personal bias into this, but I couldn’t bring myself to leave my views on Bieber and One direction even slightly ambiguous. If you do listen to Bieber and One Direction, fine, each to their own, but if you’ve not given the likes of Bowie, The Beatles and Hendrix a chance, I implore you to do so.