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Old 03-23-2013, 03:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
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This thread is actually born out of a thought I've had for a while but which I touched upon again in the Metallica paradox thread. It's about something that has annoyed me about music discussions for a long time.


Have you ever met a teenage girl who says she's a Metallica fan? I have. I asked her what she liked and she said she only liked them prior to Black Album. What I automatically think then is, that's not your opinion. That's some old man's opinion and you just robbed him of it because you didn't have a proper formulated opinion of the band of your own.

It's like some people, the moment they get into a band, they desperately want to appear as if they've already listened to them for years. They don't have time to sit and listen and get an opinion themselves because they got their pride at stake. If someone asks them about a popular band, should they say "Oh, I've only really heard one album", they think they'd lose face. Better to grab an opportunity to look cool and wise. So they go and find an opinion. But the popular opinion isn't good enough because that's the one typically held by those who have only heard the band's most popular output (ie. the best album is the biggest seller). No, they need to educate themselves a little more and find the right unpopular opinion, the one that favors more obscure output and makes you look like an old-time fan.

I guess the youngest people around here may not recognize them, but as you get a little older, they become readily appearant because they're reiterated time and time again. It could be a self-proclaimed Led Zep fan who thinks Stairway to Heaven is awful, but loves their pre-IV output. It could be that Megadeth was so much better before Countdown to Extinction and if people listen to U2, they will seldom admit to liking anything beyond their 80s material .. because that's not cool.

Of course, if the attitude that everything pre-Black Album is better is the one you got getting into Metallica, that's most likely the one you're going to reinforce through your personal motivation and the resulting listening you do. People wanna live up to their bluffs because it's the right way to feel about the band, right?


So, it's not that there's something wrong with these opinions in themselves. They are good, educated opinions. But when you meet them, are they earned or are they borrowed/stolen?
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Old 03-23-2013, 05:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I hear what you're saying but I also think there's an issue with jumping to conclusions about the origins of other people's opinions. It could very well be that the teenage girl in your example always hated Metallica based on hearing the black album, Load, etc. and then finally heard Master of Puppets and Ride the Lighting and changed her mind.
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Old 03-23-2013, 05:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah, there's certainly elements of truth in your post tore, but Jans pointed out my only real flaw in the logic.
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Old 03-23-2013, 06:01 AM   #4 (permalink)
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There's a saying I heard that I think applies to this.

The reason that clichés are cliché is because a lot of the times they're true.

A lot of the stuff you listed I feel the same way about.
I formed some of those opinions you listed long before I came on the internet and knew anybody else felt that way.

I think this whole 'wanting to look cool with an opinion' thing is overstated.
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Old 03-23-2013, 06:03 AM   #5 (permalink)
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To Jans and Goofle,

Of course I am aware that such opinions can be completely earned, honest and legit. Do I really need to point that out? I am more interested in discussing when they aren't is all.

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Originally Posted by Urban Hat€monger ? View Post
There's a saying I heard that I think applies to this.

The reason that clichés are cliché is because a lot of the times they're true.

A lot of the stuff you listed I feel the same way about.
I formed some of those opinions you listed long before I came on the internet and knew anybody else felt that way.

I think this whole 'wanting to look cool with an opinion' thing is overstated.
I don't think it is overstated. I think people trying to live up to some (cool) idea of who they want to be, f.ex someone who appears knowledgeable about music (more than he/she really is), has a profound effect on peoples opinions and the way we discuss music, here and elsewhere.

I think personal taste in music is something that is very strongly tied to ones identity/self-image and if you want to appear cool, that's something one can groom as well.
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Old 03-23-2013, 06:10 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I think the "pretending you have known the band for years" is the bigger issue. Subconsciously, this gives the person an excuse not to actually do their homework on the band.
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Old 03-23-2013, 06:22 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I don't think it is overstated. I think people trying to live up to some (cool) idea of who they want to be, f.ex someone who appears knowledgeable about music (more than he/she really is), has a profound effect on peoples opinions and the way we discuss music, here and elsewhere.

I think personal taste in music is something that is very strongly tied to ones self-image and if you want to appear cool, that's something one can groom as well.

Tore, I know you're a prog fan. Let's use a band like Yes for an example.

If a Yes fan around your own age said to you 'I love their 70s stuff but I don't really like their 80s output & I thought Tormato was utter rubbish.' would you think he was saying that just to be cool. Or would you just think that it was a pretty common opinion based on the quality of work that band released then.

They wouldn't have been around in the 70s to listen to that band either and became new to the band at some point so essentially that person is the same as the teenage Metallica fan now.

Is it not fair to say a lot of the reasons people say things like these is because they like the same aspects of the band that most other people do.
For example I liked Metallica when they had a rawness, which their first 3 albums had. Is it possible that the a lot of the reason people love about Metallica was their early rawness, and once that was gone they lost interest with each passing album?
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Old 03-23-2013, 06:29 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Tore, I know you're a prog fan. Let's use a band like Yes for an example.

If a Yes fan around your own age said to you 'I love their 70s stuff but I don't really like their 80s output & I thought Tormato was utter rubbish.' would you think he was saying that just to be cool. Or would you just think that it was a pretty common opinion based on the quality of work that band released then.

They wouldn't have been around in the 70s to listen to that band either and became new to the band at some point so essentially that person is the same as the teenage Metallica fan now.

Is it not fair to say a lot of the reasons people say things like these is because they like the same aspects of the band that most other people do.
For example I liked Metallica when they had a rawness, which their first 3 albums had. Is it possible that the a lot of the reason people love about Metallica was their early rawness, and once that was gone they lost interest with each passing album?
Well, it is a little bit suspicious, yes. It's a formulaic answer, isn't it?

That opinion could be a product of an environment which fosters that opinion. The MusicBanter environment certainly does. But let's say this person lived alone on an island with a record player and the whole discography of Yes and didn't have any preconcieved ideas about their music and noone to impress. Would he arrive at the same conclusion? Maybe, but perhaps a little less likely.

If this comes from some self-proclaimed prog head of some 30+ years of age, of course that adds credibility that it's not all fake and that he/she's actually heard the music he/she talks about.

But I think some of these preconceived ideas and opinions take on a life of their own.
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Old 03-23-2013, 06:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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To answer that I will give you this example

I used to often wonder why so many 70s bands made such awful albums in the 80s.

Then later when I would read about these bands I found out the reason for these awful albums was because of drugs, booze, bands hating each other, bands not bothered any more, bands running out of ideas, different band members recording in different continents, endless line up changes and so on and so on and so on

And when I read all of these things about why these records sucked I was not surprised in the slightest because I knew these albums were nowhere near as good as what had come before.

Back then I knew no reasons why they should be that bad or no reason to expect them to be bad before I heard them. they just were, you could hear it in the music.

And I was a person living alone with a record player on an island
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Old 03-23-2013, 06:40 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Not to mention that just because you weren't born when certain albums were around that you can't listen to them retrospectively. I mean, if a teenager now told me that they only loved (to keep with the prog idea) Marillion with Fish, I wouldn't just say well you weren't around when Fish was at his height. There's nothing to stop someone buying (or downloading) an artiste's full discog and then listening to them carefully over a period of weeks to be able to form an opinion as to which period, if any, they prefer.

My own personal view though is that if I were to do that with, say, Bob Marley, I'd make the point that "I've only been listening to his music for a few months but I prefer this period to that period" --- make it obvious I'm not pretending I've been into the guy for years and years.
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