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Albums The Critics Got Wrong?

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Lewian View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lewian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 18 2017 at 05:38
I think pretty much everyone tore Renaissance's Camera Camera to shreds (including some band members, later), but I consider this a very unique, fresh and original if somewhat disoriented album.


Edited by Lewian - September 18 2017 at 05:38
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kenethlevine View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kenethlevine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 18 2017 at 11:33
Originally posted by Lewian Lewian wrote:

I think pretty much everyone tore Renaissance's Camera Camera to shreds (including some band members, later), but I consider this a very unique, fresh and original if somewhat disoriented album.

I was in Ottawa at the time and the FM radio station seemed to like it.  I got all my dorm friends into Renaissance at the time.  I remember it being on the US charts, and at a higher position than what Billboard now claims it reached - perhaps there is revisionist history in the charts when it suits historians.

I thought it was a really good album and a credible move forward for Renaissance.  With proper promotion and a bit of luck it could have launched them into a successful decade.  I would probably never have regarded it as the equal of the mid 70s stuff but I can't begrudge a band hitting paydirt either.

It's a bit ironic that critics savaged it given that they savaged most of Renaissance classic releases for being pretentious and precious, yet when they made a decent stab at straightforward rock, they were criticized for abandoning the style that got them all the bad reviews in the first place.  

Ashes are Burning, the album, got 1 star in the Rolling Stone record guide.  1 star! Absolutely ludicrous.  40 years later it is around 30 on the RS all time greatest prog rock albums.  Vindication perhaps, but maybe some gentler more sympathetic reviews early on could have given the band the recognition they deserved


Edited by kenethlevine - September 18 2017 at 11:36
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ProfPanglos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 20 2017 at 15:52
Originally posted by Blacksword Blacksword wrote:

Originally posted by richardh richardh wrote:

Great comments about The Wall. When I was about 21 that album was the most important thing to me in the universe. I honestly believe that I wouldn't be here typing my nonsense but for that album and Roger Waters. Someone has to tell it as it is.


The same could apply to me. I had the Wall before I got into Rush, Genesis et al... I was 13 and had no idea what prog rock was. I just knew that I liked music that most of my friends didn't like and I couldn't work out why..

I may not have gotten into other prog rock bands had it not been for Floyd.

The Wall's greatness is unmatched, in my mind.  Whenever radio stations used to play the "Top 100" or "Top 1000" classic rock songs or whatever, inevitably they end with Free Bird, or Stairway to Heaven, or maybe Hotel California.  The G.O.A.T. rock album typically ends up being Led Zeppelin's IV or DSoTM or maybe Sgt. Peppers.

In my personal opinion, The Wall is the single greatest rock album of all time, and Another Brick in the Wall Pt. 2 is the greatest single anthem in rock history.   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 19 2017 at 21:41
I think critics missing the point of an album at the time of its release is almost the norm with the exception of some big bands they are obliged to promote (  The reviews of Red printed on the flap of the CD cover are very mixed and praise is qualified and reserved. Since Renaissance were mentioned, Novella was (and still is by Allmusic) viewed as too precious while at the same time Annie in Wonderland was punished for its variety.  You can't win either way, apparently.  Christgau lost interest in Steely Dan after Can't Buy A Thrill.  Then again, Christgau seems to have a notoriously small attention span as well as being unreasonably suspicious of 'European imports'. 

On the flipside, why exactly is an album like Appetite for Destruction so important?  OK, it's a nice rock album, kicks ass but with the passage of time, it becomes more and more difficult to attach credibility to claims about their originality as they seem very derivative of hard rock in the AC DC/Thin Lizzy mould.  What exactly did they bring to rock that was 'new'? I understand (though don't really agree with) the argument that they signalled a return to roots after the onslaught of slick pop metal but even so, it feels very unsubstantial, very unappetising (ironically) for an album of its repute.  Yeah, sure, Slash played with a lot of flavour but so did Chris Poland and if he could run rings around Dave Mustaine (as confessed by Mustaine himself), pretty sure he would own Slash too.  So more like 'real metal' was too heavy for the brittle bones of aging critics who instead preferred a radio friendly and more boring alternative.

Nothing much to add to the earlier discussion on Wall, lol.  From a  pure prog perspective, I don't know that many albums at all that the critics over-rated badly.  They tended to thrash most of them with qualified praise for a few.  Even the concerts...one stinging review of a Steely Dan show provided the impetus for the band to abandon touring altogether.  If  you listen to the concert, you will understand.  Their only 'mistake' was to play faster than the studio originals and for this they earned the ire of the critic.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Squonk19 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 27 2017 at 17:14
Geoff Barton in Sounds here in the UK gave Hemispheres a disappointing review - which affected by view of him considerably, when he was the one who pushed Rush in the earlier years. I know the album divides some fans, but I honestly think it's their most underrated album. It just came out at the wrong time - when all the mainstream British press were wetting themselves over punk/new wave scene.

Agree about Exile and Animals from earlier posts. Always thought Crest of a Knave was over-rated by the press (and the Grammy committee) - while Songs from the Wood didn't get the credit it deserved at the time - again, because it was swimming against the tide at the time.

I remember the hammering Tusk took for not being the new Rumours. Not my favourite album, but it had its moments; was quite experimental, and only now are critics reassessing it.

As for the likes of Black Sabbath - when did the critics ever give them praise? Only with Never Say Die did they get it right by default.
"And the man in the mirror has sad eyes..."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AFlowerKingCrimson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 27 2017 at 17:40
What album did the critics get wrong? Pretty much every prog album ever made not by a band or artist with the initials PF or FZ. Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mascodagama Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 28 2017 at 08:03
Originally posted by Squonk19 Squonk19 wrote:

As for the likes of Black Sabbath - when did the critics ever give them praise? Only with Never Say Die did they get it right by default.

This must be about the best example out there. Sabbath was resoundingly shat on by pretty much every critic throughout the seventies, whilst in their first six albums they laid down one of the greatest sequences of recordings in the history of rock.

Zappa got it of course - a man who had something memorably pithy to say about rock journalism!

Edited by Mascodagama - October 28 2017 at 08:06
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