Ten albums that had a dodgy influence on pop/rock music.
1- Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures
After this album, John Peel said that the majority of the tapes sent by bands were gloomy copycat music, inspired by these kings of the gothic spires. They effectively ruined alternative music for years. Well maybe two until Orange Juice showed bands they could make music to dance to and be cool with a floppy fringe.
2- The Beatles – With the Beatles
The Fab Fours happy clappy jolly ditties led to a whole plague of copycats that also included the excruciatingly awful Herman’s Hermits.
3- David Bowie – The Rise and fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.
Glam rock, although initiated by Marc Bolan, took on a new theatrical dimension with Bowie’s epoch defining album. It also spawned monstrosities like Jobriath – pretentious rubbish that a misguided Morrissey seems to think was good. Need I mention the whole parade of bricklayers in Boots make-up who pretended to be fey and gay? Top of the Fops.
4- Cream – Fresh Cream
The kings of guitar noodling pre-dated Hendrix with their musical prowess. Cue a thousand and one pub bands that still exist today playing their extended riffs – and also bands like Led Zeppelin who took the ‘riff’ and heralded an era of heavy rock – real man music where women were either easy to lay, hard to lay or angels who will be dirty just for them.
5- The Beatles – Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club band
Suddenly everyone in pop went a bit strange and whimsical and it almost ruined the Rolling Stones who released their god-awful ‘Satanic Majesties Request’ album heavily under the acid Fab influence. Plus men in bands started to grow moustaches. On the peripheries of pop, a whole load of paisley bands with names like ‘Mrs.Crompton’s Sweet Shop’ tried to get on the LSD pop bandwagon – one that passed by very quickly, leaving a whole load of bands stranded at the daisy chain love-in.
6- The Stooges – The Stooges
There was primal poetry in Iggy and his motley crew’s back to the swamp riffing and howling. But it also inspired Punk – which, although had its great moments, also had a million and one bands playing ‘I wanna be your dog’ in a bid for Iggy cred. And they were just rubbish.
7- The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses
Suddenly, every provincial band had a wah-wah pedal, pretended they liked James Brown beats and were merely aping the slouchy cool of this Manc band. And that was just U2 who made a bid for indie-dance cred with their godawful ‘Achtung Baby’ album – the sound of aging men nicking the riffs of a younger, cooler band. Time to own up Bono.
8. Nirvana – Nevermind
An album that spawned a whole generation of angst ridden misery merchants without a tune. Kurt Cobain was a confused man in an arrested adolescent state who, if only he had grown up, might have gone on to make some great music. Instead, he copped out and shot himself. Well so would you if you were married to gobby indie-slut, chronic attention seeking Courtney Love.
9. Oasis – Definitely Maybe
An album that spawned a whole load of laddish cloddy bands. With obvious influences that could not possibly lead to music that was original, challenging or stimulating: the new conservatism that was Brit Pop.
10. The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground and Nico (Banana sleeve)
On the other hand, a band so revolutionary that they took ten years to filter through to the pop culture. Unfortunately, for every art-rock inspired band, there was a plethora of backs to the audience, moody in shades racketeers with not a tune in sight. The Velvet Underground may have been radical but they also had great songs – a factor often overlooked by arty dress in black types.
So there you have it – albums that had an influence that was the best and the worst of things.
John Lennon – Plastic Ono Band
Honest John’s ‘brave’ post Beatles album in which he takes his favourite subject: himself, and feels extremely sorry for the fact he is a multi-millionaire pop star. Inspired a whole misguided generation of ‘soul baring confessional’ songwriters whose pain was their bank balance gain. The poor little fallen angels, eh?
Spandau Ballet/Visage – First albums
Do you remember a time when singers sang in ‘heroic’ voices, bands looked daft in their mum’s blouses, had make up applied in an arty way with squiggly lines and hair that looked like it was styled by hairdressers with wonky scissors? Yes: New Romantics, who were led by the Princes of Piffle: Spandau Ballet and King Prat Steve Strange (or was it the dodgy influence of Bowie again?)