Saturday, 13 August 2011

Music Clash: Lady Britannia vs. Lady Libertas

[caption id="attachment_430" align="alignnone" width="245" caption="Lady Britannia"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_431" align="alignright" width="190" caption="Lady Liberty"][/caption]

Ok...

(I'm just pretending there isn't a huge gap in between my last post and this one.)

...I came up with an interesting question while I was on the other side of the pond:

"Name a band (not an individual artist) from the USA that equals in terms of

(i) popularity,
(ii) impact on music history,
(iii) creative longevity (i.e. some core of the original group keeps performing for decades by reinventing itself, keeping up with/dictating trends in contemporary pop music),
(iv) legend status

with bands like Queen, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, Duran Duran, U2, Genesis."

It's a tough one. In fact, you can probably name a whole range of individual artists from the US that do meet those requirements, but no other country has produced legendary groups like the UK did... and still does! I guess Radiohead will soon be in that list, maybe Depeche Mode and some of the triphoppers that are still around, some of the younger britpop bands. What about Autechre, Orbital, Underworld.

Of course record sales do not tell you everything... but when I arrange this list so that only bands are in there you get something like this. It's a list of everything better than the Village People... (or UB40):


RANK


USA


UK
(and some non-USA)


300 million or more

1The Beatles
2ABBA
3Led Zeppelin
4Queen

200 million to 299 million

5Pink Floyd
6AC/DC
7The Rolling Stones
8Bee Gees

150 million to 199 million

9U2
10Aerosmith
11Genesis

120 million to 149 million

12Backstreet Boys
13Bon Jovi
14Chicago
15Eagles
16Dire Straits

100 million to 119 million

17The Carpenters
18Depeche Mode
19Fleetwood MacFleetwood Mac
20Guns ‘n Roses
21The Jackson 5
22Kiss
23Metallica
24Scorpions
25The Who

75 million 99 million

26Boney M.
27B'z
28The Doors
29
30Eurythmics
31Iron Maiden
32Journey
33

50 million to 74 million

34Ace of Base
35A-ha
36The Black Eyed Peas
37Black Sabbath
38Boyz II Men
39Coldplay
40Def Leppard
41Destiny's Child
42Dreams Come True
43Duran Duran
44Electric Light Orchestra
45Green Day
46Jethro Tull
47Linkin Park
48Mötley Crüe
49Mr.ChildrenMr.Children
50New Kids on the Block
51Nirvana
52Oasis
53Pearl Jam
54Pet Shop Boys
55The Police
56Red Hot Chili Peppers
57R.E.M.
58Roxette
59Sade
60Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
61UB40
62Village People

So the US comes in at number 10 with Aerosmith...
Music sociologists eat your heart out!




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