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Old 11 August 2013, 06:11 PM
Magdalene Magdalene is offline
 
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Default Bands that could have made it in earlier times

A 'just for fun' thread....

While on vacation with my sister this week, we heard "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" on the radio, and my sister commented that aside from it referring to an actual event, it seemed a sort of 'timeless' song that could have been sung in any era. This launched a discussed of whether the song *could* have been popular in an earlier era (say, the 1950's, with the assumption it was about a fictional sinking instead of a real one). And being on a long road trip, this prompted a half-hearted discussion about which bands and songs could have become popular in an earlier era--for example, was The Beatles moment *truly* in the sixties, or could they have gone over big twenty years earlier? We voted no, but did consider that some of their songs could have gone over well in earlier times--"Yesterday", for example.

Some singers and their songs we figured were kind of obvious for 'drop them in an earlier time and they probably would have been okay' (assume time travel were possible)--Josh Groban, we joked, might have been a favorite of Queen Elizabeth I.

What songs/bands do you think could have possibly gone over in an earlier era? How early would you risk?

Magdalene
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Old 11 August 2013, 06:58 PM
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U2's One comes to mind. It deals with a father-son estrangement over the son's homosexuality (IIRC), but the estrangement theme could be any two people anywhere. How far back? Hmmm, the 1960s.
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Old 12 August 2013, 11:32 AM
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A lot of folk and folk-rock is quite timeless.

It took me a long time to realise that some of The Pogues' songs were actually Pogues songs, in the sense that they seem good enough and timeless enough that I thought they were "traditional" and didn't appreciate that Shane McGowan / The Pogues had actually written them. (One or two are traditional, of course, and others are covers.) I think that they could have been successful in the right circles for a good couple of centuries at least. A lot of the songs include trains and ships and grim cities and so on, so it would have to be an industrial society to appreciate those ones.
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Old 12 August 2013, 12:28 PM
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I really can't think of any. In fact I can think of quite the opposite of hit songs that are outdated (like Kodachrome).
The only artist that comes to mind is Rufus Wainwright III. He has that Beatles sound and feel and could very easily have been big in the late 60's or early 70's.
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Old 12 August 2013, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magdalene View Post
And being on a long road trip, this prompted a half-hearted discussion about which bands and songs could have become popular in an earlier era--for example, was The Beatles moment *truly* in the sixties, or could they have gone over big twenty years earlier? We voted no, but did consider that some of their songs could have gone over well in earlier times--"Yesterday", for example.
There was a Britcom with a time travel premise called Goodnight Sweetheart where the main character lived a double life. One in the present, one in London during WWII. One of the things he used to do in WWII London was to pass himself off as a songwriter, only problem was a lot of his "hits" were Beatles songs from 20 years in the future.

http://www.thebeatlesthroughtheyears...weetheart.html
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Old 12 August 2013, 05:57 PM
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Without spoiling anything, the video game Bioshock Infiinite features several songs in anachronistic styles.

The Beach Boys' "God Only Knows" is awesome in a barbershop quartet arrangement.
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Old 12 August 2013, 06:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magdalene View Post
for example, was The Beatles moment *truly* in the sixties, or could they have gone over big twenty years earlier?
The problem with this sort of speculation is that the our modern concept of a musical "group" didn't exist back then. If the Beatles had been born twenty years earlier, they'd have existed in an era when bands were mostly groups of musicians playing dance/swing music on wind instruments and backing up singers. I think it's highly unlikely that any of the Beatles, with the possible exception of Paul, would have pursued a musical career in that environment. And even if they did, I don't think any of them other than Paul was musically versatile enough to have made names for themselves as musicians or singers or composers in that era.
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Old 12 August 2013, 06:16 PM
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They Might Be Giants might have made it in an earlier era, say from the 40s through to the early 60s. In fact Istanbul (Not Constantinople), which I always thought was an original TMBG song, turned out to be a hit for the 4 Lads back in 1953.
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Old 15 August 2013, 06:03 PM
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Most roots blues artists (e.g., Taj Mahal, Keb' Mo') would have fit in perfectly in the 1930s.
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Old 15 August 2013, 06:42 PM
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Stan Rogers could have been a hit in the 1800's!
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