The musical artist you should love... but can't get into

Name the musical artist or band that, in theory, should fit right in with all the other music that you absolutely love… that people with your taste in music rave about… but that, in practice, you just can’t get yourself to listen to.

Some of my favorite bands are either progressive rock bands from the late 1960s and 1970s (Yes, Moody Blues, Rush, Jethro Tull), or were clearly inspired by progressive rock from that era (Electric Light Orchestra, Queen).

But, that said, there are two other bands which are considered to be pioneers of progressive rock, but which I never got into or really enjoyed: Emerson, Lake & Palmer, and King Crimson. I think I like about 2 ELP songs, and while I’ve not heard much King Crimson, what I’ve heard, I didn’t enjoy.

John Coltrane. One of the greatest jazz minds in the second half of the 20th century.

I just can’t get over his shitty saxophone tone. I’d rather play like Ben Webster, who always sounds…succulent. Or with the light, pure sound of Lester Young. Coltrane contemporary Sonny Rollins is also a favorite of mine.

If Sonny had died in 1967 and Trane was alive today, their reputations would have been reversed, I’m sure of it.

(double post)

This is easy. Jeff Beck. I love playing guitar. I play mostly fingerstyle (as does Jeff Beck). Admittedly I’m not a huge Blues fan but I really like Jimmy Page and a lot of the stuff Clapton, Richards, and Hendrix did. I was big into fusion in the '70s - John McLaughlin, Al Dimeola, Pat Metheny, etc.

Guitar players I admire talk of Jeff Beck as if he was on another level, even from his '60s/'70s guitar God contemporaries.

I tried. I had most of his albums on my music players and would listen to them while commuting or just walking around. Nothing.

No ‘how the hell did he do that?’, no soul-touching passages, no frisson, no interesting harmonic twists I feel compelled to figure out. zip. It’s like it all went right over my head.

There’s only one difference, I’m a great blues fan, but not a very big jazz or fusion fan, but I feel exactly the same about Jeff Beck. I love all the great British axemen from the sixties, Clapton, Page, Hendrix (I will count him as British in this context), Keith, Pete Townshend, Peter Green and Mick Taylor, but Jeff Beck does nothing for me. I’ve had his 3 CD anthology “Beckology” for 25 years, an all career spanning compilation, and I listen to it from time to time, but it never clicked. I find his playing sterile and boring, compared to the guys above. It all sounds soulless and without passion.

And another case already mentioned is King Crimson. I’m not a very big prog rock fan per se, but I love most of Pink Floyd and Genesis and a lot of Yes, and I very much like Robert Fripp’s work with Peter Gabriel and David Bowie and Adrian Belew’s work with Zappa, but I’m still indifferent to King Crimson, though I really tried.

Jeff Beck, throughout his career, has often been his own worst enemy. Between the string of lousy vocalists (Rod being the exception) and reliance on synthesizers, a lot of his music is not all that palatable. Try the Blow By Blow album. If you still don’t like him, then you just aren’t a fan.

That being said, virtuosity is no guarantee of listenability. I can’t stand Joe Pass, who probably is one of the most accomplished jazz guitarists ever. There’s no space in his solos, just way too many notes for my taste.

Huh, Jeff Beck was EXACTLY who I thought of immediately upon reading the thread title. I also love the blues. I appreciate Beck for his obvious talent, but his music has never moved me.

Aerosmith. I’m the right age, listen to the same type of music from other groups, and generally seem like I should love Aerosmith. In reality, I own none of their albums and couldn’t name more than two songs they released. I have no idea.

Jeff Beck and Emerson, Lake and Palmer don’t do it for me either. I like 80’s Crimson though.

In general I like guitar instrumental music but I am going to go with Steve Vai. I admire his technicality and originality but none of it sounds good to me.

I love listening to Coltrane. I really do.

But Ornette Coleman? I just can’t.

Okay. I enjoy Coleman, in limited doses. I’ve owned The Shape of Jazz to Come since 1979, 20 years after it came out*. I don’t play his stuff more than a couple times a year, and to be honest, his tone is even worse than Trane’s, mainly because of that stupid plastic alto sax.

“Crappy tone” is appropriate to Ornette’s style. IMHO. Also, someday I’m gonna get me a pocket trumpet like Don Cherry played on all those records, and play crappy tone trumpet!
*i played in an onstage band during a Yale Dramat production that year with Evan Ziporyn, who became a composer and was one of the founders of Bang On a Can. He said I needed to listen to it.

I found Nick Drake absolutely unlistenable. Short choppy phrases ending in a pause, every phrase, every song*. He must have been a smoker.

I was supposed to like him. My friends, who had the same musical tastes as me, all raved about him. I like singer-songwriters from that era - Donovan, Cat Stevens, Paul Simon, Dylan, etc.

*probably an exaggeration…
but once you hear it, and you’ll hear it…
you can’t unhear it, no you can’t…
and it will drive you nuts.

This thread has been so therapeutic!

Y’mean it’s OKAY not to like these musical prodigies that everyone else is in love with? I teach college students, which exposes me to a lot of new music. But most of it doesn’t touch my soul…

I have so many students who love guitar wizards from the late 20th Century, but I don’t care about how many notes per second Yngwie Malmsteen can play, or how “badASSSSS!” someone like Zacky Vengeance (Avenged Sevenfold) can play.

But we listen to that stuff in class, and then I put on some Knopfler or Gilmour or Hendrix…

Radiohead should be right in my wheelhouse, but aside from a few songs, I just can’t get into them. I’ve given them several chances. I saw them live. They just aren’t for me I guess.

John Hiatt. In fact, I bought a 2 CD anthology because he came highly suggested by friends of mine who thought he’d be right up my alley. Well, the first few songs, it sounds like he’s trying too hard to be Randy Newman. Then the next few songs it sounds like he’s trying too hard to be Elvis Costello. Then he finally starts to find his own voice… but I’m just not that interested in what he has to say. By the end of the first disc, or early into the second, I’m bored and just turn it off. I know he’s got a rep as a great singer-songwriter, but he just doesn’t do it for me.

K364 @13: Nick Drake to me is the Ornette Coleman of rock. I admire him from afar and listen to Pink Moon once a year.

With guitarists, there’s what I call the “Roy Buchanan Effect” – technically brilliant guitarists who are all flash and little else. Others I’d fit in that category are Steve Vai and Joe Satriano. Yes, they’re great players, but their music bores me.

I love Broadway, but I don’t care for Stephen Songheim at all. He’s definitely a great lyricist, but the songs tend to have the same pattern: one short phrase, another short phrase, and one extremely long phrase. He’s far too interested on concentrating on the lyrics and fits the melody into them so it’s completely lost.

Same here. Actually, Ok Computer is one of my favorite albums of all time so maybe it doesn’t count for me. But if I love it so much I feel like I should love the rest. I do not. Don’t even like it. Except a couple radio singles.

I think I’m supposed to like Elliot Smith and Nick Drake too. I don’t. Don’t even know any of their songs.

Back in 1977 or so I only had $X to buy an LP. I could have bought George Harrison 33 1/3. Or maybe that early Van Halen album. I knew I loved the songs on Boston’s eponymous album because I listened to them at a friend’s house many times, but I thought maybe I should get the latest.

But I bought “Darkness on the Edge of Town” by Bruce Springsteen because Rolling Stone said it was good. IDK…it was just ok.

I wonder sometimes about guys like him, coming with so many accolades and all that. Does it make me set the bar higher, thinking “He can’t be that good.” Even his more mainstream stuff was spotty for me

Dancing in the Dark-yep
Born in the USA-nah
I’m on fire-yep
You’re a friend of mine-meh

Mostly I’m not in love with his voice. But I have to give props for writing “Because the Night,” and “Fire.”