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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok so I'm procrastinating again, I have a really huge paper to write and I just can't bring myself to keep after it right now. my brain hurts.

the 'what are you listening to' thread made me think of all the stuff I do and don't like. there's some music that never seems to get old. examples (for me) include stuff like BB King, Johnny Cash, Simon & Garfunkel, the Police, etc. oh and I listen to some classical stuff too like Beethoven and Rachmaninoff.

so, what makes music 'timeless'? I listen to a lot of stuff that my parents hate (well of course), but there's stuff they like too. Mom had me burn her a spin class cd off some of my techno albums, and so on.

reason I was thinking all this is I just had Goldfrapp - Ooh La La on and it's like some mad fusion of disco and techno and dark house and catchy as hell plus the female vocalist sounds like sex in a bottle. I bet a lot of people from all across the musical spectrum would kinda dig this, even if it's not their typical gig. plus even though that albums' been out like a month (maybe), I think this track has already been cut into a soda commercial. not that this is a good (or bad) thing, it just means it's catchy song (it is, go ahead, download it and I dare you not to do the hustle in your cubicle listening to it!)

now timeless doesn't have to mean GOOD. I think we all know there's a lot of crap that still gets air decades later because for whatever reason it made an impression.

talk amongst yourselves, i'm gonna go get more coffee.
 

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weapons grade chaos said:
now timeless doesn't have to mean GOOD. I think we all know there's a lot of crap that still gets air decades later because for whatever reason it made an impression.
I disagree. Timeless DOES have to mean GOOD. Or maybe your definition of timeless is different than mine. We may disagree on what is good, but I definitely feel that most people agree on what music becomes "timeless." That's why it is timeless.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
ok let me try to explain

mohair_chair said:
I disagree. Timeless DOES have to mean GOOD.
and I disagree with that, look at how popular Tom Jones is!

2 perfect examples: We Are The World. horrible, just horrible. perfect example of what happens to music when its written by a committee, but it was written for a particular reason and a lot of people think its tits, and its a cultural icon. it's 'timeless' by definition because it defines the 80's bands-for-charity era.

and... my personal nominee for greatest crap song of all time? Nancy Sinatra - These Boots Are Made For Walking. c'mon people, she cant SING for the love of christ, which they conveniently cover up by using 2 monotone chords the entire song. but everyone knows it and it's kind of a pop classic icon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Friction_Shifter said:
if we are the world is timeless I would have heard it at least once in the last 15 years.
ok so I admit that wasn't the best example ever but I hear it everytime I go to an 80's party or they talk about '20 years ago today' on the news or whatever.
 

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I'm with Mohair, timeless means good.

Time filters out all the stuff that was just mediocre but was new or different at the time it came out and everyone thought it was the rage. Sometime stuff never becomes popular until years after it's initial creation. Many classical pieces that were not popular when they were written are very popular now and have stood the test of time.

Like in the other thread, someone said that the artsy fartsy people are listening to these obscure bands and claim they produce the best music that has ever been created.

Well if a song doesn't get any mainstream attention then the majority of people would think it sucked.
 

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weapons grade chaos said:
and I disagree with that, look at how popular Tom Jones is!

2 perfect examples: We Are The World. horrible, just horrible. perfect example of what happens to music when its written by a committee, but it was written for a particular reason and a lot of people think its tits, and its a cultural icon. it's 'timeless' by definition because it defines the 80's bands-for-charity era.

and... my personal nominee for greatest crap song of all time? Nancy Sinatra - These Boots Are Made For Walking. c'mon people, she cant SING for the love of christ, which they conveniently cover up by using 2 monotone chords the entire song. but everyone knows it and it's kind of a pop classic icon.
If you ever saw Tom Jones in concert, you would know why he is so popular. He's an entertainer and showman. I've seen him and he blows away a lot of much younger acts with his energy.

These Boots Are Made For Walking is not a good song, but it is a fun song. When it comes on, it makes people happy. Whether you love it or love to hate it, you can't deny it is a fun song.

So there you have it. Music that is fun and joyful tends to be timeless. Also, music that is sensual and romantic. And raw and dirty and angry and full of energy. In short, timeless music is the stuff that makes us really feel something, every time we hear it. That can be the pure overwhelming genius and beauty of "Thunder Road," the campy sing-along delight of "Summer Lovin'," or the silky sensual wonder of "The Way You Look Tonight." All good. All timeless in my book.

I would not classify "We are the world" as timeless because it represents a very specific moment in time, which goes completely against the definition.
 

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Windrider (Stubborn)
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To be timeless......

music has to be......

Genuine.....Nothing made up to be catchy will ever be timeless. It has to speak to the reality of the human condition.

Memorable......it has to be destinctly memorable, either associated with specific events, or somehow realted to an age.

Trancend generations......it has to be recognizable as good across many ages....Benny Goodman is timeless, The Temtations are timeless, Dylan is Timeless etc.

Len
 

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mohair_chair said:
I would not classify "We are the world" as timeless because it represents a very specific moment in time, which goes completely against the definition.
Is this always the case? I think about "Ohio" by N. Young and to me that is a timeless classic...even though it is about a specific moment in time...its themes are universal.
 

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mohair_chair said:
I disagree. Timeless DOES have to mean GOOD. Or maybe your definition of timeless is different than mine. We may disagree on what is good, but I definitely feel that most people agree on what music becomes "timeless." That's why it is timeless.
absolutely. quality of songwriting makes timeless music. be it country, soul or shameless romantic pop; if there is quality, it stays long after the singer's hairstyle goes out of fashion.
 

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thatsmybush said:
Is this always the case? I think about "Ohio" by N. Young and to me that is a timeless classic...even though it is about a specific moment in time...its themes are universal.
That song may be about a specific event in time, but it fits into the broader category of political/protest songs, many of which I feel are timeless. I'll bet a lot of people hear that song and have no idea what it is about or when it was made, but nevertheless, they understand it.
 

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Man, to think...

That I have always considered the theme to Smokey and the Bandit and Dukes of Hazzard were timeless.

Man, I feel as if my interpretation of the universe has gone askew.....

--Hijack Warning--

the question is.... what is more memorable... timeless GOOD songs, or timeless BAD songs?

Example:
Macarana
Achy Breaky Heart
Hot Child in the City

The list goes on...
 

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Timeless music has to be a little bit more than "good"--there's a character to it, something that scratches down a little deeper in the psyche, something that makes that permanent connection with the listener. I can think of lots of good music that brings me joy when I hear it after a long absence; timeless music is what I will actually seek out, again and again.
 

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Windrider (Stubborn)
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Just because........

funknuggets said:
That I have always considered the theme to Smokey and the Bandit and Dukes of Hazzard were timeless.

Man, I feel as if my interpretation of the universe has gone askew.....

--Hijack Warning--

the question is.... what is more memorable... timeless GOOD songs, or timeless BAD songs?

Example:
Macarana
Achy Breaky Heart
Hot Child in the City

The list goes on...
they stick in your head......that doesn't make them timeless..........If that were true, then the Roro-Router commercial jingle would be timeless!

Timeless is about quality......ask your kids what old music they like & I guarantee you that you will get a list of (mostly) what you would consider timeless songs.

Len
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
ugh, damn semantics

ok, so when I said 'timeless'? maybe I should have said 'accessible' instead, like stuff you'll hear over and over again in references, advertising, and almost becomes like a cliche' icon kinda thing. whatever. you guys have pretty much got it tho, funknuggets is on track with what I was thinking.

think about it. when you think of music that defines a genre, etc... it isn't always the best (technically) quality example. like for instance if you play word-association and say 'Sixties British Invasion', I bet the first thing that most people come up with is 'She Loves Me Yeah Yeah Yeah' from the Beatles. now okay they went on to make much better music, cuz even they claim they were still barely able to play their instruments at that point. point is that song has been elevated from a three-chord catchy pop song to the definitive icon of that era / genre.
 

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At it's base, the answer to the question is pretty simple: To be timeless, a song has to have components that will appeal regardless of the age of the listener. As with physical beauty, there are probably studies out there that list the most common musical components that appeal to the widest audience. (Hoo... anything?)

I think very few songs fit into the timeless category.
 

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Groups or individuals that create a unique sound produce timeless music. Most people could pick out a Springsteen, Stones, or The Who song just by listening to the first couple of cords. Not necessarily the song, but the artist. Someone like Madonna who constantly reinvents herself is a little more of a challenge. Movie soundtracks go a long way on this one as well by creating a visual image with the music. Music videos don't really do it.
 

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KenB said:
At it's base, the answer to the question is pretty simple: To be timeless, a song has to have components that will appeal regardless of the age of the listener. As with physical beauty, there are probably studies out there that list the most common musical components that appeal to the widest audience. (Hoo... anything?)

I think very few songs fit into the timeless category.
all your timeless are belong to J's.
 
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