Listening with eyes? Would some bands not be as popular without costumes and theatrics?

Jazzandmore

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
11,074
I've always been curious about this. Just to be VERY CLEAR so that nobody gets offended thinking I'm insulting a band or naming bands I don't like: I'm NOT focusing on the bands that I use as examples below, I'm just using them as examples because they have a well known look. Many other bands could have been used if I had of thought of them while typing this.

Would Jimi, The Who, Ozzy, KISS, David Bowie, Billy Idol, ZZ Top, Black Label Society, etc. have been as popular if they just wore jeans and t-shirt and didn't do all the stage theatrics?

I'm assuming they didn't/don't dress up like that, or have the theatrics when recording. I mean I can't imagine Jimi burnt guitars every time in the studio, or Pete Townsend smashed guitars, or that KISS or Bowie put on all that makeup just to record songs.

So would people still like the music as much and would they have been just as popular without all that extra stuff? Or to a large extent does a bands popularity depend on people listening with their eyes?
 
Messages
14,380
I've always been curious about this. Just to be VERY CLEAR so that nobody gets offended thinking I'm insulting a band or naming bands I don't like: I'm NOT focusing on the bands that I use as examples below, I'm just using them as examples because they have a well known look. Many other bands could have been used if I had of thought of them while typing this.

Would Jimi, The Who, Ozzy, KISS, David Bowie, Billy Idol, ZZ Top, Black Label Society, etc. have been as popular if they just wore jeans and t-shirt and didn't do all the stage theatrics?

I'm assuming they didn't/don't dress up like that, or have the theatrics when recording. I mean I can't imagine Jimi burnt guitars every time in the studio, or Pete Townsend smashed guitars, or that KISS or Bowie put on all that makeup just to record songs.

So would people still like the music as much and would they have been just as popular without all that extra stuff? Or to a large extent does a bands popularity depend on people listening with their eyes?

Is Black Label Society popular?
 

sixstringfuel

Hotdogs kill
Messages
14,266
Back then with these bands you have mentioned were new there wasn't mtv or youtube there was no way to know they were doing theatrics or wearing makeup unless you went and saw them. You liked them by their music being played on the radio.
 
Messages
14,380
Back then with these bands you have mentioned were new there wasn't mtv or youtube there was no way to know they were doing theatrics or wearing makeup unless you went and saw them. You liked them by their music being played on the radio.

They were all on tv or in magazines, though still not sure about BLS.
 

Silvio55

Member
Messages
177
I think the image adds to the show, it's an embellishment. When you go to a rock concert it's not just the music, it's the whole experience. I think it doesn't make them famous but it helps.
It's funny you dind't mention 80's hair metal bands, they were over the top with that image thing.
Personally, I don't give a s*** about image of bands or musicians I like.
 

sixstringfuel

Hotdogs kill
Messages
14,266
They were all on tv or in magazines, though still not sure about BLS.
Not that much until they were popular and you had to be able to catch them on tv not like cable today. We had three channels. And not like there was a guide to tell you when they would be on. It was very hit or miss to see them on tv. This is from my own experience. As far as magazines I guess if you bought them or could afford to.
With out seeing them live you got your first look at them by buying their albums.

Bls and idol were a lot later than the others during and after mtv. Came along.
Much different times. I'm talking about 60s to mid 70s when the ones mentioned were coming into their own.
 
Last edited:

stevel

Member
Messages
14,662
Well, there's product, and there's marketing.

Without good marketing, no one will find out about the product.

However, sometimes a mediocre or downright awful product gets great marketing, and of course, the opposite is true.

Marketing can be about image, but as people become jaded, it becomes about "Shock Value".

But let's just say there's a difference between artistry and schtick.

And remember, some of those artists were making great music while getting themselves press. Then there's KISS...
 

Jazzandmore

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
11,074
I think the image adds to the show, it's an embellishment. When you go to a rock concert it's not just the music, it's the whole experience. I think it doesn't make them famous but it helps.
It's funny you dind't mention 80's hair metal bands, they were over the top with that image thing.
Personally, I don't give a s*** about image of bands or musicians I like.
Good point about '80s hair bands. When typing the post they just didn't come to mind.

But my question could apply to any bands including ones today where visual marketing is so prevalent because of Internet etc.
 

fishruss

Member
Messages
878
Pretty sure 7 year old Fishruss wouldn't have cared much for Kiss without the whole package. I loved Phantom of the Park. Had the toys, etc. Later, as a teenager, I only liked bands that wore black t-shirts and jeans. Now, I just want to be cheaply entertained. Preferably in the comfort of my home.
 

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
33,049
'The look' is critical to musical success in pop music.
hmm..Pretty much forever.
Getting a buzz going, being part of a 'scene' is marketing.
People might like the music of various bands just as much on an audio only basis but the look and the image and power of having a crowd to attract a crowd is paramount.
 

NorCal_Val

Member
Messages
12,997
Howabout Ghost?
I actually dig their music.(reminds me of old BÖC a little)
But I'm guessing their "look" has something to do with their success.
 

BADHAK

Member
Messages
8,920
If 69 to 74 era Alice Cooper Group never did the Snakes, Guillotine, Electric Chair thingy .......i would still love the music.
If 69 to 75 Bowie never did the androgynous, makeup thingy .....i would still love the music.
If Page never wore a dragon suit, and JPJ a court jesters jacket.......i would still love the music.
If 65 to 75 era Stones never crossdressed or wore mascara........ I would still love the music.

Same for many other bands including 70's KISS.

If the songs, chemistry and recordings are great then that's all that matters.
 

BADHAK

Member
Messages
8,920
'The look' is critical to musical success in pop music.
hmm..Pretty much forever.
Getting a buzz going, being part of a 'scene' is marketing.
People might like the music of various bands just as much on an audio only basis but the look and the image and power of having a crowd to attract a crowd is paramount.



You won't get far without songs.
 

BADHAK

Member
Messages
8,920
Well, there's product, and there's marketing.

Without good marketing, no one will find out about the product.

However, sometimes a mediocre or downright awful product gets great marketing, and of course, the opposite is true.

Marketing can be about image, but as people become jaded, it becomes about "Shock Value".

But let's just say there's a difference between artistry and schtick.

And remember, some of those artists were making great music while getting themselves press. Then there's KISS...


Maybe I'm just a brain dead old rocker, but if I had never heard of KISS, and you were to post a clip of your band playing your new song 'Deuce' or '100,000 Years' and it sounded like the Alive versions, I would be mighty impressed.
 

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
33,049
Maybe I'm just a brain dead old rocker, but if I had never heard of KISS, and you were to post a clip of your band playing your new song 'Deuce' or '100,000 Years' and it sounded like the Alive versions, I would be mighty impressed.
No makeup, pyro, lunchboxes, a whole new level of merch and marketing, you might like them but it would have been relatively lonely at the concerts, imo.
 

BADHAK

Member
Messages
8,920
Punk bands got a long way due to being on trend ahead of producing great songs.


The Punk bands that are remembered today got that way by having memorable, some would say great, songs (well apart from the Ramones, i don't rate anything they did)
But bands like the Pistols, Stranglers,Clash had some pretty good tunes.
 

BADHAK

Member
Messages
8,920
No makeup, pyro, lunchboxes, a whole new level of merch and marketing, you might like them but it would have been relatively lonely at the concerts, imo.

Their was little of the lunchbox marketing in 75 when they went ballistic, and are you saying that no one would have been at Genisis, Bowie, Cooper,Hendrix etc concerts if not for the make up and pyro ???
 




Trending Topics

Top