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The Wrath of Kuhlinov

An angry reader responds.

by Dr. Spin
October 7, 2002

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The Wrath of Kuhlinov_Dr. Spin-An angry reader responds. Dear Dr. Spin,

Um, okay, so, like what do you think about oh, I don't know, the symbol album, you know, the FOURTH LED ZEPPLIN ALBUM, YOU MORON! Will you relegate that album's relevence to the same ranking you'd put its signature song, Stairway to Heaven?

I'm so p'o'd, I'm tempted to look at the Partial Observer only once every two months! You stupid bastards!

Cooling off,

Dear Kuhl,

While I appreciate Led Zeppelin fans’ devotion to the band and its songs, there is no need for name-calling. Led Zeppelin’s fourth untitled album is a masterpiece of the Rock ‘n’ Roll genre, even “Stairway to Heaven.” Personally, I find “Black Dog,” “Misty Mountain Hop,” and “Goin’ to California” more enjoyable than “Stairway to Heaven.” And very few songs in the history of Rock match the ferocity of “When the Levee Breaks.” That song is the true masterpiece of the album.

As for your idle threat about reading the PO once every two months, you do and I’ll write such scathing comments about Led Zeppelin, it will make Jimmy Page cry!

Dear Doctor,

It seems that as young adults reach their later teen years, they become more appreciative, and even fans of, bands and singers from the 60's and 70's. Do you see this trend continuing indefintely? For example, will Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" still have steady sales in the year 2025?

And which acts from the 80's and 90's will have the same staying power in 2025 as acts like The Who, Eagles, or Simon & Garfunkel do now? (Mellencamp? U2? REM? Tom Petty? Nirvana? Beck? Bon Jovi?)

-Jon B.J. from New Jersey

Dear BJ,

Interesting question. There seems to a magnetic appeal to bands of the ‘60’s and ‘70’s. Perhaps this is considered the “Golden Age” of Rock, much the way the late ‘50’s and early 60’s are the golden age of jazz. That was when Miles Davis and John Coltrane became forces in the jazz world; also the age of Charlie Parker. It is not unreasonable to see Rock’s second decade in the same way. The Beatles, the Stones, all the big bands were at the top of their game during that era.

Bands of the sixties and seventies that I think will continue to sell: the Beatles, the Stones, the Who (kings of teen angst), Pink Floyd (kings of weirdness and depression), the Doors (kings of Dark lyrics), Led Zeppelin (just look how many letters they’ve generated for me!). I’m sure others will sell too, but these are givens.

As far as the ‘80’s and ‘90’s, we’re already subject to ‘80’s music channels and “‘90’s at Nine” programs. U2 will continue to sell, as will REM. I don’t know if Bon Jovi will make it or not, but if any of the “big hair” bands do, certainly Bon Jovi will, Van Halen as well. It is still too early to see what will evolve out of the ‘90’s, though I don’t think Nirvana stayed around long enough; I would guess they get eclipsed by Pearl Jam, and other grunge bands. There may be some other surprises as well.

Ultimately, I think the ‘60’s and ‘70’s rock will always overshadow what follows, because it is the golden age of Rock, and many bands have tried to imitate but never duplicate the sound of that era. We always compare new music to the greats of old. This band sounds like early Kinks, that song is “Beatlesque,” this band has a “retro” sound.

There was great jazz recorded after 1970, but most recognize the fifties as when jazz was “jazz.” That’s the music we seek out when we look for jazz music (aficionados aside). I believe it will be the same with Rock ‘n’ Roll.

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