JUMPING DARKNESS PARADE: EYAL ON THE IMPORTANCE OF THE LISTENER TO THE CONCEPT OF A “CLASSIC ALBUM”
In my last blog I talked about selling out and what I really think it means. For those of you who don’t feel like reading last week’s rant, I’ll say it again: I think it means changing your sound in an unnatural direction in order to make more money. A bunch of you had opinions on this matter. I appreciated your comments. Very well thought out, and honestly a lot less mindless trashing than I was expecting.
Sometimes I write a blog and the comments are the only response I get. Sometimes I get e-mails and text messages for days with people sharing their thoughts on something I write. Well, this was one of those blogs. Who would’ve thought that a blog about selling out would get people from the metal community to share their thoughts?
Anyways, I talked about how a great record is a moment in time for the team working on it, and it can never be recreated. A friend of mine brought up the point that a great album is also a place in time for the audience receiving it.
Now, for me that was hard to grasp because I’m on the creation side of things. What does the audience have to do with it? They’re not in the studio. They’re not the ones writing the songs. In fact, this is metal, what the fuck does anyone’s opinion really matter? Well… I thought about it a little more and came to this. At the end of the day, this is all subjective. Right? So there’s no such thing as a great, and therefore no such thing as a terrible, album. It’s all a matter of taste. If we’re going to call something a great album in a definitive sense then, really, all we can go on is majority opinion. If enough people agree something is a classic, then it has to be. An album can’t become a classic without a general consensus which decrees it that. Shitty as this may sound, it’s the truth. The value of art is subjective. It’s all based on the opinion of the viewer, listener, whatever.
And furthermore, if an album hasn’t been heard and judged by enough people, how can it attain the status of a classic? If someone says, “This album is great to me,” well, that’s a different story. Or is it? Enough people say that something is great to them, and then suddenly you have a classic on your hands.
So you see, I could keep on going in circles, but I’m not going to. I’m sure you get my point which is that, yes, you and a lot of other people may love a record, and it may be really tempting to affirm and validate your opinion by declaring it something unshakable and then get the nod from some like-minded peeps. ITS GREAT!!!! IT’S A CLASSIC!!!! IT’S A LANDMARK FOR THE GENRE!!! Etc. Ad nauseam. But what happens when you disagree with the majority whole-heartedly? What if you think an album is great that the majority doesn’t think is great? Then what. Is it not great? Is your opinion false? What do you guys think?