a.k.a. the great american music blog
I was going to post something too, just out of obligation. It's really striking in retrospect how weirdly influential Amy Winehouse was. I say "weirdly" because her entire sound was basically a slavish homage to Motown/Stax/Muscle Shoals soul, with a slight hip hop edge to the drums. Not the most original combo, but the success she found with it (both artistic and commercial) had a very direct influence on the sound of pop music over the ensuing five years. (Adele, who is the most successful "next Amy Winehouse" yet has, I believe, the best selling album of this year or last year or something along those lines). It's a shame because I feel like she could have theoretically gotten her shit together and come back and made an album that transcended the trendiness of that sound. But, nope.
I think what's amazing about Back To Black is that it is the rare album that everyone, critics and the unwashed masses alike, agrees is awesome.I remember when this came out, I was pissed that the Dap-Kings seemed to have replaced Sharon with a white girl, but then I heard that Mark Ronson production bringing the bass and drums up so much in the mix and I couldn't resist.And despite borrowing from many people and styles and relying on the skills of Ronson and the Dap-Kings to make her hits, you can't deny she was a fantastic songwriter. What kind of fuckery is this?
I certainly wasn't trying to say she wasn't a fantastic songwriter...just that the way it ended was entirely stupid and predictable. When I heard the news it just pissed me off more than it made me sad.
I don't know if this was implied by the Wendy O'Connor quote, but it bears noting that Amy Winehouse was 27 when she died-- same age as Cobain, Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Robert Johnson, etc.I don't think she did enough in her career to merit any further inclusion with that group, but she may have been up there with them in terms of talent and potential.
Doesn't Robert Johnson belong in a category of his own though? He didn't just drink and drug himself to death...he sold his soul to the devil and then got murdered by a jealous husband. I think he needs a list of his own...or at least a list with other figures whose deeds recede into myth. How about the "Hell" club: Robert Johnson, Dante, and Orpheus: all of them looked the devil in the face and lived (for a little while) to tell the tale.
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