Music or Lyrics

One of the big divides in music fandom is between those for whom the most imporant thing is the music itself, and those for whom the music takes second place to the lyrics. A good litmus test for which side of the divide anyone falls is who they prefer out of Bruce Springsteen and Led Zeppelin.

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4 Responses to Music or Lyrics

  1. Tom B says:

    It’s clear which side of the fence I’m on. The Boss may have something important to say, but the music’s so bland that I don’t listen to it and so the message is wasted. By contrast, Led Zep’s lyrics are largely inane but the music’s so good that I do at least listen to the songs but tend to ignore the lyrical content somewhat.
    I’m sure you can think of other examples but for me the ultimate combination of exceptional lyrics and music is Fish-era Marillion.

  2. PaulE says:

    I am definitely a “music first” person – which clearly has an impact on the music I like. It does not feel like a choice, but more an instinct – just the way that I hear music.

    I came across this old discussion – some interesting replies

    http://www.npr.org/sections/allsongs/2013/05/29/187168874/the-good-listener-whats-more-important-lyrics-or-music

  3. John Hunt says:

    With Marc Bolan, it’s both; great, instinctive guitar player, and a great lyricist and composer. Really underrated.

  4. Tim Hall says:

    There are a few bands who combine great music with intelligent and thought-provoking lyrics. Rush are an obvious one, so are the likes of Big Big Train.