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Keyboards don't belong in rock

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Showing 1-25 of 75 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 26 Feb 2009 22:19:44 GMT
D. Reynolds says:
I'll admit to liking a handful of bands that use keyboards but I usually get the feeling that a keyboard riff/ melody/ solo would sound much better on a second guitar.
As a rule of thumb, when looking at a prospective new buy from a previously unknown band, the presence of a keyboard player is one of the biggest turn offs.
They fit some types of music well enough but they just don't Rock.

Posted on 26 Feb 2009 22:29:33 GMT
Sorry DR but but a bit incredulous at this one. Do you actually mean all keyboards (including the Hammond) or just the piano, accordion or what.

Posted on 26 Feb 2009 22:31:52 GMT
D. Reynolds says:
I mean all keyboards. It's a personal bugbear thing, they just don't sound right to me.

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Feb 2009 22:51:00 GMT
Not a Deep Purple or Atomic Rooster fan then I take it cas there is some stunning organ solos on their work that put many a guitarist in the shade, Then there is Jerry on the piano and Ben Folds - amazing work that rocks the room. If my memory was any good I could be here for hours recalling artistes that negate your point (IMO of course), but if thats how k'brds sound to you then it won't matter awhit. On the bright side, loads of guitar bands out there to keep you smiling.

Posted on 26 Feb 2009 23:22:32 GMT
D. Reynolds says:
Whenever I hear Deep Purple I'd rather hear Jon Lord's parts played by a second guitarist duelling with RB (errrm, Tommy Bolin maybe?).
Keyboards sound better suited to other types of music to these ears.

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Feb 2009 23:32:18 GMT
AJ says:
Have to say they can be very effective; take the Black Metal bands like Dimmu Borgir or Emperor - they really add to the sound, usually replicating or sometimes augmenting an orchestra. Mustis from Dimmu is a really good musician who plays in a very dark style. Oh, and there's the excellent Mellotron work in Opeth.
I aren't keen on the saccharine sounds deployed by the likes of Def Leppard, Europe or Bon Jovi as they are all "Jump" sounding styles that edge out the rhythm guitars. Van Halen had a lot to answer for!
Keyboards to sound orchestral, epic, dark - thumbs up!
Keyboards to sound light & melodic - not for me.
Not a big fan of Dragonforce but they do work well with the guitar breaks.
Very interesting topic by the way....I would say that at 20, I would have said no to all keyboards, but at 40 and opening up to Classical, I think there is a place for them.

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Feb 2009 23:33:49 GMT
Rock was founded on the piano, you can't suggest Jerry Lee Lewis or Little Richard 'don't Rock'!!! and what about:
Keith Emerson, Rick Wakeman, Jon Lord, Ray Manzarek, Richard Wright, Tony Banks, Billy Preston ,Rod Argent, Steve Winwood, Al Kooper, Matthew Fisher, Booker T. Jones, Gregg Allman ,Tony Hymas, Jan Hammer, Nicky Hopkins, Gregg Rollie, Jordan Rudess, Richard Tandy, Jens Johansen, Don Airey, Garth Hudson, David Sancious, Ian Mclagan, George Duke, Allan Zavod, Steve Nieve, Max Middleton, Billy Powell, Ken Hensley. Plus many many more! Do you think that these guys didn't rock? (well maybe not Tony Banks), check out some of these names and what they've contributed to Rock!

Posted on 26 Feb 2009 23:45:54 GMT
Piano's belong in rock, Keyboard belong in PROG !

Posted on 26 Feb 2009 23:58:41 GMT
D. Reynolds says:
Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis definitely get a big thumbs up, but I distinguish clearly between Rock+Roll of their time and the more defined Rock sounds of the late 60s and beyond.
Of all the bands/ players listed in Rock groups, I'm not suggesting for a minute that they aren't talented musicians, I'd just rather hear guitar/ bass/ drums than guitar/ bass/drums and keyboard.

Posted on 27 Feb 2009 00:11:10 GMT
Red Mosquito says:
I'm not a big fan of keyboards in rock but I love the sound of Jon Lord's Hammond organ in DP Mk 2. A different use than say Zep who used keyboards to flirt with prog.

Posted on 27 Feb 2009 00:19:49 GMT
The Imp says:
You really cant pretend youre wanking when you play the keyboards. thats the problem.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Feb 2009 00:24:56 GMT
D. Reynolds says:
You're not aware of Prog Rock then?

Posted on 27 Feb 2009 08:24:07 GMT
Last edited by the author on 27 Feb 2009 08:24:43 GMT
OK what about a group like The Doors? They were a 'well defined Rock band of the late 60's and beyond', 'Light my Fire' wouldn't of been quite the song it was without Manzarek's organ. That track alone proves that keyboards DO belong in Rock. 'In A Gadda Da Vida'? Iron Butterfly were the first Rock band to have a platinum selling album! Considered one of the precursors of Metal, I.B.'s sound was entirely based around Doug Ingle and his classical influenced organ work. There are many other examples.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Feb 2009 14:31:29 GMT
Mark Kibble says:
Having spent many months over on the 'pop forum' reading through P.G.James's 'Hard to say I'm sorry' thread, a serious request for assistance reference some lyrics, which metamorphorised into page after page after page of unadulterated lunacy that wouldn't have been out of place at a Bonzo Dog or Stackridge concert (bloody marvellous, and the poor bugger never did get a difinitive answer), my first thoughts on seeing this thread is, have we got a joke question thats turned serious?

Keyboards don't belong in rock????????????? what planet (or substance) are you on mr Reynolds? Rock has been knocking around for over fifty years now in one guise or another, and its fair to say that few if any of its variants has not been enhanced by the use of either a piano, organ, mellotron or moog. Are we to assume that the use of saxaphone, flute and fiddle etc is also unwelcome?

The beauty of rock is its diversity, and without the use of a variety of instruments, there are only a limited quantity of avenues that can be explored. I don't personally claim to like every variant of the genre, but the two that I like least (punk and metal) are predominantly guitar driven, where is the finesse in these sug genres.

Keyboard bands like Rare Bird, Van Der Graaf Generator and Quatermass could rock along quite nicely using only a bass guitar, are you saying they were naff?

S.M old chap we've probably spoiled this thread by taking it serious, plus on your list of keyboard players you missed the master, the one and only mr Reg Dixon..........Oh I do like to be beside the seaside, oh I do like to be beside the sea................Ha Ha Ha He He He!

Posted on 27 Feb 2009 14:51:01 GMT
G. Williams says:
I'd just ask that D.Reynolds listen to two tracks featuring keybaods that immediately spring to my mind: The Letter (on the Joe Cocker album 'Mad Dogs and Englishmen', as played by Leon Russell); the second is 'Everytime' by the Mooney Suzuki on their album 'People Get Ready. I can't imagine either of those being bettered by taking out the keyboard and putting in a guitar.

Posted on 27 Feb 2009 14:56:43 GMT
Last edited by the author on 27 Feb 2009 15:06:51 GMT
1 REBLEFT says:
i think keyboards have a place in rock music but it depends on the sort of music they are playing.i have only one major beloved status quo.get andy bown the hell out!it all sounds so watered down and insipid.have you heard caroline played with keyboards in it? it stinks! what i would like to here quo do next is PILEDRIVER 2.WITHOUT THE RUDDY KEYBOARDS!

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Feb 2009 14:58:58 GMT
Mark Kibble says:
M.C... glad to see our friend on the LZ v DP thread enjoyed his introduction to Spirit. Should I have mentioned that on this thread? John Locke plays keyboards.

Posted on 27 Feb 2009 16:28:35 GMT
D. Reynolds says:
I knew this thread would raise a few hackles..... Schizoid Mark; I never thought much of The Doors, but I stand by my earlier comment that the keyboard riffs etc. would have sounded better to me on a guitar. Also, could you enlighten a non-proggie on Rick Wakeman's contribution to Rock as a whole?
There are (non-rock) bands/artists with keyboards that I like just fine. Part of the problem is when bands add a keyboard player to expand their sound, then proceed to have him/her dribble their keywork on every song, back catalogue included, whether it adds anything to the song or not. Ring any bells 1 Rebleft?

Posted on 27 Feb 2009 16:43:28 GMT
1 REBLEFT says:
quite agree with d.reynolds.i bought uriah heeps albums when they were first releaased,demons and wizards and the magicians birthday.the keyboards i feel are just seems like some of the songs were written around them.easy livin` just would`nt be the same without it.horses for courses i suppose?!anyone agree?

Posted on 27 Feb 2009 16:43:31 GMT
Rick Wakemen did the six wives of Henry the Eigth, but when not into necrophilia he foud time to release the odd album.

Posted on 27 Feb 2009 16:52:35 GMT
Last edited by the author on 27 Feb 2009 19:44:28 GMT
Leftin says:
I don't see why hackles should be raised over this (unless Jon Lord, Verden Allen and co are readers!) - it's just Mr Reynolds' view. Pete Way certainly agrees with the sentiment - he once said: "Keyboards in UFO? I'd prefer to leave 'em in the car-park!" Anyway, I'm 100% in disagreement with the sentiment - just as well as I PLAY piano in a band (guitar also), but what I DO think is that keyboards can be obtrusive sometimes. UFO are a good example. In '76, with Danny Peyronnel on keys, the problem was that he simply played the riffs along with Schenker and Way, and that weakened the sound. (Worse still, he didn't play Out in the Street properly, ruining one of the greatest songs of all-time!) He was a good musician, but the trouble was that he couldn't just stop playing when not needed. The solution? The band took on Paul Raymond (ex-Savoy Brown) instead, who played rhythm guitar as well as keys. Result - an even heavier sound, but with keys as and when needed. Jon Lord usually played rhythm patterns and chords rather than riffs, so he didn't water the heavy sound of Purple down. His solos were as entertaining as Blackmore's, too. Listen to the piano on Woman from Tokyo, or the organ on Hush, Highway Star, Highball Shooter, et al. Sorry this is long - it's still shorter than a decent organ solo... :)

Posted on 27 Feb 2009 19:48:08 GMT
FDJ says:
Ritchie Blackmore would not have let another guitarist within 10 feet of a stage he was playing on.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Feb 2009 20:22:56 GMT
I'm still incredulous about this stat.ement. DR are you positive you havn't got your hi-fi wired up wrong.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Feb 2009 22:41:34 GMT
Last edited by the author on 27 Feb 2009 22:46:08 GMT
MC Zaptone says:
D. Reynolds, I understand were your coming from. I just don't like it!
Headbanging rawk is probably at its best being played by 3 or 4 guys being earthy and uncomplicated (except if it involves 'The Quo')!
I prefer my rock to have a little soul in it and I believe one of the best exponents of that to be Stevie Winwood although a multi-instrumentalist his best loved work is with him on keyboards Spencer Davis, Traffic, Blind Faith, Go Project etc and unlike the screeching of most rock vocalists his voice is a joy to listen to, in my humble opinion.
I love Spirit for the same reason and they too use keyboards.

So I guess it depends on which kind of rock your referring to.

Posted on 27 Feb 2009 23:25:27 GMT
Last edited by the author on 27 Feb 2009 23:27:18 GMT
D. Reynolds says:
M.C.W.;It's horses for courses again. Nothing against Stevie Winwood as a singer. Much of my formative years involved my Dad playing the Spencer Davis Group (whose finest moment was the distorted guitar on Keep on Running - you'll never get a sound as good as that out of a keyboard!) and Blind Faith (as an aside, even the old feller conceded that Swans' 1989 cover of Can't Find my Way Home beat the original. You may beg to differ but it's worth a listen).
Anyway, back to the point; Peter A. ; my hi-fi is perfectly fit and well thankyou very much. The sound of keyboards in rock bands just gets my goat, it just sounds like a square peg in a round hole. On the other hand, in other contexts i.e. Kraftwerk it makes perfect sense and sounds good to me.
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Discussion in:  rock discussion forum
Participants:  41
Total posts:  75
Initial post:  26 Feb 2009
Latest post:  5 Jun 2011

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