Legendary is a term that seems to be applied to too many people these days, in the sporting world we celebrate legends from our club. My favourite rugby team has a ‘legends’ match where past players are honoured and paraded in front of the crowd at half time. Now, although these players may have been excellent during their time are they all worthy of legendary status? I don’t think so. We have the same in the musical world, there have been many excellent artists over the years but what makes a legend? Is it the quality of the music? Is it their contribution to popular culture? Is it just that they’ve been around for decades?
My first case in point is The Beatles. Would you disagree that they are legends of music and popular culture? I certainly wouldn’t. They possibly have the farthest reaching and longest lasting legacy of all popular musicians even considering their relatively short time as an active band in the mainstream. However, have you listened to any entire Beatles albums? I have and in amongst some of the best songs you could wish to hear are some absolute rubbish. I haven’t come across a single Beatles album that you could term as ‘All killer, no filler’ but their legendary status is secured.
I have also never cared for many other artists that I have heard being called legendary. Prince and The Rolling Stones are the first 2 that come to mind but I would have others in that most would not even consider. Music and musicians can mean a lot to us. It can depend on how and when you discovered them, a particular memory that is invoked on hearing them or the impact they’ve had on the world. I love that everyone will have different artists on their legendary lists and I’d love to know who is on yours and also who you dislike but you couldn’t deny their legendary status.