U2, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey, and perhaps 99% of bankable artists are overrated. I guess Noel Gallagher puts it best, “You don’t have to be great to be successful.”
There is no arguing to the fact that most of these artists are alright but to be called great entails not only the ability to write songs, perform on stage and market themselves. Greatness involves breaking boundaries that blocks the progress of the art they are involved in.
Before Elvis and The Beatles, there were only the manufactured sound created by record labels performed by singers that were auditioned based on their looks. Music was like a product that is created in a plant and is fed to the consumers. Then Elvis and The Beatles came with lyrics and sound so unimaginable they were accused of being sons of satan. That is a story told and retold by better equipped and writers more talented than I am. There is no need for me to expound on it.
These are artists that are great to their core. Even if you take out Elvis costumes and The Beatles stunts, what will remain is their music that requires no complicated guitar rifts or supersonic sounding audio. Music that speaks of sentiments that were before hidden, silent and timeless. Music that, for once, is of the artists’ and not some institution motivated by money.
Everyone else that followed like U2, Madonna, Lady Gaga owe it to the others that truly broke the boundaries. The music they are making now is possible because of these greats. They are good, they are alright but greatness is more than that.