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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Legendary pop groups expressed as pie charts

Taking to Martin Kelner about the Bee Gees the other day it struck me that successful bands owe their success to two qualities. One's musical talent; the other's charisma. The proportions vary as you can see in these three examples.



13 comments:

  1. I think this is a bit harsh on The Smiths, I would say they were 50/50 or so. Looks about right for Morrissey's solo career though.

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  2. Well, it looks like we might be in for a Pie Christmas, with Colour Pies competing with Mince Pies for the Number One Spot. Now, where did I put my crayons?

    Hmm. How many qualify for a Blank Circle, I wonder?

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  3. Well, it looks like we might be in for a Pie Christmas, with Colour Pies competing with Mince Pies for the Number One Spot. Now, where did I put my crayons?

    Hmm. How many qualify for a Blank Circle?

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  4. That Smiths pie chart - expect to be on the receiving end of angry emails typed in green text.

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  5. Interesting idea. Provocative even (quelle surprise!). Apart from the obvious mistake getting the colours the wrong way around on The Smith's pie, have you considered adding proportionality? E.g the Beatles would be at least double the size of the Bee Gees. 😇

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  6. Shouldn't there be another colour for luck?

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  7. These charts, like much of pop music, is very influenced (colored? ahem..) by the year you were born.

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  8. Said to a friend just the other day that my comfort blanket when growing up was always the music of The Beatles, that for growing old [58 and counting] is The Smiths...
    It's not their charisma I can listen to on an almost daily basis and still be moved, excited and hugely entertained.
    I think someone just wanted to use a diagram to illustrate a questionable point with a poor example. How about the Damned? plenty charisma, modest talent? New Rose being the exception of course.

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  9. I think your idea of 'charisma' is rather different to most people's, judging by those charts. Charisma won't get you as far as the songwriting partnership of Marr and Morrissey got The Smiths - without that they were just another forgettable indie band. With it, they had a run of some of the best music of its time. You may disagree, but putting down their success to some sort of superficial 'charisma' is churlish and surprisingly ill judged.

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  10. Charisma's greatest achievement is in tempting you to overestimate the act's actual talent. Much as I have loved the Rolling Stones, I know they are about 25% talent and 75% charisma. They've been running on the fumes of their charisma since 1973.

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  11. Couldn't agree more over the Rolling Stones.

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  12. I dunno. Isn't the point that both bands have an enduring catalogue of great songs - and that didn't come about through charisma, or did the charisma come out of the songs? Either way, charisma without the songwriting abilities won't last long - whereas The Smiths and The Stones have outlasted their creative years because of the enduring quality of their songs. Who has developed charisma without any decent catalogue to draw on, other than one hit wonders?

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  13. And the pie size surely comes into the equation. The slice representing charisma in the Beatles' pie is the smaller, but they had at least as much as charisma as the Smiths, whose corresponding slice is apparently 90% of their success.

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