(M/Dover, New Jersey)
I don't think those are your final thoughts. Glad for the question mark there. I am pleased others seem to respond favorably to our exchanges.
The world of music is an art form unto itself, with so many twists and turns, nooks and crannies, and while never an artist myself, I have recognized that my role is that of a responsive audience attendee. I do not possess the talent to actually make music, but that does not render me incapable of understanding it. I know the distance one must go to appreciate most ambitious works of art, whether it be a painting, symphony or written word. The harder one must try to access the work, the more rewarding the understanding achieved. When I don't immediately enjoy a song, for example, I give it another listen later. I am amazed at how many songs do not hit me on first listen, that have gone on to become profoundly memorable. The strange thing Is, I can listen to a song and not enjoy it, yet realize there is something of value there. With proper attention, later, it can come to me bringing with it something really worthwhile.
Example: You are Irish. James Joyce. I really couldn't just hop in and "enjoy" his writing. There's so much going on, I have to take a deep breath, and step back a little. The same could be said for appreciation of some of the harder-tinged rhythm and blues offerings from local stops like Detroit, or places in the south. The Falcons, for example are not smooth, except maybe on Goddess of Angels and You're So Fine, but their other work is of value, if you go "the extra mile" to access it. Nathanial Mayer and the Twilights are not a group that jump right off the radio at you, except for Village of Love. Their work is worth the effort to explore.
Some of the highly regarded groups do have the luxury of being immediately accessible to lots of people. Moonglows, Flamingos, Dells, and other Chicago groups seemed to have jukebox appeal right out of the box. This does not diminish their worth in the slightest, but it does not make it of higher quality.
The dialogue we have is a little like that. Maybe it takes a little effort to find out what's going on, but ultimately it may open a window for someone to see a glimpse of something of value.
Thank you Tony, for sharing with us, your thoughts from London. And to any board readers who may have shared in our "revelations", please do not hesitate to post your own. We are listening.