Is This The Best Band From Michigan? I Respectfully Disagree.
Thrillist.com likes to pick fights. That's how they get web hits, but their choice for the 'Best Band From Michigan' is not well thought out.
According to Thrillist, the best band ever from Michigan is.....
Before we start, let me say I don't dislike The Temptations. The opening lines to 'Papa Was A Rolling Stone' may be among the best ever. (It was the third of December/A day I'll always remember/Because that was the day that my daddy died)
And every brother in my neighborhood was influenced by the band's wardrobe.
But are they the best band EVER from Michigan? Hardly.
Here's what Thrillist said about the Temps, and it's pretty good prose.
To talk about Michigan music is to talk about Detroit -- and to talk about Detroit is to talk about Motown. The idea of the city as a company town, defined by its relationship to the automobile empires that transformed it into the Motor City, has carried over to the way critics narrativize its artistic history. The thinking goes like this: In the same way Ford, GM, and Chrysler mass produced cars, Barry Gordy's Motown label pumped out soul, R&B, and pop hits. But that type of analysis minimizes the human touch a group like the Temptations brought to their velvety, smooth tracks, songs that deftly floated in the background during a tumultuous decade. They didn't simply roll of an assembly line.
But if we even take into account JUST Motown, I'm not sure the Temps are at the top.
Stevie Wonder had WAY more top 40 hits, and he's blind and a solo act that played almost all of his own instruments. (Plus he's from my hometown of Saginaw, so I'm biased.)
Other Michigan artists that deserve recognition:
Eminem is the highest selling artist of the 2000s.
Madonna is the highest grossing touring act EVER, female or otherwise, and was the highest selling act of the '80s.
Flint's Grand Funk Railroad may have become Led Zeppelin before Led Zeppelin had they not disintegrated into a fiery hell of ego in 1976.
And Bob Seger has outlasted almost every heartland rocker short of John Mellencamp.
So while we lovingly respect the Temptations' storied track record, it just seems to us there are better choices. What say you?