The Instigator
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The Contender
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England Dan & John Ford Coley is better music than Katy Perry

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Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: Select Winner
Started: 5/15/2014 Category: Music
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,407 times Debate No: 54785
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (0)




First round is for acceptance only


I accept.
Debate Round No. 1


I was trying to compare today's music with what was popular back when I was growing up I think this is a good comparison:England Dan & John Ford Coley "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight" 1976 vs Katy Perry "California Gurls" 2010 . Both are short, catchy, poppy songs that were designed to make you want to sing along. Of course neither are Mozart or Bach, but I'd have to say that even simple poppy songs have dumbed down over the years. First let’s take the artist's names: "England Dan & John Ford Coley". I doubt any kid today has the attention span or the capacity to remember all that. If you are going to sell music today, you need a short name with as little to it as possible. Katy Perry. Even Katy is shortened from Katie. Now the name of the songs: "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight". Wow, what a mouthful! Today the song wouldn’t sell unless it was "I'd really luv to C ya tonite"..and even that is too long! It has to be short and dumbed down like "California Gurls". Never spell a word the way it's supposed to be spelled. That's only for nerdy scientists now. Now, how about the "image" of the artists. Popular singers were always known to dress "outrageous" in order to catch attention. Long hair, leisure suits and mustaches are tame compared to the bras that shoot out fireworks Katy Perry wears. That is mainstream entertainment now? Yikes! OK. Moving on to the songs themselves. Back in the 70's you actually needed some talent. You had to be able to sing without some kind of digital device fixing your voice. Real instruments also had to be used, not synthesized clones. Sure, the technology is there so why not use it, right? I think it's OK to enhance somebody that has talent, but to create "talent" with technology is really going too far.

Now, how about the lyrics? Well, I guess they are both supposed to be about sex in some fashion. Sex sells, right? "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight" is almost like a story. It is clever because it uses the lyrics as a one-sided phone conversation. Words like "There's a warm wind blowing the stars around" create romantic images that people can relate to. On the other hand, "California Gurls" leaves nothing to the imagination. Metaphores and similes require too much thinking. You have to be as frank and offensive as possible now. "Sex on the beach. We've got white sand in our stilettos". That's fit for radio? I'm all for free speech, but no wonder why America is number one in teen pregnancies. There's a difference between romance and porno.

I don't think this is just another case of one generation saying their music is better. There really is a “dumbing down” effect that has destroyed the quality of what kids listen to now, and it won't change as long as it is tolerated. If you're a parent, which song would you rather have your kids listen to?



Argument I: Sales and Chart Rank.

England Dan & John Ford Coley, while good, had 11 albums/compilations, and none of them reached 1st place on the US/Canadian charts. They may have had 11 songs reach 1st place on the charts, but their accomplishments hold nothing on Katy Perry's.

Katy Perry has a lot more going for her, even having the record for longest consecutive amount of time on the top 10 charts, with 69 weeks(1). This means she has spent more time on the charts then any other artist ever, which is made more of an accomplishment since she often had more than one song there at a time. Her album, Teenage Dream, was the first by a woman to ever have 5 number one billboard hits. Only Micheal Jackson has an album to match it (2). This means she is one of only two artists to have 5+ number one singles on one album. She has so far sold 11 million albums and 81 million singles, and has 8 entries on the Best-Selling list, tying her with Rihanna has the top (3).

Despite her large gap ahead of England Dan & John Ford Coley, Katy Perry only has 4 albums out. Katy Perry has done far more than England Dan & John Ford Coley while only having half as many albums out. This is an even larger a case when you consider that all of her success is attributed to everything after "I Kissed A Girl." This means her success came from only three albums, not four.


Argument II: Relativity.

Despite this, which ever is best is a matter of perspective. Some might consider one song by England Dan & John Ford Coley to be better than all of Katy Perry's work, while others would consider them equal. Who ever is better depends on the person listening. To some, England Dan & John Ford Coley is better, and to others, Katy Perry is better.

We must therefore conclude that neither can be better except through sales and the Charts, of which Katy Perry succeeded well above ED&JFC on a per album basis (and as a whole in general.)

Conclusion: Katy Perry has a far better track record with a much smaller arsenal of albums. Although, who ever is better is ultimately a matter of perspective.
Debate Round No. 2


First of all, I'd like to point out that my opponent ignored every point I made about talent, style, electronic voice enhancements, lyrics and image.

All my opponent concentrated on was "sales and chart rank" which really is kind of useless.

"A hit single is variously called a number one hit, a top 10 hit, a top 20 hit or a top 40 hit, depending on its peak position. In the UK (where radio play is not included in the official charts), this doesn't completely reflect the song's popularity—as the weekly chart position is based solely on direct comparison with concurrent sales of other singles. It is, therefore, not uncommon that a single fails to chart, but has actually sold more copies than other singles regarded as hits based on their higher chart placement in a period of low sales."

As far as relativity is concerned:
Modern music listeners are much more dumbed down than they were in the 70's and don't appreciate good music anymore.
All you have to do now, is get a drum machine, an auto-tuner and a few words to sing over and over, and you have yourself a hit song.

Conclusion: Katy Perry may have a better "track record", but the quality of her music is much lower. She wouldn't stand a chance in the 70's against REAL artists that had talent and didn't need auto-tuning and a sexy image to sell records.


Argument I: Sales and Chart Rank.

Pro argues that Sales and Chart Ranks are meaningless. Or, at least, that Chart Rank is. This is a pointless case, as ultimately, these two things are the base level. We see a similar situation with the Dictionary. When the meaning of a word is debated, the Dictionary is used. If you still disagree with the dictionary, you can't do anything about it because it's the base level... The one level where you have to accept what it says because you have no other options left... No further levels to go in search of the truth (with the exection of pre-ordained words with Latin Roots {like Photosynthesis.})

And Sales do indicate popularity. At least, in the long-term; how sales hold up and what they look like after the first week. However; in modern music, most people who buy an album have heard the songs on the radio/internet first, so sales in the music industry (especially for Singles) will have less of a margin of error. Need I remind you that Katy Perry has sold over 81 million singles?

Argument II: Relativity.

This isn't true at all. Despite modern myths, people have gotten smarter over the century. Tastes have simply changed. this is a mere case of musical bias on Pro's behalf.

Which ever band is better is a relative case. If you don't use the Sales/Charts, you can't truly determine who is better. Pro has to prove that England Dan & John Ford Coley is better, while I only have to prove that he isn't. I don't have to prove that Katy Perry is better, which is good because I wouldn't try.

Conclusion: If determined by success, Katy Perry is the better author. Otherwise, it's a relative matter and neither is better than the other.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by nonprophet 7 years ago
Right...I'm not here for votes.
Posted by ESocialBookworm 7 years ago
If you didn't have the ELO restriction, you MIGHT have gotten a vote. *shrugs*
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