Talk:Heartland rock

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


reorganized[edit]

I added a lot of material and reorganized the article quite a bit, and tried to add some historical context.

Mitchberg 01:54, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

I wrote the original article (back as an anon). You've added a lot of valuable material, although the formatting needs work in places (album titles in italics!). However I have some disagreements on substance:

  • The article on roots rock shows little of the partial overlap with heartland that you claim, other than Steve Earle. I think roots rock can be mentioned as an influence, but not in the first paragraph.
  • Springsteen's Tunnel of Love is not heartland by any stretch of the imagination. It's a very personal album about the breakup of a marriage, with lots of synthesizer and drum machines, partly intended as an antidote to his heartland-era overloading of fame. Moreoever, I would argue that Born to Run isn't heartland either: it's too operatic in form and idiosyncratic in outlook. Close call though. Darkness is where the heartland imagery and form really kicks in. Nebraska, while not rock, is definitely (depressed) heartland. The Live 75-85 album, with band versions of Nebraska tracks and new song "Seeds", definitely qualifies.
  • Some more specific Seger examples are needed, such as "Feel Like a Number", "Against the Wind", "Like a Rock", maybe "Turn the Page" as an antecedent (I think I'm forgetting the best examples).
  • You badly slight Mellencamp by putting him at the end of the list. Whether you like him or not, during the 80s he was clearly as much or more the face of heartland as Seger and Petty and almost as much as Bruce. "Pink Houses" and "Rain on the Scarecrow" and "Small Town" are heartland rock if the genre has any meaning at all. And I stand by my original statement that the Scarecrow album is the best example of heartland around; it fits your definitions to a T as well.
  • Who/what is Head East? Surely there are better arena rock examples to compare against.

Anyway, when I get a chance I'll make my edits, but wanted to give the rationale for them here. Wasted Time R 03:44, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

I generally don't disagree, with your points:
  • Formatting - yeah, I was in a hurry.
  • Roots rock article: I think the lack of overlap may be due to a lacking on the Roots Rock article's part. I may be go and edit both pieces to make the link, when/if time permits.
  • Disagree on Tunnel of Love. While it's an expansion of the style, and pushes the boundary of Heartland Rock (to the point of having songs that aren't in the genre) I think the album as a whole fits.
  • Seger - fair enough. I'm not a Seger scholar.
  • There was no intentional slight of Mellencamp; the three albums I listed are among my favorites ever, and I have written (in other fora) long and loud about my love of Scarecrow).

Mitchberg 12:31, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

OK, I've made my edits. I've generally tried to restore elements of my original article while keeping all of your additions while further elaborating on the main artists. I think the only thing of yours that I took out was the Potter Stewart bit, which was evidently wrong since we couldn't agree on Tunnel of Love! Wasted Time R 03:22, 29 October 2005 (UTC)

OK, this is shaping up. Good adds.

One question; you mention the Heartland Rock "movement" several times. This is pretty wonky stuff, but to me "movement" implies some organized push in a specific direction. To me, heartland was more of a "genre" or style; it appeared, it flourished, it faded. It's not like there was a Heartland Manifesto or a convention in Memphis where Steve Cropper called upon a legion of flannel-clad flyoverlanders to go forth and rock!

I have a few other things I may add, esp to the Vietnam tangent. When I have some time!

Mitchberg 16:50, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

I think "movement" is only mentioned once and it looks like you were the one who introduced it. No matter, I agree that there was no movement, so I've reworded it. Wasted Time R 17:20, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

Also, in your edits to the article you made a reference to "places that the pop and entertainment establishments eschewed as 'flyover land'", and you just reiterated that idea above. I don't think this is a relevant notion. As I see it rock music has never been tied to the East and West Coast establishments; its waves of energy and innovation have come from the rural Deep South, or the urban Midwest, or various other parts. Even the trends that did originate from the urban cities on the coasts, such as psychedelia in the 60s or punk and disco in the 70s, came from outre cultures (beat poets/hippies, disaffected teenagers, gays, etc) not from any establishment. Thus I don't think heartland rock is any different from any other kind of rock in this regard. Wasted Time R 19:52, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

Actually, here's what I"m getting at - and may rewrite to fit; there's a sense of isolation in Heartland music, of being stranded in the middle of a really huge place far from the center of things, or in reveling in being there. It's a huge part of most of the great music of the genre; Darkness, Nebraska, Blood on the Bricks, The Distance, Night Moves...that's what the "flyover land" comment was aiming toward. And I think I probably hit it more with this comment than with the bit on the article...
I'm going to have to work that into the piece.
Mitchberg 23:16, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
OK, I heavily rewrote and reorged that section. Whatdya think?
Mitchberg 23:40, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
Very interesting — I never quite thought of it in terms of those kinds of isolations. I like it. Yes, it verges on personal interpretation rather than encyclopedic matter-of-factness, but so what ... if you can't include some neat theory into WP now and then, what's the point of writing ... I know I've done it in places! I've added a few bits around the edges to what you wrote, and I've also mentioned politics (that is, the lack thereof) briefly as well. Wasted Time R 08:27, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
It is a neat theory ;-) - but both Dave Marsh and Robert Christgau write in some depth about the importance of isolation in conjunction with Springsteen and (IIRC) Seger, and I have read a Houserockers review that goes into it also. Just saying, I'm not completely alone here! But thanks...
Mitchberg 15:44, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
OK, I've added Marsh and Christgau as partial sources in the article, to strengthen the claim that this interpretation belongs there. Wasted Time R 16:56, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Artist questions[edit]

I'm going to push back on three of the "associated" artists:

  • Robbie Dupree: I have never heard of him being associated with the genre in any way. I worked in radio during Dupree's "heyday", and I don't recall any such association about Dupree
  • George Thorogood: He was blues rock. He had more in common with ZZ Top than with Bob Seger. To the best of my knowledge, his only claim to the "heartland" genre is that Thorogood's music was and is played at a lot of bars in the heartland (and everywhere else).
  • The Fabulous Thunderbirds: They were a "roots" or "blues" band (originally to an obnoxious extent; their first couple of albums were recorded in non-multitracked single-take Monaural), and later went pop in about the same way ZZ Top did.

I'm loathe to unilaterally edit these out, so I figured I'd toss 'em up here first. I don't believe any of the above are connected with, much less representative of, the genre.

The mention of Dupree is from references in Rolling Stone comparing him to Bruce Springsteen (specifically, they called him "sub-Springsteen" and a heartland rock wannabe.) As for the other two, true, they were blues rock, but I've often heard them lumped in with the heartland artists, especially Thorogood. Thorogood and Dupree both have common heartland rock elements in their lyrics. Dupree's "Hot Rod Hearts" for example, and Thorogood's singing about things like unemployment and drinking in working class bars. Neither of them probably have any less claim to being heartland rock than do the Iron City Houserockers. On reflection the only one of the three that I'd agree may not belong on the list is the Fabulous Thunderbirds. (added on edit): I do remember Rolling Stone magazine including George Thorogood in the genre, albeit as more of a sideshow exageration of blue collar themes than the core artists like Springsteen and Mellencamp. Bon Jovi, on the other hand, I have never thought of as being associated in any way.
Re Dupree - you have brought back some 'orrible memories. But you are correct.
As re Thorogood - his music covered themes common to both "heartland" and blues. The style is pure twelve-bar, straight outta Howling Wolf. I'll agree he's a gray area at best.
The T-Birds - can we remove, then?
And I agree about Bon Jovi.
Mitchberg 17:05, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
What do you think of the rewordings of the George Thorogood and Billy Joel descriptions? Feel free to reword them again if you don't like them. T-Birds removed per discussion. Also: I don't know if Bon Jovi really belongs but I'll throw out another name for discussion who might (as if I haven't brought back enough 'orrible memories): Bryan Adams. Yes or no?
Excellent on all counts. I added a few references to Billy Joel's bit ("Say Goodbye to Hollywood" oozes Springsteenisms), but all in all it is very good. Thanks.
Oh, and Bryan Adams, yes; he was called the "Canadian Springsteen" earlier in his career. I will write something on that right now, feel free to edit.
Mitchberg 12:55, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
See, for example, [1] (read the "continue"), [2], and [3] for references to Bon Jovi as a heartland rocker of sorts. He definitely belongs in the "artists sometimes associated with" category. Wasted Time R 22:22, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
I'd forgotten about "New Jersey" and Bon Jovi's other later stuff. (The Bon Jovi I remember was the one I saw open for, and outrock, a very inebriated RATT in 1986!) Here are some more. Would Bruce Hornsby be considered heartland rock? Jason and the (Nashville) Scorchers? Looking Glass? Los Lobos? John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band? Grand Funk Railroad? Just some ideas. Add any of them if you think they fit. 192.112.66.25 21:22, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
Let's see:
  • Hornsby - I suggest not. He's more in the California singer-songwriter pop tradition.
  • Jason and the Scorchers are cowpunks; it's a similar genre, but not the same. Self-consciously apeing country/western.
  • Looking Glass - interesting. They were actually a greasy little frat band from Rutgers (Camden, NJ), who cleaned up their act and had their big hit, "Brandy", which was more in the White soul category, I think (a college english professor of mine lived in a frat house with them)
  • Los Lobos - I think so, at least partly; they span SO many genres, it'd be hard to argue. (And I love 'em)
  • JCaf and the BBRown Band - Yes. Seriously, I've started writing a section for them like three times now - and can't find enough stuff about 'em. My uncle was a fan of theirs when they were just a regular bar band in Jersey, before Eddie and the Cruisers made them into eveyrone's cut-rate Springsteen.
  • Grand Funk - Dear Lord, no. :-)
I can take a stab at adding Los Lobos and (another at) Cafferty ,unless you'd rather.
Mitchberg 23:10, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
Hornsby is more the "Virginia sound", a little overlap with heartland but not much, and then he turned more and more to jazz. Grank Funk Railroad is the Anti-Heartland, I think! Wasted Time R 00:04, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
Hornsby is actually mentioned on Allmusic.com as an example of heartland rock, which is why I brought him up. Grand Funk - an antecedent of grunge and heavy metal if anything, but I brought them up because their populist politics and self-consciously playing up their Flint, Michigan roots may (or may not) have been an influence. Looking Glass - some of the stuff on their first album comes highly recommended, especially "Catherine Street" and "From Stanton Station" - pure wrong side of the tracks Jersey rock, a year before Springsteen appeared. Can't argue with Los Lobos. 192.112.66.25 12:34, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
Grand Funk Railroad - the early stuff was more R & B influenced protometal, but I'd consider the middle and later periods to be in the heartland rock genre, from "Phoenix" onward
Hornsby...just...doesn't...compute. I'm sorry - I'm open to being convinced...
GFRR - I always thought of them as "anti-glam"; an analogy might be Grand Funk was to Led Zeppelin what Snow was to Public Enemy. Or...somethign like that (we need a "High Infidelity" template...)
But you bring up an interesting point; given the scattershot diversity of HR's roots, maybe a sampling of pre-HR bands whose styles might have contributed. I can think of a few example: Looking Glass, the Four Seasons (total Springsteen/Jersey Shore antecedents), that kind of thing.
Which introduces the question; do we need to create a "Jersey Shore" article? So much of the Jersey Shore sound - the Jukes, Little Steven, and before that groups like the Four Seasons and Looking Glass and so on - abuts Heartland but doesn't intersect. Mitchberg 15:34, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

History[edit]

I started reorganizing things, adding headings and a "history" section as a nod to some basic format. However, I overestimated my energy level this evening. I like the idea, but "history" needs some fleshing out, and I've totally hit the wall tonight. Feel free.

Jersey Shore Sound[edit]

The more I look at this, the more I think we need a whole, standalone "Jersey Shore" article.

I'm going to create a stub. Dive in.

I've started the stub. Feel free; I'll add more as time permits.
Mitchberg 17:32, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
I've renamed it to the more appropriate Jersey Shore sound (cf. Nashville sound, Bakersfield sound). I've also linked to it from a bunch of articles (check "What links here" when there), so that the admins don't delete it as an orphan. Wasted Time R 17:42, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. DIdn't know about the orphan article bit - figured I'd try to develop it a bit before linking it everywhere. But thanks.
Mitchberg 18:52, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Current / Newer Artists[edit]

Has there been much thought to what artists from today could fall into the category of Heartland Rock? Not always in content, but many times in sound, Matchbox Twenty and Goo Goo Dolls both appeal to my Heartland Rock ear. Are there others? If so, might there be room for a paragraph on the main page?

Sorry for not logging in.

Based on some googling, Goo Goos maybe, Matchbox 20 no way. Wasted Time R 03:30, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
Added a small section about the "new era", although it needs to be greatly improved. Added Kid Rock mainly because of a Rolling Stone review comparing his music to Seger and Mellencamp. In some ways I see this, but in others not so much, but Rolling Stone is the exprerts, not me. So it's here. Anybody elese have any suggestions on who can be added? BillyJack193 (talk) 13:17, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Uncle Tupelo and Bottle Rockets, as well as the other bands labeled "alt country" are in no way, shape or form "heartland rock." They're all, at heart, closer to punk then they are to the bland barrom blues of most heartland rock artists. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 65.41.196.227 (talk) 05:10, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

I'd say the Hold Steady - they're definitely heavily influenced by Springsteen. Possibly the Gaslight Anthem too to some extent? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 79.68.27.43 (talk) 21:39, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

Jackson Browne[edit]

went through a heartland rock period about the same time as Billy Joel. Or at least his 1978 and 1980 albums were clearly in the genre. Should we add him? Also, how about Huey Lewis and the News? I thought of them as new wave during their 80s heyday but looking back they were pretty heartlandy. Not sure about Robbie Dupree. I have his debut album which is now out on CD, and he was firmly in the blue-eyed soul genre. He makes halfhearted gestures toward Springsteen on his two hit singles but otherwise more influenced by Hall & Oates. 70.108.137.71 03:25, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Like This Article[edit]

I grew up with this music during my teenage years - but I have no idea what to call it. I noticed the similarites and the differences and sometimes the shared producers (Jimmy Iovine). I thought this was mostly "blue collar" rock - or to twist it into modern context -music regarding the group of Americans that the two presidential candidates are trying to get in the Ohio/Pennsylvania region. Regarding Robbie Dupree's stuff - it is early 80's a/c - not blue-eyed soul.. It had more in common with the Rupert Holmes of the era - a singer/songwriter pop musician - he never crossed over into black stations (I too have his stuff). A lot of artists at that time had some sort of R&B or horn-driven influence (even the country/western crossover hits). What I found however, is the only example of a heartland theme outside the U.S., even though they may or may have not experienced it - The Boomtown Rats "Rat Trap" in 1978. The 5-minute song has a Clemmons-like sax intro and a narration that would fit. However the band is a straight punk/new wave outfit. It's the only such number they have done.

20:27, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

Alternative country[edit]

I'm not so sure that the kinds of bands that would today be called "Alternative country" would before be known as "heartland rock." I mean, the two specific bands cited in the article (Uncle Tupelo and Bottle Rockets) owe more to 80s punk and hardcore than they do to Springsteen, Seager, Mellencamp (yuck), etc. In fact, I can't think of one band that would today be known as "alternative country" who would or could be labled as "heartland rock". It's punk rock, not classic rock. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 65.41.196.227 (talk) 05:08, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

OR and Tone[edit]

I have removed most of the remaining OR but this still leaves the problem of tone in the two artist sections. I think I can probably feed most of this into the main text, minus the commentary and unsourced opinion. If that is not acceptable I think it will simply have to go. It has been tagged for a very long period (over three years).--SabreBD (talk) 16:48, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

This now done. A lot of OR had to go, as it could not be substantiated.--SabreBD (talk) 00:49, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
I think the article still has some problems. First, I would caution against relying too heavily on allmusic as a source. Its essays are not necessarily encyclopedic and rely more on opinion than research. A more comprehensive essay on heartland rock can be found in the 1987 New York Times article by Jon Pareles "Heartland Rock: Bruce's Children". In that article, it states:

Mr. Springsteen got the heartland-rock bandwagon rolling with The River, in 1980, and its bleak 1982 successor, Nebraska. With those albums, he started to write stripped-down songs about people who had lost their jobs or simply lost hope—victims of hard times.

I think that's a pretty accurate statement and the idea that heartland rock began with Born to Run is somewhat revisionist. For some perspective, here's a passage from a 1980 review of The River:

The album—combined with Springsteen's dynamic performance in the No Nukes film—should give Springsteen that final push beyond the boundries of regional superstardom. As difficult as it may be for Springsteen's loyal fans to believe, there is a vast section of this country that has yet to accept him as the boss. Springsteen's stock themes may have been taken to heart by big-city kids in the East—souped-up cars, self styled tramps in the street and general alienation—but they offered little that could be related to out in the Heartland of the West, Midwest and South.

Also, the idea that record companies went out and signed some of the artists mentioned in the wake of Born to Run is simply inaccurate. Bob Seger's recording career pre-dates Springsteen and I don't think his national breakthrough with Night Moves can necessarily be attributed to Springsteen. In fact, during the period 1977–1980, Seger was more popular than Springsteen in the U.S.
There are a few other minor mis-characterizations in the article that will need to be fixed such as the description of John Mellencamp as being a "second generation" of heartland rock. The term "heartland rock" as described in the article was not widely used or defined as such until 1985 and was then almost always in reference to Mellencamp. Piriczki (talk) 15:43, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
Do you have any reliable source that states that, as I think is pretty much the case, that Heartland rock was a term that began to be used in the 1980s? This would help solve a lot of the problems, but my searches failed to turn anything up. On differences of opinion between commentators, the simple solution is to make the differences clear and it shouldn't be too hard to word that.--SabreBD (talk) 16:12, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
Maybe the first thing that needs to be established is the scope of the article and a precise definition of "heartland rock" since usage of the term varied from a catch-all label for any mainstream rock from the Midwest (REO Speedwagon, Styx and John Cougar) to a more specific musical and lyrical style found on albums such as Scarecrow and The Lonesome Jubilee. A couple examples of the former usage can be seen in these Billboard articles from 1983 and early 1985: [4] [5]. Since this is an article on a music genre I think a more specific definition would be preferred. As far as the more specific meaning of the term "heartland rock", that probably became recognized in 1985 with the release of Scarecrow.
One of the articles I mentioned earlier points to Springsteen's The River as the beginning of heartland rock, whereas if it began in the late 1970s I think a strong case could be made for Bob Seger being the key figure in its origins. In this 1986 Billboard article, speaking of the three year gap between The Distance and Like a Rock, it says:

Meanwhile, artists like John Cougar Mellencamp and Bruce Springsteen—who, like Seger, sings about life in the heartland, about the hopes, dreams, and pitfalls of the common man—came to greater prominence. There was a threat that they might replace Seger in an area where he had been the leader during his 20-year-plus career.

The notion that Born to Run had much, if anything, to do with heartland rock seems like a stretch. Musically, lyrically, everything about that album was urban, East Coast, and it was part of the New Jersey or Asbury Park sound. Whether that album would even have any appeal in the Midwest was in question as mentioned above that the album "offered little that could be related to out in the Heartland" and a New York Times review that asked "The only nagging question is how this new record is going to sound out in the heartland, where people may think of him as some over-hyped Easterner." Piriczki (talk) 16:02, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
I have no problem with any of that. Perhaps we need to think about a definitions sections first. My problem, as ever, is finding reliable sources that express this clearly. After that I think the article will probably have to simply reflect different views on the origins, which will mean re-casting the 1970s section. I will try to drag some sources together some of what is available over definitions over the holiday period.--SabreBD (talk) 16:53, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
I have created a "characteristics" section at the start of the article, which covers some of these issues. At the moment the disputed origins issue is still outstanding. I will try to get back to this as soon as I can, but it is rather complex and ideally I would like to find more sources.--SabreBD (talk) 16:21, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

I have made a few changes to reflect the points made about origins suggested above. At the moment I am still looking into how to deal with Seger's role in the origins of the genre.--SabreBD (talk) 21:40, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

The new article is worse than the old[edit]

Sometimes the WP rules don't help. Yes, the old article had the dread WP:OR in it in places. But at least it attempted to tackle the subject of what heartland rock was, musically and sociologically, and what made it different. If you look at the old article at its 'peak' in mid-2006, the "Characteristics" and "Prominent Artists" sections were very specific in trying to do this.

If you look at the new article, there's almost no attempt to do this at all. Instead, it's just a bunch of capsule histories and narrative discographies of some of the artists associated with heartland rock. That fact that artist X went multi-platinum with album A and had three hit singles from it, then released album B two years later but had lesser sales and no hits, then won a Grammy Award three years later for album C ... all of this tells me nothing about heartland rock musically or culturally, and just rehashes what I can much better read in the X or X discography articles for each of the artists. I realize good-faith effort has gone into writing the new article, but I just see very little value in it.

Readers and other editors generally found the old article's content to be accurate, until the rules types started showing up and tagging it. And no, I'm not some new editor or malcontent; look at User:Wasted Time R#A's and faves and you'll see I've taken dozens of heavily-sourced articles to various levels of featured status. But there are times when some of the rules are counter-productive, and this is one of them. Wasted Time R (talk) 14:53, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

I am still working on the definitions section mentioned above, which may resolve some of the objections raised. It would be much easier if I could just add what I "know", but we cannot. I have to say that the problem with the article was not that it had some OR, it was almost all OR. If anyone want to provide a sourced definitions section before I get there then I am very happy for them to do so and I will add in what I have found when I can.--SabreBD (talk) 16:57, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
I note that, although it might have been a good idea to discuss it here first and get a consensus on how we move forward, much of the deleted material from the old version of the article has been reintroduced. This means that we once again have a large quantity of unsourced material and now also quite a bit of repetition. Rather than deleting this I have tagged the unsourced sections for sources, in the hope that these will be forthcoming soon. When issues were first raised about the cleaning up of this article I thought that perhaps I have made a mistake in putting effort into the project. Looking back over this material I have to say I am very sure that I did not. The inclusion of large amounts of unsourced original research is really not acceptable on Wikipedia. A lot of this material is also not encyclopedic in tone and that needs to be changed if it is to remain. I would also stress that this is clearly controversial and major changes really need to be discussed here so that we can move forward in a constructive way.--SabreBD (talk) 09:01, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

Needs Major Pruning[edit]

The first quarter of the article is great, the rest of it just degrades into a random somewhat chronological collection of anecdotes about artists who might somehow maybe be considered "heartland rock". Ridernyc (talk) 02:31, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

Which are in fact considered Heartland rock in reliable sources. The multiple issues tag is a bit excessive here. It seems there is one issue raised, the argument that it has too much detail. It article is not written like an essay and it is reliably sourced. It may be worth pausing to consider whether there is a better way of organising this before engaging in widespread deletion of reliably sourced material. I am open to suggestions.--SabreBD (talk) 06:39, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
The article needs to be about Heartland Rock it's history and development, not just a list of people that have performed heartland rock. A perfect example of this is the Springsteen paragraph in section 2.3, it has nothing to do with Heartland rock it's just a recap of what Springsteen did in the '90's pretty much the entire section after the first paragraph can go. Ridernyc (talk) 15:16, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
At the moment that seems a bit arbitrary. Is there a point at which we can say these artists ceased to be heartland rock? I am wondering if there may be some better way of organising this that is not chronological: perhaps by artists or thematically in some way, which might make for more concise sub-sections. I am giving it some thought, but a problem dogging all this is that there is a lot written about artists but relatively little written about the genre.--SabreBD (talk) 15:30, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
It has nothing to do with the artists ceasing to be "Heartland Rock", the article is about Heartland Rock not the artist who perform Heartland Rock. The Springsteen mention should be something as small as this "Heartland Rock continued in the 90's artists Like Bruce Springsteen continued to release a series of successful albums." And before anyone argues that is just an example it's not meant to be factually accurate or even meant for inclusion. If there were no new developments there were no new new developments, no reason to pad it out with over coverage of key artists. Ridernyc (talk) 15:37, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
I am not arguing against cutting this down, just doing it in an arbitrary way. I am thinking something that keeps the characteristics and influence sections either side of a brief history section that has about a paragraph on each decade is probably about right. It may take me a little while to do that, but I am working on it.--SabreBD (talk) 16:26, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
I have taken a stab at it. This might not be completely right and if something important has gone it can always be put back, but, although a handful of the less important acts have gone, most of the rest are just details of albums and singles.--SabreBD (talk) 16:45, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

Still problematical[edit]

Probably the heart of the problem is, we still [6] don't have a good, sourced definition for heartland rock. Even a wordy description would be an improvement if well sourced.

As it stands, Tony Joe White would certainly qualify (The Family, Polk Salad Annie) as would Creedence Clearwater Revival (who are mentioned as an influence). Andrewa (talk) 02:52, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Heartland rock/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Seabuckthorn (talk · contribs) 18:02, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
Nominator: SabreBD (talk)

Hi! I'll be reviewing this article for GA status, and should have my full review up shortly. It's my second review. I'll be assisted by an experienced Wikipedian. --Seabuckthorn  18:02, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

GA review – see WP:WIAGA for criteria


The article is very well-written in terms of the prose quality and the reference formatting. It's a very promising candidate. I've few insights to offer.

  1. Is it reasonably well written?
    A. Prose is "clear and concise", without copyvios, or spelling and grammar errors:
    Good
    B. MoS compliance for lead, layout, words to watch, fiction, and lists:
    See below.
  2. Is it factually accurate and verifiable?
    A. Has an appropriate reference section:
    Good
    B. Citation to reliable sources where necessary:
    See below.
    C. No original research:
    Good

Issues with 1b: Definition and notability should be in the first sentence (WP:LEADSENTENCE). I recommend the following revision:

Heartland rock is a genre of rock music that is exemplified by the commercial success of singer-songwriters Bruce Springsteen, Bob Seger, Tom Petty and John Mellencamp. It was characterized by a straightforward musical style, a concern with the average, blue collar American life, and a conviction that rock music has a social or communal purpose beyond just entertainment. It was also associated with a number of country music artists including Steve Earle and Joe Ely, along with less widely known acts such as Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes and the Iron City Houserockers. The genre developed in the 1970s and reached its commercial peak in the 1980s, when it became one of the best-selling genres in the United States. In the 1990s, many established acts faded and the genre began to fragment, but the major figures have continued to record with commercial success.
 Done Was browsing through the GA nominees on hold list, thought to lend a helping hand. Ethically (Yours) 16:27, 29 December 2013 (UTC)

Issues with 2b: The author of Source 2 is Steve Peake profile. As per WP:RSVETTING, I have the following questions:

  • Who is the author? Is the author an established expert? Google search showed no results on him.
  • The author does not have a Wikipedia article.
  • The author's academic credentials and professional experience are not known.
  • Is the publication about.com reliable in this case?

Is the second source a WP:RS and not a WP:SPS? I recommend removing this source and citing a reliable source. The RS Noticeboard (here) has consensus that about.com is not a RS. All important information that relies on this source will have to either be removed or be cited to a different source.

Another 2b issue: The article says that Springfield's songs were "influenced by 50s rock and roll, Bob Dylan and Phil Spector's Wall of Sound". The source says "A blue-collar fairy tale evoking Phil Spector in its romanticized grandeur and Bob Dylan in its street-corner poetic grit". The source talks about what the album evoked for that reviewer, and not what Springfield used as an influence. I recommend a reparaphrasing to clarify that one reviewer found these links, but to not claim that Springfield intended them.

I am putting this article on Hold for 7 days. If the required issues are dealt with in that time the article will pass, otherwise it will fail. --Seabuckthorn  19:12, 28 December 2013 (UTC)

Delisted good article This nomination has been on hold for 7 days. I'm going to fail this nomination due to inactivity. If you resolve the above issues at a later date, feel free to renominate the article for GA status. --Seabuckthorn  14:55, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

Article has PR feel & bias[edit]

This phrase is problematic: "a conviction that rock music has a social or communal purpose beyond just entertainment". It is opinion and elitist, the kind of suspect information you'd receive from an intense fan or profit motivated promoter of the genre. For instance, is the reader to infer that rap, country, opera, or the blues don't have a social or communal purpose beyond entertainment? The words entertainment and conviction reveal a bias and are antithetical to NPV. It would be just as accurate, perhaps even more so, to convey that the genre sells a meme where selected social issues are given superficial attention. Not a lot you can discuss in an average 2:30 pop music song even with the extensive use of repetition. The puffery bias exacerbates the fact that the term is made up. What reliable sources are presented which establish this term as been used by more than a narrow group or in a small period of time? Knowsetfree (talk) 14:40, 17 September 2017 (UTC)

I think the problematic phrase was merely meant to describe a characteristic and not imply anything beyond that. Either way it the phrase could be reworded. As you suggest, the whole article is extremely bloated. I think there was an honest attempt add detail to the article which resulted in a search for anything that could be tied to something called "heartland rock" but the result is it comes across as puffery. As it is the article is a complete mess. To fix it would mean shortening it considerably and in the end it comes down to a handful of artists during a brief period that don't necessarily need to be lumped together under one label. Maybe the article should be a redirect to John Cougar Mellencamp. Piriczki (talk) 16:14, 18 September 2017 (UTC)