Does the term "OSR" just mean "D&D?

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BedrockBrendan

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They just call themselves a little rock and roll band. Though I'm surprised you didn't notice that some stuff has a different singer. Bon Scott died in 1980, but before then they did Powerage. Which I think is their best album. Though a lot of people dont necessarily realise there's more to them than Back in Black and Thunderstruck.

I think ACDC is a bit like Motorhead: people on both sides of the aisle respect them and would welcome them into the camp (punks like Motörhead and so do metalheads). To me they do sound more like hard rock, but I can see why some people file them under heavy metal. They can go either way with me
 

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I think ACDC is a bit like Motorhead: people on both sides of the aisle respect them and would welcome them into the camp (punks like Motörhead and so do metalheads). To me they do sound more like hard rock, but I can see why some people file them under heavy metal. They can go either way with me
Lemmy once said the punks liked them because if you closed your eyes they sounded the same.
 

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They just call themselves a little rock and roll band. Though I'm surprised you didn't notice that some stuff has a different singer. Bon Scott died in 1980, but before then they did Powerage. Which I think is their best album. Though a lot of people dont necessarily realise there's more to them than Back in Black and Thunderstruck.
I prefer all of Bon Scotts stuff to all of Brian Johnsons, but the bar is high. Back in Black is superb.
 

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I think ACDC is a bit like Motorhead: people on both sides of the aisle respect them and would welcome them into the camp (punks like Motörhead and so do metalheads). To me they do sound more like hard rock, but I can see why some people file them under heavy metal. They can go either way with me
To bring it back around to gaming, musicians and game designers both tend to be less interested in fencing in their creativity than critics and consumers are.
 

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Maiden, Metallica, Megadeth, Sabbath are heavy metal.

AC/DC is in the same category as Aerosmith, Van Halen and Rush. Hard rock.

Pop/Rock groups are the Beatles, Stones, Beach Boys and The Who.

These groups can cross over to other categories occasionally but they are firmly in their respective groups. An example would be “Helter Skelter” by the Beatles.
 
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Stevethulhu

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Maiden, Metallica, Megadeth, Sabbath are heavy metal.

AC/DC is in the same category as Aerosmith, Van Halen and Rush. Hard rock.

Pop/Rock groups are the Beatles, Stones, Beach Boys and The Who.

These groups can cross over to other categories occasionally but they are firmly in their respective groups. An example would be “Helter Skelter” by the Beatles.
But I Saw Her Standing Here is straight up rock and roll. Lemmy used to say, "We are Mötorhead and we play rock and roll." What does that mean?

Bands from the 60s are 60s bands. Some cross into being 70s bands, like The Who and Led Zeppelin.

Is this pop rock?


What about this?


Categories n music, and gaming, don't really work. There's too many edge cases.
 

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Bon Jovi is a pop/rock band. Not hard rock. They couldn’t pull off a song like “Atomic Punk” from Van Halen.

The Who is an edge case between pop rock/hard rock but they more in common with the other groups on that bottom list than middle.

Like I said, bands do drift from time to time. Nobody would call the Beatles a country band even though they covered a song by Buck Owens.
 

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But I Saw Her Standing Here is straight up rock and roll. Lemmy used to say, "We are Mötorhead and we play rock and roll." What does that mean?

I think it means he is an OG who respects the OGs. I always took this to mean Lemmy's frame of reference was the earlier years of Rock N Roll when it first came out. Motorhead was loud, fast, and aggressive, but if you really stop and listen to what they are doing it does sound an awful lot like really early rock n roll. I remember he said in an interview he once told a younger musician they had to understand that he could remember a time before rock n roll. My view is Rock N Roll encompasses all the subgenres (including metal, punk, etc). It is where all this stuff comes from (you don't get to Metallica without Chuck Berry and Little Richard).
 

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To bring it back around to gaming, musicians and game designers both tend to be less interested in fencing in their creativity than critics and consumers are.

I think also when they do fence it in, they do it for different reasons (for example being respectful of the lineage of what they are working on might lead a musician to make careful genre distinctions---but it isn't meant to be a cage). With games I think sometimes working inside a concept like this is great. I like the idea for example of how the OSR is this thing where you bend a genre concept to fit the conceits of D&D (and what those conceits are can vary but an example might be: how do I make the mechanics for Half Orc relevant to this setting? How do I make dungeons function in a setting like this?). I find that to be a fun intellectual exercise, and it can lead to interesting design decisions, but it isn't the only way to approach this stuff. There should be room for people doing other types of experiments.
 

BedrockBrendan

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But I Saw Her Standing Here is straight up rock and roll. Lemmy used to say, "We are Mötorhead and we play rock and roll." What does that mean?

Bands from the 60s are 60s bands. Some cross into being 70s bands, like The Who and Led Zeppelin.

Is this pop rock?


What about this?


Categories n music, and gaming, don't really work. There's too many edge cases.

I think categories can be useful but a term like pop rock is really a problem because, let's face it, it is kind of, depending on who is using it, an insult. It is saying 'this is too light or commercial to be just rock'. I realize there can be positive connotations too. But when I think of the Stones and the Who, I think these are rock bands, and even progenitors of a lot of heavy metal (especially the who, but the stones could be really dark). Also the stones were pretty scratchy and rough, I feel like the term pop suggests a gloss that the stones didn't really have. I actually looked this one up when I read the post because pop rock seemed a weird label for them to me, but sure enough they are listed as pop rock bands in the Oxford Dictionary of Music (which makes me a little skeptical of the Oxford Dictionary of music more than anything else).

In terms of categories being useful or a problem: you can definitely get way into the weeds. I try to use them so long as they are useful to me. But if I am using a category that really only describes two bands or games, it is probably much too specific IMO. Also sometimes it feels like these kinds of labels just get invented to make entry into a style more exclusive (which i don't think is a good thing).
 

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I think also when they do fence it in, they do it for different reasons (for example being respectful of the lineage of what they are working on might lead a musician to make careful genre distinctions---but it isn't meant to be a cage). With games I think sometimes working inside a concept like this is great. I like the idea for example of how the OSR is this thing where you bend a genre concept to fit the conceits of D&D (and what those conceits are can vary but an example might be: how do I make the mechanics for Half Orc relevant to this setting? How do I make dungeons function in a setting like this?). I find that to be a fun intellectual exercise, and it can lead to interesting design decisions, but it isn't the only way to approach this stuff. There should be room for people doing other types of experiments.
I absolutely agree that restrictions can assist creativity - it gives you the zone in which to experiment. However once something is created the question should then be (IMO) does it resonate/work for me? Not, does it fit other criteria which will then determine if I can allow myself to like it or not.
 

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I think categories can be useful but a term like pop rock is really a problem because, let's face it, it is kind of, depending on who is using it, an insult. It is saying 'this is too light or commercial to be just rock'. I realize there can be positive connotations too. But when I think of the Stones and the Who, I think these are rock bands, and even progenitors of a lot of heavy metal (especially the who, but the stones could be really dark). Also the stones were pretty scratchy and rough, I feel like the term pop suggests a gloss that the stones didn't really have. I actually looked this one up when I read the post because pop rock seemed a weird label for them to me, but sure enough they are listed as pop rock bands in the Oxford Dictionary of Music (which makes me a little skeptical of the Oxford Dictionary of music more than anything else).

In terms of categories being useful or a problem: you can definitely get way into the weeds. I try to use them so long as they are useful to me. But if I am using a category that really only describes two bands or games, it is probably much too specific IMO. Also sometimes it feels like these kinds of labels just get invented to make entry into a style more exclusive (which i don't think is a good thing).
Pop bein short for popular isnone of those weird thugs about rock music. As soon as you're popular, people act like you're over.

The Stones were a pop band by that definition. As were the Beatles. And The Who. Zeppelin were popular, but more distant distant than the other bands mentioned there.

He older I get, the less I pay attention to pigeonholes. I like Disturbed enough to have a couple of albums by them. I also have a couple of Fleetwood Mac albums. Do I care what label they get? Not really.

To be controversial, I like KISS, too. And my favourite album after Alive is the massively unpopular Dynasty. Where they allegedly went disco. Even though I Was Made For Loving You doesn't sound disco at all. And nor does Sure Know Something.

Which just kes to show that even accepted labels can be wrong. And are totally subjective.
 

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To be controversial, I like KISS, too. And my favourite album after Alive is the massively unpopular Dynasty. Where they allegedly went disco. Even though I Was Made For Loving You doesn't sound disco at all. And nor does Sure Know Something.

Disco was before my time (at least before my time consuming media) so I think I missed the emotional investment in the divide people from that period have (I was born in 76). I loved Blondie growing up and she has some songs that seem to veer into disco. Also there is nothing wrong with dancing and having music that is meant to be danced to in my opinion. There are some good rock and metal songs that seem to be borrowing a bit of a disco groove. The only Kiss album I had was Destroyer, so it is the only one I am familiar with all their songs but I do like the song I was Made for Loving you (which I believe was off Dynasty). Liked the album Love Gun too, but didn't have it myself.
 

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He older I get, the less I pay attention to pigeonholes. I like Disturbed enough to have a couple of albums by them. I also have a couple of Fleetwood Mac albums. Do I care what label they get? Not really.

I think where labels become a problem is instead of being a tool to find good stuff, they become a tool for avoiding things (i.e. "I can't listen to Fleetwood Mac it isn't genre X"). This is definitely something both metalheads and gamers can slip into I think. With music I've always tried to have an expansive taste because I think of it as an art form that is meant to be universal (there are some genres that i can't get into even after trying, but I always like to try).
 

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I think where labels become a problem is instead of being a tool to find good stuff, they become a tool for avoiding things (i.e. "I can't listen to Fleetwood Mac it isn't genre X"). This is definitely something both metalheads and gamers can slip into I think. With music I've always tried to have an expansive taste because I think of it as an art form that is meant to be universal (there are some genres that i can't get into even after trying, but I always like to try).


This is why I never paid attention to music labels - I never saw myself as belonging to any group or focusing on any genre. If I like a song, it goes in my playlist. My MP3 player has everything from ragtime to blues to heavy metal to rap to folk parody songs, and anything inbetween. It's the individual songs that matter to me
 

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This is why I never paid attention to music labels - I never saw myself as belonging to any group or focusing on any genre. If I like a song, it goes in my playlist. My MP3 player has everything from ragtime to blues to heavy metal to rap to folk parody songs, and anything inbetween. It's the individual songs that matter to me

I was into metal and in a metal band growing up, so I liked operating inside a musical style. but I played guitar and my teacher made me learn bach, nina simone songs, the rolling stones, etc. I think where the labels have mostly been useful for me is 1) in figuring out a particular aesthetic (i.e. I want to write a song that sounds like Ennio Morricone and 2) finding music I wouldn't otherwise find (i.e. I like this band, lets see what else is in that genre). Also musical genres often come with philosophies, which can matter if you are writing that style of music (punk for example isn't just about the music).
 

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Fleetwood Mac is an amazing band. One of the more robust catalogues you will ever see.
 

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Tom Waits, Tori Amos, and Cyndi Lauper are my top 3 - ones I own tons of albums, including rare and foreign singles and studio cuts.

Most other musicians I like maybe 1 to half a dozen songs of theirs.
 

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Tom Waits, Tori Amos, and Cyndi Lauper are my top 3 - ones I own tons of albums, including rare and foreign singles and studio cuts.

Most other musicians I like maybe 1 to half a dozen songs of theirs.
I like literally everything by New Model Army, Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine and Therapy?

(Question mark not a typo, it's part of their name!)
 

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I like literally everything by New Model Army, Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine and Therapy?

(Question mark not a typo, it's part of their name!)


I don't know I've heard anything by any of those, I'll have to look them up.
 

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I think also when they do fence it in, they do it for different reasons (for example being respectful of the lineage of what they are working on might lead a musician to make careful genre distinctions---but it isn't meant to be a cage). With games I think sometimes working inside a concept like this is great. I like the idea for example of how the OSR is this thing where you bend a genre concept to fit the conceits of D&D (and what those conceits are can vary but an example might be: how do I make the mechanics for Half Orc relevant to this setting? How do I make dungeons function in a setting like this?). I find that to be a fun intellectual exercise, and it can lead to interesting design decisions, but it isn't the only way to approach this stuff. There should be room for people doing other types of experiments.
Yeah, having constraints on a particular project is useful. When we were working on Strange Tales of Songling, your conception of it having classes and being designed for individual investigative adventures, as opposed to Wandering Heroes of Ogre Gate's freeform character generation and wide-open sandbox play, helped keep the game focused.

The constraints only become oppressive when you apply the same ones to everything you do.
I think categories can be useful but a term like pop rock is really a problem because, let's face it, it is kind of, depending on who is using it, an insult. It is saying 'this is too light or commercial to be just rock'. I realize there can be positive connotations too. But when I think of the Stones and the Who, I think these are rock bands, and even progenitors of a lot of heavy metal (especially the who, but the stones could be really dark). Also the stones were pretty scratchy and rough, I feel like the term pop suggests a gloss that the stones didn't really have. I actually looked this one up when I read the post because pop rock seemed a weird label for them to me, but sure enough they are listed as pop rock bands in the Oxford Dictionary of Music (which makes me a little skeptical of the Oxford Dictionary of music more than anything else).

In terms of categories being useful or a problem: you can definitely get way into the weeds. I try to use them so long as they are useful to me. But if I am using a category that really only describes two bands or games, it is probably much too specific IMO. Also sometimes it feels like these kinds of labels just get invented to make entry into a style more exclusive (which i don't think is a good thing).
For me, whether music is pop or not isn't a genre label. It's just a matter of commercial success. If it is in the Top 40, it's pop, whether it's The Beatles or Frank Sinatra.
This is why I never paid attention to music labels - I never saw myself as belonging to any group or focusing on any genre. If I like a song, it goes in my playlist. My MP3 player has everything from ragtime to blues to heavy metal to rap to folk parody songs, and anything inbetween. It's the individual songs that matter to me
I'm the same way. One of my least favorite questions is "What kind of music do you like?" My tastes are all over the place, and they tend to cycle around as well.
 

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I think also when they do fence it in, they do it for different reasons (for example being respectful of the lineage of what they are working on might lead a musician to make careful genre distinctions---but it isn't meant to be a cage). With games I think sometimes working inside a concept like this is great. I like the idea for example of how the OSR is this thing where you bend a genre concept to fit the conceits of D&D (and what those conceits are can vary but an example might be: how do I make the mechanics for Half Orc relevant to this setting? How do I make dungeons function in a setting like this?). I find that to be a fun intellectual exercise, and it can lead to interesting design decisions, but it isn't the only way to approach this stuff. There should be room for people doing other types of experiments.

Yes, jazz musicians for instance are very much about respecting the lineage of the music and unlike a lot of rock musicians are happy to discuss their inspirations and influences.

I recall one musician being pleased when I detected the influence of Duke Ellington in his arrangements for instance. Most rock musicians on the other hand hate being compared to other bands but that isn't only due to the more studied unschooled and 'rebellious' pose of the music but also because so many bad rock critics overuse comparison's poorly.

At the same time there is definitely a hostility to most attempts by critics to nail down what is and isn't jazz. Archie Shepp is particularly sharp and insightful on this point.

And with good reason. Historically jazz critics haven't been very good at it: at various times prominent critics declared Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane and Eric Dolphy, Ornette Coleman and electric-era Miles Davis 'anti-jazz'!!
 
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I have a very broad musical range, so don't really care too much about genres anymore. Trying to make genre playlists is hard because there is metal and hard rock that go well together, and metal to metal that don't.

+2 on the Bon Scott over Brian Johnson, but only because those early AC/DC albums are so good. Back in Black, For those about to Rock and Thunderstruck are still great AC/DC albums.

On the Pop-rock front, the term Pop to me usually implies high production values (perhaps even over produced), a slick, glossy presentation, the Beatles maybe, but The Who, Rolling Stones, Kinks etc tend to have a grittier edge, almost grunge way before Nirvana was even a thing. It is unfortunate that "pop music" has become a derogatory term, but that mostly comes from the music industry pushing photogenic acts over talent.
 

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Yeah, I think the result is a vibrant and rich gaming culture. Are there more games involved than I'll ever play? Sure, but that's a feature, not a bug. Since even OSR-adjacent stuff (that's my bag) is easily compatible with a minimum of faffing, I get use out of anything that looks good. I own modules and settings from pretty much every major OSR publisher, and a ton of smaller ones, and I use 'em all, with very little thought given to which rulebook I'll be using. Mostly I can convert them on the fly with no issue, although that isn't how I'd plan to run a whole game. Some people mutter about the sometimes small variances between ruleset A and B, but even that doesn't bother me. I generally know exactly what kind of game experience I'm looking for, and I'm quite happy to bolt widgets onto (or off of) whatever rules I happen to be using in that game, whether it's Labyrinth Lord, original B/X, or my own bastard Black Hack variant.

I find the creativity and breadth of the current OSR scene to be an immense source of inspiration for my games.
Glad the OSR works for you:thumbsup:!

Iron Maiden is metal. I'll fight you if you say different :grin: .

Hmmm....:grin:

I actually think they're metal, though:shade:!
 

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I actually think they're metal, though:shade:!
I forget who the interview was with, but imsaw someone on Ultimate Guitar saying Judas Priest aren't metal.

Metal these days seems to mean dowtuned, complicated rhythms and rly srs bsns.
 

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I think this whole music anology thingy just needs to be shaken up with a bit of Christopher Lee being Charlemange :grin:

 
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BedrockBrendan

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I forget who the interview was with, but imsaw someone on Ultimate Guitar saying Judas Priest aren't metal.

Metal these days seems to mean dowtuned, complicated rhythms and rly srs bsns.

It was the guy from Mastadon I think. And it is one of the most ridiculous things I've heard. It was like the "D&D is not an RPG" essay a few years ago. Without Black Sabbath and Judas Priest, I don't think you have metal in its present form, and any definition of metal that excludes Priest and Sabbath to me seems pretty badly thought out.
 

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Yes, jazz musicians for instance are very much about respecting the lineage of the music and unlike a lot of rock musicians are happy to discuss their inspirations and influences.

I recall one musician being pleased when I detected the influence of Duke Ellington in his arrangements for instance. Most rock musicians on the other hand hate being compared to other bands but that isn't only due to the more studied unschooled and 'rebellious' pose of the music but also because so many bad rock critics overuse comparison's poorly.

At the same time there is definitely a hostility to most attempts by critics to nail down what is and isn't jazz. Archie Shepp is particularly sharp and insightful on this point.

And with good reason. Historically jazz critics haven't been very good at it: at various times prominent critics declared Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane and Eric Dolphy, Ornette Coleman and electric-era Miles Davis 'anti-jazz'!!

I don't know. There are definitely some rock people who behave that way, but Jazz players can also be insufferable as well. I think most rock musicians tend to respect the lineage and the roots. If you see interviews with guys from the Stones, Iommi, with Lemmy, with Metallica, Iron Maiden, etc, you see them talking about where the stuff comes from (Lemmy was constantly pointing to Little Richard for example as a major influence). Tony Iommi talks about stuff like the Shadows but also how he was inspired by Django Reinhardt. Usually my experience with guitarists is they like to go back to get to the roots of what it is they are playing. When I took guitar lessons, that was drilled into my head (if my teacher heard something in metal that sounded like Bach, he made me learn stuff like Air). You are going to have the prima donna's like Axl Rose, but even he acknowledges how much a band like ACDC influenced him. Just about everyone starts out trying to sound like other people.
 

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It was the guy from Mastadon I think. And it is one of the most ridiculous things I've heard. It was like the "D&D is not an RPG" essay a few years ago. Without Black Sabbath and Judas Priest, I don't think you have metal in its present form, and any definition of metal that excludes Priest and Sabbath to me seems pretty badly thought out.
Definitely this. Without Sabbath and Iommi's particular style the grinding riffs that are a big part of metal would have had to be invented elsewhere. Judas Priest owned being metal in a way that not many other bands of their vintage did.

According to the top line from a brief Google search, heavy metal as a musical term started to be used from 1971


I always thought that metal was associated with the industrial towns were the music was so often popular and from which many of the NWOBHM bands came, but it appears that's a coincidence or perhaps an inspiration.
 

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As far as I know the term “heavy metal” came from “Born To Be Wild” by Steppenwolf.
Indeed - 'Heavy Metal Thunder!' in 1968. However it (according to the article) didn't start getting usage as a term for a style of music until 1971. Heavy Rock was in usage as a term before that, so it may have been in part an evolution of that term.
 

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I thought it came from the magazine
William Burroughs had a character call the Heavy Metal Kid in something like 1963. I heard he was he source of the term. And allegedly, it was used in Rolling Stone to describe describe sound Led Zeppelin on their first visit to the US.

It's a vague thing, the history of the term heavy metal.
 
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