Monday, July 14, 2008

Let's face it, all the good songs have already been written

Musings on the Music Industry between Dustin and Andy

From Dustin:
I think I just figured out what makes classic rock so great and today's music so bad. It's all opposite of how it used to be. The music industry takes people and tries to create something. When they take a song they try and create some type of emotional hook so the fans like it.

Years ago in the age of classic rock you had bands whose works evolved from their own feelings, experiences, and emotions. Then, they went to the companies themselves to try and make it big.

My Reply:
Your theory would explain the rise of independent rock.

The other thing is that the music industry isn't just a music industry anymore. Look at the pictures of bands from the 70's like Humble Pie and Grand Funk... or even how the Beatles looked on the Hey Jude album.

They had scraggly beards, wrinkled clothing and weren't much to look at. However it was the music that mattered so nobody cared and they created classic rock.

Then came the 80's. You have MTV as the new major outlet for music and all of a sudden it was visual. Now it mattered how you looked, so much so that we had Twisted Sister wearing Makeup.

I recently heard someone on the radio comment that some early 80's one-hit-wonder would have been HUGE if he had debuted 5 years earlier, but when looks started to matter his career was cut short.

Not to say that there weren't some great bands after that. But for every Bon Jovi, Def Leopard, and Van Halen there were 4 ugly bands that was at least as talented.

But when the corporations who analyzed that the great 80's rock bands were really just an extension of classic rock bands who showered regularly we had record companies putting studio musicians together and calling them a band. This gave us crap like Winger.

This was the start of what you described as unemotional corporate rock. The grunge movement was a brief backlash to that, but while rock had become pseudo-emotional grunge was itself unemotional.

Now more than ever we have the music corporate entities telling us what we want instead of letting us decide what we want. From radio to record sales to any commercial musical venture the music industry is forcing us to listen what THEY want us to listen to.

Guess what, the music industry is hurting. They blame MP3 file sharing over the internet, but why do I pay $9 a month for Sirius? It's because I get 4 classic rock stations that play different brands of classic rock, and every other segment of music I can think of. the majority of Americans own iPods, not because we're gadget obsessed consumers, but because it gives us a chance to create a play list of only the music we WANT, not what we're told to want.

The music industry is hurting because they're trying to dictate the rules of the free market instead of abiding by the will of the free market.

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