The music industry is NO different today than it was 10... 20... 40 years ago. - U2 Feedback

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Old 08-30-2003, 11:19 AM   #1
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The music industry is NO different today than it was 10... 20... 40 years ago.

I always see a lot of bitching about how the music industry today sucks, and how everyone years for the olden days when music had meaning... when people wrote their own songs... when pop acts didn't dominate the music scene so let's take a look back at some of the singles that had time at #1 back in 1993...

1. I Will Always Love You, Whitney Houston
2. Whoomp! (There It Is), Tag Team
3. Can't Help Falling In Love, UB40
4. That's The Way Love Goes, Janet Jackson
5. Freak, Silk
6. Weak, SWV
7. If I Ever Fall In Love, Shai
8. Dreamlover, Mariah Carey
9. Rump Shaker, Wreckx-N-Effect
10. Informer, Snow

and what about 20 years ago... 1983...

1 EVERY BREATH YOU TAKE, The Police
2 BILLIE JEAN, Michael Jackson
3 FLASHDANCE...WHAT A FEELING, Irene Cara
4 DOWN UNDER, Men At Work
5 BEAT IT, Michael Jackson
6 TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE HEART, Bonnie Tyler
7 MANEATER, Daryl Hall and John Oates
8 BABY COME TO ME, Patti Austin and James Ingram
9 MANIAC, Michael Sembello
10 SWEET DREAMS (Are Made Of This), The Eurythmics

and what about 40 years ago... 1963...

1. Sugar Shack, Jimmy Gilmer & The Fireballs
2. Surfin' U.S.A., Beach Boys
3. The End Of The World, Skeeter Davis
4. Rhythm Of The Rain, Cascades
5. He's So Fine, Chiffons
6. Blue Velvet, Bobby Vinton
7. Hey Paula, Paul & Paula
8. Fingertips II, Little Stevie Wonder
9. Washington Square, Village Stompers
10. It's All Right, Impressions


now of all these songs... which artists are considered to all time great artists?

stevie wonder, the beach boys, and the police.
maybe mariah carey, but she hasn't done anything since having a nervous breakdown... maybe whitney houston, but she hasn't done anything since bobby brown turned her into a junkie... maybe michael jackson, but he, well... he touches little boys now.

so don't worry so much about what MTV or pop radio plays... the legit artists will last, the bubblegum will be replaced by newer and younger bubblegum. it's the way it is now, it's the way it has always been.
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Old 08-30-2003, 11:31 AM   #2
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don't knock total eclipse of the heart.

nicki french made it a classic.

no but seriously i'm inclined to agree with you. i subscribe to the literature theory of intertextuality that all literature wears it's influences on it's sleeve. in the same way,

led zeppelin --> poison --> creed.
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Old 08-30-2003, 11:33 AM   #3
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I think it's a TAD naive to say it is NO different than 40 years ago
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Old 08-30-2003, 12:46 PM   #4
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I totally agree Headache. Every generation has had to put up will lame pop songs and crappy bands in the top 40.
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Old 08-30-2003, 12:51 PM   #5
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Its true in a way, but the way record companies are are not the way they were 10, 20 years ago. You didn't have so much manufactured acts back then

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Old 08-30-2003, 01:01 PM   #6
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Many of the artists did not last, but most of those songs have aged remarkably well, and are still highly played on radio - those songs were considered great back then, and they are great still. I don't think most of the songs MTV plays now can hold a candle to the songs you have listed.

So no, the music industry as an industry probably hasn't changed all that much - but the amount of diversified songs and artists receiving recognition has probably lessened somewhat. I say somewhat because I am no expert.
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Old 08-30-2003, 03:20 PM   #7
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You raise an interesting point, Headache, and to some extent I agree with you. The Top 40 charts have always been full of disposable fluff. But it still seems to me that in the past it was a lot more common to see truly innovative artists get huge amounts of radio airplay, or at least decent amounts of radio airplay, even if they did have to share it with the current teeny-bopper flavor of the month.
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Old 08-30-2003, 03:31 PM   #8
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doesn't mean disposable fluff is bad though
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Old 08-30-2003, 03:41 PM   #9
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Define 'disposable fluff'.
A great throwaway pop song that you can't get out of your head is not disposable fluff in my eyes. But it is a great throwaway pop song.

There always were songs that were just thrown together by record companies to cash in on a trend. Over the years, some of those songs endured because of their quality, while many others dissolved into oblivion. In that way the music industry hasn't changed. It only seems that nowadays they throw together more songs that sound like something else and are just poorly written from a technical perspective (in contrast to bad songs that are technically competent).

C ya!

Marty
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Old 08-30-2003, 04:33 PM   #10
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The music industry has changed and by a lot. The biggest thing is that you will rarely hear a one hit wonder on the radio these days, instead you hear the likes of Britney Eminem but in the 'olden days' like on your list from 1993 record companies were throwing lots more to the radio and seeing what sticks and satisfied even with sales of singles. The singles market is now nothing compared to what it used to be especially with cd burning.

The record companies are only focusing on specific types of music like nu-metal, pop-punk, hip-hop/rap r&b. It's more business oriented now than ever before simply because the record company stocks (aol/time warner) are not doing so good therefore they are more concerned with the bottom dollar rather than developing new artists at the artists own pace. Basically their looking at what is selling and just producing more of it. What tends to happen is some band comes out of nowhere - Nirvana, The Beatles and the public loves it then the record companies start mass producing clones but IT SHOULD BE THE OTHER WAY AROUND. You would think these dumbass record companies could at least figure out new types of music the public would like a lot. after all they are supposed to be professionals at this business.


The main point I disagree with you and trust me i've heard this from others as well is the statement that music has sucked every decade before just as much. Too me this statement is wrong, if this statement is true then tell me where is todays Rolling Stones, The Who, Metallica (when they first came out) U2, Led Zepplin, The Police, I can go on and on. I'm sorry but todays big sellers like Linkin Park, Sum 41 and others not anywhere close to the same class as the aforementioned bands. You are right that every decade has crappy music but the previous had way better talent and songs then the last 10 years.

IMO we are in the worst slump in rock and roll from when the Beatles hit the scene. It will take a band with a whole new sound with great songs that most people like to start a revolution. When Nirvana hit the scene the hair bands of the 80's (poison, warrant etc) were all but obliverated and Grunge became the new big thing. Nu-Metal is no way comparable to the affect that grunge had on both people and the record industry, it's just basically an interlude before the next big thing happens. This pop-punk is just a manufactured joke too as is the garage rock crap (except White Stripes)

It's so much about money now that it's not even funny. I see it whenever I see these pop-punk bands in interviews they act like their all punk and all that but it's obvious they are nothing more than corporate whores to the worst degree because they take somethng like punk which meant a lot to people and just use it to make tons 'o money. Bands like Good Charlotte, Blink 182 are just money makers wearing whatever sells. Attitudes like that are a virus and they spread to all the kids who pick up a guitar and think they can be the next corporate shill. This is a fact because I goto musician boards on the net and see teenagers saying stuff like "what's wrong with selling out if you can make a bucketload of money ?" I swear this is the type of shit I am reading from teenager musicians, this has mostly coincided with all the pop-punk bands selling millions.

It will take a miracle to get new bands that will have songs and attitude as good as U2, RS, The Who and others. It's just too much about money that even the bands are all lining up to sell out.
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Old 08-30-2003, 05:34 PM   #11
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the single market is targetting a younger audience every year it seems
that's not that bad though since 'the more mature audience' tends to buy albums instead of singles
but I'm not going to (well, perhaps I would but most people suddenly wouldn't) spend the insane amount of money a cd costs nowadays on an album by an artist who gets no airplay and therefore I've never even heard and only know because I've read something about him/her in a music magazine

radio and music tv is partly to blame IMO
the rest of the blame goes to the record companies who don't seem to understand the basic economics that someone has to invest if they want to make a profit
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Old 08-30-2003, 06:58 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by yertle-the-turtle
don't knock total eclipse of the heart.

It is THE BEST song.

EVER.

Anyway, I'm beginning to appreciate (some) pop music.
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Old 08-30-2003, 10:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by EvolutionMonkey
[B]The main point I disagree with you and trust me i've heard this from others as well is the statement that music has sucked every decade before just as much. Too me this statement is wrong, if this statement is true then tell me where is todays Rolling Stones, The Who, Metallica (when they first came out) U2, Led Zepplin, The Police, I can go on and on. I'm sorry but todays big sellers like Linkin Park, Sum 41 and others not anywhere close to the same class as the aforementioned bands.[B]
I think it's way too easy to bag today's music by picking no-brainer targets like Linkin Park, as if each decade should only be judged by the quality of music of the big sellers. Just because many bands and artists don't get to the popularity level of Led Zeppelin, doesn't mean that they do not count.

And I don't see why, when people discuss music, it has got to be limited to rock music and its various offshoots. The line of thought often seems to be, if nothing interesting is happening in rock, then obviously nothing interesting can possibly be happening elsewhere.
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Old 08-31-2003, 12:43 AM   #14
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If you ask my mum, the 60's was the best time, by the time the 70's rolled round, music was in its convulsive dying throes.
But that's just her opinion, after all she does think Genesis, U2 and of all people Billy Thorpe are legendary.
My mum is such a dag, its almost cool lol.

Interesting point, EvolutionMonkey. We look around and say where are the new U2? Where is the next Rolling Stones? For the most part, I agree with sentiments on this message board regarding a lot of acts around these days. I predict though, that bands like Creed will be our children's Rolling Stones. *We* here at Interference don't like them, but we represent a finite percentage of the music buying public. For every one of us, there are possibly 10 people out there who think they are the second coming. Some probably literally. Its very hard to see in the future, and can be hard to put our own valid dislikes aside. But whats to say John Mayer won't be hailed by a future generation as a Bob Dylan type in terms of balladish songwriting? My most disliked song of possibly all time "Where is the love?" Might be the next "Imagine". It isn't now, and I don't think those who we deem as legends now were thought of as such while they were current (outside fan bases anyway). Back in the day, fans of those who went on to become legends probably had legions of fans and dissenters discussing the very thing we all are doing right now. Opinion is a big factor as always. We know that U2 known for years to come, they've already established a sizeable history and the quality for the last 20 yeas speaks for itself. But not everyone likes U2.
Every decade brings about its new wave of potential legends. Its only when we look back we can see this clearer.

I think I've gone off topic lol....
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Old 08-31-2003, 09:43 AM   #15
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the monkees... the partridge family... leif garrison... annette funicello... ELVIS... need we not remember that they threw elvis into any crappy movie they could find just to make an extra buck...

what about the payola scandal? DJ's being paid off by record companies to only play certain songs. gee... sounds like radio today... only it's not... it happened in 1960.
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