The Pop chart.


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Like all people of my generation the Sixties were are great time to be in ones teens.

Avidly we would wait for the next Beatles or Stones or the Who or the Kinks single to be released.

Nothing else musically mattered.

Roll on a few years and tastes developed and interest spread, the seventies came and went and the late eighties were mostly ignored.

Then in the early nineties there I was in an open plan office with a couple of year out students in the next bunch of desks avidly discussing what was in the pop charts at that time.

I smirked and they picked up on it and they asked if I was into music to which I said yes, all kinds.

What do you think of zzzzzz they asked,..... who ...... I replied ....... zzzzzz ..... they responded.

Never heard of them, I said.

But they are top of the charts the pair said in unison.

That may well be I responded but what about Led Zep, Eric Clapton, Bowie, Rick Wakeman, Ravelle, Placido Domingo, Steeleye Span do you guys like their music.

Who, they responded.

Right guys education time, I can tell you for certain that as you grow older your musical tastes will change, it will mushroom and become far more diverse.

You will reach an age where you will know who is top of the charts but prefer the music of 10 years ago.

Then a few years later you will not know who is number one.

A few more years later you will not care who is number one.

That was it we then followed with a bit of two way banter.

Then five years ago I met one of those students in the course of our work and I asked him if he knew who was top of the charts, he did not, so I said welcome to the third age of music.
 
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happyrat1

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It's only natural that people develop attachments to the music of their formative years.

At that time our senses are at their sharpest and our brains are forming the neural pathways of memories that we will keep the rest of our lives.

So aside from stating the obvious, I would like to point out that some of us try and keep current with newer bands and artists and don't settle into a comfortable downward spiral into our dotage as we relive our childhood into our golden years.

Like anything else, the mind is a muscle that works best when it's exercised to its fullest potential and if you develop the lazy habits of typical old age then of course you will remain oblivious to music as it develops around you.

Sure the 50's and 60's were revolutionary. The 70's were a continuation of the drug culture and the war protests and then the disco era of the 80's came along, but other genres developed at the same time. Punk ,Ska, Reggae, Oi, New Wave and Alternative Rock all concurrently developed in the 80's and 90's to give the disco crowd a counterculture run for it's money.

In the 90's it was the dance music of Britney and Madonna that filled the gap while the other genres I mentioned matured into their own.

Meantime Rap and House and Hip Hop were another fork in the road and their afficianados are still going strong today. Along with Electronica, House, Techno and a new but delightful phenomenon called Electro Swing.

Nobody turned off a switch and ended musical creativity in 1979 forever.

Musical evolution is alive and well in the 21st century and some of us are still enjoying every minute of it. :D :D :D

Gary ;)
 
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True.

There again there was nothing crative about the Sex Pistols they were simply a Malcolmn Maclaren money making outfit, the only times their music is played is on an Eighties chart show, same again with so many others who were just created to make money for the promotors.

Just looked at our top 100 and I am pleased to say there are six names there I know.

Manufactured pop groups/boy/girl bands does music no favours and we have had hundreds in the last 25 years, music is not quality music if it cannot be recreated spontaeniously, sadly all to many of the artists of the last 30 years fail that test.

Of our 70/80s bands, Simple Minds, Deacon Blue, UB40, Pet Shop Boys are still producing great music, we see Simple Minds regularly. Saw Tina Turner a few years ago, she was supported by Belinda Carlisle, thank goodness the bar was open, that is where everyone headed.
 

happyrat1

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It really depends what charts you are talking about. Frankly I never really paid much attention to the Billboard Top 100 even back in the 60's and 70's.

Talking about manufactured bands there were groups like the Cowsills and the Monkees who weren't even allowed to play their own instruments. Instead they hired the top session men in the industry to play and write the songs while the idiot teenyboppers screamed for Mike Nesmith and Davy Jones. In the long run however, Nesmith managed to prove himself in the video world with classics like Elephant Parts.

To me I was always more into the underground and progressive scene in the 70's than top forty trash. The stones had a few songs I liked and the Beatles even fewer.

I was too busy following bands like Gentle Giant and Soft Machine and ELP and early Floyd even then listened to underground FM and AM radio when I could pull it in.

As for punk rock? You really are missing the point. It was a parody of itself and the entire industry and some amazing raw talent emerged from those seedy dive bars in the late 70's and early 80's.

For me, music has always been about the emotions it stirs in my heart and brain and challenging the status quo.

Top 40 has ALWAYS been about manufactured, pre-packaged bands making money for record companies and not much else.

For me to enjoy a song I have to look deeper than the surface.

That is not to say that there weren't some brilliant performances along the way on all sides.

But to me it always seemed the Beatles were more interested in setting a trend than expanding the horizons of music.

For me there have been gems every step of the way and today I have a thousand CD collection proving there has been musical genius shining thru in EVERY decade and century. NOT just the 60's and 70's.

Gary ;)
 
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Very interesting read :) I agree that there were swift changes in music in the 50s/60s/70s, but I imagine that if you were to speak to a member of the older generation back then about who was in the top 10 I bet they wouldn't have known, despite how great that music may have been.

I read a while back that as we get older our brains are more likely to forget negative memories than positive ones, which may also help explain the continued fondness for things we liked when we were young. It may also explain how every generation views the days of their youth as 'the good old days' (and presumably why they also tend to view the current 'young' generation less favourably!).
 
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Totally right Gary.

Manufactured Pop has existed all my life, with most being OK background music but not for serious listening?

Roll on from the Sixties to the late Eighties up to now and there are very few bands and artists who have stood the test of time. Most shine bright for a very short while and fade in to the state of also ran.

Of these so many are created just to make their creators money and it has become about the Performance and not the song, a stage full of dancers and singers prancing around may be entertaining but it can struggle to be classed as good music.

With the modern studio equipment anyone can be made to sound reasonable, recreating it live is another matter.

Take a singer like Adelle, her songs are all very well created, arranged and do tell a story, listen to her album 21 and after a few tracks thats it I fail to be able to listen to the whole album.

It may well be how we have our music presented to us in the UK, local radio where I live sucks, its wall to wall adverts, national radio is split into a number of stations where our ethnic minorities who have their own stations, others cater for new bands/artists, another does nit know what to do, then we have Radio 2 churning out the manufactured Pop, with most of it being of the same formula. So no incentive at all to listen to anything made by anyone under the age of fifty. We have the ex Squeeze keyboard player Jools Holland with his own live show where a number of bands and artists perform a couple of songs each, its a case of recording it and skipping mist as the vast and I mean vast are dire, so few can actually sing well live, yes they can play well but thats all.

Just looking through my recent CD purchases, Paul Carrack, Robert Plant, Peter Knight, Fairport Convention, PP Arnold, Paul Jones, Joe Cocker, Rick Wakeman, John Mayal, Sultans of String. So only one CD where the band or artist are under sixty. Yep that will do me just fine.

Sorry Becky this is not getting at you but the PMJ music videos that you post are very good and they have led me to look further into them, and having looked at their website many videos on Youtube they seem to be a loose cooperative with various lead singers, many of whom are very poor vocally. So just when I was thinking about going to see them, I now will pass as I am not prepared to take a chance on spending hard earned cash on an unknown vocalist.
 
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Very interesting discussion here and I'm glad that it is going on.

As far as any new good music being made, well I guess I'm in the minority in that I think there is a lot of great new music being made. Granted, it's not being played on the radio.Especially here in Toronto but there are 2 reasons why I think that. The first being that Toronto is a Hip Hop capital and I don't listen tot that. The second is that the rock radio stations are afraid of presenting challenging music to listeners these days.

I don't think it's the listeners fault either. It's the station's fault. Here we have a deplorable station called Q107. They even have the audacity to have a little blurb where they say the play the World's Best Music. I really beg to differ.

As far as new quality bands go, you these days have to search on Youtube and be prepared to dig deep. Myself, I like prog and symphonic metal a lot. So I search for these types of bands. And yes, I do find them.

Gotta go now. Dinner is calling!
I'll be back soon!
Chip your chins up!
 
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happyrat1

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Personally I agree about the crap on the airwaves.

In the van I listen to 91.1 Jazz FM which is nice and relaxing for the drive.

At home I mostly listen either to MP3s or Netradio Stations.

http://www.shoutcast.com/

https://tunein.com/

I find all sorts of new commercial free music in every genre imaginable.

I not only listen to these thru my computer but my ROKU Television box also carries these stations and even my new Onkyo Lving Room Receiver is network enabled and has Tunein built in! :)

I mostly listen to Jazz, Blues, Prog Rock and 80's New Wave but they carry everything, even talk radio. A lot of the stations even transmit the artist and song name along with every tune.

Beats the hell out of paying for a Sirius Satellite Subscription. :)

Gary ;)
 

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