Wow, I ignore this thread for a few days, and it explodes! Anyways...
Doctor Turn wrote:2) just because a great song was shortened for airplay, doesn't mean the greatness of the song is nullified. It's just shortened. That says nothing about the aesthetics of the content and everything about the advertising needs of the broadcast vehicle. That's just simply that.
Disagreed. Structure and development are critical parts of musical expression. Butchering those aspects in order to make a song fit a mold is likely to completely ruin the song.
Furthermore, the reason for the butchering extends beyond the need to play commercials (Iron Man is a bit more than six minutes, not nine minutes, a DJ could fit the full version + one other short song into a block without having any problems). The business model behind rock demanded that bands be basically interchangeable musically so when one group of young pretty faces aged out, another was immediately there to take their place with more of the same so the suits could keep selling more plastic records. Every hit song had to be the same thing so they could sell it again with a different group of faces in four months; if you gave listeners something actually unique, there was a thread that they'd demand more of something that couldn't be easily assembled as though from a factory.
3) if you look at the top one hundred songs from any of the years of the sixties and seventies (I'm a gen X guy, so I have no vested interest in promoting boomers, whom a have ZERO love for.. they're basically responsible via their behavior in their latterly years for the condition of the world and the crud the millennials are stuck with and are unfairly blamed for), and compare that with the top 100 of any of the past five to ten years, and see no qualitative decline.. then I would like you to point me in the direction of the immortal classics that compare with the Temptations, the Doors, Aretha Franklin, led Zeppelin, Loving Spoonful, Sabbath, Mountain, Hendrix, Bowie, Cream, the Beatles, the Stones, Purple, The Four Tops, Rufus and Chaka Khan, Zappa, King Crimson, Yes, The Animals.. the old BeeGees, even over hit wonders like Brandy You're A Fine Girl, Drift Away by Dobie Gray... On and on and on. Point me there. The above represents about eight or nine years. Think 2010-2018. That short.
I wouldn't say that any of the radio songs by any of the above bands are "immortal classics" (admittedly, I've never
heard Zappa or King Crimson on the radio) more than "99 Problems", "Let's Get Retarded", or "Single Ladies" are -- they're hits that were produced in the glossiest studios that a label could afford. Make me choose between spending an hour in a room that plays "Sympathy for the Devil" non-stop or "Say Hi to the Bad Guy" non-stop, and I'm going to listen to some Jay-Z. Some of those bands did far more than that, but that wasn't the stuff that got played on the radio (I thought Led Zeppelin were the lamest, most boring thing ever and couldn't understand why my dad loved them so much until he played their debut album in the car on a road trip, and I got to hear something that wasn't "Immigrant Song", "Whole Lotta Love", "Black Dog", or "Stairway to Heaven").
If the studio tools of the 21st century existed then, Aretha Franklin would have done everything she could to sound exactly like Beyonce does today. We've got more tools for making everyone the same now, but everyone was trying as hard as they could to sound like everyone else even in the '60s.
As I write I start laughing. Even millennials themselves know that the radio music they're stuck with is a different animal. The entire business itself has withered, shrunken, and atrophied.. it's entirely natural that it's become more bottom line oriented, risk averse, and focused on lowest common denominator material.
Millennials are, on the whole, unfortunately dumb enough to believe the things Boomers tell them. Boomers endlessly repeat "OMG OUR CLASSIC ROCK WAS THE BEST MUSIC EVAR!!!!", so millennials go along with it. Rock music was always a business that consisted of selling a lifestyle to kids, and as such, it was always focused on lowest common denominator material.
spudmunkey wrote:Do you think the time of day that you might be listening to the radio has anything to do with it?
I used to listen to the radio much more in the evenings. This has always seemed, to me, when the DJ had more control over the songs that they were playing during their shifts. During the day, during commute and work hours, the radio has always seemed more formulaic. And unfortunately, this is when I typically listen to the radio most. However, back in the day, when I was younger, I would be listening to the radio more in the evenings, and this is when you were here the mandatory Metallica, the long-form interview shows, Etc.
I bring this up, because this is still the case with many stations. If they have 1 2 or 3 hour shows dedicated to a subgenre, those are going to be in the evening. They aren't going to be at 2 pm. This is the same reason, i imagine, that Headbangers ball was never on at 11 a.m. This is why 120 Minutes was never on a Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m.
Granted, I'm only 39, so I don't have the extra couple of decades that some of y'all have... But it's seemed consistent through the last 2 to two and a half decades or so.
The fact that you can say "Mandatory Metallica" and be sure that someone who grew up listening to a different hard rock station than you shows just how formatted even that was, and how much of a death grip Clear Channel had on the radio then.
So, a question -- what's the heaviest song you ever heard them play on "Mandatory Metallica"? Probably either "Seek and Destroy" or "Master of Puppets", right? And they played a lot more post-Burton sell-out crap than anything from the first three albums, right? How many times did they play an actual thrasher -- Hit the Lights, Whiplash, Phantom Lord, Metal Militia, Fight Fire With Fire, Trapped Under Ice, Battery, Disposable Heroes, or Damage Inc.? Never, right?
All of that stuff was just as controlled by "the format" as the endless waves of band-of-the-nanosecond lame alt-rock every afternoon was, hence why they shied away from playing anything that would make a timid old lady change the station and stuck to playing "Enter Sandman" forever.