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Sun Dec 5, 2021, 08:38 AM

Why the mid 1960s was the Golden Age of Pop Music.

From this week's Spectator magazine, telling us what we already know:

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/why-the-mid-1960s-was-the-golden-age-of-pop-music

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Reply Why the mid 1960s was the Golden Age of Pop Music. (Original post)
Tomconroy Dec 2021 OP
Crazyleftie Dec 2021 #1
PJMcK Dec 2021 #2
Casady1 Dec 2021 #3
Bernardo de La Paz Dec 2021 #4
highplainsdem Dec 2021 #5

Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Sun Dec 5, 2021, 08:54 AM

1. A singularly British point of view

disregarding what happened in the US at that time.

The demise of creative popular music can also be attributed to the elimination of independent radio stations and the consolidation of the radio stations into monopolies and predetermined corporate playlists.

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Response to Crazyleftie (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 5, 2021, 09:13 AM

2. Don't forget the labels

During the late 1970s and into the 1980s, the record companies were bought by conglomerates that imposed strict corporate structures onto businesses that had been relatively free-wheeling. The labels had been able to use profits from their hit artists to develop stables of new talent to give opportunities for lots of different artists. That became a conflict once quarterly profits became the dominant goal over artistic diversity.

It all pretty much ended once superstar artists were given monstrous advances and/or signing bonuses. When Janet Jackson received $100 million, her label had nothing left to develop up-and-coming performers and writers. This structural change affected companies in different ways but fundamentally, it meant that the labels had to justify every dollar they spent. This is a big reason why niche areas have become neglected, (i.e., theatrical cast recordings, jazz, classical, etc.).

Here's another problem. Singers were convinced by their lawyers and agents that if they wrote their own songs, they could increase their profitability with larger royalties. Songwriting is a serious and difficult craft and art and not everyone can do it well. Look at the popular songs of the last 40 years and pick 10 that have become standards. It's difficult to do! Very few songs today get cover recordings and generally, the song is concretely cemented to the singer.

Thankfully, technology has come to the aid of new talent. With the advent of home and computer recording technologies as well as outlets on the internet, artists can build their careers without the major labels shepherding them into their cookie-cutter regimes. These artists are thus able to reach out to audiences and (hopefully) make some money to continue their ambitions.

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Response to PJMcK (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 5, 2021, 09:36 AM

3. My friend is a studio musician

and well respected. He played on Springsteen's albums and toured with many bands. He was back up to Graham Parker. His good friend is the drummer on "Blood on the Tracks". I played my son's songs to him and he thinks he is immensely talented( writing songs) but he also let him know how incredibly difficult it is to make money in music anymore. My other friend was the back up band for Lou Reed right before "Transformer" and is known as the most famous Lou Reed bootleg. He became a nurse.

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Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Sun Dec 5, 2021, 10:49 AM

4. Yes, and the late 60s and early 70s was golden age for more serious rock music. . . nt

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Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Sun Dec 5, 2021, 12:24 PM

5. How simplistic and misguided. I hope the book isn't as bad as that Spectator article,

which calls the year 1966 "probably the era's zenith" when in fact the golden age of classic rock was just getting started, with countless musicians in different countries sharing influences and expanding the boundaries of popular music. Focusing on just a few individuals' interactions, as if they were equivalent to an 18th century literary salon and almost the only artists worth paying attention to, is a dissertation-style academic conceit.

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