history of Pop music

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history of Pop music

Postby hyksos on July 2nd, 2018, 10:07 pm 

I very much enjoyed watching "I love the 80s" which was some silly documentary about the 1980s culture on VH1 . People liked it so much that they made another "I love the 90s".

I was thinking of a plausible FM radio station that plays music, but the station had to play music that was released in an interval of history spanning only 20 years.

After much thought, I concluded the following :

RADIO MOD P. Would only be allowed to play music from 1998 to 2018.

RADIO EIGHT-EIGHT Would only play music from 1975 to 1995.

It's pretty to clear to me. Radio Mod P would go under as a station. In contrast, Radio 8-8 would be wildly successful, and frankly I would enjoy listening to it.

Not only could you play any and all hairband songs ever written, you would get (essentially) all of Micheal Jackson's career output Radio 8-8 could play the entire corpus of Seattle Grunge music, from Nirvana to Pearl Jam. 1975 was chosen , as it was the release year of Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen.

Today it is 2018, and hindsight is clear. There may be something wrong with popular music today (in the USA). It's hard to put one's finger on it, but we might illustrate the "problem" with this exercise.
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Re: history of Pop music

Postby hyksos on July 2nd, 2018, 10:39 pm 

I introduced the above thought experiment to a friend in my real life. He suggested an even more historically fascinating idea. Instead of 20 year interval, consider a 40 year interval.

Our conversation was fascinating (and turbulent) but we eventually settled our disagreements and decided on an actual interval of the very best in popular music.

1956 to 1996

Highlights

1.) 1956 and '57 were watershed years.

Heartbreak Hotel. (Elvis) January 27, 1956
Blueberry Hill and Blue Monday (performed by Fats Domino) both 1956
Jailhouse Rock (Elvis) September 24, 1957
Great Balls of Fire (Jerry Lee Lewis) November 11, 1957

Even if you don't like the music personally, the artistic renaissance in those 40 years cannot be denied. If you compare say, Blueberry Hill, to "Master of Puppets" by Metallica, the difference is so vast it is like you are stepping off a spaceship onto another planet. That song was recorded in December of 1985. Roll your eyes at Metallica acid washed jeans and general redneckiness if you must. But "Master of Puppets" was preserved in the National Recording Registry by the United States Library of Congress.

2.) Role of the 80s.

The 1980s gave us two crucial elements. One was the vast commercialization of pop music. The songs were extravagantly produced, giving rise to a "thick sound" where individual instruments cannot be made out. By the end of the 1980s, the basic "Musical Food Groups" were all established by the industry. (if you will) You had rock, Light Rock, Heavy Metal, Rap (not yet called hip-hop), R&B, Easy Listening, "Oldies", Motown, Funk, Country, Pop, Blues, and Folk.

3.) Seattle.

In 1991, Red Hot Chili Peppers introduced "Under the Bridge" , and Seattle bands gained popularity. The traditional music industry , with its neat food groups, was blindsided. Record stores were confused. They wanted to call it "rock", but it wasn't. They might be able to play it off as "metal" but it wasn't. And it certainly wasn't "pop music" (nobody was dancing on stage). They eventually grouped the albums in a little section of the back of the store and labelled it "Alternative".

Alanis Morisette was a Canadian singer. Her music had themes of anger and revenge in it. Not only was the music industry not ready, the listening audience in the USA wasn't ready. While her songs were recorded in the early 90s, they did not get radio airplay until 2 or 3 years later.

So Elvis and the "alternative grunge" all fit within a tiny gap of 40 years. Historians of the far future will be talking about 1956-1996.
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Re: history of Pop music

Postby hyksos on July 2nd, 2018, 11:19 pm 

The Post-1996 World. If we don't cave in and add an extra decade, taking us up to 2005, what are we missing?

1.) Hip-hop goes international
Hip-hop, formerly called "rap" in its early years, is a cultural export by the United States. Hip-hop is now on every continent. Note for example, the most-watched video on youtube at 3.1 billion views. It is Gangnam Style. Listen, and notice that Psy is rapping. It is hip-hop.. Korean ... hip hop

2.) R&B Renaissance
Around 1999-2003 there was a mini renaissance in R&B music, mostly centered around black female groups, with a notable mention : Destiny's Child. Our 40 year interval unfortunately misses this.

3.) Electronic Music
Again from 1998 to about 2005, electronic music, and especially Electronic Dance Music exploded in what was a genuine renaissance. This was not an american phenomenon per se, and Europe had the biggest activity, particularly UK, Germany and Italy.

4.) Indie
In a genuine rejection of consumerism and corporate culture, new bands began independent labels, and this happened so often that they were called "indie bands".
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Re: history of Pop music

Postby BadgerJelly on July 2nd, 2018, 11:26 pm 

I don’t think it’s getting worse at all. Probably a case of some kind of nostalgia effect that appeals to those in work who actually listen to thr radio.

I remember in 90’s in trh UK teh arrival of acidhouse and dance music. The Prodigy stormed the charts with every new single which was quite funny because it was music made for dancing not to be listened too. At the time I was still young and I thought it was noise. Now I can happily sit down and listen to their album

If anything the songs are marketed has had an impact. How big an impact the historians of the future can judge.

Blood Sugar Sex Magic is one of my all time favourite albums btw.
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Re: history of Pop music

Postby SciameriKen on July 3rd, 2018, 12:33 pm 

Sadly your radio station of 1956-1996 is not a thought experiment, its called a Classic Rock station and it makes me feel very old! (though technically, the 90's aren't on that station just yet, but the 80's are).

I've recently made an effort to listen to and enjoy modern pop music. It is like fast food for the brain! Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Imagine Dragons, 21 Pilots, Ariana Grande, Hasley, Portugal the man, etc, etc etc -- all this stuff is ridiculously addictive. To no surprise either as all if it is optimized for consumption - the beat styles, the lyrics, Woops.. Speaking of lyrics -- what do the back street Boys, Britney Spears, Céline Dion, Kelly Clarkson, The Veronicas, Pink, Usher, Avril Lavigne, Jessie J, Katy Perry, Christina Aguilera, Taylor Swift, and Ariana Grande all have in common? Max Martin wrote their hit songs (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Martin).

So yeah its perfected music for consumer, but do I hate it? As much as I hate a big juicy delicious Whopper from Burger King. Should I hate music that I like just because it was scientifically designed for me to have no choice in liking it?

There are a few gems in that landscape though - I like Lorde, writes her own music hitting themes of economic social classes and commercialism. In any case - I found I'm able to enjoy most any music if I put effort into learning about it -- except country.
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Re: history of Pop music

Postby BadgerJelly on July 3rd, 2018, 1:26 pm 

Pharrell (2014): https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbZSe6N_BXs

Sia (2015): https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wm-joJOeZpE

Rag ‘n’ Bone Man (2016): https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=L3wKzyIN1yk

Ed Sheeran and Stormzy (2017): https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mKGsRjbqhHo

Childish Gambino (2018): https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VYOjWnS4cMY

But, I see the problem too ... Ariana Grande(2018), phenomenal voice and too many mediocre songs: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ffxKSjUwKdU

Makes me look back at Madonna with amazement. Her success was based on an ability to adapt to the changes in pop-music because it certainly wasn’t,her voice that carried her along!
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Re: history of Pop music

Postby hyksos on July 4th, 2018, 6:33 am 

BadgerJelly » July 3rd, 2018, 7:26 am wrote:I don’t think it’s getting worse at all. Probably a case of some kind of nostalgia effect that appeals to those in work who actually listen to thr radio.

Nobody in this thread has yet blamed the high school effect on me. This is the theory that goes, whatever music was playing when you were in high school automatically gets upgraded in one's opinion to the greatest music 'ever made'.

Both of my parents suffer from this. I won't deny it myself. If anyone was wonder what may age is, Pearl Jam released their 3rd album in my senior year. So yes, Seattle grunge was the background music of my high school years. Honestly I was slightly too young to experience Seattle directly. Music percolates to different geographic regions at different speeds. I kind of rediscovered it in 1996 or so.

I remember in 90’s in trh UK teh arrival of acidhouse and dance music. The Prodigy stormed the charts with every new single which was quite funny because it was music made for dancing not to be listened too. At the time I was still young and I thought it was noise. Now I can happily sit down and listen to their album

If anything the songs are marketed has had an impact. How big an impact the historians of the future can judge.

I was shocked to find out that my favorite Ambient bands (the Orb) made all their music in 1989. I discovered Ambient in the 2000s and mistakenly believed it was contemporary.

Blood Sugar Sex Magic is one of my all time favourite albums btw.

Aha!

Under the Bridge. The song has not aged an iota in 27 years.
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Re: history of Pop music

Postby hyksos on July 4th, 2018, 7:00 am 

SciameriKen » July 3rd, 2018, 8:33 pm wrote:its called a Classic Rock station and it makes me feel very old!

Yep. "Miss You" by Blink-182. It is 15 years old.

(Another one that hurts me.) "Crime Wave" by Crystal Castles is 10 years old.


I've recently made an effort to listen to and enjoy modern pop music. It is like fast food for the brain! Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Imagine Dragons, 21 Pilots, Ariana Grande, Hasley, Portugal the man, etc, etc etc -- all this stuff is ridiculously addictive. To no surprise either as all if it is optimized for consumption - the beat styles, the lyrics, Woops.. Speaking of lyrics -- what do the back street Boys, Britney Spears, Céline Dion, Kelly Clarkson, The Veronicas, Pink, Usher, Avril Lavigne, Jessie J, Katy Perry, Christina Aguilera, Taylor Swift, and Ariana Grande all have in common? Max Martin wrote their hit songs (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Martin).

Love me some K$sha and Rihanna.

This performance of "Diamonds in the Sky" on Saturday Night Live with the intentionally horrible computer graphics.
rihanna_diamonds.png

This is important in history. (If Crystal Castles was a musical form of hipsterism). This SNL performance was exhibiting a style called vapor wave.

So yeah its perfected music for consumer, but do I hate it? As much as I hate a big juicy delicious Whopper from Burger King. Should I hate music that I like just because it was scientifically designed for me to have no choice in liking it?

"Send My Love" by Adele. Nearly broke the amps blasting it in my car.

There are a few gems in that landscape though - I like Lorde, writes her own music hitting themes of economic social classes and commercialism. In any case - I found I'm able to enjoy most any music if I put effort into learning about it -- except country.

Grimes writes her own music. Not my cup-of-tea though.
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