OK, a coupla things: 1st off, Seano over at CIRCLE OF FITS (http://seanoandjefe.blogspot.com/) recently posted something he picked-up from Buzzfeed called "12 Disappointing Facts About Rock and Roll" -- basically a list pointing out that new, young pop stars like Katy Perry & Ke$ha & the Black-Eyed Peas (or older middle-of-the-road stars you never cared about like Celine Dion & Barbra Streisand) have been more successful & sold more albums than the Beatles, Hendrix, Nirvana, Springsteen, Queen, Michael Jackson, etc. (I don't 4 a minute believe that the cast of GLEE has charted more songs than the Beatles, but....)
The drift of all this seemed to be that maybe good 'ol' rock&roll as we know it has reached its sell-by date -- 2 B replaced by ... whatever The Kids R listening 2 these days.
Of course, The Kids R gonna have Their Own Music, just like you & I did. Just because my kids sang along with "Behind Blue Eyes" doesn't mean your kids R going 2.
1 commenter hit it on the head 4 me. He said older generations always hate the younger generation's music. & he's right. You didn't let your parents pass Final Judgement on YOUR music, did you...? Of course not.
...& then 2nite I saw my buddy Crabby's list of summa his favorite "Pop Fluff" from his teen years (which you can read at http://www.rscrabb.blogspot.com/) -- & hoo boy, there's some great stuff from the early '70s listed there. & there's also some Real Crap I STILL won't listen 2.
So: If you think there's Nothing New & Good on the radio anymore (like I do sometimes), & all The Kids listen 2 is garbage, then maybe you're ready 4 the idea that Classic Rock is Over With. That maybe all those sales records held by the Beatles & Michael Jackson deserve 2 B toppled.
Maybe. Records exist to be broken. It's a bigger consumer market now, & it's EZer now 2 "sell" a tune thru downloading & etc.
But the undercurrent of summa this bugs me. The assumption is that Back In The Day (meaning the '60s & '70s), only Good Stuff got played on the radio, & only musical artists with creativity & vision & soul were rewarded.
Like hell. There was a LOT of crap that sold massively back then. Maybe my fellow Classic Rock Brothers & Sisters will try 2 convince you otherwise, but lotsa good stuff back then went unheralded, while lotsa pure hackwork went straight 2 #1.
I'd like 2 say quality work always lasts. I do believe that. But....
The mass of consumers -- who may not B rabid music fans, just want something good 2 listen-2 in the car -- always buy schlock & always will.
4 proof, I call upon Joel Whitburn & BILLBOARD's TOP POP SINGLES 1955-2002. This invaluable book is not only great 4 tracking down Great Lost Singles, it also has easily-accessed lists of #1 hits, year by year.
Let's take a look back at some of the timeless classic songs "my" generation -- the generation that now listens 2 Classic Rock & thinks most new music is trash -- helped push 2 #1 in the US.
Starting with Beatlemania & the "British Invasion," back in 1964, some of these forgotten #1 classics include:
Dean Martin -- Everybody Loves Somebody.
Lorne Green -- Ringo.
Bobby Vinton -- Mr. Lonely.
Freddie & the Dreamers -- I'm Telling You Now.
SSgt. Barry Sadler -- Ballad of the Green Berets.
Frank Sinatra -- Strangers in the Night.
New Vaudeville Band -- Winchester Cathedral.
Frank & Nancy Sinatra -- Something Stupid.
Bobbie Gentry -- Ode to Billy Joe.
Herb Alpert -- This Guy's in Love With You.
Bobby Goldsboro -- Honey.
Jeannie C. Riley -- Harper Valley PTA.
Henry Mancini -- Love Theme from ROMEO AND JULIET.
Ray Stevens -- Everything is Beautiful.
Carpenters -- Close to You, Top of the World, Please Mr. Postman.
Partridge Family -- I Think I Love You.
Tony Orlando & Dawn -- Knock Three Times, Tie a Yellow Ribbon 'Round the Old Oak Tree.
Osmonds -- One Bad Apple.
James Taylor -- You've Got a Friend.
Donny Osmond -- Go Away Little Girl.
Melanie -- Brand New Key.
Mac Davis -- Baby Don't Get Hooked on Me.
Chuck Berry -- My Ding-a-Ling. (Yes, he deserved a #1, but this?!)
Helen Reddy -- I Am Woman, Delta Dawn.
Vicki Lawrence -- The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia.
Paul McCartney & Wings -- My Love, Silly Love Songs.
Charlie Rich -- The Most Beautiful Girl.
...The peak year 4 Total Schlock was 1974. Take a look at THESE classics:
Barbra Streisand -- The Way We Were.
John Denver -- Sunshine on My Shoulders.
Blue Swede -- Hooked on a Feeling. ("Ooga-chakka, ooga, ooga, ooga-chakka, ooga, ooga....")
Elton John -- Bennie and the Jets.
Grand Funk -- The Loco-Motion. (Heard Little Eva's version lately?)
Bo Donaldson & the Heywoods -- Billy Don't be a Hero.
Paper Lace -- The Night Chicago Died.
Paul Anka -- You're Having My Baby.
Olivia Newton-John -- I Honestly Love You.
Dionne Warwick & the Spinners -- Then Came You.
Helen Reddy -- Angie Baby.
Take a deep breath. There's more:
Neil Sedaka -- Laughter in the Rain.
Frankie Valli -- My Eyes Adored You.
Elton John -- Philadelphia Freedom.
Freddy Fender -- Before the Next Teardrop Falls.
Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds -- Fallin' in Love.
John Denver -- I'm Sorry.
Silver Convention -- Fly Robin Fly.
Staples Singers -- Let's Do it Again.
Starland Vocal Band -- Afternoon Delight.
Elton John & Kiki Dee -- Don't Go Breakin' My Heart.
Walter Murphy & the Big Apple Band -- A Fifth of Beethoven.
Rod Stewart -- Tonight's the Night.
Mary MacGregor -- Torn Between Two Lovers.
David Soul -- Don't Give Up on Us.
...That takes us thru early 1977, about the time Fleetwood Mac's RUMOURS was released, & I'm sure there R LOTS more Mbarrassing Xamples I could add, but this is probly enuf.
...Now some of those R OK songs ... I guess. I even bought a couple of them. (I plead peer pressure!) But they ain't Xactly rock&roll, R they?
Want some more disgusting facts from the days of good 'ol' rock&roll?:
Helen Reddy had 3 #1 hits, & 7 Top 10 singles.
John Travolta had 1 #1 single, 3 Top 10 hits, & 6 Top 40 hits.
The Carpenters -- who I didn't think were COMPLETELY terrible -- had 20 top 40 hits & 3 #1's.
Tom Jones had 19 Top 40 hits, 5 in the Top 10. A couple of 'em were pretty cool. But most....
Engelbert Humperdinck -- who's name I NEVER thot I would mention here -- had 9 Top 40 hits, 2 in the Top 10 -- in 1967 & '76. Rock & roll?
Barbra Streisand has had 21 Top 40 hits, & 5 #1's.
Olivia Newton-John had 28 Top 40 hits, & 5 #1's.
Moving 2 something a little newer:
Whitney Houston had 11 #1 hits up to late 2002.
Mariah Carey had 15 #1's thru the end of 2002 -- & can you NAME any of them other than "I'll Be There"?
...This list of forgotten classics isn't Xactly a triumph 4 good 'ol' Classic Rock. But I think it all depends on when you started listening & what you were listening TO. Some old-time fans could say "real" rock&roll was dead by 1958, or 1960. Or 1967. Certainly by 1975. Or '77.
Whenever the cutoff date is 4 you, I don't think Paul McCartney is 2 worried about some1 selling more songs than the Beatles. I also don't think Elvis & Michael Jackson R 2 concerned, wherever they R....
Today's no-talent flash-in-the-pan will be forgotten in 2 years. Keep playin' the Good Stuff, & let the rest go. You can bet that fans of Elvis, Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong & Benny Goodman did the same thing in their time....