Skip to main content

This question is not to get into an argument. It's quite apparent. If you take Billboard's Top or Hot 100 albums or songs it's slim pickens for rock of any type to be on there. During the 70s what type of music overwhelmed the charts? Rock, around 80%. The cries may have been "Rock and roll is here to stay" and "Rock and will never die" well...it did. And we all know what swamped it. The lowest form of popular music in my lifetime (you know what) and diva music. I'm not however even debating quality of music just one form's extinction in the same way that American's popular music of the 40s, swing and big band died (needless to say, on the charts, not in people's hearts.)

So I really don't know if there was an exact year or perhaps decade, were it failed to be the music for tens of millions of young people. Any opinions?

(Yes, I would say I listen to some form of rock almost everyday.)

Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

It seems you are using traditional record sales as your metric. Apologies if I’m incorrect. But assuming that, the fact that most people believe they shouldn’t have to buy and pay for music would seem a factor, and skew what music forms chart better. No research done, just my opinion. Metallica included a mailed cd or digital download of their to-be released 2008 record with each ticket sold for a concert tour, and it went platinum fairly quickly. Their drummer took a lot of heat for going after Napster and other forms of music “sharing”, and was pretty much derided by a lot of other musicians for his “greed”. Now most musicians are traveling shirt salesmen who play a few songs near a merch booth to make a living.

The bands I like still do well when touring, so in my opinion rock (and metal) aren’t dead. During the pandemic I had time to look into newer heavy bands I previously ignored and have really gotten into several of them - one enough to buy tickets to see later in the year.

It’s nice to see that someone hates jazz as much as I do.

I am indeed talking about normal reported sales. However, your example, Metallica, is just an example of an exception that prove the rule. I am not saying that no rock music sell, nor that some of it can still sell big, but as the prime influential music form, it's just not there anymore.

And thank God I discovered jazz in the late 70s (as another insipid music form, disco, was taking over) it saved my musical soul.

@The Old Man posted:

Perhaps when Elvis Costello was on SNL the first time. God that was horrible.

Agreed. Could never stand that guy, who road in on the British new-wave of pop music. There are artists that I don't care for, and I simply don't listen to them. But Costello pushed a weird button in me that I actively hated him from the moment I first saw one of his music videos. Then when he married my favorite current Jazz performer, that was just a huge stake in my heart.

BTW, TOM, Classic Rock will never die in my household as long as I'm alive.

Last edited by mneeley490

Elvis’s SNL appearance was a brilliant piece of theatre. He knew exactly what he was doing. He may have been relatively unknown prior to that appearance, but not afterwards. It got a ton of press attention. Clearly it worked if you still remember it and are talking about it 40+ years later.

All these years later, Elvis continues to evolve, experiment, and explore new musical avenues. Which can’t be said for most artists.

I don’t expect to change your mind about Elvis, as you’ve consistently demonstrated that you’re not open to considering any POV that differs from your own.

But isn’t it great that you have so much choice and access to different styles of music these days that you don’t have to listen to Elvis if you don’t want to?

That’s the point here: rock hasn’t died, but thanks to changing technology, it might seem that way.

1. Terrestrial radio is dead. In the 1970s, FM rock radio led the way in introducing new music. DJs played whatever they wanted from deep album cuts to music from unknown artists. That ended in the 1980s when radio formats changed and FM stations stopped playing new music.

2. CDs and every other physical medium of music are dead. (And don’t tell me that vinyl is making a comeback. Vinyl sales are the tiniest fraction of what they once were.) Therefore music sales charts are now meaningless.

3. The internet has democratized music: who makes it, how it’s distributed, our access to it. Yeah, I know the technology is still owned by a privileged few and the royalty payment structure sucks, but any musician with a computer can record music in their home, post to any one of dozens of streaming or download services, and promote it online. The choice we have in the music we listen to is like never before. There is still a ton of great rock music being made, but there’s an equal amount of every other genre, most of which I can’t even name.  

The streaming services have introduced me to genres and artists I never would have discovered on the heavily formatted FM radio (or music TV) of the 1980s-2000s. I’m listening to more variety and more interesting music now than I ever did in the past. The technology makes it easy for me to only hear genres I know I’ll like (a lot of which is rock) and automatically skip all the other stuff.

I’d much rather have all this access to new music and new artists than to be stuck listening to Hotel California, Bohemian Rhapsody or Stairway to Heaven yet again on FM Classic Rock Radio.

@sunnylea57 posted:

Elvis’s SNL appearance was a brilliant piece of theatre. He knew exactly what he was doing. He may have been relatively unknown prior to that appearance, but not afterwards. It got a ton of press attention. Clearly it worked if you still remember it and are talking about it 40+ years later.

It was, up to that point the worst musical act I've ever seen on SNL. If he had taken off his clothes and vomited on the stage I would still remember that too. Remembering something doesn't mean it was good.

"That’s the point here: rock hasn’t died, but thanks to changing technology, it might seem that way."

I don't think some people aren't getting the point. It's not that people don't listen to rock anymore or that people still aren't making rock music. It simply isn't the pervasive music from it was in the 20th century. I not sure how anyone can argue it still is--it's obvious the great majority of people aren't listening to 21st century rock.

Last edited by The Old Man

Since I was 4 when the Elvis appearance happened, I went to Google to find out what it was all about. Seems as if they were a last minute addition when the Sex Pistols were a late scratch.  Apparently the song switch pissed off Lorne to the point that he held his middle finger up the entire performance.  Seems rather ho-hum today.  And yeah, they sounded like shit. 

I remember when Sinead O'Conner ripped up the picture of the Pope as I watched it live, that was a huge deal that now seems rather mundane. 

My kids get a healthy dose of my Classic Rock (Nirvana, Pearl Jams, Foo Fighters). I listened to the Stones, Zeppelin, etc. with my dad.  I have so say, I haven't identified any rockers that my kids will be playing for their children one day. 

@patespo1 posted:

My kids get a healthy dose of my Classic Rock (Nirvana, Pearl Jams, Foo Fighters). I listened to the Stones, Zeppelin, etc. with my dad.  I have so say, I haven't identified any rockers that my kids will be playing for their children one day.

The telegraph irrevocably changed our relationship with, and the importance of news and information. Prior to the telegraph, it took days or weeks to get news of events in other towns or from around the world, so outside news had little impact on our daily lives. After the telegraph, local events were still important, but suddenly the news that "Chicago burns!" was far more compelling and distracting. Our perception of "news" changed.

The internet changed our relationship with music. No new artist can hope to have the influence and cultural impact that the Stones, Zep or even Nirvana had. That's not to say that great music isn't still being made. But when a band is not the singular focus of the major label record companies, FM radio, concert tours, etc., our perception of the music changes. I'm not saying we were told what to like in the 1960s and 1970s, but our access to musical variety was extremely limited compared to today, so the music we heard had power and influence.

Rock is alive!  Will always be there for me.  Listen to Rock of 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's all the time  After that rock has turned to rap, R&B, and too much metal.

Agree with Elvis, why Diana ever married him I don't know.  She is a great performer.

Have been to the RHOF a few times, and attended the worlds greatest event in August '69.  Rock forever!

@sunnylea57 posted:

The Subject of this thread is “When did rock die?”  I answered your question. It didn’t.

It’s a no brainer that rock music isn’t as pervasive as it once was, for the reasons I listed. So what’s your point?

Die obviously didn't mean that no one in the world listens to it or plays it anymore.  My premise was summarized in this sentence. "So I really don't know if there was an exact year or perhaps decade, were it failed to be the music for tens of millions of young people."

You didn't list any reasons why rock isn't pervasive as it was. You proved that it is still played and I never denied that. (I guess if all you read was the title of the thread then I understand your response.) I even said I listened to it myself daily. You scattered shot all over the place, but left out the obvious and real answer--it's just not as popular as it was last century. The answer to that question is why?

@sunnylea57 posted:

The internet changed our relationship with music. No new artist can hope to have the influence and cultural impact that the Stones, Zep or even Nirvana had. That's not to say that great music isn't still being made. But when a band is not the singular focus of the major label record companies, FM radio, concert tours, etc., our perception of the music changes. I'm not saying we were told what to like in the 1960s and 1970s, but our access to musical variety was extremely limited compared to today, so the music we heard had power and influence.

First, rock was loosing its place on the charts well before the internet. First Disco took it down a notch and then hip-hop and rap finished the job.

"No new artist can hope to have the influence and cultural impact that the Stones, Zep or even Nirvana had."

You will find even many, many white kids, who were the major consumers of rock, talking as if they are rappers. The affect on them is just as big as the major rockers had on us. The difference is the music is mostly shit.

Last edited by The Old Man
@The Old Man posted:

First, rock was loosing its place on the charts well before the internet. First disco took it down a notch and then hip-hop and rap finished the job.

"No new artist can hope to have the influence and cultural impact that the Stones, Zep or even Nirvana had."

You will find even many, many white kids, who were the major consumers of rock, talking as if they are rappers. The affect on them is just as big as the major rockers had on us. The difference is the music is mostly shit.

Not to thread drift but there is a lot of great rap and hip hop, it just may not be your cup of tea.  Just like with other forms of art, it comes down to taste. 

TOM, you really didn't read my first response, did you?

Yes, I did provide my opinion as to why rock is not as popular as it once was: formulaic radio programming starting in the 1980s, new ways to listen to music where the listener controlled what they heard, and new, democratic ways to make and distribute music (instead of being stuck with what the major labels decided we should listen to).

Just because you think today's music is shit doesn't mean it isn't valid to millions of others. And given the choice (which they didn't have 30-40 years ago because the major label monopolies, formulaic radio programming, etc.), millions would much rather listen to hip hop or rap or emo or synthwave or j-pop or Americana or whatever... than Nickelback. That's why rock doesn't have the cultural impact it once had. That's why NO music can have the cultural impact that rock once had.

You need to get over the thinking that just because it had an impact on you, it should have an impact on future generations.

"When did crooner music die? Back in my day, Frank Sinatra was the bee's knees. Everyone listened to Frank and Tony and Steve & Edie, and the Velvet Fog. Then rock and roll came along and music went to shit. Why isn't crooner music as pervasive as it was in my day?"

Last edited by sunnylea57

"You need to get over the thinking that just because it had an impact on you, it should have an impact on future generations."

Never said anything remotely like that. Again,  I'm simply stating what happened. If you think rock music is as popular in the 21st century as the 20th century that I'm afraid I have no way to reason with you.

@The Old Man posted:

"You need to get over the thinking that just because it had an impact on you, it should have an impact on future generations."

Never said anything remotely like that. Again,  I'm simply stating what happened. If you think rock music is as popular in the 21st century as the 20th century that I'm afraid I have no way to reason with you.

Where did I say that rock music is as popular in the 21st century as in the 20th century? That’s exactly the opposite of what I said. You asked when and why rock music stopped being as pervasive as it was. I answered your question, and I’m struggling to understand why you can’t see that I did so.

Rock isn't dead.  It's in decline-- much like this forum.

One could argue that Rock and Roll started acknowledging its decline when they started inducting non-Rock acts into the Rock and Roll hall of Fame.  It's shameful that there are so many deserving bands that belong in the hall, but instead, there are more non- rock acts  being inducted than Rock acts, probably in an effort to boost sagging interest by trying to appeal to fans of other music genres. Sad to think that they will probably induct Taylor Swift before they ever induct Bad Company.

The hallmark of Rock has always been guitar driven melodies, preferably with a distortion pedal.  Guitar seems to be noticeably absent from today's music.  Guitarists would debate over whether they preferred the fat tone of Gibson P-90 humbuckers versus Fender single coils.  Today's artists debate over whether they prefer making music on a MacBook versus windows based computer.  When's the last time you heard a great guitar solo in a recent hit song?

Bottom line- I'm not hearing much on Hits 1 that I would ever consider a candidate  to be considered future classic rock.

Add Reply

Post
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×