Re: Creativity Discouraged in Today's Popular Music?
I think a lot of creativity is lost due to so much music just being machines these days.
So much of pop radio is not made with top session players, but with a mix of drum machines and sequencers. Creativity is limited to what new filter you can put on a synth line.
On the flip side, as noted by Wavelength, time has a way of letting the good bands stand out while the bad stuff sinks.
We can look back with nostalgia at the 80s for bands that actually played, but we forget in the 80s pop radio was stuffed full of Tiffany, Debbie Gibson, Rick Ashley, New Kids on the Block.
The 70's may be remembered for Led Zepplin, Deep Purple, et all, but don't forget, the Pop world was full of Disco and cookie cutter dance songs.
We remember the 50s and 60's for Elvis, Beatles and the Who, but history shows pop music was also full of pop singers like Pat Boone, Anita Baker, Barbara, and others who dominated the radio for short periods with bland songs that have been forgotten by most people.
The bright side of today, is it's easy to turn off the radio and look elsewhere. Most new bands I listen to these days I found online; they're big in Europe while not well known here. The 'net makes it easy to find smaller quality bands. Internet radio exposes lots of different music that would not have any found any exposure before.
Still, sometimes I wish I had been around in the late 60's so I could have seen The Who, Jefferson Airplane, etc, live at their primes, or maybe if I had been older in the 80's so I could have played in bands that actually wanted drummers, rather than so many bands only wanting machines. On the other hand, it kills me how easy it is these days for a band to record quality material on a home system, put it up on myspace/youtube/etc. If I could combine all the new technology with the sheer amount of work I put into my career in the 90's, I'd have to think I'd have a bit more of a career than I did now.
So, overall, it cuts both ways. :-)