Originally Posted by Pollyanna
We have some interesting stuff going on here. Before getting that that, GD, "crap" has always been with us. Remember bubblegum in the 60s? There's an argument that today at least we haven't descended to the level of Sugar Sugar and Yummy Yummy Yummy I have Love in my Tummy - lol. BTW, long hair stopped being interesting a, um, ... few years ago. And hey, I have long hair!.
What about something like Ticket to Ride. If you had only heard The Beatles version you would say it is a pop song. But what about Vanilla Fudge's version or their version of "You Keep Me Hangin' On." I think the problem is that genre is largely interpretation and interpretation is largely marketing or audience in the popular music world. The question that would need to be answered is which one is art? The Vanilla Fudge version is one of the earliest examples of progressive rock elements and had a major influence so that much qualify it as having some artistic merit. But let me add that I am not prepared to say that Motown has no artistic merit. That seems to me to be nonsense.
Is the song "You Keep Me Hangin' On" any more 'sophisticated' than "Sugar Sugar." I would say perhaps, but barely and they both have the same social function, to sell records. Now one could do a social reading into it Motown and say this is at the height of the Civil Rights Movement and say there is a social element to the music that is reflective of the times. But I don't think that many would argue that The Supremes being a were not a pop band, and that song being pop.Neither one is nearly as sophisticated as what Miles Davis or Stan Getz were doing at the same time. People always ask the question, if pop is devalued in the face of something like King Crimson, why should King Crimson have value in the face of Steve Reich?
Every era has it's bubble gum. Sugar Sugar was actually the number one song of 1969, and stood four weeks at number one at the height of the after math of Woodstock. It is actually a well written song. It was probably written for kids. It is kids music. You'd have to ask who was buying those records, and I would say it was tweens. The cultural problem is when people who are forty are still listening to that type of music. Whose listening to Hannah Montana? If it's my ten year old drum student, who loves Hannah, that's one thing. If it's somebody in their twenties maybe she needs to grow up a bit. We have a joke. Ten year old boys like Hannah, and fifteen year old boys like Hannah; but for a very different reason. And the other question to answer is why is bubble gum so bad and Motley Crue so good? And then there was The Backstreet Boys and N'Sync. You could sit around all day only listening to the most sophisticated music.
Jazz is losing its audience today, and classical music has been in decline for a decade now. People ask the question how do you save jazz, how do you save classical music? A lot of people's paychecks depend on it. A lot of musician's paychecks depend on the status quo. And people ask the question how do you market jazz to a new, perhaps younger audience. I think that as people are expressing the problem here, it is not one of marketing. Marketing is the problem. If you hear The Coltrane Quartet recording of Alabama, and it's meaningless to you, there is a bigger problem. You got no soul.