Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum
MTV changed the types of bands that were getting popular for sure. Duran Duran and Def Leppard, among others, owe their careers to MTV.
But the whole concept of long term investment went out the window when all the various labels started getting bought up and housed under mega-parent corporations, and the parent corporations fired many of the long time music men that had previous run the labels and replaced them with people who's job it was to increase stock holder returns.
To maximize cash values, the labels had to cut their expenses, which meant getting rid of the policy of waiting 3 or 4 albums to see if a band is successful.
While it made good short term business sense, but in the long run, it kills things, because the next "Escape" or "Rumors" never gets made, and there is no hope of seeing the types of albums that sell 8-10 million, and lead to "best of"s that can sell in 100 million copies.
When you talk to guys over 60, they are going to tell you that music went down hill in 1973 when the mergers happened, and there is some truth to that. The guys at fifty will tell you that it all happened in the 1980s when AOR when to a strict formatted programming, and there is some truth to that. The guys at 40 will say that it happened in the 1990s when they got rid of A and R reps, and there is some truth to that. I've heard younger guys saying it all went out the window when they stopped ding hip-hop old school. But the point I am making is that it all happens when people don't go out there and find music to listen to that they enjoy. Polly was saying how she feels old now because she can't get into the newer music. But truthfully I could expect there was a lot of music in her youth that she didn't really care for. Not all music is meant for everybody. I know that Chris Brown isn't written for me. I am not going to listen to the same music as a 16 year old latina from Spanish Harlem.
What Fleetwood Mac and Journey were able to do was bring in great songwriters. That seems to be generally what they do with bands now, have them sit down with a couple of good songwriters and try to hash out a hit. I like Journey; but many used Journey as a prime example of the failure of 1970s music due to the corporatizing of music. They probably would have said the same of later Fleetwood Mac, esp as compared to the really blues albums, made for guys instead of chicks. There are a lot of deep seated issues that underscore the discussion.
I got tired of pop radio AM in 1971 and FM in 1978, and I stopped complaining about and listened to college radio. I may be a little spoiled living in NY. I went to see an India trio last week with guitar, piano and tabla, got into my car and they were playing Klaus Schultz. I mean where else could radio do that, not spoil my buzz. The other day I got into the car and they were playing Crimson "Islands" and then continued with some great space music, Mahavishnu's Meeting of the Spirits, some more newer spacey music and Neil Young's Old Man. They also segue classical tunes. The problem is they never say what the tunes are.