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  #1  
Old 06-01-2014, 06:39 PM
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Default What's a Classic? What's an Oldie?

Just curious as to what the terms Classics and Oldies means to you.

Are the terms timeless? In other words, could Green Day's "Good Riddance" be considered a Classic even though it's less than 20 years old? Or does Classic mean a time-tested song, such as "In the Mood," "Rock Around The Clock" or "Stairway To Heaven"? Or, do Classic and Oldies refer to specific eras or genres in music? Or are they part of a timeframe, like 'anything over 40 years old is an oldie'?

I'll hold my thoughts until I see some other responses, which I suspect will vary based on age, and possibly location in the world.

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Old 06-01-2014, 06:42 PM
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Default Re: What's a Classic? What's an Oldie?

age = 51
oldie = pre-1970
classic = any age right up to now.
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Old 06-01-2014, 07:17 PM
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Default Re: What's a Classic? What's an Oldie?

I think there is more to it than just age. There has to be something that gives it that special vibe to be a true classic. For example, a Camaro is a classic, a Pinto is not. I don't want to name songs because opinions and taste vary extensively. I also think that an oldie can also be a classic. Some day that Pinto will be an oldie, but never a classic. The Camaro on the other hand will always be a classic. One is old, one has class. Class can be old, but old doesn't necessarily have class. That is my take on it anyhow.
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Old 06-01-2014, 07:28 PM
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Default Re: What's a Classic? What's an Oldie?

Interesting topic. I'd bet musicians and and the general public also have different thoughts on this. ;-)

I would think that classics are just that. 'Yesterday', 'In the mood', etc. Something anyone in the world at almost any age would recognize. I don't think it has to do with the age of the tune or the style of the song.

For oldies, I have seen it referenced more as 'golden oldies' in rock. Primarily late 50s early 60s (pre Beatles popularity).

Then there is 'Classic Rock' (or lately "Classic Country' which used to be called 'Country Standards'). Classic Rock being the 'classic' rock bands. i.e. not hip hop or alternative or ... I would not say that Talking Heads tunes or Ramones tunes, for instance, would be 'Classic Rock'.

I think the best gauge today, especially for non-musicians, might be titles Sirius uses or what is referenced on Internet Radio. Than is what a lot of folks may equate to these days.

My 2 cents ;-)
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Old 06-01-2014, 07:31 PM
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Default Re: What's a Classic? What's an Oldie?

It depends on the song rather than the age or the writer/band.
For example, Paul McCartney has written some classics, but he also wrote "The Frog Song", which is far from it!
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Old 06-01-2014, 08:02 PM
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Default Re: What's a Classic? What's an Oldie?

Let's also throw in Classic Rock...
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Old 06-01-2014, 08:19 PM
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Default Re: What's a Classic? What's an Oldie?

I agree with using the term classic for things that are truly classic - like a standard song that everybody will know. So, in order for something from Green Day to become Classic, it would have to become as recognizable as Frank Sinatra's New York New York. Until then I would refer to it as an oldie in a few short years.

For the most part, when people use the term Classic Rock, I think it's being used wrong. Most classic rock songs that people think of range from that late 60s to early 80s period, and not all of it is classic. Just old ;)
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Old 06-01-2014, 08:41 PM
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Default Re: What's a Classic? What's an Oldie?

Oldies to me is rock and roll or rock from the late 50's to the middle 60's. With the type of music being made today, just like the movies, I think classic has died. I can't see anything being called classic from here on.
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Old 06-01-2014, 08:49 PM
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Default Re: What's a Classic? What's an Oldie?

There's instant classics, which is subjective, but you never hear of instant oldies lol.

So classic to me conjures a certain musical benchmark, where anything can be an oldie with enough years under it's belt. Now golden oldies are a whole nother category. They are usually both oldies and classics.
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Old 06-01-2014, 08:59 PM
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Default Re: What's a Classic? What's an Oldie?

To me,classics are songs that are popular hit records,and known to a wider range of people,and can also be an oldie,like "Hey Jude".Songs like Green Days "American Idiot" are certainly classic,but are more contemporary

I guess an oldie has to be a time based thing,where you decide on a certain date in the past,when it was recorded.So by that definition.....any song can be an oldie.
,and not necessarily a classic.

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  #11  
Old 06-02-2014, 05:39 AM
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Default Re: What's a Classic? What's an Oldie?

The "classic rock" station in Portland has been playing 90s rock for a while now. When I first heard Pearl Jam and Alice In Chains on the "classic rock" station, it shifted my world around. To me, "classic rock" was always 70s and before, with guitarists comping triads on the upper strings rather than playing power chords on the lower ones. 80s rock doesn't seem to fit the term "classic rock" to me. I agree that the term "classic," by itself, should refer to those timeless tunes that either everyone knows or was highly influential in the grand scheme of musical things.

Also, the local "oldies" station plays "the hits of the 60s, 70s, and 80s" now. The 50s have been sloughed off. It's like the term "vintage" when referring to drums. To some people, it will only ever mean drums from before the mid-70s, during the golden era of drum manufacturing, but some other drummers seem to think that their 90s Yamaha kit is somehow a "vintage" kit, just because it meets some "____ years old" criteria. To each their own. Our opinions are only here so that we can tell oursleves apart from each other...
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Old 06-02-2014, 01:54 PM
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Default Re: What's a Classic? What's an Oldie?

Terms like classic and oldies are not very useful to me. I see them as attempts to categorize stuff that maybe doesn't need to be categorized or that can be categorized in a more precise way. Classic is pretty vague and Oldies is a moving target. For example, maybe by classic we mean "a non-recent tune which was very popular when released and remains so among a certain portion of the population". OK, what happens when that population dies? Is a song no longer a classic if no one's around who remembers it and likes it? Or are we going to simply assume that what we define as a classic today will always have an audience? Extrapolation is a dangerous business.

I dunno. I think these terms in general exist so that marketing people can pigeon hole stuff, making it easier for you to buy something and not be forced to think. "What's that? You enjoyed early Yes, ELP and Genesis? Then you like progressive rock. In that case, you'll like this." Nope sorry. I've heard lots of progressive rock that I don't like and a lot of it which is decidedly derivative, not progressive.
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Old 06-02-2014, 08:14 PM
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Default Re: What's a Classic? What's an Oldie?

I don't know anymore.

It was hard enough when classic rock stations started playing albums that came out in the early 80's that I remember buying as brand new (U2's War, Rush Signals, and such).

But now that 90's music is creeping into classic rock radio, I don't know what to think. To me, that's not classic. But as 20 year old music in 1988 was classic rock then, I guess 20 year old music in 2014 would technically fall under the same definition. But given I was never a fan of so many of those 90's bands in the first place, I can't comprehend anyone considering them "classics".

So I have no answer.
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Old 06-02-2014, 09:29 PM
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Default Re: What's a Classic? What's an Oldie?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
I don't know anymore.

...But now that 90's music is creeping into classic rock radio, I don't know what to think. To me, that's not classic....
So I have no answer.

Classic rock definitely is not tantamount to what is a classic. As others have posted, a classic can be something that is of recent vintage but "classic rock" as a radio programming concept that began in the early 80s historically focused on songs from the 60s, and 70s and 80s.

Being practical though, now that the institution of classic rock is over 30 years old, not sure how they could expect their listenership to grow, let alone stay constant, by not expanding their content. How many times can someone hear the same rotation of rock staples like "Hotel California" or "Stairway to Heaven" without getting bored? Classic rock to survive is now focussing on "rock" songs that are "classic," building on the songbook repertory of "classic rock."

In any event, classic rock probably isn't the best reference point for what is a classic, as I hear songs on those stations being played by classic rock bands from time to time that are most definitely not classics by any reasonable standard (Van Halen's 'push comes to shove' anybody, which I heard recently on my friendly neighbourhood classic rock station?)
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Old 06-02-2014, 09:38 PM
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Default Re: What's a Classic? What's an Oldie?

My opinion, rooted in nothing more than self-centric preference:

Oldies are rock and roll tunes from the 50s until the mid-60s or so. Bill Haley and the Comets, early Elvis, Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper, etc.

Classic Rock is late-60s to late-70s rock. Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Creedence Clearwater Revival, etc.

I don't think 80s and 90s music qualifies for either; they need their own categories.
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Old 06-03-2014, 07:06 PM
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Default Re: What's a Classic? What's an Oldie?

My definitions - dates are approximate :-)

Oldies - Starts with Bill Haley and the Comets, ends with the Beatles. 1952 - 1963

Classic Rock - From the Beatles inception up to Zeppelin's last album. 1963 - 1982

Glair Rock (combo of glam and hair) - Period I most want to forget. 1981 - 1991

Grunge and Grungy- Starts with Nirvana ends with death of Layne Staley. Grungy bands are those that came on the heels of the first grungers - not discernibly different enough for their own category. Think Bush, Candlebox and Linkin Park. 1991 - 2002

I did not account for rap and punk as they are still alive and have transcended my cats.

MM
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Old 06-03-2014, 07:29 PM
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Default Re: What's a Classic? What's an Oldie?

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
There's instant classics, which is subjective, but you never hear of instant oldies lol.

So classic to me conjures a certain musical benchmark, where anything can be an oldie with enough years under it's belt. Now golden oldies are a whole nother category. They are usually both oldies and classics.
Right. Going a bit extreme: songs like 'Gangnam style' or 'Somebody That I Used To Know' - whatever you may think of them - might be considered classics because of their impact and/or unique style. I wouldn't classify them as oldies though.
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