You list some decent bands. Well, I wouldn't call Madonna decent. She couldn't sing without an Auto Tune. Have you ever heard any of her live shows where Auto Tune wasn't available? They are out there. I could sing better. And while MJ may have molested children, he put out some damn good music. But you forget that back in the 80's there was some pretty atrocious stuff. Leading the pack was Milly Vanilly and their ridiculous controversy. How about A Flock of Seagulls? A-ha? Bananarama? Devo? Oh. And what about this one: KISS? You talk about corporate greed in the music industry? That has definitely always been there. Frank Zappa wrote profusely about it. His three record release of Sleep Dirt, Studio Tan and Orchestral Favorites within months of each other was basically an FU to Warner Brothers. The only difference is that live instrumentation may have made it easier to make really horrible music. But whether its' live, synthesized or otherwise, horrible music is horrible music. It's has most definitely always been there. Look at it this way. As long as there are people out there who have never played an instrument, who know nothing about music and who's only expectation from music is be able to tap their foot to it, there will always be people making music that only satisfy that single criteria. So, I beg to differ. And in the end, what difference does it really make if I'm right or you are right? None.I want to chime in here because some folks here are claiming the exact opposite i.e. that things were better in the 80s as compared to now. Think about it: Michael Jackson, the Cure, Simple Minds, Tears for Fears, Madonna(!), etc etc. IMHO there is a qualitative difference between then and now in terms of music production. These were real bands with real musicians. I have to respectfully disagree that the issues were ‘always there’.It’s simply not true. Technology (and corporate greed) has since effectively eliminated the need for live instrumentation and something very fundamental has been lost in the process.