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#28616 by philbymon
Sat Apr 12, 2008 1:06 am
Hey, have you noticed that for the past 20 years or so, record companies have completely changed the way they do biz?

Used to be, when they had a great act that had consistently great material , they'd push 'em until the public quit buying thier stuff.

Now, a good act comes out, they get huge publicity on thier 1st release, sometimes the 2nd...and then you never hear about them from anyone but fans.

They don't get radio play anymore, they get fewer TV's like a wasteland for everyone but the newest ppl out there.

Is the whole of this country just nutso over that damned Idol show? Cuz that's what it seems like to me sometimes. Doesn't matter if you're really that good, as long as you're the newest thing, everyone else is yesterday's news.

Even the "greats," like Peter Gabriel or Springstein or Mellencamp, or the newer guys, like Collective Soul, get no air space when they come out with anything new.

What the hell is WRONG with these ppl?

Or is it just me?

#28624 by gtZip
Sat Apr 12, 2008 2:40 am
I think a big part of it is:
Faster and more saturated communications + Throw it on the wall and see if it sticks mentality = Decreasing consumer attention span.

And the 'big' record companies are all too happy to climb in bed with Clear Channel and not take any risks -- which is what a big corporation is supposed to do. Minimize risks, increase profits.
They can package something up real snazzy and let it loose on the kids... the hype gets bought, digested, and then the snazzyness wears off when the kids realize that it didn't taste as good as it looked.
Or... that it tasted suspiciously like the last thing they ate, despite the different sparkly package.
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
Why waste time on an act? Just throw something else against the wall and get what you can out of it.

Now mind you, in the past I think that some 'artists' were given way too much of a chance, and way too much time. *cough*grateful dead*cough*
Like them or not, a band like, oh say... Rush, would have never 'made' it if they had started out in the past 20 years.

I blame Clear Channel, their warm-smile form of censorship, and other corporations like them.

Viva La Resistance.

#28663 by philbymon
Sat Apr 12, 2008 12:00 pm
I hate Clear Channel as much as everyone except preachers & soccer moms. Listening to them, you'd think the only song Hendrix ever did was "All Along the Watchtower."

But the radio industry has always been a bit like them, hasn't it?...always looking for the next act...telling ppl what they want instead of listening to them to determine what they want, unless the record co.'s wanted something played...except for the college or small independent stations.

But I have a suspicion that the artists may have brought this on themselves.

Huge egos, demanding more $, more exposure, designer bottled water & hookers & hookahs in the green rooms....In many cases, an act has offed themselves in the quest for the ultimate high, or has destroyed thier own ability to produce (as in the case of Pat Benetar's ever-expanding nostrils ruining her voice, or Kurt Cobain's appetite for little lead balls.) The record companies probably lost quite a bit on thier investment, there.

However, if a band came out that consistently produced great album after great album, like the Beatles or the Stones, we would only get to hear about thier 1st couple albums, & thier later works wouldn't get to become the "classics" of the future.

There may be exceptions to this...Green Day being the 1st that comes to mind. Thier music has developed into a nice little cash cow for the record industry, & they haven't partied themselves to death yet. I dunno or care how many albums they've released, but it's way more than two & we still hear thier newer stuff. Good act, that. It's developed very well, considering how it started out.

But overall, I think the way things have turned is a huge loss for us all.

#28684 by fisherman bob
Sat Apr 12, 2008 4:35 pm
I agree with you on this subject. I've noticed in the last ten to twenty years that a new "hot" band disappears in no time. There could be a number of reasons for this. Maybe a lot of people are continuously looking for something new. I believe a lot of bands put all their good material into the first few albums and have nothing left to follow up. In other words they shoot their load all at once. To stay in the limelight musical acts need to come up with something controversial all the time. Madonna has stayed popular all these years by constantly coming up with something new and/or controversial, despite her being a mediocre singer in my opinion. The American Idol syndrome epitomizes the "fresh face" theory. What I cannot understand is America's fascination with DJ's and karaoke, and the seemingly total lack in interest of performing original music. I'd like to see an episode of American Idol where contestants are required to sing their own songs. Probably not going to happen because the ratings would drop. Later...

#28756 by HowlinJ
Sun Apr 13, 2008 8:46 pm
The times they are a changing! (I think for the better)

I recall many years ago reading an article by the"late, great, mother of all music critics Lester Bangs", in which he alluded to the re-emergence of "local-ism" in the music business. More great players to fill every niche. It seems that, with the new technology, his prophecy may be coming to pass.
Frig the ol' music industry fat cats! :evil:


#28758 by philbymon
Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:35 pm's certainly brought about the age of the incredibly average, as the greats are ignored in favor of the new & untried, whether or not it's deserved.

"Localism" is fine, as far as it goes, but I'm not seeing any new locals getting air play, or even live gigs, for that matter. Music seems to be dying a slow death around here in spite of the number of good musicians. Dunno why, really. That's a topic for another time, maybe.

Imo, when the co's kept true to thier acts, it gave ppl something to strive towards. Ppl often copied other act's style, true, & this was esp noticeable in the area of grunge music nearly 20 yrs ago. But it also gave the young emerging musician a level of expertise to strive towards, & we aren't seeing that today.

How is it better to keep great music from the fans, just to give them newer & newer stuff that may or may not be as good?

I think this is where we get the songs with little or no substance. Ppl just shouting slogans over & over to music does nothing for me, & gives no one anything to work towards in thier own development. Yes, there is still good stuff still coming out, but these acts, too, will most likely be ignored in two or three yrs no matter how good thier newer music may be.

Good song-smithing, good musicianship, good vocals, good arrangements, good productions, these are the casualties when the industry ignores established acts in favor of the next "idol," based more on fashion than substance.

Fat cats? C'mon, HJ! This new attitude in the industry makes everyone suffer as if they were just starting out, with even more difficulties in being a well-established and well-honed act than in being one that is just begining to have success. The music industry could be making it next to impossible for great acts to continue to produce & present great music & make a living at it. Where's the reward for being consistently great?

What's left for these "fat cats?" Vegas shows, cruise ships, & over-hyped reunion tours?

Andy Warhol was right, I guess...NOW I WANT MY 15 MINUTES, DAMMIT!

#29032 by davepaul
Wed Apr 16, 2008 3:18 pm
it must be an american thing 'cos if a band is amazing over here then they always get plugged! Although we do have some crap in the charts the good stuff does get heard. maybe it's cos we are such a small country! Oasis for instance get plugged even when they have nothing new coming out, but saying that they are legendary and very outspoken. :wink:

#29050 by Irminsul
Wed Apr 16, 2008 7:08 pm
This is an oligarchical law that happens with every great idea, from what I've seen. One or a few power brokers jump to the head of the line and figure out how to make inordinately huge amounts of money for themselves, locking most others out. Usually, they are manager types, not creators.

It's a beautiful thing to see it all come around and take large bites out of their asses.

#29294 by philbymon
Sat Apr 19, 2008 12:57 pm
Davepaul, I don't really know that much about your country, having never visited. But from what I see from your TV stuff, you folks have a much more well-rounded view of music than we yanks. I see so many different types of stuff played back to back.

Here, we seem to be all caught up in genre. If you like metal, you aren't supposed to like country or blues or folk, or whatever. I think that's just so much BS.

I like good songs. It matters not what type of songs they are, as long as they are good.

I had thought that Oasis were defunct... :cry: ...never hear thier stuff anymore. Jethro Tull is still recording occasionally, aren't they? As big as they were here in the '70's, I haven't heard anything from them since that fiasco at the Grammy's. ( And frankly, I wouldn't have heard about that album if it weren't for the metal heads getting all up in arms over Metallica's loss to JT.)

Listening to the radio & general music industry releases in the USA, you'd think that Peter Gabriel, Robt Plant, Pete Townshend, Jimmy Paige, Ian Anderson, Paul McCartney, etc had all quit recording in 1980 or so.

The only ones who are hurting are the fans. The record labels still make boo-koo bucks off the public by promoting only the newest kids on the block, & ignoring the greats, over here, & the public simply accepts it as the way of the world.

It's good to hear that the world isn't really like that - now, if only we could change things here in America...*sigh*

#30079 by Cliff78
Sun Apr 27, 2008 4:26 pm
I have noticed that in most of Europe they are not afraid of playing music that isn't the flavor of the week. It is mostly an American thing. I have been to many countries in Europe and I saw everything on their MTV from death metal to pop in the afternoon on the same show.

Two of my friends are in the hard core band Pro-Pain some of you might remember. They pretty much only tour Europe because they love them over ther. It is hard for any heavy band to get promotion in the US especially if you aren't in your early 20's anymore. But they get radio promotion, magazines and packed venues. They don't even want to tour the US because there are no major media outlets here to really promote them.

The industry shoves the "music" down our throats that will make them the most money. Once they re-coop and make a profit a new artist is in. Another pretty face with limited musicianship that is tweakable in the recording studio.

As far as American Idol. That is the worst thing that has happened to music. It makes people think that they don't have to work to be a musician. It is also sad that many of the greats such as Springsteen and others have to go on AI just to get album promotion.

#30096 by Irminsul
Sun Apr 27, 2008 8:33 pm
Europeans have far more diverse tastes than Americans, I have found that to be true when I traveled. They are also more open to going to different venues and seeing music there.

For instance on one trip I had my wire strung harp with me, and was visiting my folks in Germany. We were eating out one night at a nice restaurant with several friends of theres and my mom opens her big mouth that I'm a harper and have my instrument with me. So she starts leaning on me to go get it and play for the table. I'm against it at first because I couldn't imagine bothering other people in the place with music coming from our table - it seemed intrusive. But soon her and her friends insisted, so I retrieved the harp and started playing. Well the whole place basically hushed up while I was playing, they were listening to every tune. Applauded, the whole bit, like I was featured there or something. It was so cool that complete strangers would respond so well to live music in an impromptu situation.

I just cannot imagine that happening stateside, sorry to say.

#30115 by philbymon
Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:27 pm
Our radio used to be quite diverse, about 30 yrs ago or so.

FM stations used to play Motown & Pink Floyd & Skynrd & Focus & Marshall Tucker & Beatles & Steppenwolf & Tull, back to back. There were plenty of different things to listen to, & if you didn't like one, you could just wait for 3 minutes or so, cuz something better was sure to come along on the next song.

Then I guess they decided to grab onto specialized audiences. I wonder why. They evidently think that we ARE that shallow that we only listen to one genre for life.

Glad I didn't fall for it all.

Sorry that so many of us have.

#30420 by Irminsul
Thu May 01, 2008 5:36 am
Ah the blessings of ClearChannel cookie cutter radio. Now we don't have to think. Hossanah!

#32112 by Paleopete
Thu May 22, 2008 4:35 am
This is why I quit listening to radio at all around 15 years ago. even on the "classic rock" stations, you get the few hits they want you to hear, that's it. Other cuts off the same albums were a popular thing in the early 70's on FM radio, a station I listened to would play an entire album sometimes at 6 AM. Anything you wanted to hear, if they had it they would play it.

Then the station owners decided the AM top 40 format was making tons of money so FM went to the same format, the last of the decent FM stations was gone around 1980 or so, now many are just a CD shipped from a master station in California, all the DJ does is station ID, even the commercials are automatic, except the ones by local businesses.

I called an all request show one day around that time. "You say it, we play it" was their advertising blurb for the all request show, which I think was weekly. So I called in and told them I wanted to hear a Johnny Winter tune that was on the same compilation CD they had just said they played a song from. The DJ told me it was not on their playlist, they couldn't play it. He even looked at the CD and told me it was there, just not on their playlist.

I'm absolutely sick of Freebird, why won't they play Ballad of Curtis Loew now and then instead? Same CD, great song, oops, not on the playlist...LaGrange...sick of it...Hot Blue and Righteous, not on their playlist. Nor is Precious and Grace. Even Beer Drinkers and Hellraisers, same album, pretty popular in its day, very rarely gets a play. But I heard LaGrange until I never wanted to hear it again.

Now I just don't want to hear radio again...thanks but I have a CD player...
#32141 by Wakingjayne
Thu May 22, 2008 6:09 pm
Big part of it is the dramatic change the music industry is going through thanks to its slow up take on the Digital revolution. If you look in music week many of the labels are suffering and therefore are not willing to invest heavily in long term marketing campaigns or actually develop artists material. One example can be seen with the introduction of the 360 deal. Where record labels are more interested now in Brand Management and are looking to take a cut from all the aspects an artist can potentially make money such as Merch etc. Therefore alot of the development is now left down to the artist and the self made bedroom albums are crawling out of the woodwork and becoming successfull. Although this does mean that many artists will come and go depending on the reaction of the fans.

The on demand! services also mean that many labels are now focusing on getting artists into the live sector. As many consumers avoid advertising. Its been said in many blogs and publications that no one really knows what is going to happen next as the investment in digital and the focus on social networking is in decline as sites lose viewers.

I'd like to hear peoples views on social networking. Does this affect any of your choices on music purchases?

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