Wednesday, 24 August 2011

What We Need - Part 2

Do you know what we really need?

More variety.

I was browsing through the old charts from my hometown Top 40 station the other day, and it's just amazing the variety we used to get in the 60's.

Check out 1967.  Yes, we had The Beatles, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, Procol Harum and Buffalo Springfield.  But they played along side Frank Sinatra, Tom Jones, The Supremes and Dione Warwick.

Or 1966.  Again The Beatles and The Stones.  Again Frank Sinatra and The Supremes, with Donovan, Simon and Garfunkel, and Percy Sledge.  Mitch Rider on the same chart as The Righteous Brothers.

Or how about 1965?  The Stones share the spotlight with Roger Miller, Bob Dylan shares it with The Beatles, who share it with Elvis, The Byrds, James Brown and Charlie Rich.

And look at 1964:  The Beatles on the same list as Louis Armstrong.  Chuck Berry and Elvis on the same list as Dean Martin.  My generation listening to our music, our parents' music and our grandparents' music.

Did I really enjoy listening to Dean Martin when I wanted to hear The Beatles and The Stones?  Not really, but I tolerated it, and I respected this other music.

And why shouldn't I respect Frank Sinatra?  He respected The Beatles.  Why wouldn't I appreciate Johnny Cash or The Supremes?  The Beatles did.

These days, all radio stations are top 40, but each station caters to a small sub-culture, and the variety is gone - not just in genres but between bands and artists.  If we even listen to radio, that is.  Because we can each retreat into our iPod playlists and musical genres catering to sub-cultures of one.

Where's the adventure in that?

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