It’s no longer the sound of the street…
The initial burst came with the Beatles and the British Invasion, a new sound everybody went wild for.
Then came the late ’60s free-form FM era, everything from the Doors‘ “The End” to Cream’s “Tales Of Brave Ulysses” to Jimi Hendrix‘s “Purple Haze.”
Sure, some of these tracks crossed over to AM, were single hits, but this was the era, after Sgt. Pepper, when you wanted to make an album length STATEMENT!
In the early ’70s, it was about experimentation and musicianship. Ergo, the prog rock bands. Even Queen. We admired those with chops.
Then came the codification and consolidation of FM radio by Lee Abrams and suddenly all the action was on FM and bands being banged on that format went nuclear. Stadium shows were de rigueur. There was so much money involved that it could not be overlooked, ergo, corporate rock, music made to make money.
Which punk was a reaction to.
But punk got press and little sales and then were both rock and punk, trampled by disco, which ironically survives, even though it’s something different, and is still triumphant.
Then disco records were blown up in Comiskey Park and the music business tanked and then was resuscitated by MTV and the CD.
MTV gave a second wind to rock.
Especially to the oldsters.
But then young acts like Culture Club and Duran Duran got traction, and shortly thereafter so did Michael Jackson and Wham!
Rock reacted the same way it did a decade before, with hair bands. Spandex-clad wankers singing safe ballads that were supposed to titillate women. Continue reading