Sunday, 28 March 2021

Did Anything Happen To Music .. or Did I Miss It?

There are usually times in history when musical scenes reboot themselves, probably starting in the nineteen twenties when recorded music became a thing and we had early jazz , blues and crooners making the way into the public consciousness via vinyl and radio. Gramophones and radios were commercially available and spread to sound through the populace especially in the USA and UK.

Six years ago I published a personal history of musical media from the wax cylinder to today's digital streaming here.

After the war we had crooners , Jazz , Western Swing and the beginnings of Country and Western. Rock and Roll was the first big flash propelled by Bill Haley & The Comets "Rock Around The Clock" the film "The Blackboard Jungle" and the genesis of the teenager as someone who could buy things including music, plus the tribalism of Teddy Boys and the like.

In the sixties there were Mods and Rockers, Skinheads psychedelia , ska and reggae , garage rock but this was just a quite smooth progression , resulting in some major rock bands and an unfeasioble amount of money and pretension. In the seventies we also go glam and all along the mainstream kept morst of the public satisfied as it still does today.

Then punk hit , hating the establishment , and prog rock (but ironically loving Fleetwood Mac's "Tusk") but still referring and eulogising krautock , reggae , sixties garage rock and more, while pursuing a minimalist shoestring sound epitomised by The Buzzcocks "Spiral Scratch" , which is why I was so disappointed by The Sex Pistols "Never Mind The Bollocks" as to me it was a heavy metal album, so sounded good but more metal than punk.

This resulted in lots of small independent music which was eventually absorbed by the big labels. 

And since the during the eighties we saw Goth , and Grunge and Baggy at the start of the nineties, and while there is always good music coming through there's been no big band since the mid seventies and no small bang since the early nineties.

So did I miss something or did I just get old? Franks Zappa said that when the old guys were in charge of record labels they would always give anything a shot. Could you imagine a major label releasing "Trout Mask Replica" or even "The Texas Jerusalem Crossroads" today?  Sing the young guys moved in it's all about product and markets , not art and music.

So what should I share, I'll go with the Bill Haley song.

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