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Today's music is better than it was 40 years ago

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Showing 1376-1400 of 1000 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on May 8, 2012 11:20:58 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 9, 2012 1:54:17 AM PDT
Hinch says:
>I find it odd and rather dishonest for you to be the one here defending the right to engage in arguement<.........because I refuse to argue politics on the music forums. You seem to like inserting politics into your posts. Im sure you could find plenty of people who would enjoy discussing politics...on the political forum.

I'm not the first to not want to talk politics on the music theads. Yes, I have done it myself a few times, and was politely asked to stop and take it to the political forum.

Why do you bring up something that's been over with for a while....and forgotten by most of those involved. The thread you're talking about is water under the bridge....over and done with.

You can "find it" to be whatever you choose. We're free to choose what we argue about, but threads are made for discussions/debates/arguments......whatever one chooses to call them.

How can I defend my musical taste with an argument?
I suppose the same way you can. I just give my honest opinion.

I dont recall saying "new music sucks". I dont make a habit of saying any music sucks because everyone has their own taste in music. I've only said I dont care for the music of today and in my opinion music of the past was better.

You seem to be taking these discussions personally, as if I'm attacking you for your opinion.

In reply to an earlier post on May 9, 2012 2:56:30 AM PDT
@andrecornal: I see the misunderstanding here. The Planet X I am referring to is a band who formed in the 2000s, they are not from the 70s and they do not play pop. They are an entirely instrumental fusion band.

Posted on May 9, 2012 7:52:15 AM PDT
Stratocaster says:
Topper - " we're kind of agreeing here".

It was not my intent to argue or disagree with your post. To the contrary, I was agreeing with most of what you said. The only thing I called into question was you having Radiohead, Porcupine Tree and Flaming Lips on your list of "newer" artists, when actually they're from the late 80's/early 90's. Granted, they ARE way off from the 60's & 70's, which IS half of the subject we're talking about here. But personally, I still have a hard time considering them "new" bands.

Topper - "Look at how many artists you knew from my list--barely a quarter. I'm not trying to knock you here, I'm just saying, check out some of these artists that are unfamiliar to you and you might find your appreciation for the past decade increasing".

I didn't edit your list based on bands I'd heard of. I edited based on bands that I already own music by. I've HEARD of 90% of the artists on the list. I just haven't bought any of their material.

In reply to an earlier post on May 9, 2012 8:07:21 AM PDT
Stratocaster says:
Michael Topper says: "@Music Luver: I mentioned Planet X as a band carrying on (and frequently surpassing) the tradition of KC's more hard-edged material, from "21st Century Schizoid Man" through "Red" and "Thrak". However, if one is speaking of the group's more melodic, mellotron-drenched epics from the early days, there are several bands doing that sound very well right now as well, including Big Big Train (also a big early Genesis influence there) and Moon Safari".

Also, check out Anekdoten & Beardfish!! If you dig the dark, edgy, plodding heavy prog rock of early Crimson, you'll love these bands!

In reply to an earlier post on May 9, 2012 8:20:23 AM PDT
alejandro says:
Indeed, Michael.. greetings

In reply to an earlier post on May 9, 2012 3:30:41 PM PDT
Are you thinking of Brand X from the 70's with Phil Collins? They were a good British fusion band, and Phil can really play when he wants to.

In reply to an earlier post on May 9, 2012 3:41:49 PM PDT
alejandro says:

In reply to an earlier post on May 15, 2012 1:22:41 AM PDT
Thanks for the reply, and sorry for my late one.

I guess I should do a little expanding on what I said before in regards to older music. I have in fact grown up on stuff from the '50s, '60s, '70s, etc, because my parents were born in the '50s themselves, so they've had decades of music to come to enjoy and subsequently play around me my whole life.

I guess the reason I never took a particular interest in it was because it felt very "every day" for me, it was music I always heard so it never challenged my ear, the same way it might've when rock and roll was a burgeoning genre first making its mark. That's not to say that it isn't good in any sense - I definitely appreciate it for how it has shaped music history and contributed to the sound of music I love. A few of those bands actually provided a springboard for me to jump into different genres and expand my own tastes. So I suppose it's not so much disinterest, as it is simply wanting to hear things that continue to excite me over bands I've heard since as far back as I can remember. One day I'll probably grow to enjoy it a lot more than I do now, I am only 19, so there's plenty of time for me to cycle back to those guys and give 'em a fair shake.

I really like your attitude about looking towards the future, too, not "kissing the past's ass". I feel the same way - the old guard certainly made some great music, and deserve recognition, but looking back on the past too long only clouds your view of the future. And I can't say I have any particular favorite era, either. There's a lot of musicians that I really enjoy, maybe more from one era than another, but I know there's always been both good and bad in every decade and since music is so subjective, no era could ever really be "best".

When it comes down to it though, I kind of enjoy music in two ways. There's the music that I really, really like, and will go out of my way to listen to - "headphone" music - and the music I hear around me from the radio and my friends, that, while maybe I wouldn't listen to it otherwise, I still enjoy and tap my foot and sing to - "fun" music. A lot of classic stuff would fall into the fun category for me, because it's still good music to me, just not my "thing". There's a time and place for every kind of music; I wouldn't want to listen to Radiohead at a dance party, for example, but I probably wouldn't rock out to Katy Perry in my spare time, either. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I don't really take it all so seriously, and I do enjoy a lot of music despite having some pretty specific "headphone" tastes.

Well, I've been fighting with wording and rewording this post awhile, and I think I'm as close as I'm going to get to making my thoughts coherent (they always sound better in my head until I write them down, haha).

In reply to an earlier post on May 15, 2012 10:00:04 AM PDT
alejandro says:
Hello, Michael; nice conversation, good points of view..
To it I must add a few of my own..
Of course, different types of music have different functions, such as for dancing, "headphone" music, etc., so it all depends on many factors when confronting a particular style and situation.
For mere enjoyment is more a matter of need. I have a soft spot for romantic music sometimes, but my range does not depend on that.
If I study music, is my responsibility to do it right, and research objectively, and find what the history is, not my history, or the history of my taste, so I must research conciously.
It is kind of like if you like art and disregard the past; if you only care for what the future will bring, is an accepted attitude in life itself, but not for the sincerely curious.
I find it important to be open to approaching music regardless of the time it was made, but if we try to compare qualities, it is important to be aware of the time it was produced, so that we know the newer music's influences, because someone will know what we don't, and it maybe just being used to make money, and people are being misled, by using somebody else's inspiration to sell.
So, when we study music, it has to be done chronologically. You study classical (I guess I was lucky my dad played it when I was little), then blues, jazz, the masters.. then rock, avant garde, reggae, African, South American, Native American, Indian, Indonesian,etc.. I guess it's a matter of curiosity, but also of discipline to learn what is good, and better music, councious research must be a goal.
Anyhow, my own humble opinion.. have fun listening!

In reply to an earlier post on May 15, 2012 2:05:02 PM PDT
Yeah, I understand that's important. I've taken a few classes on the history and development of popular music from around the 1800s onwards and I found it really fascinating. The year something was made usually isn't a consideration for me as long as I like the music, I just seem to like more newer stuff, haha.

In reply to an earlier post on May 15, 2012 5:17:09 PM PDT
@Music Luver: somehow I missed this post! No, the Planet X i'm referring to is different from Brand X (although they were a fantastic fusion band as well!).

@Stratocaster: hearing of a group is still different than actually hearing them. I still say check some of those bands out, you may like what you hear! :)

In reply to an earlier post on May 15, 2012 11:32:54 PM PDT
alejandro says:
Maybe if you start buying records (LP's) you'll get a more savory take than just buying CD's and/or downloading music; when you play LP's you listen to music the way it was listened to originally, and perhaps you'll detach from ready made technology. If not, oh well, if you don't really know past music you really can't have a clear opinion..
Being young you have the time to do some real research, but if you rely only on your own taste and pleasure, it is just your own that you are fascinating with..

In reply to an earlier post on May 15, 2012 11:52:00 PM PDT
alejandro says:
I am 45 years old, and when I was 19 I was listening to stuff I thought it was the best there was.. now, I feel somewhat embarrassed of what I held as great music, it has proven to be a momentary caprice of my own..
Now I host a couple of radio shows as a voluntary on a community radio station, based on years of research and collecting..

In reply to an earlier post on May 18, 2012 9:15:11 AM PDT
Roeselare says:
what was great to you when you were 19?

Posted on May 18, 2012 9:23:49 AM PDT
alejandro says:
Tim Weisberg, Kitaro, Russ Ballard, Carly Simon. I was an exchange student in Wisconsin and I'd go to malls and buy tapes.. got so many!

In reply to an earlier post on May 18, 2012 8:45:26 PM PDT
Roeselare says:
if they were universally great they would still be great today, so i think you're contivo, andrecornal

Posted on Jun 29, 2012 11:21:44 AM PDT
bordersj2 says:
The funny thing is, every era also has it's fair share of crap as well. 50's, 60's, 70's... they all had a ton of bad artists, just like today. But what IMO (and it';s only that) people remember are the songs they have an attachment to, and then the very very best of the best. Pink Floyd, Zepp, Chicago, the Doobies or whatever band or genre it was. But even some of those bands may have had some songs that people didn't care for on the individual albums. Hits & misses. Years from now I think people will rmember the really good songs, or the artists that were more groundbreaking in the time, and true artists. Other crummy acts that are just in the moment will usually fall by the wayside.

Posted on Jun 29, 2012 5:58:05 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 1, 2014 2:52:18 AM PDT
E. Dill says:

I surely agree with most of what you've said. Every decade has had music and performers that were less than stellar by most people's standards today. About the only thing I'd add is that I don't believe there IS an objective way of judging talent and non-talent or good music and bad music. We can get a consensus on opinions from critics or friends or anyone who'll talk to us but it's still only opinion.

Often classical music fans will criticize rock/pop and use, as a justification, that such music is transitory and has no real "staying power". It's popular today and gone tommorrow. Unless they are REAL snobs, they may accept a few people from such lowbrow styles of music as having some talent but we always hear about how the giants of classical music have shown their staying power by being around for 400-500 years. What they NEVER say is how many people wrote and played classical music that are NOT remembered. And how many "classical music" buffs absolutely despise what is now referred to as "modern classics". (Oddly, that's the kind of classical music I DO respond reminds me, somewhat, of avant garde jazz).

I'd guess that you are right about good music having a better chance of being remembered than the "crummy stuff", assuming we could agree on the difference between the two. But, I am sure that some of that rememberance can be that of a cultural phenomenon. If I was writing a book about the history of rock/pop music, I wouldn't completely ignore a pop artist who WAS huge for a short period and then forgotten. Their popularity DID reflect something about the music of the day and the way people responded to it. There are surely more rock/pop fans who still remember The Archies or 1910 Fruitgum Co. or David Cassidy or Donny Osmond than remember David Ackles, Suicide, Emit Rhodes or Esther Phillips. Yet, I surely believe the latter group was more talented than the former.

Without trying to start an argument about this with anyone, I still believe that the notion that the best music was made some decades ago and now it's all crap is based, at least in part, on confusing music with nostalgia and age. I'm guessing that people in their late teens/early 20's are more apt to develop strong ties to performers and styles of music than older folk. Older folks often, I'd assume, looking for something that is soothing, mellow, quiet and comforting. They may still be able to enjoy the memory of Jimi Hendrix or the Jefferson Airplane but they'd rather listen to James Taylor than James Brown. (Since I'm 65, I'm not trying to insult seniors. I simply think of myself as an exception to growing old musically as I've described it. I find it a bit sad that middle aged and older people often mock the music of the youth of today in the same way THEIR parents mocked them. So when their parents told them of how much better Bing Crosby was than Elvis Presley, they just didn't understand anything new. Now we have those same kids who grew up with rock n roll "owning" the music begun as music for teens back in the 50's (not because the music was so bad but because, initially, it was so black) now telling their kids that what they listen to isn't even rock....its machine made music with no heart or soul made my talentless money grubbers who don't care about music and the labels who they work for aren't all visionaries, disinterested in profits and more concerned with art like they all were in the 60's. Yep, that's what they tell the kids as they mock Radiohead (who?) while extolling the talents of Pink Floyd and the Beatles.

Of course the other argument is that even if I wanted to look for new good music, I couldn't find it.....that in the 60's I could just turn on the radio and hear great music with no muss or fuss. Now, I'd have to undergo a complicated research project to go past the rap/dance/autotune nonsense. Yeah, like spend 15 minutes on the internet collecting names in any genre you want and then taking those names to youtube and listening to song after song by those artists to discover what you liked. Wow. Breaking a sweat, huh?

Because of my age, I LOVE the 50's and every decade since. I also went backwards to find music of earlier times that I could enjoy. But I surely don't think I "own" rock music because I've been a fan since it's inception. I let my daughter find her own "Beatles" or "Stones" and I, at 65, find my own "Animal Collective" and "PJ Harvey".


Posted on Jun 30, 2012 4:04:31 PM PDT
No way !

Posted on Jun 30, 2012 5:22:42 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 30, 2012 9:01:02 PM PDT
alysha25 says:
@E.Dill, I'm "old" , but oddly enough , I have not turned to soft rock or anything "soothing, mellow, quiet, and comforting". It isn't that I don't like "soft rock" , I like Some soft rock as much as I always have at any age. And I Do Know those people who's musical tastes change and mellow. Mine just never have. They've maybe changed a bit, but not really mellowed. I hope I NEVER listen to James Taylor!!!

In general I like hard rock, heavy metal, most rock I guess, some blues rock, some pop, some metal. I "try" to be open to whatever is new and in style. I don't ever want to be one of those people stuck in one decade from 30 years ago.

edit: I definitely had the parents who mocked my music ;o). My dad liked Frank Sinatra and music from that era, classical, and opera. He liked Some soft rock , but anything "hippie" like or any hard rock was sure to bring some harsh sarcasm!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 30, 2012 6:51:54 PM PDT
I agree that finding the tons of great music being put out today requires a certain level of internet savvy. I would be shocked to ever hear something like Animal Collective on the radio.

Posted on Jun 30, 2012 6:59:35 PM PDT
@Mogwai Injustice: dude it would take about five minutes for even the most computer-illiterate person there is, to learn to find some new music they like. Perhaps that's more "savvy" than turning a radio dial, but not much!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 30, 2012 8:33:28 PM PDT
LuR says:
Peripheral VisionTry PENTULTIMA for some real original rock.

Posted on Jun 30, 2012 8:33:38 PM PDT
E. Dill says:
I was lucky, I guess. I was born in 1946 and by the time rock began with Freed, the name rock n roll and the audacity of playing mostly black r&b on a white radio station, I was 8 or 9, I guess. My dad, who liked the Bing Crosby's AND the Frank Sinatra's but also Big Joe Williams, Cab Calloway, Lena Horne, Billie Holiday, The Inkspots, etc, so he wasn't shocked by black music, no matter what you called it. He knew I took to it and he'd go make his rounds at night and come home with news about the new tunes he'd heard on the radio. Clearly, he was NOT one of these white parents who hated rock n roll because it was loud, naughty and mostly black. My mother, who was born in Kentucky to a racist mother never let her upbringing separate herself from everything black. I knew she liked country music (George Jones, Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, etc.) but when rock began, especially the infusion of country/rockabilly, she became a rock fan too. My parents, in 1955 would have been 37 and 36 respectively. At the age of 8, I was already spinning the dials on my radio, looking for new sounds. And even with the later replacements for Freed (who'd gone to the big time in NYC in 1952-3), I never kept the dial on the white stations but often found the two main black stations, WJMO and WABQ, to hear gospel, jazz, blues and r&b.

Part of my fetish for lists (I'd guess that at least 75% of the nastiness I've encountered by my postings has been relating to my lists....too long, too obscure, too lacking in meaningful intent, too showoffy......) is that I use them and always have to find new music. It's worked for me for the past 50+ years and I ain't quitting now. When I see a list somewhere, I'm immediately curious. I'm looking for artists/albums I haven't heard or heard of. They don't have to be truly original....after all, what really is? I don't care if the artists are looking to make art or looking to make money, get laid and stay out of the factory. All I care about is the sound, not the intent. If it sounds good to me, I've added to my listening pleasure.

Finding new music to investigate is almost as easy as turning on the radio or the I-pod. It's almost as easy as it is for those who claim my lists take too much time out of their lives....arrow down or use the "ignore" button please. Lists are easy to ignore. They look like lists at first glance so you don't have to waste valuable time reading a sentence or two before deciding it's not for you. It's a damn list and you can get away before the damage is done.

Speaking of lists.....I found two I love at first glance. Sure, some of that love is the fact that the compiler cherishs LOTS of lesser known albums that I know and have in my collection. But, and here's the big but of lists.....he has obscurities I know NOTHING about. Surely, before I go to sleep tonight, I will have made my own list of EVERY album/artist he's mentioned that I don't know or have. And I'll probably be investigating tommorrow, i.e., looking for their music on It beats watching the Cleveland Indians drop another one.

Here's the two lists I found on

If you don't know or like "cut n paste" action, go to and click on the "list" at the top of the page and find the lists from dejan malcic. I should mention that while dejan can make two superb lists of albums he thinks are great that lots of people haven't even heard of, he also has a list of 20-25 biggies that he can't stand. #1 and #3 of that list are my two favorites, The Beatles and Bob Dylan. I forgive him because I like his other lists....

ed.(mr. list)

Posted on Oct 10, 2012 3:59:24 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 10, 2012 4:08:31 AM PDT
E. Dill says:

<<I actually HOPE that I am proven wrong.>>

I think you are but I also think it's quite unproveable.

<<Add to that the fact that there's just not nearly as much newer music to get excited about as their was 30 to 40 years ago, and you have a receipe for a dying art>>

Change that to "as there was 200 to 300 years ago" and you could be werranth taking.

Well, I've been "around" since 1946 and listening to music (other than nursery rhymes and REAL music made for kids) since 1954 and I don't see a difference in the quality OR the diversity of the music availabe today. The biggest difference I see, other than how music is dispersed and listened to technologically, is how disparate it is compared to the earlier styles. People mock or get angry at the thousands of "invented" genre distinctions we have today but it's no secret why. We didn't NEED them in the 1950's. That should tell us something about the music today and it's not just marketing.

When rock and roll began in the 50's (as a label, not as a music) it's cultural importance was in awakening white kids to music that black kids probably had heard much earlier in their households....jazz, blues, rhythm and blues. Again, when Freed began renaming it as "rock n roll" and playing essentially black music on a "white" radio station, it gave new life to popular music. (I'm still trying to understand why werranth NEVER EVER criticizes those "lame" pop tunes that predated rock n roll. To her, rock n roll will ALWAYS be music made for kids and any adult listening to it and actually LIKING it is either mentally still a child or, as they age, wants to act like a child by liking their music. Then again, werranth knows NOTHING about today's pop/rock music - much less than I know about her beloved classics.) So, quickly add to that mix the strains of country/folk and you got a rather tasty brew and rock n roll quickly came to be more than just another name for "black popular music" played for white kids. Ok, it wasn't just one thing. It was doo wop which linked back to earlier, softer black vocal groups like the Ink Spots. It was New Orleans r&b like Fats Domino was singing in the late 40's. It came from the jazz jump bands like Louis Jordan and the country singers like Hank Williams and the Delmore Brothers. And, yes, it had a beat and you could dance to it.

And it evolved. Stylistically and in complexity. And the strength of it was that everytime it evolved to such an extent that it was on the brink of losing its rawness in the evolutionary push toward technical/intellectual self-satisfaction, another brand of young folks would bring it down to the essence of beat and rhythm. We had garage music, punk rock, grunge and now dubstep. These "back to the roots" aspects of rock doesn't truly "save it" just keeps it from becoming the "classical period" of its time. You know, a 200 year period (kind of like how many older rockers pinpoint their "classical period" as "the 60s and 70's") that many classical music buffs cherish as the be-all of music in the western world. You got your Mozart and you got your Beethoven...just barely. Ludwig was on the brink of a change......a change that some "classicists" were fearful of. Those damn romantics. And beyond to the slop they now call "modern classical". (werranth NEVER, EVER talks of's like it doesn't exist in her world)

The people who don't get as excited about the newer music as they were 30 or 40 years ago have quit looking or have bought into the notion that the music they were excited about WAS, as werranth says, music for kids and they aren't kids anymore. So they still cherish it as a memory of their youth but somehow find it unseemly to go look for more of it at the age of 50-60. Just ask werranth how embarrassed I should be. But I'm not. Not one iota. I find something new and exciting to listen to EACH DAY without breaking a sweat. It could be jazz, rock, country, modern classical, world music, rap, electronic or something heretofore unnamed. But I'm surely excited about the prospect more than I was back in the 60's when everyone was sitting around awaiting the next Beatles or Stones or Kinks or Pink Floyd or the other 15 major "gods" of rock music in the 60's releases. Yes, it was very good music. But today, I'm inundated with good to great music and can only invest so much time in it. So, the frustration is not in not finding any but in not learning to say "enough is enough". You can't sample EVERYTHING there is.

But, no, you can't be proven wrong and neither can I. We all listen differently and for different things. I think the danger of the seeming disconnect between werranth and I is that we've carved out two disparate paths to our musical appreciation. Mine is, first and foremost, emotional. I feel the music as I listen. To werranth, music is essentially an intellectual exercise. The more you understand it's components and it's intelligence, the more you are ready to enjoy it completely. To werranth, EVERYTHING should be approached through the intellect. To her, my life's listening has been a sham. I didn't really UNDERSTAND what I was listening to or why. To me, werranth has missed the feel of the music.....too caught up in admiring the mathematics of the pieces and parts that make up a good song or a good symphony.

At the risk of sounding anti-education again, I'm relieved I didn't choose music as my life's work. I don't want my art to be taken over by mathematics or the composition of paint. Leave that to the musicians/painters. I want to listen and observe. And, hopefully, to enjoy, even if that enjoyment includes joy, saddness, reflection, bawdiness, rage, etc.

If to some (anyone) all so called "rock music", whether it be Sam the Sham or Porcupine Tree, is music made for kids, let that be their reason for staying away. I don't mind. I don't even mind if they insinuate that I only like it because I'm "trying to stay young". Talk to my 18 year old daughter and see if she thinks that's what I'm doing!

Enough. Personally, I think the music of today is as vibrant and as experimental and as unpredictable as it ever was. Even classical music, although I sometimes wonder if any classical music buffs actually listen to so called "modern classical". I know I do.

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