Why does music today suck so bad?
- Anonymous1 decade agoBest Answer
Often I have asked myself- what happened to good music? Why is music in general today so utterly revolting, and downright embarrassing compared to what has been in the past? How could something that was once so good and refined, degenerate into what it has now become, and why has nothing been done? I have been told before that I was simply born in the wrong generation, and that it’s all a matter of taste and preference, and I have considered this, and decided that there must be more to it.
I decided that I needed an answer to these questions, and the senior project presented me with an opportunity to do so. But what is the best way to go about this, I asked myself. Certainly questions of this magnitude could not be easy to unravel, nor could I likely find the answers to them by any traditional “research paper” means- e.g. trolling the mass of information on the internet, cornering myself in some stuffy college library, and so on. Being that I am experienced with music only in listening to it and playing it, I decided that I would have to get an expert opinion on the matter, and if I wanted to truly do justice to the questions at hand, I would need outlooks from various experts in multiple positions throughout the industry.
I created a short series of questions relating to this subject, and sent them to a number of music wonks in different areas of the music field; DJ’s, music editors, radio station program directors, music critics, and other various music journalists. When the results were in there seemed to be a few theories as to why music quality had so degenerated, but there was absolute unanimous agreement that music had in fact not only lost its luster over the last 30 or so years, but had deteriorated almost beyond recognition in the area of artistic development, and had entirely lost its staying power. There was not total agreement however when it came to the cause of this downfall. One particular theory was summed up well by Sean Spillane who wrote:
I think it’s harder for artists affiliated with major record labels to keep artistic integrity than it has been in the past. Years ago, labels would allow artists to grow and take chances and would stick by someone it has invested time and money in. Nowadays, companies are just as likely to be impatient and cut an artist loose if the artist tries something that may not be as commercial as the label would like.
This is certainly an element to what has happened to music. Where is the wild inventiveness and bold experimentalism that embodied such bands as Pink Floyd? Why has no modern band come close to the soaring crescendos of lunacy found on Wish You Were Here, the towers of sound and cyclones of obsessive fervor on The Wall, or the orgasmic apogee one feels whilst saturated in the momentarily all-encompassing vibrations of ineffable euphoria offered on Eclipse, the final track on Dark Side of the Moon?
Spillane is certainly correct in his analysis. If a band such as Pink Floyd wasn’t given time to develop artistically, perhaps our ears would never be allowed the privilege to tune in to their masterpieces of sound. The solution could not be so simple. It would be easy to lay full blame on the soulless corporate bogeymen of our modern age, bedfellows of the money they so crave, however there are other factors that I believe should be taken into account, and other reasons for the decline in music that were mentioned in the interviews that I read. Technology is also a major player in the music industry, and though there are quite a few benefits to the new wave of technology there are also problems that it causes. As Rick Koster of the New London Day says,
Because of the amazing developments in technology (wherein almost anyone can make relatively inexpensive high quality recordings at home) and the stubborn idiocy of the major record labels (wherein they over the years ceded artistic control to accountants who have no taste or talent), the industry has been revolutionized. In this context, thousands of artists who believe in the integrity of music and their own work are finding ways to get their stuff out there. The problem with this, though, is obvious: if everyone can afford to release music, and being a “rock star” is perhaps more attractive than ever before, there is an astonishing amount of crap out there. It can be very frustrating, from the perspective of a music journalist, to have to wade through the overwhelming amount of mediocre or even awful music – but it’s always a blast to find something great and new.
Again, this is true and accounts for another factor in the decline of music, the burst of technology we have seen. The statement above also sheds further light on the first theory that the industry has become to money driven, and does not give the artists time to grow and prosper. In the 60’s and 70’s many of the major record labels were run by people who were very involved in the music industry, some of whom were musicians themselves. Today, as Koster stated, the control of the companies is left up the accountants and bean counters who care nothing about the artists, but only about the cold hard dollar. The negative effects on the music industry from management like this are clear, and we are seeing them today. Without allowing artists creative freedom, and enough time to grow and age to perfection, as they could in the past, we come out with one hit wonders, and corporately produced groups that have about as much combined talent in them as Jimi Hendrix’s right big pinky toe, if that.
The record industry has prospered in the short run because of cheap tactics like these, but is creating a far worse situation for themselves in the long run. Without sustainable music acts, the industry is going to have to keep churning out the talentless groups and one hit wonders that they have begun to produce, and will have no sustainable means of income from people that can continue to sell records decades later such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Who, and so on, because there are no such acts today, and unless great change occurs, there will likely not be such acts ever again. Kevin O’Hare, of the Republican agrees with this sentiment. When asked “Do you think musicians today have the staying power of previous generations of musicians?” He replied:
Overall, definitely no. If you look at the acts that are still filling some of the largest venues, a vast number are older acts that built a career around more than one or two hits. Look at all the nights Billy Joel has sold out the Mohegan Sun! He hasn’t put out an album in 15 years but he could live off his massive backlog of hits for years. The Police, Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello, Rolling Stones, The Allman Brothers, Santana, Prince, Jimmy Buffett, Stevie Wonder, etc., etc. are examples of stars from the past still doing tremendously well in this market. Who’s going to fill vast arenas in 20 years? For the most part we’ve seen a parade of one or two-hit wonders rise to stardom and crash in burn because the music industry has not been intent upon building the careers of these artists they’ve been far more intent on cashing in as quickly as possible and now they are paying a price.
This response confirmed my fears about the record industry, and the lack of integrity within it. The result has been the same from all of the interviews that I have conducted. There is a major problem with the misuse of technology in the industry, but far worse of a problem in the ethics and motives of the decision makers of the record companies.
Another issue lies with the fans, and consumers of music. The fact is that despite all that is wrong with the industry, the people are at fault as well. People continue to consume the trash that they are handed by the record companies. In order to enact change, people need to stop being ok with bad music. There needs to be a revolution against the music of today, or music will never again be what it was. The main problem as I see it lies with the parents. Children are constantly being exposed to crappy music, without knowing how bad it really is. They are left on their own to try and find music, and unless by some chance they are exposed to quality music, will never know what they are missing. Some parents even encourage this filthy behavior by doing such things as watching American Idol with their children. Such an act of child abuse leaves me shocked and chagrined. If a parent were to send their child to a prostitute, the child would be taken away, and brought to a more responsible family, and rightfully so. But when a parent exposes their child to the musical equivalent, the brutish and barbaric ritual dubbed American Idol, it is looked upon as family time. Just as the Romans had the Coliseum, we have American Idol with its screaming mindless masses of fans under the spell of mob mentality. This is a classic example of irresponsible and neglectful parenting. Parents who want the best for their child must take it upon themselves to teach their children right and wrong. This goes for every aspect of the child’s life, including music. Of course in the end, the decision must ultimately be the child’s, however without exposure to quality, genuine music, in our corporate controlled culture of advertising and media buys, young impressionable children will undoubtedly fall victim to the Satan that is modern day mainstream music. Rick Koster put it well when he said
I also think – codger that I am – that younger listeners don’t actually know what’s “good.” That sounds weird, but they’re exposed to so much crap without any context that they don’t actually have taste. This partially explains the substantial resurgence in classic rock bands among teenagers and college bands: someone (parent, older brother, whomever) plays them a Led Zeppelin or a Doors or a Beatles a
- LorettaLv 44 years ago
I like how you're conveniently ignoring all the terrible flower power pop bands of the 60's and beyond. All the terrible disco artists, and the gag inducing hair bands of the 80's. And lest we forget the 90's which produced such classic artists like The Backstreet Boys, 98 Degrees, LFO, NSYNC, etc. More people care about good music than you think, or are willing to believe. And they're seeking it out. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I can't imagine that you're looking very hard for anything if this is the opinion you have about today's music. I find good new artists on almost a weekly basis, because I use the internet and google things. If you're interested, here's some great record labels with good recent artists on their palate. Young God Sacred Bones Cuneiform Pale Noir Tee Pee Matador Alternative Tentacles Fat Possum Ipecac
- 6 years ago
Music started going down hill in the 80's with sampling. You didn't have to be creative anymore you just sample music others made and put your own words on top of it. Any monkey can do this and it shows with the so called artist we have today. You keep hearing its a generation thing. What a load of BS. Its the music industry's line to cover up the bad crap they know they are putting out. Remember when there were great radio stations? There gone and in place are stations controlled by the record industry and are told what to play. Its really so sickening that true artist are never heard and they are out there. Thank god for the internet. Its the only place left where you can really find great music if you know where to look. Makes me glad that i'm older and really grew up with great artist from all genre's of true music.
- 5 years ago
Music Sucks today because of MTV. Period. The money driven insane asylum made image a million times more import than talent. You had to be very attractive first and foremost. Ray Charles, Etta James, many of the early rockers could never get a deal today. Led Zep, Steely Dan, Allman Bros, Pink Floyd would never have a chance in todays market, which present models as "musicians". With auto tune, why learn how to sing on pitch, with pro tools, why learn how to play in time, why bother to practice at all, some machine can fix it. That's the mindset. Just presenting the image of being a Rock Star, Diva Rapper etc. is just as good as actually having talent and something say. We live in pitiful musical times.
The product that is marketed today is nothing more than disposable crap aimed at `nine year olds who have been conned since birth by devices and whatever the current LCD is.
I heard on one of the more popular current top 40 radio stations in New York advertise their playlist as "Music that makes you feel good", more correctly their slogan should be "Music for people who know nothing about music, and are to lazy to learn anything about music".
- How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
- 4 years ago
First of all, might l say that l love the way you wrote out this question. It's so well written, that l might in fact use it as an eplanation and basis to why music today sucks.
You pretty much summed it up yourself, but l would like to give you my theoretical explanation, which is very similar to yours.
First of all, we live in a world of technology.
Anyone, and l mean anyone can make a chart topping hit. Why? Well, with all the computerized technology, we don't need any instruments, we can use computers to write out any "cool sounding" tune. Without the need of instruments, most of the talent in the song is lost. Unless a song is accapella, the music itself is as important as the words (if not more).
Here we can insert the appreciation of musicians. As somebody who started playing violin at the age of 6, plays the piano and sings, l really do appreciate instruments. Without trying to sound pretentious, l believe that learning to play music affected how l hear music.
- 4 years ago
Music isn't bad anymore (well, there are still singers out there like Justin Beiber) but in general the music industry, no, singers are actually talented like Adele, Rachel Platten, Meghan Trainer etc and they have good voices. Most importently, the style of music today (2016) is losing the elctropop style with auto tune.
- 4 years ago
Music today sucks so bad because they companies get paid weather the music is good or not, so they don't care about the perfection anymore.
- 5 years ago
Music started sucking back when Arnold Schoenberg came on the scene. Prepared pianos and all sorts of other bullshit started making idiots with absolutely no talent think that they could create music.
- 5 years ago
Rap music. Mix it with Country and you get CRAP. Noise is what I call the **** they churn out. No originality or distinct sound. Music died in the early nineties and will never recover. Enough said....
- SarrafzedehkhoeeLv 71 decade ago
It's so commercial that soul-sucking Lawrence Welk seems almost like a hippie rebel. Country music sucks. Pop, rock, -- well it ALL sucks except jazz and bluegrass, the music no one likes. I'm now heavily into both.
Heck, even rap and hip hop are repetitive (lyrically and otherwise) to the point of nausea. Tune into Lawrence on PBS.
- 4 years ago
Because you can no longer make money on music, we no longer have musicians just celebrities that make poppy catchy songs almost as an advertisement to their celebrity allowing them to make money elsewhere. Commercials, tv appearances, ect