Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Classic Rock; The Fugly And The Good

As most of you know, I have a hate/loathe relationship with classic rock music. This stems directly from the fact that due to my age (48 1/2), I grew up on classic rock music, and thus have no real desire to listen to it again.

Actually, I should clarify that last statement.

While I grew up on classic music (back when it was NEW), my only desire when it comes to listening to those bands from the 70's thru the 80's, is listening to the entire body of work, and not just the one or two hits that are murdered in as many ways as to dispatch a member of the human race.

Think I'm kidding?

If you name a band or an artist, chances are I can tell you what song is overkilled on commercial radio.

In fact, here is a short sample of artists who have a solid catalogue (more than 4 albums) of work, yet most major commercial rock/alternative/adult stations will play one song and only one song from that artist.

1} Pure Prairie League: "Amie"
2} KISS: "Rock & Roll All Nite"
3} Jimmy Buffet: "Margaritaville"
4} Jeff Healy: "Angel Eyes"
5} Squeeze: "Tempted "
6} Tower of Power: "What Is Hip?"

Now, I can wax poetically in this vein until I make you want to rip out your eyeballs, but I'm too nice of a guy to inflict that kind of pain on you.

Instead, I'll continue with my next point of the good about classic rock, and to a lesser degree, pop music.

Long before the invention  and prominence of entities such as RealAudio, Sirius XM and Pandora, which brought a better tolerance and acceptance to classic rock (as well as other genres), there was college radio. College radio in its heyday, brought the classic rock sound of the 60's and 70's to the generation of listeners who not control the commercial airways.

In present times, college radio remains one of the few, if not only, places where you can hear almost any genre old or new, on the dial. And yes, you can hear both classic rock and classic pop as well.

In other words, you can listen to the various jocks delve a bit deeper into a given artist's catalogue and pull out gems that either you haven't heard before or haven't heard in a while on commercial radio, simply because the powers that be deemed that particular song wasn't a huge enough hit for the artist.

So in addition to exploring new and old genres of music, college radio remains the only place where I can tolerate and appreciate both classic rock and classic pop.


  1. Kiss is certainly classic rock. I don't know about those other folks. :)

  2. Charles: KISS is most definitely, and it would be nice if they played other songs by them.

    Even "Beth" would be a vast improvement over that other one.

  3. Mr. RK and I were just having a conversation about this. Take Black Sabbath: they play a total of three of their songs on the radio, and they all suck. Same with a lot of other decent artists.

    Imagine being best known for your worst work as an artist.

  4. M: Exactly.

    KISS did that song at the absolute height of the disco era and thus, they are known more for that song than anything else.

    And I bet I can guess two of the three Sabbath songs:

    1) Iron Man
    2) Paranoid

    Not sure what the third might be other maybe "War Pigs".

  5. I'd heard years ago somewhere that Ike Turner owned all the radio stations responsible for deciding what is heard by the public. That he made the business model used, n was responsible for what became hits.

    I wonder who's controlling that now?
    I Like WBRU Boston Radio University programming- but rarely get to listen these days

  6. Snaggle: Whether that is true about Ike Turner I do not know. However, I can say with a reasonable degree of accuracy that the majority of commercial radio stations are probably owned by less than a half dozen corporations, and they pretty much decide via data/statistics on what should be played depending on the genre.

  7. My husband's music tastes run similar to yours. I'm an 80s music gal. We're always switching radio channels around here. :-)

  8. Jewel: My wife is more a current pop music kind of gal, with just a little 90's boy band thrown in for good measure.

    It's always an adventure whenever we drive together, as I'm always looking for that one station that my wife can enjoy as well.

  9. I think I just have a hate, hate relationship with classic rock. :D

  10. Joe: To a major degree, I will always have a hate/hate relationship with classic rock. But, with college radio, there is always a tiny thaw in that relationship.


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