Music in the 80s Sucked

by Lionel Casey

In a first-rate essay making the case that pop music became at its zenith in 1984, Julie Kelly writes that the generation represented a patriotic swoon. She may also have mentioned that the same year, Lee Greenwood launched “God Bless the USAA.,” the most patriotic music of the 12 months even though it changed into no longer, strictly speaking, a pop tune.

The 12 months 1984 may additionally have been the excessive factor of pop and rock. However,, that isn’t always pronouncing an awful lot. The complete decade is more excellent for the musical malaise it created. As a music director for radio stations at some stage in that decade, I ought to recognise. It was all through the ’80s that radio stations commenced to tighten their playlists all to the satisfied applause of corporate track pros. The rapid creation of the Nineteen Seventies radio stations died, to get replaced by way of preplanned and survey-examined radio codecs. The most enormous of these were the songs stations acquired from the radio syndication corporation Drake-Chenault.

No longers were application and music administrators left to their know-how and intestine as to what made a success. They deferred to the “experts.” It was a disaster. The same songs have been performed and replayed to the factor of monotony. Music after which radio commenced to lose its target audience, and the music that changed into created for just this motive suffered. Amazingly, it all started to sound the equal.

The Eighties represented the creeping destruction of musical creativity. The few shining moments in this decade had been performed by using the one’s acts allowed by using their corporate producers to check the limits of desirable on-air material—Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” falls into this category.

Most of the track in the Eighties, but, to position it colloquially, sucked.

It is first-rate that the track pros and radio gods determined to clamp down on creativity in the meanwhile they did. It became handiest ten years earlier, in 1974, that a small band signed with approximately as independent a record label (London) as one should get at the time, and packed Austin stadium with eighty,000 of their closest pals. Try doing that without essential label backing. ZZ Top did it, though, and they had been immensely popular even before their hit tune “Tush” and their signing with Warner Brothers. But in the Seventies, as now, the marketplace craved something authentic, also if it changed into soon not target audience tested and accepted. It worked.

When the document labels merged and clamped down on musical talent, they iced over out the bands that might have carried their innovative marketplace into the following decade. Those who wanted to stay a signed act have been compelled into the business enterprise playlist with business enterprise manufacturers and corporation songwriters. Many bands before the explosion of the internet and independent labels had been sadly never to discover considerable fame and marketability they deserved because music executives did now not have the understanding the concept they had.

Case in factor was a West Coast band known as the Crazy 8s. They packed something venue they performed in the Nineteen Eighties. When I became a tune director at a radio station, I pleaded with many label reps to signal the band. Every time they informed me, “We’d like to, but we do now not realise a way to categorise them.” The Crazy 8s by no means was signed to a first-rate label. However they stim, planted their standing-room-best crowds to head wild indeed due to the fact they were no longer a cookie cutter band, and they supplied a unique sound that resonated. They also had the introduced advantage of being a talented actor. In one live performance, I take into account the college age crowd of the ’80s nearly destroyed the venue upon hearing the immensely famous Johnny Q—a rip on mainstream media earlier than it was cool.



Related Posts