Classic rock will never die | Columns


The other day I heard someone say that the music you grew up with will always be the best music to your ears because it provided the soundtrack for the most enjoyable years of your life. If you think about it, that kind of meaning makes sense.

And if so, then I appreciate the great music that was my personal soundtrack even more.

When I think back to all the music that has been a part of my life, I don’t think there is any doubt that the music I listened to from 1975 to 1985 or so was the best music ever. be heard.

The innocence and innovation that drove the birth of rock music in the 1950s to the 1960s was sharpened in the 1970s. Popular music was bold and confident in the 1970s (with the exception of disco ), and the age of the guitar god took center stage. It wasn’t enough just to be cute and poppish anymore. Musicality has become a measuring stick for cool.

And then, technological advancements mingled with that confidence to create the incredible web of music of the 80s. At least in my mind (and my ears), it all peaked in the late 80s, and things haven’t been so interesting since (especially since Eddie Van Halen almost ruined the emergence of the future guitar gods).

But again, this is my point of view. I’m sure all the kids from the 50s / 60s / 90s / etc. feels the same about their music era.

Let me tell you before I go any further that I am a lifelong guitarist. As a result, I have a keen appreciation for people who actually learn to play an instrument and share their talents with the rest of the world – and especially when a group of like-minded musicians come together as a group to do the same.

So what happened? At least in my opinion, technology has become as or more important than talent, and it finally took that priority when people learned to program computers to become a virtual shadow of true musicality.

Make no mistake, there is nothing wrong with a synthesizer or other technological advancements. But when I learned how computer technology was doing almost all the work for some artists, I knew we had crossed a line.

There is one thing in modern music production called “auto-tuning”. To illustrate what that feels like, let’s say I go into the studio to record a song as a singer. However, during the process of recording said song, I hit a few clunker notes along the way. So we could use auto-tune to find those bad notes in the mix and “correct” them to the right pitches.

So what’s wrong with that, you ask? Well, the technology has reached the point where automatic tuning can now be used in a live performance. To give you an example, there are artists who can barely hold a coherent conversation, let alone a melody. With auto-tuning, all they have to do is say the song lyrics in the right (or near) timing, then a computer can “grab” their voice and adjust the pitch of those words in real time. . agree with the song.

This essentially means that even in a live performance situation, you have no idea whether what you are hearing is legitimately live or virtually live. That bothers me.

A few years ago I spent a lot of money to see a very famous band in concert. You can imagine my disappointment when one of their singers started talking over the speakers even before they approached their microphone – which basically means some of the voices we were hearing in their “live” performance were in fact anything but.

I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather hear an artist try to perform a song and come up a bit short than know I’m listening to a little more than a pre-recorded file of them doing it perfectly. .

In other words, if I wanted to listen to a CD, I would have stayed in my truck.

It is because of these and many other factors that I consider the music of the 70s / 80s that I grew up with as the top of the popular music mountain. I realize that there have been good songs since, but let me ask the question I always ask young people when it comes to music: what songs recorded in the last 20 years will still be listened to in 50 years? ?

Their response ? “Not a lot.” When I know that too many of these kids are still listening to the same music I listened to when I was their age, that’s all I need to know.

Now, with all of that said, there have been a few clues of classic rock type music coming back into the fold. There is a band called Greta Van Fleet that impresses me with everything they do – even though some of the cranky old musicians say “yes, but they sound like Led Zeppelin”.

My response: “And is that a problem?”

So all of you old fogs, be grateful that you had the music of your youth, for unlike us it will never die.

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