Archive for May 10th, 2008

They are dumbing down our Rock ‘n’ Roll!

May 10, 2008

Okay… the greatest recording artists of all time.  The Beatles, right?  Right… just checking.  Elvis ranks right up there.  One could argue that the Beatles had four individual members whereas there was/is only one Elvis.  In fact , early on the media called the Beatles “the four Elvis'” because of their remarkable popularity.  There was a time that the Beatles had 5 songs in succession ranking #5 up to #1.  A former #1 Beatles song would get knocked down in ranking by another Beatles song…  under four different record labels!  Unheard of before or since!

1.  Can’t Buy Me Love (Capitol Records)

2.  Twist and Shout (Tollie)

3.  She Loves You (Swan)

4.  I Wanna Hold Your Hand (Capitol Records)

5.  Please Please Me (Vee-Jay) 

So why am I bringing this up now?  Well, frankly I’m disappointed in a lot of the music these days and I have to wonder what the heck is going on?  We are lacking in something here.  I was talking to a friend of mine the other day about it.  How music from 40 years ago still resonates with young people.  Maybe not exclusively, but back when I was a teenager listening to my parents music was unheard of, almost like treason.  People would have checked my I. D. just to make sure I wasn’t a 40 something infiltrator if I’d been listening to Benny Goodman or Frank Sinatra.  So were we on to something back then when the Beatles and other rock ‘n’ roll bands reigned supreme?  Has rock reached it’s pinnacle?  It would appear so and I’ll tell you why…

Quietly, over the course of some 16 years, another artist is about to break the Beatles record of 20 #1 hits.  Right now she has tied with Elvis with her 19th #1.  Soon to be named the most popular recording artist in music recording history is…  is… …

(drum roll, please… horn section 20th Century Fox style,  Rocky theme… played backwards)  is….   is… 

Mariah Carey… whoo hoo! 

Huh?

Mariah Carey? 

I’m sorry, but from the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll to the Fab Four to… Mariah Carey?  I can’t stand it…  and I’m not trying to minimize her accomplishments but… who buys this stuff?  Every picture I see of her is like she’s in the midst of some erotic dream… oh, so vulnerable and innocent yet still some sexual deviant to be longed for and desired.  yikes… what does that have to do with good music?  Oh, I know she has a 12 octave range but her oooo’s are a cross between a yodel and a screeching siren. 

Oh, you know… people dissed Elvis way back when, but you can’t deny his popularity is stronger than ever. Case in point… Elvis reached another milestone by being the only artist to have at least one #1 in the last 5 DECADES since the recent release of his greatest hits CD!  and the Beatles?  Their compilation of #1’s went platinum in a matter of days!

So who would be my choice?  Well, in as far as #1 records I couldn’t tell you but if it came to hits in general I don’t think you could deny Eric Clapton’s legacy.  After all, he’s got a rock ‘n’ roll heart.  In the past 40 years he has been a strong influence in the music industry, a multi-Grammy Award winner and has been placed in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame 3 different times.  (no other artist has done that)  Think about it:  Elvis=The Beatles=Clapton.  Or the Rolling Stones could reign on longevity alone.  But Mariah Carey?  Pah-leeze!   

I wonder if it isn’t all just a conspiracy, dumbing down our music.  I realize that there are many different outlets and more artists are getting air time than ever before.  I just worry that the message from rock ‘n’ roll will be blurred into some socially/politically correct form, sanitized and served up with a wink and an approving nod. This stuff is fluff.  I long for the days of socially redeeming commentary the likes of which have woefully fallen silent.  Is it media driven or do people just not care anymore?   

 There is some current stuff out there that I like and since I’ve been married (!) (blissfully married, I might add)  I have been exposed to some music that I have missed along the way and that is good.  Music sootheth the savage beast in me as long as there is a back beat you can’t lose it.  The times are indeed a-changin’ and perhaps rock ‘n’ roll has to grow up one day, but does it have to be during my lifetime? 

I imagine I’ll be a rockin’ grandpa at 78, or more delicately put… 18 with 60 years experience.

*

Peace.

Oh!  in all fairness I have included a Mariah Carey video for you to enjoy.  Her appeal cannot be denied, her talent immeasurable, her singing voice sublime.   Elvis=the Beatles=Mariah Carey.  Enjoy! 

P.S.  By way of comparison, an Eric Clapton video follows.

 

 

   

Mariah Carey – Touch My Body

May 10, 2008

Mariah Carey – Touch My Body

Elvis=theBeatles=MariahCarey?

Eric Clapton – Layla (live)

May 10, 2008

Eric Clapton – Layla (live)

Elvis=theBeatles=Clapton… think about it.

peace.