They are dumbing down our Rock ‘n’ Roll!

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! 


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.



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.





7 Responses to “They are dumbing down our Rock ‘n’ Roll!”

  1. Karen Says:

    Sir Elton! Seriously though, he’s been around & been heard for a long time.

    “Elton John
    Induction Year: 1994
    Induction Category: Performer

    Inductee: Elton John (piano, vocals; born March 25, 1947)

    Elton John is among the most successful musical artists of the modern era. In terms of popularity, he ranks with Elvis Presley and the Beatles among rock and rollers. Moreover, his longevity as an active recording artist surpasses both of them. In 1992, he broke Presley’s old record for the most consecutive years of Top 40 hits on Billboard’s singles chart, having been a continual presence in every year since “Your Song” debuted in December 1970. A multifaceted talent, John excels as both a ballad-oriented singer/songwriter and a flamboyant rock and roll star. He is also a first-rate musician who elevated the role of piano in a medium theretofore dominated by guitars.”

    I took the above from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame site.

    I don’t like the “music” that’s being played now. It’s garbage, to be polite. As for Mariah Carey, I don’t see the appeal. I don’t like her voice. And even my husband doesn’t like to hear her, but he will stare at her. Has to be a man thing.

  2. Chantal Says:

    Here’s what I think: In the days when Elvis & the Beatles were racking up hits, you either heard their songs on the radio, or if you had a job and a little extra money, you could buy the 45 and run home to listen to it on your record player. Today, we are in a glut of music (alot of which are just songs thrown together to support the record industry, much like movies, rather than the record industry supporting the music), we hear our music through more than just the radio, and because of this glut, people allow the media to choose for them what they listen to, just like they allow the media to tell them what to wear and what to drive. The media is there to bombard you with messages so that you don’t have to think. So, yes, our rock ‘n roll is being dumbed-down. The last thing the media wants is for the consumer to exercise their opinions. The consumer can think whatever he/she likes, as long as in the end, he/she buys what the media tells them to. And the media accomplishes this through constant reminders of the latest celebrity in magazines, on the Internet, on TV. The more you see an image or an idea, the more you absorb it into your psyche, the better chance it will have to be purchased by you in the form of a CD or DVD.

    Just think of how much more popular the Beatles would’ve been with today’s big media machine working for them? When you look at it that way, it amplifies the accomplishments of those early artists (a lot of whom are still mesmerizing us with their music), they are where they are because of what they created, not so much because of an industry feeding the hype.

    When I was buying an album at the record store with my babysitting money all those years ago, I was choosing carefully which one I really wanted, I wasn’t walking in with $50 bucks and picking out several CDs or downloading music like it was going out of style.

    So I think there are economic reasons for Ms. Carey’s popularity: I don’t think it’s because she’s better than, it’s more a question of people having more money at their disposal now then ever before. And in this generation of information explosion, critical thinking is easily laid aside in favour of the quick fix. And lots of it, please.

    Gee, I should get my own blog 🙂
    This was a great rant. Reminds me of conversations held in the Great White North back in November….. As for introducing you to newer music, the feeling is mutual. Thanks for showing me the way to appreciate Clapton, and for re-discovering others. Led Zep will never be the same.


  3. babychaos Says:

    Ah but you say it, yourself, “over the past 16 years” the Beatles lasted from 62 to 68 so that’s six years, Elvis? Longer but not so active in the later years.

    In Britain we had a show recently to find the top selling artist of all time it was, I kid you not, Cliff Richard. Why? Because his career has spanned some 30 (or is it 40) years, because there are so many albums to buy while the Beatles made just 8 was it? And one of those was an EP. So if you take the number of songs released and albums made by the Beatles and most likely Elvis, too, you get a much higher ratio of success.

    Or say, take an album by each, sorry I’m not too up on the King but the Beatles is my specialist subject so am I not right in thinking that Sgt Pepper’s is one of the top three best selling albums of all time?

    Finally, 12 year olds have more money these days. When I was 12 I had to think very carefully about buying an album, today’s 12 year olds can afford to buy more and they like simple stuff like Mariah Carey.

    There you go.

    My twopennorth.



  4. chrisfiore5 Says:

    Whoa! I seem to have struck a chord… G7, I believe.

    You’re right, Karen… the Rocket Man can’t be denied, I didn’t know all that stuff, thanks for the info!

    Well, BC, aren’t you just a little close to the subject of the Beatles being from Great Britain and all? One thing I appreciate from you folks across the pond is that your entertainers have staying power, not like the U.S. I remember Cliff Richard, and I think it was 40 years. Yikes!

    Hello Chantal, mmm… you ain’t heard nuthin’ yet! I look forward to our exchange of musical thoughts and ideas for years to come.


  5. Karen Says:

    I just found this: Makes no difference about her music, BUT:

    “Mariah Carey Pop Superstar Strikes Gold for Wish Kids

    The recording industry measures success with gold and platinum albums. If the Make-A-Wish Foundation did the same, Mariah Carey would have armfuls. The recording star is a prolific wish granter who helped the Foundation celebrate its 25th anniversary.

    Carey is at the top of the charts when it comes to delighting wish kids. In addition to the dozens of wishes she’s granted in her career, she committed to granting every wish slated for her “Adventures of Mimi” tour. Many children have also taken Carey’s place at music awards shows, thanks to her generosity.

    Carey also donates to help grant performing arts/music wishes; she has donated more than $100,000 to fund more than 20 wishes. Aaron, 17, had his wish granted thanks to the singer’s donations. He wished for music equipment – a guitar, keyboard, microphones and a drumset – so he could bring his own music to life. He recorded a compact disc of his own songs, signed it and sent it to Carey as thanks for her generosity and the inspiration she provided.

    The pop legend was also willing to take the stage for the Foundation when it celebrated its 25th anniversary. She joined other celebrities such as Paige Hurd and fashion designer Indashio during an event at Madame Tussaud’s in New York City. Together, they unveiled the Wish Stars fundraising art project at a press conference.”

    Chris participated in a benefit motorcycle ride today, for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Going by the pictures he brought home, it was a success.

  6. chrisfiore5 Says:

    Hey Karen,

    That was an interesting piece, and with my post I did not mean to imply that Mariah was a bad person. It seems she wants to use her celebrity status for a world of good and of course, one can only wish blessings upon her intentions and efforts.

    my point was more in regard to the listeners, the ones that buy the music that in turn are responsible for the #1’s…

    I mean… ( to quote Mick Jagger ) I know it’s only rock ‘n’ roll but I like it.


  7. A Hard Day’s Night, Why Not Let It Be? « advantages of mutual respect and fair play Says:

    […] Night and how it was done, I wondered a bit. The fact that the Beatles were geniuses (see: they-are-dumbing-down-our-rock-n-roll ) has been made even more apparent because nearly 45 years after the song was released we finally […]

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