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Are We Intrigued By The Last Two Decades Of Music?

Are We Intrigued By The Last Two Decades Of Music?

Are We Intrigued By The Last Two Decades Of Music?

Some might find the headline strange, but have you ever asked yourself if you’re truly satisfied with the musical landscape of the past twenty years. Its a question I’ve pondered myself.

Its strange; I never felt this way in the 80s or90s. The thought never crossed my mind once. Nor have I ever heard negative remarks from previous generations, those who came from the 50s, thrived in the 60s and 70s, when they claim music truly blossomed! I understand this might come across as contrarian, but as you read further, I believe the storyline of this article will become clearer.

Let’s begin with the present moment. The music. The headphones or ear pods. That technology we can’t live without. Please bear with me; this is relevant to what’s unfolding.

The bustling street walks, the zombie-like commutes to work – music becomes our last line of defence, separating us from life’s repetitive necessities, transporting us away from the unsettling world that surrounds us. It’s the most powerful entity on the planet.

Okay, back to the topic at hand.

Regardless of which decade you hall from, the bands and songwriters you choose are generally influenced by your parents. Whether they listen to music or not, it’s an obvious inheritance. It they don’t, you can connect with friends and online socials, eventually shaping your taste in music based on your desired genres.

Now that we’ve addressed this aspect of music preference, let’s consider who dictates the music we consume on a broader scale – specifically, the music we encounter through charts or experience at major festivals.

Some would argue it’s us, the fans. This was indeed the case in previous decades. Past music lovers had an insatiable appetite for music and helped create their own history, embracing new cultural scenes over time.

Stop Mag Drums FTM Forgive me for another brief interruption. I don’t intend for this to become a history lesson, as many music-related articles tend to. However, it feels appropriate to add this historical context to provide more relevant information for what’s unfolding.

The role of musicians and the scenes music lovers created certainly plays a significant part in this narrative.

The first two decades were inspired by rock, folk, soul, and pop.

In the late 1950s to the 1960s, emerged the Mods and Rockers with their distinctive attire and new-age attitude.

The ’60s blessed us with soul and pop music, with Motown revolutionizing the music scene, unveiling a musical culture previously hidden from the mainstream.

I must highlight the significance of the blues, which stands alongside country music tracing its roots back to the 1920s. Originating in the deep south of Mississippi around 1860, the blues emerged as a form of gospel music that brought solace and joy to the black African American communities. These heartfelt ballads and soulful chants gradually made their way to Chicago during the 1950s and 60s before spreading globally in the 70s, influencing and shaping numerous new genres, including rock ‘n’ roll.

Moving into the late ’60s and ’70s, we witnessed the hippie revolution, characterised by flares, flower power, and a call for universal love and care.

The late 1970s gave rise to various scenes, from glam rock to punk, each with its own unique style and icons like David Bowie and Sid Vicious. Teddy Boys and Girls, reminiscent of 50s style icons, brought back stylistic elements from jump blues, R&B, jazz, and skiffle music.

Then came the 80s, a melting pot of genres exploding onto stages and screens.

In the 1980s, heavy metal reached new heights, bringing forth a new wave of cool heavy metal undoubtedly captured the imagination of thousands.

Hip-hop and rap hit the airwaves in the late 1980s, originating from America’s West Coast, introducing us to gangster rap with its edgy lyrics and cool beats.

The theatre of pop music in the 80s showcased artistic makeup and colourful attire, while the late 80s saw the emergence of rave music, an underground fusion of genres and fast-paced dance beats.

Stop Guitar Drums FTMPost-punk emerged in the late 70s and early 80s, blending elements of rock and punk, primarily born in the UK.

The 90s marked the end of a powerful musical era, introducing grunge, indie, Britpop, and hip-hop, characterized by baggy clothing and parachute jackets.

The advent of house music from Detroit and the rise of the acid house scene in Manchester ushered in a new era of electronic dance music. Stemming from its sub-culture beginnings and underground origins, electronic music, spanning genres from garage to house and drum ‘n’ bass, surged into a global phenomenon. It has become a cornerstone of the soundtrack to our lives, permeating through various facets of daily existence. From television and internet advertisements to cafes and coffee bars, shopping centres and lounge music, to bars, pubs, clubs, and festivals, electronic music remains omnipresent in our daily experiences.

Now, moving on to the 2000s and 2010s.

Grime and emo took centre stage, with grime offering electronic dance music that challenged our perceptions on the dance floor, while emo, originating from the hardcore punk scene of the 80s in Washington DC, evolved into a blend of alternative rock, indie rock, punk rock, and pop punk, reflecting mixed emotions.

Hip-hop continued its dominance from the late 80s and 90s into the 21st century, becoming the most popular music genre alongside singer-songwriters.

Music paved the way for fashion, offering die-hard fans a platform to express themselves to the world — to showcase who they truly were — in a society where the gap between freedom and individuality, and tradition and conformity to social norms, was growing wider.

Returning to the main narrative, after exploring our rich musical history, which never fails to astonish me, let’s refocus our attention.

Stop Microphone Drums FTMWho dictates the music we consume on a broader scale, specifically what we encounter through charts or major festivals? Some would argue it’s us, the fans, as was the case in previous decades. The past generation of music lovers had an insatiable appetite for diverse music genres and created their own cultural scenes.

However, some may argue that times have changed, and record labels now play a more significant role in dictating the music we hear. This lack of diversity in genres is concerning, as it seems that fewer bands and artists are being given the opportunity to shine.

It’s a debate worth having.

In conclusion, while thousands of music lovers may be entirely content with the music of the last two decades, there are undoubtedly many artists who have produced exceptional songs. Ultimately, we each have the freedom to choose the music that resonates with us, whether it’s from mainstream platforms, major labels, or independent artists.

Yet, we cannot ignore the absence of certain genres that were once prominent. Are these bands and genres being overlooked by record labels? It’s a question worth pondering, as the diversity of music enriches our cultural landscape and should not be stifled by commercial interests.

In the end, it’s up to musicians and fans to continue the conversation and advocate for a more inclusive and diverse music industry, one that honours our rich musical history while embracing new sounds and voices.

The window we peer through may be frosted, but that doesn’t mean we can’t shatter it.

These bands, these genres, they shaped our music history. Shouldn’t they grace our stages once more?

Accountability is at stake. The value of your commodity. Preserving our musical legacy.

The pink elephant in the room now in the spotlight, visible to all.

Musicians and fans, the debate is yours.