LongLiveRock And RollI’ve been doing some thinking. (Dangerous, I know!) And I’ve come to a conclusion that might not sit well with some of you.

I actually believe that the music of today has come to equal the music output of our deliriously excellent past. It’s just that many of us do not realize it yet. You see, there are many things going on here in this time that we haven’t had before. The amount of available music has mushroomed to the point that it has become impossible to follow it all. That wasn’t so much true in the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s (with apologies to ’90s producers. Not that there wasn’t great music coming from there. It’s just that the state of flux during the ’90s was too great for the era.)

These days, there are so many genres to choose from.  The level of quality has risen from the bland periods leading up to this time frame. If you need music that reminds you of the past, there are many retro bands doing original music that pay homage to those styles these days. So many of those now could have risen to stardom had they existed during the time frames they emulate. Truth!

I’m loving the quality of this new era of psychedelic music, all sprung from the short period of it during the late ’60s. The recent formation of the Austin Psych Festival underscores this note. Its success underscores the rising popularity of it amongst the young crowd.

The blues/rock efforts from bands like LA’s Rival Sons show that the interest it there for the ’70s-styled rock that many of us love so well.

Ambient music is at an all time high. Folk-styled music is absolutely extraordinary these days. And if your style is the current music of Pop/Punk, well, that’s getting much, much better too.  And I can’t deny the R&B, Jazz, and other genre styles that have sprung up.

I surmise the key component to be that of people in charge schooling their kids in genres, styles, and instrumental prowess. You see, kids of the ’60s and ’70s, grew up to dip their toes into the music of early ’80s. Many didn’t like what they heard. Their younger brothers and sisters took to that period, eventually producing the music of the ’90s. What happened there was simply the three chord influence rather than the deeper appreciations of blues and jazz that their older siblings grew up on. But that majority seems to be a thing of the past now.

If you haven’t really explored the music out there these days, I highly recommend it. You’ll be surprised.

In essence – and here it comes, folks – this era may be the greatest period of Rock and Roll thus far!

By MARowe

6 thoughts on “Is THIS Era Of Rock And Roll Greater Than Them All?”
  1. Matt, I know you are expecting some push back on your comments, especially from fans like me that have been with Rock since its early beginnings. I can agree that there are a lot of bands, artists and subsequently song and album releases coming out – perhaps there are more than from the 60s and 70s by virtue of all the outlets available. But regardless of quantity, what I hear in the vast majority of the music I am exposed to is a sad case of derivativeness. I am not putting down the music, but I fail to find a whole lot that really gets me interested. I look for music that at least has something original to present and I have a hard time finding it. I think Rock in general, regardless of genre, has lost its edge and the ability to surprise, and it is in direct proportion to what I have heard before. So in other words, the longer I have been around, the least accepting I am of the “same old stuff”. I keep trying, and have found some real gems, but even my go to genre, Prog Rock, is really sputtering along with only the odd release really doing it for me. If I was new to the marketplace right now, and hadn’t the listening history, I would no doubt be thrilled with what is going on, and I am glad that so many artists are taking their musical queues from the past and making the music, to them, that is new and fresh. But so much really isn’t. There is a reason that Disney only releases their classic movies “out of the vault” only once in a decade or so – they know that they have to hit the audience where the memory is new to the product, OR, they are appealing to the nostalgic cravings of older generations. The music industry is no different. I will still be on the hunt, but my expectations are low that I will be finding that gold very often. Please continue with these points of discussion – its what makes this site so much fun!

    1. Bob, I’m not sure originality in music exists anymore. However, i had to come to grips with the dry spells, or, as you say, derivations leading to disappointments. But, i have to say that, when you step back, realizing that originality is gone, there are a helluva lot of excellent bands. I’m learning to appreciate by making them extensions of whatever period they emulate.

  2. One thing (admittedly more of a simple infrastructure issue) that would render that last sentence ad hominem is “back in my day” I had a multitude of record stores that I could visit, each affording me access to EVERY title released during the week, thus making a prompt purchase of a tangible item that I could enjoy for weeks. Genre here, stylings there, more variety present today than ever before – whatever…but NOTHING comes close to a new gatefold album that you could HOLD in your hand and admire throughout the listening session upon returning home after the purchase. My two adult daughters routinely bemoan this lack of format in today’s modern music industry, in both acquisition (stores) and product (vinyl).

  3. Good topic to ponder Matt. Personally, I don’t see it the same way as you but you may be right. It’s hard to tell because there are so many variables. I always come back to looking in the mirror. Maybe it’s me that’s changed and not just from a age perspective. I certainly don’t have the same amount of time to immerse myself in hour upon hour of intent listening like when I was younger and had time to waste. There are still newer bands that turn me on but rarely can I feel the same excitement that I did even 10 years ago. I get more thrills out of re-releases like the latest Yes albums than anything new. With that said I did just buy tickets to see The Black Keys today (and picked up their latest album on Tuesday). They are relatively new compared to most bands that I hold dear. I guess the easiest way to sum it up is that in 1978 I could buy an album every week and most of those ended up being albums that I still think are great today. Now there may be a couple of albums a year by new bands that I feel that way about. I still feel that’s more a reflection of how I have changed than a lack of bands worth listening to. It is rare for a person to embrace new music as they age. Those who do are definitely in the minority.

  4. It’s funny but what everyone in this forum has stated is true – in one way or another. But there is one thing that hasn’t been said and that is – the music scene of the 60s and 70s with the experimentation of styles and the willingness of the labels to allow this created a sub – culture that isn’t prevalent today or since. Going to see obscure bands because you might of heard them on the radio or in a record store created this feeling of oneness with the music – a feeling you discovered the band and you’re the one that told your friends about it. I don’t believe these feelings are with us today. Believe me I listen to mega amounts of new music today but as much as I like it and the feelings of satisfaction I receive it’s not the same. And it may not be the same because when I listen to new bands chances are I know I’ll never see them at a live show because they’re from Greece or Poland.
    In the end I still love the music and I still enjoy the search for the music even though it’s not in a record store but on line at Bandcamp.

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