Classic Artists versus ‘Musicians’ of Today

I grew up in the era of Barry Manilow, Heart, Neil Diamond, James Taylor, Van Halen, Motley Crue, David Soul, Eagles, Earth Wind and Fire; some of whom I have grown to appreciate as I have aged matured. Back, in the stone age, DTE was known as Pine Knob, which us cave people still refer to it as. Concerts were not televised, coolers were stuffed with food, the smell of MaryJane permeated the air, songs were easy to understand, MTV was being birthed and Award shows featured artists.

This past week the Grammies were on. I did not watch it as #1, I would not be able to identify the majority of up and coming ‘musicians’ featured and #2 when I heard Daft Punk’s album, Get Lucky, was nominated for album of the year, my first thought was…YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME?!?!?!?! Apparently, it was not a joke, as the group won. Which is what inspired, motivated, stirred me to write this post.

First off, it totally boggles my mind that a song which sounds ALOT like someone staying up all night to get some sex would win, especially when the only lyrics I understand are the ones sung in the chorus…She’s up all night for good fun, I’m up all night to get lucky. We’re up all night to get lucky. However, according to one of the band members, the ‘deep’ hidden meaning really is not that deep or hidden. In an interview, he said the song was about how Daft Punk got together. Yeah, okay. I buy it…NOT!!! Let’s face it, if the song had ‘inspiring’ lyrics, it would not have sold as much as the ‘sexual’ inferences it now displays, intentional or not.

Second, artists of years gone by were CREATIVE!!! They combined rock with classical…a great example is Queen’s song We Are The Champions or one of my favorites Bohemian Rhapsody, an 11 minute classic of awesome vocals by Freddie Mercury, blast me to the stars electric guitar, opera for those ‘old’ fogies, and feet stomping rock n’ roll to end it all. No one, no band, no body is EVEN near the creativity these artists possessed. And all of their songs, were original leading me to

Third, since when is it okay that a song becomes ‘popular’ even though it is a copycat of a previous one…one of which is a ‘musician’ who claimed, when he was on Oprah, he had no intention of ‘copying’ Marvin Gaye’s song Got to Give It Up he just wanted it to be upbeat and lively like Marvin’s. Okay, once again, maybe it’s me, but the current version sounds EXACTLY like Gaye’s, with a change of words. Astonish me again!!! This ‘musician’ was NOMINATED for best album of the year!! OMG!?!?!?! The guy is using someone else’s song and taking CREDIT for it being his own ‘creation.’ Come on people, WAKE UP, I believe the man is PLAGERIZING!!! And yet, he gets money, fame, a nomination and millions of followers who think nothing of him stealing Marvin Gaye’s song!!! At least Marvin Gaye’s family have not been bamboozled. They filed a lawsuit, which was settled earlier this month for an undisclosed amount.

So here it is…my plea…to anyone between the ages of 18 and 30…would you please clarify why most of the songs today are about sex or at least the recognizable words sound like someone is getting it on, why ‘oldies’ are coming back as ‘oldies’ with a change of words and why there are maybe a handful, at least using one of my hands, of creative artists who emulate Queen? I have asked my boys and they claim I don’t get it because I don’t understand the ‘musician’s’ hidden meaning, the words or how inspiring the song really is.

I know I am from the ‘dinosaur age’ as my youngest tells me. (He jokingly says it, but I think he is serious!!!) I know my hearing is not nearly as good as it was 20-30 years ago. And I know there were some songs, from my generation, about sex. Nevertheless, they were rich with harmonies, titillating rhythms, electric guitars, drum solos that could cause a heart to dance right out of a person’s body, lyrics everyone understood, and concerts normal folk could afford. Those days are gone, which is why I guess songs of that era are named classics.

Maybe it is time to get over my frustration angst need to understand ‘musicians’ of today. In 2-5 years any clarification won’t matter anyway as most of the ‘musicians’ today will be replaced and their songs will be Dust in the Wind, an oldie but goodie by Kansas. I don’t anticipate many of today’s ‘musicians’ will be as distinguishable as Tony Bennett, Barbra Streisand, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith and other artists, from the past, who have to this day, survived extinction due to creativity, collaborating with songwriters capable of writing lyrics which did not repeat over and over and who could sing without any help from technological devices.

Yep, time to surrender, continue listening to my stone age stuff and realize the industry of music is not like it used to be. Maybe someday, someone will come along and shock us all by their creativity, vocal strength and oh wait…there is someone…Lady Gaga.
Tune in tomorrow for my post about her.

Here’s to classic oldies, feel’in groovy and hang’in ten,


One thought on “Classic Artists versus ‘Musicians’ of Today

  1. I watched the Grammys when I heard that Paul and Ringo would be performing. I was disappointed that they didn’t perform a medley of the Beatles long time hits. I think they would have rocked the place beyond any other performance.

    I actually enjoyed the awards show. At work I hear many of the popular songs and I enjoyed seeing them performed. I normally don’t care for the Grammys but this year was different.

    I agree with many of the things you wrote about. You know much more about music than I do. The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Four Seasons to name a few, were popular when I was in my teen years.

    Happy weekend to you, Annie!!!

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