Sunday, 12 August 2012
"Music CAN change the world because it can change people."
I was brought up on a diet of The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, Queen, Pink Floyd and Elvis, so 'old' music runs through my veins; I'd much rather be stood with the silver foxes watching Bruce Springsteen then grinding on boys with tags around their ankles to 50 Cent.
Don't get me wrong, I love contemporary music as much as the next person; I have the biggest crush on Ed Sheeran and I wish Adele was my best friend. In fact, as 27 million people tuned in to watch the Olympic Opening Ceremony on Friday 27th July 2012, it goes without saying that I much preferred the Arctic Monkeys' cover of 'Come Together' than Paul McCartney's solo of 'Hey Jude' - although there's no denying Sir Paul has a good head of hair.
In a world where Justin Beiber is seen to be as talented as Elvis and Miley Cyrus is considered to be on the same wavelength as Stevie Nicks, it amazes me that sometimes, such strong music can be overlooked in favour of 'artists' such as Flo Rida and Misha B.
In terms of talent, it's obvious that over the last 5 years we've seen a ridiculous amount of talent feature in the charts...but there has also been an equal amount of absolute rubbish. As much as I love the catchy "What she order? Fish Fillet" lyric in 'Paris' - Jay Z feat. Kayne West, it's hardly as lyrical as "I woke up this morning and I got myself a beer, the future is uncertain and the end is always near" sung by The Doors, is it?
I understand that there are amazing artists out there who get overshadowed by the likes of Chris Brown and Wiley in the charts and I don't deny that. But I do believe that artists such as Jim Morrison and Elvis, legendary artists who changed the way music is made in this day and age, get severely overlooked in favour of 'musicians' who barely deserve to have that title placed upon their head.
For the past 5 years, I've shunned genres of music such as R'n'B, Hip-Hop, Mainstream/Chart, Urban, Drum & Bass and Grime purely because I found the ideals of bands such as The Beatles much more believable. I didn't want to listen to a song to have innuendos about oral sex thrust in my face (Candy Shop - 50 Cent) especially because I find the idea of 50 Cent receiving oral sex hard to believe. The man might be clever when it comes to business but he does nothing for my sex drive. However, songs such as Strawberry Fields Forever and Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds were what I chose to blast through my headphones. Although it's pretty obvious that drugs were involved during the writing of these songs, they contain a level of honesty and purity that I think certain genres of music lack right now.
Obviously there are some musicians who don't fall under this umbrella of mainstream beats, take Amy Winehouse for example, but the majority of songs that are in the current charts lack sincerity and genuineness that songs from other generations are covered in. I get that, usually ,this all depends on genre (the lyrics, beat and production are all going to be aimed at a target audience...not everyone is as picky as I am when it comes to music) but it's just a shame that pretty much every single song in the UK hit 40 sounds exactly the same as the one played before it.
We come from a time when you couldn't shut your eyes without seeing a musical legend; Michael Jackson, Madonna, Elvis, Jeff Buckley, Mick Jagger, Brian May, Freddie Mercury, John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Ozzy Osbourne, Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, Johnny Cash, Eric Clapton, Bob Marley, Chuck Berry, Tom Waits, B.B King, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jnr, David Bowie, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan. I've listed a fair few (I realise I've left loads out) but I'm trying to prove that in comparison to that list, who have we got from the past 10 years who is equally as talented? Sorry, Justin Beiber doesn't count...
Okay, so we have Amy Winehouse, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Jay Z, Chris Martin and Eminem...there probably is more from the top of my head, I can't think of anyone else that'll go down as a legend within music. Justin Beiber has done nothing for the music industry in the past 5 years, not like Frank Sinatra did. Maybe we've just more willing to accept music because it's better than nothing or maybe our standards have dropped.
I just can't explain how disappointing it is to see trends on Twitter such as 'Justin Bieber for President' and 'Miley is better than Whitney' when in reality, Justin and Miley have done absolutely nothing for the music industry except give 12 year olds a really bad musical taste.
It'd be nice to meet a teenager who has actually heard of John Lennon through his music and not just because their favourite high street store stocks merchandise made famous by him...