40 Greatest Influences of the last 40 years #11 The Time-Life Singer Songwriter Collection/Classic Rock
So when I have to put my 2 year old down for a nap I would just say "Alexa, play soft classic rock," and usually is serenaded to sleep quite easily. Sometimes Alexa doesn't cooperate and I then just default to "Play the Eagles," because they actually have 2 hours' worth of good music. It's funny my wife busts my chops for listening to the Eagles so much because I always make a big deal out of how I categorically despise country music and the Eagles are often described as Country-Rock. That is only by happenstance, and not design. By design they are a rock band. Don Henly was from Texas but was in a hurry to get the hell out and start a rock band. Glen Frey was from Detroit Rock City and his voice sounds like it even when singing alongside the twangy chords of "Take it Easy" or "Tequilla Sunrise." And the only reason those country chords are there are because Bernie Leadon was on the of the best guitarist in the business but he just happened to be a country western savant. By design they added Felder and Walsh to be a super Rock band. And by design they ventured in disco fusion which should have been their downfall if they were a country band. But it wasn't. Because they weren't. But I digress.
As depicted in my black music post, I initially grew up with a preference for hip hop and R and B music. It wasn't until college that I started to embrace grunge, punk/preppy/skater, edge, and all the other hard rock genres I had largely ignored as a kid in the 1990s thanks to the popularization of Angry White boy music and my coming of age "rage against the machine" ascent into what I get to pass as adulthood. But then somewhere around my 30th birthday I had a mini-Oasis revival. I also read a biography of the Beatles in grad school that turned me on to their later stuff with the long shaggy dirty hippy beard's that had scared me as a child.
And then there was the Singer Songwriter collect by Time Life Music (notice the relase date on the webpage was my 30th birthday).For years I had heard the infomercial for this 7 CD set for years and always laughed at how ridiculous the 1970s were. But then I realized my parents came of age in the 1970s and so when I was born in 1981, they began to raise me and prepare me to live life, as if it was the 1970s.
Then my mom actually got the entire Singer Songwriter collection, and I started listening to it, when I was staying with her to finish up grad school, while my wife was starting her own Masters program at the University of Missouri. (M I Z...... Z O U!). I fell in love with America, and Tod Runyan for all the reasons I had laughed and derided them as a kid. And it's only natural that with age I would mellow out and not seek purely high energy cathartic rage music but prefer music that once fell under the "easy listening" or "AM gold" radio categories.
And speaking of Radio. It's been said by Seth Godin that the music business used to be perfect. Back when the record companies controlled everything, the whole job of the music industry was to find the talent that makes the best music. Then the best music gets played on the radio. People listen to the radio to learn what the best music is, and then they go out and buy that music so they can listen to it whenever they want to. But of course, once Television performances gave way to Mtv , and videos and suddenly it wasn't about the best music anymore. It was about an image to sell and that is how we got New kids on the Block and the whole string of Boy Bands and pop Princesses. And then the internet happened and artists are taking the power back and cultivating their own followings on YouTube which the music industry then jumps on board to mass market and we were all given the Beibs. So there is no centripetal force seeking talent to rise to the top and be disseminated universally like it was during the early days of classic rock. I also feel a little funny to think that glam rock bands like Poison and Guns and Roses are considered classic rock at this point in time
The net effect of all this is that I was rocking out to 1994 on my 30th birthday. And I am likely to be rocking out to 1974 on my 40th birthday.
I wonder if this means I will be rocking out to the early recordings of Elvis Pressly circa 1954 on my 50th birthday?