Don't look back in anger
24 February 2012
The first thing I did whenever I came home from school was turn on my CD player, put the volume up to the max and listen to the poetry that came from the speakers:
‘Maybe you’re the same as me/We’ll see things they’ll never see/You and I are gonna live forever’.
A shout of ‘turn that racket down!’ usually followed straight after the first song. I’d turn it down a little, wait for the door in the kitchen to close, then turn it straight back up again. Nine times out of ten it resulted in my mother coming down to my room and unplugging my stereo but if it was my dad he would flick the switch on the fuse board and my room would plunge into darkness.
I would then have to go down to the kitchen and hear the same lecture over and over again, ‘It’s only noise Luke what are they even singing about, they’ll never have any classics like The Beatles did’, The lecture would never turn into a debate but would always end with me saying ‘sorry it won’t happen again’.
It always did though.
That racket was Oasis. They made plenty of classics; Live Forever, Whatever, Half the World Away, Don’t Look Back in Anger, Stay Young and those tunes were the soundtrack to my youth. I was young, rebellious, carefree, loving life and thought I’d never grow up.
Fast forward ten (plus) years to me complaining about the music I hear on the radio. There is nothing inspiring on the radio - no stand out artist or band. From what I can see there are two formulas record companies are using to make music - and more importantly money. Formula A: Get a good looking group of boys or girls, dress them up, make them appeal to 12-16 year old girls, teach them a few dance routines, auto-tune their songs, release one or two good singles, advertise a nationwide tour, sell it out, release an album get straight to number one, repeat the process for three to five years, release a greatest hits, announce the band is splitting up, announce the farewell tour, sell it out, band splits up. Two to five years later band announce they are getting back together, announce the comeback tour, sell it out, release a new album, go straight to number one, simple. Formula B: Reality TV shows - same principle as Formula A except you draw the process out for an extended period of time, encourage fan participation via voting, sell television rights, sponsorship, and offer the winner of the show a record contract for one year, release the single in time for Christmas, reach number one.
Is it a generation thing? Do I not like this music or these processes because I am from an era where smashing up hotel rooms, drinking and partying to excess - and most importantly making good music - made fans like you and buy your CDs?
How can: ‘When I was 13, I had my first love / She woke me up daily, I don’t need no Starbucks’ constitute intelligent song writing and how can a boy at 13 sing about love? Is this the way music has evolved and am I getting left behind? If it is, I would rather get left behind, thanks very much.
Or am I getting old? Have I turned into my parents, am I now that old cynic shaking his head at the kids listening to whatever racket passes for music these days?
There is one thing I know, there will never be any classics like the ones Oasis made.
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