For Music Lovers Only
by ronrichmond | on August 25, 2012
For Music Lovers Only
What’s your favorite music era?
And what do you think of today’s genre?
Alexander Green who writes the Spiritual Wealth Newsletter
always has some gems in his writings,
and I have used some of them before.
The latest one dated August 24, 2012 is no exception.
For music lovers like me, it certainly hit a chord.
As a child of the 40′s I guess my main music interests
actually span the period from the 1950′s to 1970′s
with a few exceptional songs from more recent periods.
However, I must admit that my attitude towards
“modern” music has been rather scathing.
So it was with some surprise that I read this
latest Spiritual Wealth Newsletter from
Alexander Green, and his take on the great things
about “modern” music and music lovers.
I will leave the music lovers story telling to him, from here on,
with only headings, italics, pics, etc. being this music lovers input.
Take it away, Alex!
Music Lovers FreedomFest
At FreedomFest in Las Vegas last month,
I participated in a panel discussion called
“What Our Popular Music Says About Us.”
When you look at Billboard’s Hot 100 List -
and see the boy bands, rappers, bubble gummers,
faux country artists and assorted Simon Cowell creations -
you might be tempted to answer “nothing good.”
But, in truth, there has never been a better time for music lovers,
even those with the most exacting standards.
Before you ask me to sit down and take my medication,
hear me out…
Music Lovers reminisce about the old times
Yet today I believe it is entirely and objectively true.
Think about it.
The Forties gave us Nat “King” Cole,
Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and Bing Crosby.
If you grew up in the Fifties, you had Chuck Berry,
Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash.
The Sixties saw the heyday of Roy Orbison, Frank Sinatra,
Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan and the Beatles.
The Seventies offered us the Eagles, the Stones,
Bruce Springsteen, Marvin Gaye, and Bob Marley.
(And this isn’t even a snowflake on the iceberg’s tip.
During the Sixties and Seventies, studios like Motown, Stax/Volt,
and Sun Records churned out sheer genius week after week.)
Music Lovers from the Eighties onwards
Things began to taper off in the Eighties,
but you may still have enjoyed artists like Peter Gabriel,
the Police, Tom Petty or U2.
And while the decline continued into the Nineties,
at least bands like R.E.M, the Black Crowes, Nirvana, Pearl Jam
and Radiohead gave rockers something to celebrate.
In the last decade, however, things really hit the skids.
Top-selling artists include 50 Cent, Justin Timberlake,
Miley Cyrus, Flo Rida, Justin Bieber and Ne-Yo.
Music Lovers love their albums too!
I am a lifelong music lover and collector,
but can any pop album of the last twenty years
be mentioned in the same breath as
Sgt. Pepper or Exile On Main Street?
Indeed, Rolling Stone recently released an updated list of
The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and 292 of them -
59% – were released in the ’60s or ’70s.
Only two were released in the last decade -
and one of those, Smile by The Beach Boys,
was recorded 46 years ago.
Or – forget albums – how about the singles?
Where is this generation’s “Eleanor Rigby,”
“Bridge Over Troubled Water,”
“Heard It Through the Grapevine,” or “Fire and Rain?”
They don’t exist.
Instead the airwaves bombard us with misogynistic rap,
boy bands that are really merchandising opportunities,
and country music that sounds like Def Leppard with fiddles.
This could be the best era for Music Lovers ever!
So why is this the best era for music lovers ever?
Because there have never been more talented musicians
playing more kinds of music in more venues than today.
As for recorded sound, you also have cheaper
and easier access to more music, in more genres,
from more eras, in more formats, than ever before.
Admittedly, most of today’s bestselling music
is forgettable or unlistenable.
But so what?
You don’t need to choose your music from Billboard’s Hot 100
any more than you need to choose your reading material
from The New York Times Bestseller List.
(And perhaps that’s a good thing given that
all three of the nation’s current bestselling books
are various 50 Shades.)
Just as it makes no sense to read
Danielle Steele before Mark Twain,
why would anyone listen to Britney or Snoop Dogg
before Ray Charles or Ella Fitzgerald?
Or, while we’re on the subject, Mozart or Beethoven?
Some will say I’ve moved beyond the realm of popular music.
Classical composers were the rock stars of their day.
And the music was nothing if not popular.
In the mid-19th century, for instance,
women would fall on Franz Liszt at his performances,
tearing his clothes and fighting over locks of his hair.
It may not have been the Beatles at Shea stadium,
but it was a start …
Jazz, too, was popular music in the first half of the 20th century.
No one outsold Louis Armstrong or Benny Goodman or Artie Shaw
at the height of their fame.
The Music Lovers‘ world today is pretty damn good
And today the free market allows you to indulge
your musical tastes no matter how rarified or obscure.
Maybe you like bebop.
And not just bebop but post-bop.
And maybe not just post-bop but electric bebop blended with funk?
If you don’t think something like that exists
or could possibly be done well, you haven’t heard the music of
alto saxophonist Steve Coleman and his band Five Elements.
(Although you’d need to keep your mind wide open.)
Imagine Charlie Parker jamming with James Brown.
Today you also have easy access to beautiful and
exotic music from all over the world.
In my view, every record collection should have some reggae,
some fado, some conjunto, and perhaps even a few ragas.
You can own whatever music you prefer -
and inexpensively – in the format of your choice,
from vinyl to compact discs to MP3 files.
And there has never been higher-quality
playback equipment available at a lower cost.
If you are a music lover who is even moderately affluent,
why limit yourself to a boom box or iPod?
You owe it to yourself to hear a demonstration
of an audiophile-quality system.
In fact, if you’ve already splurged on an expensive home theater system,
you may already have one and not know it.
Try turning off the tube and popping a CD into the DVD player.
(Yes, it will play it.) You might be surprised.
In short, there has never been a wider selection of great music available.
It has never been less expensive to own relative to disposable income.
Nor has it ever been easier to access it, buy it, carry it, or share it.
So skip the Top 40 and put something good on.
And remember the words of Frank Zappa:
“Information is not knowledge; knowledge is not wisdom;
wisdom is not truth; truth is not beauty; beauty is not love;
love is not music.
Music is the best.”
Carpe Diem, Alex
For Music Lovers Only
Well, what do you music lovers think of that?
Are some of you music lovers from my generation
feeling a little better inclined towards the modern scene?
Certainly, made me think a bit differently!
Which is what we do,
in the Empower Network.
We share experiences, points of view, life stories
which help enrich our communities.
In the Empower Network
We blog daily
We tell others
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And welcome to the world of Music Lovers
and friends of this universe of ours!