22 June 2012

Sometime in the last few years - by which I mean a decade or so, they fly past so quickly - I started noticing and thinking about changes in popular music.  I've been keen on popular music, of various genres I suppose, for some time but don't pretend to be an expert (until I've got a skinful, then I'm absolutely like every other expert).

But I started thinking that somehow songs were getting more realistic, more reflective of a broader take on life.  The pop of the 1950s seemed so "white-bread" I guess (yes, this post will be littered with unsubstantiated, vast generalisations).  The 60s were love love love and surfin', but even the evolution of pop/rock etc into the last 60s and early 70s, ie hard rock or whatever, didn't seem to change the subject matter (maybe exempt the Hair/JC Superstar kind of thing).

Hard rock bands had to slow down occasionally, hence Bad Company's Feel Like Makin' Love.  A ballad, you see. Here, if you feel the need.

Then disco. Then punk, but somehow with the rosy tinted glasses of hindsight punk never really plumbed the depths of human emotion.

Sometime around this period someone will no doubt reference Joy Division but as I never heard them then, I can make another outrageous generalisation and move right along.

After returning to Australia in the late 80s I had a lot of catching up to do, as I'd been in parts of the world where contemporary music just wasn't available. 

Slowly getting to my point, I think when I first heard Betterman I started thinking that popular music was reaching into the types of lives that many people were living where the world wasn't all roses and kittens.  And I guess then I started thinking  about the changes in society that I'd been privileged to have witnessed for some 50 years.  But that's for another time.

Then thisThat's my point.  Spine-tingling on so many levels.

More later.      


Ann O'Dyne said...

Punk plumbed the depths alright, maybe of sub-human emotion, and certainly gave us a record of the effect the Thatcher govt had on the non-rich.
I am sorry you missed a big slab of music development here.
None of the punk things that come to my mind, ever got to MSM so you would have missed them even if you were here, but in Brisbane there were good bands at Cloudland type venues, and they drifted down to Melbourne so I heard of them.
I liked that Bad Company then as now, thanks. Rock ON

phil said...

One of the very vast generalisations in the post was that I missed all music of the period that we were away. Not quite. We spent a month in the UK, with probably half in London, in October 1977. Everywhere was obviously professional graffiti (ie all absolutely identical) albeit in faux angry kid style, for the Boomtown Rats, circa Lookin' After No 1. I got it on tape or somesuch and took it to the next remote corner of the world that we went. The rest of the expat population didn't quite take to it the way I did, and none of knew what pogoing was.

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