Friday, 10 December 2010
Music is notoriously difficult to categorise. The music press love to put labels on all music but as far as you all know by now, there are only two types of music; good and bad. However that doesn’t stop the media devising ever more complicated structures of genres and sub-genres with which to box up every known utterance. In truth, pop music never really went away no matter what the media would have you believe and I cannot remember a time when rock music dominated the singles charts. So the second question is not only, is it true, but does it matter?
The singles chart has always been the more frivolous sister to the deadly serious older brother album chart and there is no reason why this should not continue. At its extreme in the late 60s and early 70s the singles chart was cut adrift in an open boat. After all, no rock band worth its salt released singles as it demeaned their serious intent, thus the singles chart was a veritable cauldron of silly songs and one hit wonders. Just don’t get me started on ‘Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep’…
Rather ironically, it was the anti-establishment punk bands that broke the stand-off in the mid-70s and rock once again vied for contention with pop and the singles chart reverted to basically what it was designed to be – a barometer of what is popular (but not necessarily any good). But then you did get Top of the Pops and Pan’s People to act as your guide so it wasn’t all bad. As far as I can recall, the singles chart has been that way ever since so quite where all this ‘pop makes a comeback’ nonsense came from is debateable.
Personally, I like a bit of pop me, provided it falls into the ‘good’ category (Gaga, Abba, Madness) and not the bad (Black Lace, Gary Glitter, Dawn) and don’t really care a fig if the serious bands don’t join in. I wonder what will be the epitaph of 2010?