Monday, April 7, 2014

pop music

I have gone many years having utter contempt for the term "pop music" because of my interpretation of what that actually means.  In my younger years, I took that to mean teeny bopper/bubble gum pop. Things that were around when I was a young man, like Tiffany, Madonna and Debbie Gibson.  Then later there were acts like New Kids On The Block.  There are some that are pop, and there is no debate.  they are pop stars and there is nothing more.  but, then there are artists that are really pop, but are categorized in a different way.  I read the novels of Nick Hornby and my views of pop music became skewed.  It made me think about what the term "pop music" really means.  In some circles the term has become a dirty word.  Certain types shun the idea, and want nothing to do with the idea of being pop.  But, if that were the case, what would the point be of creating music?  I understand that there are people out there who write music for themselves and don't give a damn if anyone listens to it, or likes it for that matter.  They have something inside that they feel that they have to get out, but realistically, 98% of people that are making music really want to make money and have fans.  And, isn't that in essence really what defines "pop" music?  The fact that its "popular"?  There is no set parameter with whom any particular music is popular with.  We classify pop music as being popular with a specific demographic, but this is absurd.  Considering that bands such as the Rolling Stones, the Who and the Beatles were all considered pop music, especially the Beatles who early on in their career were teeny bopper, bubble gum pop.  I mean, unfortunately this would put One Direction on the same playing field, which really isn't right, but only in the context of their larger body of work.  If you look at their early career, they were just as annoying as any boy band out there, but what differentiates them from the rest are the the raw facts of their progression.  That they wrote their own music, and their ability to transform and remain relevant in the face of radical change.  Not only in the music industry, but in the world.  They evolved, and embraced change.  Bob Dylan, Traffic and Pink Floyd.  All considered pop music, but all had a message.  whether it was antiestablishment or anti-war.  It was protest music that defined a generation.  Pop music needs to evolve and become relevant.

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