If you look at the charts of today, you’ll see the likes of Miley Cyrus and One Direction topping the charts. Whilst these music stars make fantastic pop songs, they aren’t really considered timeless. Even the likes of Adele and Ed Sheeran who are stars listened to all over the world will probably not be listened to in 20 years time. Yet, we have the likes of Michael Jackson, Prince, Madonna and so many others that have been around for years and look set to be around for years to come.
The Quality of Music
Even if you’re a One Direction fan, you have to admit that the quality of music they offer is not up there with the likes of The Beatles, but why is that? One theory given by many music insiders is that the people making music don’t care as much. People like Michael Jackson and Prince have always written and produced their own songs.
They cared about the outcome of a track and whether it sounded good. When you have a readymade band such as One Direction, they tend to show up at the recording studio and just do what they are told. This creates a great listenable song, but many industry insiders will argue that these are lacking passion – and that is why we won’t be listening to them 20 years down the line.
The Amount of Music We Have Access To
We are very lucky to live in a generation that has access to some fantastic technology. There is no denying that technology has changed and improved our lives. What you might not have given much thought to is how this has changed the way music is made.
If you look into how a track is recorded or how an album is made you’ll find that it is a very different process to how it was 30 years ago. We can now complete the recording of songs much more quickly than we once did. With this being the case, it stands to reason that we’re going to create more music – just because it is so much easier to do.
This means that pop bands tend to concentrate on how many songs they are putting out and what their chart position is saying. When you’re concentrating so much on how much music you are putting out there, it stands to reason that quality might drop a little.
The Popularity of Brands
Without a doubt, the world of social media and the World Wide Web has changed the way the music industry works. These days it is music easier for bands to build up a following and a loyal fan base, often before they have even released their first song. With so many and vowing to support the band and buy their track, there isn’t so much pressure on the track makers to get it right. The music industry is all about sales and chart positions. If a loyal fan base is going to buy the track anyway, it doesn’t matter quite so much what it sounds like.
We can also thank reality TV for making this very much the case as well. We have seen the popularity of shows like American Idol and X Factor increase across the world. In these shows, the winner is more or less guaranteed a number one selling single. When you’re a music producer and you know that the number one name across the country is going to sell well, you don’t have to worry too much about making sure that your song stands out.
Trends in Music
When you have people making fast music like this, you tend to have music that is created to cater to the current trends. We saw this in the ballads of 2010 and the dance music that was popular in 2014. Every other year or so we see trends changing. It is then down to music producers to create pop songs that bands can sing to cater to this.
At the end of the day the music industry is a money making machine and insiders now want ways to make that money as quick as possible. You could argue that it has become less about talent and more about what is going to sell.
Back in the day artists didn’t seem to worry as much about this. Instead, they concentrated on making music that they loved and that they knew sounded good.
Artists That Are Considered Timeless
There are so many artists that are considered timeless, but these tend to be people from over 20 years ago. If you look up a Michael Jackson song list of rare songs you’ll find many of them that you know, because his songs are and were played everywhere. If you go to a party or arrange a wedding then you’ll always have a few Madonna songs thrown in, probably alongside something by The Beatles and possibly Prince.
Even when it comes to seasonal songs such as Christmas songs, it is songs that were created a number of years ago that we listen to and love. Even if you buy a brand new Christmas album, you’ll often find that this is modern day artists such as Katy Perry and Taylor Swift doing cover versions of songs written many years ago.
Industry insiders will tell you this is because time and effort was put into making songs. Putting a song out to the public was much harder work and much more costly. On those two points alone it makes sense that effort was put into them. The last thing the music industry wanted to do was put all that money and effort into a track that flopped. Instead, they worked hard behind the scenes to make sure that this didn’t happen.
There are many talented artists out there now in the modern day charts. However, it tends to be the singer-songwriters that are considered memorable and timeless. Will we be listening to the likes of One Direction in 20 years time? Only time will tell!