Cyclical?…

For a while now, I had been mulling over a specific topic that seemed to trouble me. “Has rock died?” Every time that I look at the Billboard Charts on the last page of my Rolling Stone magazines, it never seems to fail that rock bands never quite seem to make it to number one.

In a generation that has heard pretty much everything, it seems that audiences today get off on trippy dance songs whose lyrics really don’t make much sense. But then again, that’s just my opinion.

Then, it hit me. In last month’s issue of Rolling Stone, there was an article that expressed and analyzed my burning question. “Where did the rock hits go?”

Last year was a commercial low point for rock in the history of the genre. It was a year without any hits whatsoever. Last year, it fell more sharply than country, hip-hop, or pop. Any follow-up albums by successful bands in years prior seemed to be flops, such as Kings of Leon’s “Come Around Sundown” and Linkin Park’s “A Thousand Suns”.

What may have caused this decline? I was recently talking to my Co-Editor-In-Chief about this issue, and he said exactly what was stated in the article. “Dude, it’s cyclical.” Again, this statement just slapped me across the face. Of course! Why didn’t I think of that? It must be the late rehearsals (of B&B) getting to me.

Think about it. The 40s and 50s were dedicated to swing and dance bands. The 60s was the decade of rock. The 80s brought in an era of pop-fueled, synthesizer-driven bands, while the 90s saw the return of rock in a anger fueled sense. Now, the 2000s witnessed a decade filled with pop and rock hits, the majority going to pop.

Another factor that I contribute to the decline of rock is that everything is becoming so repetitive. It sounds, well, boring. Every decade has ushered in something that no one has quite heard before, something unique. It seems that many bands have grown apathetic and have just stuck with what they know sells. Unfortunately, as can be seen by record sales, that tactic doesn’t quite work most of the times.

Another major contributor to this downward spiral has to be the radio. I, personally, enjoy listening to KROQ and STAR 98.7. Yet, they seem to play the same songs every hour, on the hour, everyday. Yet, when a major album gets released, what do these stations do? Stick with what they know… play their same playlists over and over until the playlist becomes etched in the bowels of your sub-conscious. Why play songs from the newly released album and increase single sales when you can play older hits that everybody knows and loves already?

The list of aspects that add to the recent fall of rock goes on. But one has to ask, will this be the year for rock? Rolling Stone seems to think so. I hope so, too. This year may mark a turning point for rock, as many major acts are due for new releases this year. These acts include: Green Day, Coldplay, Radiohead (already released), R.E.M., The Strokes, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters, and U2. Hopefully, this is the year rock makes its big comeback. We will just have to wait and see.

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1 Comment

  1. dude, this editor in chief guy is brilliant


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