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Peak Rock was reached in 1965
November 11, 2009 4:20 PM   Subscribe


 
I think you could make the case that the rock music graph correlates more strongly with LSD usage.
posted by doctor_negative at 4:22 PM on November 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


What we need is a Manhattan Project for renewable arena rock.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:24 PM on November 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


correlation blah blah blah causation
posted by edgeways at 4:26 PM on November 11, 2009


My guess would be that the causal chain goes: cheap, abundant oil -> post-war affluence-> the rise of the modern teenager with disposable income -> rock'n'roll.

One could also tie in suburban sprawl and car culture, noting that the baby-boom teenagers were about cars as an instrument of freedom and social identity the way today's teens and twentysomethings are about iPhones and social networks.
posted by acb at 4:29 PM on November 11, 2009


Imagine me curling my fingers over my palm, tilting my wrist about thirty degrees, and making a vigorous wanking motion in the air.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:39 PM on November 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


I am not surprised that most of the songs on Rolling Stone's 500-Greatest-Songs list date to when baby boomers were teenagers.
posted by box at 4:48 PM on November 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


What would this look like if it used best-of data from a magazine that hadn’t ignored the majority of hip hop, electronic music, and the American underground for the last three decades?

This. The more accurate title is "Rolling Stone's 500 most nostalgic verse-chorus-verse guitar-and-vocals Americana songs".

How many songs here are even vaguely categorizable as electronic music (looks like zero)? I have a really hard time accepting that there isn't a single song by Daft Punk, Massive Attack, Kraftwerk, Underworld, Orbital, The Prodigy, Chemical Brothers, Paul Okenfold, BT, or The Crystal Method that isn't better than I Want to Know What Love is.

I'm just going to say it again: Rolling Stone thinks that I Want to Know What Love is is better than every Daft Punk song.
posted by 0xFCAF at 4:52 PM on November 11, 2009 [7 favorites]


Of course I'm among the first to say that 2000s-era music blows, but I can certainly see factual bias here since Rolling Stone is not exactly a purveyor of the new music scene. I'm really looking forward to seeing the popular culture of the 2020s and 2030s and what they draw their cultural influences from.
posted by crapmatic at 4:57 PM on November 11, 2009


Rolling Stone: because goddammit, Boomers are the shit.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:01 PM on November 11, 2009


Imagine me curling my fingers over my palm, tilting my wrist about thirty degrees, and making a vigorous wanking motion in the air.

When I close my eyes all I see is fnord.
posted by carsonb at 5:11 PM on November 11, 2009


My guess would be that the causal chain goes: cheap, abundant oil -> post-war affluence-> the rise of the modern teenager with disposable income -> rock'n'roll.

You don't think the teenagers of today are buying music? Well of course not, they're stealing it. But the point is the fact that tastes have changed isn't because Americas Teenagers have all become poor.
posted by delmoi at 5:15 PM on November 11, 2009


I am appalled, I say appalled, at the lack of ragtime in their corpus.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 5:28 PM on November 11, 2009


0xFCAF, I agree that anything Rolling Stone says is a big pile of baby boomer who-gives-a-crap?, but when you say "I have a really hard time accepting that there isn't a single song by Daft Punk, Massive Attack, Kraftwerk, Underworld, Orbital, The Prodigy, Chemical Brothers, Paul Oakenfold, BT, or The Crystal Method that isn't better than I Want to Know What Love is," I noticed that you limited yourself mostly to 90's electronic music. Only one of those groups has done anything of merit in the new millennium. Give yourself another 10-20 years, and your crowing about how great Homework was will sound as lame as some boomer crowing about how good Like a Rolling Stone is.
posted by alidarbac at 5:29 PM on November 11, 2009


Oil shale is the energy source of the future and it will usher in the era of sedimentary rock.
posted by twoleftfeet at 5:30 PM on November 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


thought is was going to be oil sands and gooey rock
posted by edgeways at 5:37 PM on November 11, 2009


You don't think the teenagers of today are buying music? Well of course not, they're stealing it. But the point is the fact that tastes have changed isn't because Americas Teenagers have all become poor.

They are, but the music may not be Rock'n'Roll, or at least not to the Rolling Stone's standards of what constitutes classic Rock'n'Roll.
posted by acb at 5:40 PM on November 11, 2009


This is seriously cool, real or not
posted by norabarnacl3 at 5:44 PM on November 11, 2009


You want to know why "I Want To Know What Love Is" is a shit song? Because it's a goddamned lie. Mick Jones claims to not know what love is, and that he wants someone to show him. Namely, me. Which is to also say, you. But then, as the strings swell and the New Jersey Mass Choir backs up his plea for enlightenment, he warbles, "Love is a feeling you feel inside."

Got that? He knows what love is. It's a feeling you, meaning presumably me and everybody else, although, because of the fact that the English language lacks a distinct second person plural, he might just mean me, which is also true, because love is a feeling I feel inside, however, we'll assume he meant "love is a feeling y'all feel inside", because it is.

Nevertheless, the fact that Mick Jones himself is the one who blurts out "Love is a feeling you feel inside," reveals that he knew all along what love is, he's just lying about it to get into my, and also probably your, pants. The whole song is one big lie. He's wasted my time, the band's time, and the New Jersey Mass Choir's time.

Don't get me started on "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger".
posted by vibrotronica at 6:02 PM on November 11, 2009 [9 favorites]


your crowing about how great Homework was will sound as lame as some boomer crowing about how good Like a Rolling Stone is

I don't think Rolling Stone sounds lame to say that Like a Rolling Stone (or I Want You Back or I Fall to Pieces or many other actually-great songs on that list) was a great song. Old is not lame and I hope that when hipsters in 2070 make their list of the top songs of the past century, Graceland makes that list.

I think they sound lame because any list of 500 that puts Hey Ya! at #180 but can't fit in a single electronic song is so obviously guitar-bound that it loses all credibility.
posted by 0xFCAF at 6:12 PM on November 11, 2009


cheap, abundant oil -> post-war affluence-> the rise of the modern teenager with disposable income -> rock'n'roll -> Profit!
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:41 PM on November 11, 2009


More like Baby Boomer virility charting.

And many things likely match up with that chart.
posted by HTuttle at 7:03 PM on November 11, 2009


"I am not surprised that most of the songs on Rolling Stone's 500-Greatest-Songs list date to when baby boomers were teenagers."

Oily teenagers.
posted by klangklangston at 7:29 PM on November 11, 2009


Why do you hate guitarmerica?
posted by adamdschneider at 7:37 PM on November 11, 2009


You want to know why "I Want To Know What Love Is" is a shit song?

free clue - "i want to know what love is" tells a story - daft punk doesn't

and THAT is why electronic-type music just hasn't caught on in america the way classic rock did - americans want music that tells them a story, that make them feel something - even if the music in question is contrived and manipulated to make them feel something and believe in a story

Nevertheless, the fact that Mick Jones himself is the one who blurts out "Love is a feeling you feel inside," reveals that he knew all along what love is, he's just lying about it to get into my, and also probably your, pants. The whole song is one big lie.

judging from songs like hotblooded and cold as ice, i'd say that he's always wanted to get into someone's pants, along with 99% of the rock and rollers

what, you thought when etta james sang roll with me henry she was singing about dancing?

to paraphrase patti smith, did you think that "do you know how to pony like bony maroni?" is a question about DANCING?

heh, do you think harder better faster stronger is about DANCING?

we all know what mick jones wants in that song - it can't be a lie if everyone knows it

it's a story - it's a story about your pants and who wants to get in them

somehow, kraftwerk singing about their pocket calculators doesn't have the same urgency, you know?
posted by pyramid termite at 8:48 PM on November 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


That chart doesn't look so good when you chart actual US total crude oil production or petroleum production, rather than conventional, lower 48 states production.

Its even worse when you choose a better metric for rock music quality than inclusion in RS's best 500 songs of all time list.
posted by bumpkin at 1:46 AM on November 12, 2009


Is Rockism the cultural equivalent of Hubbert Peak Theory

No.

'rock quality' or what is even rock is subjective.

The number of barrels of oil out of the ground is countable.
posted by rough ashlar at 5:44 AM on November 12, 2009


Chart Sweep - a few seconds of every number one 45 RPM from 1956 to the 1990's. It's an interesting audio equivalent of this curve.
posted by phirleh at 6:03 AM on November 12, 2009


'rock quality' or what is even rock is subjective.

Rockism, however, is a more absolutist position, which contends that there is a definition of what constitutes proper rock, and that it's something which they got right in the 1960s and which has been in decline ever since. Of course, this ties Rockism in with the cultural context of the Baby Boom, which was heavily influenced by the economic reality of cheap, abundant oil.
posted by acb at 7:25 AM on November 12, 2009


constitutes proper rock

Granite - proper rock
Sandstone - proper rock
Marble - proper rock

Metallica - Go ask Lars Ulrich if what Metallica plays is 'proper' and 'rock'

148,000 google hits for "proper rock show" ranging from Pearl Jam, The Who and Alice Cooper on the 1st page of google matches.

'rockism' is not at all like the demonstrated peak in oil production that M. King Hubbard had once predicted. Hubbards Peak is real. "A peak of rock" is utter tripe.
posted by rough ashlar at 7:43 AM on November 12, 2009


"Rock and Roll", or even the more nebulous "Rock" isn't a catch-all for any music popular among people under 30. Leaving aside my personal opinion of electronic music, hip-hop, or any other recent genre, my biggest beef with new music is that they haven't come up with a new name for it that distinguishes it as something other than "Rock".
Rolling Stone is a magazine of and about "Rock". Complaining that a song from some other genre isn't on their top 500 list is like complaining that your favorite bicycle didn't make Car & Driver's list of all time greatest automobiles.
posted by rocket88 at 9:00 AM on November 12, 2009


I'm down with the criticism of rockism which holds that there's no era of perfect music, nobody ever "got it right", whathaveyou. Once criticising pop music for being disposable and intrinsically commodified (as opposed to rock, which can be but does not have to be commodified) becomes sexist, whooooops, there goes my attention span.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:23 AM on November 12, 2009


heh, do you think harder better faster stronger is about DANCING?

No, it's about self-improvement. Only, they can't improve, becausethey're clearly robots, and robots can only do what they're designed and programmed to do. Therefore, the song is a lie.
posted by vibrotronica at 11:11 AM on November 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Give yourself another 10-20 years, and your crowing about how great Homework was will sound as lame as some boomer crowing about how good Like a Rolling Stone is.

And yet, both will sound incontrovertibly better than "I Want to Know What Love Is."
posted by mrgrimm at 11:42 AM on November 12, 2009


I programmed my robot to improve itself.

WHAT NOW?
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:27 PM on November 12, 2009


Autobahn and Phaedra both came out in 1974, so Electronic music was there near the peak !
posted by rfs at 1:11 PM on November 12, 2009


What, you mean a care-free attitude is good for care-free type music that doesn't take much depth of thought like rock and roll?

Also, I'd like to see a chart plotting the birthdates of the judges for the Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs list. Let me guess they were mostly born between 1945 and 1950 or so, making them in their late teens and early twenties during the sixties?
posted by Pollomacho at 1:21 PM on November 12, 2009


Give yourself another 10-20 years, and your crowing about how great Homework was will sound as lame as some boomer crowing about how good Like a Rolling Stone is.

And yet, both will sound incontrovertibly better than "I Want to Know What Love Is."


Ah, but see that is an apples to oranges comparison. You can't fairly compare poppy-top 40 pap to musically adept music with depth. "I Want to Know What Love Is" would be better compared to some equally cheesy love ballad of the era, say "Yummy, Yummy, Yummy, I've Got Love Love In My Tummy".
posted by Pollomacho at 1:32 PM on November 12, 2009


pollomacho, i want to know what love is was done in 1984

yummy, yummy, yummy was done in 1968

that's not the same era by any stretch
posted by pyramid termite at 8:54 PM on November 12, 2009


I did pick the wrong year by three, are you saying there was no crappy music in 1965? So what was on the Top 40 in 1965, the year Dylan released Like a Rolling Stone (it peaked at #2)? Surely (#3) there was no crap (#5) on that list (#1 for christ's sake)!
posted by Pollomacho at 7:02 AM on November 13, 2009


I did pick the wrong year by three, are you saying there was no crappy music in 1965?

i said that 1984 was a different era than 1968 - what 1965 has to do with that, i don't know

Surely (#3) there was no crap (#5) on that list (#1 for christ's sake)!

i assume you meant to link to this as the number 1# song of 1965

sam the sham and the pharoahs rule - see, back then, it wasn't considered a law that rock and roll be done by pretentious art students who took themselves too seriously

now, the BEST single of that year was hang on sloopy - which says just as much in its own way as like a rolling stone did about those times
posted by pyramid termite at 8:19 PM on November 15, 2009


"I Want to Know What Love Is" would be better compared to some equally cheesy love ballad of the era, say "Yummy, Yummy, Yummy, I've Got Love Love In My Tummy".

They're not from the same time at all, but Yummy Yummy Yummy kicks I Want to Know's ass six ways til Sunday.

Equally cheesy love ballads of 1984 would be ... Against All Odds, Say Say Say, Missing You (ew), Time After Time, anything by Lionel Richie, Almost Paradise (ew 2).

OK, not great stuff, but nothing compared to the atrocity of I Want to Know. And I liked early Foreigner.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:10 AM on November 19, 2009


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