Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Some miscellaneous thoughts on music

I had a sudden urge to listen to Only the Good Die Young, a song by the band Queen and this being the age of the Internet, turned to my usual source of music: Youtube. When listening to the song I was wondering why I could not see Freddy anywhere and when the camera focused on the pianist was more than a little surprised to see Brain May sitting at the keyboard.

A bit of quick research (on the web) and I find out that this is the only song by Queen that was conceived after Freddy's death and it is mostly a eulogy on Freddy. For the performance on Youtube look at this, for more details on the song check the Wikipedia entry.

Just thought this might be of interest to any fans of Queen.

The problem with music of today seems to be a lack of a distinct voice, in the sense that there does not seem to be a highly personal stamp on anyone's music, save perhaps Shakira's. A song by Abba is almost instantly recognisable as being by them and no one else. This is evident to most people, not just hardcore Abba fans. The same is true of the most other great bands: The Beatles, The BeeGees, Paul Simon, even cracko Jacko Michael Jackson.

Mariah Carey has a truly great voice (and is very very hot to look at) but her music lacks the distinct stamp of individuality. I don't know how many people have heard of Eartha Kitt, but just listen to this or this and one can see the difference with this. Madonna is actually good compared to creatures such as the Spice Girls or Britney Spears (who looks good and has a fairly decent voice but not much else).

I don't know if its simply a sign of old age but I really cannot distinguish between one musician and another these days. I know that a lot of music is written to formula by a small set of professional writers who try to cater to the current trend in the market and perhaps this is to blame for the decline.

The modern concept of popular music is in fact a creation of the media - first broadcast radio and a short while later the advent of recorded music. Before that there was a limited array of folk (meaning traditional as in the sense of folksong) and popular music, transmitted by means of printed sheet music and live performance at dances, local festivals and the like. It was the medium of broadcast and the availability of records that enabled musicians to cater to a vast audience and rake in millions in fees and which resulted in a huge influx of talent. As long as the record and broadcast industry confined themselves to developing existing talent, they succeeded in developing the cause of popular music, once they moved into the realm of creating music to fit the perceived needs of the audience (rather than simply attempting to bring new voices and talents to the audience) they seem to have unwittingly sowed the seeds of the eventual destruction of popular music.

8 comments:

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pissu perera said...

queen is the all time best band hands down in my world. freddie mercury is a genius. that's a post i've been meaning to do for a while but never got around to it just yet. i saw a programme on youtube where they showed the making of the video for no one but you.

dude, you think britney spears has an ok voice? i think christina aguilera is the better deal out of the mouseketeers - better to look at, better voice and better music. and none of that angsty, confused drama britney has going on either. but, that could be just me.

Jack Point said...

Hey Pissu, did not know you were such a Christina Aguilera fan:), but glad to hear that you are a Queen fan. I'm not too familiar with Aguilera's music - the Britney I was thinking of was when she first appeared as a fresh-faced beauty-I remember seeing her on television and thinking god what a beauty. She's gone a bit downhill now, have not bothered to check on the details.

Just downloaded some Aguilera - she's good looking, I'll grant you and sometime when I'm bored I'll try to compare the two....

pissu perera said...

for your sake i hope you never get THAT bored :) she makes better music imo, but at the end of the day, it's manufactured pop.

i wouldn't call me an aguilera fan. it's just, given a choice of britney and christina, i'd pick the latter.

yich said...

Queen is one of the best bands of ALL time. Freddie was a Star in the true sense of the word.
"Is this the real life
Is this just fantasy
Caught in a landslide
No escape from reality"
-Freddie Mercury-

Queen of the Dark Asylum said...

whats this garbage about you fancing britney?

Queen just rocks. FM is an awesome singer. i love all their songs!!

Jack Point said...

the spirt is willingly drawn to Queen, the the weak flesh to Britney...