Rolling stone and the comercialisation of rock... you guys should watch "Almost Famous"!!!!
I know that all people have a fondness for the music of "their era" (usually when they were about 16-21 i guess), and there is a tendancy to look back with rose tinted spectacles... (im sure there was a lot of disposable rubbish when Zep were around too...)
But it does seem that the music industry, by targeting mainly the kids market in singles, has become a lot more disposable. Bands now have an insanely short shelf life, almost none lasting more than about 2 years (as their fans grow up and their taste changes) and with bands that are huge one year being dropped after one poor selling album.
Most of the "classic" bands that are remembered for 30 years are remembered because they were around for a long time (or died, but that is different). Can anyone see the beatles or led zep being given a chance to make as many albums without being dropped under the current system, or the freedom to experiment?
In the UK the singles chart has become meaningless, almost no sales, all hype and preprogramming of kids through cross media promotion. You are sick of songs way before they are even released. There is a fair bit of good stuff around in the album charts, but it is almost impossible to hear about it.
You even hear covers of songs from a year or two before these days, and people don't rememebr the original. It does make me laugh to see all these slipknot hoody wearing kids also wearing Nirvana hoodies... i bet 90% of them wouldn't know who Nirvana or RATM even were...
I hear that legally downloaded songs have now overtaken singles sales in the US, and singles are to be phased out in a year or two. I actually think that things like itunes may turn out to be the saviour of the music industry as it will allow radically new ways of finding and trying new types of music (other peoples recomendations, playlists, software that learns your tastes) and for smaller labels to get their bands out there. Here's hoping.
The cd-wow debacle in the UK last week dosen't give me any faith that the record industry is learning though.