the back page of the ticket, the irish times‘ weekly entertainment supplement, always makes for interesting reading. this week is no different. brian boyd quotes steve van zandt ahead as he analyses the failures of modern music, ahead of van zandt’s appearance in tower records on sunday.
…the music media is supposed to offer up a welcoming pair of arms to “new music” in all its forms. But a scene that celebrates itself (and sets up forums to do so) does nobody any favours. “We need to develop bands” is the catch-cry. Really? The Beatles developed by going to Hamburg and playing five shows a day seven days a week until they felt ready to approach a record label.
meanwhile the music charts show an awful trend that has only grown in recent years. the death of the king of pop has seen his albums fly off the shelves in the past fortnight. however, which albums sit on the top of the charts? the essential michael jackson, number ones, and king of pop all fill the top three positions in the irish album charts. thriller gets a look in at number 5, but the fact is, people are going out and buying collections of his supposed greatest hits rather than listening to his albums in the format in which they were intended to be heard.
i’ve shouted down “death of the album” rants in my time, listing recent albums by the likes of wilco, panda bear, death cab for cutie and sufjan stevens as proof that people out there are still making great albums. fact is, people don’t seem to be buying them. blah blah disposable nature of pop, blah blah itunes downloads, blah blah see above piece from brian boyd. it’s a vicious circle, and i think it will only come to a halt when something truly major happens – if and when that happens, we’ll see the next chapter unfold. for now, go download man in the mirror and forget “the album” ever existed.