Inquiring Minds Like Mine Want To Know

Inquiring Minds Like Mine Want To Know

A pressing question of great import:

What, precisely, defines “Classic Rock”?

I ask because 102.9 WMGK, “Philly’s ‘only’ Classic Rock station” plays many, many things I wouldn’t classify as “classic,” let alone “rock.” For instance, while Lynard Skynard and Led Zeppelin clearly meet the requirements, Stevie Nicks’ solo work doesn’t, nor does Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s “Teach Your Children”, neither does any of Simon & Garfunkel’s vast catalogue of work. I also enjoy The Cars’ “Just What I Needed”, but it’s, you know, 80’s pop, which is a far cry from classic or rock.

Is “classic” measured on a sliding scale? Does anything older than 20 years or so automatically fit into this category? For instance, does early U2 fit into the definition? Or is classic rock (as I see it) a fixed point in musical space, much the same as “big band”, “swing”, “motown”, “grunge”, “oldies”, etc.?

Bonus question:

What ever happened to the guitar solo?

Discuss.

5 thoughts on “Inquiring Minds Like Mine Want To Know

  1. Check out the way that the radio industry defines Classic Rock.

    We are all at the mercy of our radio overlords for our music tastes. It is sad that our human minds are so weak that we eventually come to enjoy whatever music we are forced to listen to most often. I developed (and have thankfully since lost) a taste for Billy Joel during my print shop employment due to the constant overhead playback of B101.

    Guitar solos? The heyday is over; time to deal.

  2. I’ve nearly given up on the radio. That is mostly because reception is poor here, making it difficult to find good stations. Really, I gave up on rock stations about 16 months ago. I just found that I couldn’t stay tuned in anymore. At which point I listed to a lot of country. Leave it to me to pick up country music right after I left the South (this was when I moved to Ohio right after graduation).

    As for the guitar solo, you’ll find it on your favorite CDs, that were probably recorded before I was born.

  3. Well maybe if someone would teach these kids how to play more than three power chords and how to be more concerned with the quality of their axe skills than how much like the Green Day “rockers” they look, then we could get some genuine guitar slinging.

    As it stands nobrainer, you’re right. I’ve got to pull out Howlin’ Wolf, Clapton, Knopfler, etc. in order to get my guitar solo fix.

    *sigh*

  4. I’m sure plenty of kids can play the guitar real good. They’re just not making it big time. The suits at the record company know they can make more money buy selling mindless music to even more mindless masses than they can by selling to those with good taste.

    I don’t even claim to have good taste, but most modern music just sucks. Hopefully in 20 years no one will look back at this period of music and believe it is worthy of listening to again.

  5. There are some standouts, but you do seem to have to look pretty hard.

    Actually, one thing I’ve noted in the ’90’s and ’00’s is the resurgence of good “genre” music. As long as you’re not looking to the pop scene, there is a lot of good music out there. Ska, swing revival, roots music, non-gangsta hip hop (Del Tha Funky Homosapien particularly comes to mind), trance/jungle/techno/etc. have all seen a very large number of very, very good releases in the last 15 years or so. To get enjoyment out of it, though, you kind of have to be a fan of whichever genre said albums fall under.

    It does seem as though the crap-to-gold ratio in the pop scene has pretty much asymptoted near zero. We need a resurgence of good music on the radio. It’s just not entirely clear to me how it will happen – maybe satellite radio will end up being the savior of music. One can only hope.

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