Thirty-Five Years down the Rabbit Hole of Music

By: Ernie Hurt

As you read in my last entry regarding music, you can tell I reserve a fair level of distain for modern music. I’m not alone, and I find a shade of solace in that fact.

My music taste lean towards only a small hand full of current working artist’s. Mostly I listen to music from an era some 35 years ago. It could be due to the fact that most new music sounds like a cage full of horny Tom cats in mid coitus, or perhaps I grew up hearing the greats of that long forgotten time.

At the prodding from a colleague I decided to search and listen to the top selling album from 1969 and its modern day counterpart from this foul year of Oure Lorde ,Two Thousand and Fourteen.

What would be the differences? Would they be vast and profound? Would I automatically fall into a brain bleeding seizure while listening to an entire cd of”Pop” songs?

 

My personal favorite from the year 1969 would probably be “Live/Dead” from The Grateful Dead as it has been my trip companion, Car Comrade, and house cleaning soundtrack for many moons.

In contrast to the headlines of today’s music scene, 1969 was a wild year.

In 2014 few things have really made the impact of the last Beatles show, or Jim Morrison’s arrest of lewd and lascivious behavior, indecent behavior, open profanity and public drunkenness. Ironically that same year Marilyn Manson was born, who would later be charged with the same type offenses over and over. Besides the guitarist for the band “As I Lay Dying” trying to hire a hitman, I believe Justin Beiber was popped for driving to fast but that’s as hardcore as it really gets for 2014.

The top selling album so far in 2014 has been Taylor Swifts “1989”. I actually listened to it from beginning to end. Of course I would employ the help of my co-writer Mary Jane for the daunting task ahead. I write as if I truly hate any new musically idea but I honestly I don’t. im open to any and all music. I will listen to anything once.

This being Taylor Swifts 4th album I expected a lot of regurgitated mess that comes from so many albums being pumped out of the creative mind. I enjoyed a few older Swift songs so I felt like I would find at least one song I could tap my toes to. According to Taylor Swift it took over 6 months to write the album and is her first proclaimed “Pop” album. None of the songs were near five minutes which is industry standard for songs to make it to radio.

As predicted I enjoyed a couple songs, namely “I Know Places” and “Wildest Dreams”. The music on all the songs sounded pretty much the same, even though they had three producers, not including Swift herself. A lot of the melodies reminded me a lot of Madonna’s works from the 80’s, confirming the rumors that Taylor found a lot of her inspiration from the laced queen of pop.

As with many pop albums the vocals have been tweaked with processors and digital trickery.

I find this to be a waste of such a beautiful voice. Janis Joplin would have exploded into a million Jack Daniel covered pieces if her producer wanted to change her vocals!! The album sold over 600.000 copies on the first day, and creeping over a million within the next week. It hit number one on Billboard in America and countless other countries.

Odd fact, it only reached #38 on the Polish charts which may say something about their ability to understand real music.

The lyrics seem to be more mature on this record, making them applicable to my age group, while still retaining catchy “hooks” to look in the 12-17 group. All in all it wasn’t too bad. I probably will never listen to the album again but that’s me. Its Taylor Swifts art, her interpretation on life… As bubbly and flower as it may be….

Recorded in 1968, Iron Butterflys “Ina-Gadda-Da-Vida” became the best selling album of 1969. Its title track “In-Gadda-Da-Vida” helped it to overshadow Iron Butterfly’s release of the same year “Ball”. The album went on to become the first record to gain platinum status when the system was introduced in 1976.

It was such a big hit that it remained Atlantic Records top selling album till Led Zeppelin’s IV was released. I really enjoyed the album. It held all the happy feelings from an age of profound discovery.

My Mirage” was probably my favorite, although I enjoyed the great guitar solo on “Are You Happy”. Being a critic at heart I was bound to find fault. Compared to the other great tunes being put out in the late 60’s, I found it somewhat boring. Nothing evolutionary, nor anything that would stick with me aside from the title tracks chorus.

A lot of hippie imagery, compounded with a mono tone singer.

It received horrid reviews from Rolling Stone magazine when it was released as well. Maybe I wasn’t in the right state of mind to fully understand this piece of work

Should I have maybe dropped a couple hits of LSD and donned a dashiki?

Either way it remains a timeless favorite to who grew up with it and continue to have warm fuzzy feelings when In The Garden Of Eden is played…

Whether you subscribe to the same school of thought as me or not, I believe most people would enjoy both albums. I’ve been cursed with a cynical ear, a worm somewhere deep in my ear canal that whispers “this is shit”. Both albums contain large amounts of love and relationship advice for the blind that stumble through the area of personal relationships.

They both are dumbed down versions of real artistry representative of its own decade. I feel like the odd man out considering the fact both are top sellers in mainstream music.

Thirty-five years have come and gone between the two albums, soon to be replaced by albums with titles we could never fathom.

In closing,I’d like to thank both artist for writing, recording and promoting their craft. Without people that have the time and know how to put out an album, we would be stuck in the dark times of Gramophones and music the company big wigs deemed “Good” Tunes.