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Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday declaration.

I call classic rock day!

Go to Spitting Out Teeth and rank your favorite Stones LPs.

Listen to "Heart of the Sunrise" by Yes and stop making fun of them forever. Make sure to clear your mind of Vincent Gallo and, um, guns first.

Do you use LastFM? Find out how "mainstream" your tastes are by percentage. I'm around 15%. I think Steely Dan killed me.

Finally, a question of my own: When do *alternative* or *indie* bands become classic rock? There's no right answer, I'm just looking for opinions.


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I'm not really sure if indie bands will ever be considered "classic rock". I always interpreted classic rock to be somewhat mainstream, blues-inspired rock and roll. I can see U2, Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Coldplay, Counting Crows, The Black Crows, any other band with "Crows" in their name being played in regular rotation on the next generation of WIZN. But not Stereolab or The Magnetic Fields.

Popular music has just branched out so much in the last 20-30 years. There's quite simply just a lot more bands releasing a lot more albums in a lot more genres and styles. The age of defining yourself as a "Beatles fan or Stones fan" are over--it's more about how many different types of bands you can be a fan of. It's quantity over quality, or maybe more appropriately, being inclusive rather than exclusive.


Great points. But I still think there's a good chance that we'll hear Pavement on a classic rock (or oldies!) station someday. Especially if we take the "classic-rock-if-ication" of Nirvana or Pearl Jam as an early indicator. Of course, it could be argued that neither act (particularly the latter) was truly "altenative" to begin with.


That's more of my argument. Cobain's influences were mainly old blues and twee pop--pretty much the same as any rocker. Same with Pearl Jam--they're quite possibly the least "alternative" alternative band I know of.

I think you'd have a better chance of hearing Sonic Youth on a future "classic oldies" station than Pavement. But the bigger question is will there even be radio stations then? Well, non-satellite ones at least.

the le duo

amen on 'heart of the sunrise'


i love Yes.
'fragile' was one of the first LPs i ever owned as a kid.

close to the edge and tales from topographic oceans are both epic and wonderful records.....


and on the classic rock thing, i think the general rule is that the music has to be at least 20 years old.

im starting to hear 80's tunes creeping onto the classic rock / oldies stations.
grunge is next.


I think Greg is on the right track. Classic rock radio stations decide what bands/songs are classic rock. Likely, we would not be using the term "classic rock" if it were not for these stations looking for a way to market/describe the kind of music they play.
I like to play that riff from Heart of the Sunrise in a loop as long as I possibly can. It's pretty fun. I can only last about 1 minute.

Bill Simmon

I think you're all off base, at least as far as radio programming is concerned. "Classic rock," as a radio format, has pretty much always been pop rock from the late 60s through the 70s. It was that era all through the 80s and 90s and it continues to be restricted to that era, it seems to me. You won't ever hear Chuck Berry or Jan and Dean on a classic rock station (despite the fact that they are "classic" rock artists), and WIZN is the exception when they play The Police or other tunes from the 80s. Most Classic Rock stations throughout the country don't, they have a much stricter (and much more southern rock-imbued) playlist than any classic rock stations in VT. Take WIZN, remove every song that came out after 1979 and replace it with a Molly Hatchet, Bad Company or Lynyrd Skynyrd song, and you've got every classic rock station I've ever heard in the last 20 years. Though, I'll note that wikipedia disagrees with my narrow view.


As do I.

We've already encountered endless re-formatting on oldies stations (and I'm not talking about Kool 105's semi-recent switch to a JACK-type playlist, either). Example: you don't hear much Big Bopper on the dial anymore, do you? That's because they've shifted the goal line considerably. Now, many of the artists that were au courant when I was a kid (Al Stewart comes immediately to mind) are considered oldies. Why shouldn't similar rules apply to so-called classic rock radio?

I hardly think Champ 101.3 constitutes a broadcast anomaly, Bill. I was working on a marketing survey back in the mid-'90s (when the Feds deregulated the dial) and I got to bear direct witness to Clear Channel's demographic streamlining. Just because WIZN and their ilk spin "White Wedding" hardly means they're renegades. And I'm willing to bet that many other corporate-owned stations across the country that fall within the classic rock category are playing "Boys of Summer," too.

Bill Simmon

Okay, I'm strictly invoking my own anecdotal evidence -- informed by my hearing classic rock formatted stations in DC and Florida and Chicago primarily. It's hardly scientific. I just have a sense of a much more narrow playlist -- one where Don Henley was only on the air as the drummer for the Eagles.


19% Mainstream... killed by New Order.

Close to the Edge all the way. No, make that Tormato. Which also reminds me, when i was in Sound Engineering school one of my teachers played us Owner of a lonely heart as an example PERFECT recording technique... i spent the rest of the year getting really stoned.

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