Happy new year and all that.
David Bowie died today. This morning I played his top songs (according to Google Play) as I was driving to work; Space Oddity is a beautifully tragic and fitting tune for a man who’s style was so “out there” that he had to become famous to be accepted.
Anyway, it got me thinking about how we’re going to experience a lot more lost legends soon, because arguably all of the most influential artists of modern times have been from the 70s to the 90s, and they’re not getting any younger.
From 2000 we have experienced a shift in music – namely, music as an art became music as a financial vehicle. You only need to watch X Factor to realise how the image of music is now the reason FOR music; the actual song and lyrics play second fiddle to the person singing it. With technology making up for any real lyrical skill, music is now an upside-down hybrid of what it used to be. The music came first, which made the person behind the voice an icon. Now, the icon is created before the music is ever actually considered. And the reason for this because those who want to exploit an industry for music saw the gains made by those with popular appeal, so rather than nurture those with potential decided instead to dictate what popular appeal was. As a result, we are now looking at a sterile music factory, one which is a far cry from what Ziggy Stardust represented.