Module 10

Module 10 - History of Rock Music Lecture 10 Lecture 10...

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History of Rock Music - Lecture 10 Lecture 10: PUNK REVOLT Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols Overview of the mid-to-late 70s By the late 1970s certain important economic and artistic trends were affecting the way music was created and sold. Record-industry consolidation was continuing at a steady pace; fewer labels, owned by larger corporations, were selling a greater percentage of the product. The ramifications of this trend were enormous. Since rock music radio programming was also highly concentrated in the hands of a few major consultants, and because smaller markets took their cues from the larger ones, AOR (album oriented rock) radio-station playlists were becoming shorter and shorter and more tightly controlled. These facts conspired to make it very difficult for musicians, other than those signed to the top labels, to become popular nationwide. Majors Labels, Independent Labels (Indies), and the Market At the same time, major labels were in the process of pruning their rosters of the acts that could not guarantee significant future profits. The strategy of the major labels thus consisted of signing proven dinosaurs to lengthy contracts, with the rationale that these artists could be safely relied upon to sell each release. Should new artists or musical styles be needed, they could turn to the industry's farm system, the independent labels. The indies provided a place for new talent to be discovered and nurtured. This was a shift for the majors, who would previously sign and release ten new or unknown acts themselves, hoping that one would succeed and cover the losses of marketing the rest. Now, they only signed what they believed to be sure things. The ramifications of this philosophy were considerable. Record labels and radio programmers took fewer chances on unknown talent, relying on known quantities to generate profits. The newer artists they did sign tended to sound a lot like other profitable acts, thus shrinking the aural and lyrical landscape. When listeners became bored with the same old music and infuriated at record prices that had jumped two dollars in nearly as many years, they began to react. The burgeoning cassette technology (which allowed for home taping), coupled with other economic variables plus the loss of interest on the part of certain (generally older) segments of the listening public, caused a fall in product sales in the late 1970s. The number of units sold dropped for the first time in 1979 and didn't reach the 1978 peak again until 1988. Dollar figures for gross sales took until 1984 to surpass the 1978 levels-an event that would have taken longer had it not been for the introduction of the costly compact disc (CD). This tightly controlled, economically oriented, financially conservative environment provided the context for the fourth rock and roll explosion. Against a backdrop of lush, studio focused, rock/pop music, with lyrics lacking significant societal commentary, and the fabricated sounds of disco there erupted a raw,
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This note was uploaded on 03/19/2012 for the course MUH 2022 taught by Professor Dr.tranquilino during the Fall '11 term at FIU.

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Module 10 - History of Rock Music Lecture 10 Lecture 10...

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