Music over the years....What's your view?

Discussion in 'General Music Discussion' started by 7soundz, Aug 30, 2017.

  1. 7soundz

    7soundz SS.org Regular

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    Well I guess this might be a purely subjective topic, but it has always been said by some that when it comes to guitar oriented music, nothing tops the "glory days" of the late 70s to the early 90s. Admittedly, when you listen to music from these time periods there is an unmistakable sound that captivates you in a way that is seldom experienced today. The intricate guitar work and infectious melodies of that time gave rise to many of the guitarist that have influenced many of us today. This isn't to say that guitar oriented music today can't do the same, but it seems to be a rare occurrence when you find music or even a guitar player that really stands out today.

    What do you think? While there are obvious exceptions today, has guitar oriented music gotten better over the years? Or has it generally gotten less creative?
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2017
  2. JohnIce

    JohnIce Singlecoils = tr00

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    I think two things have happened:

    1) Guitarists have so much good stuff to learn from that they've ended up more skilled and versatile but less inventive than ever. More circle-jerking and echo chambering now than ever before, less diversity among "top" players.
    2) DAWs have allowed non-guitarists to make music with guitars, and they're ruthlessly creative despite sucking at playing. People buy a cheap guitar, sample it, play it in strange places with strange objects, running through strange filters and VSTs, basically doing stuff that an educated guitar player wouldn't think of.

    I think we're just at the tipping point where a lot of the really talented guitarists are seeing what these non-guitarists are doing, and finally catching up to that. But now we're talking pop, edm, hip hop etc. Rock and metal is still quite stale and will probably stay that way, there's no reason to cling onto them when the "spirit" of rock and metal has continued in far fresher genres in my opinion. Music was definitely not more creative in the 70's, the only difference between now and then was that rock was new then, it's old now.
     
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  3. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    For me: yes and no.

    I think the most widely known guitarists have always been less "the ones with the most creativity" or "the ones with the most technical skill" and more "the ones with the most unusual gimmicks."

    Examples: Everybody knows Slash. Slash is a fine guitarist. I give him an A as a musician in general. But, honestly, he's known as the Cousin It-looking dude with the huge top hat and the curls and the cigarette. I think Joe Satriani, at the same time period Slash was huge, was releasing stuff that was far more innovative and far more technically advanced. But Satch didn't have the trademark look (yet). After Satch went Q-Ball bald and started playing chromed guitars, he got way more popular. And then you had Brad Jones, who, during the same period of time, was that dude that looked like just a regular dude, but he was doing crazy shit on the guitar that still no one is doing (for example - in one song, he pushes the low e string off the side of the fretboard and plays it like a snare drum while he continues playing the melody on the rest of the strings, or the way he combines banjo rolls with pull-offs that sounded like sweep picking with a digital delay - but he didn't use any effects), and no one heard of that guy.

    Fast forward to present day, and you have the same, but also a few new kinds of guitarists. There is the "look what I can do" guitarist, who can play Flight of the Bumblebee at 800 bpm or play the mario theme song complete with every jump, thump, coin, and boop sound, and then you take that to the extreme of some guitarists who record their tracks one-note-at-a-time or record at half speed in order to sound inhumanly fast. You also have guys like Stevie T and Rob Scallon who are phenomenal players, but appeal to people's senses of humour instead of going for the catchiest song or tastiest solo.

    So these things always existed - marketing trumps creative musicality and technical skill - it always has, but it appears to me that the up-and-coming generation of guitarists is more specialized into one niche or the other - either more technical, more creative, more artificial, more humourous, or more marketable.

    I wouldn't say it's a negative thing, either, but the market has gotten bloated. In the late 1990's, if I wanted to check out a new shred guitar guru, I'd hop on Guitar 9's website and purchase a CD. Now you do what? I think most of us go on youtube and search for "shred guitar" which comes up with maybe a hundred actual talented guitar shredders, several hundred people who are not but think that they are, and a thousand or so kids who don't even really know what that even means yet...and then most of the videos are cover songs, or the backing track is too loud, or the guy's recording in front of a window and you only see the sun coming through the window, or whatever, it's kind of only slightly fulfilling.

    So, I think the main changes really boil down to there being a lot more noise to sift through, and also less overall stress on creativity.

    But that's my take. The music industry is huge and my perception of it can only fit so much observation at a time.
     
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  4. silverabyss

    silverabyss _(:3 」∠)_ Contributor

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    I miss mid 00s metal/deathore. Wretched, Glass Casket, early BTBAM, Animosity, Red Chord, Into the Moat, etc. Dont forget early sumeriancore, Akeldama, CMC, etc.
     
  5. bhakan

    bhakan SS.org Regular

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    Guitar music is definitely less in the public eye now, so from a pop music perspective guitar music has absolutely dropped off. However there is just so much music out there right now. If you look a little harder there is a plethora of amazing guitar music out there.

    I also think some of the people who think "guitar music is dying" are stuck in this loop where they think anything that sounds like their favorite classic band is derivative, while simultaneously finding a way to discredit anything that sounds too different from the classics.
     
  6. 7soundz

    7soundz SS.org Regular

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    I'm also wondering if the support from the record companies may also be a factor...or should I say lack of support?
    My reason for saying this is that in the 70s - 90s the music industry was very different. Back then there was no youtube or spotify or itunes etc. This meant that record sales were at an all time high and record companies pumped alot of cash into bands and artists in marketing and in the studio production of an album by hiring the best producers and songwriters. What is also noteworthy is that not just any and everyone could get a record deal and getting a deal "almost" always meant you were going to make it big.

    Perhaps now that the music industry has changed, there is a saturation of music on the market and now it's all about who can put out a record the fastest with little regard for intricately composed songs etc. Again, there are exceptions, but in general it certainly seems that way.

    As an example, look at the history behind some of the best selling albums such as Thriller (pop) and Hysteria (rock). These albums saw very lengthy productions that included numerous retakes and they also saw input from some of the best producers in the world. Today, only a few bands can still opt for this option when creating a studio album and even then, some of these bands see no point in having lavishly produced studio albums because no one is buying them.

    I guess the best way I can describe it all is the experience you get when you have fine dining vs fast food. Music of the past can be likened to fine dining because it offered you an amazing experience (most of the time even if it took forever to get your meal....) Music today can be likened to fast food where the masses are fed at a low cost in little to no time at all.
     
  7. bhakan

    bhakan SS.org Regular

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    ^I wholeheartedly disagree with that sentiment. There was plenty of "fast food" music in previous decades, but we just don't remember it because it was unremarkable and didn't stand the test of time. I have no doubt that in 20 years people will look back on whatever the classics of today end up being and say the same thing. Since you bring up Def Leppard and glam, do you really think every one of these bands was "fine dining?"
     
  8. 7soundz

    7soundz SS.org Regular

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    bhakan, I agree, there was "fast food" music back then as well but perhaps I was generalizing a bit too much. Not all of it was fine dining in the true sense of the term...but alot of it created something memorable. I only mentioned Def Leppard because of their album sales and not as a representation of an entire genre. Def Leppard stood out amoung their peers for the reason that they were innovative in their sound (the superb use of dual guitars) and they were well supported by their label.

    My fine dining illustration may not be the best suited but I mentioned it with regard to the care that went into crafting some of the music at that time.
     
  9. Dredg

    Dredg Insignificant Contributor

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    When people talk about the "glory days" of guitar-oriented music its usually the same bands and artists referenced over and over, varying by genre. With the advent of the internet, we now have a mass dilution of talent and a destruction of the traditional music industry except on the highest tier of manufacture (Bieber, Boy Bands, Female Dancer/Singers, etc). It isn't that music is worse, its just that our channels are flooded.
     
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  10. bhakan

    bhakan SS.org Regular

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    My point wasn't that Def Leppard isn't good, but that all the "fast food" music you're thinking of today is the same exact thing as that giant list of glam bands. There are still "Thrillers" and "Hysterias" being made but its harder to recognize them because A) time hasn't weeded out all the mediocre music for us and B) we haven't had enough time to let their cultural impact become clear.

    Now I will say that most of todays classics probably aren't "guitar" music (which leads me back to my first post), but that doesn't mean any less care and work went into making them.
     
  11. 7soundz

    7soundz SS.org Regular

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    Agreed. Perhaps for the sake of simplifying this discussion, we'll stick to guitar oriented music since most of the claims I've come across seem to focus on the guitar playing and songwriting aspects of rock music.

    Personally, I only started to listen to rock music in the late 90s/early 2000s and from my own perspective I found that song writing in rock was really on a high during the 80s/early 90s. Today I there are also great examples but I guess as your first post mentioned, guitar music isn't in the public eye that much anymore.
     
  12. JohnIce

    JohnIce Singlecoils = tr00

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    I think it's worth noting that this dilution of talent today is also a dilution of the mainstream. Back when record labels ruled the world and people had fewer artists to listen to and records were more expensive, the mainstream was a lot bigger and more united. Today, all music is free, radio and tv is obsolete, so even the most casual music listeners will still customize their own playlists on Spotify, making the "mainstream" virtually a thing of the past. Hence, the idea of a single album having the cultural impact of Thriller or Hysteria is mathematically unlikely in 2017. It's apples to oranges really.
     
  13. EmaDaCuz

    EmaDaCuz Brutal yet soulful

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    I may be completely wrong, but to me "guitar oriented" music has died in the mid 90's when grunge took its last breath. I don't know why, but I simply feel the new "rocK" music is just soulless. Well produced, well constructed, but soulless.
    Someone mentioned DAWs and hard disk recording, but that's not enough to justify the drop in quality. Especially in extreme music, there are very few albums I really liked that came out in the 00s or 10s.

    Does it have to do with "not being so mainstream"? Well, no. Being a niche product should, theoretically, be synonym of quality. But it is not, unfortunately. Usual riffs, usual tempos, usual stuff... and whoever wants to experiment (or to be progressive) sounds like a pretentious wanker that fires 1000000 notes per minute or play unpleasant odd tempos.

    I include myself in this, and I can really see how the quality of the music I write has deteriorated over the years. I am re-recording some old demos from the mid 1990s, and I have to say it was great music. Naive, but full of melody, energy, it had something to say. What I write now comes in a nice package, but it is not on par with what I used to compose.
     
  14. couverdure

    couverdure No Gear Day

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    Nirvana ruined the entire music industry, end of discussion.
     
  15. Supernaut

    Supernaut SS.org Regular

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    I swear no one knows how to bend a freaking string these days, all these modern guitarists with their piano fingers....their vibrato offends my ears. It sounds like nervous disposition. I'm not saying you've got to be Malmsteen, but come on.

    Since the nineties, I swear.
     
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  16. Leviathus

    Leviathus Psychotic Monster

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    ^yup
     
  17. KailM

    KailM SS.org Regular

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    I wouldn't say that 70s and 80s guitarists and songwriters were more talented by any means. The vast majority of "Classic" rock and metal songs are quite simple in terms of both skill and composition (however, that doesn't mean they aren't great songs.)

    Nowadays, there are THOUSANDS of people who can play circles around the players of the average 70s or 80s player.

    But this has resulted in vast oversaturation. When someone now does something truly original-- they post it on YouTube and in two weeks there are MILLIONS of people emulating it. Case in point; djent and all of its offshoots.

    There is also a case to be made that overproduction and an attitude that "modern" metal must be recorded, produced, and sound a certain way or it is no good and written off. The bar is rising so high now that I think some artists are afraid to go out on a limb -- which is what can ultimately result in something original and cool. To me, so much modern metal now just sounds so phoned-in -- I can't listen to it, because I feel NOTHING when I listen to it. When the "rules" are relaxed a little-- I think that's when the artist can start to speak through his or her instrument.
     
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  18. oc616

    oc616 Control Deck Wins

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    There's too much out there atm, its why I haven't bothered releasing music, since it'll just be similar than what exists without being ABOVE average in technicality, songwriting, singing or production. The post above about gimmicks feels close TBH, especially considering the limited limelight a lot of these acts enjoy. What's that quote from The Incredibles? "Once everyone is super, no one will be."
     
  19. HerbalDude420

    HerbalDude420 SS.org Regular

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    Some of the best things my band when it existed ever played spawned from a cannabis induced dazed state of mind when I was just playing because it was something fun to do zero intentions of ever making money off what I did.
     
  20. SD83

    SD83 SS.org Regular

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    I'm not a part of the world of guitar music for long enough to judge :D But if I was to judge by the last 15 or so years... I have to say i like the way it went, but that could be because I just discovered the right bands. If I look at pop music, radio stuff, I definitly can not see a decrease in quality (would be rather hard to get to an even lower level though). Really, really bad music just tends to be forgotten, and when you dig through old radio playlists or so, you realise that's for the better.
    And I seriously can't see the appeal of the "glory days" or guitar music. Sure, there are tons of nice songs, I like to hear them, I just can't be bothered to listen to them. I'd be hard pressed to name you one song that came out before ~95 that I really love.
     
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