So, its Saturday night and my better half and I are indulging in a bit of music nostalgia, playing all the songs that we either haven't listened to in years or, more appropriately, wouldn't be caught dead listening to in public.
Like intrepid but wary time travelers we explored a few of the landmarks from the fifties, sixties, seventies, eighties all the way through to the naughties and as I was laying on my bed watching my girl dance and sing to all the songs that REALLY make you happy, I was suddenly hit with a bit of a revelation, although not quite on an Archimedes level. I'll leave that to the pioneers, I'm merely a humble historian, devoutly rememering (and sometimes worshipping) at the feet of the artists that have come before.
So, every now and then an artist "brings back" the sound of a previous generation and oh god, do we love it when it happens. We all have our tie-dye ready for action at a moment's notice and most of you are secretly still buttering up those leather pants...just in case.
The question is, why? Why ever feel the need to re-live a time and sound that some of us are even to young to remember? Of course, it makes perfect sense listing to old music and loving the hell out of it, but what I'm referring to is some artists would try and recreate the sounds of generations past. This isn't a bad thing, not at all, but why?
As I'm sitting here typing, Hootie & the Blowfish's "Let Her Cry" serenading in my ears, the answer suddenly seemed perfectly obvious: We hate growing up.
Since the mid-2000's, music taste and artists have reached a certain level of maturity with the material they write, which is the sole reason the whole world stops and takes notice when an artist suddenly dons green spandex, suspenders and "that sound" that we all love...try as we can, we just seem to recreated the magic and innocence of a time where the world and the entertainment industry was more innocent.
It's a lot more clear when you look at the film industry: Think of the feeling you get when watching The Goonies, or watching that first episode of Friends again, compared to most of what you see today. Every movie coming out promises to be the "next great Spielberg" or the "best thing since Jaws", etc.
It just doesn't happen, and if you don't understand what I'm on about then you obviously haven't been on the receiving end of one of my rants. Essentially, we are dealing with a bit of an identity crises.
With so many influences and billions of songs available at our fingertips daily, we seem to have gotten stuck in a creative catch 22. Another practical example? What music, exactly, do we like listening to when having a beer, having around with our friends?
What will teh current big hits be remembered for? I know I'll probably never think back fondly at a "Hits of 2011" compilation but hell, you'll have to pry my Queen cd out of my cold dead hands one day.
To be fair, I love a lot of our modern music, but you all know what I'm talking about: we just seem to have lost what makes golden oldies so golden... spirit.
Now, before all of you wii-fit-fu my ass because I'm hatin', consider for a moment that I'm not criticizing at all, I'm merely pointing out the state of affairs as a generality, I'm not commenting on individual artists...I believe that the world currently has some of the finest talent available to it in the history of the world.
So, what has changed? What has vanquished the esteemed "golden" attribute of music in the last few years? Aspiration.
I often hear people complain about artists just performing to be famous and not for the love of the music, or how its all about the money. Honestly? I think people need to look a bit deeper into the whole situation.
Let's consider two artists: Ozzy Osbourne and Dr. Dre.
Do you think Ozzy Osbourne started performing just for the love of music? That's definitely part of it, a dire need to share your soul and sound with the world but deep down Ozzy wanted to be on a stage, biting the head off a bat, with millions of people looking up at him in awe, horror and very often ... lust.
Do you think Dr. Dre never wanted the money, the bling or the status? Yes, the man has an exceptional ear for sound and talent but he definitely knew that he wanted the bling, the shorty's and the street cred.
Now, I'm not saying that their need for fame drove them to success but, if you are really honest with yourself, isn't that all a part of it? We want to be rockstars.
These days, however, we seem to be content with mediocrity and fleeting fame, for the most part. That's the point I'm getting to. Perhaps, just perhaps, we need more people who strive to be on top of the world, who live and love to perform on stage and who, now and then, want to drive a Rolls Royce into a champagne-filled swimming pool filled with naked wenches, high as a kite.