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Carl

Why Classic Rock Isn’t What It Used To Be

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Fivethirtyeight.com used Songfacts to do a bit of research on this story about Classic Rock, examining what it is and how it has changed.

They found that the peak year was 1973, and over half the songs played on Classic Rock radio came from the era 1973 to 1982.

Also interesting is where the strongholds are for various artists in the genre (Washington DC loves REM, AC/DC is big in Denver).

It's always a shock to the system when you hear a band you grew up with played on a Classic Rock station, but it appears to be more a factor of quality than age. Have a look here:

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-classic-rock-isnt-what-it-used-to-be/

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Interesting article, Carl....For me I always think of the 70's for classic rock..since that's what I grew up listening to. The classic rock stations here in Western New York do play quite a bit of Led Zep.

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Fun article. Now that I read it I will force my opinions and theories on you.

I've always viewed true classic rock as the period 1967 - 1972 (I then allow two years on either side so we can include the period 1965 - 1974). However a person's view of classic rock is absolutely based on their age.

I've had a long standing theory that almost everybody's favorite year of music is the year that they turned 15. I know that has a lot to do with when kid's really start digging music, going to concerts, starting bands...you name it. But try it...it's generally accurate. For example, I turned 15 in 1973...coincidentally that is the year that considered the prime year for classic rock. So maybe my love of that genre along with the many classic rock hits that came out in 1973 had something to do with it.

Those of us with older siblings often started listening to classic rock earlier than than others. My sister is 6 years older than me and she started listening to The Beatles, the Beach Boys, The Four Seasons way back in '63/'64...so did I. I knew how to put those records on a turntable and play them loud...and I did. This at least partially explains my love and knowledge of music that is slightly before my time.

WCBS-FM was the first oldies station in New York. They had a format that loosely defined an oldie as 20 years old or more. If that holds true something from 1994 would be an oldie now. doesn't seem right.

The Q 104.3 is the New York areas only full time Classic Rock station. I always felt we could fit a few more in the area. I travel between North and South Jersey every week. North Jersey gets the New York stations and South gets the Philly stations. Without question Philly has more and better classic rock radio than New York.

So there you go. Ron's Classic Rock Theory...I stand by it.

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I was born in the same year as Ron. Most of my favourite songs were released between 1964 and 1977 because those were the songs I listened to during my formative years. That having been said, I really don't care when a song was released. If I like it, I like it regardless of when it was released. Since I joined Songfacts many moons ago, I've been exposed to great groups (both old and new) about which I knew little or nothing. I think any great song will eventually come to be considered a classic.

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Until you came to your senses I bet you loved the hits of 1989....

To be fair, I did go to my first concert at 7 yrs. old and made a band by the age of 12. My aunts & uncles had a big impact on what I liked hearing music-wise. I simply didn't bother listening to new music until I turned 20 or so. I bought Izzy Stradlin's album before knowing he was with some other band. Turns out I discovered GNR after their break-up! :laughing:

Much like CanAm I really tried listening to new music after joining this site. Discovered so much since. :rockon:

(btw: concert was Styx) :wink:

Edited by Guest
Added "btw"

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I hated new mainstream music when I was in high school, but it really was garbage then and has remained that way ever since. I mostly listen to music from my preteen years, and the stuff from before then that my dad got me into.

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I have to agree with Ron. I mean he has it pretty much how it was on the east coast. I grew up in the bronx and listened to WNEW-fm but always tried to get the jersey stations. But if I couldn't catch a good band in NY. 60 minutes to Philadelphia...

Gee.. some of you guys (ladies too) (and others) are youngsters.

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In a way, yea. They're not on the radio as often for sure, outside of like Muse, Orianthi, Jack White and others.

I think the general focus of the typical consumer has moved away from guitar. Jack White & Matthew Bellamy are great modern guitarists, but we don't have anyone like Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, David Gilmour, Keith Richards or Pete Townshend, just to name a few. Does that make any sense?

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I think the general focus of the typical consumer has moved away from guitar. Jack White & Matthew Bellamy are great modern guitarists, but we don't have anyone like Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, David Gilmour, Keith Richards or Pete Townshend, just to name a few. Does that make any sense?

Yea, I get what you're saying.

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I have to agree with Ron. I mean he has it pretty much how it was on the east coast. I grew up in the bronx and listened to WNEW-fm but always tried to get the jersey stations. But if I couldn't catch a good band in NY. 60 minutes to Philadelphia...

Gee.. some of you guys (ladies too) (and others) are youngsters.

Wow New-FM was great....album oriented rock..just great stuff.

My friends and I would always buy tix for shows in NY and Philly...sometimes the same show. I saw Queen 10 different times in the 70's and early 80's...the shows were equally split between NY and Philly.

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here in the Southwest when I was in high school (which I suppose supports Ron's theory of age 15... although I stretch it out to my sophomore, junior, and senior years for my classic rock pigeon-hole) we listened to a lot of southern rock. So Outlaws, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Seger (mysteriously enough, he was thrown into that category) were all huge here. But Fleetwood Mac, Eagles and that group were high up the chain, also. Along with some random Aerosmith. Zeppelin and the Who were from my earlier years, so I don't qualify them as much, I suppose.

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