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Rock of Ages?

I had to laugh at myself last night as I was yelling at DJ to turn his music down. He was listening to a mix CD of Van Halen, Led Zeppelin and early Black Sabbath. I laughed because my mother used to tell me to turn down the exact same music.

Which got me wondering. Does today's music have any staying power? Will my kids be telling their kids to turn down that damn Limp Bizkit 25 years from now? It seems like the rock bands from the 70's/80's have such staying power - I see middle school and high school kids wearing Pink Floyd, Ramones and AC/DC shirts all the time. While I listen to a lot of current rock music, I just can't imagine these bands having the same generational impact that Van Halen, Zep or the other "classic rock" bands have. Hell, K-Rock (NY radio station) just changed their format to play more of the classic rock.

I imagine that by the time my children are old enough to have teens of their own, old Pink Floyd albums will still be outselling the current rock scene and Linkin Park will be a footnote in music history.

Just some food for thought. Discuss at will.


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This is a good point. For the love of all that is good in the world I hope everyone forgets about limp bizkit (within the next 5 minutes preferably), however I'm not sure. OTOH, I still listen to old(er) punk (90's stuff) - like BR, pennywise, guttermouth, NOFX - I think bands like that have staying power b/c they're kind of off the beaten path. Hell, I still listen to Op Ivy - and you'll see little 14 y/o's wearin their shirts (same as rancid) - Op Ivy disbanded before these kids were even conceived. Out of the bands I listen to I'm going to say Tool probably has the strongest "staying power" simply b/c their hardcore fans are loyal as hell, plus their music kind of defys classification.

Most everything else these days is plastic, cookie-cutter defy authority/cut yourself/I hate everyone, so I'd say that 99.999% of it won't stick around.

And twenty years from now people will still be shouting "FREEEEEBIIIRD!"

I think there are a number of 90's bands that are people will still be listening to 20 years after their albums came out, AIC, STP, Deftones, Korn, NIN, TOOL, Weezer, Nirvana, Rage, etc.

While some of those bands are still puting out music, their earlier albums were generally some of their best work. The same can be said of most of the bands you listed.

I definately think that some bands that are out now such as Linkin Park, that have the potential to still stick around when their old enough to be considered "Classic Rock" but only time will tell on that one.

Just look at the resurgence of 80's metal and hair bands over the past couple of years. 10 Years ago if you told me that Motley Crue would be going on tour I probably would have laughed in your face.

I'm thinking bands that have put out many albums over a long time (like Metallica, Tool) will make it to classic rock.

But what surprises will there be? What band that put out one or two albums will become unusually popular after 'death'?

staying power? they barely have enough staying power to be played once-through on the radio today... the product of a template-writing style.

When I see kids that aren't old enough to have been a twinkle in their father's eye when the album they're wearing a shirt for was released (and I remember waiting for the record store to open to get it!), it just confirms that over 90% of anything released in the last 10 or so years won't last.

Amen to "Linkin Park being a footnote in music history"! However, if there were any justice, they'd be taken care of by the "little man with a big eraser" (points if you come up with the source of that one...)

staying power? 10 nu-rock bands had radio play-time and fizzled out in the time it took me to type this.

Yeah, but in the 70s and 80s there were plenty of bands on the radio that nobody thinks about anymore either. I do think that the 90s bands that become "classic" will be mostly from the early to mid 90s though: Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, RHCP, NIN, Faith No More, Sublime, etc, etc.

I gotta say though, as terminally old as I felt the first time I heard a classic rock station play GnR it's going to be much much worse when Nirvana comes on :-)

All I know is this: I have two teenage stepsons, and one of 'em is hooked on Funk and Early Rap (see George Clinton, Parliament, Sugar Hill Gang, GrandMaster Flash, etc), and the other one subsists soley on the same shit I listened to when I was his age. Violent Femmes, Henry Rollins, Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, and a whole host of light pop from the same era, like Duran Duran, B-52's, early REM and the Go-Gos.

I had less to do with this than you might think. They both think current stuff blows, and keep asking their father and I when we think artists will start making "decent" music again. I reply that there is plenty of good stuff out there, but that they can't buy those CD's until they're eighteen and I'm no longer held responsible for them hearing adult content. As I walk away, jamming out to Eminem or Ludacris. What can I say? I'm a dorky white chick who likes hip-hop.

To each his own...but ask a high-school kid what he or she is listening to. I'll lay five bucks that it looks a lot more like your 1984 tape collection than you might think...


That would be a line from Hook in mouth by Megadeath. For some reason I always think of caddyshack when I here that song.

I don't own any Linkin Park, but what I hear on the radio I like, I think that there music seems, at least in some ways, much more complex than a lot of the other nu-metal bands.

but every band uses the same template...
intro..verse, chorus , repeat, bridge chorus, outro...

Let's not bust a band for using the "template", unless of course I misunderstand what you meant

/*end rant*/

Some of the nu-metal bands (IMO) are better "flash in the pan" bands. I guess I'm kind of privy to roadrunner records bands - but I'd much rather listen to KSE, 36 CF, Chimaira, Devil Driver or In Flames than Fred freakin Durst. :)

I'd agree that certain bands have staying power, but Limp Bizkit isn't one of them. Led Zepplin is. Pearl Jam is. NIN is already ahead of its time. It's not that I don't like some Blink 182 or Sum 41 or Interpol here and there, but they just don't dive quite as deep as Radiohead or Nirvana when constructing a song.

I was partial to Roadrunner bands for a long time - especially around 98, 99, 2000...(my husband was also working for them at the time, and half our CD collection from those years are from RR) - Fear Factory, Machine Head, a lot of those bands should have been bigger than they were, but thanks to RR's stingy support budget and their desire to find the next Creed (which they did with Nickelback), those band still wallow in somewhat of a cult status.

"Pearl Jam is."

No. They made 1 amazing album (Ten), 1 great album (Go) and the rest have sucked.

I reflected on this topic, as I find myself listening to more and more classic rock. The main reason why these bands, LZ, BS, PF, Beatles etc last is because they made great music, often imitated but never replicated.

Linkin Park, SOAD and the rest of guys write a few good songs, but they are nothing to reflect on in 30 years. Contemporary bands like U2 will have that longevity.

Ian, I guess it depends on one's definition of 'classic rock'. Houston's 40-something mullet-sporting "rawk" community was once served by KLOL - lots of Oyster Cult, Metallica, Led Zeppelin, etc. But they started playing Nirvana about a year after "Nevermind" and continued to keep up, in a desultory fashion, with bands like Static X.

Mind you, KLOL flatlined earlier this year and is now a Tejano station. But that's a whole 'nother flamewar.

Michele - that's pretty cool your husband worked for them around then. I actually knew nothing about them till my friend from Aleda, shot me a link to them a couple years ago. He thought I'd like Killswitch, and pointed me to a couple Roadrunner bands. I guess he used to play with someone from KSE... From there the kinds of music I'm interested in has taken a total 90 degree turn and headed off into the hinterland. Before I kind of eschewed mainstream stuff, but had no alternative. Now I'm experiencing this whole music revitalization upon discovery of all these kick ass new/undiscovered gems. Makes it a lot more fun.

While we should always be grateful for Nirvana jamming a fork deep into the collective backs of hair metal bands, fabricated soul groups like Colour Me Badd, and VH1 stalwarths like Jon Secada in the early 1990's, we should keep in mind that Nirvana also slayed the 'rock star as god' mythos that reached it's fever pitch in the 70's and creeped through the 80's. Nirvana's DIY ethics and complete lack of rock star pretention has been copied by every rock band that has followed. Gone are the days of proclaiming yourself a golden god or having an unhealthy obsession with Alastair Crowley. No longer can someone conjure up a coke fueled alter ego like Ziggy Stardust and be taken seriously, let alone bite the head off a dove at a meeting with your label execs. Not having MTV around also helped in the myth building, as fans had to snap up magazines like Cream to get a glimpse of their favorite bands...and read stories written about said bands by writers like Lester Bangs, larger than life himself. This aura of untouchability and detachment from 'regular' folks seeped into the music, each new album or single was a sonic thunderbolt from the gods delivering their message to us meer mortals. Between the internet, MTV, fuse, etc, that wall that used to exist between the fan and the band has been completely torn down. Echoes still reverberate in that great divide thanks to classic rock stations, and I think kids (especially those that are musically inclined) are drawn to it. Why? Because those bands weren't just bands, they were an escape to an alternate reality. No one in real life dressed like Diamond Dave and got away with it, but DLR could. Why? Because he was a freakin' rock star. Freddie Mercury may have had the largest overbite this side of a neanderthal, but on stage he was the coolest son of a bitch on earth...just watch Queen's set on the otherwise dull Live Aid DVD, Freddie had the audience in the palm of his hand from the moment he walked on stage. Now, the only people embracing the rock star ethos are rap artists, they are the ones with the ridiculous houses, cars, and women...who is a kid that wants to rock have to look to for inspiration or just plain hero worship? Jon Mayer? Fred 'Dumber Than A Fencepost' Durst? Marilyn Manson? Slipnot? Darkness? When the rock star myth died, so did it's immortality...that's why so many kids today are sporting ZOSO t-shirts, they have no alter of their own to pray at.

Jesse: learn about paragraphs. Please. Long chunks of text with no breaks are unreadable. This isn't the 1800s any more.

To answer "It", the band that will survive past a few albums is Guns and Roses. Appetite for Destruction kicks ass and nothing will change that, even the dissolution of the band or Axl's hair plugs. I guess it's too far outside the 90s, but whatever.

To answer the larger question, will some of the music out now survive, the answer is yes. But we won't know what music will surive until then. I think Nirvana will survive. But the rest of them? Hard to tell. Metallica, for sure as well.

Most music is so disposable that if you hear it outside the time it's in, you reject it. I was born in 1964, and I liked, for instance, The Cars, along with a lot of new wave groups. You never hear them on the radio any more. Yet, I still listen to them. It'll be the same for most music. If it had an effect on you, you'll listen to it. If not, it will most likely go away.

One last thing is the generational influence. Michele's son might be listening to that music because she likes it. I used to know all the words to every song on "BRidge Over Troubled Water" since my older siblings had left the album in the record rack. I still know a lot of the lyrics. People you know and respect will have an influence over your tastes.

I could go into my whole surf music period when I was around 14-16, but let's not drag this out.

Jan and Dean and the Beach Boys, okay?!

And I still like it, if only for the nostalgia value.

One last thing is the generational influence. Michele's son might be listening to that music because she likes it.

I wasn't listening to a whole lot of Zep or VH before he started playing the guitar. That's what did it - we'd go to guitar center to pick up tab books and there would be more books by VH, Zep and Floyd than any other. So he asked to listen to some of their music (suprised that he actually knew a lot of it already from radio, and the PF from my mother) and was hooked.

Interestingly enough, my son is the one who got ME listening to VH again.

I was talking to a bunch of Tory guys during the election campaign about music. (Since I am a musician this seems to be par for the course.) And guess what we were talking about Slayer & Metallica & Maiden; not the newer stuff. They liked old Slayer & Metallica. Walking around in a university town you saw quite a few metal t-shirts but they were all 80s bands; nowt from the current crop.

I personally don't think much of the grunge shit will have legs. Maybe Soundgarden (who may yet be overshadowed by Audioslave if their second album isn't cack) and Nirvana (a highly over-rated band imo...one great song, a few decent ones and the rest complete dross). I do agree that NIN will stand the test of time and probably over-shadow some their precursors in the genre like Kraftwerk. GnR will live on because of the absolutely astonishing quality of 'Appetite'. It is in fact one of the best debut album to ever be released in the rock genre; definetely in the top 5.

The New Wave of American Heavy Metal (Chimaera, Mastadon etc) is great to see but they just don't seem to be able to add anything new to the genre. You listen to either of those bands and you find yourself hankering for a nice dose of Judas Priest or Iron Maiden.

There isn't a thing in Rock today that can hold a candle to 20 years ago, and beyond. Sorry, it's just that way. This dearth has driven me to jazz, when looking for new tastes.

The New Wave of American Heavy Metal (Chimaera, Mastadon etc) is great to see but they just don't seem to be able to add anything new to the genre. You listen to either of those bands and you find yourself hankering for a nice dose of Judas Priest or Iron Maiden.

I think NWAHM has yet to really take off. For the first time in Ozzfest history, a band that carved a niche for themselves on the second stage in years past is moving up to the main stage. That band is Shadows Fall, the best NWAHM band, IMHO.

JP and IM are legends, but they've floundered lately. I'd rather hear a Tim "Ripper" Owens-fronted Iced Earth than the new Judas Priest.

Definitely an interesting (and highly argumentative) topic! Personally, I listen to a lot of the music I do because I grew up listening to it. I'm a shade under 30 but I grew up listening to my parents records--Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, Robin Trower, Stones, Funkadelic, Rare Earth, Cream, etc. I'm sure this guided my tastes to a large extent as I still enjoy "classic rock" more than anything but it has also influenced me to explore some of rock's origins as well. I'm really into early Blues music and I also think that rap, like rock music, is beyond it's peak.
I think rock peaked in the early 70's due to the social atmosphere at the time. Same with rap, I used to love listening to stuff like N.W.A., Sugarhill Gang, Erik B. & Rakim, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube--the whole "G-Funk" thing really got me (probably influenced by listening to Funkadelic & Parliament records at a young age) but rap now is really quite boring. Oh yeah, I'm also a HUUUUUUGE Motown fan. Probably the same reasons. I'll stop rambling now. Blaaaahh.

"Does today's music have any staying power?"

For me, probably not. Today's music is simply not as important as the music I grew up listening to.