Richard Dawson is dead but picture him back on Family Feud, posing the question, “According to Neilson Music, this musical format was number one in terms of total consumption in 2014.”
Then, in true Family Feud style, a clueless participant says, “Polka.”
The correct answer is rock.
Combine sales of albums and individual tracks and streams and rock accounted for 33%, compared to 17% for R&B and hip hop, and 14% for pop in the United States (Canada’s stats would be similar, I’m guessing).
Were 1/3 of the acts on the Grammy Awards rock artists? Fat fucking chance.
No, we are led to believe that Mister Kardashian and Sam Smith are dominating the music world, so much so that Paul McCartney and Jeff Lynne were relegated to supporting roles.
Miranda Lambert was the only singer to really rock it and she’s regarded as a country performer (sorry, I prefer the Bon Scott version of AC/DC and Brian, Angus and company are showing their age, and the new tune was lame).
So this McCartney dude has sold over 100 million albums and over 100 million singles. Jeff Lynne and the Electric Light Orchestra? More than 50 million records. Tom Petty? Over 80 million.
Kim’s husband? 21 million albums, and 66 million downloads. But imagine of music fans in the ’70s and ’80s could have purchased music from a home computer. Back then, you had to buy albums in person.
The Grammys are really the flip side of the Oscars. The latter ignores box office hits in favour of artsier films and rewards artists that take chances. The only way Michael Bay (director of let’s just blow shit up all the time movies like Pearl Harbour and Armageddon) will ever win an Academy Award is if he lives to be 90 and they have to give him a “hey, you’re not dead” lifetime achievement prize for directing action movies long forgotten.
The Grammys are more of a circle jerk, congratulating the remaining major labels for whatever sold the most.
Then again, I was shocked that Shake it Off didn’t win at least record of the year. Not that I was crazy about it…I like Blank Space but still prefer country Taylor over pop Taylor.
I like to think of rock as the Quentin Tarantino of musical genres. No one recalls lines from Spiderman or Transformers but true movie fans can quote from Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs.
And The Big Lebowski. And Clerks (Coen brothers, Kevin Smith).
Rock is cool, and 33% of music fans want to be cool. We prefer real singers and musicians over auto-tuned flavours of the month, which is why this year’s Grammys lacked even one “up next, a performance everyone will be talking about tomorrow” moment.
But if Tom, Jeff and Paul had jammed…with Prince and Dave Grohl, and The Black Keys…
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- Rock Hall 2018: Radiohead, Nina Simone, Judas Priest up for induction - USA TODAY October 5, 2017
- 'Springsteen on Broadway': A revelatory night with a rock 'n' roll legend - USA TODAY October 13, 2017
- Lynyrd Skynyrd's Plane Crash: Remembering The Night That Changed Southern Rock - Baeble Music (blog) October 20, 2017
- Remembering Tom Petty, American icon and eternal rock 'n' roll underdog - USA TODAY October 3, 2017
- Tragically Hip's Gord Downie dead at 53 - Entertainment - CBC News - CBC.ca October 18, 2017