Rock And Roll Ain't Dead..

As you may have noticed recently, the music press has been full of talk about the demise of Rock music, the painful death of Indie bands and the glowing reign Pop music held over 2011.

Now, lets not scan over the facts here, as the figures speak for themselves:

Pop, in all its shiny, plastic, bubblegum glory, surpassed Rock (in terms of album sales) for the first time in eight years. The numbers show that the Pop genre increased its share of album sales from 30.9% to 33.6%, whereas Rock dipped from 31.2% to 29.4%. Although it may not seem like a lot, when it's a case of the repetitive synth motif blasting out of the airwaves over the classic guitar riff, surely something needs to change?

Despite monotonous artists like Adele, Bruno Mars and Jessie J, Pop still managed to account for 36% of sales in 2011. Making up the numbers were other genres such as Folk with 1.6% and Blues at 0.9%. Rock music shared just 18% (three in every ten albums sold) of the market last year, making it the lowest share since 2004. So what exactly happened eight years ago? I want to pinpoint the exact moment we ditched the guitars.

Below is a list of just some of the Indie/Rock tracks that were dominating the charts back in 2004:

  • All These Things That I've Done - The Killers
  • Walk Idiot Walk - The Hives
  • Take Me Out - Franz Ferdinand
  • Somebody Told Me - The Killers
  • Burning Photographs - Ryan Adams
  • Float On - Modest Mouse
  • Vertigo - U2
  • First of the Gang To Die - Morrissey
  • Maps - Yeah Yeah Yeah's
  • But Julian I'm A Little Older Than You - Coutney Love
  • I Miss You - Blink 182
  • Tell Her Tonight - Franz Ferdinand
  • Indie Rock and Roll - The Killers
  • The End Has No End - The Strokes
  • Mr. Brightside - The Killers
  • You Talk Way Too Much - The Strokes
  • Personal Jesus - Marilyn Manson
  • American Idiot - Green Day
  • Holy Roller Novocaine - Kings Of Leon
  • Get Your Hands Off My Woman - The Darkness
  • Two-Timing Touch and Broken Bones - The Hives
  • Y'all Want A Single - Korn
  • Leaving New York - R.E.M.
  • America Is Not the World - Morrissey
  • Fuck the World - The Vines
  • The End of the World - The Cure
  • Word Up - Korn
  • Reach For the Sky - Social Distortion
  • Untitled - Interpol
  • Great High Mountain - Jack White
  • Deja Vu - John Fogerty

  • A pretty good list if you ask me. So what went wrong?

    Well, I don't think it's a case of something going wrong, per se, more that things came to a natural standstill. We have to remember that in today's all-consuming culture of immediacy and now-now-now demand, people's attention can dwindle. Music fans like to be kept on their toes, and with so much music from the same genre, perhaps the stagnant waters of Indie-Rock that were so prevalent in 2004 ignited a need for change.

    The phases and trends of the music industry are inevitable; without them, we wouldn't have seen musical movements like Grunge in the Nineties, the Brip-Pop era, the sweet, bubblegum Pop of the early Noughties and the fresh creations of the Dubstep wave that hit the world last year. The very notion of the word 'trend'- to "change or develop in a general direction", implies that it is already predetermined.

    Trends that occur in the music industry are influenced by a number of outside variants, ranging from social and political contexts, as well as one of the most important catalysts in musical development; the advancement of technology. So, I guess what I'm really trying to say is that Rock and Roll isn't dead, it's just been lying dormant for a while taking a well deserved rest, and I'm hoping that 2012 will be the year to catapult it back into the world arena. Long live Rock and Roll!

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