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What impact does X Factor have on the music industry?

13:35 UK time, Monday, 13 December 2010

More than 17 million viewers tuned in to see Matt Cardle win this year's X Factor. But the show is not without its critics. How does it affect popular music?

The former painter-decorator is now practically guaranteed a number one single - the ITV1 show has produced 45 Top 40 singles over seven years.

Madness frontman Suggs says the show has filled the charts with "people who haven't really understood what it is to be an artist". He says it leaves less room for people trying to work their way up organically.

Paul Weller says there is a generation of musicians primed by the show who simply aren't prepared for the long slog of a career in music.

But Simon Cowell dismisses the idea that the show has a stranglehold on the industry, saying it pulls in 20 million viewers who are "getting interested in music again".

Do you watch The X Factor? Does the show leave less room for other artists? Is it leaving musicians unprepared for the realities of the business? Or does it actually stimulate interest in music?

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    It creates unimaginative, over produced commercialised rubbish! It dictates to people what music they should listen to rather than the different types of music out there!

  • Comment number 2.

    The X Factor is full of wannabies who have no interest in music but every interest in easy fame and fortune. What happened to the time when success had to be earned through hard work and determination? I'd have a lot more respect for the programme and those involved if we could see some genuine musicians who write their own tunes and can play instruments. All we get is the same bland formulaic stuff, year in year out. Paul Weller was right - the public wants what the public gets.

  • Comment number 3.

    I imagine it has the greatest impact on Cowells bank balance. From what I hear of "popular" music since the 1990's any impact is in the form of a nose dive X factor exluded or included.

  • Comment number 4.

    Sadly it only produces artists who are manufactured and groomed to hit the charts then fade into obscurity. Musicians rarely have the longevity of bands and artists of 30/40 years ago. Back in the day they used to play music for the love of it and learned the ropes to become solid and consistent artists. Nowadays it`s all about making a quick buck and the short termism that seems prevalent nowadays.

  • Comment number 5.

    The X Factor does absolutely nothing for MUSIC but a lot for MUSZAC
    It is nothing short of "funneling " the unwanted on the public ..
    There is little doubt that ANY ex factor winner will ever be a STAR ..

    There is more proven evidence "ex X factor rejects " becoming STARS

    Most MUSZAC churned out by the X factor can mostly be heard as WALLPAPER MUSZAC at the local supermarket or whilst wait on the phone.

    To PUT IT SIMPLE -- There is no X in TALENT

  • Comment number 6.

    It reduces some great talent to conform to the same, dull, non-creative output that Cowell dictates.

    Rebecca (lass who finished second last night) has a wonderful voice, truly amazing, but the songs she was made to sing were too popular, too easy, to dumbed down if you would.

    It also serves to distract the attention away from more pressing matters. I'm sick of my friends nattering about the X Factor when they have zero interested in an unelected government making the most idealistic changes in a century.

  • Comment number 7.

    Two years in a row Louis Walsh had absolute disasters representing his section, these (Jedward and Wagner) this pair of acts kept out perfectly good talents with what seems to be an obvious campaign by face book users.
    The system is so frail and open to fiddling the end products are pre-selected and inevitably not the best.
    4 lots profit:
    1)Simon Cowell
    2)Phone in profits by the ITV
    3)The winner with his contract.
    4) The Judges with their exposure to the public.
    The show has deteriorated considerably in the last few years into a worship Simon Cowell extravaganza.

  • Comment number 8.

    X-Factor:
    'Is it leaving musicians unprepared for the realities of the business?':

    I'm afraid it's actually leaving the MUSIC Industry unprepared for the musicians that X-Factor and it's ilk, spew out.

    The Music industry and OUR Media is saturated with 'wannabees' and 'Celebs'- so much so - that they are becoming SO 'samey' that it's like listening to a modern version of 'Muzak' - background mush.
    Most of the general-public are now actually almost immune to re-hashes of both Singer & song churned out in the last 15 years.

    The BEST way to find a GOOD Musician/Singer, is by testing their VARIETY of sounds/song - THEN we can truly say they ARE special.
    It's not hard for almost anyone to make a decent song/sound via modern systems - it's the RANGE and consistency that really matters...

  • Comment number 9.

    "What impact does X Factor have on the music industry?"

    - about the same impact a speeding express train has on a small family saloon car - it completely detroys it.

  • Comment number 10.

    Good to see HYS getting back to something that means far more to us than the handbag-bashing by the Israelis and Palestinians!!
    I have my own tastes in music, which are far removed from the X Factor, and encompass Slayer, Motorhead etc.
    HOWEVER, I have to grudgingly admit that X Factor does bring people together and does engender interest in music. I was invited to an X Factor Final party over the weekend (at someone's home), attended by many friends and family. It was a blast. Younger family members just dancing around the living room, older members debating the quality of the talent on display. Me - drinking!!
    Great night and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of Rebecca's singing voice - awesome.

  • Comment number 11.



    It alleged that the BBC and ITV at loggerheads because of breach programme format copyright ... amongst rumours that the "X FACTOR" is BASED on " JIM 'LL FIX IT "

  • Comment number 12.

    What impact does X Factor have on the music industry?
    It murdered the music industry!!
    Why do 60s/70s/80s bands have such a strong following when they reform?
    Because they were better and they learnt the hard way. They put in the time in the pubs and clubs and built a following that was worthy. They didn't need tv coverage to get somewhere.
    Even bands like the Arctic Monkeys used their initiative and found themselves a following through proper performance.
    Very few of these competition performers will survive more than a couple of years. And rightly so.
    Hard graft is the way to, it means something.

  • Comment number 13.

    Corrie and now X Factor???
    How much are ITV paying the BBC for all this free advertising?

  • Comment number 14.

    One !
    It has completely and utterly destroyed any opportunity for new bands capable of creating music and replaced it with Japanese style dross pop.
    Shame on anyone who gave that man one penny of your money !

  • Comment number 15.

    The fact so many people, professional musicians included feel compelled to make both pisitive and negative comment means it works.
    The fact that it kick starts the careers of a number of contestants who go on to become very rich as well means it works.
    The fact it kept so many million people entertained means it works.
    The aroma surrounding it's detractors wreaks of a little of jealousy, either of the money Cowell & Co makes or that the stars make it that bit quicker and easier than they did.
    That said it is unlikely to last forever and once people bore of it's cringey bits, or adequately talented contestants become hard to find, it will disappear.
    Will we then be left moaning about an entertainment black hole?

  • Comment number 16.

    Given that these 'musicians' don't write their own lyrics or music, or play any instrument and just "sing", they are no bodies in the industry and will be forgotten, as have countless manufactured one hit wonder bands before them.

    X-factor used to be a contest about talent, but it has quickly become a niche for attracting the interests of teens and making a quick return on average singers who do not contribute to any of the music they "perform".

    Had the winner come up against different genres, written and played their own music, I might have different thoughts on this excuse of a talent show.

    Show your support for real music and buy the "Sound of Silence" single in protest, just like RAGE last year.

  • Comment number 17.

    Radiohead, The Verve, Rolling Stones, Sex Pistols, NY Dolls, The Beatles > Simon Cowell's 'music'.

  • Comment number 18.

    X Factory

  • Comment number 19.

    In order to encourage the re-establishment of real talent, I'd like to think that X Factors days of "manufacturing" cover singers in order to manipulate the charts and line Cowell's ever bulging wallet are coming to a close hence his shrewd decision to now focus on the US market.
    I'll be the first to admit that the show uncovers some decent singers. Witness Leona Lewis, Alexandra Burke and Rebecca Ferguson. Matt Cardle is listenable but I do wonder if his win was more of a protest vote against Cowell and Cole's self indulgent race to be the "super mentor" rather than a ringing endorsement of his talent.
    Suggs is right. The chart bulges with X factor clones who qualify for success in the main by being kings and queens of karaoke, not artists. Artists are built on foundations including originality, character, perserverence and longevity as well as musical talent and not just their ability to bash out an acceptable version of someone elses hard graft and reach no.1 on the back of a telephone vote.
    Something tells me that the likes of One Direction who perfectly encapsulate the Cowell model will be a distant memory in 12 months time. By losing the vote, they have ceased to provide the necessary instant revenue stream and will therefore rapidly become surplus to requirements.





  • Comment number 20.

    And the formula for a number one record is: yak, yak,yak!
    Well that reduces the stuff in a degree in music composition.
    Songs now will be as dully talentless as the contestants.

  • Comment number 21.

    The music industry must love X-Factor and the easy money it conjures.

    However musical talent, real musical talent, is unlikely to be seen anywhere near X-Factor in spite of what Cowell or anyone else may say. Some people will probably pass by a busker whilst doing their Xmas shopping, too busy to hear how much effort has gone into a little live music. History says the best are always made that way.

  • Comment number 22.

    You got the music in you to express your love for life, no aspect can hold you back. All anyone has to do is excel in one thing at it's best and continue in it.

  • Comment number 23.

    All the X Factor does is produce manufactured, often talentless performers. I have only seen snippets of the shows but no one I've seen performing seemed to set the world on fire. The majority of the contestants are there for what they believe is an easy path to fame and fortune, but because most are talentless, they last for 5 minutes, as most previous winners have. Then you never hear from them again.

    If they were really talented, you'd hear from them for years to come and surely they wouldn't even need to go on a show like X Factor to be discovered. Whatever happened to bands like The Bee Gees, Abba etc, who got together because they love music and in the case of the latter, were all musicians in their own right first? This seems to be a thing of the past. It's not about the ability to sing/write songs, it's 'I'm good looking, so buy my records.'

  • Comment number 24.

    The only thing good about X-Factor is the sight of Dannii Minogue.

    To quote someone, she looks like a piece of GOOD GOD wrapped up in some HAVE MERCY with a side of UMPH!!

  • Comment number 25.

    X factor is a joke. It does not contain talent. All it is, is a karaoke contest with conflicting mean judges creating mindless tv on a saturday night that millions of sheep have taken to watching. I prefer discovering new bands, new music, where they have put hard work into everything and actually enjoy creating music. Nothing like those fame hungry idiots out there. Think they should get their own personality not an x factor one.

  • Comment number 26.

    x factor is the short-cut to money and short lived fame , for the lucky few? { talent not required} who are favoured by the show business Guru and genius Simon Cowell and the others...

  • Comment number 27.


    Cowellism is not generally longterm.
    It is merely a quick fix for the untalented.

  • Comment number 28.

    "What impact does the X factor have on the music industry?"

    A negative one.
    Next question.

  • Comment number 29.

    Its the same old talentless(without back up digi-music)crap.Every year the same type and look of acts.They are like mass produced clones in the music industry these days.Its boring with a capital B.Give me a band playing their instruments,producing their own music,singing totally live.None of them will ever be classed as greats like Queen.Abba.The Who.The Stones e.t.c.Now thats entertainment.

  • Comment number 30.

    a bunch of average karaoke singers who have to yell into an auto tune to have anything resembling a singing voice. Just there to fill cowell's pockets, produce a xmas no 1 and fade into obscurity just in time for next years series.

  • Comment number 31.

    I Would Rather Watch Paint Dry!
    Than watch the FOUR MUSZACTEERS give a MASTER CLASS on TALENT SPOTTING

  • Comment number 32.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 33.

    X Factor is nothing but a farce. The biggest farce of all is they fail to satisfy the paying public whether the winners of the heats are correctly genuine, because they fail to declare the actual number of votes received for an individual, leaving an open road to corruption.
    Stimulate interest in music? What music? It is not music but a shouting match with the main object to make it look glitzy, but in actual fact in some cases it's quite raunchy.

  • Comment number 34.

    What impact does X Factor have on the music industry?
    More than 17 million viewers tuned in to see Matt Cardle win this year's X Factor. But the show is not without its critics. How does it affect popular music?

    Whether this is a good program or not obviously depends on your personal choice, as regards its affect on popular music, I don't think it has all that great an effect. Tongue-in-Cheek, It has had some quite amusing moments too!. Not that I am a fan of the program, I'm not, although I have sometimes watched it during an idle moment.

    Then there is that other programe 'Britians got Talent', this is loosly along the same lines as 'X' factor except it has more than just 'would be' singers on it, accrobats and magicians etc.
    But having said that, look at Paul Potts, true, not everyone likes opera, but what a voice that man has - good luck to him I say, then there is Susan Boyle, what a voice, so sometimes in these programes they do find someone with a true talent and a voice that would otherwise never be found and be wasted.

    But by and large, I don't think it effects the direction of the music industry per-se, and possibly not the music market a great deal, but what Paul Potts has done is to bring opera closer to millions, even my other half has become an opera fan now, Susan Boyle, well She took the US by storm with her singing, so whilst these programs may not have had a great effect on the pop music industry, they just maybe awakening many people to music other than pop, and that can be no bad thing at all. There is a lot of very wonderful and beguiling music out there from the great classical composers, Motzart, Beethoven, Verdi etc. etc. It is just to go out and discover it.

  • Comment number 35.

    "Or does it actually stimulate interest in music?"

    Er, no....for my part at least it creates active DISinterest in music. The one saving grace of programmes like X factor is that sooner or later people will get so bored of them that a new music fashion or sound will start.....I just hope it's soon!

  • Comment number 36.

    It promotes Simon Cowell and gives people with no talent the chance to humilate themselves, make some money then get dumped when the next load of talentless people come along and 17 million people watch it for the same reason people used to fill the coliseum to see people thrown to the lions.

  • Comment number 37.

    Commercialised dross has been around for years. The X-Factor didn't start it, it just takes it one step further and allows anybody that can almost hold a tune (listened to it last night, as my wife has it on - the winner was out of tune so many times) to become 'famous' for 12 months. They sell shed loads of music on the back of it - Even Leona Lewis, the most talented winner who has a good voice, but no personality, only releases CDs when the X-factor is on. Others like the wee Geordie lad and Leon do ok but are quickly forgotten.

    Good music is out there and is accessible, but people need to be told where to look. We need more DJ's like John Peel and less like Moyles to get people interested in proper music. More telly like Jools Holland and the stuff Tony Wilson used to do is also needed. Come on people, somebody with a degree in media studies needs to get this going and show those that think it's a wasted degree a thing or two.


  • Comment number 38.

    Thought it was all about aliens!

  • Comment number 39.

    The X factor is good all family entertainment, but has no lasting impact on the music industry. Just put on your christmas CD and listen bands like slade and wizard will blast out -70s music still played now nearly 40 years on (bands like slade are still touring with half the original members) -thats lasting impact on the music industry!

  • Comment number 40.

    In the mid-late 70s there was some excellent music from very tallented musicians and song writers - and so much variety. Queen must be one of the most outstanding bands - I'm not an Elton fan but his songwriting is simply brilliant.

    It seems to me that everything today too many things are simply wrong; too much electronics and sampling, massive post editing to paper over weaknesses in the performer, very little originality, cover versions galore (proving that the oldies are the best), too much 'fusion' with the rap genre - oh and celebrity is everything!

    Don't get me wrong - I'm not suggesting that X-factor winners are not tallented - but there is so much more talent and originality out there. It just doesn't seem to get much of a look in on mainstream media and more importantly the huge momentum of x-factor means that this is what youngsters have become used to and this is where people are spending their money.

    A lot of good stuff just isn't getting noticed. It is mostly sitting in the shade of (excuse the cliches) one-hit wonder stars who are ledgends in their own lunchtimes and household names in their own home.

    Yes, this has always happened - the Monkey's were a 'manufactured' band but at least their music wasn't one cover version after another AND they did eventually stand up for themselves and take owneshiop of their artictic content (though this was the start of their downfall). Also, there has been a lot of cringe-worthy music over the years (Bay City Rollers, Donny Osmond) and there always will be.

    Is X-factor getting me more interested in music - no, but its making me more disconnected with music as I immerse myself in my aging music collection.

    In 20 years time will people be reaching into their record collection for a classic Matt Cardle track? I doubt it, but If I'm around in 20 years time I (and many others) will still be hopping around the living room to Freddy Mercury, getting chilled out with some classic Bowie - music that is already been around for over 30 years. I might even start enjoying Elton John!

  • Comment number 41.

    To be fair a few gems have been un-earthed (Leona Lewis, Alexandra Burke etc.) but in the main its a good pay day for the act, followed by a life of Butlins (if they believed the hype).
    Cowell of course rakes in vast amounts of case for serving up the same populist pap (plus the ubiquitous freak to rake in a few more phone votes).
    I guess the biggest concern is for the more fragile individals who have to handle the burst of fame, followed by the subsequent life of the one hit wonder...

  • Comment number 42.

    I can only think back to how music influenced my life and today I think kids are really lacking something special in their lives.

    Asking whether X-factor does or does not have too much of a strangle-hold on the industry is the wrong question because I fear that it is doing something far more subtle.

    For the younger generation X-factor is perhaps the primary way in which they are beiong introduced to music. X-factor is changing how younger people learn to enjoy music - and not for the better.

  • Comment number 43.

    36. At 3:19pm on 13 Dec 2010, frankiecrisp wrote:

    It promotes Simon Cowell and gives people with no talent the chance to humilate themselves, make some money then get dumped when the next load of talentless people come along and 17 million people watch it for the same reason people used to fill the coliseum to see people thrown to the lions.

    -----------------------------------------

    I think you just summed it up perfectly frankiecrisp. Couldn't improve on your description at all.

  • Comment number 44.

    X Factor is just an over glorified karaoke contest. The only reason it's popular, is becuase idiots are obessed with celebrity culture.

  • Comment number 45.

    With very few exceptions - and I believe Matt could potentially be one of them - none of the contestants have any interest in becoming a creative artist and sustained success and credibility. The vast majority just want instant fame and a #1 single, and think that they deserve this just because they can sing covers quite well. I hope Matt will break the trend because he comes across as a nice guy with a lot of soul, but the fact that he chose The X Factor as his route to the top makes me somewhat skeptical.

  • Comment number 46.

    39. mintman60 wrote: Just put on your christmas CD and listen bands like slade and wizard will blast out -70s music still played now nearly 40 years on (bands like slade are still touring with half the original members) -thats lasting impact on the music industry!

    Who will be the Slades in 30 years time? N-dubz or Eminem perhaps? Hmm... I doubt it!

    A serious question - suggestions please. I might actually find out that I've been missing some good stuff. (but no suggestions off X-factor - been there, seen it, got switched off by it)

  • Comment number 47.

    The problem with the X-Factor is that it presents music as a means to become famous, rather being the end itself. Good luck to Matt who - unlike One Direction, for example - seems to have some musical integrity. But I expect that in a few years he will be just that: Matt Who?

  • Comment number 48.

    X-Factor does NOTHING for music, it produces plastic pop stars who would NEVER make it otherwise. There is nothing original & exciting being produced here, just more of the same dumbed down commercial rubbish.

    The standard of commercial music has gone downhill very rapidly in the last decade. I know we've always had manufactured bands, but at least some of those could actually play an instrument or pen a half decent tune for themselves.

    I'll stick with underground music clubs where the talent is raw, but at least it's original & TALENT. I remember watching Muse many times in the mid 90's at the Cavern before they made it, excellent club that promotes young talent.

  • Comment number 49.

    47. At 3:40pm on 13 Dec 2010, Dave Godfrey wrote:
    The problem with the X-Factor is that it presents music as a means to become famous, rather being the end itself.

    -------------------

    Well said!

  • Comment number 50.

    35. At 3:17pm on 13 Dec 2010, callaspadeaspade wrote: "Or does it actually stimulate interest in music?" Er, no....for my part at least it creates active DISinterest in music. The one saving grace of programmes like X factor is that sooner or later people will get so bored of them that a new music fashion or sound will start.....I just hope it's soon!

    I jhave to disagree - it is just the latest incarnation of "Opportunity Knocks" blinged up for the 21st centuary... and I mean that most sincerely folks.

    Oh dear - showing my age!

  • Comment number 51.

    1. At 2:12pm on 13 Dec 2010, Kat wrote:
    It creates unimaginative, over produced commercialised rubbish! It dictates to people what music they should listen to rather than the different types of music out there!


    Hear hear. Recommend.

  • Comment number 52.

    Do you watch The X Factor? Does the show leave less room for other artists? Is it leaving musicians unprepared for the realities of the business? Or does it actually stimulate interest in music?

    --------------------------------------------------------------
    I don't watch reality tv, period, whether it is soap operas, chat shows, quiz shows, or talent shows, it simply is not my cup of tea.

    I do not critise people who do watch them either, to each his own I say.


    As to whether the X factor has any effect on the music business, 'manufactured' pop music is only one small segment of all the musical styles in existence.

  • Comment number 53.

    None of the male winners appear to have been a success at all and only one successful group has come out of this competition.

    Ok a couple of the girls have done well like Ms Lewis but seems more about chasing ratings and making money for Simon Cowell and co by putting great pressure and hopes on mostly young people who probably have a bit of talent but not one that is going to make them a world star.

  • Comment number 54.

    They should strip it back to basics next year.

    Simon Cowell throws **** at a wall for thirteen weeks and whatever's stuck on at the end gets the Xmas number 1

  • Comment number 55.

    Say what you will about xfactor, but it simply goes to show how easy it is to exploit the industry, the "talent" and the people who keep the ratings up and make Simon Cowell extremely rich in the processes.

    Simon Cowell should be knighted. Not for his contribution to the music industry, but for his ability to exploit not only peoples desire to be famous but everyone elses desire to see them fail.... The man is a genius!

  • Comment number 56.

    44. At 3:33pm on 13 Dec 2010, jsmith01 wrote:
    X Factor is just an over glorified karaoke contest. The only reason it's popular, is becuase idiots are obessed with celebrity culture.

    ---------------
    Quite right!

  • Comment number 57.

    I have to agree that this show in my opinion caters for the Tabloid reading types. It is annoying, it is mainly banal and devoid of much intelligence.

    However my wife has it tuned on usually while I reading or otherwise engaged, and a few weeks ago I heard Rebecca Ferguson sing, I was staggered. Is this the new Billie Holliday/Ella Fitzgerald/Peggy Lee all rolled into one I thought?

    Obviously this girl was TOO good for a show like this, and obviously the people who vote in shows like this know little other than pop.

    So regardless of is it good or is it bad, it has this time discovered a world class singer, who again in my opinion will have, or should have the same impact on music as Elvis did in 1956, superlative.

  • Comment number 58.

    If this is what passes for entertainment now then I must be getting old.

  • Comment number 59.

    "the ITV1 show has produced 45 Top 40 singles over seven years."
    Or rather: didn't it produce one top 40 single 45 times?
    As a musician with a wide-ranging (though not particularly good) taste in music and a passion for the genre I have only seen the bits of the X-Factor passed over when flipping through the channels to find something decent to watch. It's the same as the Eurovision song contest but without the glitz and glamour (and not as many foreigners).

  • Comment number 60.

    In the 18th century people used to visit "Bedlam": the Bethlem hospital for the mentally ill, and pay a penny to be entertained by the antics of the inmates. It was a source of amusement and entertainment for the masses in those grim and unenlightened days and people could laugh at and ridicule those less fortunate than themselves. Now we have X-Factor. . .

  • Comment number 61.

    pb wrote:
    For the younger generation X-factor is perhaps the primary way in which they are beiong introduced to music. X-factor is changing how younger people learn to enjoy music - and not for the better.


    It has been a very long time since I was young but most of the children I know from our youth club don't like X-Factor and can't stand modern pop music. Some of them are into Emo-rock & Metal, some are into Rap & Hip Hop while others prefer Electronic/Dance music and those who do like X-Factor are in a very small minority.

    The X-Factor may attract young children but most teenagers naturally want to find music of their own and reject mass produced pop for the same reasons you and I do.

    Some of the children I know have got record decks that they use for mixing, since they got them I've been lending them some of my old vinyl records and the records they borrow most often tend to be classic rock bands such as The Rolling Stones, The Cream, Pink Floyd & CSN&Y, funk and soul music such as James Brown, Marvin Gaye & George Clinton and the early Hip Hop artists/groups such as Grandmaster Flash, The Sugarhill Gang & Public Enemy and a few of them have even started coming along when I go to second hand record stores and are building up their own collections of good quality music (as well as having hard drives full of digitised back catalogues from all of the best bands from the last 50 years) both for mixing and also for the pleasure of listening to the original tracks.

    I don't think we need to worry about young peoples taste in music just yet, there will always be those who consider mass-produced pop music to be good and are happy to consume whatever comes out of the X-factor but there will always be those who reject the mainstream in favour of top quality music made by real musicians too.

  • Comment number 62.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 63.

    I agree that X-Factor does nothing for music.
    There are many comments on here that think that The X-Factor has ruined pop music, but the truth is it was ruinous state long before X-factor came on the go.
    Summer 1981. That's when it really all changed. I have a theory, it might sound like a mad conspiracy theory, but here me out and tell me what you think.

    The Authorities are controlling pop music.
    Since the Mods v Rockers fights were revived at the end of the 70's , and other music gang fights were taking place (Teds, Punks, Skins, Mods, Rockers, etc...)the authorities had to do something to quell the social disorder that these fights were causing, and stamp it out (as they like to do).
    Answer? Make sure the music that gets promoted is bland, inoffensive and won't have gangs forming. (The Duran/ Spandau posse having a scrap with the Depeche Mode/Human league fans?...Yeah, Right!)
    Think I'm talking rubbish? Possibly, but remember how hard the authorities stamped on the Acid House/ Rave scene at the end of the 80's!
    The other thing to remember is, look how much social upheaval/unrest that popular music has had over the years since the Rock'n'roll explosion.
    Remember Woodstock? The John Lennon Bed-in for peace? The Sex Pistols?

    Told you it would make me sound like a conspiracy theory nut, but it's the only explanation I can come up with as to why the music scene has be so poor for so long...

  • Comment number 64.

    It exists purely to guarantee an Xmas No.1 for Simon Cowell's record company & to make him even richer.

    Dumb TV for even dumber people.

  • Comment number 65.

    61. At 4:58pm on 13 Dec 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:
    pb wrote:

    For the younger generation X-factor is perhaps the primary way in which they are beiong introduced to music. X-factor is changing how younger people learn to enjoy music - and not for the better.

    Some of the children I know have got record decks that they use for mixing, since they got them I've been lending them some of my old vinyl records and the records they borrow most often tend to be classic rock bands such as The Rolling Stones, The Cream, Pink Floyd & CSN&Y, funk and soul music such as James Brown, Marvin Gaye & George Clinton and the early Hip Hop artists/groups such as Grandmaster Flash, The Sugarhill Gang & Public Enemy and a few of them have even started coming along when I go to second hand record stores and are building up their own collections of good quality music (as well as having hard drives full of digitised back catalogues from all of the best bands from the last 50 years) both for mixing and also for the pleasure of listening to the original tracks.

    I don't think we need to worry about young peoples taste in music just yet, there will always be those who consider mass-produced pop music to be good and are happy to consume whatever comes out of the X-factor but there will always be those who reject the mainstream in favour of top quality music made by real musicians too.

    ------------------------------------

    Good for them! It is pleasing to hear this. maybe my view is tainded by the middle class "yummy mummy" area I live in where talk (even amongt parents is all about "X-factor" and FGacebbook").

    "The Rolling Stones, The Cream, Pink Floyd & CSN&Y, funk and soul music such as James Brown, Marvin Gaye & George Clinton and the early Hip Hop artists/groups such as Grandmaster Flash, The Sugarhill Gang & Public Enemy".... so there is hope!



  • Comment number 66.

    Well, compare the outstanding talents of Matthew Bellamy of Muse to those of any x-factor contestant. Lyrically, vocally and musically Bellamy is a real champion for British creative talents and his work is loved the world over. Matt Cardle? I'm sure he's a nice guy but, be honest, he couldn't ever be held up alongside real musical talents. Perhaps he's not supposed to be, perhaps that's not the point of the show, but there is something about the X-Factor which just feels so wrong.

  • Comment number 67.

    It continues to make a mockery of it.

  • Comment number 68.

    its completely rubish it should be banned.

  • Comment number 69.

    46. At 3:34pm on 13 Dec 2010, pb wrote:

    39. mintman60 wrote: Just put on your christmas CD and listen bands like slade and wizard will blast out -70s music still played now nearly 40 years on (bands like slade are still touring with half the original members) -thats lasting impact on the music industry!

    Who will be the Slades in 30 years time? N-dubz or Eminem perhaps? Hmm... I doubt it!

    A serious question - suggestions please. I might actually find out that I've been missing some good stuff. (but no suggestions off X-factor - been there, seen it, got switched off by it)
    -
    ---------------------------------------------------
    Good point
    There are probably a few good bands about but they get very little exposure to any one of my age Top of the pops was a weekly highlight. John Peel must be turning in his grave
    My kids in their 20s and their friends listen to 60 70s and 80s stuff not current manufactured pop. Maybe in 40 years it will be rolling stones, beatles songs etc still being played but todays RAP or manufactured pop NO! long forgotten by then

  • Comment number 70.

    can you name the title of any of Leona lewis,s songs? no, me neither

  • Comment number 71.

    The X-factor is simply brain-dead TV for the masses. However it this makes the masses happy then good. Let's not forget that this may be just televised karaoke, it does make Simon Cowell millions, of which a fairly large chunk he donates to charities.

    I personally find the audition stages hilarious, with the utterly shameless making priceless fools of themselves. As soon as it gets to the "serious" stages I switch off.

  • Comment number 72.

    I don't think the X factor affects popular music in an adverse way as there is room for every talented artist out there. X faxtor is just one of the avenues for any young talent to realise their dreams. They are not forced or coerced into it but attracted to it as a means to getting into the Music Industry because it is difficult.
    Most importantly, one of those that I had predicted would win, did which is because viewers must have seen something special in Matt which I also saw and that he had some talent in music, plus he plays an instrument, the guitar.

  • Comment number 73.

    X-Factor is the opium for the masses.The viewing audience for X-Factor was greater than the audience for any of the Leadership debates before the last election but that is probably no surprise to anyone.Wonder when a UK University will offer a degree in X-Factor with Strictly Come Dancing as a subsidiary subject?

  • Comment number 74.

    It helps to anchor mainstream popular music to nothing more radical than "moon-spoon-June" lyrics, and themes of "I love you, you love me, twiddley-dee, twiddley-dee".

    Which is what people semingly want.

    The really interesting music happens a long way from the mainstream - and always has. As soon as a new trend becomes popular enough to go mainstream it is neutered by the money making machine of the music bizz.

    Very few bands / singers have ever managed to be both commercially popular and innovative.

  • Comment number 75.

    I would rather poke myself in the eye with a blunt pin than watch or listen to anything from the Simon Cowell empire. I prefer real artists with real talent.

  • Comment number 76.

    Programmes like the X-Factor, are for sheer escapism and distract us all from horrible newspaper and media headlines, like Harman hailing migrants as heros, who claim benefits and send money home to support their families, or Cooper telling the government that they are not supporting the dreadful EU that none of us want to waste our money on, or nasty yob students trying to smash up Prince Charles car. Oh for some escapism from the Harmons, Coopers, and Cleggs of this world. Strickly Come Dancing; the X-Factor, Dr. Who and anything else to take the bitter taste from our mouths when we have to listen to politicians sprout their rubbish at us.

  • Comment number 77.

    An old concept invented by the Romans....
    Loads of spectators....
    Some contestants in the middle.....
    The spectators decide the fate of the contestants on their performance...
    A panel then decide the contestants fate based on the crowds feelings....
    Thumbs up (a yes vote), thumbs down a no vote...
    We have a winner (and loser)....
    The spectators rejoice in the panels decision....
    The winner prepares for their next match....
    The loser at least gets to live...but disappears into obscurity...

  • Comment number 78.

    Whilst I couldn't agree more with the vast majority of the comments on this HYS, isn't it a sad indictment of the utter stupidity and complete lack of good taste shown by "the general public" that the show is so popular? And that enough of this dross is sold for it to reach number 1?
    And to think that they are allowed to vote.....and not just for the acts!
    Like The Jam said "the public wants what the public gets"!
    If a band of the sheer quality of The Jam or The Who or The Rolling Stones was to appear on the show they would probably get nowhere!! Wrong image, not good looking enough.....

  • Comment number 79.

    X factor will be as significant to music as the xylaphone was in the 1960s

  • Comment number 80.

    why cant we have a talent show that requires musical instruments to be mandatory? surely the british viewers cant all be zombies...can they?

  • Comment number 81.

    I am sorry, BBC but WHY are you discussing such trivia when the fascists are destroying our country? Why are you not asking about the children being threatened by anti-terrorist police, or the brutality of the State?

  • Comment number 82.

    Gives Harry Hill great material, though.

    WAGBO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 83.

    The whole x factor is a total joke, dreamed up by a megalomaniac hell bent on making a lot of money to the detriment of the musical entertainment industry. The 2 women on the panel are there purely for wallpaper because neither of them have any idea what constitutes good music. The contestants are purely fodder for the money making machine. All in all a sad day for music.

  • Comment number 84.

    Corrie and now X Factor???
    How much are ITV paying the BBC for all this free advertising?

    -------------
    Perhaps because they are slightly more popular than the BBC's own home grown light weight drivel.
    X Factor or Simply Come dancing,now I hate X FACTOR and I loath Come Dancing so there is only one way of sorting this >>>>>>>>>FIGHT!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 85.

    84. At 6:25pm on 13 Dec 2010, steve wrote:
    Corrie and now X Factor???
    How much are ITV paying the BBC for all this free advertising?

    -------------
    Perhaps because they are slightly more popular than the BBC's own home grown light weight drivel.
    X Factor or Simply Come dancing,now I hate X FACTOR and I loath Come Dancing so there is only one way of sorting this >>>>>>>>>FIGHT!!!!!!!!
    -------------------------------

    Perhaps a merger is in the offing?

  • Comment number 86.

    Simon Cowell and ITV can do what they like - I don't care. What I DO care about, is that 19 million of my fellow countrymen are taken in by it. It does not bode well for the future of our nation.

  • Comment number 87.

    84. At 6:25pm on 13 Dec 2010, steve wrote:
    Corrie and now X Factor???
    How much are ITV paying the BBC for all this free advertising?

    -------------
    Perhaps because they are slightly more popular than the BBC's own home grown light weight drivel.
    X Factor or Simply Come dancing,now I hate X FACTOR and I loath Come Dancing so there is only one way of sorting this >>>>>>>>>FIGHT!!!!!!!!
    ---------------------------------------------------------

    I agree, there is no alternative - and the BBC is determined to 'distract' its audience from the more serious issues facing our nation! The are infested with the fascist minds too! ;-) But the public know the truth cos its all over the internet hohoho - and the little gangs of thugs cannot stop that - if they attempt it then the War will destroy them all!

    We are the future and we demand freedom, justice and truth!

    Viva La Revolution!

  • Comment number 88.

    Well done Simon Cowell. You identified a business that could make you millions and made it work for you, as a businessman you have done fairly well out of it. It could be said that you are to the music business what Bernard Matthews was to the Turkey industry.

    Twizzler anyone?

  • Comment number 89.

    One thing is for sure - people are "sick" of these "boy bands" now aren't they?
    The 2 finalists were the right ones in my opinion. They were great.
    One Direction - were unfortunately going in the wrong direction leaving Cowell with egg on his face!

  • Comment number 90.

    X-Factor is a slick commercial operation.
    It's brand star is Simon Cowell, an odious huckster who makes money from just about everything connected with the show. The format is a karaoke talent contest run on the primetime tv slot usually reserved for soap operas.
    It's designed to make money not music, so the music it produces is designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator and propped up with showbiz glitz, Autotuned vocals and audience participation in the lucrative form of voting.

    I can't blame a singer for choosing it as a medium through which to display their talent or a child from being taken in by the hype and stagecraft but it is the killing appreciation of well crafted and performed music in the mainstream audience, a scourge worse than illegal downloads.

    Where's the good music on tv to counteract this tidal wave of banality and open the public's ears to the variety and skill of real music?
    Jools Holland on late night viewing and BBC4. No 'New grey whistle test' either and no successor to John Peel, there was only one Peel but others could follow in his footsteps.

    The BBC does a good job in playing genuinely creative and different musics across it's network but in mainstream media X-Factor style music gets far too much coverage and all the other styles almost none.

    So good music suffers - people can't like, or buy, what they can't hear.

  • Comment number 91.

    Don't be so negative - we'll always need someone to turn on the Christmas lights in Scunthorpe.

  • Comment number 92.

    THAT'S SHOWS HOW PATHETIC THE ZOMBIE MASSES HAVE
    BECOME ; TO WATCH THIS MEDIOCRE, TALENTLESS SHOW PAYING MILLIONS OF POUNDS IN PHONE CALLS AND ADVERTISING (comes from your pocket when you shop or out of the wages of workers of those companies advertising).
    IT'S BEYOND THIRD WORLD

  • Comment number 93.

    Do you watch The X Factor?

    >> Once or twice at most. I have far too advanced taste in music to enjoy this sort of trash.

    Does the show leave less room for other artists?

    >> The show has nothing to do with art and artists. It is about audio/visual entertainment.

    Is it leaving musicians unprepared for the realities of the business?

    >> Yes, but the "musicians" affiliated with this show should already know this. It is not like it is the first time this show is being aired.

    Or does it actually stimulate interest in music?

    >> I guarantee to you that the human kind needs no stimulation to be interested in music.
    From the most primitive civilisations to young toddlers, everyone shows interest and participates in music. What this show is doing to the art of music cannot be described with words that would pass the moderators. So, let's leave it at that.

  • Comment number 94.

    I know some think that X factor is a bit of a riot, but certain posters are taking it a bit far!!!!!

  • Comment number 95.

    I feel sorry for anyone who watches The X Factor. It shows that there are very few people, if any, that know what decent music is.

    The X Factor is NOT about music. It is about talentless idiots who just want a quick and easy route to fame. You get your 15 seconds of fame and thats it. Done.

    I have no respect for these people. At all. They are not "artists", they are idiots, puppets. Shame on anyone who watches such drivel.

  • Comment number 96.

    x factor is popular amongst folk who act like (and share the same musical taste) as sheep. They buy the "hit record" when the show ends and then let the new "star" drift into obscurity because there's no one there to tell them what to do next. Eventually this new "star" will appear on "I'm a celebrity...." and be remembered by the same folk who think they remember all the other famous "celebrities". Overall, I don't think x-factor has any impact on real music and musicians.

  • Comment number 97.

    I think people are in danger of being to precious. X-Factor is about chart hits. A glance at the all time UK top 40 sees Sir Elton at number 1, Boney M twice, yes twice in the top 10 and you're not out of the top 20 before coming across such greats as Ken Dodd.

    It's never been about music, it's about popularity and I would suggest that popularity would be enough to put many contributors off. Good music is still out there and let's face it, you don't want everybody to like what you like otherwise it wouldn't be cool... daddyo

  • Comment number 98.

    X Factor has no effect whatsoever on the music industry. All it does is swell Simon Cowell's bank balance.

  • Comment number 99.

    True talent used to eventually find its way to the charts. A few decades of manufactured dross being hyped up the charts has ensured that this route to stardom was no longer available.

    The X factor, a vastly overrated karaoke show, has exploited that by giving the impression that talent will rise.

  • Comment number 100.

    The X Factor is about safe family viewing first off by including all age ranges. The show has also turned into a self promotional vehicle for Simon Cowell, his label and also Cheryl Tweedy (i.e every time she has a new single out she's on there).

    Musically everything is glorified Karaoke with no original compositions at all.

    Do I watch it? Only up to the end of the auditions thereafter I don't - That is the end of the entertainment. It isn't even an original idea - Pop Idol / Pop Stars.

    If only there was a TRUE talent contest i.e. singer / song writers or bands who write their own material. Now that would be good for the music industry and that is where the legends of music could come from. The X Factor stars will very quickly become Z listers once they either fall out with Simon Cowell or their audience wakes up to realise that they are not really anything special.

    I really do look forward to the demise of the X Factor and hopefully that will happen sooner rather than later.

 

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