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Is rock music dying?

11:10 UK time, Monday, 10 January 2011

Just three rock tracks have made an appearance in the 100 best selling singles of 2010, according to research by Music Week. Does this mean that rock music is dying?

Rock used to regularly take up most of the chart placings, but this was the genre's worst showing since the 1960s.

Journey's Don't Stop Believin' received a new lease of life 29 years after its first release thanks to the US show Glee, while Florence and the Machine's Dog Days Are Over and Anthony Newley's Why, were the only other two rock tracks to make a massive impression on the charts last year.

Rock concert sales are also down, but could this just be a blip? Is a rock revival on the way? Why is there such a rock drought in the sales charts? What type of music do you listen to?

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

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    I don't think the music is dying, I do think the buying of it died a long time ago.

  • Comment number 2.

    For those about to rock, we salute you! Fads come and go, but Rock N Roll will never die - endcase!

  • Comment number 3.

    Oh please!!! Rock music will never die. The charts are aimed and loaded for the convenience of the industry and shop made stars, and I doubt if the 100+ CDs I bought in 2010 have even been counted. We are still listening on the radio to the 60s, 70s and 80s, but there is a serious lack of new talent. Too many new artists serving up rubbish and what I would call music to commit suicide by. Even X Factor has to depend on the "golden oldies". I listen to Journey, not my favourites, the Eagles, Bad Company, ACDC. I like Manic Street Preachers. But then I appreciate talent!!

  • Comment number 4.

    Simply... yes
    We are now surrounded by rubbish these days!

  • Comment number 5.

    There is plenty of rock music around; really good rock music too.
    The trouble is that the mass media, as always, promote whatever is cool or fashoinable to like, thereby giving it most publicity.

  • Comment number 6.

    "Why is there such a rock draught in the sales charts?" What does this mean? Should it have been "drought"? Rock has been dying for so long that it seems eternal! "Best selling singles" doesn't mean a thing anymore, who buys singles these days? Fortunately some of the older guys are still there making music with musical instruments, whereas the modern trend towards electronic/computerized sounds will only go so far as it is limited by the imagination of its creators!

  • Comment number 7.

    I think the music industry is now about making money more than ever before.

    The easiest way to do that is to manufacture pop bands that are popular for a few months, the tweens and teens will buy the records and related goods until the band fall out of favour and then the next band or person comes along and it starts again.

    Why concentrate on developing rock acts when you can make millions quickly off an assembly line of teenybopper bands.

  • Comment number 8.

    It should come as no surprise that there were only 3 rock songs in the best selling list of singles for last year.
    The people who buy singles are generally not interested in rock - it is a pop chart whereby your success or otherwise has more to do with your appearance than your ability to perform music.
    People who listen to rock music buy albums, not singles. Check the album charts for a more representative view of what the majority are listening to rather than the tastes of pre-pubescent hormonal schoolgirls.

  • Comment number 9.

    Maybe in the mainstream it is.

    Good.

  • Comment number 10.

    No this isn't accurate at all.

    What they haven't figured in to their "equations" is that most rock/metal bands DONT NEED chart sales because they have such a massive global fanbase that worldwide sales are pretty much guaranteed and that more than makes up for the lack of "chart presence".

    The alternative is that they do what they want for, and only for, their loyal fans and don't enter the mass produced, over marketed sales race in the first place.

    Iron Maiden can pretty much sell out any stadium world wide from China & Brazil.

  • Comment number 11.

    Rock music has never been about single sales (in my opinion anyway).

    The populatiry of festivals like Download, Reading & Leeds, Rockness, T in the Park etc show that clearly it isn't dying.

    Rock music sounds better live and loud, not on a song downloaded (especially when I would guess a lot of rock is possibly downloaded illegally).

    Single sales mean pretty much jack at the moment!

  • Comment number 12.

    No rock music will never die. Even the occasional sample is lifted and put onto that new fangled music.

    We need more new rock bands, Aerosmith, Eagles, Bon Jovi, Meat Loaf etc.. all past it really and should retire gracefully.

  • Comment number 13.

    Rock concert sales are down as people do not have the money anymore. The cost of tickets have spiralled out of control over the past few years, that coupled with with excessive booking fees etc push up prices often by a further £10 - no wonder sales are down! I used to be an avid concert go-er when tickets cost £15 - £25. Maybe the British public are fed up being ripped off?? In my opinion rock will alway exist but its not as fashionable as it has been at the moment - I'm sure its time will come around again. I blame the sheep for following the X FActor rubbish at the moment for the drop in sales....

  • Comment number 14.

    No Rock music is not dying/dead the UK chart is now heavily influenced by downloads and the people typically downloading music are in their teens and are very unimaginative (3 Rhianna tracks in one chart, you do know you can download almost any track you want?) and will like and download the music they are told they are supposed to like hence big american R&B and hip hop acts will do really well and of course the raft of x factor participants, theres nothing funnier than a skinny white fella in a "pimped" VW Polo blasting jungle music from his speakers which are worth more than the car. There is still good rock music to be had you just have to look for it and you probably wont find it in the UK charts.

  • Comment number 15.

    I hope so.

    Hippety-hop is so much more valid an artform.

  • Comment number 16.

    Are Florence and the Machine really rock? They would have just been classed as pop 20 years ago. It's all relative I guess. In a world where someone who can play a few chords on a guitar and write a song is heralded as a genius, anything goes I suppose..

    The singles chart is largely irrelevent to rock anyway. Rock has always been more album focussed.

  • Comment number 17.

    This merely reflects the current preferencve for massed produced rubbish pumped out by Cowell, Walsh and the like.

    This has been coupled with a fragmentation of radio output such that rock is now consigned to specialist radio stations or specialist programmes on the BBC - Absolute Radio being the only exception I can think of

    Hopefully the public will eventually tire of Xfactor, R&B and the other banal music genres now in extistence

    One band to look for in the future, Black Moth a Leeds based group whose infleucne seems to be early Black Sabbath - there is hope after all!!

  • Comment number 18.

    With the best will in the world, I would imagine there is some kind of correlation between a prediliction for pop/x-factor style music and technological ineptitude. Your average rock listener is probably a tad older and more savvy and so is probably listening to everything on Spotify or LastFM and so not impacting sales figures.

    As an example I listen to Florence and the Machine occasionally, but as it is only occasionally and the songs on the album are distinct rather than running together I wouldn't dream of buying it, I just stream it on Spotify.


    Broad generalisations I know, but then so is the chart.

  • Comment number 19.

    Perhaps the problem stems from the ever available music on line, on ragio, and on TV. Why would I spend on music when it comes free 24/7, with video.
    Couple that with a dearth of 'quality' music and the drop in sales is explained.
    As for lower attendance at concerts, if you have a choice of feeding the children or paying for a couple of hours of ear bashing, which would you choose?

  • Comment number 20.

    I doubt very much whether 99% of the people buying singles will ever have heard of a band called Pocupine Tree.
    They are a British band and have been around for about 15 years.
    They will sell out wherever they play and have just completed a 15 month world tour, a time span which the majority of 'artists' in the singles charts will be lucky to survive for.

    Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on your point of view, they are never going to be radio friendly or release a 3 minute pile of cr*p single but that does not mean they are not incredibly talented and popular.

    I use Porcupine Tree merely as an example; the same could be said for Dream Theater, Joe Bonamassa, Black Country Communion, Muse or dozens of other acts who will never make inroads into the singles charts.

  • Comment number 21.

    No it means people have other tastes as well, what a stupid thing to discuss.

  • Comment number 22.

    How many times have we heard this drivel over the past 30-40 years?!! When punk arrived, they said rock was dead! When New Romantic arrived, they said rock was dead! When Hip Hop, House, Rap and all that garbage arrived, they said rock was dead!
    You only need to go to a rock festival to see the other side of the coin! High Voltage in 2010 was awesome, roll on 2011. The Matthew Street Musical Festival (Liverpool) in Aug 10 was attended by over 100k people. It was phenomenal.
    The fact that it doesn't appear all over the charts is one of the reasons we love it so much! It is not mainstream. How many singles did Zep release, and they are still one of the biggest bands in the world? (Answer: 0)
    I first went to see Sabbath and Purple in the early 70s. I have seen them again in the past few years. They are still a massive draw to the rock fan and pack out stadiums. The Stones sell-out huge arenas. I could go on... but the average rock fan knows the score and couldn't give a toss about "the charts". You can shove them!
    I expect to be going to rock festivals until I die! We don't need a rock revival. Rock is alive and well and doing nicely, thankyou very much.

  • Comment number 23.

    YES. UNFORTUNATELY.

    Give me the likes of Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, Sex Pistols, Aerosmith, Metallica, and the Beatles ANYDAY over the rubbish running riot today (Lady Gaga especially, yuck!).

    Given the music trends of today and death of class in the art, I've lost faith in humanity and think that more and more people are...well, stupid sheep!

  • Comment number 24.

    16. At 12:49pm on 10 Jan 2011, ACRobinson wrote:
    Are Florence and the Machine really rock? They would have just been classed as pop 20 years ago. It's all relative I guess. In a world where someone who can play a few chords on a guitar and write a song is heralded as a genius, anything goes I suppose..
    .
    .................................
    .
    Actually, the situation is even more dire than you indicate. If you look at the singles chart and see how many of them actaully can play a few chords on a guitar and write a song you'll realise just how bad it is.

  • Comment number 25.

    What AC Robinson said. Use of a guitar does not automatically qualify a track as 'rock'. To be honest by this measure 'rock' ceased to be a major influence within the charts round about the middle of the decade, when identikit guitar bands such as the Killers, Kaiser Chiefs, Franz Ferdinand, Snow Patrol etc became indistingushable from one another and followed up listenable first albums with bland, market driven dross. As others have indicated there are still decent rock albums being made but the tastes of the callow yoof have moved on to the likes of Rihanna (and similarly superficial acts which are more about how much skin is flashed and pornographic dance moves perfomed than anything resembling talent or artistic profoundity) and as a result the music charts have become very one-dimensional, dominated predominatly by sex-driven 'urban' genres and so-called street culture.

  • Comment number 26.

    To be fair, an artist only has to sell 4 dozen singles to be Number 1 anyway, which means the charts are an irrelevance anyway.

  • Comment number 27.

    Rock died when Gene Pitney died!

  • Comment number 28.

    Rock music isn't dying, the problem is that the charts are already dead! The mainstream charts are aimed at teenagers buying the latest rubbish they've seen on the incessant wannabe programmes that are rammed down the throats of the sheep who can't turn off the telly and get out into the real world.

    I am a long-term fan of rock music and have been investigating lots of great new bands. I grew up with the likes of Ozzy, Kiss, Bon Jovi and similar bands and while they are still good, their tours now tend to go only to the larger and more expensive venues. I prefer to see my bands at small local venues and am quite happily looking at a full concert and festival calendar for 2011.

    As for the hippety-hop sh*te in the charts? You can keep it!

  • Comment number 29.

    By The Way, Jungle Man, Even my grandson listens to Red Hot Chili Peppers! Suck my kiss! lol

  • Comment number 30.

    Rock seems to be split. Depending where you go some bands are classed as metal while classed as rock elsewhere. I do enjoy watching cds start at a high price then fall while good rock music tends to sit at a high price regardless of its age (because its worth listening too).

  • Comment number 31.

    'Rock used to regularly take up most of the chart placings, but this was the genre's worst showing since the 1960s.' - BBC report

    Oh really? This is quite simply totally untrue. I have no idea who wrote your article, my guess is it was done very quickly without any research. Can whoever put it together show me a single week in the last 50 years where rock songs have 'taken up most of the chart placings'. They never have and they never will.

  • Comment number 32.

    Good grief. What a staggeringly original topic of discussion.

  • Comment number 33.

    As a musician, I found in jazz an unmatched sense of artistic nourishment and a continued desire for exploration that rock could not provide...

  • Comment number 34.

    All music sales are down diving @ 10% in the past year.
    In fact, download sales and CDs, show @ 9 million fewer items sold compared to last year.
    CD album sales alone have dropped @ 53M.
    Digital sales are starting to grow, but can't seem to make up the difference, rising from 18 to 21M.
    As for rock, it does seem to be at rock bottom.
    Music bosses may claim the drop in sales is a result of ongoing problems with illegal downloads, but I blame social networks like Twitter and FaceBook. A lot of what used to be "music" time is now being diverted to social "good buddies" (that of course, one has never met).

  • Comment number 35.

    As a 15 year old 40 years ago the less main stream the Music I listened to was, the beter Led Zep, Free, Jethro Tull, Vandergraph Gen. My Son seems to have a broader if largely Rock based taste Muse, Oasis, Stereophonics also my Daughter's Boyfriend Kasabian, Green Day, Rage Against Machine. As one is 17 and the other 20 no rock seems far from dead and quite a lot is very good today.
    Also My Daughter brought me Robert Plants Band of Joy excellent CD by a load of old rockers.

  • Comment number 36.

    It is a great sign for rock who should never have more than a passing presence in the singles charts. It never did in the heydey and it shouldn't now either.

  • Comment number 37.

    Yes, along with its musicians (including Yes, as it happens). The sight of a fat, balding sixty-year-old man trying to rekindle past glories on stage is, frankly, pathetic.

  • Comment number 38.

    The singles chart has and always will be devoted to the here and now, whatever is popular,
    just because a genre isn't in the charts doesn't mean it is dead and furthermore to say that any particular genre of music is dead in my view shows a distinct naivety. Indeed the the popularity of the Proms shows that appreciation of Classical music has not diminished and has been matched with the popularity of the electric proms. After all I don't see many classical records in the charts either yet I would aregue that had the charts been around in the 1700 - early 1900's Classical music would have dominated

    Music evolves Classical, Big Band, Swing, Jazz, R&B, Country, Soul, Folk, Pop, Dance etc etc... I doubt if any of these genres in their purest form are in the charts either however today's musicians have to be influenced by someone (even X-factor judges, So to say a particular genre is dead because it isn't in the charts is wrong on two counts one because its root and influence will be present and two it is no longer mass market and commercial for producers 'record' labels and artists I suspect an albumn may have other tracks which are purer in form, genre or style which would not make a commercially successful single and reveal the true 'heart and soul' of the artist and crucially their musical roots.

  • Comment number 39.

    Q. Is Rock music dying?

    Music shifts in cycles, any historian will tell you that. There are trends which utlise certain elements in genres of music. Its has always been this way and will always be. If you listen to the charts there are elements of Rock music everywhere, from a drum sound through to the actual design and engineering of a song.

    Currently we have a trend for aggressive hip/hop ballads. Sweet female choruses backed up by verses with rappers on them. It won't last, but you could pull apart those songs and list the artist who the writers have been listening to.

    Rock cannot 'die' it is a genre in its own right. Its it relevant today? Well yes, maybe not commerically but the scene has and always will be there.
    I give it about 3 years before the charts are once again full of rock bands; then the question will arise 'Is Club music dead? Is RnB dead? etc etc



    Its getting harder for new genre's to come throug

  • Comment number 40.

    I don't think that the single chart is an accurate barometer for the general wellbeing of Rock music. Like others have said, the singles chart is dominated by overly-manicured computerised stuff which the kids like.

    I think ACDC and U2 were among the top earners in the music industry last year from concert ticket sales, album sales etc... the top 10 are listed in the article below, but 1st and 2nd (both rock) have quite a margin on 3rd place (pop).

    I think the biggest swing to pop in the singles chart is down to one individual:

    RAARRR RAARRR OH LAA LAAA GAGA OH LA LAAA

  • Comment number 41.

    26. At 1:14pm on 10 Jan 2011, HaveIGotThatWrong wrote:
    To be fair, an artist only has to sell 4 dozen singles to be Number 1 anyway, which means the charts are an irrelevance anyway.


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

    oh, yes I am also very much concerned about the reporting systems. There isnt adequate MIS. For example I keep getting reports on that people may not be caring for music.I cant make up my mind in this mess, can I?

  • Comment number 42.

    I have just checked the current top 40 singles chart. Have to admit that I am of an age whereby I have never heard of some of the artists featured but what is very telling is that of the ones I do know I cannot find a single one who plays any sort of instrument.
    There are lots of attractive skinny girls and women who look good gyrating about but not one who can strum a chord on a guitar. (I'm sure there must be one or two but I don't know who they are).
    My point is, assuming the above is representative of most weeks singles charts why would a rock band even bother to release a single; regardless of how good it was it would be a total waste of time.

  • Comment number 43.

    "40. At 1:34pm on 10 Jan 2011, prophet_samuel wrote:

    I think the biggest swing to pop in the singles chart is down to one individual:

    RAARRR RAARRR OH LAA LAAA GAGA OH LA LAAA"

    But so good to see the art of writing lyrics isn't dying as well!

  • Comment number 44.

    I should also point out that rock music has long been hijacked and deprived of its ideals by the big money making corporations. What we are offered nowadays are sonic products conveniently packaged and manufactured by an industry devoted to making the highest profits. There is still pretty decent rock music played by very talented people out there... but you have to look for them in open mic nights and other live events where the communal spirit is still valued and cherished.

  • Comment number 45.

    if I were an alien I would chose to come to earth just because of music.If I were an alien tourism agency, I would just hide everything on earth behind nice colourful music brochures. :) There are some really cool music, you must listen. Amazing tunes and lyrics. But I dont know how that sort of music came here if people didnt care about music?

  • Comment number 46.

    "33. At 1:22pm on 10 Jan 2011, t402_owner wrote:
    As a musician, I found in jazz an unmatched sense of artistic nourishment and a continued desire for exploration that rock could not provide..."

    Not to mention the overwhelming desire to smoke a pipe and grow a beard.

  • Comment number 47.

    no rock and roll will never die.mainstream music under the high waisted cowell may appear to be the in thing,but that as nothing to do with proper music.thats for the blue,westlife,boys own and uncle tom crap songs and all, the true oficionado's are still listening to propermusic we always will.you do not throw prime steak away so as to feast on a
    mcdonalds,even with chips.let the celeb get me out of here,dancing on ice and come dancing fusiliers carry on its there loss..

  • Comment number 48.

    A watered-down "mainstream" revival of rock is bound to happen in the coming years, as a reaction to the mainstream music of today. However, music in general is in decline, thanks to other forms of entertainment jostling it for attention.

  • Comment number 49.

    "24. At 1:12pm on 10 Jan 2011, devilzadvacate1 wrote:
    .
    Actually, the situation is even more dire than you indicate. If you look at the singles chart and see how many of them actaully can play a few chords on a guitar and write a song you'll realise just how bad it is."

    Rumour has it that they're going to launch an "X-Factor Winner" doll.

    It sings one song but then does nothing else after that.


  • Comment number 50.

    America gave us Rock and Roll, but UK challenged that with various rock bands. Rock has very much been a European phenomenon (who can forget Finland's winning Eurovision entry) that allowed musicians of popular, rather than classical, music to demonstrate their virtuosity. But technology made music a convenience of backing-track and American influence brought us rap and hip-hop and other spoken verse to a syncopated beat. The days of great popular musicians have left us for now.

    To ironically paraphrase 'The Buggles' song title (as they were rock artists who ushered in synchopop) - technology killed the musical stars.

  • Comment number 51.

    The idea that music is somehow constricted by the existence of the top 40 chart is ludicrous. With the broadening out of music TV channels (I have almost 40 channels to choose from covering genres such as rock, country, blues, pop, urban/R'n'B and retrospectives of any decade you can name) and the accessibility of all kinds of music on the internet there's never been a better time to be a music fan.

    Of course the top 40 is anodyne and narrow-focused - hasn't it always been? It's just a list of what's selling the most. I'm sure there were plenty of people out there who decried the 'state of modern music' every time the Beatles or the Rolling Stones released another record.

    Besides, the idea that your own personal music taste should be delivered to you without you having to make any kind of effort to find it is ridiculous. You just have to show a bit of initiative and go and find interesting music for yourself.

  • Comment number 52.

    #20
    Well I never thought I would read Porcupine Tree on the Beeb. May I also mention Pineapple Thief, Anathema, Arena, Galahad, IQ, Magenta, Mostly Autumn, Oceansize, Pendragon, Pure Reason Revolution, The Reasoning, Willowglass and Threshold as some excellent local bands, along with loads of other excellent rock bands - especially from Europe.

  • Comment number 53.

    Incidentally, the X Factor has nothing to do with music. It's simply a reality TV show that has a bit of crossover into the chart scene. It temporarily reflects the music tastes of a particular TV audience. That's all.

  • Comment number 54.

    unfortunately the young are only interested for the most part in looks and not talent.The vast majority of music these days is mass produced rubbish from untalented performers who quite simply get by on their plastic image.This x-factor junk for example.They all follow the same format,the girl bands ,boy bands all look the same,sound the same and look like they have come off a production line.They look plastic,they sound plastic and without the backing tracks disguising their plastic voices they are as talented as plastic and for the most part will be quickly forgotten unlike the talents of the past which are so dear in previous generations hearts.

  • Comment number 55.

    3. At 12:30pm on 10 Jan 2011, Confuciousfred wrote:
    ". . .I like Manic Street Preachers. But then I appreciate talent!!"

    Or do you mean "
    ". . .I like Manic Street Preachers. But I also appreciate talent"?
    (Sorry: couldn't resist).

    I do recall a time when rock bands considered releasing a single as equating to "sell out" and they were probably right. Can anyone just remind me whether or not Led Zeppelin ever released a single?

    As many have pointed out here singles success is no great indicator of the state of rock music. However, trips to my local venues over the last five years indicate to me that it's pretty much an old man's game these days, reliving the last days of a once glorious era.

    It would be a bit hard to blame Islam or immigrants for this decline but I would say that the smoking ban flies in the face of the once dirty, grotty and often violent venues in which rock music thrives and grows.

  • Comment number 56.

    As Bob Dylan wrote many many years ago:

    "Turned on my record player—
    It was Rock-a-day Johnny singin’, “Tell Your Ma, Tell Your Pa
    Our Love’s A-gonna Grow Ooh-wah, Ooh-wah” - (Talkin' World War III Blues).

    Same applies today. Pop music is like Government. It's "in" for a short time, largely does nothing of lasting value and when looked at or listened to retrospectively often leaves one thinking: "What the hell was I thinking then". Rock music by contrast is lasting. I can still listen to the rock music I listened to 30 years ago and it still sounds great. If I hear some of the pop songs I use to like, I feel slightly embarressed and turn the sound down a bit.

    For Rock: Crank up the volume, whack up the overdrive and strum E, G & A power chords. Simple but very very stirring.

  • Comment number 57.

    Chart music has had its day, cant remember the last time I listened to music on the radio. Its just formulaic and nilhist American urban music, who cares? it has no relevance to me. I go to live shows and festivals for new music or find music online. Who cares what the dying HMV's of this world are pimping. I feel terribly sorry for all the young aspiring talent being groomed for two or three years of empty promotion as boy/girl band stereotypes before being terminated. Even the yoof seem to have cottoned on to how bad the turgid rubbish being marketed to them is as they don't buy it either and the industry thinks it is because of downloading! The French make better music than the British these days. Rock music as a genre may be fading but its in equal proportion to the entire music business model, that is undoubtedly finished.

  • Comment number 58.

    Many 'downloaders' appear to be satisfied with competent cover versions of great old songs, performed by management puppets and anonymous musicians. In some cases, this experience will stir their curiosity into finding out where this music came from. Why do you think classical music hasn't died out?

  • Comment number 59.

    52. At 2:13pm on 10 Jan 2011, Sue Doughcoup wrote:
    #20
    Well I never thought I would read Porcupine Tree on the Beeb. May I also mention Pineapple Thief, Anathema, Arena, Galahad, IQ, Magenta, Mostly Autumn, Oceansize, Pendragon, Pure Reason Revolution, The Reasoning, Willowglass and Threshold as some excellent local bands, along with loads of other excellent rock bands - especially from Europe.

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

    Nice list (expecially IQ & Pendragon). I would add Everon & Riverside to your European band list.

  • Comment number 60.

    Rock will be around for while yet. When I was young I saw Jethro Tull, Free, Frank Zappa, Pink Floyd and many others live and listened to loads of other rock bands. Maybe there are not as many good rock bands about as there used to be but now and again a good one comes along (The Darkness for example). I agree with many of the comments here that we seem to be overloaded with lightweight empty music these days but days may come and days may go...

  • Comment number 61.

    This is nothing new Rock music has always come and gone out of fashion.

    Personally I'm a Rock Chick through & through and don't like much of the pop drivel but I no longer follow the charts or listen to mainstream radio so its fine.

    Tom Meighan from Kasabian said in an interview that he used to get beaten up for playing thw guitar until Oasis came along.

    Rock will surface again, just give it time and I bet all the Bon Jovi concerts this summer will be sold out.


  • Comment number 62.

    55. At 2:18pm on 10 Jan 2011, WiseOldBob wrote:
    I do recall a time when rock bands considered releasing a single as equating to "sell out" and they were probably right. Can anyone just remind me whether or not Led Zeppelin ever released a single?

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

    Good Times Bad Times
    Whole Lotta Love
    Immigrant Song
    Black Dog
    Rock and Roll

    to name but 5

  • Comment number 63.

    About 30 years ago, this happened when Punk exploded on the music scene. Its now a recognised genre of rock!

    Given the pap that is churned out of the X Factor these days, proper rock music is in no danger!

  • Comment number 64.

    "My my hey hey, Rock n roll will never die" N.Young
    A lyric from one of the best rock albums ever made, Rust Never Sleeps. That album and subsequent tour for Mr.Young was a huge success in 1979 and he is still going strong today. My point is that it did not rely on a single gaining heights in the ever pathetic charts. The millions who like rock music(and other forms of non pop music) will continue to support talent by going to gigs and buying albums on a consistent basis rather than a two week push for fame.

  • Comment number 65.

    If you walk past pubs with live music, you won't find any 'Pop' bands amongst them. But that reflects the record industry (which apart from some of the big acts) don't want bands/individuals that write/play their own music - it's far more profitable to have studio writers and session musicians.

    I stopped listening to mainstream radio years ago as none of it caters for my musical taste - but hurrah for internet radio! I can only assume that the public like what they are told to like, since I couldn't possibly explain the apparent popularity of so many identikit girl singers and boy bands.

  • Comment number 66.

    Rock concert sales are also down, but could this just be a blip?

    Part of the problem here is a lack of available cash for such events, given current financial problems faced by us all and coupled with some rock bands charging quite high prices for tickets, given the need to save money, seeing bands is not high on the agenda for me. You also have to factor in that for around the £200 mark you pay for a ticket to a festival (of which there seem to be so many these days) you can see so many bands for a lot less than you would pay to see them individually. It’s also easier and cheaper to travel abroad and I know of several people who couple a weekend away with tickets to a gig else where in Europe.

    Is a rock revival on the way?

    Hard to tell! I suppose we're all waiting for that next Pixies or Nirvana to hit the scene and pave the way for the next generation of decent heavy guitar based music.


    Why is there such a rock drought in the sales charts?

    Because there really isn't anything decent out there to listen to at the moment. The music industry and what makes it into the charts has a peaks and troughs kind of life cycle with periods of electronic, dance and pop taking precedence in the charts over guitar based music. It was the same in the early and mid 90's when Indie and Brit-pop hit the scene and it was the same over the last decade where there were seemingly more guitar based bands (White Stripes, Yeah yeah yeahs etc) during the beginning and middle-ish of the decade. Most of that has now given way to pop, R’n’B and more American (watered down) hip-hop styled stuff. People can't listen to that forever, so we will see in time a change in what is being listened to.

    What type of music do you listen to?

    I tend not to listen to chart stuff as they generally play and are dominated by what I call "cats-eyes" music, in that it is so middle of the road... (I heard that somewhere and loved the expression). Currently coming from the states there is a fantastic scene called Psych-folk or New Weird America with artists such as Port O’Brien, Wooden Wand and the Vanishing voice, Alela Diane, Hala Strana amongst others leading the way. The music is blissfully different to anything you'll hear in the charts. Other than that I am revisiting my youth with a lot of the 90's stuff - Smashing pumpkins, Radiohead, Pixies, Nirvana etc and all the good Psychedelic rock of the 70's

    Rihana and her ilk bore me rigid with their turgid samey-samey rubbish. It’s all so predictable and frankly unpalatable. I know what I'd like to do with her and her umbrella...

  • Comment number 67.

    Rock music died in the 1960s. All we get now is relentless thumping, incomprehensible yelling and people thrashing at guitars instead of playing them. It all sounds much the same. I'm sure this stuff only sells because of the obligatory suggestive or shocking video. What a sad bunch today's listeners have become.

  • Comment number 68.

    rock music as such has never featured greatly in singles charts in this country.since year dot,singles have on the whole been about throw away music.true some great soul music,rock tracks and even some bubblegum songs,live on in the memory from decades past but on the whole,since dance music,rap,house,and the x factor,has dominated the charts,I think in the main very few people,can put a name or title to chart tracks,a year after their release.

  • Comment number 69.

    Music has been fusing discrete sounds for generations, and will continue to do so ad infinitum. Rock will be part of future music DNA for ever.

  • Comment number 70.

    The biggest concert draws in the world today are still the rock classics:
    The Rolling Stones, U2, Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Paul McCartney, The Eagles, Pink Floyd, and Led Zeppelin (maybe not on ongoing item, but judging by the ticket demand for their O2 show).

  • Comment number 71.

    One person's Rock music is another's X Factor!
    No.. Rock music is not dying out but the dinosaurs
    who run the recorded music industry are!

  • Comment number 72.

    Rock will NEVER die!
    The charts aren't now, nor have they ever been, about good music. Only about whatever the popular radio press are choosing to have on their playlists that week. Look at it this way, a rock band has a single out, most of their fans will have the album so probably won't bother downloading/buying the single, add in relatively little airplay & exposure & of course they don't make the charts, twas ever so. Now, in the same week a big popstar (we'll call her Sherry Mole) has a new single out. Sherry's single is EVERYWHERE, played 2 or 3 times an hour on every radio station & on several TV shows, to add to this Sherry is "coincidentally" snapped falling out of a club/on holiday with her new love, she's in multiple adverts that show how perfect her life is. Of course the easily led, aspirational single buyers rush out to snap up her latest offering, not because it's any good but because they want a slice of that life. Also as soon as a new pop tune comes out every single DJ for jire in the country has to get a copy, that's a whole lotta sales


    "I know life sometimes can get tough!And I know life sometimes can be a drag!But people, we have been given a gift,
    we have been given a road And that road's name is... Rock and Roll!"

    Be excellent to each other ;)

  • Comment number 73.

    I sure hope "rock music" is dead. Once big business saw how much money was to be made, the genre died. Personally, I listen to all sorts of music. It might be described as eclectic? Whatever? As long as it is pleasing to me. With so much available to choose from, it is a veritable smorgasbord. ;-] of listening pleasure.

  • Comment number 74.

    62. At 2:38pm on 10 Jan 2011, Khuli wrote:
    55. At 2:18pm on 10 Jan 2011, WiseOldBob wrote:
    I do recall a time when rock bands considered releasing a single as equating to "sell out" and they were probably right. Can anyone just remind me whether or not Led Zeppelin ever released a single?
    ---------------------------------

    Good Times Bad Times
    Whole Lotta Love
    Immigrant Song
    Black Dog
    Rock and Roll

    to name but 5

    I could be wrong, but weren't they only released in the US. I'm of that age and I dont remember any UK Led Zep singles.

  • Comment number 75.

    It'll never die. It's just the commercial revenue-hungry media don't promote it as much as the 'here today, gone tomorrow' music prevailant in the charts.

    25 years ago, getting to number 1 in the charts was an actual achievement in musical terms. It's a commercial exercise these days. I find longevity to be a far better indication.

    Also, as has been already pointed out, how many actually write and perform their own songs? Particularly play a musical instrument? Very few. The charts are fundamentally a karaoke contest.

  • Comment number 76.

    Rock musicians know better than to try to compete with the teenybopper X-Factor muppets. Instead they slave away producing top-selling albums and touring to keep in touch with fans.
    Rock will never die, Simon Cowell (we hope) will!

  • Comment number 77.

    "Hey, hey, my, my, Rock and Roll will never die"!- Neil Young, "Rust Never Sleeps".

  • Comment number 78.

    Do people still buy singles?

  • Comment number 79.

    Virtually every comment on the site is supporting rock music (aside from the one about jazz. Ugh.)

    Seems indicative of a bright future, I'd say. Rock music will continue to be refreshed by new ideas and the passion of each new generation. Not every fan will like every band, but the beast will live on!

  • Comment number 80.

    78. At 3:21pm on 10 Jan 2011, angry_of_garston wrote:

    "Do people still buy singles?"

    Mostly in the form of mp3 files online, yes.

  • Comment number 81.

    "Journey's Don't Stop Believin' received a new lease of life 29 years after its first release thanks to the US show Glee, while Florence and the Machine's Dog Days Are Over and Anthony Newley's Why, were the only other two rock tracks to make a massive impression on the charts last year."

    WHAT??? Look, I'm 63 - I like Antony Newley's music, but "Why" topped the charts in 1960, and even back then it was pop, not rock. I know it all depends how you define these things, but I am sure even he would not describe his work as rock, were he here to do so.

    Can't comment on the rest. I pay no attention to the charts, and while Florence is a bit of all right (not 'arf!) I have no idea what her music sounds like.

    Me, I prefer The Shadows to anything else, but I listen to Francoise Hardy a lot too. Told you I was 63..........

  • Comment number 82.

    The music industry is just that, an industry. It's only concern is making a quick buck. To do that they aim their output at the tastes (which have been groomed by that same industry) of prepubescent school kids who only really care about the appearance of a band and whether not that band has "peer approval" and hence makes themselves seem "cool"
    There is plenty of excellent music around but it is never going to appear in the charts. The content of the charts is, without exception, complete dross that anyone with a computer and half an hours spare time could do!
    The only talent seen is that of the army of costume designers, cameramen, video producers, choreographers and marketing people who turn this dross into something that as a "product" our youth unfortunately wish to buy....

  • Comment number 83.

    Not sure what you mean by rock music? There are so many diverse forms of modern music that it makes the distinction between "pop" and "rock" meaningless. There are bands that cover several different genres and others that might concentrate on heavy rock, but then record a ballad that makes it indistinguishable from pop.

    What I do know is that the Cowell revolution has taken the heart and soul out of live music, several small venues have closed and this has got worse as the result of the economic downturn as pubs and clubs can no longer compete. A huge proportion of the population only listen to music that in some way relates to the X-Factor or Britain's Got Talent, along with other long established pop acts like Take That.

    There is no room for musicianship any more, talent is only judged in terms of dancing, looks and maybe a little to do with the voice. Where is the next singer-songwriter coming from? Where are the future inovative bands such as The Beatles, The Stones, Pink Floyd, or Genesis going to materialise from? They won't, because there is nowhere for young talented musicians to play any more. These bands all learned their art by touring small venues. Now it's a million pound recording contract, one chance and if the punters have already forgotten you it's over to playing bit parts in price comparison commercials.

    Bye bye Miss American Pie, the music already died.

  • Comment number 84.

    Rock will never die while i still draw breath, and I'll die before I ever pay for anything Simon Cowell has touched

  • Comment number 85.

    74. At 3:14pm on 10 Jan 2011, Clear Incite wrote:
    62. At 2:38pm on 10 Jan 2011, Khuli wrote:
    55. At 2:18pm on 10 Jan 2011, WiseOldBob wrote:
    I do recall a time when rock bands considered releasing a single as equating to "sell out" and they were probably right. Can anyone just remind me whether or not Led Zeppelin ever released a single?
    ---------------------------------

    Good Times Bad Times
    Whole Lotta Love
    Immigrant Song
    Black Dog
    Rock and Roll

    to name but 5

    I could be wrong, but weren't they only released in the US. I'm of that age and I dont remember any UK Led Zep singles.

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

    Not solely the US, but you're right about not in the UK.

  • Comment number 86.

    Is rock music dying? No

  • Comment number 87.

    No, it just means the charts are unrepresentative of what is popular.

  • Comment number 88.

    Rock music will never die, all music goes'in circles on my L.Ps

  • Comment number 89.

    It certainly seems to be dying ... and in its place all we have is RnB, RnB and yet more RnB, which has now become very, very boring.

  • Comment number 90.

    Everyone blames something for modern musical disappointments. The UK blames the X-factor, and the US blames Disney. I blame several things. I blame political correctness, universal humanism philosophy, strictly adheared social norms, big buisnesses that seek to control their musicians, modern effects being vastly overused, like Autotune, and the lack of any real reason to write good music recently.

  • Comment number 91.

    "Rock music died in the 1960s. All we get now is relentless thumping, incomprehensible yelling and people thrashing at guitars instead of playing them. It all sounds much the same. I'm sure this stuff only sells because of the obligatory suggestive or shocking video. What a sad bunch today's listeners have become"
    What an absolute load of nonsense. Being a 'Rock' musician myself and being greatly influenced by many bands from the sixties (and before that), I'll never understand these 'oldies' that dismiss any new type of rock music. You obviously haven't bothered exploring modern/current guitar based music at all. Whilst a lot of it is not to my taste and many are poor musicians for sure, you can't dismiss the vast amount of quality and talent out there. Don't forget, as well as the good stuff, there was a lot of **** around in the sixties too. A typical rant from someone who doesn't know much about playing an instrument, crafting a song or music in general.

  • Comment number 92.

    Is rock music dying? Certainly not with me it isn't.

    Perhaps if you constantly listen to drivel that is in the charts it is, but then singles purchases are largely dominated by the sort of irritating teenagers who think that the entire bus wants to hear the rubbish that is on their ipod. Most adults generally don't waste money on singles, preferring to buy albums instead so the album charts are probably a better representation of what adults listen to.

    Also music trends seem to go in cycles so I'm hoping that rock will eventually make a comeback. In the meantime I will just continue to go to local gigs and support up and coming talent and continue to ignore the x-factor driven rubbish in the charts. As far as I'm concerned Rock will never die!

  • Comment number 93.

    88. At 3:45pm on 10 Jan 2011, Lewis Fitzroy wrote:
    Rock music will never die, all music goes'in circles on my L.Ps

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

    I think you'll find it's in spirals... apart from when a big scratch makes the needle jump back and it loops.... the good 'ol days!

  • Comment number 94.

    Rock music is not in vogue not dead. Anyway, when ever as the charts been an indicator of good music, never! 'Thank Christ For The Bomb'! As for rock, yes it has changed over the years and that's a good thing, but when I listen to The Stooges their influence is everywhere still to this day.

  • Comment number 95.

    I shall be listening to Rory Gallagher and Deep Purple on my ipod for my walk home tonight so Rock hasn't died in my world anyway

  • Comment number 96.

    It is unfortunate that the music created these days is laughing stock material designed for the entertainment value of the few. There is no talent involved and that is why people don't go out and buy music anymore as there is nothing worth buying. Music is so cheap to buy now, as like most things and the quality isn't there anymore. Would be nice to see Rock re emerging to shove the other rabble down the tube where it belongs.

  • Comment number 97.

    The music coming out today is nothing more than noise pollution.

    Surely the glee cover version of Journeys "dont stop believing" is a crime against humanity.

  • Comment number 98.

    ''Journey's Don't Stop Believin' received a new lease of life 29 years after its first release thanks to the US show Glee''

    I know the X Factor isn't popular with everybody but wasn't it Joe McElderry covering this song that made it popular in the UK? Didn't Glee only start last year over here?

    Both versions are inferior to the orignal.

    Sorry to be pedantic.

  • Comment number 99.

    Biffy Clyro have now released about 7 singles from one album. pretty much shows you how little they think of charts.

    To decent rock bands, a single is merely there as an advert for the album.

  • Comment number 100.

    Rock music is very alive and very well and can be found in our pubs and clubs and festivals and rallies all over Britian.

    There is little doubt, in fact that it is still the most popular of the popular music out there, and definately the most enduring. Vast numbers of people still like to go to a live gig, and do they go to some trashy trendy pop gig? Nope, it's usually rock. You just don't get it on TV and Radio and CD so much because of money grabbing scum like Simon Cowell who think that being a good looking teenager singing some pre-manufactured muzak pap is better than being an original musician these days, as they can sell it to nightclub DJ's to play to clueless kids who think that music as like fashion, and disposable. I'm doing an Afgan Heroes charity rock gig in front of 10,000 bikers this summer at the Bath and West, it happens every year, and you lot as usual won't even admit it exists. There are gigs like this all over the country every weekend of the year. Where do you get your journalists from? Topshop?

 

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