Billboard Top 10 part 2: No instruments allowed?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by NewWaveBasser, Oct 6, 2003.

  1. OK, I'm following up on a thread now closed. So we had 10 rappers on the Billboard USA Top 10 (the general singles and albums charts, not the specific ones) and of course "B-Lin" was confused about the deal.

    WAIT NOW! I'm not gonna talk about rap, because I have a particular take on the charts themselves.

    And as Dennis Miller would say: Now excuse me if I go on a rant here, BUT:

    OK, so it's 1983 or 1984 (to start somewhere)... we (still) had BANDS featuring people with GUITARS (oops I said the G word), BASSES (yeah), KEYBOARDS, etc. ... such as Duran Duran, Culture Club, Kool & The Gang, Van Halen... of course before the 80s it was quite the same or better for the "instrumentalists" of various degrees (Boston, Aerosmith, Beatles, etc.)

    FF to these last few years... female SINGERS... male SINGERS... groups of SINGERS (aka boy bands...oxymoron alert)... rappers... INDIVIDUALS (save for the boy... um... bands?)... not one REAL band in sight! Even guitarists and synth players are gone.

    I had for a long time appreciated the fact that the US/UK would have some bands/groups on the charts vs. the Latin markets where you ONLY had singers (El Puma, Luis Miguel, etc.)

    HAD being a key word.

    What's worse: the instrumentation part of music all of a sudden does not matter to the business. It was said in the referred close thread that rap is easy to make and cheap. A computer, a rapper and presto.

    (Yeah I know, the 80s did bring this mentality when synths broke out... that we all know is true: when the trend originated)

    And you thought downsizing only happened in typical corporations!!

    Now this bugs me BIG. Nothing against singers, but to me the instrumental part is key and not just a fat beat yo. So what happens: Lumidee. A voice and claps... ***! Not even the computer.

    Another thing: As kids we would see on TV bassists who inspired us to take up the instrument. Today the kids don't see anything but rappers and singers. If I'm a Fender or Gibson or TAMA exec I'm scared to death of this. Then again Fender has Hoppus to help them.

    Why be poor when you can be rich? asked Wrong Robot once. Problem is anybody could ask THIS: why be poor as a bassist when you could be a rich singer or rapper??? (!!!)

    I hope the current trend is just that: a trend. But I do not want to think that a bassist or guitarist will never again acheive mainstream success. It's sad to see that the funk bass a la Bootsy and the like tradition is either dead or in a serious coma. No more John Lennons or Paul McCartneys? Not even more John Taylors? OUCH.

    If you are a bassist, even just an amateur in hobby mode like me, you cannot like what you see or hear. Same goes for guitarists, sax players, etc.

    Our hopes now rest with the return of John Taylor, his Aria and the wild boys??????

    PS: Maybe the rock bands oughta start wearing glitzy clothes, having a zillion scantily-clad women shaking, and big sleazy parties on the videos...

    ...uh wait this already happened in the late 80s (shudders)... don't want to go back to Poison, so nevermind...

  2. Actually some bands have some sort of mainstream sucess (Strokes, Coldplay... ) but...
    1-Mainly in the UK. As for the states... :confused:
    2-The exception rather than the rule or at least a 50-50 deal.
  3. Samurai


    Sep 13, 2003
    Well you are right, pop music sucks. Could also be argued that it always has and always will, if kids don’t want to think for themselves, but instead told what to like by MTV then that’s how it is gonna be. There is no hope…

    …Unless something comes along that destroys those big companies, say something like internet file sharing. If you know anything about computer you know that file sharing is here to stay and is only going to get more powerful. Very soon it is going to get very hard sell a million records, and I, as a musician, couldn’t be happier. The age of talent is going to begin. Unless you truly have what it takes to get people to like your music, you won’t get very far.

    Home recording is getting very cheap and very sophisticated. Instead of trying to be LUCKY enough to get a record contract, you will do it more or less yourself from now on. You will make money from playing show, not record sales. Live music will become popular like it used to.

    In my eyes, things couldn’t be looking more up.
  4. phogchris


    May 27, 2000
    Boca Raton, FL
    Am I missing something? Or are you guys looking at the wrong chart. There are 4 bands/musicians in the top 10...Nickelback, Limp Bizkit, John Mayer, and Dave Mathews. Not to mention, Rob Zombie is #11. #14 is A Perrfect Circle, #15 is Fuel, and #18 is Evanesence. So...what the heck are you guys talking about?!?!
  5. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    That reminds me of a story-
    Back in the '80s, my best friend was playing in a very happenin' local Top-40 band(Oteil Burbridge played bass in this band; Billy Drummond was the drummer)...anyhoo, my friend shows me his new Ensoniq synth; this machine, combined with his skill, blew me away. The bass sounds(fretted-to-fretless-to slapped/popped) were pretty sweet.
    My friend sez something to the effect of "See, YOU can be replaced".
    Well, he didn't see the bigger picture...the WHOLE BAND can be replaced! Which eventually happened. Ya gotta think outside-the-box!

    From a club owner's perspective, it was more profitable to hire a DJ(one salary vs. 6 salaries), it seems the most profitable course for clubs is Karoke(The "K-word").

    About Billboard's Top-10...
    Who cares. Everything I've been seeing of late is how bad the industry is hurting & losing sales. Are people really buying this stuff? I thought everyone was downloading & burning?
  6. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    See, I disagree.
    Said this before...back in the day('60s/early '70s), my parents only had an AM radio in the car. Whatever station they played had the likes of Motown, Stax, Santana, The Doors, Beatles, Stones, etc. This was POP/Top-40 radio.
    Granted, there were bubblegum hits, too. IMHO, "The Name Game", anything by The Partridge Family/The Monkees, "Chick-A-Boom", Bobby Sherman, 1910 Fruitgum Co. etc had decent rhythm sections behind them.

    MTV back in the day('80s) was sorta unique. IIRC, kids(teens) & adults(20s thru 60s) were watching.
    At that time, I was in my 20s & I was watching(MTV hipped me to bands like Missing Persons & Living Colour).
    For some reason, MTV has decided to narrow their demographic to a youth market only.
    I wonder...
  7. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    One more thing-

    The other day, as I flipped thru MTV, I caught a segment on UK-er Joss Stone. She IS happenin'.
    So, for a brief time, it was like the good ol' daze...
  8. Moxa13


    Apr 14, 2003
    I think people playing instruments are alive and well, and It is a very simple reason IMHO.

    Instruments are cheaper to buy.

    I live in a population center of over half a million people, and ten years ago basses were more expensive, of lesser quality, and harder to find.

    Not anymore, I have a better selection of basses in my area and at a lower price, mostly because of online stores, and guitar center and the late Mars Music. Say what you will about GC. They have treated me pretty well.

    So I think bass playing (and instruemnts) plyers are doing better in my part of country. Of course it could be different in your neck of the woods.
  9. Phogchris:

    Yep, I did look at the ALBUMS charts and well it was encouraging to see what you mentioned, unlike the typical album chart of a couple of years ago with the teen boy band/Britney et clones thing.

    The SINGLES chart is another story though...

    Still these last few years have been totally vocalist oriented to the point of ridiculous.
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Closed - it's been wiped of the face of the earth!! :confused:

    And why was I confused (apart from why it was deleted)- please explain!! :mad:
  11. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Please remember also, TV IS personality driven. One can be watching more than listening.

    When listening on the radio, while we can argue about content, good songs win out, regardless of how the song was created.

    Manufactured tunes will have a place. For a minute or so, they will hold the charts, but a good song is a "good song".
  12. Well Bruce yes you were just asking about the deal with rappers. And I too wonder why the thread was deleted.
  13. lneal


    Apr 12, 2002
    Lee County, Alabama
    Yea I was participating in that thread too and wonder why it was not only closed, but deleted. What really bugs me is that it was bad enough to be obliterated and I didn't get to see it go to hell first!!! Drats!!! :D

    I also long for the days when pop was good (or better). It makes me wax nostalgic for the '70's when Top 40 pop at least was diverse enough to have rock, funk and Debbie Boone in the charts simultaneously. ;)
  14. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Louisiana, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    • I don't know why anybody cares what's going on in pop music.
    • Just about every rapper or pop group I've seen live (generally this would be on Saturday Night Live) has a full band. The Backstreet Boys and Ricky Martin have 10-20 piece bands.
    • I think pop music is on the upswing. Although I still don't like most of the bands I see on tv, I'm seeing lots of them. The post-punk and emo thing seems to be knocking away the most obnoxious of bubblegum (note that the Backstreets, NSYNC and imitators have not released any records in a number of years).
    • But again, I don't know why you care. Listen to the music you love and let the pop world be its silly self.