“Music was better in my day” is something I have often heard growing up, and I’m sure many people of my age have heard the same thing.
So, is it true? Was music better ‘back in the day’ or is this a false notion because of how music has changed? Is this an acceptability thing or maybe it’s ‘louder’ or often more aggressive?
Wait, what does better actually mean? Can music be better than other music? Well, I’m not so sure….
Music to me is something that we listen to and enjoy for no other reason than that, we enjoy it. It is unique in the fact that we do not have to be loyal to it and we can often have differing opinions of two tracks from the same artist and often differing opinions of a certain song with our loved ones.
I often find that I have to be in the mood for certain artists as well. For example, last night I put on The black Keys only to discover that wasn’t quite the ticket. Enter The Birds Of Tokyo and suddenly I felt more at ease.
Is one better than the other? No, not at all. One is very clean sounding and the other quite raw sounding but both great bands. (Different songs of course too.)
It’s a well know fact that as we grow older our responsiveness and tolerance for certain frequencies changes too, I often find myself turning the volume down a bit as some frequencies sound a tad harsh to me these days.
Perhaps someone listening to a bit crushed type sound, let’s say Nine Inch Nails for example, who is say 50+ could find that quite annoying and therefore the music they are comfortable with maybe seem ‘better’ by comparison.
Could it also be that our memories of music change? Perhaps as we grow older the songs we remember are the good ones and the ones that mean something special to us? Does this favourably effect our view of older music?
Has music become over commercialised? Are radio stations now playing what they are being told to play, giving certain play quotas to the highest bidders?
Well yeah of course, it is called the music ‘business’ after all. Old music is already tried and tested so we tend to turn on ‘classic hits’ and get hit after hit after hit. Go with what works right?
Turn on another station and hear new music and it can go one of two ways, approval or disapproval. Too much disapproval and suddenly “new music is rubbish” I hear the non conformists saying.
I love old music and more often than not prefer to listen to something from the 60s and 70s than present day but my formative years were the 90s when we had the likes of the Chili Peppers, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys etc. Listening to that is familiar so of course I am going to be more favourable to hearing that. Is it better? Nah, it’s just what fits me the best.
But some of the best music, in my opinion of course, comes from the present. Music has evolved so much in recent years that we have so much to choose from that we are bound to get some absolutely amazing music right?
So is old music better? Well I didn’t really answer the question did I, I probably asked more questions in truth.
What I can tell you is my opinion.
Don’t discount a piece of music because of it’s age or the artist or how it is viewed by your friends or society. There is space for all music to exist. Music is personal preference so hold on to what you like and as you age I’m sure the ‘better’ music will always stay with you!