Editorial: February 1997

Ah yes, it is now time for my monthly rant on the state of the industry. Well, for once I only have a single thing to complain about and it all stems from an amusing item I saw on CNN News this past week. The feature was the sudden growth in popularity of electronic music by such bands a The Prodigy, U2, David Bowie, Chemical Brothers, Orbital, Ad nauseum. It even included a short interview with Moby of all people. He was quoted as saying something that seriously bothered me, and here is a short paraphrase of the topic.

"Two years ago when I released my album a certain radio station called and told me that they could not play it because it was too electronic. So now that I have released a new album and included guitars for the first time, the same radio station called me and told me they could not play it because it wasn't electronic enough."

Now personally I found it all very amusing because despite the sudden increase in popularity of electronic music, I find it impossible to believe a radio station would not play a release because it contained guitars. The guitar has always been the staple of American music and for a radio station to have actually made that comment would mean that the signal for the end of the rock era has finally been heralded. Yet we all know better, because the suddenly popularity of a few British bands and the rehashing of electronica by a few rusty old rock artists does not a revolution make.

However it does at least provide some positive insight that electronic music might once again be making a positive upswing for the first time since New Wave in the eighties. Yet it seems it will only be populated by post war baby boomers who have reinvented their music so many times that it has ceased to have any meaning other than to mark the demise of bands that have been involved in this genre since it's inception because no one will purchase their records or finance their tours any longer. It's a very sad scene when the like of The Prodigy receive a $3 million plus contract with Maverick Records on the basis of a less than innovative single like 'Firestarter'. What has this world come to?


[Sonic Boom]

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