Why Music Has Lost it’s Charms (Article)

I found this article while surfing the web tonight. If it’s already been posted I apologize.




Murder Most Foul (+Tempest) are 2 obvious candidates for recent songs that will endure for a very long time to come.



Making movies or making music has nearly always been about primarily making money.

Lasting works of art in these fields tend to be more accidental than planned in my opinion. Especially when you consider how the business side of them both work. It’s no exaggeration to add that sometimes the business side becomes more interesting than the product side.

How could it not when you have characters such as Louis B Mayer, Harry Cohn, Howard Hughes etc all involved?

And it was little different when Stan Lee was ordered by Marvel Comics publisher (his uncle Martin Goodman) to try to come up with something to match DCs Justice League of America.

A swift change of direction saw Marvel move from churning out westerns, romances, horrors into churning out superheroes.

At no point was Lee instructed to produce great works of art.


Here’s comics historian Barry Pearl writing on the matter for the Crivens! Comics & Stuff! website.


"No matter what fans want to think, producing comics is a business - the art and story come second. Stan’s job was to make money for Marvel, produce comics on time, and increase sales, something which he did very well.

Even Jack Kirby said that his job was to "sell magazines" - not necessarily to create good ones, but to sell them.

In 1960 Marvel was selling 16,000,000 copies a year. By 1966, Steve Ditko had left and, even though he was no longer on Spider-Man and Dr. Strange, Marvel was selling 35,000,000 comics a year."




Is any of it art?


Well, that’s usually down to the eye and ear of the beholder, isn’t it?

Crocodile call "art" the way they put a corpse to decay under water for some weeks before eating it...

They say this is their "taste"...

Music is about art and beauty and spiritual experience.... Entertainment also...But when entertainment is the only value, and change of sound the only meter for popularity we have a problem...

If we are only interested by entertainment, corporations will be happy to give us the necessary varieties of rotten meat...

Music need education like any sciences or any other arts...

Are we crocodile who are only happy with our "tastes" and stuck with it till our death  ?


@cd318 There’s an intention to make art and do so in a viable fashion.  Then there’s an intention to simply produce a viable commodity.  These are two different things.  Justin Bieber is not losing sleep fretting over whether his art is too vacuous, formulaic and unoriginal.  Radiohead is.  Michael Bay doesn’t lose sleep over such things.  Martin Scorsese does.  

The wonderful documentary, “Heart’s of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse” features recorded conversations of Francis Ford Coppola with his wife, Eleanor.  These conversations feature Mr. Coppola expressing enormous anxiety about whether he is making a “sh***y, pompous, bad movie.”  He had assets, set pieces, clout, bankable stars, plenty of stuff that could have caused him to be content, rest on his laurels, and get away with an unscrupulous attention to detail, emotional resonance, truthful social commentary and truthful examination of human nature.

He didn’t.  These concerns drive him to the brink of madness because he cared about them deeply.  

I think we can recognize when artists care in this way, and when they do not.

Thanks for your post...

I know Coppola was an artist not a businessman, but i did know about “Heart’s of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse”


Thanks very much....

@jbhiller Barriers to entry much less today than ever, I agree may be more difficult to find the cream only due to much larger catalog to choose from. On the other hand, easier than ever to find the cream with streaming, one can sample great number of releases in relatively little time. Prior to streaming the only place I discovered less commercial music was University student radios stations and a few independents,


How do we know the cream easily rose to the top from 30's-70's with oligopolies controlling music business. There was exclusive cadre of A&R guys, vast majority looking for profit generating artists, perfect climate for domination of commercial music.


I agree far more distractions and entertainment  venues exist for young folks today, music as anything more than background noise is minority pursuit. But then, hasn't music always served that purpose for the vast majority.


My perception of those who can't find quality music from recent times. I observe many use music to reminisce and/or hear familiar themes from the decades they more relate to. I understand the nostalgia and reminiscing, don't understand the mental block for more recent music, plenty of newer music and artists with retro sound and themes. The other thing I don't understand is avoidance of newer genres and lack of curiosity, arguments as to lack of musicianship is just a weak rationalization for chosen ignorance and closed mind. Music, just like everything changes over time, sometimes for the best, sometimes for the worse, never only for the worst or best.