Monday, April 13, 2015
The "Not Terrible" Is The New "Amazing" Challenge
Okay, maybe I am a little obsessed with all of this, but to be fair, it does make for interesting debate.
While I sit and wait, hopes and expectations gradually disappearing for good, for one more brilliant Todd Rundgren record, I'm thinking about how low the bar has dropped. It's pretty obvious, at least to my ears, that almost all of our musical heroes can no longer live up to the highs of their past glories.
I don't believe any Bob Dylan fan is expecting one more "Blood On The Tracks" from the man. But I also don't believe that Dylan is completely incapable of this, just like I don't believe Todd Rundgren or Prince or Neil Young are incapable of one more classic release. Or maybe I should say "won't" believe. Big difference.
You see, if we are going to hold Beach Boys records like "Pet Sounds" and "Today" and "Smile" with such respect, how can we listen to the last 15-20 years of Brian Wilson music and think the same? "Sticky Fingers" or "Undercover?" "Harvest" or "Reactor?" "Sign O' The Times" or "The Rainbow Children?" Again, there's a place for all of it, but let's not kid ourselves. Some of it is great. Some of it is crap. It has to be that way.
But I digress. There is a challenge here, if you are willing to take it on.
I was going to ask that you think of one absolute favorite record and then realized that no one can choose just one. So, the challenge is three. Only three. Choose three of your favorite records of all-time, preferably from before 1990. Then, pick three of your favorite records from the last 25 years.
See if your new three come close to the magic of your old three.
I don't doubt that there has been some fantastic music in the last 25 years. But I do believe our standards have changed. While it may be healthier to just accept and move on, once in awhile we should admit that it just isn't as much fun as putting up a bit of a fight.