Jan 11, 2011

Do stop believing: the rock music fad is over

Thank goodness this awful guitar fad has passed. The moment the Beatles clanged out seven years worth of jangly pap, it was over before it started.

It was revealed yesterday that only three of the top 100 tracks of 2010 in the UK were rock songs, the best-selling of these being Glee's Don't Stop Believing.

If you're not aware of the Glee phenomenon, think of Miley Cyrus and Justin Biebpipe doing an ACDC covers tour. Now replace Miley and Justin with a baboon flinging its own excrement, and replace ACDC with every treasured memory you've ever had. That's Glee.

It turns out guitars were just a temporary fad. All those bedroom garage bands banging out noisy chords and committing it to four-track in a cousin's shed? It was the musical equivalent of space hoppers, Tab cola and happy slapping.

Now HMV have a golden ticket for turning their sales around. Have half their shops sell only neo-rave, breakcore and 8bit Kraftwerk classics, while have the other half contain hundreds of burning Fender Stratocasters, constantly on fire like sick Olympic flames and proffered worshipful sacrifices by a rock-hating public.

Here, god of guitar-death, have my collection of coloured Green Day vinyl I just smashed with a hammer, thanks be to Aphex.

Truth is, of course, guitars have never been popular. A quick finger through the UK's top ten best selling singles of all time shows all we really care about is Elton John, Boney M and (shudder) Robson And Jerome. The rockiest tracks are by the Beatles, Wings in Kintyre-mode and those bastians of death metal, Frankie Goes To Hollywood.

The shroud of lies perpetuating the rock myth has fallen and we can get back to good honest dance music like Black Eyes Peas, Basshunter and Doop.

All those annoying acronyms to memorise guitar strings can revert to something sensible like Every Band Goes Dance, Amen Evermore. And we can all have our hair short. And we can wash. With water and everything. We may even use soap. Imagine that.

Rock is dead. Long live Jean Michel Jarre's impending Autechre remix album.

(Please send letters of complaint to Axl Rose, A Hammock, Backstage At The O2 Arena, Londinium, 1LLU 51ON.)


Isaac said...

Buy many singles this year, did we?
Can't say I did.
It would be interesting to see the comparable albums chart for 2010, which might be a more relevent barometer. Any ideas where to find it?

Fat Roland said...

Funnily enough, my new year's resolution for my 2011 blogging was to no longer refer to "singles" and instead use words like "tracks", because I really do believe the single is dead. I bought a lot of tracks, but singles? No!

The information is all behind a paywall at Music Week / Official Charts Company, but I believe the album chart was about a quarter rock (27 out of the 100) which ain't bad. Although it's still a decline if the 15% drop in sales of rock albums in the US are anything to go by.

What I find odd about the 'rock' classification is that Glee's Don't Stop Believing is counted as rock, but Matt Cardle's cover of Kings Of Leon isn't.

Fat Roland said...

Biffy Clyro, sorry, not Kings Of Leon. [Insert once-you've-seen-one-guitar-band-you've-seen-them-all joke here.]

Kid Rock Tickets said...

The beginning (the guitar riff) is AMAZING but when you listen to the whole song (this is ours, escape the fate) I think it's just too death metal D:

Fat Roland said...

Kid Rock represents the worst of everything that sucks about bad rock music, and I would encourage anyone who owns Kid Rock tickets to burn them at the earliest opportunity, preferably with a flaming Kid Rock.