These kids today, with their hair and their music. It’s all nonsense. Why, back in my day, we had pop music that meant something! Amirite? No deep meaning. Just trash!
No. That statement is wrong. The most popular comparison that I’ve seen pop up on social media has been a comparison of Beyonce’s Run the World and Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody in the form of an image macro, but it’s not the only one. The point of these memes seems to be that pop musicians created better music than those of today. Let’s take off our rosy glasses, shall we?
Freddie Mercury was one of the most incredibly talented artists of the last century and Bohemian Rhapsody is a freaking masterpiece. It was arguably his seminal work. But, let’s not pretend for a second that Queen didn’t release some disposable catchy pop. The man who wrote “Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?” also wrote “I want to ride my bicycle. I want to ride my bike.” and “Fat bottomed girls you make the rockin’ world go round.”
Not even the holy cows of popular music managed to release nothing but deep meaningful tunes.
- Paul McCartney wrote “Ob-la-di ob-la-da life goes on bra. La-la how the life goes on.”
- Madonna had a few, but let’s go with Vogue as an example.
- Beck’s Loser has been assigned all sorts of deep meaning. It’s mostly nonsense, and the man himself said that if he’d know it would catch on he would have put more work into it.
- Bob “the-greatest-songwriter-of-the-century” Dylan wrote “Wiggle wiggle wiggle like a bowl of soup. Wiggle wiggle wiggle like a rolling hoop.”
I’m not saying that Ms. Knowles is making great art. I honestly don’t know, because I’m pretty damned unfamiliar with her work past what I hear on the radio in the supermarket or gets put on movie soundtracks. What I am saying is that we (old people) need to put crappy pop music in proper context. My parents panned what I listened to. I’m complaining about what’s popular now.
When I think back about music when I was a teen I remember the good stuff. What gets play on the classic rock station and the oldies station is not at all representative of what got played 20, 30, or 40 years ago. It’s the stuff that didn’t suck. While I was listening to Pearl Jam’s Dissident, Ace of Bass was topping the charts. And I’ll admit that I didn’t change the station when All That She Wants came on.
Let’s be honest, y’all. We listened to some crap. I’m gonna’ go hit play on some Milli Vanilli now.