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Today's music sucks

Only 586 pages left on your journey to becoming a rock star!

Music today is like cheap drinks in a bad supermarket.
–Iggy Pop

When I first started working on the Jamplifier project I already suspected today’s music quality to be quite low. I was quite sure already that today’s music couldn’t keep up with the stuff that came out in the 20th century, but I wasn’t aware of the magnitude of the quality problem until I started digging into it while working on our database (see jamplifier.com/music/ if you want to check it out).

You will be shocked once you’ll understand to what degree things have become worse within the past 20 years.

If you want to become successful, then it will be very important to understand the differences between good and bad music, as this will greatly help you to improve your own work.

The decline of music quality visualized once more, using the Rolling Stone Magazine's Top 500 list of the greatest songs of all time (including song positions on the list) as data source. Other lists and studies will produce similar charts.

You will have to discover on what incredibly high level music once was, in order to start making music that’s really relevant again.

In chapter 3 you will learn about the greatest songs, albums and artists of all time, and this will help you to write much better songs and to produce killer records that people will want to spend money on.

Good music still sells, and despite the fact that music industry representatives claim that people don’t buy records anymore, there are still artists who sell millions of albums.

You will soon understand why some artists still sell millions, while others sell nothing at all.

All of that knowledge will allow you not to fall in line with all that bad stuff out there, but to create something great and valuable.

People still like buying great records, but the problem is that great records have become very rare.

It's all just about taste, isn't it?

Music is neither old nor modern: it is either good or bad music, and the date at which it was written has no significance whatever.
– Peter Warlock (British composer, 1894-1930)

If you talk about music quality or if you compare artists, then there will always be people who will tell you that the appreciation of art is just a matter of taste. Some people will say that there are no good or bad artists, and that there is no such thing as great or awful art. Everything’s basically the same, and it just depends on what you personally like.

That’s bullshit of course.

Music quality has nothing to do with taste.

Claiming that Justin Bieber is just as great as David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix or Michael Jackson is just stupid. One Direction, the Backstreet Boys and N*Sync are not on the same level than the Beatles, Pink Floyd, or Radiohead for example. Miley Cyrus doesn’t play in the same league as Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Etta James, or Madonna.

I think there is a large consensus among music critics and music lovers on what’s good and what’s not.

In most cases it’s quite obvious by the way. 

It’s not surprising to see that those people who claim that music is just about taste are mostly those who are listening to bad music. Maybe it’s a lack of knowledge or appreciation, maybe it’s some kind of self-protection and it’s about avoiding discussions about true quality.

But it’s not all black and white of course. Most artists are located somewhere in that grey zone between good and bad, and then even those listeners who appreciate art may have various opinions of course.

We don’t have to dig into the details at this point, for now you just need to understand that there is good in bad, and you need to commit to making good or even great music in future.

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Chapter 1.3   •   Page 1 of 16

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