Music is spiritual. The music business is not.
Art and business are two basically incompatible entities. Artists and businessmen often don’t really like or respect each other, sometimes even hate each other. Working together is not easy for them as their mindsets are so basically different. Most of the time the collaboration is difficult, and often takes both sides close to the limits of what they thought was acceptable.
BUT IN THE END, THE SYMBIOSIS OF THE TWO LED TO SOME OF THE GREATEST MUSIC EVER CREATED.
This symbiosis gave birth to rock ’n’ roll and thus to modern popular music in the 1950s, with Bill Haley’s Rock Around The Clock, and this successful era lasted for about four entire decades.
Both sides didn’t really understand each other, but they both tried to make the best out of it, and to accept each other’s apparently strange views on how things had to be done.
With that symbiosis came a simple but very efficient marketing and sales model that worked well during the entire Golden Age (1955-1995), almost until the end of the century. With only a few minor modifications over time, this model allowed both artists and record companies to make millions, or even billions.
The idea was to create music for all kinds of people, from the mainstream to all kinds of subgenres. Record companies produced cheap mass-compatible music, but simultaneously they allowed creative and innovative artists to develop and to evolve.
Those artists, on the other hand, then delivered some of the greatest music ever written. They developed new sounds, which sometimes even led to the creation of entirely new genres or subgenres, and thus they often set new trends.
During the 1980s, about 30 years after this crazy success story had started, things began to change, and finally in the late 1990s the system was broken. This is when things started to go terribly wrong, and that’s the cause of both today’s bad music and of the music industry’s financial trouble.