The Golden Age Of Popular Music (1955-1995)
Major labels blow all their money massively and blame it on the band.
When I write about the Golden Age Of Popular Music, then I mean the timespan of about 40 years from the mid 1950s to the mid 1990s.
That’s the period when most of the music that’s nowadays being considered to be the “greatest music of all time” has been written and recorded.
If you take The Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time list, then you’ll see that over 80% of those greatest songs have been recorded in the timeframe from 1955 to 1985 alone, and almost 90% of all great music had been created in the Golden Age. Other lists will offer numbers that are slightly different, but they all come to the conclusion that music quality was highest within that timespan.
It was not only the Golden Age from an artistic view, but it also was a period that was commercially highly successful.
Artists earned millions, the record industry made billions, and fans – both music lovers and the masses – were happy, as there was music for everyone. If you wanted high quality, then there were plenty of options to choose from.
That was the ideal situation, as everyone was happy, even if some artists felt being ripped off by their record companies – just think of Prince for example. But even if this was (at least partly) true, real stars still made millions, and even many not so popular artists could still easily survive.
By the end of this Golden Age, the upcoming problems of the music industry were already clearly visible. While music quality was highest in the 1960s (40.8% according to the Rolling Stone Magazine’s list), it already slightly dropped in the 70s (28.2%), it fell considerably in the 80s (11.4%), dropping to only 4.4% in the 1990s – which is only about 10% of the quality we originally started with.
If an industry once performed great, while it now completely sucks, then it may be worth analyzing what went wrong.
So what’s different nowadays?
This is one of the things we’ll analyze in this manual in fact – we will try to understand why the artists of the past performed so much better, and why people are no longer willing to pay for music nowadays. Understanding those problems will be part of your road to success.
You will need to understand the causes of the music industry’s problems, and you will need to understand why the music of the past was so much more popular and successful.
Once you get this, you will see everything much clearer, and you’ll understand how you may succeed with your own music. I will get back to the Golden Age Of Popular Music a few times more in this manual.