The greatest education in the world is watching the masters at work.
Welcome to chapter three, which is – like all chapters in this manual – a very important one.
You will need to have read chapters 1 and 2 in order to fully understand why this third chapter will be overly important to you.
Chapter 3 is the last element of the educational part of this manual, and after reading this one you’ll finally be ready to start working on your unique style and sound, as well as on your new songs in order to produce your killer album. If you still wonder why you should this chapter, then here’s the answer:
If our strategy to become successful will be to make great music while today’s music is really bad, then we’ll need to
- learn as much as we can about the music of the past,
- we’ll need to analyze it and to compare it to new stuff (in order to learn the differences), and
- we’ll also need to see what changed and what went wrong during the past few decades (in order to understand what will have to be improved).
In other words:
You will need to understand the past if you want to change the future.
If you want to become a good writer, then you’ll need to read good books. If you want to become a good director, then you’ll need to watch good movies.
And if you want to become a good musician, then you’ll need to listen to good music.
If you want to become good, then you will have to listen good music. If you want to become great, then you will have to listen to great music.
And if you want to become the best, then you will have to listen to the best music of all times.
It’s as simple as that.
So here’s what you’ll get in this chapter:
- We will take a closer look at the music of the past, so that you understand the evolution from good to bad music.
- Understanding the differences between good and bad will allow you to improve your own music.
- You will learn about the most important artists of each decade, and their most important songs and albums.
- You will also learn about technological advances that had a major impact.
Use the occasion to expand your horizons. You will surely discover a few great artists, albums and songs you didn’t know yet.
This chapter is quite condensed, as it’s not a complete historical review. I will focus on those elements that will help you to make some real progress. Think of the power law again, 20% of the music and the changes in each decade were responsible for 80% of the outcome, so we’ll try to focus on those 20% here.
Honoring the Masters Of The Past doesn’t mean that you will need to sound like the music from the past, as the problem is not (only) the sound of today’s music, it’s the OVERALL QUALITY and VALUE.
It also doesn’t mean that you will rip off the music of the past, but it will serve as a source of inspiration.
Before we start, I’d like to note that most artist descriptions in this chapter are mostly short versions of related Wikipedia articles, with comments added where useful or necessary.