Top 40 Bands.....remember when they all were?

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by 2HBStrat, May 29, 2015.

  1. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Member

    Messages:
    35,359
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Location:
    East of the Rockies...
    Does anyone else remember (back in the day) when all of the top local bands played Top 40 music? I do! Back then it was a matter of pride to stay the most current with your song selection. If you were playing the latest hit before your competitor band that was a good thing. Now it seems to almost be a bad thing to be in a band and play current Top 40 songs and music.........so......many bands end up playing old worn out classic rock, or deep cuts, or maybe originals.......Why did that change? When did that change?
     
    Turi likes this.
  2. Heinz57Pep

    Heinz57Pep Member

    Messages:
    10,767
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2013
    Because the bands that end up playing old worn out classic rock are comprised of old worn out classic rockers who are pining away for the good old days.
     
  3. loudboy

    loudboy Member

    Messages:
    27,421
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Location:
    Sedona, AZ
    And there's few things more ridiculous than a bunch of old guys playing the Black Eyed Peas.
     
    MikeVB and NoQuarter like this.
  4. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Member

    Messages:
    35,359
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Location:
    East of the Rockies...
    Okay, that's not exactly a current band, but I get your point. What about a band of old guys playing Maroon 5, Ed Sheeran, Justin Timberlake, and Bruno Mars,
     
  5. Brad8008135

    Brad8008135 Member

    Messages:
    1,659
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2015
    Location:
    Down on Peachtree Street
    Can you find an old guy who can sing as sweet and womanly as Adam Levine or Timberlake?
     
  6. thecornman

    thecornman Member

    Messages:
    2,058
    Joined:
    May 30, 2012
    Location:
    Saskatoon, Canada
    Probably, because more pop used to be played with real instruments not just computers!
     
    monty and NoQuarter like this.
  7. Papanate

    Papanate Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    15,276
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2013
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I haven't changed. I play songs I like - and let the worrying about bulls*t concepts like 'appropriate ages'
    to play certain music to the internet bozos' who never come to the gigs to judge us anyway.


    Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald both covered George Harrison's song "Something'. The versions were quite different - and were still great.
     
    Paleolith54 likes this.
  8. 27sauce

    27sauce Supporting Member

    Messages:
    29,296
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    Location:
    San Antonio
    That was our goal until recently, when the venue changed it's format.

    We'd add five songs a week, and there was a time where we were so current(too current, at times) that we couldn't learn anything new. Our singer at the time was real good at knowing what was going to be a hit, before it was.
     
  9. chillybilly

    chillybilly Member

    Messages:
    2,851
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Location:
    NC
    A few top-of-head responses

    -Top 40 was a (or the) dominant radio format and most everyone listened to the radio most everywhere they went...at home, in the car, at parties, outings, etc.

    -Top 40, by definition, had a finite number of tracks to know/learn/play even though songs obviously percolated in, up, down and out of the list

    -Despite stereotypes about the Top 40 as strictly bubblegum, teeny boppers, boy bands, girl groups, studio-only creations etc., for many years the Top 40 had an incredible amount of diversity, with orchestral instrumentals next to Led Zeppelin next to Motown next to country crossover. Quality, catchiness - and some promotional help (ahem) - was the coin of the realm.

    -Radio format consultants convinced station owners to go with a particular genre i.e. narrowcasting and radio cannibalized its own market. Top 40 did become mostly candyfloss, much of it heavy on synths, drum machines, sequencers, etc. that were difficult-to-unlikely-to-impossible to replicate in a cover band.

    -Knowledge not only of Top 40 music but of producers, record labels, etc. was part of cultural literacy. Remember those computer kiosks in the mall that would, magically it seemed, print off a page that listed the top film, Time magazine cover topic, and #1 song on your date of birth? It seems quaint now but I can still remember people's excitement at the New Year's Eve countdown to the #1 song of the year that many stations broadcast. There was also media's - and in turn, the audience's - fixation on chart peaks and positions. How many times have we read passages like 'It was a #2 hit for Band XYZ but Song DEF by Band GHI kept it from reaching #1.' Music isn't a competition but it was portrayed that way. Is a #2 song worse musically than a #1? A silly question to be sure but many were convinced that chart position was synonymous with quality, even for songs they personally hated!

    Once again, barriers to entry, economic and otherwise, along with the sordid promo/programming/payola high jinks that survived long after Alan Freed, kept the Top 40 at the forefront of millions of people's musical consciousness. The expansion of choice in delivery mechanisms (Walkman, boombox) meant people tended to keep playing their favorites over and over again, along with AOR Radio where many playlists are 70% unchanged from, say, 1978.

    Personally, I don't miss the same Top 40 songs in heavy rotation but I do acknowledge that audience fragmentation that began some years ago makes it difficult for any cover band to cast a wide enough net to please a casual audience.
     
  10. jackson

    jackson Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,129
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2005
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    A few reasons for this:
    - like the cornman said "pop used to be played with real instruments not just computers!" .
    - back in day, there was more incentive to stay current. More people went out to hear bands. The market was bigger, so the potential to make money was there. You could actually almost make a living playing 4-5 nights in clubs. Bar/club gigs pay the same now as they did 30 years ago.
    - again, things were different then. There was more competition, and the stakes were higher. Ambitious bands would work at being good. Quality sound systems and lights would help you out-compete other bands, as there was a potential payoff. Nowadays, at least for me, the most important criteria for PA and lights are; is it cheap, is it decent, how heavy is it, and what is the least amount of equipment we can use for this gig.
    - if you keep playing the same stuff, there's no need to practice or rehearse.

    By the way, I did recently see a bar band at a popular NJ shore town, and they were playing newer music, and the crowd loved it.
     
  11. Bogner

    Bogner Member

    Messages:
    5,142
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2006
    Location:
    USA

    Because the kids now are into computerized "instruments" and the people who really play guitar no longer do so because they are on here arguing over which clean boost is the most transparent rather than playing guitar and rocking it.
     
    NoQuarter likes this.
  12. emdub123

    emdub123 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,284
    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    This is it ^^^^^

    Once you've learned BrownEyedJessiesGirl and the others, you can play them every week for years to come, in band after band.
     
  13. loudboy

    loudboy Member

    Messages:
    27,421
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Location:
    Sedona, AZ
    Just as foolish, IMHO.

    To the OP, back in the day most of the bands were also younger. The old guys were playing jazz in retirement homes, gazeboes and VFWs.
     
  14. emdub123

    emdub123 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,284
    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    I'm calling BS. People don't keep playing "Hit me with your best shot" instead of "Rollin' in the Deep" for any reason other than laziness and being out of touch.
     
    reaiken likes this.
  15. jackson

    jackson Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,129
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2005
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    Yup. Show up to the gig with the bare minimum amount of equipment, one or two trips to the car, set up in 10 minutes, play the tunes, tear down in 10 minutes, collect $100, go home. Leave your amp and pedal board in the car. I love it.
     
  16. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Member

    Messages:
    35,359
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Location:
    East of the Rockies...
    I agree. I don't think computers are the problem. Even if a computer with software is being used it takes someone with musical ability to make music with it, so it's no different than an electric guitar versus an acoustic guitar.

    Who does that?
     
  17. GuitarGuy66

    GuitarGuy66 Member

    Messages:
    6,826
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2014
    We played current stuff because we were young & cool as efff. We wouldn't be caught dead playing brown-eyed-mustang-sweet-home-brick-house.

    That was old fart music and we wanted none of that.

    We played:
    Black Crowes
    Headstones
    GnR
    Collective Soul
    The Cult
    Ugly Kid Joe
    White Zombie
    The Four Horsemen
    Tragically Hip

    All current stuff. We were in our 20's and played to our crowd, who were in their 20's as well.



    As others have said, in our mid to late 40's we would look silly trying to play New Direction, or Maroon 5, so we play some of what we used to play and older stuff to older crowds. Classic rock & country FTW.

     
  18. loudboy

    loudboy Member

    Messages:
    27,421
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Location:
    Sedona, AZ
    The vast majority of the "professional" players around here...

    They won't rehearse - it's just "What time's the gig?" They'll show up and do a 10-minute version of "Feelin' Alright" and wonder why no one's there.
     
  19. Bogner

    Bogner Member

    Messages:
    5,142
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2006
    Location:
    USA
    I think there comes a point in a persons life where they settle in and don't want to change, grow, get better, etc. They peaked out and are fine with it. I hope to never be that person. You can be content with where you are and at the same time wish to still stretch the limits and grow. I think once a person STOPS doing that they begin the downward spiral. That isn't me. Once that happens it is the beginning of the end.
     
  20. misterturtlehead

    misterturtlehead Member

    Messages:
    3,829
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2013
    I play guitar with one bands I play with because they are always working. There is no band practice. The band leader lives three hours from me. When we have a "new" tune the band leader sends us an email. We play tunes from the 1950s to 2000s. I am 52 and the youngest person in the band. Folks that go to the places where we play music like us. The pay is acceptable to good. I enjoy playing with them because they are not assholes. We don't play ten minute versions of "Feeling All Right".
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2015
    Papanate likes this.

Share This Page