Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Is the recording Industry of the 50s any different to now?


In the 1950s there were 2 kinds of musician, there was the ones that Played 5 nights a week playing anything they were asked to play, and there were the few that just wanted to do their own thing , the latter came out of the former.
2012 There are 2 kinds of musician, the ones that play whatever they are asked to (Covers / Tribute bands etc) and the ones that want to do their own thing, these mostly never went near the former.
In between the 2 era’s there was this little bubble called ‘Independent music’ This started in the 60s but really thrived in the 70s and 80s and started to fade in the 90s.
This was where major labels and smaller companies invested in artists doing their own thing in the hope that it would yield some return in many cases it did in others it didn’t, but with good marketing and product with the people at the top making some money this filtered down  and we had a healthy recording industry.
We are now back to how things were in the 50s, there was an old jazz label called 99 they were one of the first indies along with people like esquire and Tempo, they were called 99 because they only pressed 99 copies of a given album. Now we live in an era were a lot of indie labels are doing the same shirt run limited edition vinyl and CDs.
The only musicians that are making a living are the ones that play whatever they are told to play, and the only new artists that are on television are singing songs written for them or singing nostalgic oldies, just like it was in the 50s.
Just my thought for the day what do you think?

3 comments:

Louise said...

This depressed me Matt - I hope things change. I'd like Jake to be able to make some kind of (even part-time) living from his drumming without having to conform. But it's also horrible for the future of music generally.

Matthew North said...

well he has the advantage that drummers are ALWAYS in demand. But it is a very hard life to be a musician, Im lucky I have always had a day job to subsidise what I do, but I dont envy anyone that wants to make a living doing anything creative.

Steve H said...

Lot of the problem is down to technology. File sharing, radio decline, and downloads where no physical packing is needed have reduced the music industries desire to give a band more than one album before they're dropped... Success has to be instant and covering a song that is known to be well liked is the preferred method at the moment. Unfortunately I can's see it getting better....

PS Matt my blog needs a second follower !!!