Author Topic: Old School Observations MUSIC Edition  (Read 235 times)

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Offline Harley Quinn

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Old School Observations MUSIC Edition
« on: September 22, 2018, 11:36:29 PM »
Not really worth its own thread but in looking at past US Singles, this started catching my eye. There were more Glam Metal 'hits' in regards to the Mainstream Rock charts from 1992-1994 than I expected.

Warrant "Machine Gun" peaked at 36 in 1992
Great White "Big Goodbye", "Old Rose Motel", and "Sail Away" peaked at 20 & 23 in 1992 and the latter at #9 in 1994(!)
Winger "Down Incognito" hit 15 in 1993
Cinderella "Bad Attitude Shuffle" peaked at 37 in 1994
Motley Crue "Hooligan's Holiday" and "Misunderstood" peaked at 10(!) and 24 in 1994
Dokken "Too High to Fly" peaked at 29 in 1995
Skid Row "Into Another" peaked at 28 in 1995

Extreme were particularly notable. "Hole Hearted" and "Rest in Peace" hit 2 and 1 in 1992. "Stop the World" and "Am I Ever Gonna Change?" hit 9 and 10 in 1993. Finally "Hip Today" peaked at 26 in 1995.

Tesla too had a string of doing well. "Stir It Up" and "What You Give" hit 35 and 7(!) in 1992. "Mama's Fool" and "Need Your Lovin'" hit 5(!) and 19 in 1994. Finally "A Lot to Lose" peaked at 35 in 1995.

What really strikes me about all of this is that most of these songs were still well encoded in that 80s Hair Metal/Glam Metal sound of the era yet still charted fairly well right in the 'teeth' of the Grunge/Alt Rock era within the Rock Radio element. Granted the heyday was clearly over in terms of Mainstream Billboard Top 100 but rock wise, they were still around and sometimes way up there too.

Offline Saints_Fan_H

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Re: Old School Observations MUSIC Edition
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2018, 02:09:51 AM »
So music videos were a thing prior to MTV. But why are they all so bland before MTV? Almost every music video is in studio or in front of a crowd with studio music dubbed over it.

Also in what context were these videos aired to the people in these times? Did NBC have a Fleetwood Mac break in between the news and Flipper?

How in all of the history of music (and TV) did it take until the 1980s to do produced videos to the quality and level they were in my formative years? Do you know how kick ass some of those pre MTV songs would have looked set to a visual narrative?

Offline Slayer

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Re: Old School Observations MUSIC Edition
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2018, 03:55:50 AM »
Re: HQ, I like your observation, although there were a fair number of songs on your list I'd say that were very much those bands trying to update their sound to "harder and edgier" for the grunge era (however successful or not is another debate)

A big one I would add to your list too was Def Leppard's Adrenalize in mid-92 (I remember my brother and I marking out bigtime for the album even though we were had become pretty big disciples of the Seattle sound by then)

Also in what context were these videos aired to the people in these times?

From what I've read, UK and Australia at least had programs dedicated to music videos (albeit mostly just concert footage, as you said) as early as 1975.   Stateside, we had a couple proto-MTV programs like "Video Concert Hall" and "PopClips" that I think are largely forgotten because of how quickly everything just rolled over into the debut of MTV, with only a span of 1-2 years between those programs and MTV's debut in '81

Funny thing, since you mentioned it, I remember how every so often MTV would re-air their first 24 hours, and it wasn't until my 20s seeing it for the n-th time that I realized how many of the "music videos" were just video from some concert performance of a song with the studio version of the same song dubbed over

Online Two-Time Hall of Famer

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Re: Old School Observations MUSIC Edition
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2018, 05:55:42 AM »
Firehouse's "When I Look Into Your Eyes" was a #8 hit in '92, and that's on the Hot 100 which has a lot higher sales and airplay threshold than the rock charts. "I Live My Life For You" went to #26 in 1995. They were always a pretty soft band, so it's easy to see how they were able to have mainstream hits after many of their contemporaries had fallen off.

Offline Harley Quinn

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Re: Old School Observations MUSIC Edition
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2018, 06:10:59 AM »
So music videos were a thing prior to MTV. But why are they all so bland before MTV? Almost every music video is in studio or in front of a crowd with studio music dubbed over it.

I think, partly from reading the fantastic I Want My MTV book, is that a lot of bands and PR executives just saw videos as a way to bolster ticket sales for live shows and concerts rather than legitimate song exposure. It's possibly a little cliche but Michael Jackson's music videos for both Billie Jean (1982/1983) and Thriller (aired in December of 1983) really were groundbreaking in showcasing not only what music videos could be as far as artist branding but also as spotlights to make songs (and albums) massive hits. Then you immediately had Madonna and the floodgates were opened.

Offline Saints_Fan_H

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Re: Old School Observations MUSIC Edition
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2018, 10:52:52 AM »
You're allowed to bitchslap me for overlooking Thriller.

Offline Harley Quinn

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Re: Old School Observations MUSIC Edition
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2018, 10:01:38 AM »
It really is fascinating to compare the production of early 'Grunge' to the Hair Metal in studying just how starkly the difference wise. The more I compare/contrast, the more I realize just how hard of a legitimate 180 shift it was between the two genres. Even watching the music videos for Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit, Soundgarden's Outshined, Temple of the Dog's Hunger Strike, Pearl Jam's Even Flow or Alice in Chains' We Die Young and Man In the Box are so stripped down (the guys look they literally could've just come off a sidewalk) and garage rock-y in comparison to even videos just 1-2 years prior in 1989 and 1990. Compare those videos to stuff like Warrant's Cherry Pie, Poison's Unskinny Bop, Cinderella's Shelter Me, and Motley Crue's Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away).

Hair Metal: A lot of emphasis on a mid/highs lead guitar and backup vocals to add fullness to the vocals in general. The vocals sound more produced is the best way to describe it. Drums are far more buried within the mix with more reverb and 'padded' sounding in comparison. The bass is there but barely as support. The overall sound is "studio polish" with emphasis on the lead guitarist and vocalist.

Grunge: Drums are a central focus within the songs providing a beat (especially the snare and a great "boxy" sound). Vocals are raw as hell and not really touched up at all. Guitars are pretty buried in the mix with more emphasis on including the bass into the mix. Even the guitar "solos" have a lot more low end meat to them. The overall sound is "raw and big" with an emphasis on 'band' as a complete unit.

Offline Super Leather

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Re: Old School Observations MUSIC Edition
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2018, 09:13:08 PM »
What's always been funny to me about grunge vs. hair metal is that I thought "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was some awful past-their-prime hair metal band trying to reinvent themselves for the modern rock/alternative crowd when I first heard it on the radio.
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