Music or Image?

Throughout high school, there are many music-obsessed teenagers. Many of them like the same bands, and there are many bands who people always give respect to. Bands like Cream, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, AC/DC, The Rolling Stones, and the Beatles always get more credit than they deserve. Don’t get me wrong, they deserve credit like other bigger bands, but they get way too much. It always seems more like how the bands are “sold.” When you think about it, it’s quite clear.

“Here’s a CD from a band from the early eras of rock n’ roll.”
“Cool.”

“Here’s a CD from a mainstream band from 2003.”
“Don’t even waste my time with that.”

I always love seeing how there are hardcore metal heads that love the Beatles. I’m not talking about people who just like metal, I’m talking about people who listen to metal and only metal. The kind of people that get off to Slayer. Yet, unlike what their entire taste of music may not hint towards, they love the Beatles. Why? There are people who listen to the hardest metal, and the only band they like that isn’t metal is the Beatles? I’m not saying the Beatles are a bad band, but if you listen to them you might as well listen to the Beach Boys. Yet you’ll seldom find someone who will say “No, I don’t like the Beatles.”

Another example of images affecting people’s opinion of music, besides the music, can be summarized in two words: Green Day.

1,039 Smoothed Out Slappy Hours, Kerplunk, Dookie, Insomniac, Nimrod, Warning, International Superhits, and Shenanigans are loved. But then American Idiot is released and hated. Why? Look at Green Day now, they’ve got on more make-up than Mimi from the Drew Carey show, and they’ve gotten politically charged lyrics. However, the sound isn’t that different from Warning, a CD that the band released in 2000. Still think that music is not about image? Of course not.

It’s sad that nowadays, music is often overlooked because of people paying attention to the band’s image. Which is a simple explaination to why no one likes modern bands and instead looks to bands of the past, when David Bowie wore make-up, it was considered “cool.”

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