Re: AOR = Image?
Posted by: Capt. Crunch ()
Date: August 13, 2001 07:08AM

Maybe I misread your post. But I think the thing that made AOR so great in it's heyday was that it really had no image. The great bands of the genre (Journey, Survivor, Styx, Foreigner, Touch, REO, Boston, early Bolton) were considered "faceless" bands or "corporate rock". Basically, no real image, but cranked out great melodic songs without having to create an image or concept. While some of the "hairband" stuff did swerve into AOR territory, they are two different genres. The reason no-one really cares about "hairband" groups much anymore is because they had a specific image that burned itself out, and people dismiss most of the music as bubblegum that appealed to a specific demographic. Most groups were basically signed up for their looks, not too much different than the boy band craze today. I think anyone in their mid-thirties today, who got into music when AOR dominated realizes one thing... ROCK AND ROLL IS A YOUNG MAN"S GAME. It always was and always will be. The reason the classic AOR bands can still go out today without too much ridicule is that they have great songs that people want to hear and they never had an image that they had to maintain. In other words, no 50 year olds have to wear spandex and sing about issues that were important when they were 18 years old. The songs are timeless in a way. But I doubt that many new fans will be recruited, it will pretty much be an older crowd who doesn't like too much new stuff and likes the nostalgia associated with the older stuff they grew up with.

Unfortunately I don't think that we will ever see another era like this again. Here are a few reasons:

1) MTV- It is a probably the most popular way to market music. And right now it is mostly boy band, rap and angry rap/metal. There is absolutely no room for older acts (that were young when the channel embraced them) that have no marketing image.

2) Radio- There really is no Top 40 radio anymore. It's either a rap station, classic rock station, teeny bopper station, adult contemporary...etc. So the days of being exposed to hearing all different types of music on one station are over. I remember in 30 minutes hearing Deep Purple, Billy Joel, Donna Summer, Styx and Ambrosia. The kids are not going to get that kind of exposure today, and their taste in music really shows this.

3) Record Companies- I know music has always been controlled by corporations. But at least it used to be controlled by music corporations. Today, other than Warner Brothers, most music is controlled by corporations that only care about the bottom line and music is only a product. There appears to be no nurturing of talent, no sense of adventure and no patience for bands that are older or are not a hit right out of the box. A lot of classic AOR bands hit it big after their third or fourth album, they would not have survived today.

4) New Bands - I know everyone has their own tastes regarding AOR, but most of the new stuff mentioned on this board is below average at best. While SR-71, American Hi-Fi and a few others are getting some exposure playing melodic rock in a new way, it has a "here today- gone later today" type of feel to it. Most of these new bands are not too far removed from a boy band with guitars and a little more musical ability. Also, the lyrics are written for 10-18 year olds, and usually leave a lot to be desired. They are being marketed and packaged like all the other music today and they will be as overexposed and the kids will get just as tired of them as they will of the Backstreet Boys after about a year. In other words, Journey and Styx are still touring to pretty good crowds after about 25 years. Can you see any band that is popular with teenagers today (AOR-type or not) that will leave people with any sense of nostalgia 25 years from now? I doubt it.

I have my doubts AOR can make a comeback with these factors working against it. The same can be said of great hook-laden power pop. But I would love to be proven wrong and have a whole new era of music where image and attitude take a back seat to musicianship, melody and great lyrics.

The Captain

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SubjectViewsWritten ByPosted
The AOR genre lacking image, concept and attitude. 128 Daniel 08/13/2001 12:59AM
Re: The AOR genre lacking image, concept and attit 101 alex siedler 08/13/2001 01:33AM
Re: Hello ???? 127 britny 08/13/2001 05:35AM
sad but true 106 sfk kurt 08/13/2001 01:41AM
Re: The AOR genre lacking image, concept and attit 130 Rachael 08/13/2001 03:24AM
Hello ???? 92 Ron (H) 08/13/2001 04:17AM
Re: Hello ???? 106 Daniel 08/13/2001 06:04AM
Re: AOR = Image?84 Capt. Crunch 08/13/2001 07:08AM
they really did have image though 101 sfk kurt 08/13/2001 11:15AM
Re: they really did have image though 103 Capt. Crunch 08/13/2001 12:33PM
you answered your own question 111 sfk kurt 08/13/2001 10:05PM
some acts are still larger than life 98 sfk kurt 08/13/2001 11:13AM
It's music's job to alienate the old 114 koogles 08/13/2001 11:43AM

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