The way I see it…
Date: January 22, 2010 05:35AM
…if anything killed MHR, it was the labels. It did have an incredible, successful, and lengthy run and I do think it had run its natural course, but that was largely due to the labels/industry/business end of things. They just pushed the genre sooooo hard. It got to a point where anyone who looked like a rock star and had a band could get a record deal. One label had Poison (or Motley, or whatever), so nine other labels all needed bands who looked like Poison. I’m not sure how much credit the industry gave the fans for being able to discern the quality from the crap either. And, to some extent, they may have been right. I think a lot of people who loved this music did get into the habit of bringing stuff home from the record shops strictly because of how it looked. I know I did. I was always on the hunt for something new that I would like. I bought many an LP without hearing so much as a snippet of a track. And don’t get me wrong, some of what was being signed even late in the era was still great stuff (I just got though spinning 21 Guns – “Salute.” What an utterly classy slice of MHR heaven from ‘92!!!), but some of it was second rate at best. We could debate which bands fall into which category for the next three months and still never reach a consensus. The point is, eventually it truly did get ridiculous.
Bottom line: I think that any time we see a glut of artists out there in a particular genre we can take it as a SIGN of the downfall of that genre, rather than the REASON for it. By the time the labels have flooded a market, that market’s days are probably numbered. As someone else pointed out, it happened with disco back in the ‘70s. It also happened with grunge, alternative, boy bands, and “new country,” back in the‘90s. Now if it would only happen with the Lady GaGa–style pop my daughter loves so much…. ;-)
NP – “Radio Magic” – Eathshaker: “Midnight Flight”