Best and worst years for popular music on the radio for you personally? - Page 2
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Thread: Best and worst years for popular music on the radio for you personally?

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Houston, Texas
    I would have to say shortly after the Beatles came on the scene through about 1985 were the better years. While there were many clunkers, there were a wide variety of artists and groups that escaped the box of 'flash in the pan hits' and expanded music's horizons.

    I was a top 40 jock in the mid-1980s, a transition period, and felt that much of the innovation had waned. The 1970s groups seemed to be have spent their talent as far as being creative. It reminded me of that great TV show that becomes sort of worn out and out of fresh ideas by the time the network pulls the plug.

    Although by the time the 1990s arrived, much of the new material just didn't fit my music preferences, there were glimmers of good talent outside the plentiful 'formula hits'.

    I feel country capitalized on the older top 40 audience that found the top hits were not the type they had been a few years before. A long time country music listener once told me country was not rock and roll with a twang. I tend to agree.

    Hip Hop was the true winner by the time the 1990s rolled around. What had been limited to a small circle, burst on the scene but quickly the underbelly surfaced from what had been simply a rehash of the do-wop street corner style modified for the time.

    Music preferences splintered along the way. Where a station could play a wide variety of styles with success, everything became intensely focused to form several formats. It is not the best case scenario for the artists as it is now more difficult to break out beyond the specific format. By this, I mean a station cannot play Frank Sinatra, Johnny Cash and Jimi Hendrix and capture the masses.

    I hear people my age complain about music of the past couple of decades and exclaim nobody will remember these songs in 20 years. I think I disagree. Some of those songs will be the sound of a generation just like the 1970s is for me. Not all the stuff from the 70s is remembered, just the choice stuff.

    My Dad hated top 40 and rock. He said it made him nervous. I remember as a kid saying I'd always listen to what was popular at the time. Gimme a spoon to eat those words. My Dad said what is great music to my generation is something another generation cannot even define as music but noise. He said you'll be scratching your head trying to figure out how your kid's music strikes the same chord with them as your music did and my generation's music did. Smart guy. I think he was right.

    Funny thing, today's music does not make me nervous or uncomfortable. It's just not at the top of my list in music preference. But I still see talent here and there as I did in the 1970s. There were plenty of 'little to no talent' flash in the pan groups then as well.

    I listen to new music but mostly it is not heard on radio because the group that listens to it just cannot command enough of a share to be viable on radio except in very over radioed markets where a .5 to a 1 beats going against a 100 kw with a 5 of 6 share in hopes you can shave a bit off their audience with your rimshot.

  2. #12
    Best: 1954-1984 (with a few additional exceptions beyond '84)

    Worst: Post-1984 (absolute junk with very few exceptions)
    Illegitimi non carborundum

  3. #13
    Best - Probably either 1985, 1988 or 1989.

    Worst - This year. Or any in the last ten or so.
    I live on oldies stations, and Sirius XM 6,7,8 and 9.

  4. #14
    Limiting this to just my teenage years, since other years' music really wasn't aimed at me, anyway:

    Best: probably 1975 or 1976. The height of "Beatle reunion fever," among other things.

    Worst: 1981. Just a bland year. WAY too much country crossover. (Yeah, it was right after Urban Cowboy, but please!) It just felt like top 40 radio was programmed more for our parents' generation than for us that summer.

  5. #15
    Hate to say it, but in my view there was no 'best' or 'worst' period per-se (although no musician worth their weight would say the 60's weren't a revolutionary time for pop music), although there were definite peaks. But even the 60's had its junk. Same with the famed 70's rock era -- there was junk then, too. It's just that the good stuff from those eras really shined.

    The early 80's were one of my favorite times for rock and pop, as New Wave had changed a few things on the pop side and Van Halen and AC/DC changed up a few things on the rock side. Then you had the alternative rock stations that were usually on fringe frequencies that played a lot of very cool music.

    The 90's were a great time for rock and alternative -- I didn't care for the pop from that era all that much.

    The 2000's were a good time for rock; I liked a lot of the nu-metal that was out (although some I disliked intensely). Pop from that era -- not so much.

    Around 2012 I re-discovered pop and found a lot of it from the early 2010's was actually pretty good. The rock? Not so much.

    Now we're closing the decade and it's a mixed bag. There are a few rock artists I like that put out new music (Shinedown, Pop Evil, Mastodon), and there's the rare pop track, but I am not enthused about anything anymore. I don't think it's age, as I always have had an open mind; and I don't think it's that the music out there is bad: I think it's the fragmentation of everything musical these days, it's not easy to tune into a single station and go "wow, I want to listen to this format all day."

  6. #16

    Join Date
    May 2017
    The best years of pop music for me was throughout my middle school years from 2009-2012, since it was the time I began to develop my radio listening routine which I have today.

  7. #17
    Moderator/Assistant Administrator
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    By year range:

    Preferred eras for Pop/Top 40/CHR
    Favorite: Early and mid 80's.
    Second: 2014 to present
    Third: 1956-1958
    Fourth: 1965-1970
    Fifth: 1976-1978

    Country: 1987-1997

    Latin Pop / CHR: 1973-1982

    Salsa: 1976-1985

    Vallenato: no really bad years.

    Tango: Late 20's through the 30's.
    Broadcasting Magazine and Yearbooks, RCA Broadcast News, Television Magazine, Radio Annual, Radio News, Sponsor, Television/Radio Age, R&R, Duncan's American Radio, M Street Directory, Broadcast Engineering, db, and more.

  8. #18
    I recently came to the realisation that I'm a music fan that hates music. As far as I'm concerned the best years for pop/top 40 were 1955-1967 and then again from 1982-1988 (and even as far as 88 is concerned, anything released before August of that year) Most of the hit songs of the first half of 88 were really singles from albums recorded in 86 and 87. By the time the summer was half over, new songs from new albums had been released and the music had drastically changed, and I just haven't been able to get into anything released post 1988.
    For Alternative it really was 83 to about 91. After 91 it was ok but went on a quick downward spiral until about 1998, when it picked up again until about 2007-08. Now I find it boring and unchallenging. I hated Metal growing up but once it got really heavy and the vocalists dropped a few octaves, it became listenable for me.
    I've never liked country, but I can appreciate some of the early stuff.
    I though the music coming out of Mexico in the 90's was very good and I became a huge fan of most of what I heard. It was very different for me, not something you hear in Canada. I also like really high energy merengue. Salsa doesn't do much for me, but there are some tracks that still blow my mind when I hear them.
    Nowadays, I mostly listen to baroque and classical, as well as the romantic (classical) music of the 1800's. I still can't quite get into modern (post 1900) classical. I do know that there continues to be good music being made, but I just don't like it very much. I thought then (and now) that the 70's were terrible with some exceptions. The stuff that was good was brilliant, the rest I can do without. I'd say 99% of all music I hear annoys me, but, there has been enough made since the dawn of music that I love. So that's why I call myself a music fan who hates music.

  9. #19
    1. rnb and rock from 1964-1974
    2. Pop/rock/rnb from 1982-1986
    3. rnb and rock from 1975-1979
    4. hip hop 1988-1998
    5. pop music 2010 to present
    6. hip hop 1998-2005
    7. rnb and rock 1955-1963
    8. alternative rock 1991-1996

  10. #20
    cyberdad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Crystal Lake, IL
    Quote Originally Posted by boombox4 View Post
    Hate to say it, but in my view there was no 'best' or 'worst' period per-se
    Excellent point. If we're talking about for me, personally, probably 1961-1967. The early (Pre-Beatle) 60s are often overlooked, because as boombox pointed out, there was a lot of "crap" out there then. But there was also some really good stuff. The four years 1964-67 (inclusive) was loaded with revolutionary and exciting stuff. Then, for the ten years 1968 and beyond, the bloom was beginning to wear off the "revolutionary and exciting", but there was still a lot of good music.

    I'd also give a nod to the years 1954-58 when rock music was more or less being "perfected" before the controversy over payola made programmers, record companies, and artists nervous.

    That's not to say anything against 1979-present, but I'm talking about my own personal tastes.
    Last edited by cyberdad; 08-11-2017 at 12:14 PM.
    Owner of a radio receiver

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