So, there is this THING going around facebook, and no I will not link to it here – it’s stupid! In an honest attempt to not steal stupid content, I will tell you is that it’s on http://www.buzzfeed.com and the title is: “12 Extremely Disappointing Facts About Popular Music”and it lists out random facts like, “Led Zeppelin, REM, and Depeche Mode have never had a number one single, Rihanna has 10” and “Ke$ha’s “Tik-Tok” sold more copies than ANY Beatles single.”
And the list is full of little factoids like that.
When music was hard copy only, how many singles did you buy? I bought exactly two, in my entire life, and I’m not too proud to admit it. The first one was a record of Miami Sound Machine’s “Conga.” The second was Chely Wright’s “Shut up and Drive.”
Now. Now that music is digital, how many single songs have I purchased?
I can’t even count. When a song is a dollar, and an album is at least ten times that, I am way more likely to just choose the songs I like the best and buy them.
When I was younger, the cost of an album was enough that I had no problem sitting in my room for hours listening to the radio to tape good songs as they came on. I rarely ever bought albums – I bought every New Kids on the Block, Madonna, and Debbie Gibson album, a Beatles greatest hits album, a handful of Indigo Girls albums, and a few more – and they were all ON TAPE. Not to mention, in high school, I mostly bought musicals on tape. Yeah, yeah, I know. Les Miserables, Jekyll and Hyde, Phantom of the Opera, even A Chorus Line.
Do you think that even the dorky kids in school have such a weird music collection? No.
Technology is so pervasive that the great majority of kids expect to own iPods. Do you understand that I had to save up my allowance for a knock-off walkman… that played cassettes? I never owned a discman until after high school. I got my very first CD player when I was 18.
So. Music used to be WAY less accessible. WAY.
And there were also fewer people on the planet.
And there was no internet for most of the earlier artists that they are referencing.
It’s not even like comparing apples to oranges. It’s like comparing apples to… broccoli.
But, really, reading things like that gets my brain whirring, wondering if anyone out there is trying to make a reasonable comparison, and how I can get my hands on that information.