Saturday, July 17, 2010

Day 17 — A song that you hear often on the radio

I barely listen to the music-playing portions of the radio because they're so wretched, and I came to that conclusion back at a moment of "classic" rock radio when the playlist alternated between America-the-band's signature bongo-accompanied nightmare "Horse with No Name" and even more deliriously awful crap I hope I never remember by Steve Winwood. It's bad enough that I remember his name, and compelling testimony to the repetitiousness and narrowness of the playlist as it existed at the time.

Back then -- early to middle 1980s -- I already possessed the tedious habit of expecting words to be used in keeping with their meaning, so it never made sense to me that a then-contemporary performer like Winwood would be getting such non-stop airplay on radio stations that claimed to offer "classic" rock. This begs the question of why his music would seem suitable for any radio playlist, but whatever.

These same "classic" rock stations would not, at the time, deign to consider works by Velvet Underground, Beach Boys, Rush, Tom Waits, or Leonard Cohen, let alone the likes of U2, R.E.M., Talking Heads, the Police, the Cure, Blondie, the Clash, or anyone else who didn't sing of nameless horses or appear in the vocalist credits of Steve Winwood singles. It was rare even to hear Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, Dylan, or the Beatles played on "classic" rock stations in those days; no surprise, in a way, since wedging their songs into playlists ranging from "Horse with No Name" to whatever Steve Winwood last farted into a studio microphone is an impossibility.

Do I repeat myself? So did "classic" rock radio in the 1980s. It is fucking annoying, isn't it?

I had forgotten how much I dislike Steve Winwood's music until I composed this post. Thanks, post!

This is part of the 30-Day Music Meme.


AW said...

Lady Gaga's 'Bad Romance' is getting way too much air play these days. I don't know if I can agree with you about Steve Winwood. Granted, anything he did after the 'Low Spark of High Heeled Boys' album was trash, but back in the Paleolithic period when the needle was discovered, presumably for use on vinyl,'Many a Mile To Freedom' was good, and the title song was a must while bonging the weed. Or so I hear.

Dale said...

AW, I trust you're right about Lady GaGa's song; I'm slightly familiar with it but I have no idea where I'd even find her songs on the local dial (and I am not asking). She doesn't seem quite as hopelessly stupid as some on the "pop" end of things, but, again, I barely know what I'm talking about in the best of circumstances, and in this case, I'm way at sea.

It irked me that Winwood was releasing stuff and it was getting played on 'classic' stations the next day. That's a small thing and a forgiveable one; the playing his songs three or five or twelve times per hour non-stop took it too far.

It's not really his fault, of course, but the 'classic' rock radio of the 80s put me in a state of eternal enmity with Steve Winwood. Other stations did the same with Lionel Ritchie and Genesis/Phil Collins and a couple of others.