“I’m in the, ‘I can’t get my fingers to do that f——- F major chord’ phase.”
DJ Bob (@zczbob) October 24, 2013.
|One of many Heineken posters.|
I worked in advertising agencies, we used to refer to market research groups as
‘the ideas abattoir’, our reasoning being that good off-the-wall creative ideas
nearly always researched badly.
were examples to back this up. The great ‘Heineken Refreshes The Parts Other
Beers Cannot Reach’ campaign, for instance, researched abysmally, yet was one
of the most successful British ad campaigns ever.
|This famous VW campaign changed the face of advertising.|
campaigns like the 1960s’ ‘Think Small’ campaign for Volkswagon would also never have
reached first base, because today it would be considered too ‘negative’.
might even go as far as to say that the over-reliance on market research these
days has killed good advertising; because you know as well as I do that people
can manipulate market research to say anything they want it to say.
said, new research just released tells us our musical tastes change as we get
older (as if we didn’t know that already). It’s by the UK’s Cambridge
University, who surveyed more than 250,000 people over ten years, so it’s
probably far more reliable than your average market research. The average music
listener, the university concluded, passes through three musical stages, as he
or she ages: Intense, Contemporary and Sophisticated.
first stage, they found, is a liking for loud, intense, aggressive music when
|The Pistols in their prime. This is your ‘Intense’ musical phase.|
Therefore punk, metal, thrash and hard rock is mostly favoured by
teenagers looking to establish their identity. Mind you, I wouldn’t have
thought we needed research to tell us that; and what about all the punk, metal,
thrash and hard rock fans who are middle aged?
research also says there’s a tendency for young people to prefer music that
their parents cannot stand or find obnoxious. This was certainly true in the
1960s, when post-War parents were famous for being boring old farts, but these
days? When rockers like Keith Richards or Ian Hunter are old enough to be your great
second phase, the Cambridge research says, is when teenagers move into early
adulthood and start to socialise more in bars, clubs and at parties where
contemporary music like pop and rap tends to be played. I suppose this explains
why so many hard rock bands end up having big mushy pop ballads as hits. For
example, I remember REO Speedwagon being full-on hard rockers in the 70s, and
|REO Speedwagon. Still rocking in 2009.|
then having two syrupy number ones with ‘Keep On Loving You’ and ‘Can’t Fight
This Feeling’ in the 80s (as they moved into their 30s and 40s).
taste for pop fades, say the scientists, in early middle age when more
sophisticated genres like jazz and classical music takes over.
my case, I must admit to an enjoyment of operatic arias as I grow older. Perhaps
it was Jeff Lynne’s dynamic fuse of opera, pop and blues in Rockaria!, for his
fabulous Electric Light Orchestra in 1977, that originally turned me on. Punk’s
godfather, the late Malcolm McClaren was also into a bit of opera you might
recall. Remember his flirtation with Madam Butterfly? It was also McClaren, with Greek composer
Yanni, who arranged The Flower Duet from the French opera Lakmé by Delibes for
those sublime British Airways commercials in the 1990s.
Cambridge scientists say the sophistication of phase three marks a shift to a
|Malcolm McLaren’s Madam Butterfly sleeve.|
expression of our intellect and status plus a greater emotional
maturity. They also found that as you age, your musical tastes get less
pretentious, with far more older people than young people saying they like
blues, country and folk music. I know I’m definitely getting back into listening
to far more blues these days as I deteriorate.
too, it seems was the old man in the lift the other day who heard me talking
about blues to a friend. Aged about 90
and Swedish (he later told us), he exclaimed in broken English, “Are you
talking about bluesh, the music: bluesh?”
we’re talking about Lonnie Johnson.”
I just love the bluesh. Big Bill Broonshy, Blind Villie McTell, Shonny Boy
Villiamshon. Such fabuloush mushic”, he said, going on to list another 30 or 40
blues greats as he followed us out the lift and down the street.
like me and the old man, if you’re turning back to blues, now you know the
official. Your musical tastes do
change as you get older. And as for you younger folk who enjoy blues: well,
let’s say you’re obviously sophisticated beyond your years. So much so, perhaps, you might be interested in furthering your knowledge about the wonderful history of this music. Links to ‘How Blues Evolved’, available for a song at Amazon, can be found below:
How Blues Evolved in the UK is on the following link:
In the USA, please follow this link: