How Classic Rock is Spanning Generations

It's been a running joke with my friends since I was a teenager that I was an "old lady". I didn't like the music on the radio, didn't like staying up late, didn't like crowded bars, but according to an article from Psychology Today I'm not alone, and for some very interesting reasons.

The author starts by wondering what the appeal of 40-50 year old music would be to a bunch of teens and college kids, if he was listening to 50 year old music in the 70s when he was in college it'd be music from the Jazz Age of the early 20s which was incredibly outdated and not cool. He gives a few reasons why that's not the case with classic rock:

1. More Involved Parenting.Today’s young people benefited, for the most part, from greater involvement by parents (and step parents) in the rearing of children. In all likelihood, these more involved parents played their music — classic rock — to their kids. The kids grew up listening to it, hummed along, and it feels comfortable and acceptable to them, given their still-close relationships with their parents. [This might explain my fondness for Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, etc. – the music my parents used to listen to.]
2. The 60s and 70s are Culturally Enshrined.In the same way that the Roaring 20s are talked about fondly, the 1960s were considered a time of social and cultural revolution, and the emergence and acceptance of rock-and-roll music by the majority of Americans (rock bands debuted on the Ed Sullivan show!) make this a time that is looked back on as culturally important and a time of positive change and good times.
3. The 60s and 70s Musicians Were Truly Talented.This explanation has been mentioned to me by several millennials. They emphasize the quality of the music of the era, and the fact that most of these rock-and-rollers wrote their own songs and played the instruments. Perhaps the Classic Rock era is akin to the classical Baroque period of the mid-1700s.
4. The Baby Boomers Control the World. We recently went to the theatre to see a hit movie with the family, and once again, the soundtrack was full of classic rock songs from the 1960s and 1970s. My 13-year-old and I left the theatre both humming an Allman Brothers song from the film. There is no doubt that Baby Boomers control much of the media, and have a big hand in the kinds of music heard in movies, commercials, and on the radio.
5. Selectivity in What Gets Airplay. Older music has been “filtered” through the years, with only the most popular songs from the Rock Era getting regular airplay. Newer music doesn’t have the benefit of this filtering, and its newness means that it’s less memorable, and the “duds” are played right along with the songs destined to be classics.

I definitely think my love of classic rock stems from what I grew up listening to, although not everything my parents loved was a big hit with me (talking about Steely Dan obviously). There's definitely a big nostalgia factor to it but I also just love music that can impress me. If you need pure, raw talent to accomplish something and not a computer with the right software installed then I'm sold, and that goes for any modern artist as well (Ed Sheeran I'm looking at you). What do you think?


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