The Rise & Fall of…
After taking a long (undeserved) break, I have finally picked up a pen again – yes I do hand write to an extent in advance. I would like to say it helps with sanity checking the grammar and punctuation etc but I fear not.
As the eve of 2017 approaches (it’s currently December 29th), and the post Christmas lull is in its full glory, I find myself, as many others, reflecting on the last 12 months and acquiescing that it’s been an unprecedented year in many ways.
My introduction to 2016 was unorthodox to start – with a live broadcast message from the International Space Station courtesy of Tim Peake. It was a fascinating event and I loved following his mission this year. Way back in January however, little did I know what the following 365 days were going to entail. It’s been a whirlwind of political revelations and bewilderment on a global scale. We have witnessed sporting phenomena and an extraordinary wealth of home-grown talent via Team GB at the Rio Olympics, Wales’ incredible performance at the Euros (yes, I’m still going on about it), not to mention Andy Murray’s home run of achievements this year among just a few.
In other news, however, it’s also been an unprecedented year for mourning the loss of an unrivalled amount of personalities and public figures. I’m not going to dwell on a list that we’re all aware of and saddened by. What I have noticed though is that we’re not creating musical legends like before.
I may be wrong here and it’s well worth a discussion over a pint but in my humble opinion, the most recent generation of musicians are a new breed and don’t appear to have the longevity and personal character traits that we’ve witnessed in the likes of Prince, George Michael or David Bowie.
It may be that it’s too early to tell or it may be that I’m right and circumstances prove that creating legends is a thing of the past. This could be down to the fact that music is so readily available and disposable today, the space is more crowded, consumers become fickle and less invested in an artist which, in turn, means focus is almost exclusively on the music. We’re less about associating artists with a certain look or style and more about just appreciating the sound.
For example, Michael Jackson will always be remembered for the ‘Moonwalk’, the Thriller video and the white glove (among other things). Madonna’s iconic cone bra, Vogue routine and reams of bangles. Prince’s purple obsession, his weird ‘Symbol’ phase and overall deliberate elusiveness, and then of course there was the King of reinvention himself, Ziggy Stardust. I can’t think of any current artist that holds the same kind of standing. The closest I can think of is Lady GaGa but even then, I’m not convinced she’s at ‘icon’ status (no offence to her!).
I may be way off the mark here and I may well be speaking out of turn but I’m simply voicing my view for what it’s worth.
I’m unlikely to lose sleep over the matter but it’s definitely a topic to put on the pub conversation list!