I can’t say goodbye: classic rock is popular again, but it doesn’t make me happy
In the UK, the reissue of the Beatles ‘ “Abbey Road” album topped the national charts in early autumn. And now interest in this chic box with a lot of additional material has not dried up. Why am I not happy about this fact?
All-knowing statistics show that this happened 49 years 252 days after the record went down from the first place. “It’s hard to believe that Abbey Road is still holding up after all these years,” Paul McCartney himself tweeted. The Beatles broke their own record: the album ” Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band ” the gap between the top places in the UK charts was 49 years and 125 days.
It’s not that I don’t like the Beatles. I like the late period, for example. And a solo Lennon. And Harrison has somehow opened up over the years. And a solo McCartney. And a box set with a CD of all the albums of 2009 I bought for myself. In General, a lot of Beatles I like, what to hide. Well, talking about “classics” is already somewhat inconvenient. Classic — it is a classic! But, to be honest, this Beatlemania is already fucked up. Half a century is the same thing. Why?Classics, in theory, should not lead in the charts. It is a transcendent thing, so to speak: it permeates our culture — and that’s it. And the Beatles culture is certainly saturated: all rock styles somehow either grew out of their albums, or took something from them. Or how punk rock sharply denied them, although here, too, remains to be seen.
The album “Abbey Road” is Packed with great songs (my favorite is the final triad “Carry that Weight/Golden Slumbers/The End”) – with this, too, few people argue. It is logical that this album, reissued with a lot of additional material, “went” to a very different audience. But the reissues of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin are also in high demand — although what have you not heard there?And on music forums still argue, which of the editions of the epochal heavy album” In Rock “by Deep Purple is more “chic spelled out”. It’s the twenty-first century. Classic rock beats sales on media (on vinyl for sure, on CD too) and is normally listened to in streaming. This is the gold reserve that saves the record industry. People seem to have nothing more to listen to. Absurd? Not really.The point is that there was a hierarchy at the time. As in my Soviet childhood: there is Michael Jackson, Madonna, Depeche Mode, and everyone knows them. The Americans even coined the term “household names”. In our language: “from any iron” or “every housewife knows”. And all the megastars now are either rock dinosaurs of the turn of the 60s and 70s, or stars of the 80s, or those who started in the early 90s (for example, Robbie Williams).
With the spread of music on the Internet, the hierarchy disappeared. There is an economic reason for this: show business corporations do not want to invest in advertising songs and albums that everyone will download for free. No, they earn something on streaming, selling all sorts of Apple Music and Spotify entire catalogs for millions of dollars, but there is not very clear what and how to promote. Download someone-and thank God. That’s why they bet on a sure thing. And still: when some strange Billy Ailish shoots-well, it’s not Michael Jackson. And there will be no more Jacksons. Like the Beatles.So we live in a world of retromania. This term was coined by the English journalist and mass culture researcher Simon Reynolds. In his opinion, culture does nothing but reproduce itself — for complex psychological and economic reasons. You won’t be able to talk about them within a column, because the book itself is a thousand pages long, plus an endless maze of footnotes. But the concept is extremely convincing. See for yourself.
We read historical novels (more precisely, candy-glossy stories about the old days: good, clean, when neat gentlemen went to Church on Sundays, crunched French bread, did not flog peasants and did not sell black slaves). Watching remakes of even recent original “Joker” cinephiles found reference to Martin Scorsese. It would seem that where are children’s comics, and where is the classic Scorsese? But now everything is so arranged and mixed up. Why, there is no hierarchy!So, in my unenlightened opinion, the leadership of the Beatles in the charts after half a century says not so much about what the Beatles are good and talented (this is understandable), but about the fact that we, dear compatriots, music lovers and musicians, are not good with imagination, interest and choice.