Sunday, July 13, 2008

The trouble with Radio

Years ago, radio was king. All the latest hits or bands could be heard by millions of people. I myself became a rock convert thanks to radio. Then the almighty MTV came around and took a huge bit of the pie but the combination of both these mediums took rock and metal to awesome heights. Then MTV changed direction and stopped marketing or showing videos and bands to focus on the insipid trend they spawned in reality tv.


Radio was still here. So you would think that it would go back to being the go-to medium to hear tons of great music and new bands right? Wrong. Instead of picking the baton back up they are still going with the same tired programming they've been doing for decades. You can literally turn on your favorite radio station at any time of the day and I guarantee you will hear a track from something that was a hit years ago and played to death then. All request hours are being filtered for people that call in and still want to hear Papa Roach's "Last Resort" or "Soudgarden's "Spoonman". Meanwhile the people that ask for obsure requests are denied.

What I really find hilarious is that now 20 years later we're hearing old school Metallica on the radio like Welcome Home or Fade to Black, which never got any air play back in the day because those songs which were previously dubbed too heavy for radio yet Slayer still goes unplayed, Overkill still goes unplayed and no one from any Norwegian countries is getting played. Why must we endure crappy tracks from Killswitch Engage's cover of Holy Diver and totally bypass anything from Opeth or Nevermore?

Rush has had 19 studio albums and only about 4 songs from that massive collection get played to death. That seems wrong to me. How many Ozzy albums have been released and all we hear is "Crazy Train" or "Bark at the Moon". Apparently according to radio Black Sabbath only ever released "Paranoid" and "Iron Man". 40 years of music and that's all we get?
People want to know why the music industry is suffering, well here is a big part of it. If I want to get a whiff of what's new out there I have to go to Pandora internet radio or something similar. Well frankly the general public isn't aware of alot of these outlets other then Itunes or Rhapsody and even then its too much work to sort out music online.
Radio really needs to get over the corporate red tape it put itself in and start addressing issues like this with alot of great music going unnoticed except for word of mouth. Satellite radio was supposed to help with this with commercial free expanded programming but it turned into a just cable tv for the ears. Alot of programming but very little substance. I believe it's a win win for the audience and the stations if the playlist gets a significant overhaul because more people will tune in thereby increasing revenue for the radio stations.
Music is made to be heard, and creativity doesn't stop with one hit or one album. So start playing some music radio, because right now you're part of the problem instead of being a solution.

No comments: