Random Rantings

This Just In… The Decline of NME deplored

Spot the difference…

Syd1

taylor-swift-on-the-cover-of-nme-and-gq-split

When Ozymandias were a lad, back in the ’70s, he could take his pick of three “quality” music weeklies. New Musical Express, authoritative and sarcastic, was the market leader. Melody Maker, which it had supplanted in that role, stumbled along in its wake like an embarrassing uncle dancing drunkenly at the party, clumsily jumping on band wagons that were about to run out of steam. Sounds flung itself headlong into whatever fad was flavour of the month, revamping itself to look like a primitive fanzine (even though it was being published by United Newspapers) at the height of the p*nk craze. All of them punked out in their turn, pretending that the music industry’s latest profit maximisation wheeze was some kind of radical grass roots movement and playing along with the facile “Year Zero” narrative. Musical merit became less important than the ability to sport stupid haircuts and spout swear words on TV. And the new music got the new journalism it deserved. I stopped reading these comics when one of them (Sounds, I seem to remember) told me I was personally responsible for the suicide of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis (oh, just go and fuck yourself!) Predictably, Sounds and Melody Maker folded in their turn. I was recently reunited with NME, decades after having bought my last issue, by a guy handing out free copies in the street. It’s now a glossy, skimpy tip-sheet informing  trendy-bearded, skinny-jeaned hipsters from Spunkbridge Unversity exactly what they are expected to consume this week in the fields of fashion, movies, video games… oh and there’s even a bit of music, or what currently passes for it, too. You get unfunny cartoon strips, an unfunny column from “comedienne” Katherine Ryan, “features” such as the one in which random vegetables plucked from the streets reveal what they’re listening to on their i-Pods… and page after page of adverts. They’re charging too much for this thing by giving it away free! So far, so pitiful… but the bit that will really set Nick Kent, Charles Shaar Murray and co spinning in their graves is their former mouthpiece’s recommendation that we all rush out and purchase the new Justin Bieber record on account of “his shift from bubble-gum teen-pop to ass-shaking EDM” (whatever that is) and insistence that we “need (said platter) in our life” because “we’re all Beliebers now.” Hand me the Boot Room bucket… I think I’m going to be sick!

This rant previously appeared on the now defunct Bootroom Of Ozymandias blog.

Categories: Random Rantings | 2 Comments

” ‘Owzabout That Then, Guys & Gals?”… THE UK PROG CHART Unveiled

CM record 2.jpg

Hoop-de-frickin-doo… the Official Charts Company (OCC) has finally awarded the Prog genre its own (album) Hit Parade. See

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-34127025

The bad news (is there any good news?) is that the first chart shows efforts by Tame Impala (who?) and those wasters Muse outselling Roger Waters’ Amused To Death re-release… offerings from acts called Public Service Broadcasting and Symphony X, Joe Satriani  (sure, he can play but is he Prog?) and Faith No More (Prog, my arse!) are currently clocking up more sales than The Pink Floyd’s (admittedly a bit rubbish) Endless River.

OCC have also thoughtfully provided us with a cumulative Prog album chart for the 21st Century, which shows M*se’s Black Holes And Revelations shifting more units than Dark Side Of The Moon and Radiohead’s pitiful OK Computer outperforming Tubular Bells and Selling England By The Pound. Bear in mind though, that DSOTM, Tubular Bells and SEBT£ all did most of their (spectacular, in the case of the first two) cumulative business during the last Century.

Guys, you’ve cOCCked it up… Prog’s last stand was in 1977, when Yes released their last truly great album and Bill Buford quit the shit-hot touring line-up of Genesis, prior to Steve Hackett’s departure and that band’s decline into a slick pop act. Everybody who came after that were wasters and wannabes. Ozymandias has spoken…

This random rant previously appeared on the now defunct Bootroom Of Ozymandias blog.

Categories: Random Rantings | 1 Comment

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