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By Rhea Sharma
There aren’t many people who don’t know the lyrics to songs such as “Hey Jude,” or “Bohemian Rhapsody.” What did artists like The Beatles and Queen all have in common? They stood through the test of time! But what makes them stand out more from the other artists of their generation? What about popular artists of today? Who are the artists from this generation that, fifty years from now, will still be playing on the radio?
I interviewed Jake Thurman, Callie Hartz, Daniel Knox, Elsie McNulty, and Kelsey Harvey on their stance on this topic. Most of them agreed on the reasons why old music is still so popular today. Also, they shared similar views on the current artists that will stand the test of time!
Bands such as The Beatles and Queen seem timeless (which they are), but while there were hundreds of good musicians during their time, these two were the ones that stuck out in the 60’s and 70’s. Despite being only ten years apart, they had such a difference in style of music. On one hand, The Beatles played mainly pop music, and on the other hand there is Queen, that played classic rock.
For Mr. Thurman, it was the legendary Freddie Mercury that did the trick. “Queen was popular because they had a charismatic and iconic front lead,” says Mr. Thurman. To the dazzling outfits to the dominant voice, Freddie Mercury had it all.
According to Callie Hartz, they were at the point where since they were so successful, if they put out one bad album or song, it wouldn’t matter. “They have already proven to be a good band, and it’s a safe thing to put a spin on a thing that is already successful,” says Callie. These artists could experiment all they wanted with different genres and rhythms. If it sounded bad—it wouldn’t matter!
The Beatles were and still are one of the greatest bands in music history. From hits like “Yellow Submarine” and “Let it Be,” the music of The Beatles is very different from the intensity of Queen. Did The Beatles change the way people heard music?
According to Mr. Thurman, it was that exact thing! “The beatles changed music and the volume of music they produced in such a short amount of time was amazing. Everybody wanted to beat them,” says Mr. Thurman. From the 50’s Oldies to the 60’s pop of The Beatles, music took a huge turn for the best!
Elsie McNulty likes the fact that all their albums sound different from one another. “They have a eclectic sound and they have a lot of music so people can listen to all their albums and they sound different,” says Elsie. The difference in their music was so widely accepted because there was a song for everyone!
Artists like Cardi B and Carrie Underwood have proven themselves to be great artists. But say you turn on your radio fifty years from now–will they still be playing in stores or on the radio? A lot of music today is focused controversial and political aspects. An excellent example is Beyonce’s album, “Lemonade,” especially the song “Formation,” focusing on the “Black Lives Matter Movement,” and women’s equality. Another example is Childish Gambino’s, “This is America,” which focused on police brutality. So when asked which artist was going to stay, people had similar views.
Mr. Thurman says artists like Kendrick Lamar, Beyonce, and Kanye West will still be popular. Elsie McNulty and Kelsey Harvey both said Beyonce as well. “She does a lot of tours and had a really large fan base and people are really loyal to her,” says Elsie. “Nobody can be Beyonce,” says Kelsey.
Do fans and loyalty matter? Well, duh! If there wasn’t loyalty and trust between the fans and artist, then they wouldn’t be popular.
Mr. Knox believes it will be artists like Taylor Swift that will stand time. “I think Taylor Swift could, she is one of the best songwriters of our generation,” says Mr. Knox. Swift surprised us all when she went from her album “Speak Now” to “1989” then her revenge album, “Reputation.”
All of these artists have an effect on us with their lyrics. They aren’t afraid to let us hear what they think of the world. They share their feelings with us through their music and most of the time, we can relate deeply to what they are saying. So, the final question is, who do you think will stand the test of time?
Image courtesy of Insider