Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Music Content In An A.D.D. World

I started to type the title of this post as 'Music Content in an A.D.D. Generation' when I realized that it's not a generational thing at all.  A.D.D. is a characteristic of the World we ALL live in. From Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y/Millennials to Generation Z we're all in this together.

Over the past few months my music team and I have been working hard on our 'Top 100 Music Videos Ever' list to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of Much. This might sound like a simple task - but there's a very big difference when it comes to the GREATEST music videos vs. the most ICONIC videos of all time.  We're looking for the most amazing videos that stand the test of time and are truly deserving of inclusion in this list.  This is an example of an ICONIC video that does NOT belong on our list.  It's a difficult task and so we've been watching thousands of videos for the past few months narrowing things down as best we can. 

We're almost there and I can't wait to share the final list :)

Back in 1981 MTV was the ONLY place you could watch music videos in the America.  In Canada it wasn't until 1984 that we had our own offering which came in the form of MuchMusic.  This was the place were I learned about many of my favourite artists and picked up in new ones along the way.  It was the only place to learn about new music at the time. Much was a monopoly when it came to music content and that continued for decades.  If you wanted to see the new Bon Jovi, U2, Barenaked Ladies or Twisted Sister videos then the only place you could watch was on broadcast television on one specific channel. It sounds crazy when you say it that way - knowing what we know today.   

In the late 90s Napster took the music world by storm and excited a new generation all at the same time.  This brand new peer-to-peer file sharing service allowed computers to communicate with others globally - and more importantly share files.  Files that contained music from all of their favourite recording artists big and small.  This opened the flood gates for torrent sites allowing users to share movies, television shows and music videos too.  
It was the beginning of the beginning, not the the beginning of the end.  Now you can access anything at anytime and anywhere and it's wonderful.

While screening potential videos to make this list we've become very aware of the transformation and evolution of how people consumer music content.  Michael Jackson was making 16 minute music videos like Thriller and Bad in the 80s with the help of Martin Scorsese and John Landis.  These videos were epic feature film like pieces set to the music of MJ. These visual interpretations of songs gave the fans a chance to dive in and analyse the song more - and give them visual context to what the artist had been singing about in the first place.  Well that's the theory anyway.  It wasn't just Michael either - Madonna, Peter Gabriel, Queen, Aerosmith, Aha and more where making magic in this era.

What I'm getting at is that since television used to be the only place to watch videos people paid full attention to the music video in question.  There were no distractions or skip buttons in the 80s and early 90s.   

I believe music content's getting better and better and that there's more of an appetite for it than ever before.  There's just more buffet style consumption going on and so you'd better be making great music to cut through the clutter.

Jimmy Iovine has been quoted saying that "Curation is the key".  I know this is as fact.  We see direct results when we curate specific play lists to compliment events like festivals, big shows and current events.  I also listen to curated play lists regularly on streaming services. You need people that eat sleep and breathe music to filter things for the masses since most people just don't have the time or energy to do it themselves.  This is exactly what we've been doing and I really hope that you take some time to check it out.  It's an epic 11 hours long - so set your VCRs and stock up in VHS tapes.  Or you can take the list and skip through them on YouTube later.  Regardless - trust our picks and enjoy!

Tune in to Much on Saturday, August 30th at 10am EST for 11 hours of what we've deemed the 'Top 100 Music Videos Ever'.  

Here's a few of my personal favourite music videos that may or may not make the cut...

Temper Trap - 'Love Lost' 

Miike Snow - 'The Wave'

Depeche Mode - 'Wrong'

Michael Jackson - 'You Rock My World'

Grum - 'Through The Night'

Thanks for reading/listening,

PS.  I know that I truly do have the greatest job when this is what I've been up to for the past while.