Wednesday, June 22, 2011

On the state of modern pop music

During the week, Mike Stock, (he of Stock, Aitken and Waterman fame) decried the state of modern pop music lyrics and music videos.

He said that performers such as The Pussycat Dolls and Rihanna had taken music into “a slow but unmistakable descent into pornography.”

I thought for a moment about this, and realised that for the older generation to criticise music popular with young people is not a new phenomenon. The Beatles and Elvis Presley were once disapproved of as well.

I then compared the style of the pop hits that Stock, Aitken and Waterman produced back in the eighties. The songs of the likes of Mel and Kim, Rick Astley, Sinitta were, from memory, catchy, inoffensive pop songs, with no sexual references. None of their stable of performers ever resorted to sexualised imagery to generate sales or push boundaries.

I recall that critics of Stock, Aitken and Waterman, said that many of their songs sounded identical, and some of their artists lacked vocal ability. On their songs, some of their artists only sounded in tune thanks to some technical wizardry done in the recording studio.

Still, back in their heyday, Stock Aitken and Waterman did produce a lot of fun pop music; something that has been sadly absent from the Top 40 lately.

Back in the late nineties to the early noughties, there were the boy bands, and groups like The Spice Girls and Steps.

I have to agree with Stock. If anything, his comments reminded me of why I no longer watch programs like Video Hits, avoid the likes of MTV when I’m at the gym, and haven’t listened to commercial FM radio for some time.


  1. Yes, but didn't SAW produce the likes of Mandy Smith, Sabrina Salerno, and Samantha Fox? Some of their songs had suggestive lyrics, from memory.

  2. That's right. I wonder why he neglected to mention them?

    Don't forget the likes of Dead or Alive and Divine, too.