Music from the golden era—and by that I mean from the 50s to the late 80s—was the sole reason for the medium to have such a following. The classics that have gone by can never be compared, or replaced, with new-age electronic and the likes. When I started presenting (back then, the responsibility of the play list was totally on the presenter), I always made sure that along with the hits of the 90s, there was also a generous topping of classics.
The mix was important then and even more so now. When you listen to a play list from any station, be it regional or niche, the room lights up whenever you hear an old gold track. That’s why they’re called classics. However, in the last five years, music has been progressively taking on new avatars. For instance, take Indian film music that is played on regional stations: a few songs catch your fancy, but the rest only inspire you to become a composer yourself.
English music has also had its mishaps. Many good musicians have either been overdosing or committing suicide, and the new bunch have only a few individuals that keep the flag flying high. In a lot of tracks, the lyrics are terrible and it amazes me how these songs even made it past the recording studio. Some songs only have moans and a line with a percussion beat, while some have singers who’d give a frog a superiority complex.
The downside is that it gets played on radio because of its popularity—not in this country, but in the land of liberty.
Radio units around the country should reconsider their respective music policies because of such ‘creative’ music that is being produced on a factory scale. It’s imperative to be in the present and play the mixes that matter. That said, a re-look into the music policy would refresh and revitalise not only the station but also translate into fresh and healthy playlists for the listener. See you next week with more radio talk.
The writer’s views expressed here are entirely in his personal capacity.