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Music gets the best of me.

 
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Rachel
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 11:24 am    Post subject: Music gets the best of me. Reply with quote

Something I don’t understand. Binomial theorem? No, that’s quite easy. Quantum mechanics – again- easy-peasy. Radio. Yes. Ask anyone, well any of the people I’ve asked, and they'll tell you, like they did me, that the golden age of Radio was the mid 1960s. Pirate Radio. Ah-hargh Jim lad. Ok- I can understand that but didn’t they have adverts on Pirate Radio? I asked. Well, yes but it was different back then, it was all about the music and marijuana - who cared if they mentioned Marmite now and again. Well not me obviously, I was just a twinkle in the mid 60s. So why is Commercial Radio so poorly received (pardon the pun) today when it is essentially exactly what Pirate Radio was in the 60s. Great Music, Adverts and Chat. Ah well there you have it- nail on the head, sweetheart. In the 60s we had no choice. BBC Radio was rubbish- they never played any decent music. Ok, so it’s about the music? Yes. So if commercial radio played great music interspersed with the odd Marmite advert – you would listen to it? No. But you listen to Radio 2? Now and again- yes. So is it the music on Radio 2? Not really- they have a stupid play list. So why Radio 2 then? They don’t have adverts. Hmmm well, but they do have those irritating trailer things that are just like adverts? Yes. And? Well I can put up with those. Ok- so here’s the deal: you listen to a Radio Show that doesn’t play the music you like, but is interspersed with adverts you can just about tolerate, and you won’t listen to a radio show with great music that you do like because it’s interspersed with adverts you don’t like? Yes. So it’s not about the music at all is it? Not really. I give up.
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RockitRon



Joined: 07 Dec 2006
Posts: 7565

PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh dear, you've stunned us all into silence with that pearl of insight, Rach.

I think the problem those of us over... 46 ...have is that we have memories which make us think that pop radio in the 1960s and 1970s was so good, in comparison with today. I've taken off the rose-tinted headphones and had a realistic think back.

In truth, the presentation of most of the pirate radio shows was shambolic; for every Dave Cash and Kenny Everett there was a Dave Dennis and Chuck Blair. The music playlist was very restricted: The Big L Fab 40 was sometimes very eccentric, and the whiff of payola hung in the air around both London and Caroline. Apart from anything else they didn't have room on board the old ships for a record collection. They broadcast on AM Medium Wave, which was just about bearable, on a tinny tranny radio, during the daytime, but the signal wandered off to Zagreb after the sun went down, so the one decent show for lovers of "progressive" music, John Peel's Perfumed Garden, was lost to the ether, unless you happened to live in Frinton-on-Sea.

The only thing that made it good was that it wasn't the Beeb Beeb Ceeb, and it played pop 24 hours a day, instead of per year.

We'll ignore the start of Radio 1, which was rather makeshift, because the Musicians Union still restricted needle time, so pop had to share space with Max Jaffa and Cliff Adams, Bill McGuffie, and Norrie Paramor's Orchestra doing instrumental versions of Top 20 songs.

Edward Heath's Conservatives promised commercial radio - see, he wasn't only responsible for the three-day-week - and in 1973 it came to pass. Independent Local Radio. Now, I'm not privvy to the full terms and conditions but in essence there were licences for one London news station and several general stations throughout the UK whose main remit was to provide a local service. To a man they decided to replicate Radio 1 and play pop music during the day and have specialist music shows in the evening. They recruited old pirate DJs who had failed the Radio 1 auditions, and some who they found in biscuit factories and hospitals. A few of them were quite good, but the majority would have embarassed Smashie and Nicey. The daytime playlist was Top 40 pop and soft rock, and sometimes you could set your watch by what was played - if you heard Lady by Supertramp it was 2.30 on a Tuesday afternoon. And the adverts were a legend in their own lunchtime. Fossit & Thorne remoulds and socket sets; A W Turpin's hoggetts and steers; Johnstone's bras and girdles.

What made them seem so good was that they had (what was perceived as) a local identity. Piccadilly for Manchester, Trent for Nottingham, Kennet for somewhere else (Reading, thank you). They had their own teams of DJs so there were different voices on each station. (Didn't matter that none of them were born within 50 miles). And they had rock shows and country and western, or jazz or soul or folk for three hours in the evening.

So, fast forward to today.
Radio 2 now caters for those of us who listened to the pirates and Radio 1 until we were 35 (about the time Bannister & Dann got their broom out). The music played reflects that, but doesn't seem to realise that we grew up and spent our spare cash on something a bit more challenging than Abba, Queen and Rod Stewart. However, for easy listening during the day when we're not concentrating it's OK. What we the listener can't make our mind up about is which DJs we want to hear coming out of our DAB toaster. Some want rid of those who nearly qualify for the free bus pass, but others decree a young(ish) mum and a zany bloke in dark glasses who likes Ferraris to be pariahs. And I'd better not mention comedians and television celebrities, even if they might have started off in radio.

Over in the commercial sector, the economic facts of life have kicked in. Running individual local stations is expensive, and the advertising revenue hasn't been covering the licence and PRS fees, let alone paying for the staff and delivering a dividend to the shareholders. A succession of mergers and cost-cutting measures has reduced all those friendly local entities down to five national networks churning out music from playlists so bland they make Radio 2's look esoteric; the specialist shows were the first to disappear. The presentation is seamless from one end of the day to the other, overseen by old/retired/rejected Radio 1/2 DJs and a few who have graduated through the local commercial broadcasting classroom. The ads are still annoying.

So in conclusion, during the greater part of the day, there's very little to choose between the radio you pay for with your television licence and the radio you pay for every time you buy something from Wickes or Tesco.

And in addendum there's Planet Rock. Beloved of Colin B, amongst others. I should too. It now plays a lot of what I like. It looks as though it has changed quite a bit in the last year and now caters less for the heavy metal fan - in the last hour only Iron Maiden and Motorhead, hardly hardcore - and I bet they're not 'appy. Despite that, I get tired of it quickly, and its trails and jingles still think it's a heavy metal station, and they are a pain.

I don't think I've answered the question. But personally, for all its faults, for the opportunity (rarely excercised) to hear celtic folk or a silver band in the evening, and for its relative variety and professionalism during the day, I still prefer BBC Radio 2.
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Last edited by RockitRon on Thu Oct 07, 2010 2:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ColinB
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow.

And I got a mention!!! Smile

(PS: You're right about the Planet Rock jingles "If music be the food of love - stand by for a good rogering" and so on. Very silly and very 'eavy).
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Rachel
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh gosh! Blimey that’s me told! I thought there was no replies cos I'd said something stupid... again. Smile


Someone said to me the other day.. and I quote…

“The industry is in meltdown. There’s hardly any jobs and the ones there are pay nothing.”

I tried Planet Rock for three days in the kitchen but my DAB toaster is back on Radio 2 now. Smile
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littlepieces



Joined: 10 Jan 2010
Posts: 1098
Location: Lowestoft

PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I work nights so i hear janice and alex and the playlist is quite good and not too many jingles.When i come in i have either chris hawkins on 6 or alice on pr but this morning i listened to absolute radio and all it seemed to be was adverts(btw if i hear about a chipped windscreen once more i will smash my front windscreen)
I don't get up till about 2 and i can't listen to steve wright who is just the same as he was 10 years ago so i listen to my own stuff...very much into pearl jam at the moment.
On the whole i like the bbc because they have better presenters and no commercials
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ColinB
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rachel wrote:
Someone said to me the other day.. and I quote…

“The industry is in meltdown. There’s hardly any jobs and the ones there are pay nothing.”


How very true. And yet they still sign up for "media" courses in the forlorn hope that they'll "make it"!

A young hopeful asked me the other day: "How do I get into broadcasting?".

My reply was simple: "Why?"

Smile
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RockitRon



Joined: 07 Dec 2006
Posts: 7565

PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a school of thought that they sign up for "media studies" because they're perceived as being easy.
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Ron
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ColinB
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RockitRon wrote:
There is a school of thought that they sign up for "media studies" because they're perceived as being easy.


They think it's sexy! A lot of 'em think that "media studies" is the same as "media" - and that's part of the problem.
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