They Really Don’t Make Music Like They Used To

CreditCreditPeter Dazeley/The Image Bank, via Getty Images

(via The New York Times) By Greg Milner

It’s Grammy time, and as always, watching the awards ceremony on Sunday will include a subtext of cross-generational carping: “They don’t make music the way they used to,” the boomers and Gen Xers will mutter. And they’ll be right. Music today, at least most of it, is fundamentally different from what it was in the days of yore — the 1970s and 80s.

Last year, the industry celebrated a sales milestone. The Recording Industry Association of America certified that the Eagles’ “Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975),” was the best-selling album of all time, with sales of 38 million. (The formula took account of vinyl, CD and streaming purchases. Purists will have to put aside the fact that a greatest hits collection is not really an LP album as most of us know it.)

It was a full-circle moment — the album, released almost exactly 43 years ago, was the first to be awarded platinum status (sales of one million), an evocative reminder that songs were once commodities so valuable that millions of people would even buy them in repackaged form. It was also a taken as a quiet victory for people who believe that music today is too loud…

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