The answer to that question is simple: You should not need many if you have raw talent. That’s what the following chart from the folks at LOL Wall asserts, and I think they’re onto something. Granted they’re comparing a vapid modern pop tune (Beyonce’s “Run The World (Girls)”) to a classic rock song (Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”), but if the numbers they tallied are correct, it’s easy to explain why a lot of music is just terrible these days. Simply put, all the producers and writers in the world — not to mention all the Pro Tools, Auto-Tune and sonic manipulation at your disposal — cannot help you if your product is crap to begin with. Catering to the LCD is not always such a great idea. Actually, it sucks, and I don’t care how much money you make that way. A lot of people may be deceived, but hey, there’s no accounting for taste.
Beyond the already disposable nature of modern pop music, I assert that American Idol and other music competitions have played a big factor in the gradual decimation of the music industry and for many artists’ short-lived successes. Why did certain bands or artists become famous 20 or 30 years ago and maintain their staying power? They lived with their music and often lived it, going through the ups and downs of their lives and the music industry roller coaster rather than being churned out through a prefabricated pop machine. I wager most of those new “artists” won’t be around in 10 or 20 years, even though they may rake in the big bucks now. And that goes for established artists vainly trying to remain “hip” and “young”. But the intelligent, well-crafted music of Queen and their peers will live on. And rock on.