The death of pop: don’t blame it on the download [spiked-online.com]
While those born in the Sixties may cling to notions of pop’s ‘importance’, younger generations appear far less obsessive or even interested. Many argue that computer games, the internet and social media have filled the gap where buying vinyl and the music weeklies used to be. It is the impact of this new online world, and how it has altered people’s relationship to pop music, that partly informs Bob Stanley’s new book, Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Story of Modern Pop. A dense and thorough history of pop music, Stanley’s book actually stops in 1999 because it was at this point that pop music, as he sees it, ceased to be ubiquitous. Smash Hits, Select, Melody Maker and the BBC’s Top of the Pops are all gone. Chart hits no longer have much of an era-defining quality to them, and regional-based underground music scenes, based around small pub and club venues, barely exist in any meaningful way.
Thus Yeah Yeah Yeah appears as both a warm celebration of pop’s greatest hits and a forlorn elegy for a fading institution.