Published on May 22nd, 2013 | by Alan Cross5
Why Do Some Technologically Advanced Countries Have Such Bad Taste in Popular Music?
This email arrive from Stefano today:
I just returned from a two week vacation in Israel where we traveled to the north then to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and south of Tel Aviv and throughout our travels I noticed a musical theme and that is that the popular music in Israel is the stuff from the 60’s and 70’s.
I heard a lot of Beatles being played, the old stuff like “Can’t Buy Me Love.” I also heard a bit of the Beach Boys and stuff like “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree.” I don’t even know who sings that one but we heard a lot of that genre of music.
My question for you to ponder if you like, is why, in a country that is so technologically advanced, are they listening to music that is 40 or 50 years old?
Great question. Here’s what I wrote back.
Great question about the bad taste in old music in Israel (well, as far as someone from Canada may be concerned.) I’m in Singapore right now and their taste is even worse. They seem completely frozen in the 80s–and the BAD 80s. Rick Astley. Tiffany. Billy Ocean. Whitney Houston. If they wanna rock, it’s Huey Lewis and the News–and even that’s pushing it.
The best I can figure is that it’s a matter of cultural, social, religious and political differences. There are many parts of the world that have almost zero experience with what we’d call “classic rock heritage.” If the society didn’t grow up with the Stones, Beatles, Led Zeppelin, etc., their development vis a vis the rest of the world becomes…well, stunted–at least compared to what we’re familiar with in Canada, the US, the UK and other territories.
Here in Singapore and other areas of SE Asia, rock never had much of a change to penetrate society because of the aforementioned cultural, social, religious and political conditions. They’re trying to catch up but unless you have millions of people who actually LIVED through the Elvis/Buddy Holly/Beatles/Stones/Zeppelin/Etc eras, you’re going to end up with something different.
Technological progress has nothing to do with it. There’s a lot more than that when it comes to divining a particular society’s musical preferences.
Anyone want to weigh in on this theory?