The Plagues Of The Modern Music Age    A copyrighted essay by Erik R., 1999

Aerosmith can mean so many things to so many different people. For the casual rock fan, they are a great band that had a few good songs that are grossly overplayed on rock radio. To avid VH1 fans, they are a rock band that have paid their dues through drug and alcohol abuse. To most classic rock fanatics, their early albums are a real treasure, but for some reason their 80's and 90's work is lacking something.

And that thing is creative intervention.

The thing is, Aerosmith was spending too much time trying to sound like Aerosmith, and not nearly enough time trying to be creative, or at least original. On their 70's stuff, a someone from the group wrote a song (usually Tyler or Perry) and if they needed help on it they asked another member of the group to help them. The result was more often than not an at least decent song. Come the late 70's, their creativity and ideas began to slip, so they needed something else. Something to give them great ideas for a song that sounded like Aerosmith but would also sell and get them back in the limelight.

And that something was outside writers. Outside writers show exactly what a band can do if anything. Aerosmith is a good example of a group that simply ran out of steam but still had inklings of ideas for songs. When they couldn't finalize it with any of the band members, they went to a stable of real creative writers-Desmond Child, Mark Hudson, Richie Vallance, amongst others.

For fun let's look at some statistics.

On Aerosmith's first classic album, Toys In the Attic, they had virtually no outside writers, but wrote all but 1 of the original songs themselves! The tracklisting and writers are as follows:

Outside writers are in Bold Print.

1.Toys In The Attic (Tyler/Perry)      5. Sweet Emotion (Hamilton/Tyler)

2.Uncle Salty (Hamilton/Tyler)          6.No More No More (Perry/Tyler)

3. Adam's Apple (Tyler)                    7. Round And Round (Tyler/Whitford)

4. Walk This Way (Perry/Tyler)          8. You See Me Crying (Solomon/Tyler)


On their second comeback hit, 1993's Get A Grip, things had changed....

1. Eat The Rich (Tyler/Perry/Vallance)            7.Shut Up And Dance (Tyler/Perry/Blades/Shaw)

2.Get A Grip (Tyler/Perry/Vallance)               8.Cryin'' (Tyler/Perry/Rhodes)

3. Fever (Perry/Tyler)                                    9. Gotta Love It (Hudson/Perry/Tyler)

4. Livin'' On The Edge (Hudson/Tyler/Perry) 10. Crazy (Tyler/Perry/Child)

5. Flesh (Tyler/Perry/Child)                           11.Line Up (Tyler/Perry/Child)                                 

6. Walk On Down (Perry)                             12. Amazing (Supa/Tyler)

Sheesh!! Only 2 original songs out of the bunch.  And where's bassist Hamilton or guitarist Whitford's efforts? Don't get me wrong, a lot of the songs on this are very good. It's just what's behind it that kind of irks me.

Another group nearly exactly like this is Kiss. Their 70's output was all fantastic with all albums featuring few outside writers (other than producers) and no studio musicians. That is until the '79 effort Dynasty, on which their were numerous outside musicians and a few writers. By '82s Creatures Of The Night, it was the end of their creative era. There is a ton of good stuff on their following releases, but there was absolutely no creativity.

Waiting for me to enter the 90's? Well what happens these days makes Kiss look like the most talented band in history. Take the Backstreet Boys, for example. Not only are there more writers on their albums than drug addicts at a Marilyn Manson Appreciation Society meeting, but they don't even write any of their songs or play any of their own instruments!! PLUS they are prefabricated(i.e. made just to line record company reps pockets)! DISmissed!!!!

It's just like a return to the 50's. Remember the 50's?? Where pop music was made for the  sole purpose of making people rich?? That is until The Beatles came along, then everything changed. So I guess that we need another Beatles..........bad.

Here is a  list of talented and not talented groups in the 90s and why.

Talented 90s

Most good alt. rock artists (Cracker, Smashing Pumpkins, Live, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soungarden, Offspring Greenday) or heavy metal groups (Metallica, Creed, etc) are very talented.  Their songs and instrumentation are incomparable to most 90's rock. However, there are quite a few in these categories (Rage Against The Machine, Korn, Insane Clown Posse, Limp Bizkit, etc) that are talented by definition, yet not musicwise, that is they write their own songs and perform them but they're so pointlessly heavy or stupid that most times you can't even call them songs.

Believe it or not, their are some talented pop musicians out there: Everlast is the only one off the top of my head.

Talentless 90s

Most mainstream pop singers or groups (Britney Spears, 'N Sync, All Saints, Christina Aguilera, I could go on all day) have no talent whatsoever in music, but only in bad dance moves and trying to look good.

Added to this list are any rappers on the No Limit or related record labels. That is basically saying gangsta rappers. I mean geese how hard is it to get a couple session keyboardists (or just play the synths yourself) and rap enough vulgar language to fill up a 40 minute CD??? There is nothing resembling a 'song' in gangsta rap. No structure, no real instruments, no real lyrics, nothing. Need I  say more?????? NO!!!! DISmissed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



From the beginning of music through the 80's, the story has been the same throughout music: the bulk of musicians on the scene were talented.  Here's a list, era by era, of the mainstream music forms an their talented and talentless musicians and genres.

Ancient Age 1900 and before

Everyone that writes music down is talented-Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, etc.

Premodern Age 1901-1949

Jazz,blues Literally every jazz + blues player is talented.

Bigband, polka A lot of talent lies in these categories as well. All the band leaders and players were very talented.

Trad pop, showtunes, lounge acts,etc. Frank Sinatra and Co. See  Modern Age I  to see why these people are actually talented!!

Modern Age I  1950-1970

About 90% of people in this age are talented. Yes, a few genres didn't write their own songs, though,

Here's a subject that I've been pondering-Motown, Doo wop, a lot of soul,etc. If Britney Spears is so horrible for using other peoples songs, then what about The Supremes and such, who never wrote their songs either?? I don't seem to have a gripe about them, do I???? There's a big difference, and that is that in the 30's-70's songs were recorded to be creative and the groups were an outlet for good songwriters creativity and good songs. Same goes for showtunes n' stuff. Nowadays, music is simply made to sell and make the rich get richer, at least in the pop set. End of argument.

Modern Age II 1971-1993

Still, the talent flows on, except there's 2 screpencies-any type of rap and The New Kids On The Block, which would both pave the way for numerous crappy bands to come.

The Modern Age 1994-(enter todays date)

With the dominance of the CD, new popular music falls to a talentless money making scheme. Even 'the blues' had gone downhill with popular dominance going to a series of horrible wannabe whiteboys.

So, there you go; through straight, credible facts I have surfed through all ages of music and told  to you straight and simply how it is. For an endnote, I'd like to say that a lot of the talentless stuff is rather good, and it's somewhat OK to like it. And I even like some talentlessers, but not very many. If you like a lot of my really dismissed stuff on here and feel offended, you should. The truth is sometimes hard and painful.