Who/What Determines the "Classic Rock" Format Canon?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by nbakid2000, Oct 4, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. nbakid2000

    nbakid2000 On Indie's Cutting Edge Thread Starter

    Location:
    Springfield, MO
    Can anyone explain what makes a "classic rock" format station play a certain group or song? I know they probably have test audiences and make determinations from their responses, but assuming that were true, let's just take a test example with 2 vaguely similar songs (vaguely, mainly because of the flute and hard guitar):

    Locomotive Breath (Jethro Tull) vs Evil by Legs Diamond:



    Are the people they test really going to choose "Locomotive Breath" over the Legs Diamond song? Both are really catchy and I'd even say the Legs Diamond is more "immediate" in impact.

    Is it something else entirely for that format? Is it corporations pushing whatever catalog they want to sell? Biggest sellers or just well known stuff in general? Are their listeners really that fickle? What's the story? I've been looking through Google with not that many answers.
     
  2. Chris Schoen

    Chris Schoen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland, U.S.A.
    Don't know. I got so sick of hearing Boston, Journey and John "Cougar" Mellencamp that I stopped listening to radio a long time ago.
    I too, have often wondered what the "deal" was, as far as the music these "classic" radio stations played. They just repeat middle of the
    road stuff.
     
    Fullbug, Gary and kevintomb like this.
  3. nbakid2000

    nbakid2000 On Indie's Cutting Edge Thread Starter

    Location:
    Springfield, MO
    Not that this is "official" but here's a blurb I found from a freeform classic rock station online:

    http://www.dcrockradio.com/playing.html?buster=0.571798036976573
     
    drasil, Keith V and rockclassics like this.
  4. seed_drill

    seed_drill Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tryon, NC, USA
    I've never heard of Legs Diamond, and while it's pretty good, it's got a Uriah Heep cheesiness to it that I think would limit it's appeal.

    That said, to get onto a classic rock playlist, a song pretty much had to have been a hit to begin with. Not a top 40 hit, necessarily, but, if not, at least a hit from the days of independent FM album rock radio. Thus nothing old ever gets added to these playlists. When something is added it's more recent songs replacing lesser known or older songs, as the stations, I suspect, are trying to keep their focus on a 35-55 year old demographic, not to broadcast to retirees.

    Also, due to corporate ownership, many if not most now have a central office dictating playlists.
     
    Michael P and rockclassics like this.
  5. rockclassics

    rockclassics Forum Resident

    Location:
    Arkansas, USA
    This is pretty accurate. I had the music director at the local classic rock station confirm this. He said the main thing he does is to make sure no long songs get played during morning drive or afternoon drive times. You wont hear stairway or freebird during these times. He said the computer picks the order of songs and just resets it a couple of times each week.
     
  6. kevintomb

    kevintomb Forum Resident

    I can barely stand to hear so called "Classic rock radio" anymore. No variety, the same couple hundred tunes over and over, and so predictable.
     
  7. lastdamdown

    lastdamdown Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hillsboro, OR
    I've always found it ironic that the greatest genre of music translates into the absolute worst radio music format. Stale, predictable, corporate and no blacks allowed unless your name is Hendrix.

    There is a whole universe of "classic" rock out there, yet we get only a sliver of it to cater to the lowest common denominator.

    With all the wealth of music options available (streaming, satellite radio, podcasts, bluetooth connection in cars for ipod) it's hard to believe these same-old stations continue to take up space on the dial.
     
  8. ridernyc

    ridernyc Forum Resident

    Location:
    Florida, USA
    It's basically the Jen Weener/Rolling Stone version of musical history.

    It's spread out and grown and changed since then but that's the core of it and where it started. You will notice the same artists that are missing from the Rock and Roll hall of fame are also under represented on most classic rock stations. While the darlings like Clapton are on constantly.
     
  9. seed_drill

    seed_drill Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tryon, NC, USA
    I don't hear this at all. Classic rock stations are full of songs from both progressive and mainstream (aka "corporate") rock bands that will never appear in Cleveland. Meanwhile, the closest thing you'll ever hear to The Velvet Underground on a classic rock station is Lou Reed's live version of Sweet Jane.
     
    lbangs likes this.
  10. ridernyc

    ridernyc Forum Resident

    Location:
    Florida, USA
    Yeah the Rock and Roll hall of fame is not corporate at all. And I never hear ANY progressive rock on classic rock stations here or when I was in NYC
     
  11. Agent57

    Agent57 Marshall will buoy, but Fender control

    Location:
    PA
    Couple hundred? I'd be amazed if the popular Classic Rock station around here even had a hundred at one point. In the last office I worked in, there were betting pools going on as to when certain songs would be played that day. And oddly, one of the daily repeated songs was "Fire on High" from ELO. The worst offenders of all were "Dream On" played at least once a day and "Bang the Drum" played at least 3 times every Friday during the work day.
     
    kevintomb likes this.
  12. ridernyc

    ridernyc Forum Resident

    Location:
    Florida, USA
    wow was going to post the setlist from our classic rock station here as an example and we don't have one anymore. It just simucasts the news from an AM station now.
     
  13. Thurenity

    Thurenity Listening to some tunes

  14. KeninDC

    KeninDC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    There's a section on radio programming in the book, The Power of Habit worth reading. In a nutshell, and as noted above, it is familiarity that the programmers seek. This even works for new songs. It helps if they sound like old songs.

    An interesting tidbit from the book. While men might tell researchers that they hate Celine Dion songs, in actuality most men will not turn the station when a Celine Dion hit comes on.
     
  15. seed_drill

    seed_drill Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tryon, NC, USA
    You never hear "Aqualung", "Thick As A Brick", "Roundabout", "Close to the Edge", "Lucky Man", "Karn Evil", or the borderline progressive bands like Pink Floyd or the Moody Blues on classic rock radio?

    As for corporate, you know that's shorthand for groups like: Kansas, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Boston, Journey, Chicago, yadda, yadda, yadda. Stalwarts of classic rock playlists, but about as longshot of being voted in to the R&R HOF as you can get.
     
  16. Keith V

    Keith V Forum Resident

    Location:
    Jersey City, NJ
    once I started hearing Bon Jovi and Def Leppard on the NY Classic rock station Q104.3, I pretty much gave up...the other day they played "Up On Cripple Creek" but then proceeded to say it was "one from the back wall" ....sigh
     
  17. Crazyhorse11

    Crazyhorse11 Professional Nobody

    Location:
    Edmonton, AB
    I don't listen to much radio anymore either but occasionally when I do listen to our local classic rock station they throw in the odd Nirvana or Soundgarden tracks...I find that strange but I guess I shouldn't.
     
  18. SixtiesGuy

    SixtiesGuy Ministry of Love

    Yeah, this pretty much sums it up: I'm dead to them, they're dead to me. W'ere lucky that the technology exists to allow taking your music collection with you anywhere you go.
     
  19. Gary

    Gary Nauga Gort! Staff

    You forgot about the variety in the commercials.:laugh:
     
  20. CybrKhatru

    CybrKhatru Music is life.

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    That is why I am glad I am on Deep Nuggets.... we can play whatever we want....
     
  21. Say It Right

    Say It Right Forum Resident

    Location:
    Niagara Falls
    Actually, that's the correct answer. Advertisers, along with listener demographics, determine the format.
     
  22. Michael P

    Michael P Forum Resident

    Location:
    Parma, Ohio
    Now that I have Sirius in my car I've been listening to "Deep Tracks". Last weekend they played Genesis "Suppers Ready" - which is almost an entire side of an LP. Just like the old days of FM free-form (I hate the term "Progressive").

    As for broadcast radio there is an alternative format, "AAA", which if done right will play the artists and songs that Classic Rock stations ignore mixed in with new music that fits in with the older tracks.
     
  23. Michael P

    Michael P Forum Resident

    Location:
    Parma, Ohio
    I never heard of Legs Diamond either, and would tune out of any classic rock station playing this next to more familiar songs. OTOH, if it was on an AAA station and put into a heavy rotation Legs might "grow on me", as has tracks by Mumford & Son and Adele that were played on a short-lived AAA station we had here in Cleveland. Another station has tried to do a similar format but they are not doing as well as the original station that got sold and returned to a smooth jazz format it had before it "experimented" with AAA.
     
  24. Beatnik_Daddyo'73

    Beatnik_Daddyo'73 Music Addiction Personified

    I always wanted to start my own "pirate" radio station and play whatever I wanted to....I bet you all would love my hits :D....oops too much information. There's no FCC a**holes on here, is there? :winkgrin:
     
  25. seed_drill

    seed_drill Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tryon, NC, USA
    Now would be a good time to do it, as I think they're all on "vacation" right now.
     
    nbakid2000 and Beatnik_Daddyo'73 like this.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page