Classic Rock FM Radio Sucks Big Time

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Johnny Action, Nov 7, 2019.

  1. Danby Delight

    Danby Delight Forum Resident

    In my radio days, it was teenage girls with daddy issues. It was kind of creepy.
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  2. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    The entrepreneurs of the San Fernando Valley have provided a full employment program for those young women.
    Grant likes this.
  3. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road

    When I was a pup radio was pretty good. Lots a variance, specials of sorts and new songs got played as well.

    In Perth 96FM was my go to station playing old and new music and good variety. They had a special live concert hour show, which I loved, because I have always liked live concerts. They had the Rock Archives where I discovered stuff like Led Zeppelin and The Doors.....

    Some time in the mid to late eighties things started changing and the playlists shrank, and the repetition increased. This (as I have mentioned on the forum before) turned some of my favourite eighties albums into albums i couldn't bear to hear. By the late eighties early nineties I virtually stopped listening to the radio. There was a station called JJJ that I did listen to for a while in the nineties, because they mixed it up, and were right on the ball with the then new sounds of the nineties.... but eventually it became a lot of stuff that didn't interest me as the music scene changed.
    So I didn't listen to music on the radio (by choice) until I moved to the US.

    When I first moved to the US in 2011 I started listening to the radio again, for about a week .... At first I thought cool, they don't play the same old songs, then after about three days I noticed they did, it was just a different batch of songs. So I again haven't listened to the radio because it just holds no interest for me.

    If folks are listening to the same 50-100 songs over and over, and enjoy it? Good for them. It does nothing for me.
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  4. Grant

    Grant Now let that bass fall in! Oh yeah!

    United States

    Actually, the first thing I thought of when I read that post by @Danby Delight was the song "Pilot Of The Airwaves" by Charlie Dore.
    Chris DeVoe likes this.
  5. old45s

    old45s MP3 FREE ZONE

    Maybe not the paragraph you quoted from my reply... however the other 4 paragraphs relate directly to the thread topic! The "Major substance" is my (OUR) criticism of (so called) Classic Rock Radio.
    Read (all of it) again and don't be such a nark!
  6. MikeM

    MikeM Forum Resident

    Youngstown, Ohio
    I'm sorry that my reply was too subtle for you to grasp. I'll try to talk a little more slowly this time.

    If you work for a community radio station, you can play whatever the hell you want to play, because the station doesn't depend on advertising revenues to stay afloat, and thus doesn't have to appeal to the greatest number of listeners possible. Community stations by their very nature appeal to listeners who want to hear something different from the mainstream. And here's a news flash for you: there are far fewer listeners who fit this description than there are mainstream listeners.

    If you work for a commercial radio station, then ratings are vitally important, because they will determine that station's likely success in selling airtime to advertisers. The more listeners you have, the better your ratings, and the more success you'll have selling airtime for advertisements. So you program your music to appeal to mainstream, not specialty tastes — in other words, to the greater number of listeners.

    And here's the punchline, and why this thread continues to amuse: "Your (everyone's) criticism of (so-called) Classic Rock Radio" is nothing more than a (relatively) small number of people shouting into an echo chamber of their own making. Stomping your little feet and whining that Classic Rock Radio doesn't play exactly the music you want to hear is a futile exercise, because — as I've explained in previous posts — the bald fact of the matter is the majority of listeners really do want to hear the same songs over and over again. They don't want to hear the deep cuts and the variety of songs you long for.


    Commercial radio stations want to stay in business, so they do what pleases the greatest number of listeners — the same thing that has worked for commercial radio stations of all kinds for decades now.
  7. Johnny Action

    Johnny Action Forum President Thread Starter

    Tacoma, WA, USA
    Because they’ve never been exposed to it. They don’t know what they’re missing.
    Jmac1979 likes this.
  8. HfxBob

    HfxBob Forum Resident

    I think most people understand why they do it, and that venting about it won't change anything.
    CousinCheebo likes this.
  9. Danby Delight

    Danby Delight Forum Resident

    I genuinely don't think that's true. Because that would require that the audience care one way or the other, and the idea is to play songs nobody really cares about.

    Classic rock radio sounds like it does because playlists are deliberately chosen to be as inoffensive as possible. The idea isn't to play songs everyone likes, but to play songs people don't really care about one way or another. Because the point is to keep the audience there to listen to the commercials, and every song that makes one person say "YES!" will make another person say "NO!" And that person changes the station.

    These stations don't sound like this because the corporations that own them think "Hotel California" and "Layla" are the greatest songs ever. They sound like this because those are the songs that nobody cares enough admit to change the station on.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019 at 5:19 PM
  10. Musical Chairs

    Musical Chairs Forum Resident

    Classic rock radio--or at least the specific stations I listened to--*used* to play more deep cuts, more new material by classic artists, and mix it up more between harder and softer rock (plenty of Black Sabbath and Zep on the same stations as the singer-songwriters).

    For whatever reason, it has become progressively more repetitive and formulaic even as more alternatives exist.

    On the other end of the spectrum, some are starting to play a lot of '90s stuff that doesn't fit in well with the constant Beatles, Floyd and Stones, however much I personally like all that music. I get that Dookie and Nevermind are as old now as Dark Side of the Moon and Led Zeppelin IV were in the '90s, but these era differences were why the classic rock format was split off from oldies in the first place.
    Rockford & Roll likes this.
  11. Day_Tripper2019

    Day_Tripper2019 Forum Resident

    In Sydney we have only one classic rock station. They are worse than satan.
    AM radio for talk back, my cd's for music.
  12. Jmac1979

    Jmac1979 Forum Resident

    Louisville, KY
    Right. It's all TPTB deciding what song is a classic and what song isn't. You see it with a lot of discographies.... one top 10 single is an evergreen that never leaves the airwaves while the other top 10 song that did just as well on original release might turn up every few years on a community radio station. Basically its a handful of suits deciding the songs they love and want to be best remembered. Perfect example would be ZZ Top..... Legs and Sleeping Bag were tied as their biggest Billboard hits. Legs remains in classic rock rotation (maybe not to the extent La Grange, Sharp Dressed Man and Gimme All Your Lovin', but still gets played) while Sleeping Bag may as well have peaked at #93. I actually like Sleeping Bag better and to me it holds up better than the Eliminator songs that radio has murdered.....

    Most of these artists have big discographies of notable songs you can play. I mean, a group like The Rolling Stones might have 40-50 "hit" songs when you think about it, so why not actually spread the wealth instead of the same 5 or 6? Aerosmith, Van Halen, Def Leppard, AC/DC, Springsteen, U2, The Who, Tom Petty, Heart, Queen, Kiss, Journey, Styx, Fleetwood Mac, Eagles, The Police, Pat Benatar, Pearl Jam, John Mellencamp, Ozzy Osbourne, etc... the list goes on and on with the usual suspects of classic rock radio.... all of them have SCORES of well-known hit songs that aren't "random deep cuts only a diehard fan has ever heard", so why not actually mine a little deeper instead of the same tired overplayed tracks? Nobody is asking them to play six different songs by Ram Jam lol.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019 at 5:46 PM
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  13. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    The documentary Corporate.FM had an interesting theory - that the owners of the stations are deliberately aiming for mediocrity.

    Since the rules change allowing one corporation to own multiple stations in a market (up to six radio stations plus two TV stations, or one TV station and 7 radio) each behemoth can offer a full range of different stations, to be sure they can hit the widest possible range of tastes within a particular demographic.

    That means if an advertiser wants to get males, 18-27, previously they would have been required to research what station appealed most to them. Since in most markets that means going to one of the two gigantic corporations, if there was one station that appeal to the vast majority of males 18 to 27, everybody would advertise on that one. But the giant radio corporation that owns the seven different stations in town doesn't want that. No, instead they want you to be forced to advertise on the four different stations the desired demographic might listen to.

    So by offering four different formats, none better than the other, all equally mediocre, advertisers have to buy four times as much advertising. Now of course giant radio corporation will offer a nice package deal across all four stations that might appeal to males 18 to 27, but it's sure going to cost more than one station that appeals to most of them.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019 at 6:21 PM
  14. Troyh

    Troyh Forum Resident

    As a veteran 'DJ', I can tell you it really does suck. Some consultants color code each song, then color code each segment. You can only play a 'purple' coded song during a purple period.
    That's why at, say 4:15, your gonna hear a Floyd song that's been colorized to fit that colored segment. (Plus don't forget about automation and the computer streamed programs.)
    There are a few stations that give jocks some leeway. The local I volunteer at is one such station.
    On facebook, look up thegarage dor. We get to have a lot of fun. (Spelled just like that.)
    Heck, on my Beatle show, I even play 'Working Class Hero' and ' Woman is the...of the world'.
    Smaller stations can be grand.
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  15. Dingly Del Boy

    Dingly Del Boy Forum Resident

    British Columbia
    Think yourselves lucky folks. Here in Canada 35% of radio airtime has to be devoted to Canadian artists. Consequently, when listening to classic rock radio, I've had to endure infinitely more Trooper, Harlequin, April Wine, Loverboy, etc. etc. than anyone should ever be expected to!
  16. AirJordanFan93

    AirJordanFan93 Forum Resident

    Surprised you didn't mention Rush, Surely they play a huge amount of Rush on Canadian based classic rock stations.
  17. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    My brother the plumber did a "paid content" show at a Cumulus station. His was live, and people would call in with questions about their home, and he'd answer them (being sure to mention the company he worked for. There were at least a dozen studios, and other than his, there was one person working in one other - and this poor guy was recording an entire week's work of shows - "...and that was..." and "Coming up next..." just little snippets that they would drop in. And he was only getting paid for the couple of hours he spent in that studio, even though his voice would be heard as if he was hosting a show every day.
    Troyh likes this.
  18. Dingly Del Boy

    Dingly Del Boy Forum Resident

    British Columbia
    They do. Rush are a good band, hence not included in my list.
  19. Troyh

    Troyh Forum Resident

    Rush, Floyd, Zep, etc., are all great bands. Just wish they'd play the Orange (deeper tracks) instead of the workhorses and throw away the the Timing clock.
    Diablo Griffin likes this.
  20. Johnny Action

    Johnny Action Forum President Thread Starter

    Tacoma, WA, USA
    Kinda like cable TV plans back in the day. You had to buy all the channels in one big package. Or something.
    Chris DeVoe likes this.
  21. Nomadicarchivist

    Nomadicarchivist Forum Resident

    Washington D.C.
    I used to think that it was just bad in the smaller markets when i was in radio in the 90s but having lived in DC and traveled to NY, LA, SF in the last few years I can confirm that nauseatingly tight playlists are a nationwide disease
    DC is particularly SAD
    Chris DeVoe likes this.
  22. Grant

    Grant Now let that bass fall in! Oh yeah!

    United States
    To put it another way, it's like the McDonalds or Taco Bell of radio. It provides comfort food.
  23. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    One of the worst things about the corporatization of radio is the death of the regional act, bands with local fans and careers. Like Shooting Star in Kansas City - I don't know if they got any play outside of the region.
    Sidewinder43 likes this.
  24. supersquonk

    supersquonk Forum Resident

    It won't be long until there are no classic rock stations left anyway. Just as there are no oldies stations anymore. (Oldies meaning the original definition of late 50s to early 70s top 40.) Advertisers don't want old people. This is the same reason "classic rock" now means Red Hot Chili Peppers and Nirvana.

    And yes, I know there are isolated oldies stations out there. (Like WLNG on Long Island!) But few left in major markets.

    While it's not as cool/fun as a local and live FM station, there are plenty of places to get some well curated music. Too many, really.

    Deep Tracks is pretty darn deep. (Sound quality deal breaker-level atrocious, though.)
    Radio Free Phoenix and Deep The latter is fantastic because, unlike 50s on 5, 60s on 6, etc., it mixes all the old tunes together.
    Magic Radio from New Zealand. Not as deep, but it's an actual old school "news at the top of the hour" station. All delivered with a Kiwi accent.
    Radio Paradise

    There are also some really interesting stations you can listen to from Europe. Nova Radio from France for example.
  25. 9la

    9la widely panned

    You forgot the Stones' "Start Me Up", that's played all the time.

    The closest to a late 60s wide psychedelic FM station that I have found is Sirius/XM's Garage channel (although I haven't received it for a few months now). They even play British psych that you find on Rhino's box Nuggets II. The only station where I've heard "See Emily Play".

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