The proliferation of digital media and music that appeals to an older and more sophisticated audience than alternative rock
The music industry was rescued from a devastating economic depression not until the development of digital recording technology in the 1980s. Prior to this time, analogue recording was the standard. Vinyl records were gradually phased out in favour of CDs with the introduction of the compact disc (CD), which was a significant technological advance that had immediate and profoundly conservative repercussions. During this time period, the richest consumers of record stores were targeted with advertising pushing them to improve their audio equipment rather than replace their record collections. It is probable that these clients had grown up with rock music. Even if rock’s superstars of the 1970s were unable to match the sales of their older songs with the sales of their new releases, they were still able to continue selling out stadium events that had evolved into emotional rituals due to the fact that rock had developed into an adult musical genre (most unexpectedly for the Grateful Dead). When searching for new white talent, the music industry resorted to alternative rock. Before being signed to a major label and distributed to a wider audience by that company, many singers first established a devoted fan base via their work with independent record companies, college radio stations, and local shops. The band R.E.M. and the band Nirvana were the most renowned examples of this tendency throughout the 1980s and the 1990s, respectively. In practise, regional record labels have been acquired by global companies and repurposed into research and development divisions.
That Which Is Opposed to the People
candidate for the role of “Public Enemy”
Previously, dance music engineers had been experimenting with the rhythmic and acoustic capabilities of electronic instruments and erasing differences between live and recorded music. With the introduction of new devices for sampling and modifying sound, these engineers were able to further their explorations of these areas. As the decade continued, digital technology, which had first been used in the dance scene, finally made its way into the creation of rock music in all of its many facets. For Public Enemy, a pioneering hip-hop group, it was not as important to have a new selection of “clean” sounds as it was to find a way to incorporate reality, as represented by the genuine voices of the strong and the helpless, into their songs. This was one of the things that made Public Enemy so influential. Disillusioned young people’s communities all around the world quickly realised that hip-hop offered a platform from which they could directly confront the media.
The segmentation of the market and the globalisation of it.
The revival of the do-it-yourself (DIY) movement occurred at the same time as innovative methods were available for marketing music on a global scale. The series of benefit concerts known as Live Aid, which took place in 1985 and were broadcast live around the world through television, did more than only highlight the rock business and the aural variety it had; it also proved the power of television as a marketing tool. MTV, an American cable television network that had previously embraced the structure of Top 40 radio and elevated video segments to the same level of significance as singles, resorted to satellite technology in order to disseminate its message of “One globe, one music.” Madonna and Michael Jackson, the two most successful acts of the 1980s, were the first video acts, and they used MTV brilliantly to sell themselves as stars while breaking new ground in the industry. Michael Jackson’s 1982 album, Thriller, became the best-selling album of all time by crossing rock’s internal divides and became the best-selling album of all time.
This fixation on building an united rock music business, on the other hand, was a contributing factor in the fragmentation of the rock music scene. The decade of the 1990s did not have any stars that might serve as unifying forces (the biggest sensation, the Spice Girls, were never really taken seriously). World music has developed into its own separate genre in response to the attempts of the business to create a uniform international sound. This music contains an increasing number of voices that draw on local traditions and concerns in order to integrate rock into their own musical style. These traditions and issues may be found all over the world. Céline Dion, a native of Quebec who rose to become the most successful corporate superstar of the 1990s, began her career in the French-speaking part of the market. This is an interesting fact. By the late 20th century, hybridity meant that rock bands emphasised their distinctions rather than attempting to unify under a common aesthetic. This was in contrast to earlier in the century, when bands strove to find a common aesthetic. The music genre known as “indie” guitar rock and the rave culture, which was propelled by dance music such as house and techno that originated in Chicago and Detroit and made its way to Ibiza, Spain, melded in Britain as part of an idealised quest for the rock community’s golden period. Despite the fact that Primal Scream and the Prodigy looked to contain rock history spanning the previous three decades inside themselves, many people did not pay much attention to either of these bands. There was no longer a single individual who was capable of unifying the myriad sounds and demands that had become synonymous with rock.