I’ve noticed that all the radio stations around here (Milwaukee and Madison areas) that play 80’s music, that have “the 80’s at 8” hour, “Falshback Friday” and so on, they rarely play Michael Jackson music.
They play his songs, but very rarely. The SOB only had the greatest selling album of all time, IN THE 80’S!!! WTF?
I like 80’s music, though not his. But I do observe it to be conspicuously missing from stations that heavily play 1980’s pop songs.
Do you think it has something to do with him [n;)t] being a pedophile?
I dunno. I’ve listened to local “classic rock” and “oldies” stations that loudly and repeatedly boasted about how they play "all the biggest hits of the '60s, '70s, and '80s, and yet you’d never hear The Beatles on those stations.
I’ve noticed this too. The eighties stations don’t play very much Madonna or Michael Jackson, but if you listened to these stations without having actually lived through the eighties, you’d probably think the biggest bands of the time were Naked Eyes or Glass Tiger.
all i heard saturday was michael jackson music. my nail salon was playing the dvd of ‘history,’ (which was kinda cool, actually. i hadn’t seen any of his videos in years. culture shock is a roomful of vietnamse 20-somethings quietly singing the lyrics while they work on your toes. )
then, my hair salon’s radio station played three michael jackson songs in the hour it took to get my hair styled for a dinner dance in the evening (no, the dance band didn’t play any michael jackson). was it his birthday or something???
I’ve noticed that too. When stations decide to play 80’s music they go heavily with New Wave and Hair Bands kind of stuff of extinct groups. They tend to leave out a lot of the popular stuff like Michael Jackson, Maddona, Van Halen, Prince, U2, etc.
I agree, though I do hear much more Madonna, VH, Prince & U2 than Michael Jackson. And while I don’t like MJ, for a guy that had monster hits in the 80’s I find it unusual that he’s rarely played on retro stations.
I’d venture that there is something distasteful about him now, enough to influence playlists. A station’s corporate entity may not want to be viewed as supporting someone who’s had some serious allegations raised about his behaviour.
Do you hear Gary Glitter? I can’t remember if I have or not.
We had the “Top 40” station on at work one night — something unusual, as it’s usually either country or classic rock — and after ten o’clock the station started its “alternative” music show. (I think it was actually the “good music” show - all the heavier rock that they have to wait until the kids’ parents are in bed to play.) Anyway, I found it really interesting when I heard Van Halen sandwiched in between a nu-metal band and a grunge band. I’m thinking, “What, Van Halen is “alternative” now?”
To be fair, Gary Glitter had what, two hits. (“Rock and Roll, Pt. 2” and “Do You Wanna Touch Me”, and I’ll bet the cover version of the latter by Joan Jett got more airplay.) MJ has had way more hits and would be more likely to have his songs heard frequently. Also, MJ has never been convicted. Glitter has.
Sorry to bump this thread but I had another question somewhat along the same lines.
Well, yeah, that was it. How come oldies (or at least, non-current music) stations always play the same songs from particular artists even when the artist in question had several hits? Billy Joel is a good example of this. The stations here only ever play Piano Man and Big Shot, occasionally spicing it up with Anthony’s Song (Movin’ Out). Why just those? I seem to recall a few other Billy Joel songs.
I could make the same complaint about all radio stations. There is a playlist of, I don’t know, thousands of songs? they could choose from, and I hear the same handful day after day when I listen to commercial radio. I shouldn’t be hearing the same older song enough times to get sick of it when there is so much more available (your Billy Joel example is a good one, Dung Beetle.) We get another version of this on top of that one with our Canadian Content rules here - not only do I get sick of the two Billy Joel songs they play, but they play the same handful of Canadian songs incessantly* (again, there must be thousands to choose from - one thing Canada has no shortage of is good music.)
*Can we start a movement to strike The Headpins from the CanCon list?
My understanding is that this is a result of focus group testing. Radio station owners believe that you only want to hear a small number of songs that testing has shown people favor. In other words, they are afraid that even if you like “Stairway to Heaven” if you are tuning around and hear “When the Levee Breaks” you’ll keep going because you only like one Led Zepplin song that testing has shown to be popular.
To a station owner this makes sense because the music is just there to fill in the time between the commercials, which are the only reason the station is on the air to begin with.
To me, it appears that a lot of what is played as “80s music” (or any decade for that matter) is stuff that comfortably defines a certain portion of the 80s in people’s memories. Does that make sense? Try it like this: Say “80s music” to someone in 2007 and they may think of cheesy one-hit wonders by guys with big hair and spandex because that is what VH-1 has an entire show about with talentless celebs coyly making fun of. But that period really was the mid-80s (if this old man remembers correctly). It more or less started around 83. Do people think of a lot of the '80 and '81 hits when you say “80s music.” Do they think of stuff that was all the rage in November 1989?
I don’t think so.
Same thing with “60s music.” People flash on either the clean-cut Beatles of 1964 or the hirsute Beatles, etc. of 1968. Do we really classify Paul Anka and the other 1950s holdovers who had hits in 1960 as “60s music?”