Liner Notes: History Lesson



Some people never realize how much of a history lesson music can be. When I look back on the past year and a half – when I first became Features Editor – I can see a change in the music being released.

Though it’s not a drastic change, there is still a noticeable difference between Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know” and Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie,” but maybe that’s a bad example.

Let’s go back a little further. The year is 2009, and I’m a high school senior. What do I hear on the radio? Beyonce’s “Halo,” young Justin Bieber’s “One Time” and Jamie Foxx’s “Blame It.” It was an okay year for music.

Going back further, now it is the year 2003. I’m just beginning middle school, and some pretty weird things are happening in my life, and every other sixth grader’s. I hear Evanescence, Good Charlotte and G-Unit on the radio. That is a year I wouldn’t want to relive in music. Or in anything else, really.

Now, let’s look at the year 1991, the year I was born. The radio was playing Bryan Adams, Michael Bolton and Color Me Badd. The love ballads were going strong that year.

For the year 1983, which was the year my oldest sister was born, the music heard on the radio was Duran Duran, Michael Jackson and Hall & Oats.

The 70s gave us Elton John, Chicago and The Carpenters, and the 60s gave us Ray Charles, Nat ‘King’ Cole and The Beatles. We can keep going back decades until we get into rituals and chants and the origins of music.

Though some of the changes in music have been the result of advances in technology and changes in language, it’s fun to see how different our interests in music is today from past years. Sometimes I wonder what Mozart would think about today’s popular music. I doubt he would approve.

Column by Anna Taylor, Features Editor