Oh, I still have this blog? Yeah, that whole thing about me not keeping up with blogging is still very much a thing. But to the point.
There are some bands that you hear all the time on the radio. I don’t necessarily mean “Play that one new pop song to death and then don’t play it again for a year.” No, I mean bands that have been around forever and are considered legends by many and are the cornerstone of any classic rock playlist for radio. It’s all well and good to hear classic songs that have withstood the test of time…
But holy shit am I tired of “Paradise City”. Seriously, I sometimes switch to the top 40 radio stations just so I can listen and get confused between that one Katy Perry song and that one Sara Bareilles song (which both sound almost exactly the same). At least that’s somewhat more entertaining that hearing the same 5 CD’s that must be in rotation at whatever rock station I’m listening to.
So I thought it’d be fun to write about what I consider to be the top 5 bands that have been played to death by classic rock radio.
5. Bon Jovi
Yeah yeah, Jersey pride blah blah blah. Truth be told, despite having lived in New Jersey my whole life, I’m not all that big a fan of some of its biggest musical exports. Exhibit A: Bon Jovi. That’s not to say I hate Bon Jovi, I don’t feel particularly strong about them either way. But goddammit am I sick of hearing the same three songs from Slippery When Wet over and over. I understand that there’s only like two or three other songs you have to work with like “It’s My Life” and that one duet with the singer from Sugarland, but I don’t think I’ve ever felt compelled to belt out “Livin’ On A Prayer” since that one time I was drunkenly playing air guitar on a Captain Morgan bottle one New Years Eve.
Also, apparently the band has put out two other albums since Lost Highway featuring the aforementioned duet? Has anyone actually heard anything from those albums. Do they even play songs from them live? Okay, back to the point: I’m livin’ on a prayer that we cool it with the Bon Jovi a bit.
4. Led Zeppelin
Call me sacrilegious, but I actually didn’t come to respect Led Zeppelin until around the time I started college. Up until then they were just “the band that wrote ‘Stairway To Heaven'”. Also, I was too busy listening to Black Sabbath. But thanks to a few Zep loving friends and to classic rock radio, I did come to appreciate the classics from the band. But, of course, that “No Stairway” joke in Wayne’s World exists for a reason.
At least we have a little more to work with here than Bon Jovi, but that’s not saying much. I feel like each station should only be allowed to play each Zeppelin song once a day, that way we might not hear “Black Dog” on three different stations within a five minutes span of each other.
3. Guns N’ Roses
I don’t know what it is, but I’ve just never really cared for Guns N’ Roses. For all the bands on this list, I have at least a compilation album or one studio album in my iTunes library. All bands except this one that is. Why bother though? If I really want to hear Appetite For Destruction I can pretty much hear it in full on any classic rock station. And can we pick some other version of “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” to play besides GNR’s? Everyone under the sun has done it, why not give that a spin for a change? I’d settle for someone like Avril Lavigne covering the song if it meant hearing someone other than Axl sing it.
It might be my apathetic nature toward the band influencing my thoughts here, but I stand by it. Besides, it’s not like people remember that the band is actually still around and playing shows anyway. Seeing the band’s name on a concert bill now is sort of like when you’re channel surfing and you see American Idol pop up and you think “Oh yeah, people gave a shit about this once upon a time” before resuming said channel surfing.
2. Pink Floyd
I love Pink Floyd. When I first discovered them, I could always count on The Dark Side of the Moon to lull me to sleep (and then get woken up by “Time” because of those damn clocks in the beginning). Wish You Were Here is still one of my favorite prog albums ever. Classic rock radio also seems to love Pink Floyd….but maybe a little too much. It’s a scientifically proven fact (by me) that if you’re driving in the car and you have the radio on, your chances of hearing “Money” or “Another Brick In The Wall Part 2” increase every minute. Sometimes I swear certain stations coordinate with each other so they can play all of The Dark Side of the Moon in case the listener decides to switch the station. I think the only song from the album that doesn’t get played all the time is “On The Run” and that’s because nothing really happens in that song.
The main reason Pink Floyd is on here is simply put by the phrase “too much of a good thing”. I love them as much as the next guy or gal but I wouldn’t mind if Dark Side was shelved for a little while and then revisited and re-appreciated. Hell, play something from Animals in the meantime, I don’t care if “Dogs” is seventeen minutes long.
I don’t mean to be so hard on Journey here, but the reason they’re on this list is mainly due to one song. I don’t even need to name that one song for you to know what I’m talking about. The song that drunks at bars everywhere belt out either on a karaoke stage or when a DJ mashes it up with some kind of club beat. The song discovered by kids who were presumably deprived of good music until Glee covered it back in 2009. Yes, “Don’t Stop Believin'” is on par with “Stairway to Heaven” as being one of if not the most overplayed rock song of all time. I know this is only one song and, sure, there are others like “Any Way You Want It” which, unfortunately, just makes me think of TV commercials. And then there’s “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” which just reminds me of Yes Man.
And that’s really what it comes down to for Journey, at least to me. The songs, especially “Don’t Stop Believin'”, have been so overused in everything from radio to television to movies to parties that I can’t listen to the songs and enjoy them for what they are. I can’t picture the band performing or have a flashback to a moment involving the songs because I instead just think about one of the many things they were tied into and thus any kind of emotion one might normally feel from the songs is gone.
Really, there are dozens of other band and artists that could be put into this top five, but I just went and made my own personal picks. Got your own list of bands that could use a break from radio? Let’s hear ’em!