Etched in time are certain moments that struck a chord with the world. Certain moments that were set to change the face of the music industry forever. Chronologically speaking, here is a run-down of these milestones…
#1 The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show (1964)
Raucous crowds, swooning fan girls and 73 million viewers are just the tip of the iceberg when we talk about the prominence of this moment in musical history. It is often touted to be one of those ‘Where were you when…?’ moments similar to the moon landing. Shortly following the assassination of JFK, The Beatles landed in New York to begin what the world now refers to as the British Invasion. Riding high on the popularity of “I Want To Hold Your Hand”, the Beatles’ arrival in the United States is exactly what both the band and the crippled superpower needed. A whooping 60% of the TVs turned on were tuned to the show as the streets exploded to the whirlwind choruses of “She Loves You” and “I Saw Her Standing There”.
The music industry would never be the same again as the gates were symbolically thrown open for touring bands and musical and cultural exchange between nations peaked. Mop-tops became incredibly fashionable and music sales hit platinum all across the USA. The baby boomer generation picked up their instruments and the Rock and Roll scene of the 70’s and 80’s flourished.
#2 Woodstock (1969)
Dubbed as the concert of a lifetime, it witnessed stellar performances from names such as Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Jefferson Airplane and Neil Young. Held in the outskirts of New York as “3 Days of Peace and Music”, Rolling Stone often refers to it as the moment that changed Rock and Roll history. Close to half a million people attended the concert and an additional 1.5 million people crowded the streets to soak in the atmosphere. In addition, the fence was cut the night before, thereby making the concert free. The 60’s had never seen a rock festival of such proportions and the musical revolution of the 70’s is what followed.
#3 MTV airs the first music video (1981)
This lethal combination of audio and video only begin its broadcast in 1981 by MTV. And quite ironically, The Buggles’ hit tune “Video Killed The Radio Star” was first to ever be played. That iconic moment shaped the path of the music industry, allowing them to expand their audience and incorporating visual elements into their music. Unfortunately, music channels of today neither recognize nor appreciate talented musicians. Reality shows seem to be all these channels now have time for, thus alienating a generation that rocked their socks off to the TV set.
#4 Auto-tune (1997)
After the dawn of the millennia, technology begin to get the better of musicians Andy Hildebrand, an engineer in Exxon, initially used this software to detect oil reserves in the ocean floor. However, he later realized it could be used to correct a singer’s notes and make him sound pitch perfect. It was first commercially used in Cher’s “Believe” and the success of the song carried over as the success of auto-tune. Hip-hop and pop thrived, as talent no longer seemed to bar artists from commercial success. Rappers such as T-Pain and Kanye West rely almost entirely on auto-tune, making one wonder where the beauty of music has gone. On the flipside one could say that as long as the listener enjoys the music, its one giant leap for musicians.
#5 iTunes & Digital Downloads (2001)
The years of the vinyl records were long gone. Cassettes were booted out and it was about time CDs were shown the door too. Enter the era of digital downloads. With Apple’s ingenious marketing ploy and its technological capabilities, listeners gobbled up 99¢ songs in the luxury of their own homes. The proliferation of pirated music was still at its peak amongst the Walkman generation. The introduction of legitimate means to acquire music over the Internet led to its insane popularity. The iTunes Music Store recorded 10 million digital download in its first few months of operation. Albums and bands spread like wildfire across the strata of the Internet.Share this post