• The Oddity of Classic Rock: Top Ten Songs at 4:33

    24 Jun 2009, 06:06 by rockrobster23

    I don't listen to a lot of classic rock radio, or to much commercial radio of any kind, but when I have tuned in to the local classic rock station, it feels a little like traveling back in time. With a few isolated exceptions (U2, a little Pretenders, Nirvana and Pearl Jam), the classic rock format today is pretty much the same as the classic rock format 20 years ago. It's not a genre, because it has no formal attributes; rather, it is a grouping for commercial purposes, one that has remained curiously stable for a long time.

    And what is it, exactly? It's not just old hits, but a specific grouping of some hits and popular album tracks, primarily those that retain a certain masculine swagger--although that's far from the sole criterion. It's insufficient to say merely that classic rock is comprised of songs that make its target audience feel good about their relationship to their adolescence, as that's probably true of any "oldies" format. …