Friday, January 8, 2010

The 10 Rules Of Rock and Roll

Aussie rock critic Robert Forster has a great little book out called The 10 Rules Of Rock and Roll, which collects together some of his musings for The Monthly magazine, a few new articles, and some (admittedly not-so-great) attempts at fiction.

Forster is a rare thing - a music journalist who takes every song on merit, refusing to cow to received wisdom and cliché. He's as comfortable writing about Delta Goodrem as he is about The Beatles, and he treats artists both with equal respect.

His titular 10 Rules definitely bear repeating:

1. Never follow an artist who describes his or her work as "dark".
2. The second-last song on every album is the weakest.
3. Great bands tend to look alike.
4. Being a rock star is a 24 hour a day job.
5. The band with the most tattoos has the worst songs.
6. No band does anything new onstage after the first 20 minutes.
7. The guitarist who changes guitar onstage after every third song is showing you his guitar collection.
8. Every great artist hides behind their manager.
9. Great bands don't have members making solo albums.
10. The three-piece band is the purest form of rock and roll expression.

Since reading that (and snorting into my lemonade), I've been trying to compile a similar list for pop music. Here's where I'm up to:

1. The worst singer in a girl band will have the biggest media profile.
2. Terrible bands can make great pop records.
3. Everyone mimes. EVERYONE.
4. Artists who "take pop music and make it edgy" have desperately misunderstood the point of pop music in the first place.
5. Bands who have reunited: We don't give a shit about new material.
6. Unless you are Take That.
7. No words will ever be more expressive when set to music than "la, la, la", "woah-ah-oh" and "na na na na".
8. The person who gets the choir and the falling petals in the X Factor Final will be the person who wins the X Factor Final.
9. The perfect length for a pop song is 3'49"
10. Even tedious indie snobs know all the words to Baby, One More Time.

That's what I've got so far. Any changes, additions or recommendations?

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