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Subject: Why is Britain's musical taste (seemingly) so much more advanced than Americans?

Written By: xSiouXBoIx on 11/13/07 at 6:43 pm

in Britain, it really seems like everyone has a chance at charting, and i mean that in a good way. 70's punk, post-punk and new wave acts were charting there back in the day. these kind of musical acts had NO chance in the U.S. back in the 70's and 80's. plus there was Kate Bush. she's a genius, and she was charting all the time. the same with the Smiths. they too had no chance in America. and even now, it seems like only R&B and rap stars in thier 20's and 30's are able to have hits in the U.S., while a wide variety of artists of all different genres, and past their 30's, are able to chart in Britain.

i admit i do like artists like Fergie and Beyonce and Gwen Stefani, but it still annoys me that only the most commercial music seems to chart here.


Subject: Re: Why is Britain's musical taste (seemingly) so much more advanced than Americ

Written By: Brian06 on 11/13/07 at 7:16 pm

It's a different part of the world, their charts are calculated differently as well, the UK chart is purely sales of singles while US charts are determined a lot by airplay. The US is the birthplace and home of hip-hop music so it would figure it would be most popular in this country I guess. The emergence of the "Rhythmic Top 40" format in recent years I think is another factor. I think people rely less and less on the radio nowadays and listen to their ipod, etc. more so the radio audience has narrowed to mostly teens that are into hip-hop/pop rap/r&b, etc. In other countries it is different, different tastes, more government regulation, etc. While I think some of this hip-hop stuff is ok for what it is (stupid gimmicky music that isn't meant to be taken seriously), there is other (better) music out there that gets ignored.

Subject: Re: Why is Britain's musical taste (seemingly) so much more advanced than Americans?

Written By: Marty McFly on 11/13/07 at 7:20 pm

That's true, the Beatles originated over there too, and I believe were gaining popularity a year or two before their c. early 1964 US breakthrough when they appeared on Ed Sullivan. I'd say there's more rapid attachments with British to United States music than others. The Sixties British Invasion of course, then punk and disco (the former wasn't commercially that popular, but had lots of influence over the years), early MTV new wave, and certain mid-late '90s dance stuff, like Aqua. Right now seems to be a lowpoint though. Maybe Coldplay would be the exception.

I've always wondered about why this happens myself, though too. That's a good question, I'm not sure.

Subject: Re: Why is Britain's musical taste (seemingly) so much more advanced than Americans?

Written By: whistledog on 11/13/07 at 7:59 pm

Compared to the US chart, it's a totally different music scene in the UK yes.  From what I understand, singles are released to radio a week before they hit the stores, which is why if you look at the UK charts, you notice that a song will debut at it's peak position, and fall out of the charts from there.

In America, rap and hip-hop seem to be a dominating force in the charts, and since the UK mostly grooves on Alt Rock and Techno, it's often a struggle for UK acts to find the US Top 40.  Here in Canada, we often get a good chunk of what's in the UK charts, because our charts are mostly Alt Rock and Country Music, which is why popular UK acts like James Blunt and KT Tunstall are more successful in Canada then they are in America

Sometimes it's vice versa though.  Natasha Bedingfield is bigger in the U.S. than she is in Canada

Subject: Re: Why is Britain's musical taste (seemingly) so much more advanced than Americans?

Written By: agrimorfee on 11/14/07 at 12:58 pm

For every Beatles or Smiths the UK gives us, they also give us Crazy Frog and The Spice Girls.

Subject: Re: Why is Britain's musical taste (seemingly) so much more advanced than Americ

Written By: gumbypiz on 11/14/07 at 5:09 pm

Whoa now, I don’t want to be the US zealot to wave the flag, but in response to the statement “Why is Britain's musical taste (seemingly) so much more advanced than Americans?”:

First lets understand, rock n roll, the genre were discussing here was invented or developed here from US blues, R&B and gospel. Eric Clapton, the Beatles and any other Brit super group/artist will lay claim to their appreciation of these styles to their American roots. So the “tastes” that Britain’s may or may not have, surely came from decidedly US beginnings.

Secondly, if you’re using the “charts” as a biases for your statements, then you’re standing on some very shaky ground. The “charts” in the US, i.e. Billboard are based on sales and even then the numbers are “juked” by the industry. A lot of the numbers are based on pre-order sales from the major distributors (and you do not want to know the dirty dealings that the industry uses to get them to buy what they don’t want), not showing what is sent back when it doesn’t sell. What is actually bought by retailers and what is actually sold to the public is two different things and it is NOT represented by the “charts” whatsoever. (Soundscan/Tower, RIP) Radio playlists follow these unreliable sales charts for airplay, and so, there you have it, crap radio. Crap radio charts as crap “airplay” listings thereafter.

UK charts have a lot more leeway and are based a lot more on airplay FIRST, then sales. Understand the FCC has a might bit more control on how US radio plays tunes (due to past payola scandals) than radio regulators do overseas, that alone is going to be a major change in how a band or artist “charts”.
This is a good thing in the UK of course, as usually (at least overseas), you don’t have as many hurdles to overcome to get your song played on the air, the corrupt record industry doesn’t have such a stranglehold on the system, and therefore a lot larger variety of groups and music gets heard in the UK than the US.

But even so, to rebut what some others have mentioned, every new trend or genre in music has NOT always originated from the UK.
It’s understood that the first origins of punk were from the US from the late 60’s (MC5, Iggy Pop/The Stooges).
With the exception of the Bee Gee’s most disco of the era was from popular American bands like KC & the Sunshine Band, Chic, etc.
CBGB’s was the home of many bands of the emerging punk and “New Wave” artists of the late 70’s (B-52’s, Talking Heads, etc. (US).
Both rap and Hip Hop grew from a specific US home base.

While I can understand the reason for the thread it’s just too blanket of a statement to be insightful or take perspective on the reality of how the industry works.


Subject: Re: Why is Britain's musical taste (seemingly) so much more advanced than Americans?

Written By: CrazyDude on 11/18/07 at 10:56 pm

Accross the Pond, people have different tastes. Of course it's different, no Brittish band ever had American sccess until 1964.

Subject: Re: Why is Britain's musical taste (seemingly) so much more advanced than Americ

Written By: Trimac20 on 11/18/07 at 11:52 pm

Actually the British charts have improved somewhat since the early 00s when they were as hip hop dominated as the US - probably the low point in their history. The early to mid 00s saw the emergence of Coldplay, Kaiser Chiefs.etc, and now with the new breed of home-grown post punk. The U.S. is still more commercialised than the UK, and more controlled by the popular media and entertainment industry.

Subject: Re: Why is Britain's musical taste (seemingly) so much more advanced than Americ

Written By: EyesWideAsleep on 11/20/07 at 7:47 pm


For every Beatles or Smiths the UK gives us, they also give us Crazy Frog and The Spice Girls.


Very true.  ;D

Subject: Re: Why is Britain's musical taste (seemingly) so much more advanced than Americ

Written By: danootaandme on 11/21/07 at 8:05 am

I think the Brit bands are less afraid of trying new cutting edge sounds from wherever they may come,  I'm sure most of you don't remember, but when the British invasion hit our shores most of the bands were stunned at the U.S. segregated music scene.  Ahmet Ertugun, and if you don't know him you really don't have enough education to talk about rock/pop history, felt the same when he started in the music biz well before the invasion.  It has changed, but there still is a tendency to categorize music, and musicians and a resistance to allowing the fluid movement of genres.

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