The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Friday, September 26, 2003

One of the big justifications for music fileswapping, and an explanation for declining CD sales, is that there's a dearth of worthwhile new music being produced right now, and thus no big incentive for people to run out and buy up the latest discs. I think that's a crock as far as being a motive behind fileswapping's popularity--that has to do with cost and convenience--but there may be some truth to this being a particularly stagnant period in popular music history.

Case in point: The Rolling Stones' 1968 recording of "Sympathy for the Devil" topped the singles charts at No. 1 this week, displacing a remixed version of Elvis Presley's "Rubberneckin", a song originally released in 1969. (It's not clear from this CNN piece whether this version of "Sympathy" is one of the remixed tracks, or the original cut.)

Two weeks of chart-topping by songs that were made in the 60s, one by a dead man, the other by a group of guys perilously close to death. Both songs given deft remix treatments by masters like The Neptunes and Paul Oakenfold, but still. It's a sad time to be a pop music enthusiast; glad that I'm not.

For myself, I always preferred the Laibach covers of "Sympathy for the Devil", especially the "Who Killed the Kennedys" mix. Female vocals on that one really give the lyrics a unique vibe, I think.