You have to look at the pop music industry over the years and remember there was a time when it was quality of product first and the business of making money second. The truth is, it is not a reflection of our well-loved industry today. Money has taken a firm stand over the quality of much of the music being force fed to the public.

There was a time when you could turn on the radio and hear well-written pop songs. Songs written by the artists themselves. Individual singer songwriters such as Don Mclean with classics such as ‘Vincent’ and ‘American Pie’.  The skilful duo Godley and Crème with band 10cc who penned such masterpieces as ‘I’m Not In Love’ ‘I’m Mandy Fly Me’ and perfect pop in the shape of ‘The Things We Do For Love’.  The huge superstars in the form of David Bowie with classics such as ‘Life On Mars’ and Marc Bolan and T-rex with a whole wonderful catalogue of pop gems, ‘Children of the Revolution’, ‘Metal Guru’, bands and artist such as Queen, Led Zeppelin, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, the list goes on and on.

All these artists delivering the world well crafted material that will forever stand the test of time. So what happened? The mechanics of the industry changed over the years. In the old days the writers/artists and the record companies were two separate areas coming together to form a partnership

The writers job was to come up with the songs and the record companies to finance promote and make the recording(s) accessible to the public. Two separate and of course very specialist areas.

However over the years certain people were beginning to look closely at how much money was being paid out to the artists in the form of royalties. This constituted a huge amount as the professional writers were paid a fee (royalty) every time the song was performed or aired in public. This would include radio play, television appearances and concerts. Money was paid out to the artist in the form of writer and publishing rights.

These people started to see if they could take the artist and all of his (her) creative work out of the equation, they could now not only be the record company and business side of things but also become the writers.  It would enable them to take control of all the publishing and therefore all royalties from tv, radio, concerts etc (including charity concerts)… (now there’s another article) would have to be paid to them (they could take complete control) hence the introduction of people like Stock, Aitkin and Waterman in the 80’s and bland manufactured music.

Suddenly we had a massive nosedive in quality with the songs being penned by the businessmen and not by professional writers.

The money became more important than the music and the pop music industry became solely about revenue and greed irrespective of what was being put out there for the public to enjoy in terms of quality. It didn’t matter if it was a good song or not.  Jay Kay lead singer with ‘Jimiroquoi’ once said and I quote, “Pete Waterman aka Stock, Aitken Waterman almost flushed British pop music down the toilet single handedly”.

Waterman continues to boast on cheap reality shows about the amount of money he made through the 80’s, yet he did nothing for music as an art form. Writing music was an area of the music business he had no right to enter. Song after song, (if you can call them songs), was churned out with pretty much the same boring backing track time and time again. The lyrics barely went beyond ‘I love you, do you love me too’. Instantly forgettable and insignificant.

In today’s market we have the likes of Simon Cowell, Simon Fuller and Louis Walsh. We’ve had to endure ‘Boyzone’,  ‘Westlife’,  ‘Ronan Keating’ solo… urgh..  And are they even worth mentioning, ‘Girls Aloud’. The likes of Cowell, Fuller have even taken it a step further using television as a launch pad creating tacky shows like ‘Pop Idol’ and ‘X Factor’ to promote only themselves to push up their profile and the public continues to swallow it.

The music industry is one of the best-loved industries in the world. It is important that we as a nation recognize that music should return to its highest level in the form of classic songs and the making of music should be handed back to the professional songwriters.  It is important that the life shouldn’t be squeezed out of our industry to characters who are only interested in grabbing the money with no appreciation or more importantly talent for the art.

The final summary and the good news is the public hold the power and have always held the power as to where our much loved industry goes from here. This is without doubt the most powerful information in the whole of this article, we control it.  We have the choice.

Without our support for their vehicles in the form of tacky tv shows and bland no-song offerings of products these people would not survive and pop music would return to its rightful place. Quality of product first, making the money second. We would then in the future return to producing music that would once again touch people and stand the test of time.

As in the words of John Miles, ‘Music was my first love and it will be my last. Lets wake up to what is going on and let’s take the control back from our much loved music industry.