New Hit Songs Vs Old Songs

New Hit Songs Vs. Old Songs – Better Now or Better Then?

As an aging member of Generation X, I find myself to be the unlikely defender of new music.  Friends my age – even some Millenials – seem to love trashing the new music they hear on the radio.

I find the songwriting to be solid.  The musical arrangements are sharp, minimalist, and hooky as anything. They hook you more often and faster than in old songs.

It is harder than ever to land hit songs on the radio, and the rewards are much smaller than they were back in the day.

It’s safe to say that landing that top song on the radio is more competitive than ever.

Apples to Oranges

I keep hearing people comparing top 40 to Album rock.  Instead of comparing Beyonce to The Beatles, critics should be comparing her to the Bay City Rollers, or Mister Mister, or any other number of chart-toppers that faded with the Baby boomer generation and Gen X.


I came up with this random test to do what I think is a fair comparison. 

Let’s take a hit song today, then select a random year between 1960 and 1999. Then pit that new song up against a song from that year that occupied the same chart position.

Then we can make a fair comparison of New Hit Songs Vs Old Songs.

Why 1960 to 1999?

The Billboard Hot 100 was launched in 1958. And rock’s last hoorah pretty much ended with nineties.

If there’s a picture that I think defines the new music era we’re in, I think it’s this one.

Hey Rock critic, can you feel her taunt you?

In fact, I mark the beginning of the modern pop era with the launch of Baby One More Time by Britney Spears in January 1999.

This is when electronic beats, and producer driven pop really took hold.

New Hit Songs Vs. Old Songs

Somehow it always comes back to The Beatles.

I believe that every negative thing you can say about Ariana Grande, Drake, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, and Beyonce, was said about The Beatles when they hit the charts back in the early sixties.

Jazz musicians rightfully claimed that rock & roll was – by comparison – basic, predictable, sonically uninteresting, and took much less talent to perform. 

Sound familiar?

Music is in the eye – or ear – of the beholder.  It’s about feeling, emotion, and energy. 

You could easily make the argument that while today’s hits are more minimalist than hits of the past, they are lyrically far more complex. 

Drake and all of Hip Hop are by nature more lyric driven than vintage pop.

It’s about making a connection.

New Hit Songs Vs. Old Songs – Better Now or Better Then?

It all comes down to making a connection with the audience.  That’s what makes music special.

The Billboard Hot 100 is about youth.

And if you’re a fifty-year-old male feeling like music isn’t made for your taste, you would be exactly right

More Better Now or Better Then to come!

I had a blast making this video with my friend Ashley.

The plan is to make lots more so please keep watching, and subscribe to my YouTube Channel.

And we might finally answer the question: New Hit Songs Vs. Old Songs – Better Now or Better Then?

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