Tuesday, December 9, 2008

One Hit Wonders Or Not?

My favorite podcast (Stuck In The 80s) frequently does shows with topics like One Hit Wonders of 1983, 1984, etc. Invariably when they tab an artist or group as a one hit wonder they get a slew of complaints from all over the world from fans who assure them that their favorite artist/band had many more hits than they give them credit for. They offer as evidence the chart positions from their countries for these artists. For me this is a problem. You see if I am living in America and am doing my own list it means I’m talking about the American charts. I didn’t grow up in England, India, Peru or any other country. I grew up listening to music and watching videos in America so it only makes sense to refer to the American charts since that is what I experienced and lived through.

It doesn’t mean that there weren’t any foreign bands on the list, just that I’m using my country of origin as the basis for my information. There are a ton of foreign bands whose music I adored (still do as a matter of fact) such as The Clash, The Specials, The English Beat, Big Country and countless others. Unfortunately I did not live in these bands countries and as such the favorite songs of that era by these individual listeners in their country has absolutely no bearing or influence on my life because I never experienced it. The flip side to this is that they never experienced mine either. I’ve listened to quite a few interviews where an artist talks about how in America a particular song was huge but in his own home country it did nothing at all. There are artists who couldn’t get recognized by their own mothers here in the states but in Japan are revered as god-like creatures. It all depends on where you live and where you come from, what your influences are and what touches you personally and makes an impression.

So when you hear a one hit wonders or top songs list ignore the fact that your hair starts bristling on your arms, neck and ears over the injustice that you feel is being done to your favorite artist. Take a breath and remember that just because a song was huge in your country does not mean it was huge all over the world. Feel free to make your point that said band was more than a one hit wonder where you come from but also understand that it’s not necessarily so all over the world. Don’t take offense. Live and let live and remember that I’m not wrong, I’m not right, I’m just opinionated.

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