Tuesday, February 02, 2010

"I remember feeling completely alienated – not only did I think it was goofy but it felt like a betrayal of what I’d assumed the charts were for: showcasing new music, even if it wasn’t my new music." Tom Ewing on the late-'80s rise of the reissued single, that singular marketing device designed to help act as if a generation gap didn't--couldn't--occur during the years the baby boomers were largely parenting teenagers. Or at least that's one paranoid way to look at it; you could also say that pop started to suck in the late '80s, and I'd agree with that too, but either way, this is one of the more quarrelsome aspects of coming of pop age when Tom or I did. He explains it with more research than I've bothered with, and along with this introduction to 1987, I'm especially excited--this is the terrain I wrote about, from a more American (and less savvy) side, in Sign 'O' the Times, and this will go places I didn't, and in many ways couldn't, do.