Sunday, July 30, 2017

1 to 3 Rule of Classic Hits

There's a phenomenon among radio stations, who play classic hits, that I call the "1 and 3 Rule." Apparently, it's considered taboo for radio stations to acknowledge when an artist or band has had several hits. After a certain amount of time after a band has had some hits, radio stations will cling to one of those songs and play it to death for eternity and that band is doomed to be known for that one song and history is left to forget their other songs. Such bands can easily be mistaken as one-hit-wonders.
For instance, OMD have had some delightful songs that had some airplay once upon a time, but the only song that radio stations seem to play is "If You Leave." Every radio station that plays classic hits plays that to death. Did you miss it? Just wait ten minutes. They'll play it again. Also, remember a time when Culture Club was known for more than Karma Chameleon? None of the radio stations seem to.
Super-famous bands, however, are granted a whopping three songs from their vast selection of hits to be remembered for... and rotten little else. Duran Duran, which dominated the airwaves in the 80s are reduced to Rio, Hungry Like the Wolf, and Ordinary world. Van Halen, despite insanely popular hits with David Lee Roth and then Sammy Hagar, are whittled down to Jump, Panama, and Love Walks In. David Bowie, whose music spanned over 5 decades, is now mainly known for Fame, Let's Dance, and Modern Love. The near absence of his other songs on the airwaves is nothing short of heartbreaking.
Now, one could argue that they are just playing what the listeners want to hear, but is everyone in every city really calling in with the same same same same songs every day when they can upload those songs on their own personal electronic devices themselves?
Please, radio stations who plays classic hits, these bands have put a lot of variety into their history. Stop reducing them to 1 or 3 songs. They deserve better and so do your listeners!

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