Dead Letter Office
The Theory

By: Todd Hutlock

Posted 01/30/2004 - 04:39:17 AM by andrew:
 What about Aphex Twin/Boards Of Canada/IDM cliches? '98 was the year of 'Come To Daddy' and BOC's first album, which spawned 400 trillion crap copycats, including Radiohead...(I didn't mean that, I'm sorry, stop hitting me).
Posted 01/30/2004 - 08:55:41 AM by AUnterberger:
 I think '98 would arguably be a very transitional year for those reasons you listed--Nu Metal and the boy band explosion. That was the year Total Request Live was born, which was dominated by those bands (for some insane amount of weeks, the top three were KoRn, BSB and N Sync), and very much changed what was being played on MTV, and I suppose consequently, what was ruling the charts and airwaves as well.
Posted 01/30/2004 - 10:14:24 AM by d.a.boyfriend:
 I thought about the IDM thing too, but I don't think it had the sort of impact that something like the Beatles or Elvis did, so I wouldn't count it either. I think TRL, good or bad, and that sort of music certainly did change things, because look where we are now. Electronica, unfortunately, came and went (at least to the mainstream music fan it did) while that other crap stayed.
Posted 01/30/2004 - 12:49:57 PM by DomPassantino:
 1998: Thousand Clowns They had a follow-up single, you know? I think it may have contained the phrase "blowjob barman". Thousand Clowns guy did look like Paul Barman, now I think about it.
Posted 01/30/2004 - 01:17:22 PM by naiveteenidol:
 By the very nature that Rap Metal and Teen Pop took over, you could argue that 1998 was the Year the Music Died.
Posted 01/30/2004 - 04:12:29 PM by kickasslick:
 Couldn't we say that user-friendly music software and the Internet-as-a-music-broadcasting-system started to hit their stride in 1998?
Posted 01/31/2004 - 01:18:18 AM by Slumberlord:
 I think 1984 is a stretch - you could make a similar argument for a few of the years before or a few of the years after (I mean, come on, 1986 was the year of License to Ill, biggest selling rap album of the 80s, and if you want to talk crossover, that's it). I don't think CD sales became serious for the mass public until a few years later (some one can call me on that if I'm wrong though). Plus in using such-and-such was about to break (1963) and such-and-such did break (1977) it's pretty easy to throw different things in... music develops in unpredictable ways and there are few if any guiding rules... Plus, you look at 1963 as being an important year for the Beatles outside the U.S. - but then shouldn't international trends be considered for other years? Certainly "Rock Box" wasn't as important outside the U.S. as it was in and electronica had a much bigger impact overseas.
Posted 01/31/2004 - 08:57:25 AM by hutlock:
 You are all probably correct about whatever it is you are saying, because it's just a theory, and a malleable one at that. I just reported it the way it had originally been explained to me way back whenever I first heard about it. IF you don't agree about 1963 or 1984 or whatever, that's fine -- it's part of the fun of the exercise and the discussion. But don't sweat it too much -- It's really all just idle talk that takes place around bored editors and/or record store clerks. It's not going to end up in the museum of natural history or anything. I think if you make the idea more flexible (as in, not a "set" seven years, but more of a general guide) that leaves you some wiggle room and you can correct things like 1963 to 1964, and 1984 to 1986. It's still ROUGHLY the same time period you're talking about, right? I really just simplified it for the sake of the column.
Posted 01/31/2004 - 05:10:18 PM by wilcobaggins:
 In 1998, an idea called Napster was conceived. It may not have immediately and directly changed the way music was made, but it certainly changed the way music is listened to. In the longrun, I think the effects of file-sharing on music will be quite substantial. For example, the indie community's sudden preoccupation with particular mainstream artists is just one consequence. Just look at your Winamp playlist and tell me you would've paid for all those Kelis and Joe Budden tracks.
Posted 08/13/2004 - 03:51:11 PM by bj_randolph:
 1984 is way too early to start talking about CDs taking over, but it was the year that American hardcore punk became serious rock-crit fodder. Husker Du - Zen Arcade Meat Puppets - II Minutemen - Double Nickels... Replacements - Let It Be