From page 89 of Classic Rock Magazine June 2011
LAST MONTH’S ISSUE on songwriters raised some
interesting issues about rock music today. As Scott Rowley raised in his editorial, it’s interesting that the first generation of rock songwriters acknowledged people who were among the building blocks of rock: Otis Blackwell, Davy Graham, Little Richard, Leiber and Stoller, Hank Williams and so on.
Our rock heroes are in turn praised by guys by bands I’ve mostly never heard of (Graveyard, Evile, the Black Spiders, Backberry Smoke?) – guys who haven’t quite managed (I’m being polite, I mean “failed completely”) to reach the heights of the generation before them. You would have thought that being influenced by the songwriters of Led Zeppelin, Queen, the Stones, Thin Lizzy, The Who, Deep Purple and so on would have been a crash course in writing the perfect rock song but, by comparison, the bands of the last decade or two are total underachievers.
Mr Rowley seems to disagree with the Radio 1 controller’s assertion that a brilliant
new rock song is hard to find. But where are the contenders for the thrones of Boys Are Back In Town, We Will Rock You, Black Dog, Sweet Home Alabama etc – those unstoppable
anthems that cry out to be played on radio? And does the lack of them mean that new bands would be better off getting inspiration from even further back – from the guys who inspired Zeppelin and Sabbath, rather than the rock gods themselves? I suppose painters study the old masters, novelists read Dickens and film directors probably
watch Citizen Kane ... although Quentin Tarantino seems to have done alright on a diet of old kung fu movies and Where Eagles Dare ...
Big Mac, Stourbridge
What are the modern rock anthems? It’s a fair question Mac... and one that I’m going to avoid answering. There are a load of good bands out there – but do any of them have a Y ou Shook Me All Night Long , an All The Young Dudes or a Welcome To The Jungle ? What do you think: send us your contenders for the greatest songs of the past 20 years – the rock classics in waiting – and we’ll print the best.