The Best Music Ever Recorded

Some time back I ran across an article in The Atlantic titled “The Whitest Music Ever Recorded”. Reading it made me wonder when that magazine started hiring twelve year old writers. The music he was complaining about he called “prog rock”. I surmised that he was referring to progressive rock, the music KSHE was playing that we now call “classic rock”.
I only read a half dozen paragraphs, because not a single thing he said was accurate, up to and including the title. That is, assuming that “prog rock” is progressive rock and not country music. I’d say the first progressive rock band was the Beatles, starting with the albums Magical Mystery Tour and Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, breaking out of the 2:45 pop mold. They had black studio musicians.
I saw the Electric Light Orchestra live in the seventies. They had a choir and an orchestra, and I saw black faces in the orchestra and choir.
Country, however, has had a total of two black musicians that I know of, the singer Charlie Pride and some new fellow that country fans say isn’t country.
I was left thinking, why would you write down your stupid opinion of a musical genre that you hated? Especially one you were so ignorant about? The fool had no clue whatever about rock, progressive or otherwise.
Some time in the late 1970s my dad, who was never very musically inclined (I got my music from my mother), opined that the music he listened to as a teenager during World War Two was the best music ever recorded.
I disagreed, saying that I thought what was on the radio then was the best ever recorded. If his music was the best, why did you no longer hear it? He had no answer. “I don’t know, it was just good.” That’s the thing about music, it’s subjective and personal.
Thirty years later I was the divorced father of two teenaged daughters who lived with me, and on the weekends I would walk downtown to listen to live music in bars. The bars were all filled with people in their twenties. The musicians were in their twenties, a lot of whom I became friends with.
The music was all covers of the songs I’d told Dad I thought were best. Thirty years later, the young people were yelling “FREE BIRD!!”
At the time I’d had the conversation with Dad, Disco was in full swing. They said it would kill rock. It died, instead. But the best music ever recorded is still played today.
I think that like classical music, classic rock will still be enjoyed hundreds of years from now.


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