What Makes A Classic

(Repost From Old Blog)

I’ve often heard it said that songs have to “withstand the test of time” to become classics. I’ve also heard the term “instant classic” get thrown around at new songs that hit the top of the charts on day one. Many of the “instant classics” I’ve heard die out rather quickly when the next big thing comes along, and sure we may listen to them again, but it’s the same way one might read a book or watch an old movie. In the end however I don’t think it should be a test of how many people listen to it now or later. But of one simple thing, relevance.

Relevance is a simple factor and it’s one that I believe can truly make something a classic. My song of choice for an example is “You’re The Voice” by John Farnham. For those of you that don’t know it have a listen to it here.

It’s a very powerful song with a strong intro leading into a strong message. It’s also a very good example of how good music doesn’t have to be stereotypical. The clapping you hear sets a good rhythm, a strong undertone that leads throughout the entire song. Which helps to reinforce the message it’s trying to portray. Now back in it’s day I’m pretty sure this song was all about war and how we should be shooting other people, other living people. How the common person should rise up and voice their displeasure at how things are going. This message is as relevant today as it was then.

We have our wars going on in this world, none of them are very pretty. But beyond that there are countries going bankrupt like it’s become popular. While I know many people are making a fuss, it’s not something I personally hear much about. This song is about standing up because something is wrong and I believe that no matter what era we are in. No matter what happens humanity will always have something it’ll need to stand and face.When those times come around, you can bet if I’m there I’ll remember this song.

Speaking of the economy though I have an example of a song that I think really could become a classic. The song is “I need a Dollar” by Aloe Blacc. Those of you that don’t know it (have you been living under a rock?) you can find it here.

This is a song that can speak to so many people, and let’s face it, we have all had a feeling that even the smallest bit more cash in your pocket would be a good thing. After that the music kept rather simple, with the trumpet (I think, I’m not really great at identifying instruments, like I said not a professional) enforces some idea of the trouble. This song could just as easily been done to a guitar, drums, keyboard and lord knows what else. But it would never have had the same effect, there are (as far as I can tell) three instruments used in this song, one of them only for the very end. It’s a simple song for a simple if rather difficult problem.

The both of these songs address things that will always be relevant. There will always be people who are scraping by day to day and there will always be some problem that we should lend our voice to. In my opinion that when a song touches on an issue that will be seen time and time again that is truly has the potential to become a classic. I’m not saying all classics do, but I do think that it’s an important factor.

Before I sign off I’d like to say thanks for reading and feel free to comment and add your opinions. Also I shall hopefully be updating this every Monday from now on. If you want to throw topics at me feel free to do so in the comments. I’m thinking at some stage I’ll have to talk about music in games, movies and the background. So, I hope you enjoyed the read. I’m going to stop typing now.


About Snababo

What can I say? I'm 26, Irish, have Asperger's Syndrome and a lot on my mind.
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