Corporate Rock and Cultural Capital

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August 2, 2011 by admin

From The Middletown Blog:

However, I think that déclassé reputation is part of the reason why I always preferred to think of Yes or King Crimson as Rush’s peers, instead of Boston or Styx. Prog rock had its image problems with the critics, but so-called corporate rock is probably the most disrespected genre that ever attained popularity in rock’s history.

So corporate rock lacks cultural capital. Some of these bands aren’t even in some of the big “who’s who” rock encyclopedias – my copy of Rock: The Rough Guide contains no entries for nearly all of these bands (except Rush!). Apparently, they aren’t even worth remembering, they have no niche in rock’s history.

This dovetails, I think, with some salient points made in Joe Carducci’s Rock and the Pop Narcotic. (Anyway, I seem to recall him rather persuasively fleshing out a similar argument… perhaps I’m remembering it wrong?)

“…so-called corporate rock is probably the most disrespected genre that ever attained popularity in rock’s history.” My first thought was to disagree vehemently with this (“what about black pop?” “what about bubblegum?” “what about…” etc.), but he might be right.

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