The Corner

If Only

John Cougar Mellencamp blames Reagan for the collapse of the music biz:

A formula was devised whereby the charts were based 20% on the SoundScan number and 80% on BDS results.

BDS doesn’t mean Bush Derangement Syndrome, although that would certainly explain much of the Hot 100. It’s something else entirely apparently. Anyway, Mr. Mellencamp eventually gets to the point:

Reagan’s much-vaunted trickle-down theory said that wealth tricked down to the masses from the elite at the top. Now we’ve found out that this is patently untrue — the current economic collapse reflects this self-serving folly. The same holds for music. It doesn’t trickle down; it percolates up from the artists, from word of mouth, from the streets and rises up to the general populace. Constrained by the workings of SoundScan/BDS, music now came from the top and was rammed down people’s throats…

Sadly, these days, it’s really a matter of “every man for himself.” In terms of possibilities, we are but an echo of what we once were. Of course, the artist does not want to “sell out to The Man.” Left with no real choice except that business model of greed and the bean counting mentality that Reagan propagated and the country embraced, there is only “The Man” to deal with.

Hmm. I’m sorry the poor old Cougar doesn’t care for the state of the biz, but I doubt this is what Reagan had in mind. If it were, Mr. Mellencamp would be playing third ukulele in Guy Lombardo’s Royal Canadians.  

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

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