A sign of the radio times?

There were fewer more important bands to the grunge era than the Smashing Pumpkins.  Nirvana, Pearl Jam and maybe Soundgarden were bigger.   In 1991, when “Nevermind” ushered in a changing of the guard in rock music, millions and millions of Canadians were between the ages of 12 and 16 (I was one of them).  Albums like “Siamese Dream”, “Badmotorfinger” and “”Sixteen Stone” defined a generation.  It’s a long-proven fact that the music you listen to in your late teens to early twenty’s is the music you will hold onto for the rest of your life.

 Today, those 12-16 year olds from 1991 are now 33 to 37.  This is right smack in the middle of one of the most lucrative radio demos in the country.

Yet, almost 36 hours after the release of a NEW Smashing Pumpkins song, there are 11 total spins in the country.  That is not a typo; eleven spins.

The Smashing Pumpkins have sold 20 million copies of “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness” alone.  Never mind “Gish” and “Simease Dream” which have likely combined to have sold MORE.

I’m not saying the ‘Pumpkins track is good (although, I’m not saying it’s bad either).  What I am saying is that modern or alternative rock radio ought to play Gotye a little less, and spin “The Celestials” a few times.  There is a generation of well-paid 30-somethings who will sit through some of your advertisers messages to get a taste of their teens.

 

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2 responses to “A sign of the radio times?

  1. Perhaps The Smashing Pumpkins were never really that good…..they certainly don’t define a radio format…..like Led Zeppelin did, or Nirvana…..its just pop culture….how important is it?

  2. I’m not sure this is about a band being “good” or not. This is a reflection of the current status of radio, bucking our traditional ideology that heritage bands have some cache’ to a target audience. Look at the number of titles some of the “Grunge Gods” STILL have on Alternative Radio in Canada (these are MediaBase stats)

    Alice in Chains 12 songs
    Beastie Boys 11 songs
    Nirvana 31 songs (by far and away the highest number)
    Smashing Pumpkins 11 songs

    So if the Smashing Pumpkins were never that “good” why are nearly every chart reporting station in the country still playing them as a significant gold artist? Because the band music, and name, are still relevant.

    And make no mistake, radio IS a direct reflection of pop culture. There isn’t a format (that makes money) that doesn’t corner a piece of pop culture, brand it their own, then market it to gain listeners.

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