Repeat performance


While waiting for a haircut over the weekend, I was subjected to the usual assortment of generic pop music on the in-store radio system. Interestingly, the salon just had the stereo tuned to a normal radio station; they weren’t playing Muzak or satellite radio. As each song came and went, I noticed a striking similarity between the songs on the pop station now, and the ones I heard in college ten years ago.

In short, a lot of the stuff on generic pop stations today seems to be indistinguishable from what they played five or ten years ago. This makes me wonder: what if an artist took a song from a decade ago, remixed it a bit, and released it again today? Would it gain traction on the radio and sales charts?

When you’re talking about pop music, it’s unlikely that anyone in today’s target audience would be old enough to recognize the song, let alone remember that it’s “old”. While I’m not aware of any singers that have re-released their own stuff every ten years or so (aside from “greatest hits” albums), it would certainly be an interesting experiment. And if the approach was successful, I wonder if the current listening audience would welcome the history and pedigree of the songs, or instead reject them as last decade’s product.