Radio 2

Sorry to bang on about it again. Radio 2 and their pet bands.

Wifey and I had a long drive and she insisted on Radio 2 (we have FM only so no Radio X on digital unfortunately.) I placed a sporting bet with her. Within the six hour journey, that Elton John, Queen, Roxy Music and George Michael would be played.

I didn't have to wait two hours, never mind six !

The next day - during my half hour's drive time - Roxy Music was somehow shoehorned into the Love Song slot, introduced by Gary Kemp (another R2 favourite along with Spandau Ballet.)

Can someone explain why this is so ? There have been tens of thousands of successful bands. Why do we keep hearing the same ones over and over ?

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Comments

  • Derek_RDerek_R Posts: 1,635Member
    I recently changed car and my new car has a CD player :-) So these days I listen to 5 live for half an hour for once round the news and travel and then I slot in a CD of choice for the rest of the journey. It's great! No talking between tracks and I get to hear the music I want (usually some obscure acoustic singer-songwriter or gypsy jazz player or finger-picker that's unlikely ever to make it onto a BBC playlist).

    I must confess I don't understand these people that text in asking for a certain song to be played by the radio station. If you love the song that much buy the CD and you can play it any time!

    As regards the question, I suspect there's still a certain amount of payola going on, maybe more with Radio One and it's new music ethos, but it's also probably lots of marketing folks working out the demographic on pie charts and spreadsheets and figuring Radio's 2 audience is of a certain age and income and will thus like (a), (b), and (c). TV chat shows from Jonathon Ross to Loose Women do the same thing with their interviewees - always the same few. Dumbing down...

    Derek
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,214Member
    I sympathise with your frustration Kevin!

    As to why this is so with Radio 2 I feel little qualified to answer as I have given up listening to music on the radio. The inane babble of so many DJs with little interest in music (a few honourable exceptions like John Peel and Mike Harding) over the years took its toll, and my tuning in to listen to music died a good few years ago.

    My better half uses internet radio and chooses stations that specialise in genre and have little yapping! The trouble is you find one you like and then a few months later there's too many ads and it's a long search through myriad possibilities to find another station that you like. Not a solution anyway if its in a car with no internet radio!

    I suspect there's a lot of pressure from the Banal Broadcasting Corporation suits to presenters to toe the line and play "safe" choices - risks are no longer acceptable. I could see the audience surveys being a feedback loop - listeners like this song so we should play it more - it gets played more and people get in the habit of hearing it and say they like it, which means it should get played more.

    Dumbing down as Derek says. In the whole organisation.
  • JockoJocko Posts: 6,870Member, Moderator
    I think if Kevin applied his Pop Star Bingo to any of the top 100 acts of the past 40 years he would see the same result. I listen to Radio 2, in the van, but the only programme I really "like" is Ken Bruce's. I have started now driving the car with no music at all and I find it very therapeutic. My wife always wants a CD on, but even that I find grating. Perhaps I am losing my love for music!
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,779Member
    I think there's enough variety out there not to pee anyone off. I don't mind the chat and can put up with adverts, so long as there is full variety.

    However, it's as though the '80s and early '90s never existed in terms of the music I used to listen to. My recent Human League cd demonstrates some fantastic song writing but you never hear them.

    Spandau Ballet are the closest they dare get to '80s and that was a girlie band that was just about acceptable in discos for a bit of smooching with a munter before they turned the lights up and blasted out the Thunderbirds theme. (Steve Wright is a disco obsessive, it seems.)
  • Derek_RDerek_R Posts: 1,635Member
    Why do you need Radio 2 to play the latest Human League CD if you already have it? I've been enjoying Del Amitri a lot recently - I have a whole bunch of their singles on vinyl, but it makes no difference to me if they're played on the radio or not. I just pop in the CD.

    From an altruistic perspective I can understand it - we admire certain artists and would like to see them get rewarded, and air-play would no doubt help. Or maybe it's because we want to spread the word about these great artists and see them "picked up" by the mainstream. Or maybe its because if a certain style (that we like) gets more airplay then more bands might adopt that style and we might stumble across more music that we love?

    I must admit, the only time I listen to music on the wireless is when I'm driving during Radio 2's evening genre hour - Jamie Cullen, Paul Jones, Mark Radcliffe, Bob Harris etc One gets to hear some great stuff on those shows.
  • JockoJocko Posts: 6,870Member, Moderator
    The 80's and 90's wasn't my era and I can take or leave the music from them. And to me Radio 2 seems to play too much of it! Horses for courses I suppose.
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 574Member
    The only radio station I ever listen to is BBC Radio 6. It's not necessarily my kind of thing, well I suppose it is, but I do tend to like experimental, noisy guitar based music. It sounds so honest and real. I can't handle radio 2 for more than 5 minutes or radio 1 for about 5 seconds - never have been able to! I predominantly listen to jazz, prog, art rock and bits and pieces of other genres. In the car I only listen to my iPhone.
    I do like the deejays on R6. Most of them are musicians and seem to know what they're talking about and can be quite self effacing. I like that! Real, honest, like the music they're playing.
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,779Member
    edited February 17
    Jocko - My point is that I'm now approaching mid 50s having patiently waited my turn to hear my music. I should be well and truly in the R2 demographic now. The '80s representation that R2 gives is the big hair rock, disco and a very narrow pop version. Where are The Specials, Madness, U2, The Cure, The Stranglers... Depeche Mode, Bangles, Fleetwood Mac, Tracy Chapman... on and on... ?

    Anyone would think that all that existed were Spandau, ABC, Bon Jovi... Queen, Roxy... (Queen and Roxy must have been getting a thrice daily airing for over forty years now, not joking.)

    Nick. I didn't know there was a R6 !

    Derek (and others) why have any music on radio because we ALL have CDs ? The point is to be surprised by the playlist and to share the nostalgia with the nation "Oh yeah. Forgot about that one !" and a CD in a car is one way to end up playing it 'til your sick of it (refers to previous thread.)
  • LesterLester Posts: 1,513Member, Moderator
    The reason I have all these CDs is because I have listened to the radio throughout my life. Chicken and egg!
  • JockoJocko Posts: 6,870Member, Moderator
    Agreed, Lester. I often buy a CD because I have heard a track on Radio 2 and thought, "I'd like to hear more of that".
  • Derek_RDerek_R Posts: 1,635Member
    The point is to be surprised by the playlist and to share the nostalgia with the nation "Oh yeah. Forgot about that one !"
    But it sounds to me like you're constantly disappointed by the radio experience - why would you keep doing something that brings you down so much?

  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,774Member
    Derek_R said:

    Why do you need Radio 2 to play the latest Human League CD if you already have it? I've been enjoying Del Amitri a lot recently - I have a whole bunch of their singles on vinyl, but it makes no difference to me if they're played on the radio or not. I just pop in the CD.

    From an altruistic perspective I can understand it - we admire certain artists and would like to see them get rewarded, and air-play would no doubt help. Or maybe it's because we want to spread the word about these great artists and see them "picked up" by the mainstream. Or maybe its because if a certain style (that we like) gets more airplay then more bands might adopt that style and we might stumble across more music that we love?

    I must admit, the only time I listen to music on the wireless is when I'm driving during Radio 2's evening genre hour - Jamie Cullen, Paul Jones, Mark Radcliffe, Bob Harris etc One gets to hear some great stuff on those shows.

    I like Jamie Cullum's show, being of a jazz persuasion, and I think he does a good job of playing interesting stuff but balancing that with keeping things appealing and accessible to jazz newcomers. Or at least I hope he does, because the music really could do with more of an audience.

    Anyhow, I agree about the great stuff on this programme and others like it. As to daytime radio for music, I have to say I've pretty much given up on it, and like others here, I have my own CDs instead.
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,779Member
    Derek - I like Steve Wright's (and gang's) humour. But the music...

    Today they played this one - a complete travesty and one of the worst things to have been done to music



    Aaaargh !!!
  • JockoJocko Posts: 6,870Member, Moderator
    That's a brilliant album. One of my favourites. Especially the Abba section.
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,779Member
    edited February 18
    I'm not being funny here. But this is Saturday. I'm driving wifey on a half hour trip to select bedding at Trago. What's on the radio ?

    Queen !!!

    The BBC is as bent as a nine bob note.

    I wouldn't mind, but if I don't pay the licence fee I can go to prison.
  • JockoJocko Posts: 6,870Member, Moderator
    There is no licence fee for radio. Only for television.
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,779Member
    On which I do not watch much BBC (if any).
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 574Member
    I liked Steve Wright when I was a kid, but not so much now. He just gets on my nerves!

    Oh that TV license is just ridiculous. I lived in Canada for 20 years where there is no license and I didn't see any broadcasting companies suffering. I NEVER watch the Beeb - actually, I very rarely watch TV at all, just DVDs, Netflix and iTunes, so why I have to pay a license I'll never understand. It's a scam for sure.

    But, I try not to complain about anything that has an on-off switch. I have a choice. It's my choice to watch and complain or just turn the thing off!
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,779Member
    Wifey...
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 574Member

    Wifey...

    Huh?
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,779Member
    She has BBC on all the time and doesn't see what I'm on about.
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 574Member
    Ahhhhhh...... Gotcha!
  • Screaming DaveScreaming Dave Posts: 758Member
    I detect a tie in across all BBC platforms, and other external influences.

    As an example, a few years back you could listen to Radio 2 for a month and never hear ELO, then Jeff Lynne's ELO play Radio 2's festival in a day in Hyde Park, and suddenly it's wall-wall ELO (no bad thing, but interesting) ....

    Is it a coincidence that Martin Kemp is on BBC's latest Saturday night talent (less) show, and suddenly Radio 2 become Spandau Ballet fans.... ?

    Queen were a brilliant band, and probably deserve the air play just for their place in history, but that documentary/dramatisation of Freddie Mercury's life is on wall-to-wall on TV right now, so Radio 2 play Queen .....

    If I was a conspiracy theorist, I'd smell a conspiracy.
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 574Member
    edited February 23
    You're right... radio playlists are no accident. I think we're pretty lucky in this country though. I used to work at a place in Canada where they played FM radio all day and I was sure that Bonnie Tyler came on at exactly the same time every day. Ugh. It was like the entire station played a tape with the same songs in the same order.
    I'm sure I lost brain cells and a good amount of long term sanity at that job.
  • Derek_RDerek_R Posts: 1,635Member
    Was driving Tuesday afternoon and had Steve Wright on the radio (yep, the missus was in the car so my obscure finger-picking CDs wouldn't have cut it) and there was some pretty good music playing. You can call up the playlists:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08f3zyv

    Sure it's always very Radio 2-ish, but one can't argue with Beatles, Stones, Who, Mott The Hoople, Kinks, Small Faces, Bowie, Mamas and Papas, Prince, Derek and the Dominos etc

    Not a patch on a finger-picking CD, of course, but okay for a one-off.

    Must admit though, looking at the following day's playlist I think I would have turned to my CDs and put up with the grief from the missus.

  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,779Member
    edited February 23
    I hate to say it. All that music is really ancient now, Derek. And then they play some stuff which is bang up to date but of a ... well... chosen few.

    My main gripe is that they seem to have completely skipped my era.

    So yes. I can argue with the Stones, The Beatles, Kinks, Bowie... there's a lot more to British music than those cliche's. (Only the brilliant become cliche's btw)

    Having said that. Human League were played by Vanessa Feltz this morning, so I have hope.

    (Even Wifey said of Bowie's last album 'King's new clothes, eh ?')
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,779Member
    Nick - p'raps you might do a post on your experiences. I'm sure everyone would be interested. Hey. Why don't we do a post of all our work life experiences ?
  • Derek_RDerek_R Posts: 1,635Member
    Oh I know the music I listen to is ancient. But most pop music is aimed at teenagers, so the pop music I like is the music that spoke to me when I was a teenager - hence it all being ancient now. I mean, I just looked at the Brits shortlist list of top singles and not only do I know none of them, I've only heard of three of the ten artists. It simply isn't relevant to me and so it passes me by. Being into that would be like me still reading Enid Blyton or Biggles books!

    I'm more than happy to be fully ensconced in my genre music - be it finger-picking, gypsy jazz, or grizzled old singer-songwriters - these days. Which is why I play CDs in the car, and now we're back where we started.

  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 574Member

    Nick - p'raps you might do a post on your experiences. I'm sure everyone would be interested. Hey. Why don't we do a post of all our work life experiences ?

    That's not a bad idea! I'll try and drum up something that might be of interest. Perhaps the angle could be the difference between UK and Canadian work life, or 'things that I noticed and are they different here?'.


    (Even Wifey said of Bowie's last album 'King's new clothes, eh ?')

    I can see how Blackstar might not be for everyone, but to me it will take a long time before it is really appreciated fully. His work is often like that. Blackstar is almost like a catalogue of his past work, with some elements that are pushing the boundaries and foretelling music to come.
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 574Member
    Derek_R said:

    But most pop music is aimed at teenagers, so the pop music I like is the music that spoke to me when I was a teenager - hence it all being ancient now. I mean, I just looked at the Brits shortlist list of top singles and not only do I know none of them, I've only heard of three of the ten artists. It simply isn't relevant to me and so it passes me by. Being into that would be like me still reading Enid Blyton or Biggles books!


    I agree. It's like watching popular movies too. I saw Transformers (no idea why) and couldn't stand watching the scenes where the female love interest (Megan Fox...)is portrayed as alluring. It made it blatantly obvious that I was not the target audience. How do they expect 40-something viewers to react? Come on! So in the same way, pop/dance music that is talking about clubs and club activity is not my thing. There's nothing wrong with saying that, either. There is TONS of new music being made and music that IS relevant to my life. I make more careful decisions about what I listen to, now. It actually turns out to be newer music made by people closer to my age, generally.
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