Monday, September 03, 2018

The rock canon in the firing line

The musical canon established in the 1970s and still dominant today consists largely of white, male rock acts - hardly surprising when it has been shaped and defined by largely white, male rock critics. So it's significant to find one such white, male rock critic - the Guardian's Michael Hann - arguing that in 2018 "you'd have to be the most intransigent of rockists to think the canon - as defined by its previous iterations - has any meaning at all".

Anyone who finds those greatest-album-of-all-time lists tediously predictable, if not outright offensive in the way they overlook female and black artists, will no doubt agree with Hann's analysis. He's right that there is now a lack of broad consensus to support the concept of a canon, and also a lack of critics and publications with sufficient status and authority to make such pronouncements.

Looking to the future, Hann foresees more narrow genre-based lists, but also suggests that the canon might yet make a comeback as a relevant construct, albeit with a markedly different complexion.

(Thanks to David for the link.)

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