I’ll try to explain:
The big bang of the LA studio scene took place somewhere half-way through the seventies. The singer-songwriter crowd crawled out of their Laurel Canyon enclosure and discovered soul music and jazz, and a handful of young but supremely skilled musicians, songwriters and producers were standing by to further guide them towards the light.
Together they owned the charts and hearts of the world for nearly a decade, culminating in Michael Jackson’s 1983 Grammy landslide. When Lionel Richie ushered the Olympic Games – and with it, the collective focus of the world – out of Los Angeles in 1984, the Brits had already grabbed the baton back and run away with it.
I’ve been researching this golden era of commercially oriented popular music for a while now, and I’m ceaselessly fascinated by all aspects of it. If success in terms of airplay, record sales and awards doesn’t warrant closer inspection in and of itself, the sheer geographical concentration of musical talent alone should be enough to raise a few eyebrows.
The music from this period is usually disregarded by critics and historians as conveyor belt music, soulless bubble-gum ditties with little to no artistic merit, wrapped in calculated fluff designed to move feet and dollar bills.
In my ears, there’s always been so much more to it than that. Although the DIY ethics of the punk movement remain fashionable to this day, being good at what you do shouldn’t have to equal immediate disqualification from the annals of music history.
So I’ve decided to gather as much information on the subject as I possibly can, and collect the available facts, the memories from the people who were part of the scene, as well as a few thoughts of my own, in a documentary-style book.
I’m hoping to be able to use this blog as a writing tool. I will be publishing article drafts, finished snippets, raw interview transcripts, and random thoughts here – as well as the odd album recommendation. Feel free to leave a comment if you’ve got something on your mind.