Will We Be Playing Today’s Music In 40 Years?

profile box pics prince bowie scr

So we lost David Bowie, Glenn Frey, Maurice White recently (amongst others of course), but what remains are their anthologies of timeless music. Their deaths have made a lot of us re-visit those great old songs, but even without the recent losses you could hear ‘September’ daily on a holiday booking advert in the UK or any number of these artist’s tunes played on radio stations throughout the world. Their songs certainly have mileage. ‘Life On Mars’ for example was released in 1973 and ‘September’ in 1978.

All the big Earth Wind And Fire songs sound technically of their time and yet still so fresh and the production quality heard via today’s advanced tech sound systems is crisp and up there still.
The quality of the songwriting from David Bowie never really dates either, even if there are a few 1970’s production hummers in there. You don’t even have to like his style of music to acknowledge those fantastic melodies and the un-showy honesty in his singing and lyrics. These folk came from a time when it was important to be good at your craft as opposed to be good at collecting hype and followers.

Those who remember these talented cats the first time around or heard parents playing them have to remember that practically all parents say the same negative things about the music their children listen to! However, one still has to ask, does today’s music really have what it takes to be played in 40 years time?

Where are the heirs to these thrones?

I accidentally heard a Justin Bieber song the other day, having been more aware of his antics rather than his music over the past few years. I rather liked it. To be fair I can’t remember either the tune or the name right now, even though I had liked it enough to rewind a few times – which doesn’t bode well for it’s 40 year staying power perhaps?!

So School Me!

What artists from today do you think could stand the test of time?

Tell us who you think below. Chuck up a You Tube video if we need some edjamacatin’.

Or let us know if you are choking with laughter at the possibility of any artist today still being up there in 2056!!!!!!!


Of course 2016 being the weirdest of years for dying celebrities, since I drafted this post Prince has died. But the argument remains the same – if not stronger. Prince’s music has already proven it’s staying power over multiple decades and it was only his own reservations that prevented his music being heard as ubiquitously as the aformentioned. He didn’t buy into the free dispersal of his work. Of course with his death that may change.



40 thoughts on “Will We Be Playing Today’s Music In 40 Years?

  1. This is quite a question to ponder over, actually. Steven Wilson, Thom Yorke, Chris Martin, yes. I would hope for the late Amy Winehouse, what power, such talent. Bon Iver, Sigur Ros, Mumford and Sons, Sufjan Stevens, Tame Impala, The shins, The fray, The script? This is a crazy question; there’s just SO MUCH happening in music right now! :’)

    And ofc, Cohen, Baez and Dylan are still alive. May they live forever :’D

      1. No more!….I have too many to check out! 😀 No feel free there’s always time to discover great talent!

        Hmmm…Bjork, that’s a really interesting one. She’s quirky, experimental, her own woman…maybe in 40 years? Yes, I think I can see someone digging up one of her tracks and using it in a film or on a playlist.

    1. Lol. You sure put me in place! That’s a great list right there! I’m impressed enough to check out the ones I don’t know when I grab a minute as testament to your good taste.
      But when I listen to them I’m still going ask…40 years time? 😀

  2. I still listen to lots of new great music that means as much to me as any of the “classics” from the past.

    It just takes a little perseverance, dis-regarding the narrow minded radio and TV schedulers who lazily rely on the old fossils and media friendly stars who look good on camera.

    Whether these artists that I find and invest in are still remembered in 50 years matters little to me cause I won’t be around to celebrate, so I couldn’t care less really.

    As for pop music the best album I’ve purchased recently is Susanne Sundfør’s “Ten Love Songs” from mid last year.Carefully arranged, it’s strange creation that combines simple synth pop with grand chamber pop. The songs are direct evocations of the complexity of love that are at times devastatingly poignant. I know hardly anyone heard it, but I treasure it close to my heart.

    Here’s “Kamikaze”…

    and “Fade Away”

    1. The point of whether an artist is around in 50 years is merely an opaque measurement of staying power that one COULD say was based on their quality and certainly popularity. Just another way to ask the question: ‘Are today’s artists any ruddy good?’ –
      Susanne Sundfør: That’s some description! Shall have a look tomorrow when I have more time.

    1. That’s what I mean though. Were people of yesteryear really in on the best music (60’s to noughties) or is Beyonce and her peers really creating the classics of tomorrow? Who knows eh? 🙂

  3. Believe it or not, I think Kanye West, Taylor Swift, Adele, Justin Timberlake, Mariah Carey, Christine Aguillera, Madonna, Beyonce, Rihanna, Dr. Dre, Eminem, Drake, among some others . . . There are quite a lot of talent out there.

    1. The question was not whether they are talented. It was whether you can hear folk playing ‘ Single Ladies,’ ‘Hotline Bling’, or BBHMM!’ in 40 years time.
      Whether you think they have the decades of longevity and the HUGE cultural impact of these greats that have passed on. To be honest Madonna is already in with these greats in my opinion – maybe not for the same technical brilliance or singing talent, but for longevity and impact.

  4. It’s hard to say. I’m not really a music buff – I can’t tell you who released what song in which year or anything like that – but I know what I like.

    I love Bon Jovi and, at 32, they have been the soundtrack to my entire life and continue to be. I was in love with any number of heavily hair-gelled boy-band members as a teenager but their days have come and gone. Metallica, Madonna and The Foo Fighters seem to have staying power. The Jonas Brothers and One Direction, not so much.

    I suspect what makes a band or musician with longevity is the integrity of their music and their uniqueness of voice, sound and presence. These seem to be the things the ‘greats’ have in common. I don’t see why todays musicians that share these traits can’t have the same level of success. And in the meantime I enjoy the one-hit-wonders just as much as I enjoy the music giants.

    1. See look at you. Always know the right things to say even if it’s not your area. I totally agree about the integrity bit, although I personally would struggle to name anyone today who does share these traits….although Ed Sheeran comes to mind…and I wait to be enlightened by anyone who doesn’t struggle!

  5. Not qualified enough in today’s music. I still remember Clapton as a member of Cream, and Jeff Beck featured in Antonioni’s Blowup. 🙂 I can only think that Radiohead – whose concerts my youngest daughter religiously followed almost worldwide – gives me the creeps… 🙂

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