In today’s world of getting all you can for as little as possible, it seems that we got what we paid for- in terms of music and the methods by which many consumers download and listen to the songs which are correct for their age group. I grew up with LP’s where you would listen to a side which had the hit or two, flip it over to see if you could find something even better which the artist wrote. But it was not a commercial success. So we took the time to listen to sides of records, more than once to find some value in the second side. Today’s buyers mostly buy one song at a time via Apple’s iTunes or other online vending services. This is a slight to both the artist and the listener, for you may never hear that second, third or possibly fourth track which becomes your favorite after you hear it a few times. How many times have you heard of a hit record making it to the top from a side 2 of a 45? Google it and you will see that a good deal of big hits came from the B side.
My favorite is David Byrne from the Talking Heads, having been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with his band in 2002. He is recognized among the greatest song writers/musicians of all times. His music is slightly off; in fact I heard a recording engineer talking about what makes music interesting. He said that what you listen for is the parts of the music which are not perfect. In other words being slightly ahead or behind the beat makes the music more interesting. This recording engineer cited David Byrne and Paul Simon as two artists he worked with who did this the best. Listening to these two artists you can hear how they employ “off” beat into their music. So when you hear someone tapping or singing along and they are off the beat, they might actually be more interesting to the ear.
Have fun listening, and please do not abuse your hearing.