Why is “Summer Of ’69” by Bryan Adams the only song on my radio?


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dated: 2022-11-25 19:00:46 .

I went on a little trip to Montreal last weekend. Montreal is about a five hour drive from Toronto (where I live, God help me). It’s about the same by train, but we took a car because Canada doesn’t know how to drive trains (tickets were about 9 million dollars). That’s how I knew we were going to listen to the radio. I know I don’t NEED to listen to the fragile, sometimes in-out local radio live in my car – there are a million different digital alternatives that do better now – but it’s a real treat for me. I don’t have to prepare anything, nothing is prepared for me (well, not for me personally), and the newspaper is posted every hour so I don’t feel like a total idiot the entire drive. However, listening to the radio means my hand is on the search button about 95 percent of the time. And 95 percent of the time it’s because it’s the summer of ’69.

If you haven’t heard Summer of ’69 by Bryan Adams, chances are you’re not Canadian and your quality of life is better than mine. A song about being torn between a rock star and some kind of trailer park (the title is a reference to fucking, which Adams thought was pretty damn hilarious) came out in 1985, which means I got this pop rock horror that was listened to mediocrity was a kind of northern sonic water torture in American style for about 37 years. “Summer of ’69” wasn’t even Adam’s biggest hit at the time of its release (it peaked at #11). It appeared on Adam’s fourth album, recklesson which the bigger song was the almost ordinary but not quite “Run to You” (even that only reached number 4) and the much better “Heaven” (which also peaked at number 11, although it was actually good, although I even then prefer Elisabeth Moss’s lo-fi treatment her smell). And yet, “Summer of ’69” is a song I can’t get away from. But why?

Well, there are rules in this country. And the rule is that you play Summer of ’69 whether you like it or not. Basically. The actual official rule, set by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), is that 35 percent of music broadcast on mainstream radio must be Canadian. (For national broadcaster CBC, it’s 50 percent; those rules don’t apply to college radio, which makes their music 10,000 times better, even though the hosts always sound like they’re broadcasting from their mother’s basement.) That rule doesn’t exist just to irritate me. It exists to showcase Canadian music, but more so to contribute to the development of new Canadian music (through financial contributions from industry earnings of $1.15 billion to various local talent funds). So what makes a song Canadian enough besides being written by Bryan Adams (actually that’s not always good enough, we’ll get to that in a moment)? The MAPL system — an awkwardly cute acronym for Music, Artist, Production, Lyrics — requires that a Canadian song meet at least two of the following four criteria: it was composed entirely by a Canadian, the lyrics were written by a Canadian, the music/lyrics were primarily sung by a Canadian, and/or song recorded/broadcast/performed in Canada.

In 1992, six years after the release of Summer of ’69, Adams took issue with the CanCon (Canadian Content) rules of his sixth album at a local press conference. Wake up the neighbors, which spawned the biggest hit of his career (the now-defunct Robin Hood song “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You,” so old I first danced to it) was not considered Canadian because it was recorded in the UK and co-written by Mutt Lange, who is South African. “You never hear Elton John being called un-British,” Adams said, adding: “It wasn’t until my records got big in America that I started playing seriously in Canada.” He suggested that the Canadian government get out of the music business and that CanCon is pretty backwards. “I always thought it only created mediocrity,” Adams said without irony. And yet, ironically, the rules of CanCon are the reason my guy gets so much airplay now.

This hand I always keep on the search button? This is exactly what the radio stations are against. It’s a lot easier to get people to stay on your channel when they can sing along than to get them hooked on something new. (Remember how hard Justin Bieber had to push “Call Me Maybe” before anyone cared?) And people freaking LOVE to sing along to “Summer of ’69.” Even on Spotify, this song has surpassed every other Adams song with over 850,000,000 streams (the next biggest, Robin Hood, is half that number). The fact that in this country it is a DAILY struggle not to succumb to the hook of the summer of ’69. is one of the reasons why it drives me crazy. It was as if Adams knew EXACTLY what notes to hit, what breaks to take, even the fake nostalgia. . . but I WILL NOT be a sign. That this song is even considered “rock” is embarrassing, as if accepting that label makes me complicit.

“Summer of ’69” is what chart leader Chris Molanphy calls a “legacy hit”. It’s a song that didn’t chart high when it came out, but is now indelibly associated with Adams. “I call radio the truth serum for bangers,” Molanphy says on his podcast. “We could hate how he breaks certain records year after year. But with all this research and evaluation data at their disposal, radio programmers know what’s stopping us from switching stations.” And, yes, that’s a little Bryan Adams song from 1985. A few years ago, Nielsen Music Canada released several top 10 lists as part of its end-of-decade review. Adams, as I suspected, came in at number one with the most airplay of any Canadian artist with nearly 3 million. (The Tragically Hip and Nickelback also made the list, but were much lower.) However, I was SURPRISED to learn that “Summer of ’69” didn’t make the top Canadian releases of 2019 — it was Carly Rae’s “Call” Jepsen Ja maybe” at 262,000 (only 1,000 more than Adams, but still). In the years since, The Weeknd has blown away every other Canadian (2020: “Blinding Lights,” 71,000 spins; 2021: “Save Your Tears,” 128,000 spins), and I’ll admit I’ve listened to a ton of those songs, but it’s less likely remember, because I don’t have a visceral response to it, maybe because I haven’t had time to nurture it.

But it’s only a matter of time before the Weeknd becomes Adams. What Yee-Guan Wong wrote in a 2005 article titled “Radio Kills Indie Stars” still holds true because the CRTC has consistently been reluctant to change the rules: “Legislation does not dictate how many artists are required to reach the 35 percent minimum. . resulting in a watered-down con that sounds more like Chad KroegerCon or Sarah McLachlanCon or worst of them all, Celine DionCon.” At the time, the Canadian Independent Recording Artists’ Association (CIRAA), indie musicians without major record deals, were trying to advocate for the introduction of a points system to discourage radio stations from rotating “Summer of ’69” (for example) as often as we all wanted to throw it away. our stereos out the window. “If you play Sarah McLachlan or the Barenaked Ladies or Shania Twain, you’re going to get the same credit as playing Ron Sexsmith, so why the hell are you playing Ron Sexsmith?” CIRAA’s Greg Terrence said Wong. “There’s no incentive to play in a lesser-known band.”

I don’t even particularly like Ron Sexsmith, but I’ll take it. I’ll literally take anything if it’s not the summer of ’69. Unfortunately, the CRTC has not accepted the points system. So here we are, every day from now until eternity, debunking Adams’ statement that “nothing can last forever.”


Why is “Summer Of ’69” by Bryan Adams the only song on my radio?

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Source https://canadatoday.news/ca/why-is-bryan-adams-summer-of-69-the-only-song-on-my-radio-162545/

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