7/27/15

Now That's What I Call Classic Rock [2015]

Longtime Hideaway viewers know how HERC has overstated his role in shaping the classic rock format heard on a couple of his hometown radio stations here in the 62nd largest radio market in the nation.  All of this in spite of the fact he rarely listens to either station.  According to the latest ratings, one of the classic rock stations has switched formats to "classic hits" (which means it plays both Led Zeppelin AND Donna Summer) and is ranked third among the city's stations while the other station, the city's longest running rock station (that switched to classic rock format in early 90s) is just down the dial list in fifth position.  Here's what the top songs are this week on those two stations:


Now here's what those playlisting corporate zombies over at NOW Headquarters were able to license in the name of classic rock.
The first attempt at a Now Classic Rock collection was released in the States in 2008 as the straight-forward titled Now That's What I Call Classic Rock.  I picked it up and subsequently put down within 30 seconds at Target shortly after it was released thinking there were some songs missing including "We Are The Champions" which should always be played after "We Will Rock You".  (However, the reverse does not apply as "We Are The Champions" can and does stand on its own.)  With two songs each from the Sixties and Eighties, the average age of the songs on this album is right at forty years (in 2015) which is ├╝ber prime classic rock territory.  Chances of hearing three or more songs from this album in any given hour on your local classic rock station: 110%
Four years after the first Now Classic Rock effort, the unwieldy and redundantly titled Now That's What I Call Classic Rock Hits was released in 2012.  Focusing mainly on the American arena rock giants of the Seventies and Eighties, the album is a juxtaposition of abbreviated radio edits and sprawling, full-length album cuts.  Interestingly, a pair of classic live cuts are included near the album's inevitable ending track, Lynyrd Skynyrd's soaring "Free Bird." Chances of hearing three or more cuts from this album in any given hour on your local classic rock station: 120%
The most recent endeavor at a Now Classic Rock compilation was released in the UK in June 2015 as Now That's What I Call Classic Rock.  (Yup, same exact title as its ugly American cousin in 2008.)  It features sixty-three songs across three discs with an obvious UK bent track selection which runs from Alice Cooper to ZZ Top.  Roughly half of the tracks are ones you will hear on any self-respecting classic rock station in America.  There also seems to be some sort of delineation between the older songs on the first two discs and the mostly somewhat newer tracks found on the third disc which inexplicably ends with three early classics.  Once again, and against everything that classic rock stands for, "We Will Rock You" appears sans "We Are The Champions" though I corrected that heinous oversight on the playlist above.  Please also note on the playlist above a couple of tracks appear as [untitled] - I can assure you they indeed have titles and the correct tracks for this album and accompanying playlist.  Chances of hearing three tracks from this album in any given hour on your local classic rock station: 130%

2 comments:

  1. Putting your hypothesis to the test! From this morning, here's the 9-10 AM playlist on my local classic rock station, KTBQ-FM:

    Dance the Night Away - Van Halen
    In the City - Eagles
    Money for Nothing - Dire Straits
    Free Ride - Edgar Winter Group
    Sympathy for the Devil - Rolling Stones
    Welcome to the Jungle - Guns N' Roses
    Magic Carpet Ride - Steppenwolf
    My Generation - The Who ✔
    Barracuda - Heart ✔
    Lick it Up - KISS

    I had high hopes for 3, but 2 ain't bad.

    This may be the first hour I've ever heard on this particular station that didn't contain a song by Skynyrd, Led Z, or Floyd.

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    Replies
    1. I believe it was the philosopher Marvin Lee Alday who said "Two out of three ain't bad"

      I thought about testing my own outlandish and overstated hypothesis but that would entail listening to commercial radio. Unless their playlists are posted online. Naaaah.

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