Iconic producer Bob Ezrin has slammed an attitude to songwriting that he says has robbed the art of its finesse.
He believes the “greed is good” attitude of the 1980s has bred a generation of musicians who only care about themselves.
His viewpoint is based on a career that includes work with Alice Cooper, Pink Floyd, Kiss, Deep Purple, Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel and many others.
Ezrin tells The Lefsetz Letter: “All that talk about the ‘me generation’ turns out to be true. We lost ‘us’ in the 80s and since then we only care about ourselves and our personal gain – we only want the money.
“We’ve witnessed the complete devolution from the intricacies of jazz, swing and modern classical, the subtleties of popular songwriting, the mastery of the best of folk and rock, and the hard-won craft of creating meaningful work.
“Where are the anthems, the protest songs, the ideas to fight for, the truths to believe in? Instead it’s all about ‘me.’”
While there are some exceptions, Ezrin adds: “Mostly there’s little more than a bit of catchy ear-candy and nice beats.
“Four bars of cut-and-paste monotony over which someone writes shallow nursery rhymes about partying, trucks and beer, bitches and bling – or whines in hardly-rhyming verse about their said little life.”
The producer continues: “With our music and words we used to fight for freedom. We used to incite change. We used to elevate each other. We used to speak for all of us and literally move mountains.