Jarvis Cocker says modern pop music is bad because the industry has been “hijacked” by people more interested in advertising than songs.
The Pulp legend – who has penned new book ‘Good Pop, Bad Pop’ about his early upbringing and relationship with music – has reflected on the contemporary scene and the way the industry has changed over the years.
Appearing on the ‘Off Menu with Ed Gamble and James Acaster’ podcast, he said: “Pop kind of has been hijacked by evil people. Advertising people, politicians, you know?
“The pop that I think is ‘good pop’ – and this is where I sound like some kind of old bloke going on, ‘Oh back in the olden days…’ But the pop music that was around when I was a kid – and people were really into it. Kids would come to school with a radio to listen to the chart rundown, the midweek thing, stuff like that.
“Singles were quite cheap, you could buy it and then it was a bit like betting on the horses, hoping that the band you liked, their record would go up in the charts that week.”
The ‘Common People’ hitmaker described the excitement of the charts as a “national pastime”, and it left the door open to unlikely success stories and hilarious flops.
He added: “It was quite a kind of national pastime, and I liked that and I liked the fact that weird records would be hits that nobody could have predicted, and sometimes record companies would spend loads of money on promoting something and it would just bomb, and then something would come out of nowhere.
“To me, that was good pop because people were making it themselves, they were involved in it. Now it’s bad pop – now it’s Simon Cowell. In music terms, he’s bad pop.”
The 58-year-old star felt like he was “born in a pop age” and raised by that culture.
He said: “I’ve kind of felt that I was a bit brought up by it in a way by the stuff I saw on the telly or songs that I heard on the radio. They give you an idea of what the world’s gonna be like, don’t they? Whether it’s accurate or not is another thing, but they do kind of raise you.”