Dinosaur Rock and Dinosaur Oil: It's All Over Now, Baby Crude


The cases for oil and rock 'n' roll depletion are equally interesting to ponder and equally unconvincing.

Notice that after the birth of rock & roll in the 1950's, the production of "great songs" peaked in the 60's, remained strong in the 70's, but drastically fell in the subsequent decades.  It would seem that, like oil, the supply of great musical ideas is finite. By the end of the 70's, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, the Motown greats, and other genre innovators quickly extracted the best their respective genres had to offer, leaving little supply for future musicians.

More here.

Hat Tip: Meredith Bragg.

Ron Bailey on peak oil BS.

Me on the day the music (well, Dee Dee Ramone) died.

NEXT: HackWatch: Harold Meyerson

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  1. I blame Morrissey.

    1. Please don’t. He’ll just write 5,000 more songs about how much your hate depresses him.

      1. Well, he collapsed a week or two ago, so maybe that’s a sign…?

        Oh. Shit.

  2. The inverse graph shows the steady rise of Ed Begley’s popularity and the sales of hybrids.

  3. Wow. Way to consider all that music from the UK, while not even considering oil from Alaska.

    I mean, what about the New Wave of British North Sea Oil Production?

    1. New wave killed the oil.

  4. At last we have proof that American oil production peaked while Rolling Stone‘s boomer editors were still paying attention to new music.

    1. Exactly right. Rolling Stone sucks and I knew that in high school.

  5. I know this is a snarktastic post, but there has been a lot of good music that I lump under the huge umbrella of “rock and roll” produced since the 60s bands went away. And they were huge when there was very little to choose from in the way of radio stations – they all played the same thing, right? If The Beatles debuted today, they’d be laughed offstage and beaten with their own underpowered amps.

  6. Oh yeah, this just in – Rolling Stone sucks. Reason doesn’t put Chuck Schumer on the cover and then do a “Worst Reason Covers” issue, like, at the end of the year or whatever because that would be absurd. But, Rolling Stone does that kind of thing and it’s so incredibly lame.

  7. Jesus Christ, Nick. This is lame even by your standards.

  8. Frankly, sir, I don’t see any…standards.

  9. Rolling Stone : coolness ::
    (A) itch : scrotum
    (B) Steve Smith : taking back the night
    (C) leather : jacket
    (D) Barack Obama : change

  10. God forbid that recent spike isn’t because of Nickleback and Kid Rock. Although I do dig some Puddle of Mudd tunes.

  11. Should be is, not isn’t.

  12. A couple of things to note after quickly looking at page 2 of the list:

    They list a song “Paint It, Black,” which totally changes the meaning in my mind.

    Somebody thinks “Freebird” and “Wichita Lineman” are better songs than “Peggy Sue”? That’s really messed up. So sad.

    1. What’s wrong with “Freedbird”, highnumber?

      1. Oops, “Free Bird”, not “Freedbird.” WTF?

        1. No, you had it right the first time: Freedbird. It’s a tribute to Alan Freed. Not many folks are aware of that.

      2. I’m not hating on Skynyrd, though I’m not a fan, but Peggy Sue has what may be the greatest guitar break in all of rock. Buddy Holly invented Pete Townshend right there.

    2. RACIST!

      I’m sorry. I’m sure you’re a nice person. But it has to be said for the sake of completeness. Now you can go back to doing what I’m sure are totally not-racist things, good sir.

  13. Anyway, everybody knows that the real culture is at YouTube.
    Here are this moment’s Featured Videos.
    I am not making this up.

    How to Eat a Chicken Wing
    1 week ago

    Biggest BOOGER Ever!
    6 days ago

    Cheryl Cole Shows Her Boobs!!!
    1 week ago

    1. How to Eat a Chicken Wing


  14. A follow-up graph I’d like to see is the graph comparing renowned classical music superimposed on the supply of whale oil at the time (1800-1900).

    1. Hmm whale oil crashes shortly after the death of Wagner – coincidence?

  15. Well, if your list off best rock songs ever manages to avoid any band that released an album with SST and any band that released an album with Sub Pop except Nirvana, the last 30 years are going to look a bit sparse.

  16. ALL THE GREAT MUSIC WAS PRODUCED IN (decade when speaker was in high school)!

    YEP, LIFE WAS GREAT UNTIL (time when speaker started getting fat and his back started hurting).

    BUT THINGS REALLY STARTED GOING DOWNHILL BACK IN (year when speaker stopped having erections), WHEN THOSE DAMN (hated political or ethnic group) REALLY STARTED TO RUIN OUR COUNTRY!

  17. Top forty radio rock is just the tip of the ice berg of really good music that rock derived creative cultures in America produce. I spent a good chunk of my misbegotten youth rolling up and down the East coast experiencing music that would blow your head off.

    Just last week I dined and knocked back a few drinks at a little place in the town just down the road where a little Dylanesque looking guy with only an acoustic guitar and a mixer did fully self accompanied on the spot folk rock arrangements of Outkast covers. That was motherfuckin’ righteous.

    As for the blog guy Nick quotes, his words don’t reflect on the culture, they reflect on him. What this guy is saying is he is too lazy to get out there and find something to report on. So start with the assumptions you road into town on, graph it in relation to easily found material on the web, and viola! Collect your tokens, don’t pass go.

  18. Why do you need new bands? Everyone knows rock attained perfection in
    1974. It’s a scientific fact.

  19. Look, it’s clearly a causal relationship. After all, “petroleum” means “rock oil”.

    Maybe the decline in petroleum production is leaving the rock music industry with insufficient lubricant to produce rock. Maybe the decline in rock music production is leaving us short of rock from which to extract oil.

    Either way, this is clearly a crisis.

    1. Crisis? What crisis?

  20. “Marty notes that the recession has helped move him leftwards on economics.”

    I do not understand why politicians squandering untold billions of our hard earned dollars on shysters and bad managers would move any thinking person to the left.

    The myth that we had to bail out Wall Street… It was an ignoble lie.

    Like yellowcake. Mobile WMD labs. It’s all same thing.

    How people can swallow crap like the bailouts and then turn around and make fun of creationists is beyond me.

  21. Rolling Stone will never give an Animal Collective album more than 3 and half stars. Fuck Rolling Stone.

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