Alan Mcgee says that X Factor culture is killing musicAlan Mcgee saysAlan Mcgee says that X Factor culture is killing music that the instant gratification of corporate pop combined with file sharing is killing the mystique and magic of music and the music industry is on the verge of collapse.

He says the the spirit of the independents that he was part of the eighties and nineties could well be over. He’s got a point. HMV looks like it could go bust and there are several major labels about to follow. The independent record shops are closing faster than pubs and there is a big cultural shift.

On the other hand there are more people in bands than ever before and loads of great new young bands.

Are bands changing what they want from music now? are bands happy to make their own music for their friends? has the mainstream become to sanitised, too full of plastic surgery disasters for anyone into music to care about any more?
What is going on out there? do you care? is music about to collapse? or is it splitting into two worlds? the haves and the have nots (that’s in terms of talent not money!)

One world is a remote world of Cowell celebrity- auto tune- soft porn pop and the other a million bands and musicians carrying on regardless?

Please tell us!

Previous articleThe Wizard Of Gore: Herschell Gordon Lewis Interview
Next article10 ways a band should enter the stage
Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. too easy to blame Cowell..sales were declining before him… the music industry in all its arrogance ignored downloading until it was too late.. the embrace of itunes by the music industry giving them such power and dominance has resulted in the loss of the importance of an album over track.. as for cowell ..well as weller said “the public gets what the public wants “…

    • it’s “the public wants what the public gets…” which is really quite clever for Weller, and spot on.

  2. True the music industry is changing but we’ve been here before.

    It reminds me of the early seventies, rock had gone all pomp, pop was manufactured and very dull. Just think Tina Charles. Then what happened? The Sex Pistols spawned a myriad of bands and music came alive again.

    The great thing now is the revolution in music recording and delivery brings world wide distribution to every band. We no longer have to be forced to like the ‘next big thing’. This leaves the majors in trouble concentrating on sinking huge publicty budgets, their only remaining advantage over indie labels, into safer and safer bets.

    The new model for an indie label must be to concentrate on honest PR, helping to find the fans for acts they beleive in.

    True the days of individual bands making huge amounts of money are probably over for now, as Mick Jagger points out, but that could be seen as a good thing for all the rest, making music more varied for all of us.

    Music is not dead. It will never die. It is part of what makes us human.

    Dave Cooper (Stone Soup Arts)

  3. Well I’m happy that the corporations are losing their hegemony on music, or rather their hegemony on emerging, vital, exciting, roots up music. Lamestream Media — print, TV, radio — are desperately marketing to a fractured audience, in the case of X Factor they are focusing on old people and very young people under the catch all phrase of ‘family entertainment’. The old people in general are less discerning about which media they consume and the very young people are generally caught in a ‘trend’ based peer group that is quite happy to consume throwaway banality and high gloss quick fix factory produced “pop”. I find this really exciting as it leaves a massive section of media consumers forced into “finding” new art. The internet, in my opinion, is John Peel’s famous statement manifested, ‘Go out and knock off a phone box and create your own music’. Think about it, it’s even easier than that to create art nowadays. The internet — for all it flaws — is the best platform ever for distributing art. The big challenge now is for artists to ask themselves the question: am I creating to become rich & famous and build a career or am I creating because I need to and want to share my art?

    Who cares what Dinosaurvision and Dead Tree Media keep pushing at us? The urge and need to create is still evidently out there and that’s really all that matters in my opinion.

    Dean Cavanagh

  4. When John Peel spinned tunes for the benefit of people with ears and imaginations, he stilled hoped at the end of the day you’d go out and buy the recordings for yourself, otherwise there is little incentive for most artists to take their music seriously. Illegal down loads aside which are killing music as a way to make a living, the big labels led by Cowell have taken an ultra soft and safe route marketing to only one demographic and ignoring the rest. I hope they all die an agonizing death as they deserve it for all those crimes against music.

    The Cowelization of music has deeper more meaningful effects as well.. for this I urge you to read my article on the subject….httpss:// Or How Darth Cowell killed music.

  5. […] On\’ \’like a baby\’ while wearing a \’wedding dress\’ handmade by her dad. In typical crass X Factor taste she was hoisted aloft on a sedan chair for the season finale – prompting even Sharon […]

  6. […] LTW we love X-Factor and have published a number of articles from John Robb, Michelle Corbett, and Alan McGee – well maybe our message is getting […]


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here