Tuesday, September 16, 2008

TRL - The End of an 'Era?'

I wasn't really sure what my first post was about, and I just learned today that after 10 years of broadcasting, MTV's staple music show, 'TRL' will be going off the air this November.

I watched TRL as a middle schooler beginning in 1999, viewing videos by bands as diverse as Britney Spears, NSYNC, Korn, Papa Roach, among others. My experience was probably typical of all generations of music loving pre adolescents, I came home as quicky as possible to watch, 'TRL' before starting my homework. Think, 'American Bandstand' or anyother similar show from the past 50 years. You might be wondering, 'Aren't you a man?'. I indeed am a man, a straight man, but this kind of behavior really wasn't that uncommon among my music loving friends of either gender, but I'm rambling, this is besides the point.

I'm writing this post to discuss, very briefly, the impact of TRL on pop music in the period of 1998 to 2002, in it's heyday, in what is called the first generation. Let's be totally, honest, people stopped paying attention to TRL when NSYNC stopped making music videos, and Carson Daly stpped down as the host.

TRL launched the career of the hottest stars of the late '90s and early new millenium. You could go up to any of my college peers, and they are conciously aware of the music from this time peiod due to the prevalence of TRL.

TRL is the direct catalyst for the commercial success of the Boy bands of the late '90s. NSYNC, 98 Degrees, and The Backstreet Boys only achieved commercial success after appearing on TRL. In 1999, the Backstreet Boys' second LP, Millenium achieved the highest first week sales ever from an LP, thanks in part to the many TRL fans who closed down the streets of Times Square in order to see the group live on the show. NSYNC's album, 'No Strings Attached', was the best selling first week debut in the history of recorded music.

If the number one video wasn't by a boyband, it was probably by a 'Pop Princess'. Christina Augilera and Britney Spears gained much success from TRL. Is it a coincidence that Britney Spears has been the source of constant attention from the press and also has had more videos, 14 in all, aired on TRL. Other singers like Mandy Moore and Jessica Simpson also rose to fame from appearing on this show.

In more rececnt years, TRL showcased videos by Hip-hop stars and emo bands like Good Charlotte and Fall Out Boy. It just feels wrong. TRL probably should have gone off the air years ago and it's presence on television is a reminds me of an era where Napster music flowed like a faucet, Boybands and Pop Princess reigned the videowaves, and the world and music industries were much simpler places. I won't miss TRL because it's a part of my youth, but I'm optomistic, nay, positive, that kids will find another outlet to experience pop culture, the same way kids have been doing it for over50 years.

I apolgize if this post if choppy and kind of pointless, I'm new to blogging and still exploting my voice. My next post may or maynot be about my views on the disney channel stars with a few good anecdotes.

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