Making Y Viva España unpopular? An historical examination of the marginalisation of ‘other’ forms of popular music in the English quality news press from 1986 to 1991.
“In a recent interview, a long-standing popular music critic from the English quality newspaper The Observer argued “I’m willing to bet that actually the most popular song is Y Viva España because it is sung by anybody at any sort of do”. The history of popular music has long-established itself as a genre for the young, but as audiences from the 1960s now approach the age of 70 have English quality newspapers adopted an approach to the genre which excludes many forms of popular music in the broader sense, such as those favoured by the older music fan? With reference to a series of interviews with long-standing newspaper journalists, this paper suggests that the period 1986 to 1991 saw English quality newspapers shape an increasingly restrictive definition of popular music, thanks in part to the market segmentation of music audiences in the late 1980s (Gudmundsson et al., 2002), which has subsequently resulted in the ongoing marginalisation of certain forms of popular music.”
Abstract from my forthcoming poster presentation at the 17th Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music. Bridge Over Troubled Waters: Challenging Orthodoxies, June 2013, Gijon, Spain.