Monday, 13 February 2012

What genres of music did Rock Radio play?

In my last post about Rock Radio (What did Rock Radio play? An explanation) I tried to justify how I allocated each of the bands played by Rock Radio over a seven day period to a particular musical genre. You may or may not have been convinced by the method I adopted but it at least gives an indication of the range of styles played.

The reason I wanted to do this was because the range of music played was one of the regular discussion points about the Rock Radio output. Discussion (i.e. complaints) usually focused on one of three questions:
  1. Why do they never/always play [band X]?
  2. When they play [band Y], why is it always/never [track Z]?
  3. Why do they play so much/so little [type G] music?
I tried to address the first two questions ages ago when I wrote the Rock Radio Playlist post (although I may say a bit more about that topic before moving onto look at the Real XS output). This post though will focus on question 3 by looking at the genres of the music played over the seven day period when I collected the data.

So without further ado, here's a graph:

As you may be able to see if you have particularly good eyesight, even allowing for the occasional dodgy classification of a track, the dominant musical forms on Rock Radio were Hard Rock (33%) and Rock (23%) with Heavy Metal some way behind with 11% of the plays. The complete table of genres is:

Times Played
Hard rock
Heavy metal
Alternative rock
Punk rock
Glam rock
Progressive rock
Psychedelic rock
Roots rock
Funk rock
Alternative metal

This more or less matches my experience of listening to Rock Radio. I always said I was reasonably relaxed about what they played. Obviously, they should have played more Rush, but in general I liked what I heard. I liked hearing stuff I wouldn't normally listen to and they introduced me to bands that I might have otherwise missed: AirbourneApocalyptica, and Black Stone Cherry to name but three. Of course there was stuff I didn't like but in general there was more that was rocking than was shocking (to borrow from Tom Russell).

But to get back to the numbers above, for a station calling itself Rock Radio, I think that's not a bad balance of styles; especially since I was looking at the Breakfast and Drivetime shows which will inevitably aim to appeal to a more general Rock listening audience than one of the speciallist shows such as the Metal Hammer show. I might liked to have seen a bit less Punk and a bit more Prog but otherwise I can't really complain. What do you think? Unbalanced or about right?

Before I leave this analysis of styles, I think it is worth putting the output from Billy Rankin beside Tom Russell's output. I think it shows that individual DJs were able to shape what was played, at least to an extent.

Tom played a bit more Heavy Metal than Billy and Billy favoured Blues and Prog a bit more than Tom. Again, this reflects my memory of the DJs output and probably explains why I preferred Billy over Tom. (Not that I dislike Tom you understand!)

So bottom line as far as I'm concerned is:

  • The output from Rock Radio was not unreasonable for a rock station
  • DJs make a difference
But what does the data say to you?

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