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What does "dated" mean as an album descriptor?

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  • What does "dated" mean as an album descriptor?

    I don't even know if I've asked the question correctly, but I see this word ("dated") being used for albums and it's always intended as a negative.

    Can someone enlighten me as to what this means as I'm at a complete loss.
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  • #2
    Is it something I wrote?

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    • #3
      No. It's something I've read many times through the years when someone's describing an album. I can never pinpoint what they mean...
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      • #4
        Originally posted by Johnny Vinyl View Post
        No. It's something I've read many times through the years when someone's describing an album. I can never pinpoint what they mean...
        The way I use it is to mean that it doesn't necessarily withstand the passage of time and has a quality that is a little "out of synch" with today to the point where it is noticeable. It is not all bad--it can be a nostalgia trip. As an example, I don't know if they had Ozzie and Harriet on TV in Canada when you were a kid. Ricky Nelson--the kid- was sort of a fresh faced rock star, and James Burton (yeah, that guy, who also later played with Elvis) was on the show. So, some of it is cool. But, at the same time, that America- if it even existed (and I seem to remember that Ozzie, who played the "dad" was in real life a former singer turned actor turned producer) is fake; a little like that episode on the Twilight Zone where the guy finds himself in a town that is completely artificial. (the Twilight Zone, to me, is not dated). Does that help?
        Musically, I suppose any of this is arguable. For example, when I did a quick survey of the first ELP album in the process of running down some of the Island pink labels, if I didn't say it was dated, I certainly suggested as much. Kind of a time capsule. Since I wrote that piece, though, I've begun to enjoy a lot more "prog" of the obscure variety, and now appreciate why the record is still influential.

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        • #5
          We did have the Ozzie & Harriet show on the airwaves here and I know what you mean. And I agree with the Twilight Zone example, so yes, that does help. With music (to me) I don't really understand the concept. Maybe my lack of a more analytical nature stands in the way. I just take music for what it is. I'm simple.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by Johnny Vinyl View Post
            I don't even know if I've asked the question correctly, but I see this word ("dated") being used for albums and it's always intended as a negative.

            Can someone enlighten me as to what this means as I'm at a complete loss.
            It's like a person who has been out on one too many dates and now no one wants to date them anymore. Seriously, dated means that the music sounded fine when it was written, but over time it doesn't hold up anymore and you no longer want to listen to it. Think Ted Nugent and Cat Scratch Fever.
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            • #7
              To me dated has a lot to do with instrumental sounds and typical mix habits of a particular era. It is most pronounced to me with the way drum kits were tuned and mic'd. 70's pop has a particular sound in the drums. The 80s saw the rise of the drum machine and for a time it seemed everybody was using an Echo sequencer. Synths are also something that can make an album sound dated or to be nice easy to date. Moogs in the 70s, Rolands in the 80's, boxes like the Planet Phat in the 90's and early 2000s, so on and so forth. Also prevalent in pop through the decades are drum and bass line rhythms. You can hear a 90's pop album from a mile away as mainstream Pop began to copy Hip Hop. Remember when rock groups rode on Disco's success? The exact thing happened 20 years later. These are some of the things that come to mind when I hear "dated". For dance music there's the beats per minute. 80s were around 120, 90s were either in the 90 to 100 range and on the flipside 125, 2000s sped up to as high as 140, these days the magic number is 128 accompanied by the now ubiquitous bass drop.

              Of course there are many examples that might sound as fresh today as yesterday but I find these are indeed the exception.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Johnny Vinyl View Post
                We did have the Ozzie & Harriet show on the airwaves here and I know what you mean. And I agree with the Twilight Zone example, so yes, that does help. With music (to me) I don't really understand the concept. Maybe my lack of a more analytical nature stands in the way. I just take music for what it is. I'm simple.
                for someone that considers themselves "simple" you're over thinking it everything has a sell by date, music included. it doesn't mean you cant enjoy music others consider dated. it will come back full circle look what happened to the vinyl record.
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                • #9
                  DATED is every thing I own

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                  • Bill Hart
                    Bill Hart commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Yeah, when you think about it, we are all probably dated....

                  • JackD201
                    JackD201 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I'm pretty sure if we had labels that all of us here are past the "best before..." date! Then again, I don't think I want to go back to being young but stupid. LOL!

                • #10
                  Originally posted by Garth View Post
                  DATED is every thing I own
                  I wonder if Myles would be willing to do an anonymous poll on age demographic here. My bet is we tip over 50 y/o on average, but that may be my own prejudice. The people I know here are largely older. No political agenda, just curious. I'm all about getting younger people into this thing of ours. But, it does cost money. And time.

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                  • #11
                    Originally posted by Bill Hart View Post
                    The way I use it ["dated"] is to mean that it doesn't necessarily withstand the passage of time and has a quality that is a little "out of synch" with today to the point where it is noticeable. ...
                    I refer to this as archival quality sound.


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                    • #12
                      Ok gave this very little thought so here goes dated is anything I bought last century .

                      In music Dated is any thing with a Cow bell or Tambourine in it or Hammond B3 or bongos .

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                      • #13
                        Originally posted by Garth View Post
                        Ok gave this very little thought so here goes dated is anything I bought last century .

                        In music Dated is any thing with a Cow bell or Tambourine in it or Hammond B3 or bongos .
                        OK, so here's a conundrum- why is baroque music, just to pick one example, not "dated" but listening to, say Boston (just to pick another) dated? I agree that the particular instruments used are often a "tell"- for example, as I think Jack mentioned earlier, that '80s sound with drum machines and Yamaha digital synths has a characteristic sound that is very "stuck" in its time- it may be fun to listen to, but it is definitely a sound that is frozen in time.

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                        • Guest's Avatar
                          Guest commented
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                          Oh, you mean Nancy. She's in the aviary, stuffing trees.

                        • MylesBAstor
                          MylesBAstor commented
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                          Guess it's your point of view. Some might see all classical as dated. One type of music that isn't dated is blues given its historic origins and infusion into so much of the music we listen to. 😉

                        • Bill Hart
                          Bill Hart commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Myles- re your comment on the blues- it does keep changing, though, to stay contemporary. I'm just not sure how many people listen to early work songs, original delta stuff or most other types of rural or country blues. It got recast in Chicago as electric blues, which got reshaped into blues rock in the UK (and US) and then hit a wall for a while as those players (Clapton, Peter Green, Paul Kossoff) moved toward hard rock; (Bloomfield, who was superb, just dug himself into an early grave).
                          SRV did a lot to make it popular again during his run. I'm not sure where it is right now- there are obviously some good players out there who make a living and sell recordings--gary clark, jr or joe bonamassa (even Bonamassa really went to a harder rock sound as he got more successful) as a couple examples, but I guess like other "period" music, it is a niche, don't you think? There are certainly people who listen to old rural blues, but it's probably a tiny market. Which brings us back to a slightly different question than the one I posed above--why some forms are rarely "mainstream popular.' SRV is the last blues player I can think of in recent times that had mainstream popularity.
                          Further, re classical, it is for the most part, a niche. It hasn't been "popular" music for a long time. Maybe I answered my own question but much of early classical retains the same form, maybe more modern instruments and interpretation than when originally composed, but it is "period" instead of "dated." (I acknowledge that there is some "modern" or contemporary classical music still being composed and performed, but that's an even smaller segment of a niche market). Perhaps the term "dated" refers to pop music more than historic or traditional material, like classical or blues. It appeals to its market at the time, and then has no real enduring value to later audiences. But, even that is a gross overstatement- The Beatles seem to be timeless, and though some of their sound is very much of their time it still sounds fresh to my ears. Interesting topic, not only from a cultural or historical standpoint but in trying to determine which music remains enduring "after its time."

                      • #14
                        Originally posted by Garth View Post
                        Ok gave this very little thought so here goes dated is anything I bought last century .

                        In music Dated is any thing with a Cow bell or Tambourine in it or Hammond B3 or bongos .
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                        • Garth
                          Garth commented
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                          that is so simple maybe I could be a musician

                        • Bill Hart
                          Bill Hart commented
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                          This is absolutely fucking brilliant! thank-you. Made my day, Myles....
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