Everyone loves and classic tune. Regardless of whether it’s a swinging beat from a sixties star like Elvis or an eclectic electro sound from an eighties icon like New Order, people love to spin back in time with an oldie but a goodie. Naturally, thanks to the power of the music industry, we’re able to access the music of a bygone era with ease. From vinyl and tapes to CDs and mp3s, there are plenty of ways to listen to the music of the past even if you hadn’t even been born in that decade.

However, as much as the music industry has done for old music, we’re here to suggest that it’s not the main reason the oldies are still relevant. In fact, if it was left to the music industry, great artists like Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jackson and John Lennon would be forgotten. This is clearly a contentious point to make. However, when you think about it, the main ways classic music stays relevant is through pop culture outside of the music industry. Don’t believe us? Take a look at the following examples…


OK, so this example might technically be linked to the music industry, but it’s still a portal through which old music is filtered into pop culture. Extracting a catchy hook or some memorable lyrics and transplanting them into a modern tune has been something artists have done for years. For example, UK Garage collaboration DJ Luck and MC Neat sampled Stevie Wonder’s 1980 hit Master Blaster (Jammin’) for the song Master Blaster 2000.

Similarly, they also sampled There’s No Stoppin’ Us (1985) by Ollie & Jerry for Ain’t No Stopping Us.  By taking these classics, tinkering with the arrangements and adding a garage beat, the dup was not only able to achieve to UK hits, but keep the originals alive. As a music fan, there’s nothing more interesting that tracing a modern track back through time to an original.


Another arena where old tunes often resurface is games. For example, when you scroll through Rockstar Games’ list of releases and pick out Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, you’ll find a whole host of classics. As you walk the streets of Vice City and flick through the channels on car radios or step into the nightclub, you’ll hear golden oldies like Summer Madness by Kool & the Gang as well as forgotten gems such as ELO’s Four Little Diamonds.

Beyond traditional computer games, the online casino industry has also tapped into the music world for inspiration. Today, if you scroll through the slots online at William Hill Games, major artists such as Hendrix and Guns N’ Roses leap off the page. When you play the latter, you’ll not only see classic iconography spin by as you listen to the likes of Paradise City, you’ll also unlock bonuses with a rock theme. By engaging with artists and songs through games, you start to associate them with entertainment and, therefore, want to listen to more songs via services such as Spotify.

TV Shows & Movies

Perhaps the most influential medium when it comes to keeping classics alive is TV and movies. Soundtracks don’t just add another of entertainment to a show, they also create an emotional attachment to a song. Whether it’s the sense of love and ultimate sadness you feel when you listen to Titanic’s My Heart Will Go On (1997) or the sense of adventure Easy Rider’s Born To Be Wild (1969) conjures, TV and moves are a great way to keep a song relevant.

In fact, the true power of this medium can be seen when you look at how songs previously missed the mark enjoy chart success the second time around. For example, Lovefool by The Cardigans only reached #21 when it was released in 1996. However, after being used for Romeo and Juliet (1997), it entered the charts again and soared to the #2 spot. In short, if you want a classic to stay fresh, you need to look beyond the music industry. Once a tune filters into pop culture, it has the power to connect with certain ideas and emotions that, ultimately, keep it alive.

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