Rock Music Ended in 1990, Says Legendary Producer: ‘There Are No Shredders Like Eddie Van Halen’

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Tom Werman, a renowned music producer responsible for some of the most iconic albums of the 1980s, asserts that rock music’s golden era concluded around 1990 for him and circa 2000 for the wider public. This viewpoint echoes a common sentiment in the music industry, where many have declared “rock is dead.” Werman’s comments, made during his appearance on the “Classic Album Review” podcast, reflect on the evolution of rock music, highlighting its journey from mainstream prominence to a more niche status, along with its various subgenres.

Werman, who has worked with legendary bands like Twisted Sister, Molly Hatchet, and Mötley Crüe, expressed his belief that the essence of rock music has significantly changed. He notes a shift in focus from content to sound quality in music production, emphasizing the overuse of samples, particularly in snare drum sounds, which he feels lacks the human touch present in earlier records.

Interestingly, Werman’s perspective, though somewhat aligned with that of Kiss bassist Gene Simmons, who also famously proclaimed the death of rock music, holds a hint of optimism. He believes that future generations will produce music icons comparable to The Beatles, although he admits these new icons may not resonate with those who experienced the rock music heyday of the 1970s and 1980s.

Werman also observes a generational gap in musical knowledge and preferences. He recounts interactions with younger people who are largely unfamiliar with classic rock bands, a sign of the evolving musical landscape. His insights offer a unique glimpse into the changing dynamics of rock music, from its peak in the 20th century to its current state in the new millennium.

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