Tony Bennett, the 87-year-old performer who’s still going strong and is considered worldwide even at his advanced age as one of the greatest living singers, had some pretty spicy words about the state of modern music when the BBC spoke to him in an interview released Thursday. When asked if he planned to record any new songs, Bennett used the question as a springboard to launch into a rant about the lousy state of of affairs the music industry has succumbed to, and specifically how corporations are to ones to blame.
“The songs that are written today, most of them are terrible,” Bennett said. “It’s a very bad period musically throughout the world for popular music. The corporations they took it over, and they want to make so much money and they don’t care whether the public likes it or not. They think the public is ignorant, so their attitude is, ‘Don’t give them anything intelligent, because it won’t sell.'”
Tony Bennett also said something pointed out by many observers of the music industry: that the myopic focus on the young by labels is robbing them of the economic diversity they need to survive.
“I grew up in an era when the record companies just sold records to everybody. And the whole family bought songs. Today, record companies are failing because because they’re putting their accent just on the young. And I think it’s rather silly. They’re missing out of thousands of people that would love to buy records, but they don’t buy them because they don’t have a lasting quality.”
Speaking of lasting quality, Bennett started his career in 1949, and still draws sold-out audiences across the world, and his voice is considered as strong as ever. According to Bennett, learning has been the key to his longevity. “I still have a lot to learn about music.”