The more things change, the more things stay the same

On Saturday, Billboard will hold their awards ceremony to announce the top grossing tour of 2011. In the running are Bon Jovi, U2, Usher, Take That and Kenny Chesney.According to Billboard’s statistics, the top grossing touring artist of 2010 and 2008 was Bon Jovi. In 2009 and 2005 it was U2, followed by The Rolling Stones in 2006. And for good measure I’ll mention 2007 being The Police and Madonna in 2004.

See a trend? All are artists who got their start in the 70s and 80s and still are beating out top names of today, including Gaga, Bieber and Swift.

With the music industry being dominated today by pop’s biggest names, it can be a hard scene to break into.

For musicians who broke into the scene some 30 years ago, conquering the 21st century is nothing.

The rock and pop music of the 70s and 80s has proved to be timeless. Don’t get me wrong; they had their share of one-hit wonders, copycats and failures just like any other genre, but that iconic music has paved the way for what music is today and still carries on.

What about Superbowl Halftime shows? Now, it’s understood that audiences don’t go for the entertainment; they go for the game. Recent performances include Prince, Bruce Springsteen, The Who, Tom Petty, The Rolling Stones and the 2012 selection Madonna.

There’s no stopping these artists who’ve helped shape the industry.

In an interview with Rolling Stone Magazine in October, front man Geddy Lee of 70s progressive rock band Rush revealed they would release their 19th studio album in 2012 and “there will be a follow-up tour to support the record.”

Then there’s 80s rock band Journey who’s been around for 38 years. They released their 17th studio album this May and are still touring with new lead singer Arnel Pineda.

The most downloaded catalog track in iTunes history is “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey, according to Apple reports. Due in part to popularity from “Glee” and “The Sopranos,” this power ballad has reached top status in our new-age, tech world.

What about Black Sabbath? “[They] have scheduled a press conference where they are expected to announce reunion shows and a possible new album. The press conference will be held in Los Angeles at the Whiskey a Go-Go club on November 11 at 11:11 a.m.,” reports

According to reports on, 80s hair band, Van Halen, will be “reuniting the band on November 30 for the Grammy Nominations show. They’ll more likely announce an upcoming tour or album.”

Call me biased, but of course I’m going to add my all-time favorites in here. Bon Jovi has been going nonstop since 1983. While upcoming plans do include a two-year hiatus while they continue writing, it comes well deserved; their Circle tour grossed $146.5 million worldwide according to Billboard receipt reports.

Next time you have the radio on, skim through the stations. What dominates the airwaves?

There are a few Top 40 stations, a few country, contemporary Christian and alternative stations. But a majority are either the best of the past three decades or are entirely dedicated to the hard and soft rock, metal and pop of the 70s and 80s.

It’s not all about the tours and the money. For most of these musicians, it’s about the music, the emotion, the legacy.

Countless musicians from those eras are still releasing albums and writing. There are many that haven’t been mentioned—just covering the highlights.

It just goes without saying that these artists must have done something right to still be surviving in the music industry with such a zealous market and fan base.

Their longevity, passion and knowledge of music have stood the test of time as we carry on into the 21st century.  To quote some, “Wanted Dead or Alive,” Jon Bon has a point: “It’s all the same—only the names will change.” Rock on.

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