* {{Opera}}: During the 18th, 19th and early 20th century opera music was extremely popular with people of all ages and all layers of the population. Even regular people went to visit their local opera house and enjoyed the stories and music. Today opera is mostly associated with the elite and many people think its either too posh or too ridiculous to enjoy. In fact, whenever opera singers like the Three Tenors try to bring opera back to the common people they are criticized for being "commercial" and relying too much on the well known overtures, choruses and arias that everybody knows.
* {{Jazz}}: At the end of the 19th century and the start of the 20th jazz was seen as sleazy music played in nightclubs, brothels and bars to amuse people you wouldn't want to be associated with. Nowadays jazz is seen as classy, elegant and artistic music taught in schools and universities. It may amaze people that this music was once considered "daring".
* Rock 'n' roll: During the 1950s artists and bands like Music/BillHaleyAndHisComets, Music/ElvisPresley, Music/LittleRichard and Music/ChuckBerry were considered dangerous music that would corrupt the youth. Today, when you listen to most of this 1950s rock 'n' roll stuff it all sounds very innocent and sometimes not that much wilder than a regular jazz big band. Take for instance Bill Haley's music: you can hear friggin' trumpets playing!
* Music/ElvisPresley: During the 1950s he was considered to be the coolest, sexiest and baddest rock star in existence. Whenever he danced on TV they had to shoot him from the waist up because his leg movements were considered to be too risqué for network TV. Parents feared Elvis as a corruptor of youth. Flash forward a few decades and Elvis has become nothing more than a national American icon too square to be hip. His once sexy dance movements now look very innocent compared to the almost half nude suggestive music videos of today. Even his music sounds more like tame love ballads or corny easy listening sing-a-long songs, compared to the more aggressive electric guitar gods of later decades. Younger audiences associate Elvis mostly with the obese and campy Las Vegas clown who looked like a caricature of himself and can't imagine how suave and cool this man once was.
* The Music/BeastieBoys' sampling, particularly on ''Paul's Boutique'' - was a huge influence on rap producers and helped create the slicker, jazz-sampling style of rap music that would evolve into G-Funk. However, most new listeners will notice their high pitched rapping styles and the fact they are white, and not really see what has made them so popular.
** Likewise, ''Hello Nasty'' was considered a remarkable achievement upon release in 1998 as, until then, nobody had ever heard a hip hop album with so much variety. The album seemed destined to become a classic along the lines of Paul's Boutique and Licensed To Ill. Over time, however, its critical standing has significantly diminished, thanks to the work of rappers like Kanye West (whose music has the same kind of variety but with more focus). It's now considered by most to be one of the band's weaker albums.
* Trap rapper Ace Hood's once-distinctive flow (popular around 2010, when he had a single out with RickRoss and LilWayne called "Hustle Hard"), has since had a legion of imitators, most of whom have had considerably more successful careers than Ace himself.
* AtTheGates's riffing style has been [[FollowTheLeader copied]] so much that [=AtG=]'s album ''Slaughter of the Soul'' might seem predictable to a first time listener who's already acquainted with the knockoffs.
* Music/BarbraStreisand, Music/{{Cher}}, Music/{{Madonna}}, ...three leading ladies of the music industry, almost all possessing [[LGBTFanbase huge gay followings]], who also spent a fair bit of time doing things in the movie biz. Hard to believe they're some of the most innovative girls around, considering (at least in Madonna's case) every blonde pop singer from the nineties onward is compared to them or called their Successor.
* On that note, Music/LadyGaga appears to have fallen victim to this trope. When her debut album "The Fame" was released in 2008, she was seen as a renaissance for dance music, taking the blueprint established by Music/{{Madonna}} and updating it for the new millennium while still having her own unique style. Today, with so many dance pop artists having risen to (pun not intended) fame in the wake of the album's success, Lady Gaga has become a bit of punch line among music fans. Her [[LargeHam stage antics]] and [[MoralGuardians constant media controversy]] certainly don't help matters.
* 50's Rock'n'roll sounds quite weird today, as it's at the same time too fast and upbeat to be soft rock (or blues), but too clean and subdued to be hard rock. Also, it may be difficult to realize what was so controversial about it.
* Music/TheBeatles pioneered and popularized so many of the recording and musical techniques commonly heard in rock and pop music today that it can be hard for newcomers to truly appreciate how ground-breaking they actually were. In particular, ''Music/SgtPeppersLonelyHeartsClubBand'' can suffer from this. (It was particularly impressive for being recorded with only 4 tracks. In today's digital world, where everything can be done on a computer, most people don't understand what that even means and why it's so impressive.)
** The Beatles do, for the most part, avert this trope, though - while people may not always recognize today how groundbreaking they are, they continue to be one of the most popular and beloved bands of all time, and their albums continue to sell out nearly a half-century after they were originally released. And every generation of teenagers seems to re-discover The Beatles (see there was the popularity of ''Film/AcrossTheUniverse'' and the Beatles edition of ''RockBand''). And it's rare to find anyone who actually denies The Beatles' influence. Even a lot of the HypeBacklash will still admit The Beatles were innovative, just that they weren't the only ones pioneering those things and don't like how they're often discussed as though they were.
** Their films, ''Film/AHardDaysNight'', ''Film/{{Help}}'', and to a lesser degree, ''Film/MagicalMysteryTour'', went a long way towards codifying a lot of the visual techniques and tropes of {{Music Video}}s that dominated TheEighties music scene.
* TheBeachBoys' "Pet Sounds" used groundbreaking techniques that are so common now listeners unfamiliar with their history might not recognize how revolutionary the album is.
* Memphis power pop band Music/BigStar's debut album ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_1_Record #1 Record]]'' drew inspiration from Music/TheBeatles and TheKinks. It now sounds incredibly conventional but was astonishing around its 1972 release.
* BobDylan. In the documentary ''No Direction Home'', Dave Van Ronk tells a story about "House of the Rising Sun," which Dylan recorded on his (self-titled) debut album. The version he recorded was arranged by Van Ronk and Dylan had learned it from hearing him perform it live. After Dylan recorded it, so many people accused Van Ronk of ripping it off from him that he finally stopped performing it. Later, when the Animals covered Dylan's version the song, the same thing happened to him.
** And Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie, and Roy Acuff had recorded the song back in the 1940s.
* Boyd Rice. Play an old record by him to someone today and they might think that it's someone trying to learn to make a loop. They might not realize that Boyd was one of the earliest pioneers of sampling and record scratching.
* [[RockersSmashGuitars Breaking guitars (or any other instrument).]] In the 60's, breaking your instruments on stage was seen as the epitome of badassness, rebellion and edginess. Today, breaking guitars is so overdone it's a rock n roll cliche.
** There is an exception for Music/YoshikiHayashi and his drum breaks, both because his actions actually weren't cliche in Japan when he first started doing it, and because he managed to successfully invoke the RuleOfCool enough that it's actually a part of his show.
* CountryMusic sparked several of these:
** Conway Twitty. Now seen as a linchpin of classic country, he was never part of the Grand Ole Opry in part due to his "rock and roll sound".
** [[HannahMontana Billy Ray Cyrus]] became popular in 1992, at a time when there was a trend toward "traditional country", and his very rock- and pop-influenced "crossover country" style (complete with the ubiquitous novelty hit "Achy Breaky Heart") and mulleted, musclebound, hip-wiggling pretty-boy stage presence was both very uncommon in the genre, and polarized many country purists who saw him as a {{Scrappy}}. His success, however, brought a younger, hipper, more rock-influenced audience to country music, and helped to give the genre more mainstream attention and airplay. You can see more exaggerated influences in stars like Blake Shelton or Kenny Chesney topping the charts, but Billy is still not acknowledged, and [[MileyCyrus his daughter]] is now more well-known than he is.
** FaithHill. When she hit it big in late 1999-early 2000 with the massive crossover hit "Breathe", every single female act in the genre was cutting {{Power Ballad}}s with a similar sound and similar incentive to cross over. These attempts usually were met with failure (except for Martina [=McBride=] getting a few huge crossover hits -- albeit in 2004, after the craze died down), and what's more, Faith ended up hoist by her own petard when country radio shunned her very heavily pop-influenced ''Cry'' album.
** GeorgeStrait. When he first hit the charts in 1981, he was markedly more country than his peers, most of whom were following the pop crossovers of acts such as Music/{{Alabama}}, RonnieMilsap and KennyRogers. The rise of similarly "neotraditionalist" acts like RandyTravis, AlanJackson, and Clint Black in the late 1980s-early 1990s followed in George's footsteps. While many of his contemporaries have faded, George has somehow managed to keep his A-list status with minimal change to his sound, sometimes making it quite hard to remember just how much of a pioneer he is. There was also Strait's FountainOfExpies nature, leading to the "hat act" boom of the 90s — a bunch of young up-and-comers looking for a hit dressed in jeans, pressed shirts, and cowboy hats just like him, and sang safe, radio-friendly honky-tonk in a slight twang, all trying to be just like Strait. Over time, "hat act" became a derogatory term in Nashville, and the tide of "hat acts" stopped. Even Music/KennyChesney was a "hat act" [[EarlyInstallmentWeirdness early in his career]] before evolving into his own sound.
** Gretchen Wilson seemed to spark not one, but two examples of this: besides being a rock-influenced creation of John Rich (one half of the gonzo, rock-influenced Big & Rich), her SignatureSong "Redneck Woman" sparked a wave of spunky women-with-attitude types and anthemic songs about southern pride. The former trope has died down considerably thanks in part to TaylorSwift and CarrieUnderwood's death grip on the genre, but the latter is still prevalent — albeit moreso with male artists.
** JohnnyCash and other acoustic music in general gets this treatment these days. Most teenagers think singers like Johnny Cash are boring. In his day, Cash was shocking to the MoralGuardians. These days, the acoustic guitar seen as a starting point for learning the guitar. It's hard to imagine what music would be like today without the instrument.
* Dance music. Most of it falls victim to this eventually. Not so long ago nobody had heard of acid house, rave, big beat, gabba, trip-hop, drum'n'bass, jungle... Anything that's new is so easily taken up and copied by imitators that it soon sounds totally conventional and often technologically primitive. (Think of MARRS "Pump Up the Volume", "Out of Space" by the Prodigy, or anything by Fatboy Slim for example).
** Very few people nowadays might hear Suicide or Silver Apples, the two bands that arguably spawned electronic music, and guess that their origins are pre-disco.
* Music/{{Darkthrone}} (specifically, their early black metal albums) have spawned so many clones that some confused people think Darkthrone themselves sound "generic".
** Ironically, Darkthrone themselves wanted to reproduce the music of their own influences. For example, they deliberately poorly produce their first Black Metal albums to capture the atmosphere of undeliberatley poorly produced Thrash Metal demos, EP and albums.
* Music/DireStraits' music video for "Money for Nothing" featured some of the first ever CGI animation. It seems incredibly primitive today, but it was considered groundbreaking in its original release.
* DrDre's "Nothin' But a 'G' Thang". At the time, a hip-hip video with low riders, backyard parties and lots of posing in front of the camera was something new and different. Needless to say, it was certainly influential.
* Eiffel 65 sounds a lot less fresh today after thousands of rappers ran the Autotune gimmick into the ground.
* EricClapton. Although he was never as experimental as his contemporary, JimiHendrix, Clapton was a major influence on all rock after 1966. He almost single-handedly resurrected the Gibson Les Paul, one of the most ubiquitous guitar designs today. [[http://www.gibson.com/en-us/Lifestyle/Features/Get%20That%20Tone_%20Blues%20Breakers/ Not only that, he created (or popularized) rock guitar as we know it]]. His playing during this era inspired the "Clapton is God" graffiti. Hendrix himself was an admirer. Today, although he's still a skilled guitarist (and almost 70 years old), Clapton is mostly known for the light pop he recorded from the 70's onward. Even his watered-down acoustic version of "Layla" is arguably more familiar to younger generations than the original (and with some justice, as it was presented in a much more pop-friendly and thus memorable format). He influenced just as many guitarists as Hendrix (usually both are cited), so his playing is often considered tired and clichéd. But he used to be kind of cool.
* "Funk" effects in rock music (the "wah-wah" pedal, etc.). When these first appeared in the late '60s in works by bands like Cream, they sounded dangerous and even diabolical. But then, in the '70s, so many TV shows began to use mild funk flourishes in their theme songs that today a style that once offended so many people just sounds ridiculous. This was partially fixed in the early '80s, when (if only in that one instance) MichaelJackson's ''Thriller'' managed to make funk sound {{Badass}} again.
* Gang Of Four's trademark sound to some extent: Starting around the TurnOfTheMillennium, a lot of post-punk/New Wave-influenced bands like FranzFerdinand and MaximoPark started using minimalist, choppy guitar riffs and stiff but funk-influenced rhythms in a similar manner. This actually led to a resurgence of interest in Gang Of Four (and eventually, a partial reunion), but it also can make their debut album ''Entertainment!'' seem less innovative than it was at the time. The key thing that still sets Gang Of Four apart is that these newer bands usually lack their overtly political lyrics and occasionally ''really'' harsh guitar feedback.
* Grunge suffers from this:
** {{Nirvana}} and Music/PearlJam making it big in the early '90s is heralded as a breath of fresh air, breaking the stranglehold hair metal had on mainstream rock and paving the way for grunge and alternative rock's ascendance from the CollegeRadio ghetto. Today, however, it is hard to avoid Nirvana, Music/PearlJam, [[PostGrunge or their millions of rip-offs on the radio]] for even 15 minutes.
** By the time Music/PearlJam released ''Riot Act'', quite a few younger music fans accused the band of being a {{Creed}} ripoff. (helps that Creed singer Scott Stapp has a voice which sounds ''exactly'' like Eddie Vedder's)
** Even Nirvana, and a number of other popular alt-rock/grunge groups, were highly influenced by ThePixies. Kurt Cobain even admitted that "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was his attempt at ripping-off of a Pixies song, specifically "Debaser".
* Music/HeavyMetal:
** Music/BlackSabbath is often considered the first metal band. Take a moment and consider how weird that sounds.
** That title is often given to KingCrimson, which just sounds all the weirder.
** It's kind of weird to hear that in the late '70s/early '80s, metal bands like Music/IronMaiden and Music/{{Metallica}} were mistaken for punk. This was because "heavy metal" in the late '70s was seen as the slow or midtempo fare of Music/BlackSabbath and Music/JudasPriest, and it was punk bands that were known for playing at fast tempos. Thus, the early '80s genre of "speed metal" doesn't seem that fast compared to later shred-metal, power-metal and extreme metal bands, but in its day, metal played at the speed of punk rock was a novelty.
** Music/IronMaiden suffers from this generally.
** A serious casualty of this trope was NWOBHM pioneer Diamond Head. They were barely famous, in comparison to Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Saxon, but their influence on Metallica was profound. Metallica's earliest recordings were covers of ''Am I Evil'' and ''Blitzkrieg'' and much later on in the late 1990s, ''It's Electric''. However, Diamond Head never became as famous as the band they influenced, and ended up opening for them at the National Bowl event in 1993, and opened and ended their set with songs covered by Metallica to get accepted by the crowd. However, a relatively subdued performance and Diamond Head not being so famous made them look and sound like a band covering Metallica. They split up shortly afterwards.
** When listening to OzzyOsbourne after bands like MarilynManson and {{Gwar}}, it's hard to believe he was at one time almost as controversial.
** Music/{{Pantera}} is probably the biggest offender of them all. In the midst of their numerous copycats (really, just about every metalcore and nu-metal band in existence), it's hard to believe that, at one time, their style of metal was both unique and interesting.
*** In fact, Pantera are often accused to be a rip-off of Exhorder who already began to developp that sound on their demos while Pantera was still making glamish album.
* Helmet virtually invented the start-stop metal riff that dominated the late 90's. You'd never know it to hear their successors (e.g. Music/KoRn, {{Deftones}}, etc.) but the idea came from jazz.
* {{Isis}} and their blend of post-rock and SludgeMetal. One mixed review of their album ''In The Absence of Truth'' remarked "it's not Isis' fault that they sound unoriginal these days. All you have to do is pick up a copy of Decibel, open it to any page, and you'll find someone counting the group as an influence..."
* JamesBrown. The beats and breaks of many of his songs have been sampled or imitated so many times that his music would sound very cliché now, if it wasn't, you know, James Brown.
* Jazz. It was considered radical and subversive when it came out, and many of the pioneers of the genre managed to push the limits of what their instruments could do farther than it was thought possible. Now, the genre as a whole is often overlooked as "old people's music," and the once-groundbreaking work of the likes of LouisArmstrong is basic stuff that every jazz student learns. (Student? They'd never ''teach'' this stuff, as recently as TheSeventies!)
** To be fair, some time between the 1940s and the 1950s, jazz fans and musicians started disagreeing about what kinds of jazz were acceptable and what kinds weren't, and by the late 50s the music had splintered into people who like traditional jazz, people who like swing, people who like bop, people who like free jazz, etc. In the 60s and 70s people developed a method for teaching jazz which concentrated on the advanced jazz of the late 50s and 60s, paying lipservice to what had gone before but pretty much ignoring anything that came later. In short, jazz started to behave like classical music, which hasn't helped its reputation for freshness and innovation.
* JimiHendrix. He's been copied by almost every rock guitar player who followed ("There are two kinds of guitar players: those who'll admit to be influenced by Hendrix, and liars")
* The Jonas Brothers revived the teen heart-throb act after an almost six-year down period. Their success at the time was jaw-dropping. Nowadays, they don't seem that special due to all of their accomplishments being eclipsed by Music/JustinBieber. And then, when Music/OneDirection showed up, they made Bieber look puny in comparison.
** Speaking of One Direction, they have finally made Music/TakeThat look mundane due to their breakthrough in the U.S. While One Direction have come nowhere near Take That's heights in the UK, their international success is enough to offset their deficit.
* Averted by KanyeWest - The man seems to immediately react to the moment he realises that what he's done has/will become a trend by moving as far away from it as possible. That being said, this trope has slightly hurt J. Cole, whose production style is very similar to West's early techniques.
* TheKinks. Known in America mostly for "You Really Got Me" and "Lola", at the time they were a big hit in the UK, pioneering not only guitar hooks, but intelligent songwriting that would eventually lead to {{Britpop}}. Not to mention their riff for "Picture Book" getting ripped-off by Green Day. The fact that they were [[BannedInChina banned from the Americas for most of the 1960's]] didn't help.
* "Black Diamond" by {{Kiss}} sounds like really primitive HairMetal, but it wasn't so primitive in 1974. It was unprecedented at the time for a rock song to not only be loud and angry, but to have a "symphonic" sound evocative of opera or classical music. It could be argued that AliceCooper pioneered this sound first, but he was never quite able to equal the Olympian grandeur of Kiss.
* Music/{{Kraftwerk}}. In the 70's, they were mind-blowing, because few people had heard pure electronic music before. These days, the band's early work sounds primitive, simple, and just plain dated compared to the legions of bands it inspired.
** It may seem ''primitive'' compared to the modern stuff, but that's [[http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=VXa9tXcMhXQ not always a bad thing]].
* Though they've been the {{Butt Monkey}}s of metal for years now, there was actually a time when Music/KoRn's blend of said genre, hardcore and hip-hop was considered fresh and unique, rather than a pejorative called NuMetal. Ironic that their they titled their third album ''FollowTheLeader'', as a cynical nod to an industry that oversaturated their sound and drove it under.
* Larry Graham. When he first came out, his bass style of slapping and popping was new and refreshing. Now people (bass players excluded) complain it's boring and flashy.
* Music/LedZeppelin suffers heavily from this. In particular are John Bonham's drum beats. (Especially on "When The Levee Breaks") His influence is so pervasive in modern rock that many younger listeners are legitimately baffled as to what's the big deal about him.
** Jimmy Page, aside from influencing many guitarists of the era, also is credited with changing the way producers would record in studio. His technique of using multiple microphones and different distances created an "ambient sound" with more dimension than was conventional at the time.
** Just about ''everything'' associated with Zeppelin suffers from this. They practically created rock music as we recognize it today, and - without context - it's hard to imagine how revolutionary their entire style was in the late '60s and early '70s. While many British (and even some American) rock bands had dabbled a bit in Celtic folk music before, none of them had ever fused that style with hard rock, which is done on "Stairway to Heaven," "Over the Hills and Far Away," etc. Zeppelin also more or less invented the [[LooksLikeJesus "Jesus hair"]] fashion aesthetic for rock bands, which was pretty standard from the 1970s to the '90s; previous rock musicians may have had long hair, but it had not been as flamboyantly styled. The [[EightiesHair "poodle hair"]] of '80s HairMetal certainly could not have existed without Led Zeppelin.
** In particular, Led Zeppelin are considered progenitors of hard rock and even heavy metal - not only that, but they were one of the heaviest bands of their time, Black Sabbath aside. This sounds almost laughable now, given how easy it became to find songs that are heavier than anything they ever released.
* LudwigVanBeethoven. ''The Mark Steel Lectures'' profile of Beethoven focused on this effect since his work is so old that it can't help but be merely another part of the classical repertoire. Beethoven was one of the first composers to write autobiographical tunes, one of the first to be independent of royal patronage, was unprecedentedly ''loud'', and in behavior was the spiritual ancestor of the moody modern rock star. Mark imagined the same thing happening to today's pop music: (In an affected very posh BBC Radio 3 accent) "It's fascinating to note how the composer Mr Fifty Cent, blends the pianoforte with lyrics as they begin: 'I'm a cop killa, gonna shoot you up the ass'". And also notes how quickly the effect takes hold. Even now the kids can't really understand what was so different about punk rockers saying they were pretty 'vacant'.\\
\\
People still find Beethoven's music earth-shattering, mind you'; it's just that later stuff went even farther in some of the directions he started.
** This trope turns up all over classical music. Even in the above paragraph it's taken for granted that the classical repertoire is a fixed thing, but there was a time when there wasn't a 'classical repertoire'. These days we assume that classical music is all symphonies and string quartets and piano sonatas but they haven't been there forever: for example, JosephHaydn took a largely unpopular musical form called the ''sinfonia'' and turned it into the symphony as we know it. He ended up writing 104 of them, all of which are in the repertoire and some of which are amazingly inventive, entertaining and moving. As if that weren't enough, he did the same thing to the string quartet. Before Haydn: scattered pieces of music written for ensembles of string players. After Haydn: every composer has to at least attempt a string quartet in order to get taken seriously. The freshness and inventiveness of Haydn's music is only obvious when you listen to what people were writing immediately before him.
** And it doesn`t stop there. When listening to the Kyrie movement from the D minor requiem of {{Mozart}}, have in mind he snatched the main theme from Händel`s Messiah, and the musical style from Antonio Vivaldi. To make it worse, Bach made a fugue on the same theme. Vivaldi was reckoned quite innovative in his day, but he stole a chunk of musical tropes from Giovanni Gabrieli, present in Venice even hundred years before his time. And so on...
* Slightly odd example with Henry Purcell's chamber music for strings. His trio sonatas are in the most up-to-date style of his time (the tonal, Italian style of Corelli), but since that style became SO universal soon after his death, modern listeners will hear them as 'conventional'. His viol fantasias, on the other hand, are in the spicy, contrapuntal style popular in England a generation earlier (think Gibbons, Lawes and such), and since it's a style with which modern audience are less familiar, they sound shockingly innovative. Completely the reverse of how Purcell's contemporaries would have reacted to the music.
* '''Music/{{Manowar}}''' is sometimes criticized for using [[ClicheStorm "cliché"]] [[HeavyMithril sword-and-sorcery themes in their lyrics]], despite the fact that their usage goes all the way back to 1983 on their ''Into Glory Ride'' album, which predates the PowerMetal genre by a couple of years, and that they were likely the first North American metal band to dare embrace these tropes.
* In the four years since Music/{{Meshuggah}} released their breakout album ''Obzen'', an entire genre - progressive groove metal, or "djent" - has come to the forefront of the metal world, based almost entirely on expanding the Meshuggah sound (the word "djent", the colloquial name for the entire genre, started as onomatopoeia for Meshuggah's guitar tone). Some, including major metal blog Metal Sucks, speculate that, in the wake of what bands like Periphery, Tesseract and Vildhjarta have been creating, the now-upcoming new Meshuggah album Koloss is going to come off as very uninteresting and behind-the-times.
* Music/MichaelJackson. In the U.S. those who grew up after the first round of child molestation charges leveled against him in 1993 knew him only as a far too easy target for comedians with his eccentric, even creepy lifestyle, as his post-1980s music wasn't successful enough to overcome his personal baggage. After his death in 2009, and hearing his GloryDays music played over and over again on the radio and seeing his videos re-run on MTV, they fail to see anything unique about his style, as the best aspects of it have been standard pop music fare for the past 20 years. His big-budget music videos often look cheesy and/or low-budget by today's standards -- sure, that works for "Thriller" since it's a B-movie horror pastiche, but "Black or White" and the ''Film/{{Moonwalker}}'' version of "Smooth Criminal" don't have that excuse (and are weighed down by ridiculous storylines and spectacle-for-spectacle's sake). Between that, the datedness of the fashions, ''and'' the synthetic sound, well, they could be forgiven for saying "Why was he ever famous to begin with?"
** Even the moonwalk (which Jackson didn't invent, but rather perfected) looks dated and cheesy now compared to all the dance innovations that have come since; so much so that it's easy to forget that almost every one of those newer dance moves was created by someone who started dancing precisely ''because'' of how well and truly blown their minds were by Michael Jackson doing the moonwalk.
** His live performances, be they concerts, award shows, or the Super Bowl halftime show in 1993, were once among the most {{Spectacle}}-filled in popular music, but pale next to the glittering spectaculars mounted by his successors and/or events such as the 2012 Olympics closing ceremony or any given MTV Video Music Awards.
* Music/TheMisfits, a 1980s punk band that was considered edgy for their lyrics inspired by horror films and other horror related imagery. Now this, and their pop punk sound, would be considered mainstream emo.
* Jaco Pastorius' signature fretless bass sound, imbued with warmth and charisma, was profoundly provocative when it emerged in the 70s, fuelling Weather Report's classic period and JoniMitchell's sound in the latter half of that decade. It soon became imitated by the smooth jazz scene and is considered trite, out of his hands.
* Punk:
** TheRamones and the SexPistols were a reaction to the largely overproduced and masturbatory progressive rock genre, and decided to do the exact opposite by never really learning to play their instruments. The punk scene exploded into the mainstream in 1977, and to modern day listeners, both of the aforementioned bands sound either sloppy or overly melodic, depending on what you listen to.
** Audiences raised on modern-day PunkRock bands like BadReligion and {{NOFX}} will sometimes hear about how "fast" and "heavy" the Ramones' music was back in the day, only to find it sounding like a string of {{Power Ballad}}s in comparison.
** The ubiquitous Ramones t-shirt on every wannabe "edgy" C-list celeb is borderline example in its own right. Some Guardian music journalist claimed that "the kids" were turning to wearing previously shunned Nirvana/Grunge-era logos as a kind of backlash against '70s rock t-shirts.
** As mentioned above, the original punk rock was a rebellion against the traditional rock 'n' roll sound. But after hardcore punk came with its extremely short songs, simple music and aggresive lyrics, the original punk rock sounds a lot like 1950s rock 'n' roll (which, to be frank, was partly the point). Early punk music is now viable radio material, which it absolutely wasn't when it was current, and which it was never meant to be.
** In photos from before he retired from music, Richard Hell could be seen dressed in a very typical punk rock style, with spiked hair and ripped-up, drawn-on shirts held together with safety pins. For this reason, it can be sort of surprising to hear his band Richard Hell & The Voidoids, since they didn't really play conventional punk rock. The thing is, Hell is actually credited with inspiring much of the early punk rock look - Malcolm [=McLaren=] has cited him as the main influence on how TheSexPistols were dressed for instance.
** Another factor is that punk -- especially in its formative years -- has always had an undercurrent of sociopolitical outrage, and many of the issues they sang about are [[ValuesDissonance no longer current]]. It was also part of a backlash against the [[WideEyedIdealist Wide-Eyed Idealism]] of the Sixties and early Seventies, when such biting cynicism was genuinely shocking; in the modern climate of [[ConditionedToAcceptHorror jaded acceptance that the world is a horrible place]] and constant exposure to {{Deadpan Snark|er}}, modern listeners tend to wonder why they took things so seriously.
** The BlackFlag album "Damaged" was groundbreaking when it came out in 1981, as it popularized the snarky-yet-socially-conscious attitude of many later-day punk bands. Now that its style has been not only frequently copied but also seriously cleaned up by other bands - including bands that are not and never were even in the punk genre - the album just sounds like an underproduced mess with seriously dated lyrical content to modern ears. (Or the later bands sound like LighterAndSofter versions of Black Flag.)
* RayCharles' fusion of R&B and Gospel vocal stylings in the 1950s (at a time when most R&B singers had more of a smoother show tunes vibe, a la Nat King Cole) was revolutionary and ground-breaking. Even controversial (Many Blacks saw such music as blasphemous). Sixty years later... Charles' sound sounds bog standard, if catchy.
* Creator/RichardWagner is one of the best examples of this in classical music/opera. There was nothing like what he was doing at the time. He pushed at the boundaries of tonality in a way no composer had done before; he invented the leitmotif (basically, a "theme song" for a character, object or concept), the staple of just about every film score ever; his writings about the ''Gesamtkunstwerk'' (the "total art work" that combined music and drama) had a huge influence on the development of not only opera but also musical theater. But these days, with over a century of increasingly weirder and more boundary-pushing work inbetween, Wagner's work sounds increasingly hackneyed and overwraught. Plus, pretty much every stereotype of opera in general - from fat ladies in horned helmets (though they were winged in the original), to the idea of opera as super-complex and daunting (previously, opera was divided into either lighthearted rom-coms or hammy melodrama) - comes largely from his work.
* It may be lost with newer listeners to appreciate how ''revolutionary'' Music/SlyAndTheFamilyStone were in the late [[TheSixties Sixties]], to have a band performing a very raw, Afrocentric, psychedelic, rock-infused style of funk music, with a very radical and countercultural style of clothing and hairstyles, a multi-racial, multi-gender lineup, and very countercultural/socially conscious lyrics for the time period they were popular in. They helped set the direction for much of what black music, and music in general, would follow from TheSeventies onward. The 1971 album, ''There's A Riot Going On'', in fact, was one of the first funk albums to use a (very crude and early) drum/rhythm machine.
* Music/{{U2}} When they first arrived, they were praised not only for being the first Irish band to hit it very big abroad, but also for the pure defiance in their lyrics. To have a group from Dublin speak so convincingly about issues that affected them was unheard of. Their music was like nothing else around. Years later They have become better known for Bono's preacherman antics while their political lyrics seem tame compared to bands like RageAgainstTheMachine.
** The ''sound'' of U2, and in particular the guitar work of The Edge, eschewing solos and rock guitar conventions for an atmospheric/rhythmic, textural, chiming approach relying heaving on delay and effects was equally influential, but it's hard not to find an Edge-infuenced guitarist in a rock band (or generally U2-inspired group) since at least TheNineties.
** Their album ''Achtung Baby'' gets swept under the rug these days thanks to a combination of CriticalBacklash ([[TheyChangedItNowItSucks especially by die-hard ''Joshua Tree'' fans]]) and countless BritPop bands aping its sound to the point where it no longer sounds as innovative as it once did.
* The Music/VelvetUnderground, to a certain extent.
** Humorously, the Velvet Underground was not terribly popular at the time, so people now theorize that every single person who liked Velvet Underground must have started a band.
* Music/TheWho. At the time, the "sloppy" drumming by Keith Moon was revolutionary. Now it's a standard part of the rock landscape.
** Yet, in turn, fans of TheWho think Keith Moon invented the stereotype of the [[AllDrummersAreAnimals "wild and crazy drummer,"]] when in reality it started much earlier with jazz drummers, particularly Gene Krupa.
*** It ''was'', however, certainly a new thing in rock and pop music of the time, to approach the drum kit with ferocity and athleticism, and to use double-bass drums and more than five or six-piece drum kits and multiple cymbals on a pop or rock record. Even a drummer with the same energy like John Bonham shows more clear control and finesse.
* The Compact Disc, introduced in 1982, was a revolutionary breakthrough in TheEighties, offering a cleaner, clearer way of listening to music than the vinyl formats of the previous sixty or seventy years. It brought, even in its 16-bit sound, more intimacy and detail, and captured the whole of the record, uninterrupted by record sides or weird formatting like the eight-tracks of TheSeventies. It may have influenced the way new music is recorded, mixed, mastered and produced, as well, as music grew in complexity and digital precision to cater to CD listeners. The 78-minute storage capabilities might have led to longer albums. Nowadays, it (and the mp3) are the industry standard, and the novelty of it seems lost to newer generations.
** In a [[{{Irony}} hilariously ironic]] twist, vinyl has [[PopularityPolynomial now become]] the "professional" "ideal" "hip new" "audiophile format", thanks to its lack of digital sampling and recording level limitations (the latter of which has been [[LoudnessWar infamously abused]] since the dawn of the 21st century).
* The "shock" factor in older music, especially Heavy Metal and Hip-Hop, tends to suffer from this a lot as time goes on. For instance, Screamin' Jay Hawkins (who would be one of the biggest sources of inspiration for Music/AliceCooper, who in turn was the source of inspiration for just about everyone else) ''terrified'' people with his stage performances and the tone of his music. Now days, the most likely reaction from footage of Jay strutting around in a witch doctor get-up is laughter. This is largely from an audience that has been so "shocked" over the years that many musicians say that the only way anyone these days could be genuinely shocked is if the authorities let someone commit suicide on-stage.
** Part of the problem is that Hawkins's most famous song, "I Put a Spell on You," has been covered (and sanitized) so many times, most famously by the Alan Price Set and most notoriously by BetteMidler for the movie ''HocusPocus''. You need to go back and hear Hawkins's original: radically minimalist, and with [[HellIsThatNoise random screams and growls that are guaranteed to terrify anyone under the age of seven]].
* Synthesizer and sampling technology, particularly from TheEighties can count. With modern, increasingly realistic and expressive all-in-one-box digital workstations now the norm, it can be jarring to know that many of the features now taken for granted in newer instruments were once the exclusive property of $5,000 to $100,000+ instruments like the Fairlight CMI, the E-mu Emulators I and II, the New England Digital Synclavier and the Kurzweil 250 thirty or so years ago. Even with the Yamaha DX-7, Roland D-50 and Korg M1 (and samplers like the Akai S900 and Ensoniq Mirage), it was relatively crude technology. Computer software has often taken over for hardware, and things like the $30 Fairlight Pro app are derided as slow and crude, if not amusing for its retro qualities.
* {{Radiohead}}. Their albums "The Bends" and "OK Computer" (along with their breakout hit "Creep") were so innovative that the band's combination of introspective darkness and falsetto vocals were promptly ripped off by massive numbers of alternative rock musicians, most of which went on to massive mainstream success greater than Radiohead had ever had at the time. Frustration with this led to the band's NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly album, "Kid A." The genre switch worked, and they've been quite successful and critically acclaimed since.
* The arrival of HilaryDuff on the DisneyChannel (and, to some extent, the rebooted ''MickeyMouseClub'' as ''MMC'') led to uxexpected success on the DisneyChannel with the equally unexpected success of her show LizzieMcGuire, helped the network cultivate a tween and teen audience they rarely had before, and the push of Duff as a TeenIdol and [[IdolSinger pop princess]], the family-friendly alternative to the increasingly spicy, MMC stars BritneySpears and ChristinaAguilera, was new and unprecedented. It helped Hollywood Records escape from being mostly well-known for rereleasing {{Queen}} albums, and her debut, ''Metamorphosis'', was the biggest selling CD in the Disney-owned label's history at the time. As Hilary's receded from the background and stopped releasing pop albums, and successors such as MileyCyrus, SelenaGomez, DemiLovato and TheJonasBrothers took Hilary's spotlight, it can be hard to picture the DisneyChannel not [[CashCowFranchise heavily cross-promoting]] [[IdolSinger pop-music singing]] [[TeenIdol teen idols]] starring in [[PeripheryDemographic tween-marketed]] [[KidCom kidcoms]], all working from the same basic business model HilaryDuff popularized.
* The {{Sepultura}} album ''Roots''. Upon release, it was one of the most critically-acclaimed and commercially successful metal albums of the mid-90's. However, the legions of nu-metal bands that copied its sound (the album was, in fact, arguably the first true nu "metal" album - Korn's s/t being much more of a rap/hardcore album than a metal album) have led this album to gradually become far less acclaimed and celebrated as the years went by.
** ''Chaos A.D'' also suffers from this to some extent.
* While accounts about how Igor Stravinsky's ''Rite of Spring'' caused riots at its premiere are probably exaggerated, it was still a very bold composition for its time. Today, it may be a little hard for some to understand why it was once considered so controversial, as it influenced the score of countless action/thriller movies, not to mention we've been used to much more aggressive music since.
* Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land" has come to be associated so much with American pride that it's easy to forget that, at the time it was written, it was essentially a ProtestSong. Guthrie originally wrote it as a TakeThat to Irving Berlin's "God Bless America" [[note]] The revised version of "God Bless America" was released just two years before "This Land is Your Land" was[[/note]], responding to the song's nationalist undertones by singing about the importance of America's diversity and sense of inclusiveness. Hell, some early versions of the song are ''overtly'' political in nature--and a few of them even mention Guthrie's support of the Communist Party.
* VisualKei has developed a lot of these:
** The first is the split of subgenres. At the beginning, VisualKei ''was'' HardRock and Music/HeavyMetal with a huge dose of inspiration from HairMetal. Something similar happened with the mid-90s Goth influence. Now, while some HR/HM VK bands still exist (in the Kote Kei subgenre and the Eroguro Kei subgenre for the most part, with still-active or reunited Visual Shock or Veteran Kei making up the rest), and some Gothic/Industrial bands do still exist (these are mostly those influenced by or connected to MoiDixMois and Mana), the largest portion of ''active'' Visual Kei bands are generally Oshare Kei or Host Kei, and Oshare dance-pop and similar is often more common than harder rock or metal. That said, this is cyclical - as of 2013, a harder rock/metal influence seems to be returning as ''many'' of the Oshare bands fell into the same trap. Still, ''equating'' VisualKei with HR/HM after around 2000 is almost laughable.
** HoYay fanservice. In TheEighties and until the middle of TheNineties, the YaoiFangirl was ''not'' seen as a target market for VisualKei (much less as specifically ''existing''), and quite a few of the artists engaging in most of the HoYay ''were'' actual bisexual or gay men using the stage as a way to express themselves and their sexuality in a culture and world that rejected it. The idea caught on as a [[FollowTheLeader bandwagon trend]] for {{fanservice}} directed at the fangirls ''only'' once some straight bandmen noticed how much the fangirls liked it and with it becoming somewhat socially acceptable (at least within the subculture) to be a YaoiFangirl. [[UnfortunateImplications Unfortunately]] this led to straight men using it as fanservice, and once some other fans found out about the {{Kayfabe}}, some fans insisting that no VK artist could actually be gay or bi for real.
** EightiesHair and the ImprobableHairstyle fell out of style around the mid 90s. When even {{Music/X Japan}} except for hide toned down their hairstyles, it pretty much called an end to the era of OTT VisualKei hair, which was, at the time it was done, something entirely new and awesome. While exotic hairstyles are still common, and this trend may well swing around too, doing an ImprobableHairstyle beyond the "medusa" cut or a typical host cut is often seen as a marker of a bygone time or a parody.
** ANYTHING that is almost exclusively tied to a specific artist will be, unless it is used as a ''direct'' tribute or ShoutOut, seen as this and derisively dismissed as a cheap attention grab or bad cosplay. Good examples were eyeliner swirls for much of the 2000s (anyone doing them was seen as a cheap Mana knockoff/wannabe), nosebands (Reita of the Gazette, and anyone wearing a noseband is seen as that), and almost ''anything'' connected to hide (if you go onstage with that yellow heart Fernandes and it's ''not'' a hide tribute and/or you're not a member of {{Music/X Japan}}, {{Music/Luna Sea}}, or an ex-member of Spread Beaver, you ''will'' get odd looks, and probably start a FlameWar)
** Oshare Kei developed one of its own: the Generic Sparkle Loop. By the time it made it to Maria Cross's PV, it was considered ''such'' an Oshare cliche that any band using it ''seriously'' was just asking to be mocked not only by fans of other genres but by Oshare fans as well.
* The song "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" by ''The Shirelles''. Today, the song's simplistic and rather sappy lyrics don't seem like anything special. However, in 1960, both the song and group were actually very controversial. The reason why is because, until then, the idea of an all female singing group was almost unheard of in popular music (usually, musical groups were fronted by males, with women generally just brought in for singing duties on some songs). Thus, if not for the success of this song and group, we may have never had ''The Supremes'', ''TLC'', ''The Pussycat Dolls'', etc.
** The subject matter of the song, which essentially boiled down to a woman asking a man if he will respect her in the morning, if he truly loves her and cares for her as a person and will stay true to her and hoping she isn't just another sexual conquest of his ("Am I lasting treasure/Or just a moment's pleasure"), [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar couched in terms which would allow the song to be played on the radio in 1961]], was similarly groundbreaking. The quaintness and subtlety of the imagery might be lost on younger listeners. And it was co-written by a ''then-fifteen-year old'' CaroleKing!
* ''Stereo sound''. Up until the mid-to-late [[TheSixties 1960s]], AM radio was the go-to format for listening to popular music, FM was strictly for news, information and [[MnogoNukes well, to find out what to do should the nukes drop]], and hi-fi stereo sound was the province of the wealthy. Stereo records ''were'' manufactured, and pop songs mixed to stereo, but monaural (mono) sound was the default format of morst systems. Bands like TheBeatles and TheBeachBoys in fact were only involved in the mono mixes of their records, and pop songs were mixed and mastered mainly to sound good on cheap single-speaker transistor radios or car radios. The rise of underground rock and jazz radio, "[[WatchItStoned head music]]" and music labels determined to demonstrate their [[TechnologyMarchesOn new multi-track and stereo technology]] led to the popularity of stereo recordings (and headphones), and mono eventually was phased out.
** It should be noted that the early style of stereo was usually the vocal track and instrumental placed in the left and right channel respectively, rather than mixed together - so was effectively made from two mono tracks. Actual stereo recording didn't really come about till the late 60s, where the two tracks were similar sounding but with slight differences in the instruments or panning. Thus, the mono of the early 60s usually sounds more natural to headphone listeners today than the stereo does, as it is more similar to today's stereo.
* ''Oasis'' . Today they might seem like just another mainstream British rock band, but were fairly revolutionary when they first came out. They drew their influence from the North's indie scene and stood out amongst their edgier contemporaries like ''Suede'' . People today have heard so much droning, anthemic pop-rock from bands like ''Coldplay'' that they've lost perspective on the originality of Oasis.
* ''Suffocation''. They were among the (if not ''the'') first bands to pioneer the brutal death metal subgenre, and consequently all of its variations, like slam death and so on. Their sound has been so endlessly copied that a lot of people who listen to Suffocation for the first time after already being exposed to other BDM acts, will likely find them generic.
* In an era where nearly anyone with a halfway decent singing voice and a copy of Garage Band can put up a comedic parody of popular music on Website/YouTube, the appeal of Music/WeirdAlYankovic and similar musicians who were parodists by trade can be lost on a younger generation.
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