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Music has been a part of humankind for a long, long, long time. As such, there have been many songs and music pieces that sinked into oblivion due to being played-out, overshadowed by a newer and cooler genre, technological and social advances, among many other reasons.

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    General Stuff 
  • Breaking guitars (or any other instrument). In the 1960s, 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, not to mention very expensive and a great way to piss off your endorsers.
    • There is an exception for Yoshiki Hayashi 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 Rule of Cool enough that it's actually a part of his show.
  • The "shock" factor in older music 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 Alice Cooper, 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. Nowadays, 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.

    Classical Music 
  • Ludwig van Beethoven: 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. 50 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, Joseph Haydn 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 Wolfgang Amadeus 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 audiences are less familiar, they sound shockingly innovative. Completely the reverse of how Purcell's contemporaries would have reacted to the music.
  • Franz Liszt, Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss were loathed in their lifetime. Many reviews and newspaper cartoons depict them as makers of cacophonic noise that nobody would ever listen to. If you hear their music today you don't get why it sounds that much different from other easy listening classical music.
    • Richard Wagner 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 overwrought. 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.
  • Opera: In 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 it's 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.
    • When opera was first emerging in the early 17th century, at the beginning of the Baroque period, recitative was revolutionary for being able to translate human speech (and human emotion) naturally into music. By the end of the Baroque period, recitative was mainly used to quickly cover large blocks of dialogue between arias. Operas like Monteverdi's L'Orfeo can sound odd to the modern ear because they're from the brief period before recitative became so common it was relegated to getting the boring stuff out of the way.
  • While accounts about how Igor Stravinsky's The 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. It says a lot that only twenty years after its recording it was already seen as one of the most groundbreaking pieces of music in history and even a Standard Snippet added to the Voyager Golden Record sent into space in 1977.
  • The Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi were actually very innovative for their time back in the 1720s, as they were one of the very first pieces to depict imagery outside the music, preceding the tone poems of Franz Liszt by over a hundred years. Vivaldi published the music with accompanied sonnets to guide the ear, unusual for the time. They were also vigorous and passionate, in contrast with the more gentle-sounding music of his predecessor, Arcangelo Corelli. Of course, since the rediscovery of Vivaldi in the 1940s the Four Seasons have been played and recorded Ad Nauseam to the point where a group of people are sick of them.

  • 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. It was considered radical and subversive and many of the pioneers of the genre managed to push the limits of what their instruments could do beyond what 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 Louis Armstrong is basic stuff that every jazz student learns. (Student? They'd never teach this stuff, as recently as The '70s!)
    • Louis Armstrong in particular is an interesting example because his early work with the "Hot Five" and "Hot Seven" groups is even seen by some serious jazz fans as cliché, old-fashioned, cheesy, when in fact it completely revolutionized the way jazz musicians played. All his techniques have been copied by later players, and so you can't really appreciate what is so great about his solos until you compare them to those of other trumpet and cornet players of the '20s.
    • The 1939 recording of "Body and Soul" by Coleman Hawkins" is one of the most famous in jazz history because it represents the first example of a soloist improvising around a melody instead of actually playing it. In subsequent decades, jazz became all about the improvisation, so it's no longer unique.
    • Jazz is full of stylistic pioneers like Charlie Parker (the central figure of the style known as Be Bop) and Ornette Coleman (one of the first pioneers of Free Jazz) who were extremely controversial figures in their day. Modern listeners, especially if they're approaching them from the perspective of what came afterwards, often initally find them relatively tame. A full appreciation of just how radical they were calls for comparisons with what was mainstream at their time.
      • The development of Hard Bop in the 1950s was brought about by slowing down the frenetic bebop sound and allowing for more elaborate improvisations. Considering that virtually all jazz afterwards was based on the "short melody (head)/lengthy improvisation/re-stating the melody" format of hard bop, it no longer sounds unique.
    • 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. 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".
  • 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 Joni Mitchell'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.
    • Later on, Steve DiGiorgio and Sean Malone popularized its use within a Progressive Metal context, but the same thing is beginning to happen there, with fretless bass gaining more and more of a reputation for indulgent, aimless noodling with the same recycled tone. The original adopters and a few other high-profile players (Dominic Lapointe and Jeroen Paul Thesseling, in particular) are still widely respected, but newer listeners used to the work of their many imitators will probably have no idea that, like in jazz, fretless bass in a metal context was once fresh and exciting.
    • Similarly to Jaco's fretless bass sound, guitarist Wes Montgomery's then-radical use of octaves on an L5 archtop, becoming a trademark with him and an influence on Jimi Hendrix, became something of a cliche in jazz guitar playing and arguably wore itself out as well in the smooth jazz scene.
  • Everything that could be said about Pastorius above could be said about jazz fusion in general. When Miles Davis popularized the style, it was innovative, controversial, even. Later on in the 1970s and 1980s it devolved into a parody of itself with smooth jazz.
    • Even Smooth Jazz was pretty original in its time, because it came about from mixing jazz and funk in a time where the latter was still new and controversial. The early smooth jazz albums by Grover Washington Jr. are still considered classics for this reason, even if little else in the genre received any acclaim.
  • During the jazz age, Cole Porter was a songwriter who gravitated towards minor keys in his compositions. This was very unusual for the time (1920s and 1930s), as record companies believed a bright, major key contributed toward a song's success (and therefore fortunes for them). Nowadays, pop songs about the darker side of life in minor keys are commonplace, so it can be hard to imagine it was considered radical in Porter's time.

    Rock 'n' Roll 
  • Rock 'n Roll: During the 1950s artists and bands like Bill Haley & His Comets, Elvis Presley, Little Richard, and Chuck Berry 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!
    • 1950s 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.
  • Elvis Presley: During the 1950s he was considered to be the coolest, sexiest and baddest rock star in existence. The sideburns, the sneer, and especially the swiveling hips were so fresh and provocative that one Ed Sullivan Show appearance only showed him from the waist up because his leg movements were considered to be too risqué for network TV. Parents feared he would corrupt the youth of America! Flash forward a few decades and Elvis has become nothing more than a national American icon, one too square to be hip. His once sexy dancing now looks innocent when compared to what music video-era artists get away with, and his music comes off as tame love ballads or corny easy listening sing-a-long songs compared to the aggressive electric guitar gods of later decades. As well, younger audiences associate Elvis mostly with the obese and campy Las Vegas clown who looked like a caricature of himself, so it's hard for them to imagine how suave and cool he once was.
  • The Beatles: Back in the early 1960s, their haircuts were actually seen as subversive. Men with long hair were simply seen as rebellious. Looking back on it now, their hair doesn't even seem that outrageously long.
    • The Beatles 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, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band can suffer from this. (It was particularly impressive for being recorded with 4-track tape machines. In today's digital world, where digital audio workstations allow people to have an infinite number of tracks, it doesn't seem as impressive to most people.)
    • The Beatles popularized the idea that "real" bands write their own songs and play their own instruments. (The labels were happy to promote this idea because it meant they had to split the profits amongst fewer parties.)
    • The Beatles do, for the most part, avert this trope - 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; their albums continue to sell 50+ years after they were originally released. Every generation of teenagers seems to re-discover The Beatles (the 1 Greatest Hits Album, Across the Universe (2007), the Beatles edition of Rock Band, etc.). And it's rare to find anyone who actually denies The Beatles' influence — a lot of the Hype Backlash 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 A Hard Day's Night, Help!, and (to a lesser degree) Magical Mystery Tour went a long way towards codifying a lot of the visual techniques and tropes of Music Videos that dominated The '80s. (They and the director of the first two films, Richard Lester, were jointly given one of the first MTV Video Music Awards Lifetime Achievement Awards for this reason, way back in 1984.)
    • Listening to recordings of their big stadium live shows may cause modern listeners to wonder what all the fuss was about; their playing sounds rather uncoordinated and rushed, they just stand in the middle of the stage in the distance, the recordings aren't incredibly clear, and the screaming is incredibly distracting. Of course, this overlooks the fact that the Beatles were literally the first act to be able to fill stadiums to begin with, and a lot of the problems that later acts would iron out (screens to enable people far away to see what was happening, a more active stage presence, speakers that would enable you to hear how you were playing over the sound of the audience without deafening yourself and so on) didn't even exist then. By all accounts, their earlier, smaller gigs were a lot better, but of course no one was recording them because they weren't famous by that point.
    • Their earlier material especially falls into this trope. A modern listener may dismiss their old stuff as the same old jangle pop that was popular during the era, but for the time, the Beatles had a raw and heavy sound compared to bands like the Beach Boys, and the fact that they ran their guitars dry is a big part of this while the Beach Boys' music was drenched in reverberated guitars and other production flurishes. At a time when surf and Phil Spector-produced pop music was prevelent, this sound was new and exciting. Even as their music got bigger production-wise as the era progressed, their more elaborate albums like Sgt. Pepper still sounded much heavier than other, equal-in-scope albums like Pet Sounds.
  • The Rolling Stones: In the 1960s the Beatles won the charm and trust of parents, because they had a lovable image. But The Stones frightened them! They were basically the first band with a "bad boy" image. Riots broke out during their concerts, they wore their hair longer than the Beatles, and they were the first to be arrested for offenses like marijuana possession. For people who basically know them as a bunch of wrinkley-faced seniors, this may be hard to imagine.
  • The Beach Boys' Smiley Smile. While it wasn't the groundbreaking revelation of an album that SMiLE was supposed to be, people agreed that Smiley Smile was an innovative album in its own right, being the Ur-Example of the Lo-Fi asthetic. Having mostly been recorded at Brian Wilson's home studio with radio broadcasting equipments, the album is known for its murky and sometimes sludgy sound quality, predating Ween's The Pod by a little over 20 years. With Lo-Fi becoming a popular asthetic among indie musicians (and home recording becoming increasingly commonplace), it's hard to see how Smiley Smile stood out.
  • The Fugs pretty much invented Alternative Rock by openly singing about subjects that were considered very risqué or taboo back in the 1960s: sex, drugs and politics. The F.B.I. even spied upon them because they thought they were some kind of revolutionaries planning to overthrow the government. When one listens to their music today one may find their songs nothing special at all. A song like "Boobs A Lot", from The Fugs First Album, sounds like something any teenage rock band nowadays would write. And openly glorifying drugs is so common in rock music that people hardly pay attention to it anymore. What still maybe remain powerful are their political songs, though a lot of them are dated because they were very direct in their targets. Compared to all the alternative rock bands they would inspire, they have become somewhat obscure.
  • The Velvet Underground: The Velvet Underground & Nico and White Light/White Heat got terrible reviews at the time. People felt the music was too noisy and experimental, and the outrageous lyrics about heroin, male prostitution, transvestism, and S&M didn't help. Nowadays, they actually sound quite pleasant. Even the lyrics aren't that explicit (devoid of expletives as they are).
  • Brian Eno's first four albums picked up where the Velvet Underground left off, with his debut Here Come the Warm Jets mixing psychedelic rock, electronics, and extremely noisy guitar textures inspired by John Cale (whose album Fear he would produce in the same year). Most modern psychedelia from Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev, Animal Collective, and more underground artists like Sweet Trip and Candy Claws is heavily noise and electronic-based, so Eno no longer sounds quite so unique.
    • Another Green World was one of the first electronic rock albums. Before that, most prog rock bands had a Moog somewhere in the mix, but that was about it. Eno added drum machines, electronically channeled guitars, and multiple different synthesizers in a way that far more resembled Vangelis than Pink Floyd. In the 80s, electronic dance-rock from artists like New Order became mainstream, and with artists like Radiohead further expanding the "ambient rock" paradigm, Eno's music now sounds less original. The fact that all the drum machines are presets might also make it seem primitive.
  • The Who. At the time, the "sloppy" drumming by Keith Moon was revolutionary. Now it's a standard part of the rock landscape.
    • Fans of The Who think Keith Moon invented the stereotype of the "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 such ferocity, 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 Kinks. Known in America mostly for "You Really Got Me" and "Lola", at the time they were huge 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.) But the fact that they were banned from the Americas for most of the 1960s obscured this.
  • Jimi Hendrix. He's been copied by almost every rock guitar player who followed ("There are two kinds of guitar players: those who'll admit to being influenced by Hendrix, and liars"). Averted to an extent in that, even though his techniques are widely imitated in part, there are very few guitarists who actually play like Hendrix.
  • Eric Clapton. Although he was never as experimental as his contemporary Jimi Hendrix, Clapton was a major influence on all rock after 1966. He almost single-handedly resurrected the Gibson Les Paul, which remains one of the most ubiquitous guitar designs today. 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, Clapton is mostly known for the light pop he recorded from The '70s onward. His watered-down acoustic version of "Layla" is arguably more familiar to younger generations than the original (and with some justification, 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.
  • Eddie Van Halen. In his day, he was the rock guitarist. Every rock guitarist wanted to be him, both in playing style and in tone. The "brown sound" (a common colloquialism for his guitar tone) was the tone that everyone wanted, and his playing style set the stage for shred guitar (which was later expanded upon by the likes of Yngwie Malmsteen and his peers). His technique wasn't actually new. Tapping had been around since at least the 1950s, while a lot of the foundations for shred guitar had been established by the likes of Uli Jon Roth, Ritchie Blackmore, Alex Lifeson, Steve Hackett, Jan Akkerman, Al Di Meola, and various others, he was the first to take what they were doing and create what could be called "guitar pyrotechnics" out of it. While he has probably shaped rock guitar more than anyone not named Jimi Hendrix, there have been so many other guitarists who have outdone him technically and creatively since then that newer listeners will probably wonder just what about him is such a big deal.
  • Along with Eddie Van Halen, the other great guitar influence of the 1980s was Ozzy Osbourne sideman Randy Rhoads. Randy's fast-paced technique was based in classical guitar, and he was planning to take time off from rock music and study that discipline before his untimely death. Rhoads' impressive virtuosity inspired a generation of rock guitarists to study classical guitar. At one point, most "hair bands" boasted a lead player who had spent some time in an institution like Berklee School of Music. This led to something of a backlash, and the shredding style became passé and dated as rock moved back into the Three Chords and the Truth during the grunge era.
  • "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) Michael Jackson's Thriller managed to make funk sound badass again.
  • Sixties music in general is a real mixed bag. It's so often spoken of as the decade of rebellious music, shifting the focus of pop music permanently to hard rock and scandalizing parents who had been able to at least tolerate '50s rock, but were thoroughly repulsed by the hippie stuff. Truth be told, though, the transformative power of that decade's music has been somewhat exaggerated. So many '60s rock bands now sound positively quaint, especially compared to similarly paradigm-shifting bands of the '70s and '80s. Buffalo Springfield and Creedence Clearwater Revival are now practically "good-old-boy" music, and it's hard to appreciate how iconoclastic "country-rock" was considered at the time. Even Ricky Nelson was abandoned by many of his fans when he started playing country-style. Jefferson Airplane, meanwhile, no longer sounds quite so out there: songs like "White Rabbit" and "Somebody to Love", ostensibly considered the epitome of "psychedelic" music, sound like nothing more than really weird, distorted rockabilly.
  • Progressive Rock: A lot of it today sounds pretentious, overly long and even corny. But back in the 1970s, it was actually praised for doing something more artistic and daring with often shallow and simplistic rock songs. Mixing high and low art was a radical idea at the time.
  • Memphis power pop band Big Star's debut album #1 Record drew inspiration from The Beatles and The Kinks. It now sounds incredibly conventional but was astonishing around its 1972 release.
  • Averted by David Bowie. Part of it is that he changed both his sound and his visual approach to performances of same so often that by the time a given approach was being imitated, he'd usually already moved on. Moreover, way too many of the artists he's influenced tend to copy his flash but not his substance — not to mention lack the unique charisma and strong Creator Thumbprint that ground his body of work. His 1980 album Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) was hyped with the Tagline "Often copied — never equalled" for this reason.
  • Oasis. Today they might seem like just another mainstream British rock band, but they 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.
  • When Radiohead first released The Bends in 1995, its melancholy tone, introspective lyrics, and eclectic influences were a radical deviation from Britpop's generally upbeat and rockist template. Alongside its follow-up, OK Computer, it instigated a shift away from the genre and directly influenced its successor movement, post-Britpop. However, while OK Computer is still regarded as standing apart from the artists it influenced, the initial novelty of The Bends is hard to see decades later, when its style became the new basic standard among British Alternative Rock; Radiohead themselves were aware of this, motivating their shift to more Genre-Busting material in the 2000s.
  • Dire Straits' music video for "Money for Nothing" from Brothers in Arms featured some of the first ever CGI animation. It seems incredibly primitive today, but it was considered groundbreaking in 1985. Its parent album is also a case of this trope, in that one of its biggest selling points was the fact that it was recorded and mastered entirely using digital technology; the main reasons why this trait became an example are detailed further below in the "Technology" section.
  • Gang of Four's trademark sound to some extent: Starting around the Turn of the Millennium, a lot of post-punk/New Wave-influenced bands like Franz Ferdinand and Maxïmo Park 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.
  • 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 Rage Against the Machine.
    • 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 heavily 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 The '90s. The sound has become a staple of contemporary worship music and stock video music, since it is quite easy for even a local band to reproduce.
  • The 2001 album Is This It by The Strokes. In an era where popular music was dominated mostly by Teen Pop and Nu Metal, the album was seen as a major breath of fresh air: an authentic indie rock record with enough pop sensibilities for mainstream viability. In its wake, there was a gradual shift in the popular music landscape, with indie bands like Modest Mouse, Death Cab for Cutie and The Killers achieving at-the-time unheard of levels of success. Today, with low-fi/indie being the norm in rock, it might be hard for new listeners to understand what was so special about Is This It.
  • Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska is a minor example. When the Bruce Springsteen cut an entire album using nothing but a consumer-grade four-track cassette recorder, some microphones set up in his bedroom, a Gibson reverb unit, and a boombox, it was a huge deal that inspired many smaller artists to record their songs without the assistance of a traditional recording studio. While the album itself is still a timeless masterpiece, the methods used to produce the album are often overlooked as computers and inexpensive recording equipment has made home-recording easier than ever.

  • Phil Spector's "Wall of Sound" went beyond the limitations of mono recording in The '50s and The '60s, showcasing lush, orchestrated production that merged the dense chamber sound of Classical Music with pop accessibility (forming the Baroque Pop genre in the process) and helped give black R&B artists mainstream exposure at the height of the Jim Crow era. Nowadays, while the Wall of Sound is still a subject for homages, Spector's original works come off as primitive and raw in the wake of newer recording technologies and techniques that allow artists to further polish and innovate upon the style.
  • Barbra Streisand, Cher, Madonna... three leading ladies of the music industry, almost all possessing 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, Lady Gaga 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 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 its success, the album sounds much more conventional.
  • The arrival of Hilary Duff on the Disney Channel (and, to some extent, the rebooted The Mickey Mouse Club as MMC) led to unexpected success on the Disney Channel with the equally unexpected success of her show Lizzie McGuire, helped the network cultivate a tween and teen audience they rarely had before, and the push of Duff as a Teen Idol and pop princess, the family-friendly alternative to the increasingly spicy MMC stars Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, 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 into the background and stopped releasing pop albums, and successors such as Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato and The Jonas Brothers took Hilary's spotlight, it can be hard to picture the Disney Channel not heavily cross-promoting pop-music singing teen idols starring in tween-marketed kidcoms, all working from the same basic business model Hilary Duff popularized.
  • While Jennifer Lopez's music has remained consistently popular for decades, it can be difficult for modern audiences to appreciate why she was considered an important and influential sex symbol in her heyday—and it can be really hard for some people to believe that she was once known for having a big butt. Lopez has been physically fit throughout most of her life, and she's fairly skinny by modern standards—but she had a noticeably curvaceous figure compared to most celebrities in the 1990s, when the so-called "heroin chic" trend was still prominent. In the 2010s, wide hips and round buttocks came back into prominence as a "mainstream" female beauty standard, and the pressure to be skinny was largely supplanted by pressure to be curvy. Compared to more recent sex symbols like Nicki Minaj, Megan Thee Stallion, and Kim Kardashian, her figure may not seem particularly remarkable.
  • The debut album by Sleigh Bells, Treats, got a huge amount of acclaim both for its sound — purposefully blown-out and digitally distorted tracks juxtaposed with sugary vocals — and for being an indie album that unabashedly took influence from the kind of bubblegum pop that had been a punchline for years. Both of these are now commonplace: the hyperpop genre stretches this sound to even more of a loud extreme, and the boundaries of "pop" vs. "indie" are much blurrier.

    Folk & Country Music 
  • 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 Protest Song. Guthrie originally wrote it as a Take That! to Irving Berlin's "God Bless America" 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.
  • Bob Dylan. 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.
  • Country Music 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".
    • 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 were 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 his daughter is now more well-known than he is.
    • Faith Hill. 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 Ballads 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.
    • George Strait. 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 Alabama, Ronnie Milsap and Kenny Rogers. The rise of similarly "neotraditionalist" acts like Randy Travis, Alan Jackson, 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 Fountain of Expies 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 Kenny Chesney was a "hat act" early in his career before evolving into his own sound.
    • Johnny Cash 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 Moral Guardians. These days, the acoustic guitar is seen as a starting point for learning the guitar. It's hard to imagine what music would be like today without the instrument.

    R&B, Soul, Funk 
  • Ray Charles' fusion of R&B and Gospel vocal stylings in the 1950s (at a time when most R&B singers had more of a smooth, showtunes vibe, a la Nat King Cole) was revolutionary and ground-breaking — and even controversial, as many black people saw such music as blasphemous. The album Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music was a huge commercial risk because it combined soul and country; many thought it would fail. But it actually managed to reach both audiences and become a huge seller. Sixty years later... Charles' sound sounds bog standard, if catchy.
  • 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 hope she isn't just another sexual conquest of his ("Am I lasting treasure/Or just a moment's pleasure"), 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 Carole King!
  • Ben E. King's "Stand By Me". The song has lost its brightness after more than half a century of being played everywhere, from mainstream films to street performers. And being covered by everyone, even the boxer Muhammad Ali. Still, when it was released back in 1961 it was revolutionary, due to how it was so different to the R&B songs of the time. And, nevertheless, no one can deny that the song has gigantic staying power (after all, how many songs are being played by performers in subways after more than 50 years?)
  • "Twist And Shout," for the same reasons. Nowadays it may seem to be a played-out tune that has been used for decades in everything from films to TV shows. But the song made history: it became a staple of R&B courtesy of the Isley Brothers, and later of rock and roll via The Beatlesnote . When it was released, everyone raved about how it captured an attractive middle ground between R&B and doo-wop as well as foreshadowing Phil Spector's sound (in the case of the Isley Brothers' version) and how it demonstrated the rawness of the new British bands (in the case of The Beatles' version). Bert Berns's arrangement of the former was produced to show a then-struggling Spector how to do this right.
  • James Brown. 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.
  • It may be lost with newer listeners to appreciate how revolutionary Sly and the Family Stone were in the late 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 The '70s 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.
    • This trope might specifically apply to their founding bassist, 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.
  • Walter Murphy's "A Fifth of Beethoven", best known for its use in Saturday Night Fever. A contemporary disco song which seamlessly remixed a piece of classical music hadn't really been done before, especially since sampling was in its relative infancy. Today, we have a trope dedicated to similar fusions of pop and classical music, to the point where the Trope Codifier doesn't sound as special anymore.
  • Michael Jackson. Younger people might fail to see anything unique about his style, as the best aspects of it have been standard pop music fare for the past 30+ years. His big-budget music videos might 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 "Smooth Criminal" don't have that excuse. Even the Moon Walk Dance (which Jackson didn't invent, but rather perfected) might look dated and cheesy compared to all the dance innovations which 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.
  • Adina Howard's 1995 hit "Freak Like Me" seems rather tame by today's standards, but at the time it seemed very risque for an R&B song (as opposed to hip-hop, which at that time was already pretty sexual). At the time it came out, most R&B songs were fairly tame ballads. These days, "Freak Like Me" is barely as raunchy as your average Rihanna song.
  • Janet Jackson's The Velvet Rope was extremely influential in many ways that might seem fairly obvious today.
    • At the time, the mixture of R&B with heavy electronic elements, pulling from genres like trip hop ("Got It 'Til It's Gone"), house ("Together Again"), and ambient ("Empty") was unique, but in the years since, the two genres have only become more intertwined with the rise of alternative R&B in the early 2010s.
    • The idea of a mature album from an established pop star which manages to be more introspective without sacrificing hit potential was a rarity at the time. (George Michael's Older was a contemporary example), but it's completely expected nowadays, with Lorde, Taylor Swift and Rihanna releasing some very acclaimed albums in the late 2010s and early 2020s.
    • The album caused some controversy due to its open disucssion of sex, dealing with topics like S&M and bisexuality, which have since become much more common in the genre to the point where it seems tame by comparison (only 2 of the songs have any profanity!). The LGBTQ acceptance was also pretty daring in the late 90s, but as times change, it's become much more common for pop artists to release LGBTQ-advocacy/charity singles.
    • It is worth mentioning that the degree of eclecticism on The Velvet Rope is still pretty uncommon in R&B, Janelle Monáe notwithstanding.

    Electronic Music 
  • Kraftwerk. In the '70s, 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 and artists it inspired.
    • The same applies to many early experimental synth/electronic bands, such as Yellow Magic Orchestra or Art of Noise. YMO were hugely influential on electronic music and J-pop, but although much of their work was groundbreaking and would have sounded thoroughly alien at the time, it sounds almost primitive and underdeveloped today. Similarly, the later band Art of Noise were groundbreaking in their use of sampling, using the Fairlight CMI music computer to create hybrid sound collages/songs almost entirely built out of samplesnote ; an approach that is borderline normal now given that many if not most pop music is now created using synthesisers and samples.
  • In a similar vein, Giorgio Moroder. The fully-synthesised, 4/4 brand of disco he pushed through solo and production work at a time when electronic music was considered to be the realm of the Avant-Garde had an incomparable influence on '80s music, and his legacy carries on in just about every pop and EDM producer today. As Technology Marches On, it becomes harder to fully appreciate what made that Italian guy meekly singing Silly Love Songs over primitive synths so radical.
  • Dance music in general moves at a much faster pace compared to other genres. Producers get new equipment, tempos speed up and slow down; a big single pulls some new sound from the aether and then everything that came before it sounds hopelessly dated.
  • Selected Ambient Works 85-92 by Aphex Twin was absolutely unlike anything at the time. No album had ever been so textured and atmospheric while still being danceable. Nowadays, the "ethereal" sound has taken over virtually every genre.
  • Eiffel 65 sounds a lot less fresh today after thousands of singers and rappers ran the Autotune gimmick into the ground. Moreover, their signature song/One-Hit Wonder "I'm Blue (Da Ba Dee)" has now become a frequent source for jokes and memes on the internet.
  • "Sandstorm" by Darude seems to have suffered from this the most. Back in the early 2000s, it was not uncommon to hear this song at dance clubs, as it quickly became a globally recognizable hit that was even featured in some television shows and played at sporting events, including the 2006 Winter Olympics, and it (along with a few others) helped kickstart the Trance scene in North America. Nowadays, after being overplayed and exposed to so much Memetic Mutation on the internet, many modern EDM artists and enthusiasts just don't see the song as anything special or spectacular anymore, and pass it off as nothing but a "joke" song that isn't taken seriously like it used to be.
  • "Animals" by Martin Garrix also partly suffers from this. When it was first released, its use of heavy bass was seen as something original and revolutionary and its popularity basically catapulted the Big Room House sound to astronomical popularity, becoming essentially the "Mainstage Sound" for many an EDM festival. But just a few short years after its release, "Animals" is now seen as an unoriginal and simplistic track due to the quick backlash against the Big Room sound.
  • David Guetta was among the producers/DJs credited with helping to bring Electronic Music into the American public consciousness after years of previous attempts flopping. Singles like "Sexy Bitch", "Titanium" and "Turn Me On" were massive hits when they came out in the early 2010s, but as the decade progressed and the American EDM market became more diversified, Guetta's poppy-house sound feels rather quaint and middle-of-the-road compared to the material his peers have put out.

  • Grunge in general suffers from this. From a modern perspective where grunge and its derivatives have long since dominated mainstream rock, it can be hard to appreciate what a revolution the release of Nevermind was.
    • Nirvana and Pearl Jam 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 College Radio ghetto. Today, however, it is hard to avoid Nirvana, Pearl Jam, or their millions of rip-offs on the radio for even 15 minutes.
    • By the time Pearl Jam released Riot Act, quite a few younger music fans accused the band of being a Creed ripoff. (It 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 The Pixies. Kurt Cobain admitted that "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was his attempt at ripping off of a Pixies song, specifically "Debaser" from Doolittle.
    • If anything, Nirvana is an inversion. It's amazing how many younger people you will see wandering around malls and other public environments wearing Nirvana t-shirts despite not being anywhere close to being born at the time Hair Metal was considered the norm for hard rock, and thus being able to appreciate how much Nirvana (and other popular alternative bands at the time) managed to kill an entire genre of rock music that had long gone stale almost overnight.
    • Courtney Love made a sport out of steamrolling female gender norms and caused a lot of controversy with her outspokenly feminist attitude, her unkempt appearance, her willingness to expose herself and flaunt her sexuality (including being a former stripper), the disturbing sonic and lyrical themes in her music, her being open and honest about her drug abuse, and the more general "rock & roll" antics that were then considered taboo for a woman to engage in which Love happily partook (such as performing topless and crowd surfing in dresses). Today, it isn't uncommon for younger female artists to have similar feminist attitudes, incorporate similar themes into their work, and behave in similar ways onstage, whether or not they consider Love to be an influence. They may be surprised to learn how much pearl-clutching Love induced when she did those things in 1994. Even Cardi B, a bête noire for Moral Guardians upon her debut, faced less pushback than Love did barring a few cultural reactionaries considered to be on the fringes.

    Heavy Metal 
  • Black Sabbath is often considered the first metal band. Take a moment and consider how weird that sounds.
    • That title is often given to King Crimson, which just sounds all the weirder.
    • It's kind of weird to hear that in the late '70s/early '80s, metal bands like Iron Maiden and Metallica were mistaken for punk. This was because "heavy metal" in the late '70s was seen as the slow or midtempo fare of Black Sabbath and Judas Priest, 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.
    • Iron Maiden suffers from this generally. Around the late 1970s, lyrics about things like death, despair, knights, magic, and sorcery were virtually unheard of. Compared to bands from The New Tens or New Twenties, Iron Maiden sounds positively quaint.
    • A serious casualty of this trope was New Wave Of British Heavy Metal/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 Ozzy Osbourne after bands like Marilyn Manson and Gwar, it's hard to believe he was at one time almost as controversial. Incidents like biting the head off a live bat and peeing on the Alamo were headlines all across America when they happened, meant to show how shocking Ozzy really was. (He's called "the Prince of Darkness" for a reason.) Compared to some of the behavior of other rock stars (both on-stage and off-stage), what Ozzy did back in his day doesn't really seem so shocking anymore.
    • 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 of being a rip-off of Exhorder, who had already begun to develop that sound on their demos while Pantera was still making glamish albums.
    • Judas Priest can get this themselves. Their music can sound like a Cliché Storm these days, but one has to consider that they themselves invented nearly all of those clichés. It's not their fault their music has been so widely imitated since then (or maybe it is, for being so good).
  • Helmet virtually invented the start-stop metal riff that dominated the late '90s. You'd never know it to hear their successors (e.g. Korn, Deftones, etc.) but the idea came from jazz.
  • Isis and their blend of post-rock and Sludge Metal. 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..."
  • Gorn lyrics in Death Metal, or even in general. Once upon a time, it was controversial. Nowadays, arguments against the sub-genre are more towards the music itself rather than the lyrics.
  • 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.
    • For that matter, Mike Smith's drumming (along with that of Pete Sandoval and Flo Mounier) is likely to inspire this as well. At the time, all three were revolutionary. Mike and Pete essentially created almost all of the tropes of death metal drumming (exceedingly fast blastbeats, rapid-fire double bass rolls, extensive usage of double strokes, etc.) and proved that you could play in a way designed to batter the listener into submission with speed beyond what any of the thrash drummers could pull off without sacrificing technique, clarity, or precision, while Flo took what they were doing and increased the speed and precision even further, in addition to helping lay the groundwork for what would become gravity blasts (he didn't use proper gravity blasts until Once Was Not, but he did use the rim of the snare like a fulcrum to allow for blastbeat speeds that were well beyond what anyone was pulling at the time). To a current listener used to the work of players like George Kollias, John Longstreth, Derek Roddy, and Tim Yeung, however, they will sound outdated.
    • Speaking of death metal drumming, gravity blasts have become this. While not particularly new (one-handed rolls using the rim of the snare as a fulcrum were being used by jazz drummers since at least the 1950s), the usage of the gravity roll within a death metal context (where steady kick and cymbal rhythms were added in to make it a blastbeat) was once an innovative technique used to create a sense of chaos or explosively release built-up tension within the song, but gratuitous overuse by slam, deathcore, and tech death drummers gradually gave the technique a reputation for being something that lazy drummers who had no grasp of dynamics abused, and the frequency with which they were quantized and sound-replaced in studio recordings due to sloppy technique only furthered this stigma. After reaching their peak in the 2000s, gravity blasts largely fell out of favor and became viewed as a trite party trick that only really worked in the studio unless you either triggered your snare or had an extremely specific setup, and while the original popularizers are held in high regard and bands that employed them as part of a Signature Style generally still do so, many drummers (including several who originally used them extremely frequently) deliberately avoid using them even if they know how to do them.
  • 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 produced their first Black Metal albums to capture the atmosphere of undeliberately poorly produced Thrash Metal demos, EP and albums.
  • "Black Diamond" by Kiss sounds like really primitive Hair Metal, 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 Alice Cooper pioneered this sound first, but he was never quite able to equal the Olympian grandeur of Kiss.
  • Led Zeppelin suffers heavily from this. In particular are John Bonham's drum beats. (Especially on "When The Levee Breaks" from Led Zeppelin IV.) 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 the 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 "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 "poodle hair" of '80s Hair Metal 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.
  • Yngwie Malmsteen, while still respected by a lot of shred players, is generally viewed as an irritating, tuneless, showoff who never grew out of the "cram in as many notes as possible" phase that most shredders go through and whose obnoxious, repellent behavior is probably even more famous than his music. That being said, he created almost all of the tropes of shred guitar; while he definitely wasn't the one who laid the groundwork for it (and he'll admit as much), he was the one who took what his influences were doing and brought it all Up to Eleven. With plenty of more focused, song-oriented peers like Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Jason Becker, Marty Friedman, Tony MacAlpine, and Vinnie Moore, however, his proclivity for gratuitous overplaying began to grow tiresome, and with a new wave of modern guitar icons like Jeff Loomis, Christian Muenzner, Per Nilsson, Dave Davidson, and Tosin Abasi, younger listeners will probably wonder why he's still seen as a big deal.
  • Manowar is sometimes criticized for using "cliché" 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 Power Metal genre by a couple of years, and that they were likely the first North American metal band to dare embrace these tropes.
  • When Possessed released their debut album Seven Churches in 1985, practically nothing in the metal world rivalled it in sheer heaviness and aggression. A brand new genre called Death Metal was born. Starting in the 1990s, death metal bands engaged in an arms race to see who could churn out the most extreme music. Someone familiar with the likes of bands like Suffocation and Cryptopsy would probably view Seven Churches as elevator music in comparison.
  • During the 1990s and most of the 2000s, Meshuggah was hailed for their very unique sound. At the dawn of the 2010s, progressive groove metal, or "djent" - came 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).
  • The Sepultura album Roots. Upon release, it was one of the most critically-acclaimed and commercially successful metal albums of the mid-'90s. However, the legions of nu-metal bands that copied its sound 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.
  • At the Gates's riffing style has been copied so much that their album Slaughter of the Soul might seem predictable to a first time listener who's already acquainted with the knockoffs.
  • Marilyn Manson, like Alice Cooper before him, doesn't seem quite as shocking nowadays, with fifty thousand rock stars from so many different genres trying to be him. Even as far back as 2001, The Onion was riffing on him as having fallen into this. In the '90s, though, the idea of a mostly naked man wearing makeup, a male bassist in kinderwhore getup, and a stage show that incorporated everything from the bassist sucking his dick to the guitarist giving him a rimjob to Bibles being ripped up and thrown into the crowd was absolutely horrifying to conservative Christian Moral Guardians, and got them banned and protested in several states. Here, you had metal full of drugs, sex, and androgyny, and which, unlike past metal bands that merely flirted with Satanism for show, really was straight-up supported by Anton LaVey, who made the band's eponymous frontman an honorary reverend in the Church of Satan. (Though, to be fair, neither the band nor its fans went as far as some of their European contemporaries.) Luckily for the purposes of its longevity, there was also a terrifyingly complex foundation it was built on, with lyrics and albums that have prompted more writing than one could imagine. Coupled with some inspiration from David Bowie to change sound from album to album (although leading to plenty of fandom infighting), the band is still going strong today, their album The Pale Emperor even having brought a Career Resurrection.
  • Korn suffers pretty heavily from this. Their self-titled debut album was considered original at the time of its 1994 release as an earnest, raw, and commercial unfriendly take on Alternative Metal. Being a mix of alt metal, grunge, groove metal, funk metal, prog metal, and hip-hop, there was nothing like it before at the time. However, when it became a sleeper success, it spawned one of the most controversial genres in metal: Nu Metal. The countless nu metal bands (and even alt metal bands that weren't part of the genre) that were influenced by them and saturated the market led to them not seeming all that original to someone who hears their music later. In fact, many metal purists will deny how massively influential they were, or would otherwise say the music was a negative influence. This is despite the fact that they were more-or-less responsible for salvaging heavy metal music out of underground purgatory.
  • Entombed occasionally gets this, especially in The New '10s with the popularization of Entombedcore. Their raw, punkish sound and especially their "buzzsaw" guitar tone paved the way for the entire Swedish death metal scene and proved massively influential not just in death metal (Left Hand Path in particular being comparable to Seven Churches and Altars of Madness in that field), but arguably even more so in punk, with many hardcore, Grindcore and of course Entombedcore acts shamelessly copying their conventions. Though new listeners discovering them through a band they influenced still tend to find them entertaining, it can be hard for them to see what was so special about them.

    Punk Rock 
  • Back in the 1970s wearing a colorful punk mohawk, leather jackets, safety pins, make-up and eyeliner scared off most people, even older rock fans. Praising "anarchy" and rebelling against the system were very audacious things to say, too. Nowadays, with so many Pop Punk bands imitating the dress code and the style while actually playing mellowed-down pop tunes, it may be hard to realize how revolutionary the punk movement once was. As with "shock rock," the shock value just stopped being shocking.
  • The Sex Pistols were considered shocking in 1977 for releasing a song criticizing the British Royal Family ("God Save The Queen", found on Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols). The cover artwork for the single, featuring a defaced picture of Queen Elizabeth, was thought to be scandalous; the song was banned by the Independent Broadcasting Authority, and the singles chart TOP 20 POPS represented the song's position at No. 2 with a blank line. Many people saw them as dangerous and the British intelligence service even spied on them. A rock band! Nowadays you'd be hard-pressed to find any band able to get such overwhelming mainstream outrage as they did.
    • The Ramones and The Sex Pistols were a reaction to the largely overproduced 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 Punk Rock bands like Bad Religion 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 Ballads in comparison.
    • The ubiquitous Ramones t-shirt on every wannabe "edgy" C-list celeb is a 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 in with its extremely short songs, simple music, and aggressive 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 The Sex Pistols were dressed, for instance.
    • Conversely, most of the punk bands before the Sex Pistols had '70s Hair and dressed in perfectly ordinary street clothes. The frontman (Handsome Dick Manitoba) of New York early-1970s proto-punk band, The Dictators, even had a Jewfro (as did Rob Tyner of Detroit's MC5).
    • 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 no longer current. It was also part of a backlash against the Wide-Eyed Idealism of the Sixties and early Seventies, when such biting cynicism was genuinely shocking; in the modern climate of jaded acceptance that the world is a horrible place and constant exposure to Deadpan Snark, modern listeners tend to wonder why they took things so seriously.
    • The Black Flag 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 Lighter and Softer versions of Black Flag.)
  • The Misfits, 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.
  • It's not even sure whether Die Ärzte actually fit in this category (some of their music clearly is punk rock, but most isn't); however, their early work included some (at the time) "provocative" lyrics. So provocative that they were banned in 1980s Germany. Comparing those lyrics to today's rap (where "Isch ficke deine Muttah" is the equivalent of "Hello") this seems ridiculous. So ridiculous that all but one of those songs are now un-banned after a re-evaluation in The 2000s.
  • Green Day might have this effect with modern listeners, as their 90s discography was plagued by Three Chords and the Truth and they popularized the genre of Pop Punk, which came from their love of The Ramones influencing them in their production (not that they particularly like the label since they're more Punk than they are Pop though). Later albums by them would diversify their sound from the stripped-back feel of their earlier ones, but the earlier stuff might not seem as great as they were back in the 90s. On top of this, many later Pop Punk bands would expand on the genre to have different nuances, like being more jokey, more poetic and experimental, or more generally fun. Not surprisingly, the majority of these bands cite Green Day as a major influence on their sounds, but it could be hard to see why Green Day was so initially popular in the 90s, especially after they reignited their careers in 2004 with American Idiot, which many cite as their best album next to Dookie, the album that made them initially popular, if not more so.

  • Bob Marley's music gave reggae a harder, more serious sound that appealed to rock fans. Prior to this, the majority of Jamaican songs that earned international popularity were dance instrumentals from the late 60s. It is unlikely that any of the international popularity of Dancehall would have existed without him. Despite this, supposed purists try to suggest he formulated his sound to appeal to white audiences, despite the fact that he had worldwide popularity and influence.

    Visual Kei 
  • Visual Kei has developed a lot of these:
    • The first is the split of subgenres. At the beginning, Visual Kei was Hard Rock and Heavy Metal with a huge dose of inspiration from Hair Metal. 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 Moi Dix Mois 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 Visual Kei with HR/HM after around 2000 is almost laughable.
    • Ho Yay fanservice. In The '80s and until the middle of The '90s, the Yaoi Fangirl was not seen as a target market for Visual Kei (much less as specifically existing), and quite a few of the artists engaging in most of the Ho Yay 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 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 Yaoi Fangirl. 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.
    • '80s Hair and the Improbable Hairstyle fell out of style around the mid 90s. When even X Japan except for hide toned down their hairstyles, it pretty much called an end to the era of OTT Visual Kei 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 Improbable Hairstyle 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 Shout-Out, 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 X Japan, Luna Sea, or an ex-member of Spread Beaver, you will get odd looks, and probably start a Flame War)
    • 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.

    Comedy Music 
  • 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 YouTube, the appeal of "Weird Al" Yankovic and similar musicians who were parodists by trade can be lost on a younger generation.
  • Mashups:
    • Using rap songs or beats as components in mashups were originally quite something to behold when the phenomenon was relatively new. However, people soon realised that, since vocals from rap songs usually consist of rhythmic speaking and therefore had no key to match up with the other song, they weren't very technically impressive. For example, the theme from Space Jam was originally a very common mashup song due to its tendency to go with everything, but in the present day it is commonly seen as just a cliche for this very reason. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air shares the same story.
    • All Star, while it does have a key that the mashup artist will have to account for, also became a cliche due to having a very common chord progression garnering it a reputation to go with anything. This caused people new to mashups and music theory in general to misinterpret this as All Star mashing up well with every song regardless of key, resulting in some mashups on the internet that the artist didn't even try to pitchnote  correctly, resulting in absolute Sensory Abuse.

    Hip-Hop & Rap 
  • "Rapper's Delight" by The Sugarhill Gang is often cited as Hip-Hop's Breakthrough Hit, being the first song in the genre to achieve international mainstream attention. Its hedonistic subject matter would be particularly influential, with its bragging about material wealth, wild partying, and sexual prowess becoming hallmarks of the genre. However, while "Rapper's Delight" wasn't shockingly provocative even for its time (with its controversial nature being largely the result of its black roots), party songs in hip-hop would get exponentially raunchier over the years, forming the "dirty rap" subgenre and attracting an obscenity lawsuit by 1990. Consequently, the Sugarhill Gang's hit feels far tamer and even cliché to modern audiences.
  • Run–D.M.C. and LL COOL J, were arguably the first rappers to sound like rappers. The earliest pioneers of hip-hop had a performative, gameshow host like delivery, and more simplistic flow and rhyme schemes. Comparatively, RUN-DMC and LL COOL J sounded much more natural, as well as having more lyrical and complicated rhymes and distinctively different production. They are considered pioneers of an age called New School Hip Hop. This lead to more critical acclaim and popularity than any rappers before them(RUN-DMC being the first hip-hop artist to be signed to a major endorsement deal.) It didn’t take long for Hip Hop to develop even further lyrically. Within a decade, rappers like Rakim and Nas had evolved the medium so much. And because it has continued to evolve in the 40 years since their debut, it can be difficult for modern audiences to recognize how revolutionary they were. Which makes some sense, comparatively RUN-DMC are more like the earliest rappers than someone like J. Cole.
  • Rapper Rakim of famed duo Eric B. & Rakim completely changed the way people rapped by incorporating internal rhymes and complicated wordplay. If you compare his rhymes to those of any earlier artist, such as Run–D.M.C., they're worlds apart. However, many modern hip-hop fans just hear his music as boring '80s hip hop.
  • Trap rapper Ace Hood's once-distinctive flow (popular around 2010, when he had a single out with Rick Ross and Lil Wayne called "Hustle Hard"), has since had a legion of imitators, most of whom have had considerably more successful careers than Ace himself.
  • 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.
  • Dr. Dre'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.
  • T.I.. suffers from this today. Hailing from Atlanta and representing the South at a time when any rapper that wasn't from the East Coast or West Coast was considered a novelty, he pioneered Southern hip-hop in the mainstream. He was literally declared "King of the South"! Naturally, with the Southern hip-hop explosion that happened in the mid-'00s, it's become very difficult for people to see what the big deal was about him today due to the countless amount of rappers from his area.
  • Speaking of Southern hip-hop, OutKast pretty much invented the sound that is still prevalent in hip-hop scene of the South today (heavily eschewing the electro-based party elements of then-popular Miami Bass in favor of far more substantial funk, soul, and gospel-based compositions), with Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, ATLiens and Aquemini often being considered some of the best and most important albums of rap's second decade. Nowadays, this funk/soul/gospel-based sound is so overused in mainstream hip-hop and pop music that many younger listeners may have some difficulty seeing how revolutionary the band was at the time.
    • The idea of a rapper making an R&B album like The Love Below is pretty common nowadays, with Kanye West, Drake, Kid Cudi, and Tyler, the Creator all making some very popular and acclaimed albums where they primarily sing. Nowadays, The Love Below gets criticized for being too inconsistent.
    • The scale and ambition of Aquemini was unmatched at the time, and critics likewise responded with immense acclaim. In the decades afterward, Kanye West took it further on each subsequent album to the point where OutKast doesn't quite seem so epic by comparison.
  • Ice-T was one of the pioneers of Gangsta Rap on the West Coast, influencing N.W.A and many rap artists and groups afterwards. His lyrics about gang life (since he was a gang member back then), selling drugs, pimping (did some of this as well), and violence were eye-opening during the '80s. One of his most famous rap songs was "Colors", which was a track used for a 1988 film of the same name and was about the war between the Bloods and the Crips. He also starred in some successful films, and created a controversial rock band. However, Ice-T is mostly known today for being the black cop on Law & Order: SVU and his rap roots aren't seen as anything special and he's often forgotten in place of other rap artist of his time. His time as a rock artist with his band, Body Count has gotten more appreciation over the years and had won a Grammy music award in 2021.
  • Likewise, N.W.A's Straight Outta Compton album has fallen hard on this trope. In the late '80s, the group's brutally honest depictions of life in the inner city were groundbreaking. They quickly became one of the most controversial groups in all of music, even being largely responsible for the development of the "Parental Advisory" sticker. However, thanks to the glut of rappers that have aped its style and one-upped its "edginess", plus the rise in subgenres like horrorcore, Straight Outta Compton seems relatively tame (and in some cases even silly/campy.)note 
    • The amount of profanity still remains pretty daunting, but the way it's used sounds like a middle schooler who just learned to curse for the first time, while later MCs would incorporate swear words in a far more natural and mature manner.
  • The 2 Live Crew, when Nasty As They Wannabe came out, the overly sexually explicit lyrics caused quite a shit-storm, to the point where it was, for a time, considered legally obscene in Florida. Today, it's pretty standard and probably wouldn't raise the eyebrows that it did back in the day.
  • The idea of a sexually dominant and explicit female rapper was shocking when Lil' Kim, Missy Elliott and Nicki Minaj did it, but starting around 2019, a fairly large number of them became highly popular, and later songs like Cardi B's "WAP" and CupcakKe's "Squidward Nose" make some of the earlier examples seem like church music by comparison.
  • Both averted and invoked by Three 6 Mafia depending on their phase of their career. Their crunk sound in the 2000s is extremely dated and embarrasing. But their early mixtapes are very ahead of their time, predicting trap and cloud rap by well over a decade to the point where younger listeners would be shocked to find out that their earliest output is thirty years old.
  • The lyrics of early Eminem are still shocking and witty, but it is difficult to listen to The Slim Shady LP and understand why it was that he was subjected to such an intense moral panic at the time his music came out. While his lyrics are violent, they are absurd, delivered with cartoon sound effects and Played for Laughs, when a lot of contemporary Gangsta Rap had similar themes taken seriously, and a lot of contemporary Horrorcore was just as satirical but far more graphic and violent than Eminem's Chuck Jones-inspired version. Part of the reason is that Eminem used a Subverted Kids' Show aesthetic and was promoted heavily on channels popular with children, like MTV (at a time when he was the only non-Teen Pop thing on it), when previous controversial hip-hop artists had mostly been popular with older audiences. Part of it was simply that Eminem was the first hip-hop artist with violent lyrics who had been able to dominate the white pop mainstream. As a result, a lot of his critics at the time were white suburbanites who had not been exposed to hip-hop before, had no real understanding of what hip-hop was (other than a scary thing done by black people), and did not understand that its use of violent language in Boastful Rap is not meant as a literal death threat against the audience - a level of media illiteracy that would be pretty much impossible to have nowadays. This can be supported by the fact that "The Real Slim Shady" was considered so filthy in the year 2000 that radio stations got fined for playing the Clean version, but many of Eminem's later songs, like "Shake That" (2006), "Stay Wide Awake" (2009) and "Vegas" (2014), are unspeakably disgusting in a way that makes "The Real Slim Shady" look like children's music, but attracted little attention (beyond tutting over the joke about raping Iggy Azalea in "Vegas").
  • Young Thug was massively controversial upon debut due to his heavily autotuned style which was derisively referred to as "mumble rap". However, he was also heavily acclaimed for the unique way that he used his voice, which was compared by critics to Jimi Hendrix (see "Rock 'n' Roll" above for why he's also fallen victim to this trope). Afterwards, a glut of cheap imitators became massively popular, making the entire market oversaturated and the naysayers get even louder. His new projects still get a lot of acclaim, and some of his descendents like Playboi Carti are different enough to have their own major fanbases.

    Argentine music 
  • When tango started, it was seen as music from the hoodlums and thugs. Eventually, the glamourous image of tango that we have today developed (only after the music was a smash in Paris).
  • Many of the older tango enthusiasts loathed the tango's guardia nueva ("new guard"), a new style of making tango breaking away from rigid traditions, and that had Piazzolla as its greatest example. Nowadays both Piazzolla and the guardia nueva musicians are celebrated.
  • Folklore music (well, anything about the Argentine folklore and the gauchos) was negatively seen as Lowest Common Denominator by the urban elites. After the giant immigration waves, the elites became anxious due to the rapidly changing state of the country that menaced to bring down the status quo, and so the Argentine folklore was vindicated (it also helps that it was the time of the rise of nationalism in all the world).
  • It may seem crazy now, but in the '70s many folklore purists were against more modern trends of fusing the genre with rock (well, they were against any practice that meant breaking away from tradition, like electrifying the instruments). Musicians like Antonio Tarragó Ros and León Gieco had troubles because of the hermetism of the folklore public. Now, with highly successful folklore-pop artists such as Soledad Pastorutti or Abel Pintos, it is hard to understand those times.
  • The same sentiment has haunted cumbia and other tropical genres for decades. The music of the slums (villas miseria, as they are called in Argentina). It wasn't until recent decades that cumbia finally became accepted by a mainstream public, regardless of socioeconomic status.
  • Electronic music had a rough start in Argentina because the public from low and working classes saw it as music of the elites, the rich and the chetos (snub-nosed that dressed fancy), to the point that to be a true enthusiast of cumbia villera you had to hate electronic music and its listeners. Cue to a couple of decades later, and electronic music is so accepted, that even cumbia made nowadays uses equipment employed by electronic music.
  • Rock music in Argentina had a troubled state of affairs for decades, in no part due to suffering from things that their American counterparts didn't have to cope to, like military dictatorships. For decades, the Argentine rock scene had to survive in a very hostile scenario where they censored and persecuted the rock artists. There's too many examples of things that in those days were prohibited by the regimes for looking "subversive" or "degenerate" and now look tame. Acoustic and light-sounding songs like León Gieco's "Hombres de hierro" were prohibited due to criticizing the men at arms. The police would arrest men they would find in the streets, only because they had long hair (and would procceed to cut their hair while in jail).
  • From the start rock had problems when it appeared in the '50s: in Argentina many saw it as an anti-patriotic style that destroyed the native genres, they also complained that the youth danced this new rock and roll dance in the cinemas or in the streets.
  • A decade later, in the '60s, Argentine rock evolved to start acting as part of the counterculture movement, with critical attitudes and protest lyrics. This brought a big red light from the regimes of the times, but nowadays few can see what is so aggressive about lyrics such as those from Pedro Y Pablo's "Yo vivo en esta ciudad". As the state in Argentina darkened as the '70s advanced, things only became worse...
  • The arrival of the new wave and synthpop was a massive change to the Argentine rock scene of the '80s. At first, the scene was still very conservative and many in the public remained interested only in Argentine progressive bands with overly-long solos (which were a dead genre in USA and UK since 1977 with the rise of punk... but of course, the iron fist of the regime wouldn't let anything about that anarchist and rebel genre called "punk" be known in Argentina, and so the rock scene stagnated and froze for years in the progressive rock genre). The '80s sound eventually rose to the mainstream, helped by non musical factors: the regime declared war against UK in 1982 and prohibited music in English, but now they had to play the Argentine artists to fill the void, and so previously censored songs and bands were brought to light. The defeat in the war accellerated the fall of the regime and the arrival of the new wave sounds that were raving all over the world. With time, even the conservative backlash from progressive fans died out and the new wave and synthpop sounds came to dominate the Argentine scene. To this day, it is a particularly cherished time by Argentine rock fans, because the '80s was the time when Argentine bands conquered the Latin American markets (with band such as Soda Stereo, Virus, GIT, Miguel Mateos/ZAS, Enanitos Verdes being fondly remembered).
  • In the '90s, the rock barrial genre rose as an opponent of the pop sound of the previous decade. The rock barrial rose as the dominant genre in the Argentine rock scene, thanks to its raw, crude, unpolished sound, with lyrics that dealt with the lives in the low and working class, politics, football, protests and social commentary, and the worsening of the Argentine quality of living through the decade. Also, the genre's rise was helped by the deeply ingrained hate in the psyche of the Argentine poor towards everything related to the rich, the chetos, USA and UK (with the consequence that the genre evolved little, because it shut itself off to the advances happening globally in rock music in those times, like taking influences from grunge, nu metal or britpop).
  • Nothing was the same after the night of the 30 December 2004, when the República Cromañón venue was set on fire by a flare while the rock barrial band Callejeros was playing (flares were a common sight in rock barrial concerts, being a spillover from the football matches that the rock barrial celebrated so in their songs, but in a closed space they proved fatal). The event dealt a huge blow to rock barrial and almost immediately more polished, pop, electronic and indie/alternative currents of rock became dominant in the Argentine scene.
  • The current wave of feminism has made new changes in Argentine rock, with careers ending and groups massively disbanding due to accusations and lawsuits from feminist groups, and at the same time, with bands formed by women gaining more exposure and momentum than previously achieved in the scene.

  • When Kirk Franklin initially started his career his blending of hip-hop and R&B into gospel was considered controversial in Christian circles and his music was considered too "secular" by some. These days he's considered one of the best gospel artists and is one of the top selling gospel musicians in the US.

  • Stereo sound. Up until the mid-to-late 1960s, AM radio was the go-to format for listening to popular music. FM was strictly for news, information and 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 most systems. Bands like The Beatles and The Beach Boys 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, car radios or portable record players. The rise of underground rock and jazz radio, "head music" and music labels determined to demonstrate their new multi-track and stereo technology led to the popularity of stereo recordings (and headphones), and mono eventually was phased out.
  • Multi-track recording used to be something only reserved for the finest studios, but by the late 60s, it was widely available, albeit limited to 8 tracks, or 16 if you were lucky. Even the Beatles struggled to gain access to an 8-track recorder during the White Album sessions. Nowadays, you can record an infinite number of digital tracks on your laptop!
  • Synthesizer and sampling technology, particularly from The '80s, 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, only 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 a relatively crude technology. Computer software has often taken over for hardware, and things like the $50 Peter Vogel CMI Pro app (based on Fairlight CMI technology, and designed by the Fairlight's co-inventor) are derided as slow and crude, although amusing for their retro qualities.
  • The Compact Disc, introduced in 1982, was a revolutionary breakthrough in The '80s, offering a cleaner, clearer way of listening to music than the phonograph record formats of the previous sixty or seventy years, without the surface noise, tape hiss, or playback degradation endemic to vinyl and cassette. It was the first digital consumer media format available when everything else was analog. It brought, even in its 16-bit sound, more intimacy and detail, and captured the whole of the record, uninterrupted by record or cassette sides, or weird formatting like the eight-tracks of The '70s. 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 difference in sound quality of CD from analog formats was so substantial that one of the first things many people would do when they got their first CD player was to buy CD copies of favorite albums they already owned on vinyl or cassette, because the improvement in sound quality was that good. The 78-minute storage capabilities led to longer albums. It was also possible for the first time to easily skip to desired tracks. This was possible on a phonograph, and some really fancy cassette decks had seek features that kind of worked, but a CD could play a single track instantaneously, as well as repeat tracks or play them in a different order. Nowadays, these features of digital audio are the industry standard without an intermediary physical formats on downloads and streaming, and the novelty of it seems lost to newer generations.
    • In a hilariously ironic twist, vinyl has 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 infamously abused since the dawn of the 21st century).
      • On a similar note, digital recording has fallen victim to this trope. When Dire Straits' Brothers in Arms, one of the first pop albums to be recorded digitally, was released in 1985, it was praised for its amazingly clean sound quality, which was at the time thought to be unachievable on analog tape, and served as a Killer App for the CD format. This is what led to other artists recording their albums digitally and thus phasing out analog recording (and vinyl along with it). These days, the sonic clarity of digital recording has long since lost its impact, and in its place has garnered a nasty reputation as sounding "overproduced", "lifeless", and just flat-out bad (in no small part due to the aforementioned Loudness War), with the general perception being that analog recordings sound better than digital (a complete inversion of how it was in the 80s and 90s). Nowadays, an increasing amount of independent artists are choosing to record their albums on analog equipment and releasing them on vinyl while ignoring the CD format, due to the supposed sonic benefits of recording on analog tape and the increasingly negative stigma against recording digitallynote .
  • The Compact Cassette (better known as the cassette tape). Combined with the introduction of the Sony Walkman, it became the first truly portable audio format. While the 8-track had already existed by the time cassette was adopted by the music industry, cassette was superior in both sound quality and formatting, having an A and B side like a standard vinyl record instead of four separate "programs" like the 8-track that forced labels wanting to release albums on the format to rearrange the track listing. Even better, cassettes had greater capacity than vinyl, to the point where many double albums could easily squeeze onto a single cassette before the advent of 80-minute CDs. Dolby noise reduction, high-end cassette decks and improved tape formulations made the cassette a challenger to the LP for home listening. The portability really took off with the advent of boomboxes and the Sony Walkman. Previously, the only portable music format was the tinny transistor radio. These new devices provided sound quality comparable to a traditional component stereo system in a small space, which was quite astonishing when they first came on the market. Consequently, sales of prerecorded cassettes overtook vinyl in the early 1980s. However, in the '90s when CDs took over, cassettes were seen mostly as a budget alternative when portable CD players came to market and as a medium for mix tapes, and then cassettes and CDs were phased out in favor of the MP3 player. For home recording, CD burners and later USB sticks supplanted cassette recorders. Mix tapes were finally supplanted by online playlists.
  • The Tascam Portastudio. It was a groundbreaking piece of tech that finally allowed amateur musicians to record their music at an acceptable sound quality without the assistance of a professional recording studio. It accepted standard Type II cassettes and was an all-in-one solution for recording, mixing, and mastering home recordings. While it was mainly used for demo recordings, some professionally released albums like the aforementioned Nebraska by Bruce Springsteen were recorded on a Portastudio. However, the Portastudio was rendered obsolete when computers became more capable of recording high-quality audio, and these days it's so easy to record your own music with just your computer and a decent microphone that it's hard to see what was the big deal with the Portastudio in the first place. It's now so easy to create professional-quality recordings at home that many professional recording studios have closed. This was underscored by how in the late 2010s, it became possible to record a polished, mainstream #1 hit in your bedroom, as Billie Eilish has demonstrated, and have it sound better than studio recordings from 20 years ago.
  • Vocaloid:
    • Megurine Luka's main selling point when she was released is the fact that she was bilingual and could sing in both Japanese and English. Now, every other Crypton Vocaloid has received an English voicebank, with Miku even getting a Chinese voicebank, making her trilingual. Outside of Crypton, Gumi and Macna Nana also received English voicebanks, and YOHIOloid and Fukase were packaged with both an English and Japanese voicebank just like Luka.
    • Big-Al was enormously popular with the fandom when he came out in 2009 because of his clear English pronunciation and him being the first western Vocaloid to have an Anime style boxart with a character design in the style of the Japanese Vocaloids. Nowadays almost every western Vocaloid has an anime-style design, and Big-Al's pronunciation sounds outright awkward compared to English Vocaloids released on later versions of the software.
  • The Fender Stratocaster. When it came out in 1954, it was an extremely revolutionary guitar for its day. Most guitars on the market during the '40s and '50s had bulky archtop hollow bodies with hard edges, one or two pickups, and a Bigsby tremolo system. While it wasn't the first solid-body guitar (the Gibson Les Paul and the Fender Esquire and Telecaster all came before it years prior), it was the first guitar to have three pickups, a spring tremolo system, and a rounded-edge contoured body designed for the player's comfort. While it remains one of the most popular and recognizable electric guitars of all time, there have been many guitars since then that took design cues (when not outright copying it) from the Strat, and today it can be hard to see what made it so revolutionary in the first place.
    • The Stratocaster's older brother, the Fender Telecaster, also falls into this trope, albeit to a lesser extent. The Telecaster popularized flat-slab solid-body electric guitars in a period when most guitarists played hollow guitars, and included a bolt-on replaceable neck when other guitars had the neck directly glued onto the body (and some still do, like the well-respected Gibson Les Paulnote  and any semi-hollow or hollow-body guitar). These features, like the features found on the Strat, would become mainstays in the electric guitar industry. In fact, these features carried over to the Stratocaster.
  • Auto-Tune/pitch-correction effects in general. These days no one is remotely surprised to hear noticeable Auto-Tune in pop music, but when Cher's "Believe" originally came out, with its deliberately extreme, exaggerated processing, it sounded... very strange.
  • Gibson guitars as a whole got hit with this hard. Guitars like the Les Paul and the SG revolutionized the rock guitar scene when players like Eric Clapton realized that Gibson's humbucking pickups combined with solid-body guitar designs lended themselves well to high distortion, which led to the development of Hard Rock, which itself paved the way for the metal genre. However these guitars, especially the Les Paul, had some major design problems. The Les Paul's single cuttaway design limited upper-fret access and the maple cap weighed the guitar down. Meanwhile, the SG has an issue with neck dive, and Gibson guitars as a whole have issues with tuning stability. As Gibson's patent for the humbucker expired in 1976, it opened the floodgates for other guitar manufacturers to make their own humbucker equipped guitars, and Eddie Van Halen's Frankenstrat led to guitar manufacturers like Ibanez and Jackson producing Superstrat guitars, combining the guitar tones of a Gibson guitar with the ergonomical design of a Fender Stratocaster. Meanwhile Gibson guitars, while still being produced, have fallen out of favor with modern guitarists due to their aformentioned design flaws (that, to this day, they are trying to correct), rampant quality control issues, and their high price tags (considering the aformentioned quality control issues). Metal musicians adopted Ibanez as the go-to guitar for the genre with their Strat-esque bodies, higher-output pickups, and tremolo systems that were designed with tuning stability in mind. Meanwhile with the Alt Rock crowd, they're likely using humbucker-equipped Fender guitars (a move popularized by Nirvana's Kurt Cobain, who played a Fender Jaguar with two humbuckers installed) due to the fact that they are more customizable and relatively inexpensive.
  • The 8-track cartridge seems impossibly clunky and a symbol of '70s kitsch, but when it was introduced in the 1960s, it was the first practical method of allowing people to listen to the music they wanted to in cars. Record players had been introduced for cars, but phonographs are obviously impractical in automotive use. 8-track cartridges offered stereo sound in cars for the first time, and they were much simpler to use than reel-to-reel tape, so they also became popular for home listening once home players were introduced. And portable players also existed long before the boombox and the Walkman. The bottom fell out of the 8-track market once cassettes improved in sound quality.