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1971 – The best of times for rock music and the worst of times for musicians 

12 July 2017

In an interview with NPR, British music journalist David Hepworth claims 1971 saw “a huge explosion of creativity in a very short period of time.” Hepworth’s book, Never A Dull Moment: 1971 – The Year Rock Exploded, asserts that 1971 was a year of unparalleled creativity in rock music: 

“It’s the year of Elton John’s “Madman Across The Water,” Joni Mitchell’s “Blue,” Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” Sly and The Family Stone’s “There’s A Riot Going On” and so on and so on. Loads of records that we still listen to today.”

These records, and many others from 1971, have passed into music legend and have become staples of classic rock stations and playlists across the country. You don’t need to have been alive in 1971 to recognize their power. 

However, there is another, sadder reason that 1971 is a year of note to music creators. Digital music services and AM/FM radio refuse to pay anything to the performers of music made before February 15, 1972. This means that 1971 is the last full year for which music creators are comprehensively shortchanged by companies who make millions from their work (including $60 million each year in digital airplay alone).

So next time you hear one the great hits from 1971 in a coffee shop or on a classic rock station, remember the people behind the music who are likely being shortchanged. And if you haven’t yet, join the thousands of music fans and creators who are supporting the Fair Play Fair Pay Act which will protect music made in 1971 and before.

 Check out the link here to get involved.

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