Since The Shadows At Polydor book was published, more than one reader has expressed disagreement with the point that Shadows’ fans, inevitably not represented on the whole by the youth of Britain (or anywhere else) in the 1980s, should have been receptive to chart music stemming from that decade. In fact, this is not a point made in the book, and it is not one I would care to be associated with. At no stage do I contend that anybody "should" or "ought" to like or listen to anything, but rather I have set out to explain why, in the period under scrutiny, listeners of an earlier generation generally did not pay much, if any, serious attention to chart-material not associated with their formative years. For that reason, evaluation of chart-covers from this period was off to a very poor start.

This seems to me to be as indisputable as it is obvious, but for anyone still sceptical, I received an e-mail from a person studying for a doctorate in musical studies (not just an undergraduate degree, but a higher degree, taken by individuals proficient in, with a special gift for, their chosen subject). Though older fans would probably hate him for saying this, he contended, despite knowing the earlier corpus well, he actually preferred the group’s 1980s material, because he had grown up with it. Is this an isolated voice in the wilderness, a solitary exception to the rule? I hope nobody is blinkered enough to say that. No, there were many in the 1980s from various walks of life, and consequently with different tastes and aptitudes, who did like this approach enough to put a succession of Albums into the charts. Senior members of the establishment who poke fun at, and even express contempt for "popular taste", would do well to recall the they too were once upon a time caught up in the same system!

Nothing said above demonstrates that 80s material is better than 60s material – or that it was as good as 60s material, or inferior to 60s material. What it does indicate is that there is, beyond any argument, a significant generational aspect to the experience of listening to, and developing tastes in music, as there is in other spheres.

The only way out (or in, depending on how you view the question) is to take each number on its merits and form a reasoned judgement. It does not bother me at all if somebody disagrees with me about the quality of The Shadows’ EYE OF THE TIGER, or contends (as I would not) that the accompaniment to their version of ALWAYS ON MY MIND is wonderful. Equally, it does not worry me in the slightest that Hank Marvin himself has a high regard for THEME FROM THE DEER HUNTER, whereas I cannot stomach it. The Shadows At Polydor is not an instruction book, but a series of value-judgements with which readers may or may not agree.

As a rider to the above, many allegedly pedestrian songs of the 80s are currently receiving widespread airplay whereas The Shadows are barely heard at all (I speak as a regular radio listener, since I nearly always tune in to various broad-based music stations when word-processing). How many of the "originals" referred to will be on tap to any extent in, say, twenty years time? They are barely ever on tap now, even on 60s programmes, and that is because they formed only a small, if important, part, of the total scene. And whether we like it or not, guitar instrumentals in this style were very much children of their times.

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