Last week a friend of mine made an intriguing comment on Twitter "Not sure how I feel about U2 being referred to as "classic rock" on #Glee" I understood her feeling, but I did comment that U2's Boy came out in 1980, over 30 years ago - however, she felt that the song 'One' really isn't classic rock. That got me thinking about music and how we classify things. On this point I had to agree with her: to me, U2 (especially Achtung Baby and albums that followed) should not be considered Classic Rock.
It comes down to how we classify things. Music has always been classified into different genres - Alternative, Grunge, Hair Metal, Pop, Country, etc. What becomes complicated is when we try to break it down by an age or time divisions. Things such as "classic rock" or "old-school rap" because who decides if something should be considered in those divisions?
Let's take Classic Rock for example. What standard should be used for determining what is and what isn't classic rock? Is it a certain age? If so, then do we just put any type of musical genre after a certain amount of time into that category? If that is the case, then we are really starting to bunch things up.
Let's take a look at three different albums from about the same time to see this example at work: R.E.M.'s Out of Time, Pearl Jam's Ten and Poison's Flesh & Blood. All three albums came out between 1990 and 1991, yet you couldn't find three different genres as these three. However, if we use age as the determinant for something, they can all be considered "classic rock" now and that just doesn't seem right.
Maybe I'm just getting old and still think classic should just be bands like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and anything between 1965 and 1980 - because before 1965 is more Oldies and after 1980 is well...80's music.
My point in all of this rambling is that we have to be cautious when we label things. Communication is all about the language that we use. That is why you should be careful when you label something. I'm sure Glee didn't mean anything by it, but I am sure there were a lot of people my age and older who don't consider U2's one as classic rock. However, to someone in high school, it might sound like an oldie. Such is the problem with age I guess.