Music and Letters


Over at the Atlantic, Spencer Kornhaber takes us back in time to the text-heavy rock ‘n’ roll ads of the 70s, early in the days of rock magazines—a stark contrast to the image-based music ads of today:

Per the famous expression about dancing about architecture, writing about music is hard. Rolling Stone and others were pioneers in doing just that, but advertisers who tried to capture the same energy and linguistic innovation of the magazines’ editorial content were hobbled by the fact that their rock criticism could contain no actual criticism. Instead, many of their ads read like resumes.

Katie O'Brien is an English major at Cornell University, where she writes for kitsch magazine, DJs for a rock station, and complains about the cold. Find her on Twitter @abluekite. More from this author →