I FEEL sorry for the youth of today. While their world is one full of information, communication, interaction and technology, they are missing out on so much that we had just one generation ago. I grew up in the 70's and early 80's, and even though it's only twenty years ago, the differences in society are staggering.

The biggest change I have noticed is time. Now there is no time for anything. E-mail, voice-mail, mobile phones and multi-skilling are the order of the day. Back then, there was plenty of time - to think, to breathe, to enjoy life.

In the 70's I cherished the toys I had - I could count them on both hands. Right now, my kids could open a toy shop with all they've got. They have so much stuff that they have not had the opportunity to learn to value their possessions. What can you do when they've got two sets of grandparents? And it doesn't help when there's so much marketing and advertising aimed squarely at the children.

To maintain continuing business for product manufacturers, all of this marketing promotes one thing - the Throwaway Society. And believe it or not, it's even hit the music industry. Creativity and talent has given way to formula-driven songs and pretty-boy and girl personalities. This, together with the hype and marketing that accompany these new 'groups' ensures high-saturation radio airtime and that is what influences sales and trends among our young.

Fortunately, not all musicians and artists have given in to the 'formula', but resisting it must be difficult because of the frustrations of not having their music heard by the masses. So they are relegated to the CD bins at the back of the shop, or not even stocked at all by the mainstream music stores.

Today we're stuck with choosing from a glut or new-releases each week. The single you heard on the radio sounds OK, but you don't buy singles - you collect albums. How many times have you bought an album because of a single heard on the radio only to find that every other song sucked? I hate that.

There are many tracks and albums from the 70's and 80's that are considered classics - they set standards for their time and continue to sound fresh today. How many songs from the late-90's could you name as likely to be classics in twenty years' time? There are possibly a few, but they are certainly very far between. Just look at the top selling songs of each of the past few years and you'll see I'm right. Sadly, the 90's will be the decade that music forgot.

Back in the 70's and 80's the classic albums of real artists were released on vinyl. Fortunately, the powers that be have re-released many great titles on CD - some totally remastered. Today's youth now has the opportunity to hear something complete different - quality in music and lyrics. Musical craftsmanship rather than mass-production. And these artists, many of whom are still producing fabulous work, deserve a new audience.

My personal taste in music is fairly diverse, however there are some things I really crave in a band - thoughtful lyrics, accomplished musicians, a vocalist with something special, melody and consistency. If an album is compromised by too many flaky tracks, my interest in the band wanes dramatically.

Some artists and bands stand head and shoulders above the rest and as such have earned the right to be heard more widely. My feeble attempt to help them involves the creation of my very own select music shop. To get onto my store's virtual shelves, you've got to pass my test. What I have on sale, I can thoroughly recommend.

On the next page is my catalogue - sourced directly from CD Now (Amazon) - the Internet's largest (by far) CD dealer - more titles at better prices. If you choose to buy any titles recommended at my store, you will of course be buying them direct from CD Now, with their prompt, reliable and secure on-line service. All I'm doing is pointing you in the right direction with regard to their enormous catalogue.

Finally, before you step into my music store, I must state that everything I have said here is all in my opinion and may not reflect yours or anyone else's view - and that's fine. If you liked The Great Enigma Challenge and heard some of the thinking music, then you have an insight into what I like. It's well worth taking a look at what's on offer.

Click the Next button to enter my Music Store...

Stu Hasic. Sydney. January 1999.

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E-mail me: stu_hasic@yahoo.com