Don’t blame hip-hop
Robert HILBURN makes a comparison between Nirvana’s massive success and the relatively small sales of bands like the White Stripes, Strokes and Hot Hot Heat, stating that their slack performance is largely the result of being muscled out of the charts by hip-hop (“Can Rock Come Back?,” Jan. 4).
The reason these bands aren’t selling as much as Nirvana is simple: Their songs aren’t as widely appealing. Nirvana’s songs are some of the greatest popular tunes (as in Cole Porter, Bacharach, Lennon-McCartney) ever written. While talented, the White Stripes, Strokes, Hot Hot Heat and their ilk simply do not have that kind of mass appeal. Don’t blame hip-hop, Mr. Hilburn. And don’t blame your beloved Jack White. You’ll simply have to wait with the rest of us for the next Cobain & Co.