There's stilll great stuff today, but the mainstream is much worse than decades ago.
Main stream music has sucked since the 80's, and that's ignorring the entire genre of disco from the 70's. We've had Back Street Boys & a dozen different variations, we've had the Spice Girls & a dozen different variations, we've had Billy Ray Cyrus & a wave of "New Country" fecal matter. Aron Carter, Brittany Spears, MC Hammer, Milli Vanilli & a bunch of cookie cutter crap just like it all the way up to American Idol.
I've done a bad job but I'm trying to illustrate how the mainstream music "industry" has been crap for 30 or 40 years.
Ok, I'm not thingking about Aaron Carter or the Spice Girls...
You can always find negative examples, but where are the positive examples of great mainstream artists today?
I think that some of the most successful artists of earlier decades are among the best artists of that time. That isn't the case anymore.
Not sure if those are the best examples, but I'm thinking about The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Elvis, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Eagles, Eric Clapton, Dire Straits, Queen, Van Halen, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Run-D.M.C. or even Michael Jackson until 'Bad'. These were all mainstream successes.
Some of those band still release new albums, but they're mostly crap.