great deal to spur the renaissance we've heard in FM programming. It's been receptive to our increased demand for live music specials and intelligent dialog with artists. Rock Around The World, with its two-pronged radio/print approach, is an important part of that renaissance.
Albums by AOR artists now sell better than singles, and many of the singles heard on AM have been edited from album cuts first heard on AOR stations. The Sixties concept of the segue— artistically connecting three or more cuts—has been evolved on AOR, so that the whole station becomes a cohesive work of art instead of a potpourri of scattered songs.
Also, our sense of audio quality has evolved with AOR. How many of us could part with our home stereo systems without going through withdrawals? The boom in sound hardware has kept pace with our demands—receivers, turntables, speakers, tapes and recorders, you name it.,We buy stereo equipment today like they bought transistor radios fifteen years ago, but quality is more important to us than cheap profitability.
On the automotive end of audio hardware, the government is close to requiring that all car radios sold in the States be equipped
with FM. The development of quality in tape players and speakers has made it possible for us to get recording studio sound in a Volkswagen. The AOR boom has had a large part in all that.
Like all generations, we've learned from what's gone before. More than any generation of listeners, we have a greater understanding of rock and the diverse family of music it's part of. We're a lot less concerned with "boundaries" somebody chalked up years ago. And few of us are in the same mood all the time—few of us could be satisfied with a steady diet of anything.
So we've become a generation of compulsive dial switchers, punching in whatever suits us at that given moment. The idea of loyalty to a favorite station, except in the few corners of America with only one or two AOR stations in operation is irrelevant. Our loyalty is to good music before anything else.
It is a rare—nay, non-existent—radio station that is all things to everybody, even if it's the only decent station on the band. Therefore, as more AOR stations hit the airwaves, programmers are finding it wise to specialize.
In Los Angeles, for example, there are no fewer than eight or nine AOR stations, and most are specializing in either soft or hard,