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Sir Elton John criticises the modern pop industry
Sir Elton slams pop industry

Sir Elton John has hit out at the state of the modern British pop scene. In an exclusive Newsnight interview he compared the music of stars like Steps to packets of cereal.

Sir Elton said that he believed there was too much music that sounds the same in the charts now.

He argued there were too many average bands stifling the chances of real talent getting airplay.

Watch the full interview with Sir Elton

"Record companies want the quick buck from the Backstreet Boys, NSync, Britney Spears, S Club 7's, the Steps - they've always been around, I'm not knocking the music perhaps, but it's like packets of cereal," he said.

I shouldn't have done that album in a million years

Sir Elton John
Sir Elton also criticised greatest hits albums, including his own recent live album "One Night Only".

"I shouldn't have done that album in a million years and I did and I regret doing it," he said.

But he argued it was the record companies that demanded it. He said they put the pressure on just before Christmas, as they know they can make a lot of money.

Pop Idol

Sir Elton has concerns about the Pop Idol phenomenon. He believes the winners have talent, and wishes them luck.

Pop idol finalists Gareth gates and Will Young
Pop idols, but for how long?
"I feel sorry for the people that win those things because they may have talent, they can sing, but they don't have any experience other than being able to appear on television and that's scary," he said.

He was not sure where they would be in three to four years time. He said the record companies had a responsibility to look after them.

He went on to say there was very little long term thinking within the music industry, with the emphasis placed on instant success.

And he did not hold much hope for the future of the industry, saying in America there were few people in the business who knew much about music.

"Until you get people who really love what they're doing and have an eye and a longing to establish an act and see them through and take care of them then nothing's going to change," he said.

  Has pop become too commercial? - Have your say

  Read a transcript of Newsnight Correspondent, Madeleine Holt's report on Elton John

See also:

26 Feb 02 | Talking Point
Has pop become too commercial?

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