By many today (who maybe don't have great knowledge of their catalogue) they are still considered a strictly easy listening, or more modernly called AC. I know that they always charted on the AC charts and played on their stations, as they were always a softer sound, but they began becoming less "pop" in 1976. The elevator sound took over around this time, so does this mean they got even more play on these kinds of stations? AC music now and I assume then is thought of as less then or not as important creatively as regular pop, but I'll be damned if even this more Muzak-y sound isn't intricately arranged. That's why it was always more than easy listening, even on mellow albums like AKOH there's more going on than just mere lush sounds.