Political music

Status
Not open for further replies.

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
So what is the current attitude about musicians championing a political cause?

You have to admit, songs like Edwin Starr's "War" are very highly charged and to me high charge works great in music.

Dylan was political, U2, and a bunch of others.

So do we like that these days or no?
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
Pop stars used to be rebels, but they're mostly in bed with corporations now. I think it's because money is so much more scarce in the music business that nobody wants to speak out and alienate anybody. You're more likely to find rebellion from people in the tech industry now.
 

MrPockets

Gold Member
I think songs inspired by current zeitgeists are fine.

Songs like American Idiot and Empty Walls are stupid.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
Songs have been political in nature since the dawn of time. Most Christmas songs were coded with hidden meanings to avoid persecution by authorities, where any proclamation to a higher power would have gotten you killed as an example.

Some songs I’ve listened to for decades and never made the political connections, till way later. Agree or disagree with the message, I still feel it was done tastefully and artistically. Most political songs today are just blatantly obvious spoon fed garbage. They lack depth and certainly require no decoding. No value in that regardless of which side of the message you’re on.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I don't see a problem with a message in the music... don't all songs (with lyrics) have a message of some kind? If I don't like a song or the attitude of the band behind it, that's simple enough to avoid.

What I don't like - or think is career smart - is for an artist to show too much of their political leanings apart from their music. In other words, interviews that aren't in the context of their career. Someone being dragged into the national news so their celebrity status can boost a position. I just think that's sticking their neck out, regardless of the side they're on. Even where I agree with someone, I cringe a little that they're out there like that. Just make music, people.

Yes, Bono has been all over the news for years, but his message is more humanitarian than political. And he does that on his own terms, not because he was trotted out in front of CNN's cameras to boost their political agenda during a current administration.

Bermuda
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
The 70's seemed to be nothing but messages about the Govt. etc, and now it seems to be about musical groups either suing, or telling candidates to cease and desist for using songs without permission.
 

EhhSoCheap

Member
David Byrne has put together a great list of protest songs, which I think is an important, if only slight, differentiation from political songs.

I've been getting into my local music scene lately, which has a lot of musicians that write and perform original music with strong messages. Though the music style isn't often "punk," it has the same ethos of focusing more on expression and a message rather than chops and musicianship. I dig it.
 

EricT43

Senior Member
I rather like politically-charged rock and roll songs. Get angry and shout about it, it's great. But outside of the music, I'd rather listen to the opinions of an expert, thank you very much.
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
..David Byrne has put together a great list of protest songs, which I think is an important, if only slight, differentiation from political songs.

I've been getting into my local music scene lately, which has a lot of musicians that write and perform original music with strong messages. Though the music style isn't often "punk," it has the same ethos of focusing more on expression and a message rather than chops and musicianship. I dig it..

I agree with every word written here..

That Baby Huey version from A Change Is Gonna Come is amazing, just like the whole The Complete Baby Huey Story album..

Which has been kinda influencial on Hiphop too btw..
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
I'm surprised "Rape Me" by Nirvana wasn't in David Byrne's list. That hit me like a ton of bricks when I was a teenager, in a good way. As did Public Enemy, Rage Against The Machine, Marvin Gaye, John Lennon, and others. I needed that perspective badly, having been "educated" in Catholic school for 12 years.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

This is by far my favorite political song. It's more than just that, it's also a rub at society in general. Very well thought out, and a great song too.

I like political music that isn't whiny. The whole "poor me, it's your fault" crap I don't like. Just piss, moan, and complain. Don't get all sensitive about it.
 

johnwesley

Silver Member
The eastern world, it is exploding. Violence flaring, bullets loading....
That line is 50 years old. My question is "Just how long is this Eve of Destruction" going to last. Ay 68, I'm running out of time.

When I go to concert, I am there to be entertained, NOT lectured on what's wrong with___ and who has a better solution.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
The eastern world, it is exploding. Violence flaring, bullets loading....
That line is 50 years old. My question is "Just how long is this Eve of Destruction" going to last. Ay 68, I'm running out of time.

When I go to concert, I am there to be entertained, NOT lectured on what's wrong with___ and who has a better solution.
That is the whole problem.. Lots of whiners and complainers and very few fixers.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Bono. The man that bangs on about charity but is registered in a tax haven and flies private jets around the World...
Yes I agree, one of the bigger hypocrites.

Me, I am fine if the message is written and sung, or even has hidden meanings, but prefer no politics whatsoever in live performance, certainly not somebody on stage going off on a poli-rant between songs.
I was at a Neil young concert and the person beside me kept shouting after every song: ' ya, Neil, sustainable development!" Very annoying
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
I absolutely hate when politics gets shoehorned in where it doesn't belong.

Some self-righteous rock star trying to lecture to the crowd between songs, when it has nothing to do with their music, it's just nauseating.

People came to see you because of your music, not because you're some self-proclaimed moral authority on something.

If somehow you got famous because you are a political musician, I have no problem with it.

Same thing goes for athletes. Nobody cares what you think. You're famous because you run fast or throw a ball, not for your commentary on social issues or international relations.

I'm fine with rich musicians having a cause that they champion on the side, like feeding the homeless, or water in Africa...IF they're humble about it. Just don't preach about society's woes while I'm trying to hear my favorite song.

Alternatively, a band like Rage Against the Machine is perfectly fine. They are political somewhat, but it's about being "against the establishment." That was the nature of their music from the beginning. It's about being against authority, a long-standing tradition in the rock/punk genre.

Politics has its place in music, but a very tiny place.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
The eastern world, it is exploding. Violence flaring, bullets loading....
That line is 50 years old. My question is "Just how long is this Eve of Destruction" going to last. Ay 68, I'm running out of time.

When I go to concert, I am there to be entertained, NOT lectured on what's wrong with___ and who has a better solution.
I absolutely hate when politics gets shoehorned in where it doesn't belong.

Some self-righteous rock star trying to lecture to the crowd between songs, when it has nothing to do with their music, it's just nauseating.

People came to see you because of your music, not because you're some self-proclaimed moral authority on something.

If somehow you got famous because you are a political musician, I have no problem with it.

Same thing goes for athletes. Nobody cares what you think. You're famous because you run fast or throw a ball, not for your commentary on social issues or international relations.

I'm fine with rich musicians having a cause that they champion on the side, like feeding the homeless, or water in Africa...IF they're humble about it. Just don't preach about society's woes while I'm trying to hear my favorite song.

Alternatively, a band like Rage Against the Machine is perfectly fine. They are political somewhat, but it's about being "against the establishment." That was the nature of their music from the beginning. It's about being against authority, a long-standing tradition in the rock/punk genre.

Politics has its place in music, but a very tiny place.
Couldn’t agree more. There are some bands, that while I disagree with their stance, so masterfully and elegantly write their political message into their music, I just love it for its creativity. That said, I don’t want to be lectured to on stage about it.

No one care on this forum if I posted about the how tos of baking the best apple pie anymore than I care about what they tell me about their political view. I don’t know how to bake a pie anymore than they know politics and from what I’ve seen about baking pies, it’s less involved and greater results are achieved by following recipes than are politics.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top