Posts Tagged ‘80′s’
In the mid 80′s the image of the rock was changing profoundly, videos were becoming an integral part of the music and this famous song by Dire Straits inexorably marked this step. Money For Nothing is characterized by a strong guitar riff that accompanies it from beginning to end and starring Sting falsetto that comes with the phrase “I want my MTV.”
Mark Knopfler lyrics were written in third person and show phrases that the guitarist pinned listening to a worker during his work shift at an electronics store in New York in which he was by pure chance. These sentences were considered sexist, racist and homophobic by critics, Knopfler tried to defend that language as extracted from a real-world context and not an expression of his thought, but he was forced to replace the word “faggot” with “queenie”, still related to homosexuality but considered less offensive.
Dire Straits proposed a revised version of the song in some live appearances at that time not to stir up further controversy, but unexpectedly after 25 years, the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) in January 2011 forbade to private radio stations to pass the original version of the song once again due to that little word to be excessive. Some broadcasters, in protest, passed the original version for a whole hour, and a few months later, in September of the same year, the ban was finally removed.
If the lyrics gave big thoughts to Knopfler, certainly the promotional strategy that his producers proposed was no less. Mark has always been a purist of the performance and when Steve Barron joined him in Budapest after a concert to illustrate the project that Warner Bros and MTV expected for the video of the song, he didn’t betray his perplexity and only the enthusiasm of his girlfriend accidentally attending at the meeting made him accept the risk.
Money For Nothing video turned out to be absolutely one of the first experiments in the use of the emerging computer graphics for the creation of music clips. In 1986 it received multiple nominations at the MTV Video Music Awards ending to collect the award for Best Video and the following year, on 1 August 1987, the video was chosen to open the programs of the newly formed MTV Europe.
Excesses and extravagance have always gone hand in hand in the rock world: spoiled and superstitious divas often lie behind hard lyrics and outrageous makeup, willing to hysterical tantrums if they are disregarded even the most mundane expectations.
It’s on this wavelength that was perceived the will of the american hard rock band Van Halen, to insert a curious clause in the technical part of the contract that bound the group to the local organization of their concerts: in a statement it was expected the presence in the backstage of a big bowl of M&M’s in all colors except brown: a possible default by the organization would put the band in a position to decide whether to cancel the show while maintaining the agreed fee.
The point of no return was the concert that was supposed to be held on March 30, 1980 at Colorado State University, Pueblo, CO. The stage could not withstand the weight of the equipment causing $ 85,000 damage to the floor of the gym. David Lee Roth and the other band members realized that there were some brown M&M’s in the bowl, contrary to the provisions in the contract: they railed against the organization and broke open the dressing room.
What at first glance may seem like a lot of classic 80′s frivolity, actually proved a clever stratagem that allowed Van Halen to figure out if the contract had been carefully read by the counterpart: a sort of alarm bell for the whole team, an invitation to check every single aspect in setting the stage to avoid problems that could tarnish the image of the band, but mostly could cause accidents to staff or public, all the things Van Halen do not like.
David, interviewed by the way, declared that at that time they were beginning to move their concert in the american province, on stages not normally trodden by the big rock star and then allegedly set up with much less attention. After a series of small but frequent incidents and other accidents fortunately avoided, the band decided to introduce this addendum (known as Article 126 or “No Brown M&M’s clause”) in their contracts, demonstrating a shrewd business strategy for those years and they were imitated by many other artists.
The accusation of Satanism and the inspiration to disclose real or alleged destructive messages cleverly concealed in the lyrics, is a constant that unites the greatest heavy metal band from the days of Led Zeppelin, helping to accentuate the black halo that accompanies this kind of music. Any opinion on it is permissible, but probably no one would have thought that it was necessary to ask the judgment of the court of Nevada.
On the evening of December 23, 1985, near the church of Sparks, Nevada, after a day spent drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana with the album Stained Class in the background, Raymond Belknap, 18, and James Vance, 20, decided to put an end to their lives by shooting a hunting rifle directly to the face. Raymond dies on the spot, James pick up the weapon, but to imitate the friend is not as precise: the explosion devastates his face, but don’t kill him: James gets along with 140 suture stitches but a slow agony accompanies him for 3 years until an overdose puts an end to his suffering.
During the hospital stay after the incident, Vance (Photo .. for those with liver), in a letter to his mother, said that alcohol and heavy metal music such as Judas Priest induced them to seek death in response to their lives. Vance said in an later interview that listening to that music had an effect on him similar to pressing the self destruct button in his brain.
After the death of Vance, the families of the two boys decide to sue the band and 16 July 1990 opens a real trial against Judas Priest, accused of incitement to suicide: the offending track is “Better by You, Better Than Me“, which allegedly contains the incitement” Do it! Do it! Do it! ” perceptible by listening to the song backwards. The defense appeals to the First Amendment which guarantees freedom of expression, but the judge decrees that this principle is not applicable to subliminal messages, so they are forced to resort to the opinion of an expert, Anthony Pellicano, who certifies the nonexistence, or otherwise the involuntary of these messages and August 24 of that year, Judas Priest, and in a way the whole heavy metal, are finally exonerated from the infamous charge of incitement to suicide setting a precedent that will appeal to other artists sued for similar reasons, such as Ozzy Osborne.
Commenting on games made in the 1991 documentary “Dream Deceivers: The Story Behind James Vance Vs Judas Priest“, the singer Rob Halford pointed out that incitement “Do it!” in itself is completely generic and stated that, in any case, he never entered hidden messages in Judas Priest’s lyrics, adding that if he wanted to do it most likely he would have opted for a self-promotional slogans such as: “Buy our records! “.
Maybe also kids know that Michael Jackson “Thriller” , with an amount that is around 112 million, holds the record for the biggest selling album in music history, but just as many will probably wonder who will occupy the second position of this special prize.
1980 is a very difficult year for the Australian hard rock band AC/DC: Feb. 19 the singer Bon Scott died of alcohol problems. The distress is palpable within the group so that according to Angus Young the idea of dissolution was becoming more than just a simple and unlikely event. Encouraged by the arrival of Brian Johnson, former singer of Geordie, as well as great lyricist, and by the return into the steering committee of producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange, who previously had worked for the album Highway To Hell, AC/DC leave for the Bahamas to record the album which would have been a tribute to the historical voice recently deceased.
Following a number of organizational problems and related to unlikely climatic conditions (as noted in the first verses of Hell’s Bells), finally 25 June 1980 they published “Back in Black”, featuring a completely black cover commissioned by the band in mourning for the death of Scott: Atlantic Records did not see kindly to this solution but adjusts to the will of AC/DC as long as their logo was noted in silver.
The success of public and critics were immediate even if the first ranking was achieved only in motherland: the singles You Shook Me All Night Long, Shoot To Thrill, Hell’s Bells and the homonymous Back In Black allowed the album to reach the No. 4 position in the American Bilboard 200 but above all ensure exceptional longevity so that the disc returned to the charts for 131 weeks in a row. If we consider the successive editions of the album, Back In Black now has 22 times platinum in the U.S. and it’s estimated that the world can boast 49 million copies sold, reaching second place in the special list of all time.
Johann (Hans) Hölzel (Vienna, February 19, 1957 – Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, February 6, 1998) is probably the most famous Austrian musician of the modern age. He took his stage name, Falco, in 1977, during a brief period in West Berlin, inspired by a GDR ski jumper named Falko Weißpflog.
If his first hit, Der Kommissar (7 million copies sold), is dated 1982, the true consecration comes three years later with Rock Me Amadeus, that reach the top of the charts around the world including the U.S. Billboard Top 100 and still remains the only German song that can boast this record overseas.
Although Falco gained international success with songs seemingly semi-serious but perfectly in context with the taste and demands of the public of the 80′s, we must remember that besides being a particularly eccentric artist, he also was an excellent and undisputed musical talent: at the tender age of 5 years, the Wiener Musikakademie testified his “perfect pitch”, quality recognized to great classical composers such as WA Mozart and S. Bach and only to a few modern musicians such as Prince, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Barbara Streisand.
On January 30, 1972, Paul Hewson (aka Bono Vox) was just 11 years but the memory of that Sunday in Derry, Northern Ireland, after 10 years is still much alive in his memory and the one of other members of his band. The text of Sunday Bloody Sunday takes up the insanity of that event that saw 14 unarmed protesters succumb under the firearm blows coming from the 1st Battalion of the Parachute Regiment, British Army, at the time of high tension besieging the green island.
The crime had a great echo in the music world, a few months later Paul McCartney released the single “Give Ireland Back to the Irish” which was banned in the United Kingdom, while John Lennon wrote “Sunday Bloody Sunday” in support of the Irish Government . If these two examples are exactly modeled on the canons of the protest song, the U2 track embodies a long reflection on the events of 1972: the text was revised several times since the first version written by The Hedge, for fear that its lyrics could be misinterpreted as sectarian. The message of despair and hope contained in the verse “How long, how long must we sing this song? ” (“how long must we sing this song?”), sums up the the band’s disappointment against the violence and hatred that divide people in the name of a symbol of peace and brotherhood as Christ.
It was presented in Belfast in December 1982 in its final version and in front of a crowd of 3000 fans Bono introduced it as follows: “We’re going to do a song for you now. If you don’t like it, we’ll never play it again. It’s called ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’.” The ovation of the public convinced the band to publish it as the opening track of the album War in March 1983 and again in mini-LP live Under A Blood Red Sky” in the same december, but despite this the concerns about how the song was transposed remained for a long time so that throughout the War Tour, to emphasize the peaceful and impartial nature of the song, Bono introduced it to the public with these now famous words: “This song is not a rebel song, this song is ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’”