24
Apr 09

CULTURE CLUB – “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?”

FT + Popular104 comments • 4,652 views

#509, 23rd October 1982

Another of pop’s remarkable acts of self-creation: in the video for “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me”, Boy George presents himself less as star, more as a kind of pop spirit, a dancing force of nature swaying through time and place, singular and uncageable. The metaphor the visuals ask you to reach for is straight society’s repression of the queer – but “Hurt Me” is far from a defiant song. “Give me time to realise my crime”: it’s not really freedom George is pleading for, more space for him and his other to understand their situation.

George’s disappearing acts in the video are reflected in the song’s uncanny lightness: it’s a paper-thin, gorgeously flimsy shuffle, the heft of reggae melted into air and breeze, which leaves George’s voice terribly vulnerable. That’s an asset to the record – Boy George didn’t have a weak voice, but he never sounded like a world-beater either, and exposing his singing to strain played up the sadness in his song (check “that boy loves without a REASON”). The only thing very wrong with “Hurt Me” is that after engineering a lovely, drifting fade it decides to pop back for a wholly unnecessary encore.

7

Comments

1 2 3 4 All
  1. 76
    wichitalineman on 29 Apr 2009 #

    Thanks WHO. I love that version of Walk Right In, only knew the Rooftop Singers’ version before. You should make a cd of this playlist with yr thesis in tow (well, I’d buy one).

    A tip of the hat to We’re Gonna Rock We’re Gonna Roll, a four disc set on Proper which has country, R&B and blues proto-rock sets along with a fourth disc of mulching the genres, Rocket 88, Bill Haley’s Rock The Joint et al. There’s no one answer to the absolute roots of R&R. Just as well, really, otherwise less fun for us.

    Another hideous way of marking the passing time: the Beatles’ Love Me Do peaked (highest ever UK chart placing) at no.4 behind Culture Club, Kid Creole and the Kids From Fame. The ad campaign on London buses was “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! It was 20 years ago”. Add your own grisly punchline.

    1982 was the year I bought Scott Walker Sings Jacques Brel – though I loved it, I thought My Death was literal and more than a little morbid. Wasted on the young et cet.

    “Let’s drink to that, and the passing time.”

  2. 77
    Jonathan Bogart on 29 Apr 2009 #

    I want to make it clear that I don’t at all disagree with wildheartedoutsider@69 as to the utility of the “first rock & roll record” concept. My use of the phrase was meant to be lightly mocking. And thanks for that list! I’m familiar with much of it, but I’m always ready to fill in gaps.

    And to pink champale@70, my understanding of the pop impulse is that it was fulfilled exactly by jazz in the teens and twenties. (In fact, if you listen to actual historians rather than to r&r boosters, the concept of the teenager was invented in the early twentieth century — to do with the expansion of the middle class and compulsory education — and ragtime and early jazz were their music of choice to rebel against stuffy old mum and dad, who usually did like Wagner.) Early jazz was dance music, not head music, and functioned pretty much exactly like raves, even to the consumption of controlled substances. The difference between the Jazz Age and the so-called Pop Era being mass media and the music industry’s tighter control over how people experienced music: the shift from live to records is a major part of it, but the thrillseekers were always there when it was live.

  3. 78
    Jonathan Bogart on 29 Apr 2009 #

    I am of course speaking from an American context: by comparison, in Britain a taste for jazz was confined to the decadent upper classes for many years. The sort of light classical which jazz killed in America stuck around there, no?

  4. 79
    AndyPandy on 29 Apr 2009 #

    And i ‘d like to add how ridiculous it seems that the orthodox view is that rock n roll started in the early-mid 50s and this view is quite happy to include vaguely rhythmic very tame stuff like the Everly Brothers or some of Buddy Hollys more tame stuff whilst excluding bangin, hard rhythm stuff (eg some of the stuff mentioned here) from the 30s and 40s…

    Jonathan at 78: I wouldn’t say that jazz was confined in Britain to the decadent upper classes I’d think that at least post 1920s the majority of its audience in the UK would be educated/aspirational upper working class and lower middle class…

  5. 80
    wichitalineman on 29 Apr 2009 #

    I Wanna Be Your Dog is more Punk than the Lurkers… I think you have to take contemporary attitudes into account when labeling music, because back projection and hindsight can make things very messy. Most people my parents age would be able to tell you what’s rock’n’roll and what isn’t because they lived through it; I don’t think we can say that’s “ridiculous”.

    “Bangin hard rhythm 30s stuff” is presumably R&B, though even that term didn’t exist until Jerry Wexler coined it while working for Billboard in the late 40s.

    I’d say it’s all ‘POP’ but that wasn’t a label til 46/47 and not a common term til the 50s.

    Enthusiasts have argued over just how R&R Buddy Holly is forevs, but the hyperventilating Rock Around With Ollie Vee is enough evidence for me. Or Rave On.

    The Everly Brothers’ toughest records were made in the mid 60s: The Price Of Love is one of the ‘missing’ no.1s (NME but not Guinness); the Love Is Strange/Man With Money single from ’65 is off the scale, and cut so loud the needle jumps out of the grooves on some record players.

    Both Holly and the Everlys are a lot more R&R to me than any amount of turgid rock that abuses the name like It’s Only Rock n Roll (But I Like It)* or anything by AC/DC.

    *and what’s with the ‘only’? It Will Stand by the Showmen makes it seem like a life and death devotional cause, which is much more, errm, rock’n’roll.

  6. 81
    lonepilgrim on 29 Apr 2009 #

    what I’ve sometimes wondered is why there was such a revival of the phrase ‘rock and roll’ in songs in the 70s from ‘It’s Only Rock n Roll (But I Like It)’ to ‘Rock n Roll suicide’ to Gary Glitter and John Lennon, etc.
    Was there a dissatisfaction with the idea of ‘rock’?

  7. 82
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 29 Apr 2009 #

    re the beats: as a (public) movement, they don’t really begin till c.1956 (publication of howl), so they post-date the core wave of bebop, which had fragmented by then (charlie parker died in 1955), into various recognisably different streams — cool via miles, the honkers via jacquet etc, hard bop a little later

    the thing that’s unusual about bop — making it quite unlike most other music-waves — is that it was developed and played by people who were playing other kinds of jazz at the same time (literally earlier in the evening) and were bored and frustrated by its limitations: swing and big band required ferocious skills and was very competitive, but you only got to stand up and do yr thing now and then, and the rest of the time it was riff work or comping behind the singer or whatever

    the boppers came off the swing stand at 10-ish (or whenever) and convened at late night clubs to vent their frustration and play to their limits

    i don’t quite understand jonathan’s point about mass media: without records and radio, jazz would have remained a very small, very local new orleans/chicago sound, and very quaint indeed to modern ears* — its speed of outreach and its speed of evolution are both intimately linked to its arrival, first on record, then on radio — from the late 20s onwards, the imporant “big” bands (rarely more than 10-pieces) played club dates with radio hook-ups

    the first radioshow to play all-records is generally said to be martin block’s rather awesomely named “make-believe ballroom”, which began broadcast in 1935 (i doubt it was the first: there were an astonishing number of little radio stations, and i can’t believe someone else hadn’t tried this)

    even if you accept that “jazz” names a single type of music, jazz wasn’t at all the only pop stream that appealed to the young before ww2 (country is clearly another): the problem really is that the history of all the various streams, and their fan-bases, and their relationship to the various intertwined media, is (a) complicated anyway, and (b) coloured by any number of people trying to pitch for all kinds of ideological stuff in ref their subsequent tastes or beliefs or requirements (there are people who will argue that no proper jazz was made after 1922, when king oliver first introduced the saxophone!) (i might have got that date wrong as my books are all in london, but the claim is made — you may think it silly but you will need yr dialectical chops in order to best the people makin it, i promise you!)

    in ref latterday rock and roll fanatics: in my experience, the default position is trying to get back to the earliest possible date for its appearance, rather than insisting on poor old bill haley!

    as wichita has repeatedly pointed out, the lines in the sand you really CAN draw are technological — there really is a date before which kit-drums weren’t used; there really is a first time the voice was close-miked; electric bass isn’t used before 195-something… and so on… there are also records which first use phrases in lyrics, but this almost always means the phrase is already a popular codeword somehow

    *this claim is a bit of a cheat, of course, since “modern ears” derive their idea of quaintness and otherwise by their acute and extensive training in mass mediation

  8. 83
    wichitalineman on 29 Apr 2009 #

    Thanks for the Bop breakdown, Lord S. Would it be right to say smaller but equally loud bands like Louis Jordan’s started to put the 30s/40s style big bands out of business, allowing those former big band jazzers to concentrate on Bop while the new small-group generation were more involved in creating a repetitive groove/beat (and so becoming proto-R&R)?

    Also, re jazz as mainstream… would the likes of Paul Whiteman, the Dorseys and Benny Goodman be thought of as jazz-influenced dance bands, rather than jazz bands? That’s the 20s/30s/40s mainstream I was thinking of (and leaning on the charts of the period to define ‘mainstream’). Not the only stream, just the main one.

    (Soz for repeatedly mentioning technological barriers being jumped, I thought the point may have got lost upstream).

  9. 84
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 29 Apr 2009 #

    i think the bigger problem for the big bands was the war, actually — musicians (and audiences) being drafted and so on — and it simply not being economic as a reslt

    “would the likes of… be thought of”: difft answers for the difft ppl you cite, i think — and even then it depends who yr askin… whiteman is probably the most controversial (partly bcz he styled himself “king of jazz”, which rankles w/a lot of foax), but he consistently hired players no one denies were of high jazz caliber, such as bix beiderbecke; goodman few i think would deny was an excellent jazzman himself, and he very regularly played in small groups — though always led by him (i’m reasonably sure); his big band’s college tour (which i mentioned on a recent thread) was the moment that swing massively crossed over to a new college-age generation

    once again, a lot of the more heated argument was retrospective — with bebop and after, musicians themselves became keen to make claims about what the rights and wrongs of the music were; some of this was racial and political (claiming back the music from encroachers) and some of it was (as ever) people defending their own style against rival attractions

    also after bop, i think there was a down on the “pop” side of the music as opposed to the “art” side: its defenders so defensive about a supposed non-seriousness etc… all kinds of people were fighting back against this at different times in different ways, almost invariably rather conflictedly: someone like louis armstrong — who was still huge and very active until the 70s, and revered by all successive generations of jazzplayer however radical and spiky — would have been (in fact was) baffled by the line drawn against “pop”; meanwhile someone like louis prima — whose shtick is derived very closely from armstrong’s — is barely listed as a footnote in most jazz encyclopedias

    fundamentally, there’s isn’t a reason for making genre distinctions that isn’t ideological in some sense, and ditto “it started here” claims… you make the claim (about what kind of music a given song is) because you’re going on to make some other claim, about why it’s better or worse than some other song, or this genre is good but that is bad, or this kind of listening is the future and that kind is passé…

  10. 85
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 29 Apr 2009 #

    (incidentally i’m feeling some of these responses on specifics are more handwavy than i’d like them — thing is, not only are my books all elsewhere, but my internet connection has been TERRIBLE today, often disconnecting two or three times during a post, so i’m not able to hunt round google at speed for proper back-up information as well as post)

  11. 86
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 29 Apr 2009 #

    (i’m feeling some of these responses on specifics are more handwavy than i’d like them — not only are my books all elsewhere, but my internet connection has been TERRIBLE today, often disconnecting two or three times during a post, so i’m not able to hunt round google at speed for proper back-up information as well as post)

  12. 87
    Jonathan Bogart on 29 Apr 2009 #

    The mass media comment was meant to point more towards the consoldiation of media that happened (in the US) postwar (esp. given the rise of television) than to suggest that mass media played no role in the earlier waves. The recording industry’s increased control over how people heard music, linked to organizations like ASCAP, was the important difference, only changing within the current generation.

    AndyPandy@79: That’s what I get for believing Evelyn Waugh!

  13. 88
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 29 Apr 2009 #

    ah! i see — except i sort of don’t see: how did the recording industry have more control over how people heard music? obviously it was simply responsible for a bigger proportion of the music that was getting heard (though actually a huge amount more music was being heard also, simply in terms of ear-hours) — what is it you’re describing as “control” here? (control over what music gets recorded? absolutely — control over where and how it’s listened to? yes if you mean television, but no if you mean records, and one of the impulses of how listening changed in the 60s was a reaction against the narrowness of television — so control in one area drove loss of control in another…)

    (the consolidation of media is as you say enormously important, though i think i’d analyse the importance rather differently, unless i’m still misunderstanding you)

  14. 89
    Jonathan Bogart on 29 Apr 2009 #

    “Control” also seen as radio, via payola, was the other cornerstone of the idea. Also there is an emphasis on the pop charts that hadn’t existed before, a cultural emphasis reinforced by pop-music writers as much as by syndicated shows like American Top 40 (radio) and American Bandstand (TV). And because of the way Billboard compiles the charts, radio play matters to cultural perception in a way sales of actual records don’t.

  15. 90
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 29 Apr 2009 #

    this is the phrase i don’t understand: “the music industry’s tighter control over how people experienced music”, especially when you also say “early jazz was dance music, not head music”

    records are what made it possible to become “head music” (if i understand what you mean by this), so rather than limiting the way people experienced jazz, they expanded it — and records and radio also allowed it to be heard by people who would never otherwise have heard it, so it expanded the way THEY heard it too

    i still don’t understand what you getting at re control and ascap and payola and etc: what’s the experience that’s being lost or limited or denied here? (that they could have been hearing other kinds of music if that had been recorded? or that they could have been listening to the same music in some other way?)

    (i’m sorry, it’s quite late over here — I think i’m going to go to bed and read this all again tomorrow, you’re probably making a terribly obvious point that i’m too sleepy to grasp)

  16. 91
    Jonathan Bogart on 30 Apr 2009 #

    Maybe I am. I’m less sure, as I’m mostly just thinking by fingertip, but here’s a shot.

    The experience being lost or limited or denied? None, so far as I can tell. The experience being ADDED TO, however, is the sense of participation in a shared youth culture, one which because of national charts and payola became roughly the same for “everyone everywhere” (by which can only be meant “a quorum,” i.e. enough to matter).

    This sense of participation is often understood by many people as one of the key factors in the beginning of the Pop Era. As I don’t see it as an essential attribute of pop (particularly as that sense has to a large degree been lost today), my original purpose was simply to push back the parameters of “pop” so that it could include that early dancey jazz.

    Popular is a wonderful experiment, but I worry that because of the historical accident of the British charts (and Boomer mythology) beginning at roughly the dawn of rock & roll people think that no music existed before which fulfilled pop impulses.

    Dunno if that helps. It’s the best I can do without unleashing any Grand Unified Theories which would rightly get me laughed off the Internet.

  17. 92
    AndyPandy on 30 Apr 2009 #

    Jonathan at 91: I completely agree with you on your point about even on a site like ‘Popular’ there does seem to be a tendency to go along with the debatable orthodoxy (one that I think I became very sceptical about as early as my late-teens) ie that the dawn of rock n roll represented some undeniably wonderful dawn. And i suppose since my late teens I’ve looked at the whole idea of “rock” as opposed to pop, easy listening, black music etc as to a varying degree mildly embarrassing…not that I dislike all rock just the Radio2/Mojo/Paul Gambaccini/broadsheets writing about music/earnest canonical idea of whats “good” and “important”.
    I’ve often wondered what interesting alternative popular music histories would have developed if we hadn’t become lumbered with rock n roll in the mid 50s eg I suppose black music could have remained pretty much on the same trajectory seeing as how it disengaged from rock more or less as soon as it started but there would have had to have been an alternative white popular music scenario maybe deriving instead from another black form eg jazz,and also possibly influences from modern classical, other European and global traditions and eventually electronics with none of the blues etc influences that instead have held sway…

  18. 93
    wichitalineman on 30 Apr 2009 #

    Re 92: this kind of feels like we’d probably be in the same place – the melding and mutating that got us here would have been a little different is all.

    What I find remarkable about (feel free to frown at this terminology) the modern pop era is that the interactions of the many strands of ‘rock’, ‘blues’, ‘country’, ‘soul’, ‘electronica’ etc, which have mutated over and over, are to be found in the Top 40. Pre ’52, almost everything non-Broadway was sidelined from the mainstream.

    This was a genuine mid 50s breakthrough which many now take for granted, and coincided with a pan-class/race teenage quorum. I kick against rock media orthodoxy too (still only grudging footnotes for anything non-Anglo American, disco, etc), but I find 54/55 to be a major step forward, at least on a par with the Original Dixieland Jass Band’s first single.

    One more point about the rock era orthodoxy – would jazz snobs have helped engineer it, not wanting the likes of Louis Armstrong and Benny Goodman to be mentioned in the same breath as Elvis/Beatles/Bowie?

  19. 94
    AndyPandy on 1 May 2009 #

    Broadway/showtunes were only a fraction of the Pre-1952 mainstream musical world -many of the great songwriters did also write for Broadway shows but that they were just as likely to be writing for the jazz world. And Glen Miller, Louis Jordan, the Dorsey Brothers, Nat King Cole, Cab Calloway and many other jazz/swing names who crossed over bigtime,early Sinatra etc etc were hardly Broadway but were very definitely mainstream…

    And surely if there was any pan race teenage quorum it didnt last long as black youth (if they ever saw rock n roll as anything more than brief craze in which white people were ripping their music off) couldnt wait to get away from it and never return…

  20. 95
    wichitalineman on 1 May 2009 #

    Yes. Sorry, I wasn’t being clear – by Broadway, I meant Tin Pan Alley, which was writing songs for anyone who’d sell them, jazzers, stage folk, whatevs.

    And you’re right Andy, my idea of an early 60s pan race teenage quorum is from a white perspective. But I feel out of my depth second-guessing black teenagers in 1963 Brooklyn. Maybe they dug Dion, but I have no evidence.

  21. 96
    AndyPandy on 4 May 2009 #

    Yes but then we come to the very “rockist” attitude that not writing your own songs intrinsically makes the performer an inferior artist – and even if for the sake argument that was the case surely for every “inferior” artiste there were an equal number of extremely talented songwriters…

    by 1963 I’d have thought the average urban black American teenager would have been getting into the emerging soul (or as they knew it and still do know it as R & B*)possibly as a replacement for their own doo wop which to me always sounded as close to pre-rock music as the rock n roll it’s often linked with – something that seems born out by the fact that the black vocal group sound we’re on about existed to all intents and purposes from the late 40s onwards.

    *(NB by R & B I mean a literal translation of what the UK knows as soul music not that awful blues-type guitar music played by white British people in pubs etc since the mid-60s)

  22. 97
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 4 May 2009 #

    “by 1963 I’d have thought the average urban black American teenager would have been getting into the emerging soul…” — maybe, but you’re very much doing this speculatively, based on your own present-day attititudes and rhetorical requirements: viz young black americans four decades ago once again being projected by white english dude today, to suit the immediate needs of his argument (hence a somewhat mythical and manipulable “average urban black teenager”, as opposed to any actual real people, with all the complexities and contradictions and hopes and doubts and mistakes of their own development) — this projection is really not very different from the rockism you’re decrying (and “rockism” is of course a term and and analysis taken from rock culture itself*, its own evolving critique of what was wrong about itself); meanwhile, the people you’re recruiting to your argument (ostensibly for their benefit) aren’t much of getting a look in; they’re being turned into ciphers…

    in actual fact, jazz, r&b, soul and — of course — funk ALL responded to this weird sometimes clumsy white version of slightly dated black music, positively as well as negatively (exactly as you’d expect); and the positive response wasn’t entirely shunned by black audiences, teen or otherwise, even if the social divisions weren’t shattered after all, as people continued to hope (and sometimes rather deludedly to assume): the black community was and is also divided against itself, after all, and the black politics of the 50s, 60s and 70s, despite all due scepticism, couldn’t help but wind into the cloudy effects of the vast unprecedented white youth secession from its own established culture — both communities were changing, in parallel, and with consequences for the other

    *this has always been one of the things i’ve found frustrating about mod: its attitudes and alertnesses and responses to shifts in pop came genuinely fast and early, but its public self-discussion and analytical self-reflectivity and wider pushback for its due came a LOT later: this very largely piggybacks on the opening up and balkanisation of the rock media in the late 70s and (as a slightly unself-aware consequence) it operates as a stream of resentment within a media others made for other purposes than hymning mod, without doing anything like enough to establish its own forms**…

    is the problem that it’s fundamentally conflicted about persuading everyone it’s correct, about the virtues of mass popularity — once everyone switched to a particular mod viewpoint, mod would be off elsewhere! (not that i think this is a bad characteristic: i just wish it would treat it more playfully and less snottily; if you devote yrself to being ahead of the pack, don’t keep sneering at the pack for not always keeping up, or wanting to keep up — if what you understand about the world matters this much, why not help others into it instead of sneering at them!?) (this is more about the ghost of ancient bitter 80s arguments for me maybe than what’s been going on above: i genuinely preferred the tastes of the soulboy faction at NME but HATED the way they argued for them, which often took the form of a kind of patronising bullying; i’m really glad andypandy is here putting this case strongly BUT it sometimes does take me back to that very unpleasant time in my life and i get a bit rattled and prickly)

    **there seems to be a thread of fastidiousness that stops mods doing anything as uncool as experimenting with creativity themselves — as if to stand up saying “here we are, what d’you think?” would make them too vulnerable to/by their own fierce standards of taste***

    ***obviously this is all a bit of a cartoony generalisation, but since that’s what we’re already dealing in :)

  23. 98
    wichitalineman on 4 May 2009 #

    Re Black US teenagers in 1963. Something I should have remembered. The R&B charts were briefly suspended in early ’63 due to the number of white records sneaking in (the Four Seasons made number one with Sherry and Big Girls Don’t Cry in late ’62, for instance). Billboard assumed the charts were somehow being rigged. They investigated, presumably became more rigorous in vetting the charts, and… when the chart was relaunched Hey Paula by Paul & Paula was one of the first R&B number ones.* It knocked the Miracles’ You Really Got A Hold On Me off the top (covered well by the Beatles) and was replaced by Bobby Bland’s That’s The Way Love Is, both decidedly ‘black’ sounding. Soon after came It’s My Party by Lesley Gore (ultimate JAP singer, Quincy Jones’s first pop hit as producer). You can draw your own conclusions, but these odd stats at least don’t lend themselves to generalisations.**

    *a gorgeous record, quite rickety for such a huge hit; even though it’s pretty icky lyrically (“true love means planning a life for two, being together the whole day through”) the basic organ and drum backing give Paul’s slightly ruptured delivery a definite southern country-soul flavouring.

    **The pre-Beatles early 60s – what used to be regarded (NME Encyclopedia of Rock) as a post-R&R wasteland – is among one of the greatest mix and match eras in modern pop. I’m on Nik Cohn’s side when he says the Beatles and (especially) Bob Dylan halted momentum (or switched direction, I should say) before plenty of careers, most prominently Spector/Brill Building, had been given a chance to reach their potential. Gerry Goffin lost his mind because he thought his songs weren’t “important” compared to Dylan’s, even though to me they are among the most beautiful, intense and emotional ever written (eg the Cookies’ I Never Dreamed, maybe the best distillation of teenage love, fear, and joy in all pop, the obsessive flip side of Can’t Get You Out Of My Head). They just weren’t poetry is all – pop as poetry being definitively “rockist” and decidedly unpop.

  24. 99
    Erithian on 5 May 2009 #

    We’ll have another chance to discuss black kids liking white artists’ records in about three entries’ time!

  25. 100
    pbarnett on 5 May 2009 #

    I remember that at the time I really DID want to hurt him. A lot.
    Mainly for creating this dreadful piece of crap.

  26. 101
    AndyPandy on 5 May 2009 #

    Re the point about white artists getting into the R&B charts in the early 1960s- I’d say this may be a red herring in this context the artists mentioned and other like them have taken the “black” influenced path away from what was going on in the 2nd half of the 50s (albeit mixed it with pop) as opposed to all those who took the path where the guitar and earnest lyrics etc eventually reigned supreme.

    No one would argue that there are white artists that black Americans en masse are generally accepted as appreciating (eg Steely Dan,Michael McDonald etc- I believe in the latter case McDonald is unique in a significant part of the audience at some of his concerts are black)but these artists usually eschew an orthodox rock sound instead going for eg in the former case majority influences from jazz).

    Didn’t Pete Wylie come up with the term “rockist” in about 1980 – yes he came from a rock/indie background but wasn’t he and all the others who started condemning rock in the early 80s saying “enough’s enough, it’s been mined out and its time to lay it to rest – bring on new pop, jazz, soul, funk, easy listening, pre-rock, electronics,hip hop, world musics and just about anything which didnt involve blokes playing electric guitars…

    When I was really young John Lydon said in an interview that rock was dead and that PIL had been the last rock band but had now left that behind- as I was about 14 at the time I was horrified as I was just old enough to start getting into music properly and was just about to enter the 2 or 3 years when even I (for my sins) took rock seriously but I think he was definitely onto something…

  27. 102
    wildheartedoutsider on 5 May 2009 #

    The first people I really remember taking an ‘anti-rock’ stance were Kevin Rowland and Dexys Midnight Runners – a point made in no uncertain terms to poor old Jenny Hanley on “Magpie” in April 1980: http://dexysmsn.multiply.com/music/item/5

  28. 103
    Brooksie on 24 Feb 2010 #

    @LonePilgrim # 81: “what I’ve sometimes wondered is why there was such a revival of the phrase ‘rock and roll’ in songs in the 70s from ‘It’s Only Rock n Roll (But I Like It)’ to ‘Rock n Roll suicide’ to Gary Glitter and John Lennon, etc. Was there a dissatisfaction with the idea of ‘rock’?”

    It was part nostalgia for their own childhoods / teen years, and part recognition that the Rock ‘n’ Roll of the early years was much simpler than the complex music of the day, and therefore perceived as more ‘honest’.

  29. 104
    hectorthebat on 30 Oct 2014 #

    Critic watch:

    1,001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die, and 10,001 You Must Download (2010) 1-1001
    Bruce Pollock (USA) – The 7,500 Most Important Songs of 1944-2000 (2005)
    OUT (USA) – The 25 Gayest Songs of the 1980s (2011)
    Pause & Play (USA) – Songs Inducted into a Time Capsule, One Track at Each Week
    Rolling Stone & MTV (USA) – The 100 Greatest Pop Songs Since the Beatles (2000) 73
    VH-1 (USA) – Nominations for the 100 Greatest 80s Songs (2006)
    VH1 (USA) – The 100 Greatest Songs from the Past 25 Years (2003) 70
    New Musical Express (UK) – 40 Records That Captured the Moment 1952-91 (1992)
    Q (UK) – 100 Songs That Changed the World (2003) 80
    Q (UK) – The 80 Best Records of the 80s (2006) 40
    Rolling Stone (Germany) – The Best Singles of 5 Decades (1997)
    Spex (Germany) – The Best Singles of the Century (1999)
    Rolling Stone (France) – The 100 Best Singles of the Last 25 Years (1988) 88
    Giannis Petridis (Greece) – 2004 of the Best Songs of the Century (2003)
    Village Voice (USA) – Singles of the Year 23
    New Musical Express (UK) – Singles of the Year 23

1 2 3 4 All

Add your comment

(Register to guarantee your comments don't get marked as spam.)


If this was number 1 when you were born paste [stork-boy] or [stork-girl] into the start of your comment :)

Required

Required (Your email address will not be published)

Top of page