For this week I have chosen firstly a video of Guns’n Roses – Sweet Child o’ mine from 1987. Guns n’Roses were credited with bringing about a revival of the popularity of rock music at a time when dance music and pop dominated the music scene. They sold over 28 million copies of their debut album Appetite for Destruction and were dubbed “The most dangerous band in the world” following incidents during concerts. At one gig, Axl Rose was arrested for assaulting a security guard and at another two fans were killed in a crush during the performance. Rose was considered controversial – accused of racism and homophobia in relation to song lyrics he had written. The hard rock image of the band was thecomplete antithesis of the mainstream music of the time with its sugary pop music and dance tracks and Axl Rose’s signature headband was an image of rebellion against the pop world.
The contemporary video I have chosen is will.i.am –T.H.E (The hardest ever). I have chosen this video as I think it is representative of a lot of music of today, in particular for the requirement to
always have another artist (or in this case artists – Jennifer Lopez and Mick Jagger) appear on the track. This seems to be a common theme in the charts with plenty of records “featuring” someone else. One thing that doesn’t change with time is the need to have something controversial about the artist or the song in order to appeal to the youth market.
Where Guns N’Roses shocked the establishment with their behaviour,
artists like will.i.am use bad language and half naked dancers to show their
It is certainly true that the music that you grow up with becomes part of you and always seems to be the most authentic as it is so personal to you. It also provides a cultural identity and a sense of belonging to a specific group. It can provide an identifier for a specific era although many types of music transcend the generations. Interestingly, Guns N'Roses are touring again in America, along with many other 80's bands, some of whom have revived their music on a wave of nostalgia and others who keep on performing all the while their now middle aged fans still want to see them.