Music Industry in the 1970s
Learned that the best way to profit was to trust the grassroots, and a moral backlash is a good thing. Moved towards vertical integration.
CBS and Warner
Accounted for 40% of international record sales in the 1970s
Rolling Stone Magazine
Started by Jann Wenner in 1967, he stole the mailing list from Straight Arrow. Made the journalist a part of the article, and hired writers Greil Marcus and Lester Bangs
First Issue of Rolling Stone
Nov 1st 1967, featured John Lennon on the cover
Emergence of Auteur in the 1970s
Musicians had time and resources to construct their own personal sound in the studio. This saw the emergence of the art album, as well as creative album covers
Pink Floyd (1965 – 1968)
Syd Barret, acted childish which resulted in him getting kicked out.
Pink Floyd (1969 – 1983)
Post-psychedelic minimalism, the exploration of simple ideas. They used the Synth V8 which changed their music. They repeated the E-minor and A-major chords repeatedly.
“Dark Side of the Moon”
Album by Pink Floyd released on March 31st 1973, spent 12 years on the Top 200 charts, broke Carole King’s previous record of 4 years with “Tapestry”. Featured singles “Breath”, Time”, “Us and Them”.
“Dark Side of Oz”
Synchronization of “Dark Side of the Moon” and Wizard of Oz.
Motown vs. Stax
Motown (Detriot, MI) was clean and formulated, while Stax (Memphis, TN) was dirty and spontaneous.
Aretha Franklin
Nicknamed “Lady Soul”, was originally signed by Columbia who restricted her songs, eventually moved to Atlantic/Stax which allowed her creativity. Hits included “Respect”, Say a Little Prayer for you”.
James Brown
Nicknamed “Godfather of Funk”, his music was largely based on rhythm rather than structure. During live performances he would instruct his band using gestures.
In the 1970 the industry was deemed “too white”, and films that promoted black music emerged such as “Blackula” and Shaft
Marvin Gaye
Broke the Motown trend of love songs and moved to politically conscious songs.
Stevie Wonder
Responsible for every part of his music. Albums included “Music of My Mind”, “Talking Book” and “Innervisions”
Album by Stevie Wonder in 1973, featured opening songs “Too High” (Harmonica), “Visions” (Utopia) and “Living for the City”
Joni Mitchell
Her music was based on personal experience, ex. “Both Sides Now” was written while she was on a plane and saw clouds, the same as “Henderson the Ram King” by Saul Bellows.
“You’re So Vain”
By Carly Simon, about being too self-absorbed. Shew as named 1979’s America Sex Valentine.
“Fire and Rain”
Single by James Taylor, was a reflection of being in mental institutions, his girlfriend’s suicide, his band “Flying Machines” and his friends death.
Album by Carole King, was the best selling album until “Dark Side of the Moon”. It featured the song “You’ve Got a Friend” originally by James Taylor. She also wrote “Will You Love me Tomorrow?”
“I Hope That I Don’t Fall in Love with You”
Song by Tom Waits that portrayed the vulnerable drunk, highly criticized by rock purists
Women’s Rock
Bands such as “Joy of Cooking” who had male background singers and female leads, and a single called “Mountain Moving Day”. Other bands included Olivia, Pleiodes, Wide Woman Urana and Fanny
Hard Rock/Early Heavy Metal
Aimed at 17-25 year old white males. Very loud, used the power chord, and was self-involved with no political interest. Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin
Black Sabbath
Band members grew up in Birmingham around destruction, they took their name from a horror movie. Their debut self-titled album was released on Feb 13, 1970
Led Zeppelin
Released their self-titled debut album in 1969, had a rivalry with The Who
Criticisms of Heavy Metal
Loud and repetitive, blues without a backbeat, machismo sexuality.
Heavy Metal
Was said to re-enact the horrors of the world. Targeted at white middle class young males.
A symbol used on a Led Zeppelin album cover that signified them as a cult.
“Don’t Fear the Reaper”
A song by Blue Oyster which talked about how death is okay.
“Crazy World of Arthur Brown”
Aired in 1968, featured a video of singing with fire in the background.
Alice Cooper
Signed to Warner on Frank Zappa’s recommendation, was known for his animal act, where he threw a chicken into the crowd, and the crowd tore it apart. (Toronto) His video “I Love the Dead” ended with his execution.
“Machismo meets the space age”. Their albums included “Hotter than Hell”, “Dressed to Kill” and “KISS”, with their biggest single “Detroit Rock City”. Their act was similar to a comic book, and they sold lots of memorabilia.
Death and Sadomasochism
Eddie was a character created by Iron Maiden who embodied a wasted youth, and his image was taken from a photo of a head beside a tank.
“The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars”
An album by David Bowie (1972) about a fictional gender-bending character named Ziggy Stardust. The name “Stardust” was taken from Norman Carl Odam, who changed his name to “Legendary Stardust Cowboy.” The character himself was based on the downfall of Vince Taylor, an Elvis Impersonator.
David Bowie
Born David Robert Jones (1947), changed his name to Bowie, taken from a frontiersman named Jim Bowie, so as to not be confused with David Jones of The Monkeys
Punk Music
Emerged in 1975, and was seen as honest. It was also seen as a conversation between New York (where people had lost their way) and London (inner city youth were lost).
The Ramones
Known for their quick 2 minute songs, realistic lyrics and downstrumming with fast strumming. They were a fresh voice for suffering, and their biggest hit was “The Blitzkrieg Bop”.
The Sex Pistols
Managed by Malcolm MacLaren who was best known for his Sex Shop in London. They started rehearsals in Soho, London, which was the UK version of tin Pan Alley. their first performance was in 1976 at the 100 club. Their “Anarchy Tour” had 16 dates scheduled but they only played 4. They swore on the Bill Grundy show with Suzy Sue. Their first TV appearance was in Granada, UK and they performed “Anarchy in the UK.”
Sid Vicious
Joined the Sex Pistols in 1977, and was seen as the ideal punk. He was known for getting into fights with audience members and blood battles.
“Pretty Vacant”
A sex pistols song that sample ABBA, and told listeners “Life is vacant, get up and do something, but do it your way.”
Richard Hell
Originally part of Television who aimed at making controversial music, later joined the Voivoids and released the album “Blank Generation” which meant that life was empty.
Sex Pistols Breakup
During a performance in San Francisco, the band played “No Fun” over and over and broke up on stage.
Patti Smith
Recorded 1960s Garage Rock, and said that “anything is possible if you have a passion and a voice.” (“Gloria”) She recorded at Electric Lady with John Cale of Velvet Underground, and was seen as the new sex image.
“Blitzkrieg Bop”
Single by The Ramones from their first album which was recorded at Radio City Music Hall, and was abased on London suffering the Blitzkrieg attack by Germany.
Disco Music
Originally designated as entertainment, eventually became a lifestyle. Disco introduced the DJ to the club. Disco was the “Soundtrack of the sexual revolution” Early disco hits were mostly Black produced, but the public cared little about race at this time.
Funk Music
Funk offered freedom to the body. James Brown Funk, West Coast Funk (Introduced Funk bass)
Sly and the Family Stone
Portrayed the collective experience, and had black and white members. The bass player Larry Graham was a funk bass pioneer. Biggest single was “Dance to the Music” (1966)
Bootsy Collins
Started with James Brown and the Pacemakers, made bass popular. They left JB and played with George Clinton and Funkadellic, who was about self-exploration.
George Clinton
Had two bands. Funkadellic, who was about self-exploration, and The Parliament, who was aimed at radio play.
Earth, Wind and Fire
More appropriate for disco, as opposed to Sly and George Clinton. They featured voice changes, high and sweet tones.
Donna Summers
“Love to Love You Baby” (1975)
The Village People
“In the Navy”, signed by Casablanca Records
Casablanca Records
Signed Donna Summers, The Village People, Funkadellic and KISS
Dichotomies of Disco
Disco mixes were split into two dichotomies: Straight Mix/Gay Mix, and Funk Mix/Euro Mix
KC and the Sunshine Band
Signed by TK Records
The Pogues (Pogue Mahon – Kiss My Arse)
Started in 1982 by Shane MacGown, blended musical categories to make Punk Folk Pop Pub Rock. They exploited Irish romanticism, and their best album was “Rum, Sodomy and the Lash” (1985).
Shane MacGowan
Founded the Pogues, was born Dec 25, 1957. He was influenced by the Sex Pistols, was an auteur and a star. He was a heavy drinker which fans thought held the band together. He had intellectual and artistic parents.
Neo Nazi US Punk
Emerged as a result of the misinterpretation of US Punk, due to use of the swastika.
The Nips
Shane MacGowan’s first group.
“Dark Streets of London”
The first major song by the Pogues (1984), was a vision of the London streets and was seen as nostalgic and descriptive.
Elvis Costello
Noticed the Pogues’ first album, and produced their second album.
Cait O’Riordon
Sang “Danny Boy” in a Pogues film “Straight to Hell”, directed by Alex Cox.
“Fairytale of New York”
Featured Kirsty MacColl, voted the best Christmas song ever.
Pop Artists in the 1980s
Saw the rise of the superstar, commercial identity, and marketing tactics.
Global Issue Songs
Bob Geldoff’s “Don’t They Know Its Christmas” and MJ’s “We Are The World.” Live-Aid in London was intended to be charitable, but MTV’s presence overshadowed the cause.
Changes in the Industry in the 1980s
The music video was the merger of art and commerce, walkmans and blank tapes allowed the listener to have a personal relationship, and videogames emerged as a threat to the music industry.
MTV’s Importance in the 1980s
They aired cable specials, top 40 programs, and emphasized the importance of the live performance. They also used hyper-active visual stimuli, and fostered the British Invasion.
Back Masking
Playing music backwards, used by the PMRC
“The Devil’s Chord”
Exploitation of Sound
Hip Hop used the scratch, Heavy Metal used distortion.
“Parent Music Resource Centre”, founded by the Washington Wives, was aimed at cleaning up the “secondary child abuse” present in music at the time.
“Purple Rain”
Song by Prince, which had masturbation references, and was spotted by PMRC’s Tipper Gore.
1985 Nightline Debate
Between Frank Zappa, Kelly (Candy) Stroud and Donnie Osmond, about censorship.
Original Album Warnings
Initially, specific warnings were placed on albums for specific offenses.
Warning Sticker Bill
The RIAA agreed in 1985 that a warning sticker would be used in exchange for the blank tape bill, which gave them a tax on every blank tape sold.
Dee Schneider
Part of Twisted Sister, was brought to a PMRC hearing.
A Dead Kennedy album, which used an HR Giger painting with a quote that said “Life can sometimes be that way”. He was charged with distributing pornographic material.
Hip Hop
A way of life. Originally about partying and drugs. “Hip hop was to funk as what bebop was to jazz”. MTV stylized it, and it was consumed by white audiences.
DJ Kool Herc
Introduced Jamaican dub to The Bronx
Single by Blondie, was the first #1 Rap influenced song.
A Madonna song (1983) that exposed the beat to the masses.
The second generation of rap, tough and minimalistic. Collaborated with Aerosmith for “Walk this Way”
Def Jam Records
Founded by Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin
Beastie Boys
Rap group about partying and being irresponsible
Public Enemy
Biggest album “It Takes a Nation of Millions to hold us back”. Their song “Night of the living Baseheads” featured a speech by Louis Farrakhan at the start of the song.
Security of the First World
Originally provided security for hip hop acts, later joined Public Enemy.
“As Nasty as they Wanna Be”
Album by 2 Live crew, banned in Florida, not New York. Featured the single “Put Her in the Buck”
“Put Her in the Buck”
2 Live Crew song from the album “As Nasty as they Wanna Be”
3 Prong Obscenity Test
Used since 1833:
1) Does it lack cultural value
2) Excessive sexual references
3) Judged to local community standards