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80s and 90s Musical Influence on Society

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Nick Thompson

on 8 May 2013

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Transcript of 80s and 90s Musical Influence on Society

Nick Thompson Music of the 1980s and the 1990s
and Its Influence on Society A Transitioning Decade Works Cites Works Cited Cont. For many people, the 80's began when Regan won the presidency. For others, it was when music began to take on a different sound and a different role in American society and American pop culture. What we will look at during this presentation is how music began to take on a different role and the lasting effects of that transition. Books Web The 80's Emerging Genres
& Rising Stars Some of the music genres that came out of the 80s were mainly: pop, dance music, and New Wave.

However, other genres such as smooth jazz, rock music and glam metal began to gain more prominence. Samples of 80s music The 90s Rising stars in the music industry in the 80's:

Michael Jackson
Cyndi Lauper
Bon Jovi
Sonic Youth
Blue Oyster Cult
Beastie Boys
New Kids on the Block
David Bowie Pop Culture and Fashion Pop Culture Fashion Social Activism Michael Jackson AKA: "The King of Pop" While we know that "Thriller" was one of the biggest hits of the 80s and that Michael Jackson was one of biggest pop stars during that time period too, most of us probably don't know that in the 80s there began to be an increasing amount of pop stars and musicians using their time and money and fame to support social issues and Michael Jackson was one of the biggest pop stars on the 80s to do this type of philanthropy.

He supported the efforts of the United Negro College Fund to help underprivileged black young adults go to college. He also was a big player in the composition of the song "We Are the World" which sold over 20 million copies and used the proceeds (which accumulated to approx. 63 million dollars) to go towards humanitarian aid in Africa. (Lewis) Madonna Another famous pop artist in the 80s was working to influence and change ways society looks at things, but in a much different and provocative way. The entertainer, Madonna, pushed the limits of what was deemed as socially acceptable/unacceptable with songs like "Like A Prayer" whose music video portrayed a cross being burned and dreams of making love to a saint. In addition to this, her unusual style of dress also sparked outrage by social conservatives. Freddie Mercury Although well-known during his lifetime as the lead singer of the band, Queen, Freddie Mercury left a lasting effect on society after he had died from complications of the AIDS virus. After his death, it raised a large amount of awareness and research about AIDS on a scale not seen for quite sometime. On August 1, 1981, MTV (back when it was actually Music Television) was launched. Before airing the first music video on the station, The Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star", MTV greeted the television audience with a parody of the moon landing; portraying an astronaut planing the MTV flag onto the moon. Today, the station has now become a channel calling its viewers to participate in social activism and social change - a far cry from its beginnings. (The 100 Greatest Moments in Rock Music: The 80s) On August 31, 1982, companies, Sony, Philips, and Polygraph announced that they had created the world's first CD system. A month later, the CD was launched onto the mass market with Billy Joel's "52nd Street" as the first album to be released on the new format. This new change in technology will eventually cause the cassette tape to become obsolete. (Sony History) The 80's also brought about the use of popular music in movies and television shows. This allowed certain songs and artists to get their sound out to a larger audience by having their stuff used in film and television. A good example would be when Queen scored the film "Flash Gordon". Musicians and other music artists had a profound influence on fashion in the 80s. Icons like David Bowie and Madonna were no exceptions. Crimped hair, baggy pants, Capri pants, mullets and bright neon colored clothing were the main aspects of 80's fashion. In 1984, two British musicians by the names of Bob Geldorf and Midge Ure, formed a chairty band by the name of "Band Aid" which was composed of famous British and Irish entertainers and musicians. Their goal was to release a single known as "Do They Know It's Christmas?" to help support relief efforts for a severe famine in Ethiopia. About a year later, the same two men put together a mega concert with bands and other artists from the UK and America to perform for the relief efforts. This concert was known as "Live Aid" and was broadcast throughout the UK and the United States. This event, as well as "Band Aid" would inspire Michael Jackson to create "USA for Africa" that would also seek to help and support relief efforts in Ethiopia. (Live Aid: The Show That Rocked the World) Genres and Artists Fashion Pop Culture Social Activism Lasting Influence in Today's America Emerging Genres:
Electronic dance music
Alternative rock
Pop punks
Hip hop Artists:
Green Day
Third Eye Blind
Sir Mix-A-Lot
Hootie and the Blowfish
Backstreet Boys
Pearl Jam
Destiny's Child
The grunge music scene had a very unique style of dress that quickly began to take off thanks to grunge bands wearing those types of clothes. Flannel shirts and ripped jeans were their style of dress. Emo music inspired long hair, skinny jeans and skin tight shirts and hip-hop inspired low pants, big jackets and gold chains. With hip-hop beginning to show itself as a power player in music, MTV decided to launch a program known as "Yo! MTV Raps" dedicated to nothing but hip-hop and R&B music. The show quickly became a hit.

During the 90's, music began to take a more influential part in people's lives (especially in teenagers). Politicians, such as Bill Clinton, used music to come off as "hip" by playing the sax on late night TV. (Hanes)

It was also during this time period, that music began influencing teenagers in a way not seen since the 50s. With kids rebelling against authority and the status quo.

In comparison to the 80s, which were more about humanitarian causes, the 90s were more about political issues. Green Day was one of the first bands to make obvious political statements in their music. In 1991, a Texas student by the name of Jeremy, shot himself in front of his classmates. After hearing this tragic news, the lead singer of Pearl Jam, Eddie Vedder, wrote a song about the tragedy and named the song after the boy. Then in 1994, the lead singer of Nirvana, Kurt Cobain, died after he had reportedly shot himself in the forehead. With the news stories and broader awareness of these events through songs and television, the public began to make strides to prevent suicide and create more suicide awareness. For those of us that take notice in what today's modern pop culture consists of, we see references to 80s songs in cartoon shows and movies quite frequently (ex. "Regular Show" and "Ted"). In addition to this, many bands from the 80s and 90s constantly rank in the "top 10 bands of all time" lists. Also recall back to when the country of Haiti was hit with a massive earthquake. Famous artists and celebrities got together and collaborated to make a modern day "We Are the World" single for relief efforts in Haiti. Sound familiar? If we pay close attention to some of the bands you listen to, more of them have incorporated their political, religious, or social beliefs. No longer taboos in today's music. In conclusion It doesn't matter if you were born in the 90s, grew up in the 80s, or whatever, to this day we can see the mark that music and the music industry has left and still resides with us today. Hanes, Joshua R. Influences: Music and Society. 2004.

Lewis, Jel D. Michael Jackson, The King of Pop: The Big Picture, The Music! The Man! The Legend! The Interviews! Phoenix: AmberBooks^2, 2005.
"Live Aid: The Show That Rocked the World." 5 April 2000. BBC News. 4 May 2013 <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/702700.stm>.

"Sony History." 2008. Internet Archive. 4 May 2013 <http://web.archive.org/web/20080802133849/http://www.sony.net/Fun/SH/1-20/h5.html>.

"The 100 Greatest Moments in Rock Music: The 80s." 28 May 1999. Entertainment Weekly. 3 May 2013 <http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,273505,00.html>.
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