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1980s Popular Music

1980s Popular Music

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1980s Popular Music

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  1. 1980s Popular Music

  2. Day 45: Intro to the Eighties • John Lennon murdered on Dec. 8, 1980 • Ronald Reagan is President. • Slump in the music industry • Home taping (illegally taping records instead of buying them) • Piracy (selling illegal copies of records) • VCR was developed • Video Game Market took away some money (Atari)

  3. Day 46: Early Music Television • The visual impact of a performance enables music to deliver its full measure of pleasure. • First music video: Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen • MTV was launched on August 1, 1981 as the first 24-hour music video cable channel by Warner Communications and the American Express Company. • Music industry was slow to warm-up to the idea. • 85% of its audience was white suburban viewers between the ages of 12-24. • Was the most effective way for a record to get national exposure.

  4. MTV continued… • Three Periods of MTV • 1981-1983 • 24-continuous flow of music (a visual radio station) • MTV was forced to rely on British music videos. • 1983-1985 • Channel became available in NY and LA. • New music video outlets were created to fill the gaps left by MTV’s rock-oriented programming. • Black Entertainment Television (BET) • MTV entered into exclusive agreements with major labels. • Third Period • Broadening of musical scope and deeper commitment to youth culture • Videos aimed at 25-44 year-olds were transferred to adult-oriented VH-1 • Abandoned the continuous flow of music format

  5. Second British Invasion • MTV devoted a lot of time to introducing white rock acts from other English-speaking countries (like Britain) • The channel’s first music video that they aired, was Video Killed the Radio Star by the Buggles (British Group) • Beginning in 1982, MTV showcased so many English groups, that it helped start the second British Invasion. • Many British groups made their US debuts in 1983 on MTV and exploited that exposure into International Stardom. • July 16, 1983 – no fewer than 18 singles of British origin charted in the US Top 40

  6. Day 47: MTV Racist? • MTV’s selection process favored British groups at the expense of American artists, especially African American artists. • Only African American video was Donna Summer’s She Works Hard for the Money • MTV was trashed in the popular press for its racism. MTV executives defended their practices by claiming that few black artists recorded the kind of R&R that the channel’s format required. But, the format was the cause of the racial bias.

  7. Michael Jackson His incredible success with Thriller finally broke MTV’s racist ways Thriller won 12 Grammy Awards in 1983. Spent $300,000 on the production of 15-minute version of the video. Did not “earn” the title of ‘King of Pop’ until decades later because of racial prejudices The Girl is Mine Billie Jean – first performed on Motown 25 and launched the moonwalk. Broke the color line on MTV. Beat It – MTV first refused to play the video. Jackson spent $150,000 on the production.

  8. Women and Gender Roles in Videos • Treatment of women and the portrayal of gender roles in music videos have the longest running debates. • Madonna’s Material Girl • Lionel Richie’s Hello • Early music videos sometimes challenged the traditional images of men and women. • Cyndi Lauper’sGirls Just Want to Have Fun

  9. Day 48: Superstars • In order to move out of the music industry recession, major record companies started focusing on fewer artists. • They wanted to make more money, using fewer artists.

  10. Prince 1984 belonged to Prince Combined funk and rock A singer, guitarist, and producer…his first albums were entirely self-written, played, sung, and produced. Little Red Corvette Purple Rain – Assembled the Revolution as his band. Released the album and movie.

  11. Bruce Springsteen 1985 belonged to Bruce with his release of Born to Run Album generated seven Top 10 singles and remained in the Top 40 for nearly 2 years, selling 11 million copies Combined the image of a hard-driving, blue collar rock ‘n’ roller with a socially conscious 1960s romantic – “working class hero” Born in the USA Focused on charity work and playing benefit concerts to raise money

  12. Whitney Houston Worked as an actress and model before becoming a singer Emerged as a pop entertainer instead of a soul diva 2nd album, Whitney, tallied seven #1 hit singles in a row Dance with Somebody

  13. Lionel Richie Started as a founding member of the Commodores Began by playing the saxophone, then became lead vocalist and main songwriter Dancing on the Ceiling (1986) – also sold a “making of” documentary

  14. Madonna Combined good promotion, danceable material, engaging choreography & visual appeal Began her career as a disco diva with Borderline and Lucky Star Used music videos to transition to rock star All of her albums have been certified platinum

  15. Superstars continued… • Movie Tie-ins • Kept albums in circulation for months • Music became essential for movies • Dirty Dancing (1987) completed the fusion of music and film. • CD developed • Compact Disc was introduced by Sony and Phillips in the late 1970s • Greater reliability and ease of use than either records or cassette tapes

  16. African American International Superstars • African American producers: Quincy Jones & Nile Rogers paved the way for LA Reid and Babyface Edmunds • A trend started that released a number of well-calculated cross-racial ethnic duets from 1984. • Attempted to break down the segregation of the music industry

  17. Day 49: Charity Rock and Mega-Events • Band Aid • Bob Geldoff was inspired to action after seeing a BBC documentary on Ethiopian famine • Wrote the song Do They Know It’s Christmas Time and organized the biggest names in British pop to record the song as Band Aid • Was the first charity rock event and the biggest selling UK single ever

  18. Charity Rock continued… • We Are the World • US charity rock initiated by African Americans with Michael Jackson providing the leadership and musical direction • Song was co-written by Jackson and Lionel Richie • Released by an all-star ensemble recording as ‘U.S.A. (United Support of Artists) for Africa’

  19. Charity Rock continued… • Live Aid • Organized by Bob Geldof as a Band Aid project • Concert was staged simultaneously at Wembley Stadium in London and JFK Stadium in Philadelphia on July 13, 1985. • Was the largest single event in human history! • Used corporate sponsors like AT&T, Kodak, Chevrolet, & Pepsi. • Most important function was fundraising…raised over $67 million! • Bob Geldof was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.

  20. Day 50: Mega-Events • Farm Aid • Organized by Willie Nelson, John Cougar Mellancamp, & Neil Young • Concert brought together rock and country artists • Raised $10 million and became an annual event • Sun City • Politically charged song supporting the UN-sponsored cultural boycott of South Africa to end apartheid

  21. U2 Irish rock band from Dublin Headlined US tour titled Conspiracy of Hope, for Amnesty International Acted as advocates for prisoners of conscience around the world Sunday Bloody Sunday

  22. Amnesty International USA • Conspiracy of Hope Tour • Connected rock with the human rights movement • Goal was to recruit new “freedom writers” to participate in letter-writing campaigns • Tour targeted 6 political prisoners, three of whom were freed within two years as a result • Human Rights Now! Tour • Bruce Springsteen and Sting both headlined

  23. Nelson Mandela Concerts at Wembley Stadium • June 11, 1988 • First concert held to celebrate Mandela’s 70th birthday • An 11-hour tribute, broadcast to about 600 million people in more than 60 countries • Called for the release of the imprisoned leader of the African National Congress • April 16, 1990 • Celebrated the end of his 30 years of imprisonment • Organized by An International Tribute for a Free South Africa • 72,000 tickets sold • 4-hour concert broadcast in 64 countries

  24. Global Environmental Concerns • Greenpeace • Geffen Records and VH1 teamed up • VH-1 produced more than 24 60-second sports called “World Alerts” which featured celebrities discussing a range of environmental issues • Rainbow Warriors, compilation album • Our Common Future • Stage at Lincoln Center in 1989 • Provided a platform for scientists and world leaders to voice their concerns over global environmental decline

  25. Paul Simon’s Graceland Album • A defining contribution to world music in 1986. • Music was based primarily on South African styles. • Won the 1986 Grammy Award for Album of the Year and 1987 Grammy Award for Record of the Year • 1992 South African Tour

  26. Day 53: Technology • Digital Audio Tape (DAT) – made it possible to make studio quality recordings in your own home • PMRC – Parents Music Resource Center, a Washington, DC-based pressure group who launched a campaign against explicit lyrics in popular music • PMRC initially targeted heavy metal, but then moved on to rap • Technology – Builds the connection between youth, their music, and its politics. Rap and metal artists incorporated advances in technology into the very essence of their music. • Heavy Metal with their heavy guitar sound (power and volume) • Rap with dual turntable rigs and boom boxes that became localized radio stations. • Samplers – digital devices capable of recording, storing, and reproducing any sound in nature perfectly • Less about melody and harmony – more about organized sound or noise.

  27. New Wave of British heavy metal • AC/DC – Formed in Australia, outrageous stage shows, broke the US Top 40 with Highway to Hell (1979) • DefLeppard – Debut album, On Through the Night (1980) • Iron Maiden – Were pegged as a Satanist group with their album, The Number of the Beast • Motorhead- Leaned toward a hardcore punk style • The new wave of metal featured shorter, catchier songs, more sophisticated production techniques, and higher technical standards. • Van Halen – Turned out nothing but Top 10 platinum albums throughout the 80s. Jump

  28. Los Angeles Heavy Metal Motley Crue Quiet Riot Scored two hit singles from their Metal Health album in 1984 Cum on Feel the Noize • Leaned toward glam rock appearance and a lite metal sound • Rose to stardom after opening for Kiss in 1983

  29. LA Heavy Metal continued… • US ‘83 Festival – organized by Steve Wosniak (founder of Apple Computer) • Organized around different genres on different days • Heavy metal day drew the largest crowd • Made many heavy metal groups move to LA • Hair Bands – Defined by carefully tended, artfully moused, blow-dried hair (example: Poison) • Exposure on MTV was crucial to the growth of metal, since metal had been excluded from radio since its beginnings • “Headbanger’s Ball” was a weekly late-night program on MTV devoted solely to metal, became MTV’s most popular show with 1.3 million viewers

  30. Day 54: Metal Fragments • Distinctions between metal categories • Traditional or classic heavy metal • Lite or pop metal ** • Glam metal • Thrash and speed metal ** • Death metal • Black metal • White metal

  31. Lite Metal • Was favored by MTV, gained greater access to radio, and expanded the music into arena and stadium-sized venues • Audience shifted in 1985 away from primarily male high-school teenagers to include older (college-aged), younger (pre-teen), and more females. • Romance themes – Bon Jovi’s, Slippery When Wet album

  32. Bon Jovi Named after lead singer John Bon Jovi, formed in NJ in the early 80s Early 80s, they were a standard heavy metal group For the album, Slippery When Wet, they restructured their image and their sound. Biggest Hit – Livin’ On a Prayer

  33. Speed/Thrash Metal • Didn’t want to become mainstream • Wanted to keep metal all-male • Began on the West Coast with groups like Metallica, Slayer, Testament, Megadeth, Exodus, and Possessed • Influenced by hardcore punk • Lyrics focused on chaos, alcohol and drugs were judged as bad • “Ugly, Nasty, Angry” • Also included themes of justice and environmental concern

  34. Metallica Became the best-known speed/metal group Formed in LA in early 80s Master of Puppets (1986) became first platinum-selling speed/thrash album Achieved Top 10 status and platinum sales with virtually no radio air play in 1988 with And Justice for All

  35. The 1988 Grammy’s • New Grammy Award established for Hard Rock/Metal Performance • Because it included hard rock, they gave the award to JethroTullinstead of Metallica • Metallica finally won in 1989 when they separated Hard Rock from Metal

  36. Guns ‘N’ Roses LA group who had 2 albums in the Top 10 most popular albums of 1989 Appetite for Destruction rose to #1 and generated three Top 10 singles They loved to stir up trouble wherever they went…became the new bad boys of heavy metal Paradise City and Welcome to the Jungle

  37. Living Colour Most prominent African American group to hit the Top 10 with their album, Vivid in 1989 Received hard rock Grammy in 1990 Had trouble getting signed to a label, were assigned a new marketing category, funk metal

  38. Female Heavy Metal Groups Heart Joan Jett and the Blackhearts • What About Love

  39. Female Heavy Metal Continued… Lita Ford Vixen • Was a member of the Runaways in the 70s • Managed by Sharon Osbourne • Kiss Me Deadly

  40. Day 55: Hip Hop • Rap music is one cultural element within a larger social movement known as hip hop, which also includes break dancing and graffiti art. • Hip Hop flourished as a genuine street movement.

  41. Old School Rap • DJs – were the heroes of hip hop and had big followings and territories • Dancing – Break dancing (b-boys and b-girls) • MCing – Members of the DJs crew who provided vocal entertainment as a means of crowd control • Rapper’s Delight – First rap record from the Sugar Hill Gang sold 2 million copies

  42. Old School Rap continued… • Hip Hop Discovered – the phenomenal success of Rapper’s Delight alerted the mainstream media to the existence of hip hop • Flashdance – Blockbuster film that brought hip hop to the attention of a mass audience.

  43. Hip Hop: The Next Generation • Second generation of New York rap artists included Whodini, The Force MDs, The Fat Boys, and Run-D.M.C. • LA Rap Scene included Dr. Dre, Yella, Ice-T and Kid Frost. • The Album – NY hip hop moved from the 12-inch single to the album

  44. EAST COAST RAPRun-D.M.C. Joseph Simmons, Darryl McDaniels, and Jason Mizell Came from lower middle-class neighborhood of Hollis in Queens, were college-educated and wanted to conquer both the rock and rap markets King of Rock album featured live guitar backing them up (Rock Box) Walk This Way – the first “rap” video played on MTV

  45. Beastie Boys Group of white bohemians from Manhattan Had bad boy images You’ve Got to Fight For Your Right to Party

  46. Day 56: Rap continued… • West Coast Rap & Gangsta Rap • Featured harder rhymes set to a slower pace • Ice T • Ice Cube • Public Enemy • Had the most politically advanced lyrics in rap • Formed in Long Island, NY • Chuck D, MC Flavor Flav, DJ Terminator X, The Bomb Squad, Professor Griff, & Security of the First World • Wanted to advance the cause of Black Nationalism

  47. West Coast Rap & Gangsta Rap continued… • N.W.A. – Portrayed the rough side of LA gang life…they lived the things they talked about in their rap. • A Generation Gap developed in black music as rap was mainly listened to by 12-24 year olds. • Black radio stations were reluctant to play rap on the air.

  48. Female Rappers Salt-N-Pepa Queen Latifah Projected a powerful and dignified image Ladies First • Helped start the trend to promote female rappers with success of their double platinum album, Hot, Cool & Vicious (1988)

  49. Stop the Violence • Violence was prevalent in rap lyrics as well as at their concerts. • A number of rap groups initiated a campaign, called ‘Stop the Violence’ in 1989, which was aimed at black-on-black crime • Self Destruction – East Coast • We’re All in the Same Gang – West Coast • Found that rap lyrics actually had a very high percentage of anti-violent, anti-drug messages, aimed at improving self-esteem and encouraging the youth of the 80s to continue their education

  50. Day 57: Rap continued… • Yo! MTV Raps – rap show on MTV that became one of its most popular • Grammy Awards add a rap category in 1988. Will Smith received the first Rap Grammy. • Television • The Fresh Prince of Bel Air (Will Smith) • A Different World and The Cosby Show. • In Living Colour • Film • House Party starring Kid N Play • Spike Lee made movies about life in the “hood”