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Liza Field

Golden (or not so) oldies...

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I had a very strange experience with one of my rock bands after school tonight. They were playing I'm Gonna Be by The Proclaimers. I did not know what to say. I remember buying my dad this for his Christmas present one year when I was 11 and I hated it then!

However I have to say that the school band actually improved it and sang it better. At the expense of making me feel old! I thought this band was the most hated band ever though - or is that just in Scoland? (Well we all hated it at school anyway)

Sorry, I just had to share this as it was so bizarre for a group of year 10s, who call themselves a rock band, to be playing this....... :unsure:

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They weren't just hated in Scotland Liza. I trust that the student band has attempted to cover it in much the same way that Sid Vicious paid homage to the great and the good when doing My Way.

The most amusing 'rock' cover I've seen done by a student band was 'Barbie Girl'. Inserting a Zeppelinesque flavour to it made it almost bearable. :unsure:

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And how about Jimmy Hendrix's rendering of "The Star Spangled Banner" at Woodstock? I went to New Orleans a couple of years ago and heard a Hendrix tribute band playing a pretty passable imitation - awesome!

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Proclaimers. Yes that is bizarre. I reckon it's because one of their parents must play it ad nauseam and it has had a brainwashing effect on your student.

We have rock bands that do Thin Lizzy, Free, Black Sabbath (good for power chords) and I caught another band doing 'Wine Women and Song' by Whitesnake... not good in a Catholic school, so I shut the door.

One answer is that their parents play it at home. Another answer is that pop music these days (o-oh... old fogey alert!) isn't as varied as it was in the 70s or it doesn't contain as much decent guitar work as it used to.

Interestingly, a couple of years ago the Dandy Worhols did Bohemian Like You which rock bands in virtually every school covered. This is because it is almost identical to Brown Sugar (Stones) and has some great guitar riffs and real guts that you don't normally get in boy/girl band stuff these days.

(eeee, it were all fields around here then.. pass the Complan)

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Another answer is that pop music these days (o-oh... old fogey alert!) isn't as varied as it was in the 70s or it doesn't contain as much decent guitar work as it used to.

Indeed, yes!

My CD collection contains a lot of early Pink Floyd stuff - late 60s and early 70s. Grumpy Old Men rule, OK?

(BTW, I also have a large classical and jazz collection too. I have varied tastes.)

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In the late 60's and the first half of the 70's we experienced a wave of "progressive music" in Sweden. It started as a protest against all the American and English music that dominated the music market. This music movement had several different ingridients - some bands experimented with the music, some bands focused on the "happening" - the experience of being there together with the audience, some bands electrified (or just did some new arrangements) Swedish Folk Music and a fourth part (which would become the more dominant one) were bands that focused on poltical messages. Of course - some bands tried to do most or all of these things at the same time...

The probably unique part of the movement was it's very clear anti-commercialism and the fact that it was so dominating. ABBA (and groups like that) was the enemy! They were surprised about all the demonstrations and hostility they experienced in Sweden. When they won the European Song Contest many people boycotted or protested against it. The year after, when Sweden was the host of this event, many "Alternative Festivals" (free of course) was put up all over Sweden. The established commercial music industry had hundred of policemen guarding the European Song Contest in Stockholm. It looked more like a "World Bank" meeting... (which is not to far fetched). The protests against the European Song Contest was so strong that Sweden did not participate the year after... :angry:

This political bands dominated the Swedish music life from 1970 up to 1977/1978. I have a stack of records from bands like Gudibrallan (God in the pants), Nationalteatern (the National Theatre), Grisen skriker (the Pig shouts), Gunder Hägg/Blå Tåget (Gunder Hägg/Blue Train), Skäggmanslaget (the Bearded Man's Team), Archimedes badkar (Archimedes bathtub), Risken Finns (the risk exists)... In 1978 several of these bands/groups put up a play - the "Tent Project" (Tältprojektet) which was an attempt to describe the history and development of the Swedish Working Class. Many established actors participated in this project which toured all over Sweden. Then suddenly everything died and the commercial music industry more or less took over.

My question is - was there anything like this in any other European country?

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My question is - was there anything like this in any other European country?

Rock music has never been overtly political in the UK. This is probably based on the idea that people do not really listen to the words of these songs. Those with strong political views have tended to be attracted to folk music.

There have been political implications to the development of rock music. In the 1960s I liked black music (blues, soul, jazz) from America. This was partly because of my interest in the struggle for black civil rights. I therefore refused to buy white cover versions of this music (Elvis Presley, Beatles, Rolling Stones, etc). However, groups like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones helped to publicize the existence of this black music. I can remember John Lennon giving a radio interview where he raved about the music of the much neglected Arthur Alexander. Even after this publicity Alexander failed to sell many records but it did pave the way for other artists such as Marvin Gaye. Before the Beatles came along I had to buy records by records by Marvin Gaye, Mary Wells, Stevie Wonder from America. The same was true of the Beatles and other groups from this period. It is no coincidence that so many of these groups lived in Liverpool. Apparently, they used to get these black records from sailors returning from the States.

In time the Beatles and the Rolling Stones developed their own unique style of song writing. However, they would be the first to admit that they relied heavily on the inspiration of those early black artists.

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My question is - was there anything like this in any other European country?

Rock music has never been overtly political in the UK. This is probably based on the idea that people do not really listen to the words of these songs. Those with strong political views have tended to be attracted to folk music.

There have been political implications to the development of rock music. In the 1960s I liked black music (blues, soul, jazz) from America. This was partly because of my interest in the struggle for black civil rights. I therefore refused to buy white cover versions of this music (Elvis Presley, Beatles, Rolling Stones, etc). However, groups like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones helped to publicize the existence of this black music. I can remember John Lennon giving a radio interview where he raved about the music of the much neglected Arthur Alexander. Even after this publicity Alexander failed to sell many records but it did pave the way for other artists such as Marvin Gaye. Before the Beatles came along I had to buy records by records by Marvin Gaye, Mary Wells, Stevie Wonder from America. The same was true of the Beatles and other groups from this period. It is no coincidence that so many of these groups lived in Liverpool. Apparently, they used to get these black records from sailors returning from the States.

In time the Beatles and the Rolling Stones developed their own unique style of song writing. However, they would be the first to admit that they relied heavily on the inspiration of those early black artists.

One of the most beautiful covers I've ever heard is Can't Take My Eyes Off You by Muse.

Matt Bellamy's incredibly passionate vocal makes the song better than the original version.

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