American youth are fascinated with controversial music By Jay Estrela
Controversial Music 1957-1970 Elvis Presley: Jailhouse Rock (1957) Elvis captured the attention of American youth instantly with his iconic gyration and controversial music. The story of Jailhouse Rock is universal in the challenge of authority and struggling to find your voice while others try to confine you. The American youth could identify with this and Elvis became a legend.
Controversial Music 1957-1970 The Beatles: Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (1967) Banned by the BBC, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds was an immensely controversial song that was a hit with the American youth. While denied by Lennon, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds is commonly thought to be a reference to the popular drug of the time, LSD. This controversy has helped to make Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds one of the most famous songs of The Beatles.
Controversial Music 1957-1970 The Rolling Stones: Cocksucker Blues (1970) The Rolling Stones wrote many controversial songs that became American youth favorites but one song that stood out from the rest was Cocksucker Blues. Written for the sole purpose of aggravating the executives at Decca Records, The Rolling Stones created a hit with American youth that shared the sentiment of defying authority.
Controversial Music 1980-1993 Guns N’ Roses: Used to Love Her (1988) Guns N’ Roses are no strangers to controversy in their careers but one song that decidedly pushed that to the edge was “Used to Love Her”. The song lyrics talk about the singer killing his girlfriend and burying her in his backyard to keep her close so he wont miss her. The deranged images caused public outcry but record sales indicated that American Youth greatly enjoyed the song.
Controversial Music 1980-1993 Madonna: Like a Prayer (1989) Madonna is known for controversy but none as great as what she caused in 1989 with Like a Prayer. The songs controversial lyrics and images from the video created such a buzz, Like a Prayer became one of Madonna’s highest selling singles in her career. American youth loved the song so much it was given the Viewer’s Choice Award at the MTV awards show.
Controversial Music 1980-1993 Body Count - Cop killer (1992) Enraged by recent police brutality, lead singer of Body Count Ice-T wrote Cop killer as a protest song. Youth across the nation could identify with the song due to recent events such as the Rodney King beating. Controversy swelled because of the seemingly negative reinforcement the record provided. When Ice-T felt the controversy was overshadowing the message of the song, he recalled the album and released it without the track even though the youth of America already embraced it.
Controversial music 1997-2010 The Prodigy - Smack my Bitch up (1997) The Prodigy were a well known British band in the UK but fairly underground in the United States until the release of their contentious single, Smack my Bitch up. The controversial release created an amazing buzz for the band which hit American youth with force. While initially banned from all television, MTV received such demand for the song to be played that they relented and aired the song. The song went on to be nominated for four MTV awards winning two of them.
Controversial Music 1997-2010 Eminem – Kim (2000) Controversy is usually used to help bolster the career of many artists but rapper Eminem has made a career out of it. Eminem’s on again off again relationship with wife Kim Mathers has propelled him to rap phenomenon. The song ”Kim” is the pinnacle of this controversy. In the song Eminem details his extremely realistic hatred of his wife and his murder of her and disposing of the body. While opposed to the actual message, American youth continue to propel Eminem record sales to the top.
Controversial Music 1997-2010 Britney Spears – If you Seek Amy (2009) Britney Spears started her career with a sex charged controversial video and has seeming brought her career back with some more controversy. The song title “If you Seek Amy” is used to poorly mask the intended lyric of F-U-C-K me. This blatant attempt to generate publicity has been met with staunch criticism from some but has re-launched her career with the American youth as can be seen in her skyrocketing record sales.