After reading the latest news article on Pitchfork about Neil Young's new album and how itâ€™s a protest album against the state of America at present, it got me thinking a little about politics and pop music.
During and after the Vietnam War there were many popular artists who would sing about political issues, these songs were know by millions of people and some were extremely influential.
Many punk bands have political songs, The Clash, NOFX and Dead Kennedys to name just three. Also many folk artists sing about politics, both now and in the past. I recently heard a Bright Eyes protest song which was great.
Dead Kennedys, "Holiday in Cambodia", Husker Du, "Turn on the News", Frankie Goes to Hollywood, "Two Tribes, Elvis Costello and the Attractions, "Peace in Our Time", Pet Shop Boys, "Domino Dancing", The Smiths, "The Queen is Dead", Wire, "Reuters" and Talking Heads, "Once In a Lifetime" are all famous political songs, but they are all over 10 years old.
Why does there seem to be fewer political songs in popular music now than there was in the 1960s/70s/80â€™s and 90s? Do record companies shy away from signing such artists who could potential be controversial? And if they do, why are they shying away, do these songs not fit in with todayâ€™s society, or do they not appeal to the pop music buying public? or are there popular political songs out there and Iâ€™m just not noticing them? It seems to me that politics in pop music these days in a rare thing.
It'll be interesting to read your thoughts on this. also, I wasn't around in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s (well only for 4 years) so I may be completely wrong in my judgements.