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Album for my research paper

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by ARA punk, Sep 23, 2003.


  1. ARA punk

    ARA punk

    Jul 11, 2001
    USA, Shelby, NC
    Hey guys. Its been a while. I've been asigned a literary based research paper for my College English class. I'm wanting to write it on an influential album, focusing primarily on the lyrical content. I'm wanting an album that is both inspiring musically, as well as socially. I'm thinking "London Calling" by the Clash, i just dont know if i could find enough information on it. And if i could i'm not sure where i would look. Does anyone have any suggestions? I mainly listen to punk, ska, and some rock. So much outside of these genres would probablly alien enough to me to prevent me from writing a decent paper on them.
     
  2. Muse have a new album out today called "Absolution", it's very deep, all about the end of the world, and religious beliefs about the end of time mixed with Matt's atheist views.
     
  3. ARA punk

    ARA punk

    Jul 11, 2001
    USA, Shelby, NC
    thanks dan, but i'm looking for more of an album that has been around for a while enough to make a deep effect on society, the music scene etc. Plus i'm a christian and it would be alot easier for me to write on something i'm familiar with, so atheism would be a tough one for me to tackle. There also have to be several sources i can cite, and being a recent album, i doubt i'd be able to find that much.
     
  4. DaveBeny

    DaveBeny

    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    I know that it's not the sort of music you usually listen to, but I think that you'd do well to have a serious listen to 'What's Goin' On' by Marvin Gaye or some of Stevie Wonder '70s output ('Songs In The Key Of Life' being the prime example) - lots of great lyrics dealing with all sorts of issues: race/poverty/religion/love/the experience of life - amazing records ('What's Goin' On' in particular). Listen with open ears, and you will get something very special from them.
     
  5. ARA punk

    ARA punk

    Jul 11, 2001
    USA, Shelby, NC
    Great idea guys. I'm sure I wouldn't be lacking in resources about the great Marvin Gaye. That dude could wail. I'm not too familiar with him but it could be an opportunity to learn. I almost kicked myself this afternoon for not thinking about doing Bob Marley though. I'll try and get my hands on that Gaye record. I'll keep you guys posted.

    any other ideas?
     
  6. deepbob

    deepbob

    Oct 3, 2001
    left field
    i would aim at something which actually contributed greatly to English (itself), rather than something which only sat well with you, personally - along socio/political lines (don't get me wrong, it sat well with me too).

    that's not to say such subjects aren't going to be mired in political concern. my point is simply that the clash did not exactly augment the English condition - while they may have, indeed, been British/powerful/appropriate/timely.

    consider how bob marley changed the english language.

    to look at the obvious, purely for analogy's sake: hip-hop is currently the world's most prominent example of the English language's maluability - as well as starkly conveys much of it's vibrant reliance upon it's speakers' desires/reality/choice.

    ain't that just the shiznit?

    anyway, i'm sorry, you no doubt have myriad examples of the clashes' contribution to the English language i'm not considering, but i guess my train of thought is focused on appealing to someone outside of the realm of the clash, which might be a consideration.

    sounds fun, g'luck =)
     
  7. yoshi

    yoshi

    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    I think 'mike oldfields tubular bells' would be very interesting to study.

    There's so much you could go into, such as the fact that he played it all, where his ideas came from, you could segment and analyse parts, you could even go into some detail of its use on the excorists.

    Its also got some good bass in there :cool:
     
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    How do you get Tubular Bells from that!!??:confused:

    It basically has no lyrics and would be the worst choice I could inagine!


    He also said "I mainly listen to punk, ska, " - as far away as you could get from that!! ;)

    If we are talking about punk/ska - then I would suggest "the Specials".

    Their later albums were very political - the single "Ghost Town" got to number 1 in the UK and was a great example of social comment.

    Their song "Free Nelson Mandela" - became an anthem for the Anti Apartheid movement and was sung at every protest and was ultimately successful!! :)
     
  9. JimK

    JimK

    Dec 12, 1999
    How 'bout The Beatles(AKA "The White Album")?
    I just finished off a new book about that set called Revolution.
    ;)
     
  10. yoshi

    yoshi

    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    :p hah, I honestly did not see the part about it focusing on lyrical content!
     
  11. ARA Punk

    Its hard for an album to make a big social impact. I hate to say this, but its true. Individual songs have done better because to make a social impact on an album, the artist has to sustain a philosophy for an entire record. In other words, the album has to be conceptual in nature.

    Not only does it have to be conceptual in nature, but the concept has to be understood by the listeners, and the songs have to be good enough to be singable, or humable or memorable.

    Man, that's tough.

    "What's Going On" does fit all of those requirements. Marley's music would be good too. Early Beatles albums and Beatlemania in general had a big social impact.

    A few other examples.....

    I think that the most socially significant song of the past 50 years was Dylan's "Blowing In The Wind". It was THE anthem of the civil rights movement...early Dylan albums are all socially significant.

    The other concept album that is socially significant is Neil Young's "Tonight's The Night". One of the strongest indictments of the seedier side of rock and roll and of the 70's culture in general. The record not only portrays the death of two of Neil's friends due to heroin, but it also depicts the struggle and the soul searching of a artist at the very depths of despair. 1975 Album of the year by RS.

    The other criteria that you seem to imply in your requirements is that you need to find information about the music. You said you couldn't find much information on "London Calling". So you have to stay with one of the big name artists who meet my criteria above to be able to find any background info.
     
  12. misterk73

    misterk73

    Apr 11, 2002
    Flagstaff, AZ
    ARA:

    I agree that it is tough for an album, in and of itself, to have a quantifiable sociocultural impact. More often than not, I think an artist or album or genre is influenced by the culture rather than the other way around -- representative of an already existing subculture rather than somehow creating a new one. Obviously, music can be responsible for taking a subculture to the mainstream, but oftentimes it seems to have less to do with language per se than with fashion. Sometimes, thankfully, it manages to include social action and progressive politics, too.

    Having said all that, I think you might be better off focusing on a genre. In terms of influencing modern language and slang, there's nothing more pervasive than hip hop right now, and hip hop has a rich and varied history that you should have no trouble finding plenty of info on. Punk has certainly exerted a huge cultural influence on the mainstream over the past few decades, and that seems close to your heart. You could also look at the storytelling and sociopolitical aspects of folk music -- that one seems particulalrly juicy to me.

    I also think focusing on an artist might be a good option. Marvin Gaye and Bob Marley and Bob Dylan, as already suggested, are very good options. I'd like to add another possibility to the list: Woody Guthrie. He was arguably the most important folk artist of the 20th century, there's a "Grapes of Wrath" connection that your English teacher would probably dig, and he wrote hundreds of songs, many of which are covered and performed to this day. Guthrie even wrote a book and a bunch of newspaper columns in his time. The bottom line is that he influenced Bob Dylan and an untold number of other artists and activists and artists and writers and citizens. This is a man who truly had a lasting impact. And storytelling. Don't forget about the art and craft of storytelling. Guthrie had it down.

    So, what are you thinking about doing at this point?
     
  13. ERMAL

    ERMAL

    Jun 20, 2003
    San Antonio, TX
    Two words - PET SOUNDS by The Beach Boys. Although it may not have had a huge "social" impact at the time, the album's musical impact cannot be denied.
    Pet Sounds influenced The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper, Sir Paul's bass playing, and lyrically marked the change when rock music went from boy-girl themes to deeper, more introspective subject matter.
    Pet Sounds includes the first rock song to have "God" in the title (God Only Knows) and you can find tons of information about the album. (Including a 4CD box set)
    It is also interesting to note that while the album was released in 1966 - it did not go gold until the last decade.
    Good Luck!
     
  14. JimK

    JimK

    Dec 12, 1999
    Yeah, but...
    Revolver(or was it Rubber Soul?) kicked Brian Wilson's ass & he hadda do Pet Sounds as a retaliation.
    ;)

    ...then Sgt. Peppers happened & Wilson surrendered to the bed.

    Personally, I don't hear how Pet Sounds affected McCartney's bass playing. That's maybe me, though.
    ;)
     
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I tend to agree - I wasn't that keen on the Beatles at the time - but the Beach Boys were just a pale imitation!! They were never a real band like the Beatles once were!! :spit:


    ;)
     
  16. misterk73

    misterk73

    Apr 11, 2002
    Flagstaff, AZ
    I think the "truth" of that statement may be debatable. It's probably safe to say that "Pet Sounds" is when the Beach Boys and Brian Wilson went from boy-girl themes to deeper, more introspective subject matter, though. Regardless, it's still a great angle to work for an English paper! Good thinking, ERMAL.
     
  17. ERMAL

    ERMAL

    Jun 20, 2003
    San Antonio, TX
    I concur that the Beach Boys did not function as a "band" - they basically did what Brian Wilson told them to do. However, the Beach Boys consistently ranked above the Beatles as "favorite group" in UK polls in the mid sixties.
    It can also be argued that while the Beatles had themselves and George Martin to bounce ideas off of, Brian Wilson was responsible for everything (production, arranging and writiing - with the exception of some lyrics here and there) by himself.
     
  18. ERMAL

    ERMAL

    Jun 20, 2003
    San Antonio, TX
    In the liner notes of the Pet Sounds Box Set, Sir Paul is interviewed about the influence of Pet Sounds on himself and the Beatles.
    He states that Brian Wilson's basslines (written, note performed by Brian) taught him that you could deviate from the root note of the chord, creating a more interesting and melodic bassline.
    BTW - Carol Kaye played most if not all of the bass parts on the album and Rubber Soul was indeed the album that influenced Pet Sounds.
     
  19. JimK

    JimK

    Dec 12, 1999
    Thanks, ERMAL.
    I dug out my Paul bio(author Barry Miles); here's a blurb about Paul's take on Pet Sounds-
    "Paul regarded Pet Sounds as one of the greatest popular-music albums ever made & was effusive in its praise, particularly for the way in which it proved that the bass player need not play the root note of a chord buy can weave a melody around it of its own. He recommended the album to everyone he met".

    IMHO, Paul was already playing guitar/piano; he shoulda already known about not 'always' using/thinking the root as a bass note.

    More-
    "Unfortunately for Brian(Wilson), his rivals(Beatles) were already at work recording Revolver, which was to 'push the envelope' of popular music so far into new realms of experimentation that it could no longer be performed on stage".
    (Not sure that's a 'good thing'; nevertheless, Revolver, IMO, is the Madame Bovary of Pop).
    ;)
     
  20. ARA punk

    ARA punk

    Jul 11, 2001
    USA, Shelby, NC
    I was actually considering the Beetles earlier albums as I was driving home this afternoon. Maybe I could clear a little bit up. I've actually got incredible lenience as far as what i can do. I simply cannot write a biography in esence. I can write about the culture that influenced the album/song/artist or the culture that was influenced by it. Bob Dylan is a good one that I hadn't thought about, so Machaut, thanks for that suggestion. I'm starting to lean towards focusing on a genre in general. But i've got a few days before I have to decide, so please keep suggestions coming in.