Tuesday, 25 February 2014

The Past and the Present | Queen v Lady Gaga

The Past and the Present | Queen v Lady Gaga

For the early part of the 1980s music videos were still a new form of visual art especially for the music industry, therefore if there was the slightest indication of anything provocative , the television network would duly restrict and caution the video’s producers. To which, many music artists saw their work being banned from the television.

MTV as we now know had been established in the 80s, and with it being relatively new, they were always cautious when showing new music video to the nation. So when the British formed band Queen released their song ‘Body Language’ and the music video that accompanied it being released in 1982, MTV had only been running for a few months. Queen’s accompanying music video to ‘Body Language’ caused a considerable amount of controversy. Due to its erotic suggestions plus lots of skin and sweaty bodies, it was deemed unsuitable for a television audience in 1982; despite their being no actual nudity shown. Therefore it was not accepted by MTV, and as a result it became the first ever music video to be withheld from that television station.

These views have changed considerable today, because just by turning on MTV we are greeted with a plethora of scantily clad, pretty much naked people, and even more the language and violence that are shown would make ‘Body Language’ look tame. 

Queen - Body Language (1982)

On another note, what I found is that even though I did not live in the 80s I still knew plenty of songs and artist from that decade; well I don’t think anyone whose parents listened to the radio in the 1980s could not have heard of Queen! For one my house was always playing their music so for me Queen had already impacted my life and their songs would be very well known. This, for someone who was born in the 90s, the music of the previous decade might as well have been what was heard in the present

For artist to be remembered, I think it depends on if any band/ artist had played a major role in the music industry but also within their specific genre; whether Pop/Rock, Grunge, Country, etc. One artist in particular that I think would stand the test of time, and could still be remembered in thirty year’s time is Lady Gaga. Despite her obvious impact in music and being known for her outlandish fashion choices, I think that because of these, this makes her the perfect person to be remembered. Not only that, it could be possible that she will still be producing music in thirty years. Her music just like Queen in the 80s resonates with her audience; the messages that she puts across from her lyrics have been used by her fans to make them feel better, take inspiration from and sometimes live by. For example ‘Born This Way’ has had a massive impact for my generation because she speaks about loving yourself no matter who you are because just as the title insinuates; you were ‘born this way’. All of which is representative of the contemporary decade, what with the increasing movement in gay rights; such as trying to overturn the constitutional Proposition 8, where it amended that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. [Information about Prop 8

Lady Gaga - Born this Way (2011)

On the other hand, even though artists from my decade, such as Lady Gaga, could still be remembered in thirty year’s time. I still think that artists that have stood the test of time like Queen, could still be thirty years from now, because I believe that when people look back in time, and into specific decades they will look to find those people that they loved, and also if those people have children or grandchildren then they would show them music from when they were their age. Therefore, just as it has happened to me, musical artists will get shown to a new generation, thus carrying on their legacy. 

As a side note - I realised that whilst researching for this blog I ended spending hours upon hours of watching 80s music, and I found myself saying; “Oh My God, I remember that song!” or “I used to love this”. Why, why was I saying this, I did not live through that era, it more of my parents, although I still consider listening to that music was rather nostalgic – more likely for personal memories rather than remembering the decade. But, what I think is that the music from the 80s for me personally was much more lyrically superior; they had meaning, and the accompaniment and the instrumentals show just how talented the artists were. They did not have to rely on using computer editing software to add electronic beats or crazy fast rhythms and also they were not adding auto-tune to vocals so that they no longer sound like themselves and people cannot understand what they are saying – unlike what you see now in popular music where music and instrumental sounds are often, but not all the time created by technology and a computer rather than being physically played.

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