With the elections right around the corner, we at MUSIK !D TV were inspired to share 5 songs that changed America.
5. Bob Dylan - Blowing In The Wind
Bob Dylan released his would-be Grammy Hall of Famer "Blowing in the Wind" in the fall of 1963. Highly regarded as a protest song, Dylan was inspired to write the song as a series of questions centered around freedom and war. The song was released during the Kennedy Administration. With the country at war in Vietnam, the civil rights movement in full swing and the untimely assassination of President Kennedy, the republic was in disarray. Dylan's Blowing in the Wind served as a soundtrack for the spirit of protest throughout the U.S.
4. Sam Cooke - A Change Is Gonna Come
On March 7th 1965 what went on to be known as Bloody Sunday - before U2 turned it into the popular protest song of the 80s - was 1 of the 3 marches from Selma to Montgomery that led to many blacks being injured or killed. The march was organized by Amelia Boynton Robinson, who was beaten unconscious by state troopers during the march. A photo of an injured Robison lying in the street spread through the media atmosphere like wild fire. The Lyndon administration responded to the events of 1965 with the Voting Rights Act, having passed the Civil Rights Act 2 years earlier. The song went on to reach number nine on the Billboard R&B Singles chart and number 31 on the Billboard Hot 100.
3. Marvin Gaye - What's Going On?
Marvin Gaye was inspired by the personal experience of his brother's war stories after returning back home from Vietnam and recorded the Benson and Cleveland penned hit "What's Going On?". In 1971, U.S. troops began to be removed from Vietnam adhering to the cries of the public. In 1973, the Paris Peace Accords were signed and the U.S. begin to pull more troops out of Vietnam completing the effort in 1975. "Father, father, We don't need to escalate You see, war is not the answer, For only love can conquer hate."The song went on to be nominated for 2 Grammy awards the following year of its release and would be named number 4 on Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Songs of All Time."
2. NWA - Fuck The Police
Growing up in Compton, California, NWA got a chance to see firsthand effects of police militarization sparking members Ice Cube and MC Ren to pen the tune "Fuck The Police". The song brought on initiatives for police reform in the mid-1990s with the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which allows the department of Justice to bring suits against local law enforcement. "Fuck The Police" went on to reach the number 25 spot on the Billboard Hot R&B/ Hip Hop Songs Chart. "They have the authority to kill a minority..." These words still ring loud today as a soundtrack for protesters against police violence nearly 20 years later.
1. Green Day- Holiday
Green Day released their single "Holiday" in the spring of 2005 during the administration of President George W. Bush. Following the events of 9/11 and the war waged against terrorism, the U.S. had seen its presidents approval ratings slip down to a whopping 37% in 2005, according a poll done by CNN. Green Day frontman Billy Joel Armstrong said that he was inspired to write the song about American conservatism. Armstrong also went on to describe the song as an outspoken "fuck you" to then President George W. Bush. In 2008 the U.S. saw the beginning of a new presidency reigning in the Obama administration. Obama ran on a platform to pull the troops out of Iraq. Echoing the sentiments of Americans who desired to see the troops come home by pushing a campaign slogan of "Change." The country gravitated towards anything different from a presidency that resembled the George W. Bush administration. Many have speculated that the war was motivated by oil so no wonder lyrics like "Hear the drum pounding out of time Another protester has crossed the line (hey!) To find, the money's on the other side" went on to garner Green Day a platinum selling single and number one song on the Billboard Mainstream rock and alternative charts.
Be sure to watch our video to get an in-depth view on 5 songs that changed America!