Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The Classics

I just returned from a wonderful concert by Jenny (Detra) and the Detranators, who are based in Rome, GA and are rapidly becoming the best cover band of classic rock ’n roll in the South. The performance inspired me with a few other experts to figure out the five best rock ’n roll acts of all time. There are a lot of complicated factors that go into the decision-making process, but one of them is a long and consistently popular career. Here they are, in no particular order: The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Band, Van Morrison, Bruce Springsteen. In each case, there was a conservative factor involved in the selection--the artists’ choice of artistic truth over ideological trendiness. The case is weakest with repect to the recent Peter Seeger-loving Springsteen. But he still deserves the lifetime achievement award. Can this kind of popular music ever be called conservative?
Is it possible to be politically liberal--even stupidly liberal or loony Marxist--and still be aesthetically conservative? And of course, any such list is meant to provoke and not really to be definitive. Believe me, I know this is weekend fluff, and this thread must die before Monday morning.

Discussions - 38 Comments

A topic well worth discussing (and, no doubt, debating). I agree that the criterion you articulated - or one of your fellow (?) experts - is necessary; whether it’s sufficient, I’m not sure.
But on that criterion, Van Morrison certain, absolutely, no doubt about it, qualifies with five stars. (And to help him avoid such trendiness, he started his own record company, Caledonia Records: great name!) One additional "conservative" criterion that he adheres to comes to mind: he always pays tribute to his predecessors (e.g., Muddy Waters, Simon Bichet, and others) and his "formative influences." He may be the only great (and pretty popular, with ebbs and flows in the states - we need to acknowledge his European fans (his current, or most recent, girlfriend is Danish), though, to get a full picture) - anyway, he may be the only great popular artist who wrote and sang a song - "Down at the Kingdom Hall" - that talked up Jehovah’s Witnesses. (He was born and raised one. He’s long left JW, for sure; he’s more of a "seeker," but along the Yeats, not trendy New Age, sort. He’s also had a few mystical experiences in his life, mainly very early on. A bit like C. S. Lewis’s in "Surprised by Joy" (a Wordsworth poem, by the way).

I’d say his deepest theme is that we are incarnate spirits, he’s what I call "a spiritual sensualist" a la Donne (and, to a lesser extent, Hopkins).

Can’t wait to hear Carl Scott weigh in on this; he knows what he’s talking about.

"Sidney" Bichet (or "Bechet")

eagles? van morrison? please!!!!

The Eagles: They’re ain’t much there and they wouldn’t make my top 100 list. The only line of theirs I like is something like "it’s a girl, my lord, in a flatbed Ford..."

Paul: Very eloquent on Van Morrison the seeker

Someone wrote me privately on U2. Let me say that I perversely admire Bono, but he doesn’t have that much real musical talent. And you’d think Irish guys could come up with more genuinely memorable melodies. They do have class, staying power, and are not that ideological.

"... slowing down to take a look at ME." is the rest of the line, Peter.
Yeah, the Eagles don’t make the top 50, for sure, but they do have lots of songs that I like when they come on the radio, often about the charms, seductions, evils, and crashes of hard-living.

I don’t like U2 at all, but I recognize that that is me, nothing more. I have noticed that lots of devoted Evangelical Christian women of a certain age LOVE Bono, in part because of his truly impressive AIDS work, but I suspect that they also like his fidelity and his hair, chin, and sunglasses. U2 has remained "relevant" and "vital" for a long time, which is to their credit.

Musical talent is kind of missing the point. Rock and Roll is an aesthetic, one which frequently deliberately chooses the course over the refined. Most of the rock music I find compelling - 70’s new wave and punk rock - requires cleverness in abundance, but slightly above average talent will do. It is 20th C folk music - and like folk music, anyone can grasp the rudiments and with some dedication write reasonably good material. (That doesn’t make them Ralph Stanley, mind....) The rock has endured because of its power, not its prowess. That is why pseudo-classical rock music like Yes and the excerable ELP fail BOTH as rock music and as faux classical music.

They are not my favorite band, by far, but the greatest rock outfit of all time is AC/DC. Consider: insanely catchy songs which charted frequently in the 70’s and 80’s; obvious roots in the blues - even at their heaviest they play so far behind the beat it is almost wrong; and their music is raw power to the point of self-parody. I have actually laughed out loud at the intro to "Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution" because in its hyper-hetero rockzilla way it is as camp as a broadway musical. They have used artilery for instruments, their lyrics could be written by naughty fifth graders, and their performances are as subtle as an air raid. Despite the fact that Mutt Lange produced "Back in Black," most of their albums could be mixed and mastered in 10 minutes by a child. And yet, start a band and try to write or playing anything that sounds like that. The whole lumbering riffenstein is much larger than its parts. AC/DC are the epitome of rock.

This presents a challenge to those who would like rock to be conservative in any way. Rock is at least subversive, at most it is a libidinous he-monster smashing the furniture and upsetting the cake of tradition. National Review can make all the lists they want of "conservative songs," 90% of that list consisted of feats of interpretation that would make Paul DeMan blush. Rock and roll goes just fine with libertarianism, but there is nothing conservative about it. To ask otherwise is to insist that a hammer can be a baton. If you want to find "the permanent things" in popular music look to Roots Reggae, Country, or Bluegrass. I love all of those forms, and listen to more Bach than anything; I am a fan of the permanent things - but that ain’t what rock is about.

My favorite rock bands, with albums, regardless of ideology:


The Clash - for the mixing of Reggae, jazz, punk, classic rock on London Calling


70’s David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust - creepy and camper than a row of pink tents - at the same time!


Velvet Underground - the anti-hippies, reminded art students and outcasts everywhere that tunes and atmosphere are way more important than solos and 12 minute jams. Waaaay more honest about the 60’s than that flower power crap.


Radiohead - Ok Computer


The Cars - classic debut record, catchier than plague, totally under-rated.

I always assumed that the song that made Conservatives most proud was the "Imperial March" from Star Wars.

Abbie, you’re not playing nice, and you painting with way too broad a brush. As a matter of fact, some/many of the harshest critics of Bush Administration policy are ... conservatives.
Just tell us what you favorite groups and albums are.

wm--a fine and nuanced answer that makes me feel old. I do think you abstract from actual musical excellence too much.

Probably a fair criticism -chalk it up to 6 years of playing punk rock

I enjoy the usual "classic rock", zepplin, CSN&Y, etc.. Lately though I have been listening to The Shins, Neko Case, M.I.A., Iron and Wine, and Rocky Votolato. I am also a big fan of Bob Marley -- in 2006 its definitely time to "chant down Babylon"!

Thanks, Paul. And of course my first peice of advice is to read Martha Bayles’ Hole in Our Soul. The most glaring ommision from NR’s list of best conservative rock bands (actually, songs) was the Modern Lovers, best known for their "Roadrunner" which you hear briefly in the great movie School of Rock. WM ought to LOVE their sound if he likes both the VU and the Cars. Lawler will love the lyrics if he can get by the singer’s voice (Dylan-quality) as it’s all about "being at home with one’s homelessness." Sample lyric for a taste:

Well the modern world’s not so bad

It’s not like the students say

In fact I’d be in heaven

if you’d share the modern world with me.

CHORUS: And be in love with the U.S.A.,

and be in love with the modern world,

so put down your cigarette,

and SHARE the modern world, with me.

It’s 1971, and the Modern Lovers are singing to audiences about loving the U.S.A, being drug-free, and how they don’t want a girl to "ball," but "Someone I Care About." And singing to a distinctly unmellow combination of Velvet Underground dissonance and rock and roll. As 1001 annoying rock critics say, "How punk rock is THAT?" But the Lovers were a glimpse at what a real rock rebellion, one that had the audacity to take on the 60s counter-culture, would look like.

Now that I’ve introduced my very favorite, I should address the business at hand. I will limit myself in two ways that will annoy many. 1) ROCK ain’t rock and roll, so I won’t bother to go into my favorites there, which do include Bowie and U2. The basic dividing line occurs around ’66/’67 after which by and large rock and roll morphed into rock, (Hard or Arty), usually for the worse. The reason artists like Dylan and Morrison are so good is they stayed more in the rootsier side of things, and thus straddle the distinction. A lot of 70s classic rock does to some degree, which is why even Gen Xers like myself admit it is sounding better with age. 2) It’s ultimately unfair to pit the black R+B artists and the Southern whites against everybody else in the rock and roll sweepstakes--they were, simply, waayy better. Perkins, Chenier, Jordan, Doggett, Cooke, Jackson, Diddley, Presley, Maddox, Hopkins, Lewis, Berry, Charles, Vincent, Brown, Brown, Brown, Waters, McPhatter, Otis, Orbison, I mean one could go on and on and on.

Thus, I will list a few bands from the 50s 60s 70s that were not in the thick of the Southern/Afro-American stew, that is, bands that had to "choose their roots" to some extent. I concede the Beatles, Morrison, Dylan/Band,and despite Mick, one must give the Stones and the Doors their props. Springsteen’s okay, B+ for effort, the Eagles aren’t, F for inflicting "Hotel California" on an unsuspecting world. For lesser knowns, I’ll indicate the best album. One will immediately see I am forced by sheer artistic excellence to cheat on the longlevity standard. 1) The Modern Lovers--first and only album by the original band, which is actually a set of demos released in ’76, as the Modern Lovers were too purist to let a final album get produced before they broke up.

2) The Yardbirds--since they spawned Cream, Led Zep, and others, the longlevity issue is mute! 3) CCR 4)Bobby Fuller Four--the Rhino best of. "I fought the law" is the mere tip of a Buddy Holly-drenched iceberg. And if Bobby hadn’t been mysteriously killed in ’67, they would have gone on to RULE, so again the longlevity requirement is nullified! 5) The Ramones--yeah, a primitivist step or two backwards, but talk about consistency! I admit this choice is entirely sentimental.

Okay, now I have to go eat...this longlevity requirement is killing me...what I am supposed to do with Love, the Pretty Things, the Beach Boys, the Byrds, the Specials, the Milkshakes, and so on? Maybe more later...

Favorite lyrics of all time:

My analyst told me thay I was right out of my head

But I said dear doctor I think that it’s you instead

Because I have got a thing that’s unique and new

To prove that I’ll have the last laugh on you

’Cause instead of one head

I got two

And you know two heads are better than one.

Carl

I love the Modern Lovers and Jonathon Richman- and the Talking Heads, where Jerry Harrison landed next!

"so let’s rock a rock a rock a nonstop tonight

uh huh at the government center

gotta make the secretaries feel better

while they put stamps on all those letters"

Abbie,
I like The Shins, and sometimes even The Flaming Lips, which name I love. I also like Belle and Sebastian’s latest, very much. Also, I listen to The Decembrists, though less enthusiastically. My kids get me to listen to their music, and sometimes it is really good. I’ll see what they say about your other options. They know my taste.

It was a shock when all of my sons went through a period of liking the "music of my life" which includes some of the bands you guys mention, above. My recently 17 year old was listening to Harry Nielsen this evening, which did not displease me at all.

More random musings.

Although I’m not as familiar with the full body of work some of these as I ought to be to judge, the Kinks, the Jam/Style Council, Los Lobos, and Stevie Ray Vaughn are probably up there in staying power/quality/still having a connection to rock and roll. The artists besides the rock ones with real staying power seem to be the ones that drift into or came out of country/folk/the singer-songwriter tradition: i.e., Emmylou Harris, Johnny Cash, Lyle Lovett, Elvis Costello, and so on.

I leave the Who off of my list simply because their sound became so damn bombastically ROCK. Perhaps the Grateful Dead also belong, but weak singing, indulgent solos, and a certain unbearable hippie smugness ruin things for me. I unwillingly concede to WM that ACDC probably is the epitome of a rock and roll band, or at least, what a 60s/70s libertine ROCK fan thinks rock and roll oughta be. To their credit, however, they could still move the dance floor at a time when most their hard rock peers were forgetting how to. The alternative parallel there might be the Cramps--both they and ACDC were bands that believed that the HEART of rock and roll was "Foxy Lady" style sexuality, but despite what Bloom says, that ain’t necessarily so.

Finally, Abbie H., I thought your joke was pretty funny...and I’m happy to take the Holst-inspired "Imperial Theme", so long as you liberals get the appropriate 70s counter-point, which would have to be "Feelings." Or, fine, you can have slightly less drecky dreck like "Imagine" if you want.

You know, the more I think about it, wm’s first post is really, really good. I like his "rock (esp. punkish rock) as folk music for rootless and thus amusical moderns" idea quite a bit.

thanks carl!

Good to see The Jam in the list. Paul Weller initially announced he was supporting Thatcher, but he got so much misery for it that he became a man of the left. The Jam’s "All Mod Cons" is a really great album, and Eton Rifles is one of the great 70’s singles.

After all this erudition (and Carl shoule write a book), the original list as originally defined holds up, with only the Kinks, Elvis Costello, and the Rolling Stones really being contenders. I do have a soft spot for the Ramones, but that because I do have a soft spot. Their gimmick was having no musical talent at all. The Beach Boys or Brian Wilson certainly had talent, but they’re not r ’n r in this narrow sense. Carl is right to criticize the lyrical and artistic laziness generally of the Grateful Today, who were around for a very long time and are, after all, fun to listen to. The Modern Lovers and their clever lyrics and all the other groups etc. mentioned obviously fail the longevity and popularity tests. The genre problem that excludes the Beach Boys probably also excludes Joni Mitchell, whom you all were too male-centric to mention. I am ignorant of much that was mentioned, of course, including Kate and her Flaming Lips.

Grateful Today shoud be Grateful Dead in the previous post.

And why not CSN and Y an email asked? They didn’t remain CSN and Y long enough, and their overall output of excellence is too meager. Besides, N. Young has too often been and remains a politically correct jerk. They’re back today, though, and allegedly, according to the fans who saw them in Atlanta, in good musical form, although physically repulsive. The one fact in all the messages that defies human understanding: Kate’s kid listening to Harry Nielsen today. And finally the Yardbirds thru Cream if not Zepplin is a contender I could endorse. And what about the Who??

I enjoy overhearing people talk about things they know and are passionate about.

If Dan Mahoney comes on this link, he’ll talk up Joni Mitchell (and rightly so). She’s got artistic integrity (and celestial talent), for sure, she’s got staying power; she misses the "popularity" criterion, though, but that was her choice (and the populus’s failings).

I, too, like Modern Lovers.

Carl, thanks for including Stevie Ray (Guitar god) Vaugh.

Another nominee from Athens, GA this morning: REM. Talented, thoughtful--sometimes funny, sometimes whiny-- lyrics, not so politically correct, popular, lots of staying power. Just not that great and only ambiguously "rock" though. Maybe somebody could start a new category that would include Stevie Ray and Joni, both of whom are really great.

Well, between mine and Peter’s and Will’s categories, things are getting confused,as musical categories are apt to. If the category is rock and roll from the Beatles onward, plus rock, then I don’t see how U2, Bowie, or R.E.M can be kept off the list, or for that matter the bastards that foisted metal on us, Led Zep. And if the category is pop music more generally, then we have to include the country, soul, reggae and other artists in the mix. U2, REM, and Led Zep are to my way of thinking rock artists first and foremost, who then push things toward rock and roll and popular song from time to time.

But in any case Peter, you must admit CCR to your list.

I have to admit that Led Zeppelin is a very guilty pleasure of mine.

Carl is right: The category is necessarily fuzzy and becomes a ya’ know it when ya’ hear it thing. Paul and I gave our opinions on U2, and we both said, I think, that we just didn’t enjoy listening to them that much. But we could be wrong. As a child of the sixties, I have a certain natural and nromal revulsion for what Zepplin gave us: The metal world popularized or commodified by the funny movie WAYNE’S WORLD (which leads to the issue of the strange greatness of QUEEN). Bowie doesn’t have that many great songs and is, for me, more a symbol than an actual artist. I do like REM, of course, and my daughter has actually spent time with them (not as an almost famous groupie or anything like that!). The only argument against them is whether they really stand up to the worthies I put on the original list. (In evaluating REM, consider that their excellence in every way raised the tone of the bourgeois bohemian university town Athens, GA [and saved those good people from being defined by the B-52s], whereas the David Matthews’Band has not had, in my view, the same salutary influence on Charlottesville, VA. But maybe the new Charlottesvillian Carl can correct me on that].

I want to elevate the conversation ( - not that I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed the expression of personal preferences and favorites!!! - ), by first lowering it. Allan Bloom famously said ( - he never just "said" anything, choose a more vivid and forceful verb, Paul! - ) that rock n’ roll had three components: it contained the sexual beat, which meant that it was anti-authoritarian (e.g., anti-parents, anti-moral traditions) - because the authorities said: Don’t fornicate! - and finally, to lend a patina of "morality" or moralism to the antinomian, hedonistic basic strata: shallow cosmopolitan humanitarianism ("We are the world," most things by Sting - that was a barb, not intended as a serious musicological statement). It’s representative emblem was Bass-lipped Mick Jagger "tarting it up"; its telos or "effectual truth": the youngster pleasuring himself as he listens on the head-phones.

So, you experts - Carl; Will; Kate - why’s Bloom wrong?

BTW: I’m just back from Mass and was going to ask to start a "best church hymns" chain, but I thought the change would be WAY TOO abrupt.

Paul,


I guess the only problem I see with Johnson’s idea is that if you accept his somewhat sweeping initial premise, that 4/4 slightly behind the beat is exclusively sexual, then there is plenty of folk music which is going to have to fall under the same category. Country? Western Swing? I did not think of Slavic folk music as lacivious, but perhaps I should. Naughty Slovenians!

Furthermore, when the Allman Brothers played in 11, or when Radiohead write in 6/8 or 5/4, does that remove the music from the realm of rock? Neuter it? Is Rammstein’s Teutonic 4/4 more sexy, or Charlie Watts laying behind the beat? Does this criterion make Metallica mental rapists? I am not just needling you, I ask myself these same questions. Were the lyrics I wrote in my years as a musician skipping like a stone over the deep river of orgy-beat? I won’t kid you - I asked myself that.

I toured very briefly with a hugely popular band (out of their kindness, not out of anything I could do for them), and standing mid-crowd next to their engineer I thought to myself, "If Lead Singer said: "Hello Missouri! Columbia must be free of Jews!" these idiots out here would just cheer their heads off. He wouldn’t, he was a lovely guy, but he could say or sing anything and be met with near total approval. Yikes." I shudder to this day.

As far as your hymn digression goes, I will give you this. I don’t want anything that sounds like pop music of any kind within a mile of me either at Anglican Mass or at the Protestant services I visit. I want absolutely no part of that - rock in nearly any of its forms does a miserable job ascertaining the sacred other. If I see so much as an accoustic guitar on the rostrum, unless Vivaldi’s in the mass bulletin I begin an entire-soul cringe that usually lasts for hours after the service ends. Perhaps this implicitly proves your point?

Everyone who cares about music should read Bloom’s great chapter in Closing, and the relevant parts of his intro/commentary on the Republic. But here are a few reasons Bloom is wrong.

1) Ray Charles’ "I Got A Woman" is a lyrical reworking of an older black gospel song called "I Got A Savior." Countless parallel examples. So since the Pentecostalism-infused genre of black gospel got to this "beat" first, is it an inherently sexual beat? Were all those black church-goers confused or repressed? Or did another scene find another use for the same beat/singing techniques?

2) The connection between counter-cultural political moralism and pubescent rock-inspired sexuality is not convincingly established by Bloom. Part of why U2 could project a convincing voice of left-ish moralism was a religiosity that regarded hedonism as something to struggle against, not to celebrate.

3) U2 were part of a punk/alternative willingness to question Boomer counter-cultural morality, that faded over time, but which can be heard from the VU and the Mod Lovers, through the Pistols’ "Bodies," to the straight-edge punks, and in the flirtations with white nationalism. I mention this only to confirm wm’s point that once established, rock became a kind of folk/performance-art music of the middling classes that could be used to make all sorts of simplistic statements, left or right or what-have-you.

4)Most fundamentally, a central reason the older tradition of rock and roll/rhythmn and blues (basically the same thing) divergently morphed into hard rock and disco was because increasing numbers of its practioners and fans had convinced themselves that it always was sexually hedonistic at heart, and ought to be more so. That is, part of what ruined rock and roll were people agreeing with Bloom about that primitivist sexual beat but thinking it was a good thing. And yet, in retrospect it is clear that many of the musicians who felt this way let go of the musical skills/restraints necessary for the potency of the original beat, the one they were sure was so sexual. That is, Liberationist sexuality cannot mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing, and it doesn’t.

Many concessions I could make to Bloom at this point, but I have work to do.

Thanks for responding. While I can point to some (a lot?) of rock (n’ roll) songs that fit Bloom’s descriptions, infinitely more don’t. I just put Bloom’s analysis-framework out there, to hear what the experts (good sense of the term, Peter) know and think.

As for church music, what you said warmed my heart.

I’m hopeing (against precious little hope) that Benedict XVI’s obvious dissatisfaction with contemporary Catholic liturgy will - somehow - improve things; at least for my brother’s kids!

What you said about the lead singer (at Columbia, Missouri, of all places: both my parents went to the University of Missouri) rang true. Plato’s Ion explores that phenomenon a bit.

wm’s genuinely expert commentary should put Bloom to rest. it’s not true, of course, it’s impossible to express love, death, and anger through the medium of rock. and it’s absolutely incredible to me that many young men (or women) have ever gratified themselves while being inspired by listening to mick jagger.

on church music: some good comments, but the NLT adheres to the separation of blog and state, to some extent if not strictly. in other words: there are other blogs for catholics’ whining about their liturgy having become an aesthetic wasteland.

so i suggest: the place of sacred music or "spirituals" in the broadest sense in american "political culture." that would lead us to a discussion of country music: which never has recognized the distinction between church and song or country and song. and the various related forms of music given us by African-Americans... and finally, the spiritual music of our immigrants...

i think i meant blog and church, not blog and state: maybe we shouldn’t have a discussion that’s too sectarian.

"Were the lyrics I wrote in my years as a musician skipping like a stone over the deep river of orgy-beat?" WM writes perhaps the greatest NLT sentence ever.

I"m actually working on both my taxes and Pangle this afternoon (does anyone have any opinion on his Genesis book?), so I can check this from time to time.
Carl, once again, has shown his musical knowledge and philosophic insight. Three points:
1. I didn’t mean to diss Bloom (as much as I seemed to).
2. The music in black and Pentecostal churches IS erotic. They’re ON FIRE for Jesus. But that doesn’t mean that they want to have sex with Jesus. Eros is polymorphous, as Bloom would be the first to explain to us (although not with reference to Christianity). We white orthodox folks may be a bit weak on the erotic side of the longing connected with the Holy Spirit, and so we don’t experience "Negro Spirituals" as either erotic or as Spirituals. We’re rarely ON FIRE. (Still, there are Pentecostal orthodox Catholics, although their music stinks. But I digress.) The great Pope Benedict XVI helped straighten us out by obliterating the eros-agape distinction in his great enclyclical God is love. (Come to Kingston Georgia some day and hear the Rockabilly music in the snake handlers’ church: Those strange but real Christians really rouse themselves up. But I just get scared and can’t take my eyes off the snakes.)
3. Carl makes the nice, neo-Tocquevillian point that Bloom’s analysis that popular music is nothing more than the mechanical beat of animal rutting is more true now than when he wrote it. That’s more evidence still of the progress of individualism or the destruction of the erotic imagination.
Again--basically some more blathering, but a welcome respite from the banal. Especially with Tiger having such a boringly huge lead in the PGA.

I know it is Monday Morning... and I am hardly an expert... In fact I feel like the spectator in the wine tasting event described by David Hume...to me it is just wine...to one expert it tastes like metal to another it tastes of leather, and perhaps when the keg is emptied a leather throng with a key attached will be found to vindicate our experts. But Aesthetics seems to me to depend upon the taster...and following the experts seems to be rather pointless, at best it is an invitation to pay more for wine than taste buds corroded by Copenhagen can detect, at worst it is an invitation to praise the emporer for his clothes. If it is about taste it is about what you can taste, and the field artillery hasn’t done much for what I can hear either...and in this regard I say "do what you do!" (Dr. Pepper) and If I can’t have a Merlot with my beer battered fish I will have a Dr. Pepper please! I am not surprised that Hotel California received an F...perhaps Desperado earns a D. I list the Eagles, Aerosmith, Counting Crows and Green Day with Johnny Cash rounding out the top 5...Forget the fact that this ignores catagories. I also like Billy Joel’s Piano Man and after I get the change from my 2.50 Bud light I usually play that song. And Bud Light will be drunk with pleasure when Micro-breweries are entirely forgotten.

Very cool thread. First, I am surprised Pink Floyd wasn’t mentioned by anyone, especially considering the original post wondering if rock music can have a liberal message but still be beautiful in the traditional sense. I think Pink Floyd is a prime example of this, especially in their movie The Wall (a rock opera, if you will). Despite the liberal message, it’s an attempt to touch on the human condition through music, and I think they do so successfully on some of the many themes they address.

I hate to admite it, but I like Pink Floyd. It is a rock cliche, but I really like Dark Side of the Moon. "Time" has lyrics I wish I wrote.

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