.. groups continued to produce songs that highly promoted the idea of peace and joy throughout the world. A common song for peace that was found in the times was “I’d Like to Teach the World To Sing (In Perfect Harmony)” by The New Seekers. The songs lyrics ring of the themes love and peace. “I’d like to build the world a home, and furnish it with love,” is an example of the topic and theme the song was trying to portray. “And hear them echo through the hills “Ah, peace throughout the land,” is a direct relation to The New Seekers feelings of the rising war scene in Vietnam.
As the theme of peace became so obvious throughout the nation many other groups also composed songs that dealt with the war and need for peace. The Supremes’, “Stoned Love” tries to lighten up the darken scene by telling believers that love will bring peace and happiness. This love and peace is seen through the lyrics, “I wanna tell ya of a great love, it will surely lighten up darkened worlds .. A love for each other will bring fighting to an end.” As always, great artists lifted the spirits and stretched the imagination of the nation’s music lovers. The 1950s musical “Grease” opens on Broadway, setting the tone for a nostalgia craze that will sweep the nation.
With this tone set other forms of music followed such as a New York radio station WCBS-FM is the first to begin playing oldies. As these events went on the cry of many Americans was to return to normal or the “old days” before the war. At this point of time wives and families simply wanted their soldiers back at home. Another example of nostalgia was a chronicle of rock history; “American Pie” by Don McLean is released and is the top single of 1972. During the times of such dalemias as the Vietnam war, which brought about serious topics and modes in music there was also brighter forms of expression.
The musical Hair ends its Broadway run after 1742 performances in the year 1972 and the song “Hair” is representative of the current culture. The lyrics speak of, “Gimme head with hair, long beautiful hair .. flow it, show it long as God can grow it,” gives a good description of the current fashion feelings and sort of pokes fun of the fashionably popular long hair. Music of the 1970’s reached a height of creativity, influence, and range even as it united youthful audiences with it social, political, and cultural relevance. The Vietnam conflict was still a major issue among the states.
War brought casualties and many missing persons including the POW’s. On February 12th of 1973, the first American POW’s were released from Vietnam and arrived at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines. With sympathy and thoughts for these men throughout the nation music paid a very special tribute to them through the song, “Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree” by Tony Orlando and Dawn. This song is a man telling of his events in first person and how he is “comin’ home.” The lines “I’ve done my time, It’s been three long years,” describe how he has been a Prisoner of war in Vietnam and is now being set free. The rest of the song sees him facing the question if his love is going to put a yellow ribbon the oak tree.
A yellow ribbon was representative of a POW, which he had been for the last three years. This song touched many hearts of those who not only dealt with POW’s but also to the entire country grieving from the terrible war. This song went on to become the number one hit of 1973 and hold major significance to those in Vietnam. Obtaining much of the common thought was Vietnam, but other issues such as women rights still lingered around the seen of 1973. In landmark Roe v. Wade decision, Supreme Court overturned all state laws that deny or restrict a woman’s right to obtain an abortion.
This case was highly significant for woman rights of the time and also brought more recognition to the protests and messages that had been continued throughout the decade through rallies and music. After years of agony and national uproar American finally makes a stand on the fighting that has overtaking the concern of the nation. An agreement is signed in Paris to stop fighting in Vietnam. This announcement brings tremendous joy and relief throughout the nation. Music about the Vietnam War and war in general begin to slow down, but don’t completely cease.
As the decade rolled on, the political and social situations that had consumed peoples lives and thoughts took a dramatic change. Heated issues such as gay and women rights and national concern for the soldiers and the people of Vietnam, took a backseat and the nation began to experience a completely different mindset both socially and musically. Many different types of music were beginning to be created that had a variety of orgins and topics. With the problems of Vietnam, Watergate, and the economy still trying to hold down the nation, disco was a dance escape that became the craze of the late seventies. Disco was first made popular the cities at black, Latino, and gay clubs. Disco helped people release their fantasies and was quick to catch on with its up-tempo beat and sexual sound.
The primary message of disco was sex with its flashy lights and a hot crowded dance floor. In 1974 black artist began the commercial success with hits such as “Rock the Boat” and the hit “The Hustle” by Van McCoy, which seemed to become a usual at disco clubs across the county. Disco become so popular that by 1978 thirty-six million adults had invaded twenty-thousand disco clubs across the nation. However disco was not geared for live performers so not many real disco superstars were created. However one such superstar is Donna Summer who blazed the charts in 1976 with the hit “Love to Love You Baby” and had a unique personal appearance that fit the dance floor. Hit after hit were being created and it seemed as though everyone was jumping aboard the train of disco. Proof of this is that nearly two-hundred radio stations had changed their format and now played continuous disco. Disco was “hot” and brought joy to people which made it even “hotter” during these times.
The late 1970s offered something for nearly every taste. There were radio stations and music stores to please every type of listener. Heavy metal roack used dark images and stage theatrics to bring interest into the new type of music. This new wave of rock dealt with subjects matters of sex and violence. One of the most popular groups that was seen in this class of music was Kiss. Kiss called attention and became popular through eccentric effects such as explosives, police lights, rocket-firing guitars, and bizarre make-up.
The music scene was making a movement to a more flashy appearance rather than simply the music itself. This fit the culture that was stuck on the appearance of things and didn’t want to become too involved. Black music also made changes and saw new forms developed during the mid-seventies. The Black form of Relevance music was developed. The songs themes had to do with the current politics and society.
Most music of the mid 70s was in discontent of the times. Black Relevance appeared no different as it dealt with the concepts of war, poverty, and racism. The popular black artist Marvin Gaye released the single, “What’s Going On,” which showed his concern for the social and political climate of the time. Music Essays.