Many misunderstood political songs have been taken to be calls to rebellion or patriotic chest-beaters – a far cry from the artists’ original intentions.
Whether fighting for the legalisation of cannabis or battling dark forces in politics, the best reggae protest songs spoke to their times yet continue to resonate today.
With the Black Forum label, Motown founder Berry Gordy created a place where African-American spoken-word artists could make their voices heard.
As political unrest swept the world in 1968, Stax Records faced a tumultuous year saved only by the legendary label’s own soul power.
A seismic career shift and a bold new artistic direction brought an indelible classic.
Mixing some of their most appealing songs with baffling experimental works, ‘Dazzle Ships’ found OMD creating a classic that took years to be understood.
Unafraid to speak up against injustice, the best protest songs take on the issues of their day, but transcend their eras to speak to future generations.
Sex Pistols’ incendiary debut album, ‘Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols’, has lost none of its fury, nor its ability to inspire.
Hip-hop has always been politically charged, but with racial and social divisions becoming ever more fractured, conscious hip-hop is making a return.
Reflecting and commenting on the world around them, the most gifted and charismatic MCs have taken the politics of hip-hop into the mainstream.
Staged for causes as disparate as famine relief, racism and AIDS awareness, the biggest benefit concerts have been unforgettable global events.
Ken Burns’ compelling documentary, ‘The Vietnam War’ explores one of the darkest hours in US history and the music that came out of it.
Were the censors right? These banned songs caused controversy at the time, but they ultimately beat the authorities, earning their place in music history.
A song doesn’t have to have a message in order to change society. Race relations, gender equality and identity politics have all been shaped by music.
Seeking to rid music of offensive content, Tipper Gore’s Parents Music Resource Center used the Filthy Fifteen to bring their cause to the Senate.