Tangent Sunset

The History of Conscious Music by Alex Cosper

Turmoil, Freedom and Adventure


By the end of the sixties America had become divided over the Vietnam War. As popularity for the war kept sinking, songs about peace became anthems. Some of the protest and peace songs of the era included "Revolution" by The Beatles, "San Francisco" by Scott McKenzie, "Fortunate Son" by Creedence Clearwater Revival and "For What It's Worth" by Buffalo Springfield. By the early seventies, the anti-war crowd was becoming the majority, as the call for peace was echoed in songs like "War" by Edwin Starr and "What's Goin' On" by Marvin Gaye.

In 1971 The Who had one of their biggest album rock hits with "Won't Get Fooled Again," which celebrated revolution only to feel deceived by a new regime that was no different than the regime it conquered. Perhaps the most intriguing song that became an anthem of the peace movement was John Lennon's "Imagine" in 1971. This stunning ballad said more in three minutes than what most artists have said throughout their entire careers. "Imagine" painted a peaceful, sharing world without boundaries.

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