Tangent Sunset

The History of Conscious Music by Alex Cosper

Ethic In Transition


An entertaining song called "The Devil Went Down To Georgia" by The Charlie Daniels Band told the story about a young fiddle player who challenged the devil to a musical duel. It was a funny way to close out the seventies, a decade that seemed to embrace a fear of the devil, which had been personified in the film The Exorcist earlier in the decade. And with Bob Dylan falling out of spokesmanship for his generation while trying to switch to gospel with "Gotta Serve Somebody" in which he painted a god versus devil dilemma, there seemed to be a push back to traditional religion even by rock icons. Christian imagery had actually appeared in rock since early seventies rock operas like Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell. George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord," Norman Greenbaum's "Spirit In The Sky" and Bob Dylan's "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" in the early seventies were evidence that rock was trying to find religion. But by the late seventies rock critics were talking more about who the next Bob Dylan would be than about Bob Dylan.

Continue to "Dylan Revisited"