Tangent Sunset

The History of Conscious Music by Alex Cosper

Celebration of the Underdog


One of the most revealing movies of eighties culture was Revenge Of The Nerds. From the Elvis era up through the eighties there was a status barrier between "cool people" and "nerds." So there was huge pressure on youth to learn how to be cool and part of that education dealt with the rock and roll lifestyle of concerts, record buying and partying. The music scene clearly influenced the thinking of young people. But the cool/nerd high school paradigm began to crumble with the development of punk and new wave, which pulled for the underdog.

Huey Lewis noticed the levelling of the playing field with "Hip To Be Square," which was a follow-up to the pro-cool Sports album that celebrated the rock and roll lifestyle in "Heart Of Rock And Roll" and "I Want A New Drug." The band later addressed the love gone yuppie generation with a song about how love is better than money in "The Power Of Love" and a song that touched on world integration called "Perfect World." They seemed kind of nostalgic for the time, but their attempt to bring back the message of the sixties (characterized by the Beatles hit "All You Need Is Love") inevitably was overshadowed in the eighties by messages in songs like "Material Girl" by Madonna.

Continue to "A Call For Substance Over Style"