Tangent Sunset

The History of Conscious Music by Alex Cosper

A Call For Substance Over Style


Sting, influenced by jazz, ska and reggae, had been very vocal on issues raised in Police songs. "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da" explained how words can lose their meanings and manipulate minds at the same time. "Spirits In The Material World" tied such rhetoric to failure. Many of The Police's songs were critical of politicians and the military industrial complex as in "Bombs Away" and "Invisible Sun." The band's message was more favorable to an integrated world as articulated in "One World." Sting then went on to put out solo work that continued this theme in "Russians" and "History Will Teach Us Nothing." Sting also appeared on the 1985 Dire Straits hit "Money For Nothing," which made fun of MTV's focus on style over substance. Dire Straits had several other great world-conscious songs on the album Brothers In Arms such as the title track and "One World."

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