Used To Be Cool To Play These Songs, But Nowadays?
Saw a great sign on vacation: "Nothing Changes If Nothing Changes".
Well, times change. I'm not one to colorize what was originally in Black & White (it's not up to me to alter someone else's work). That doesn't mean, however, that we can't think twice or have a discussion about what some classic rock songs have to say. Let the squirming begin...
"Under My Thumb" by The Rolling Stones (1966) - It's so catchy that you gotta think Mick and Keith had their logo-tongues planted firmly-in-cheek, but the lines about controlling and molding a woman to do what you tell her to do make it occasionally difficult to explain to my two daughters why The Stones are truly friggin' great.
"Island Girl" by Elton John (1975) - He actually sings "Island girl/What you wanting with the white man's world", then Reg gives high fives to the gal that's "black as coal but she burn like a fire". It would be just fine to leave this little ditty off of future compilations.
"One In A Million" by Guns N' Roses (1988) - Axl fails to get us on board here with a really disturbing assessment of gays, blacks, and immigrants ("They come to our country and think they'll do as they please"). Thanks, Mr. William Bruce Rose, Jr. Here's a big bottle of Absinthe for you to split with Ted Nugent.
"Illegal Alien" by Genesis (1983) - Is it a serious attempt to point out the struggles of Mexicans searching for hope here in The Land Of The Free? Whatever message the band was trying to get across got totally blown up by the songs video, a rather dreary showcase of the lamest stereotypes (big mustaches, sombreros, mariachi bands, etc.)
Exceedingly high discomfort levels now exist for "Money For Nothing" by Dire Straits (1985) and Rod Stewart's "Tonight's The Night" (1976): it's hard to get behind either the use of that other "F" word or a moan-full ballad about underage sex.
Just stuff to think about. The times they are a-changin'.