Art, in all of its forms, has long sought to challenge the existing quo. Music has been used to break down barriers and challenge the status quo. As much as guitars and hard liquor, challenging antiquated aspects of society goes hand-in-hand with rock n’ roll. We look at the 10 Rock Songs With Lyrics That Didn’t Age Well:
‘Sick Again’-Led Zeppelin
Bob Spitz, the author of Led Zeppelin, hoped to interview Robert Plant for his book. It appeared to be the case, but again the Metoo movement erupted, and the band became less eager to reveal their secrets. Although Jimmy Page’s affairs with younger ladies have been documented, Plant may also have some skeletons in his closet. Take, for example, the exhibit ‘Sick Again,’ which is strengthened by the appearance of a groupie who has been following the band since she was “13” and is counting down the days until she turns the hallowed “16.”
‘You’re All I Need’- Mötley Crüe
Mötley Crüe have a history of stirring up controversy, but there’s something a bit too cruel about ‘You’re All I Need,’ which is sure to outrage femicide-averse fans. Nikki Sixx, the bassist, subsequently revealed that the song was inspired by true real-life impulses, expressing a desire to communicate with his lover through song. “I took the cassette over to her apartment, and I didn’t say anything. I just had a little cassette player, and I just played it for her, and she started crying, and I walked out the door,” he admitted to Rolling Stone. “I was like, ‘Well now, that’s that.’”
‘One In A Million’- Guns N’ Roses
Axl Rose, like Nicky Wire, enjoys teasing his audience, but this song made his comrades uneasy. The song contains two slurs, one directed towards members of the Black community and the other at LGBTQ+ people. The slurs will not be printed, but you may always listen to the track to hear them if you choose.
Because of the song’s crude nature, it is seldom heard on the radio these days. Today, it’s unlikely that a rock singer would release a song created in this manner, but the song has a crisp feel to it, keeping the reality and views of the story in mind. The Killers did write ‘Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine,’ which is frequently heard in performances, so who knows?
‘Lemon Incest’- Serge and Charlotte Gainsbourg
The video also portrays the two vocalists in bed together, with Serge’s nude top exposed to the public, as if the title wasn’t explicit enough. Charlotte was aware that the song was tinged with fury, but she has now reclaimed the tune, declaring, “It’s my song too.”
‘Brown Sugar’- The Rolling Stones
This is a difficult one. The song is about a white enslaver raping an oppressed Black person, despite the cheery riff and soaring vocal line. The song no longer feels suitable in the light of Black Lives Matter and a wider cultural enlightenment among many of the people.
‘Family Tree’- Megadeth
Megadeth are no strangers to controversy, whether it’s over Dave Mustaine’s harsher vocal delivery or the slew of band members who have come and gone. But they do have a drive to write and perform to their hearts’ delight, which explains why they’ve dabbled with such unusual topics as rape and incest in the same way they’ve dabbled in love and lust. Mustaine’s character encourages his prey not to feel ashamed because they’re “part of the family” in this song.
‘Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon’- Neil Diamond
Take the phrase, “Girl, you’ll be a woman soon; Soon, you’ll need a man…,” which was composed with one seductive aspect in sight. Sex is woven into the lyrics, and there are references to the day when a woman will be old enough to engage in sex at every turn. When it was re-recorded in the 1990s, it was difficult to dismiss it as a “tune of its time.”
‘Night Shift’- Siouxsie and The Banshees
Rape, incest, and murder have all been outlined, but necrophilia has yet to be discussed. Siouxsie Sioux has arrived to add that particular filthy endeavor to the rising list of filthy endeavors. You are not alone if you feel like taking a cold shower after reading this list. The song also includes several “fuck’s,” which aren’t hollow metaphors, but the invective rising through the singer’s mangled speech. It’s a ferocious performance set to a slew of sparkly guitars.
‘Blurred Lines’- Robin Thicke
The line “I know you want it” seems dubious, because unlike Dave Mustaine, Robin Thicke lacks the humility to confess that his intentions aren’t entirely pure. Regardless of the catchy center hook, the song is virtually a carbon copy of a Marvin Gaye song.