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  • Punk or Metal?

    Back in the 1980's there was a split that took place among a lot of rock music fans.



    On one side you had the punk/new wavers and on the other side you had the heavy metal kids. This divide was pretty serious for a lot of people and it still exists to an extent, but I'm not sure if people under a certain age are even aware of it.



    If you are old enough to remember the 80's which side were you on?



    Were you listening to U2, R.E.M. and the Pixies?

    Or were you listening to Metallica, Guns and Roses and Bon Jovi?

    And why do you think?

  • #4






    Quote Originally Posted by Folder
    View Post

    Back in the 1980's there was a split that took place among a lot of rock music fans.



    On one side you had the punk/new wavers and on the other side you had the heavy metal kids. This divide was pretty serious for a lot of people and it still exists to an extent, but I'm not sure if people under a certain age are even aware of it.



    If you are old enough to remember the 80's which side were you on?



    Were you listening to U2, R.E.M. and the Pixies?

    Or were you listening to Metallica, Guns and Roses and Bon Jovi?

    And why do you think?




    Sorry, I just can't get my head around this. Metallica fit comfortably into the "metal" category but I have real trouble attempting to squeeze U2, REM, the Pixies, G&R and Bon Jovi into either of the two categories here.
    http://www.surrealisticpenguin.com

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    • #5






      Quote Originally Posted by Folder
      View Post

      Back in the 1980's there was a split that took place among a lot of rock music fans.



      On one side you had the punk/new wavers and on the other side you had the heavy metal kids. This divide was pretty serious for a lot of people and it still exists to an extent, but I'm not sure if people under a certain age are even aware of it.



      If you are old enough to remember the 80's which side were you on?



      Were you listening to U2, R.E.M. and the Pixies?

      Or were you listening to Metallica, Guns and Roses and Bon Jovi?

      And why do you think?




      Why didn't you mention any punk bands?



      The Pixies had a retro, outsider pop, lite-punk-influenced pop thing going on, I suppose (I ended up quite liking them -- although I was taken aback when I went with a friend to see them, because most of the audience seemed to be teenage girls -- who actually squealed and screamed when Frank Black came out, I'm not kidding) but U2 and R.E.M. were about as punk as Spanky and Our Gang.





      Me, I was an early fan of metal -- and bailed in the early middle 70s, for the most part. It started out kind of exciting, but settled into loadie cliches and bonehead lyrics and licks from bonehead bands. I cut my once-near-waist-length hair off in '73 and hung around waiting for something interesting to happen until '75 or so, keeping myself entertained with various outsider and prog bands. The first time I heard Patty Smith's first album (not punk, of course, but with its embrace of retro pop elements, hard edged guitars and artful treatment of very un-pop lyrical themes) I knew it was on.



      Now, of course, the music classed as punk and new wave in the second half of the 70s was very much different in intent and approach from the the rigid stylistic approach to punk that took hold during the mid-80s -- and, of course, 'new wave' like Television or the Buzzcocks or Magazine had virtually nothing to do with the tepid synth pop and jangly power pop that came to be the operant definition of the term in the 80s.





      FWIW, I kept hoping for a rebirth of metal with punk's vitality. I ended up buying some of the initial single and EP releases from outfits like Iron Maiden and Celtic Frost. And I rooted for Metallica, orginally, calling my local metal station to try to get them to play it (they were much more into 10 year old Deep Purple and Judas Priest). But, after a couple albums, I found the Metallica formula wore thin fast on me. [Now, I'd also bought the last two AC/DC records with Bon Scott back when they came out -- but I was utterly horrified by the new singer.]



      Since, then, aside from the first few Black Sabbath albums, I haven't really listened to any metal, except what I've had to for music and songwriting critiques and discussions. FWIW, I felt like punk died as a dynamic musical form in the 80s, too, although, like Sab and some Zep, I still listen to some of my favorites from the day.



      In fact, it was only a few nights ago that I put on the first 4 tracks from Never Mind the Bollocks. Now there is a totally contrived, put together band that really worked. For long enough to make one arguably great record. But, I suppose because they always acknowledged the 'fraudulent' aspect of their conception and execution, they somehow managed to effectively excuse it.



      It was a moment in music and pop culture history.





      PS... catching up, Surrealistic's on point with GnR and... Bon Jovi. Some of the metal guys probably liked hard rock GnR -- but only their GFs would admit to liking the secretary rock Bon Jovi. Calling Bon Jovi metal would be like calling Duran Duran punk, seems to me.





      PPS... if you wanna find some music afficianadi who are really intense about the propriety of various genre classifications, you should check with some of the club electronica fans of the late 90s and early 00s. At one point there was this utterly amazing interactive 'style map' showing the lineage of various club styles from the late 70s to the then-present. It even had links to snippets of tracks so you could hear the styles yourself. There must have been a couple hundred styles and sub-styles. It was BRILLIANT.
      .

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      • #6
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        • #7






          Quote Originally Posted by Surrealistic
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          Sorry, I just can't get my head around this. Metallica fit comfortably into the "metal" category but I have real trouble attempting to squeeze U2, REM, the Pixies, G&R and Bon Jovi into either of the two categories here.




          Or attempting to squeeze *anything* into only two choices.
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          • #8






            Quote Originally Posted by Surrealistic
            View Post

            Sorry, I just can't get my head around this. Metallica fit comfortably into the "metal" category but I have real trouble attempting to squeeze U2, REM, the Pixies, G&R and Bon Jovi into either of the two categories here.




            Those were just the first popular bands that popped into my head.



            U2, R.E.M. and the Pixies were influenced by a lot of the proto punk bands of the 60's and 70's.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Wave_music



            Metallica, Guns and Roses and Bon Jovi were more influenced by the hard rock bands of the 60's and 70's.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metal_music



            I was in high school in the late seventies when this cultural split first started.

            The kids who listened to Elvis Costello and the B-52s sat at one table. While the kids who listened to Judas Priest and Kiss sat at the other table. Where I lived these two groups became antaganistic towards each other.



            I've never been too big on categorizing music but if you were around in the 80's and were a big fan of rock music I don't see how you could miss the polarization of these two branches.

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            • #9
              I remember a punk vs. metal conflict in the 80s - metalheads dissed punkers for lack of technique, punkers dissed metalheads for being corporate slaves or what have you. A conflict that has been dead for years of course...



              I wasn't really into punk or metal when I was a kid though, other than what ruled the Top 40 airwaves at the times. Punk was represented by The Clash and metal was represented by Def Leppard, Scorpions, and Whitesnake. The bands that hit the Top 40 from the new wave angle were considered "post-punk" (no angry anti-corporate lyrics, etc.) rather than punk and so didn't really count to me - these would include New Order, Echo and the Bunnymen, early Cure, etc.

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              • #10






                Quote Originally Posted by blue2blue
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                Calling Bon Jovi metal would be like calling Duran Duran punk, seems to me.




                Exactly. But I think that you could argue that Bon Jovi was out on the same branch as metal while Duran Duran was on the punk branch.



                I could have titled the thread "Alternative or Hard Rock" but from my recollections Punk/ New Wave and Heavy Metal were popular terms in the eighties.



                I think alternative became the popular term in the nineties for bands like U2, R.E.M. and the Pixies. But in the eighties I think these type of bands were still considered mostly New Wave. I myself would consider bands like Guns and Roses and Kiss hard rock, but for a lot a people hard rock is music from the 60's and 70's.

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                • #11






                  Quote Originally Posted by girevik
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                  A conflict that has been dead for years of course...




                  Yeah, I talk to musicians in their twenties who don't really understand it.

                  They don't realize it's not cool to like Nirvana and Guns and Roses at the same time.

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                  • #12






                    Quote Originally Posted by Folder
                    View Post

                    I was in high school in the late seventies when this cultural split first started.

                    The kids who listened to Elvis Costello and the B-52s sat at one table. While the kids who listened to Judas Priest and Kiss sat at the other table. Where I lived these two groups became antaganistic towards each other.




                    Ah, that explains a lot. My high school years were in the mid-80s rather than the 70s. There was still some punk vs. metal tension but our circle of high school friends were into new wave, Rush (thought of by some as "metal" but of course it's not really), Scorpions, and King Crimson (Belew-era because that was current). Nobody into anything with more "cool cred" like Suicide, Joy Division, or Pentagram (DC's answer to Black Sabbath), but we were fairly eclectic. We played "Lola" by the Kinks (a proto-punk band of sorts) at the quad every day just to see how long it would take for the authorities to realize it was about a transgender person.

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                    • #13
                      If I had to choose between the two, it would be punk. Unlike metal, there's a point behind it.
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                      • #14






                        Quote Originally Posted by girevik
                        View Post

                        There was still some punk vs. metal tension but our circle of high school friends were into new wave, Rush (thought of by some as "metal" but of course it's not really), Scorpions, and King Crimson (Belew-era because that was current).




                        At my school you were not allowed to like New Wave and the Scorpions simultaneously. You could like one or the other but if you liked both you would be a social outcast, a misfit.



                        How would you know which lunch table to sit at?



                        Of course it was possible to switch teams.



                        After the B-52s were on Saturday Night Live a lot of guys that were into Led Zeppelin and Rush all of a sudden had short new wave haircuts and straight leg jeans.

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                        • #15
                          There's been a rift between punk and, well, everything else, hasn't there? That's partially why I've been answering the way I've been answering. But also, there are sooo many things that are between or completely outside the punk and metal camps anyway.



                          If one is going to force other genres into either punk or metal, do you put rap into punk and dance into metal? Where does folk go? Does it go under punk if the person appears hacked off, but under metal if it's a sweet sounding ballad? Where does reggae go? What about blues, R&B, New Wave, funk, hard rock, or anything else? What about the kinds of music that are largely outside Western influence or categorization?



                          And what about the bands that I mentioned? Where do those go? Is Slayer more punk? Or metal? What about Discharge? Or the Misfits? Or the Chili Peppers? Was Black Flag punk and then when Greg Ginn began doing guitar solos, they were metal? Where does industrial or Goth fit in? What about teen pop? Tarting 13 year old female singers up to make 'em sexy is really subversive...so is that punk?
                          Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

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