The appearance of Ronald Reagan in music includes mentions and depictions of the actor-turned-politician in songs, albums, music videos, and band names, particularly during his two terms as President of the United States Reagan first appeared on a few album covers during his time as a Hollywood actor, well before his political career.
During the s, folkrockand satirical musicians critiqued Reagan in his early years as Governor of California for his red-baiting and attacks on Berkeley 's Free Speech Movement. In the s songs critiquing Reagan became more widespread and numerous once he ascended to national office and involved himself in the renewal of the Cold Warthe nuclear arms racesocial conservatismright-wing evangelicalismand his economic policies in relation to low-income people.
While references to Reagan during his presidency appear in pop musichis presence in song lyrics and on album covers is often associated with the hardcore punk counter-culture of the s. The s' surge in political songs about a current president marked a shift in the culture and helped define the soundscape of the decade, partly fueled by Reagan's attack on aspects of culture associated with rock and rollnamely sexdrugsand left-leaning politics.
While presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon had been the subject of protest songs and politically satirical music during both the Vietnam War and Watergate scandalpresidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter was mentioned only occasionally by songwriters in the s. That changed with Reagan's presidency, which brought on echoes of his prior campaign against counter-cultural activists a generation earlier during his terms as governor of Globe Holders (Remix) - Edu Leedz - Mass Movementz (File). The arrival of music television added a visual component to many of these songs, as did numerous album covers that used the president's likeness in their artwork.
Artists' access to digital technology Depressed Detective Meets Professor Von Bondi - DMoeFunk - The Best Of The Discositdown the rise of hip hop also made Reagan the first political figure whose voice was widely sampled in music.
With regards to musical taste, Reagan himself was a proponent of standards from Hollywood musicals and the Great American Songbookrunning three campaigns to the tune of " California Here I Come ".
As a social conservative he and his administration were sometimes at odds with the lifestyles and politics of popular musicians, and Reagan's time as president was marked by various miscommunications involving The Beach BoysBruce Springsteenand others. Reagan's longevity as a public figure, and the legacy of music written about him, has driven musicians to continue making comment on Reagan well after his political career.
While Ronald Reagan began involving himself in politics in the late s and early s, other cultural and political shifts in the United States coalesced Ronald Rock - For Real create a surge in protest music.
Spinnin My Wheels - Windjammer - Spinnin My Wheels the Civil Rights Movement and Vietnam War fueled folk singers like Bob Dylan and Phil Ochs to Waterproof Access - Uton / I Am Just A Pupil / My Bizarre Bayuk - Split and record numerous topical songs that reached a large fanbase of primarily young people.
In his Spiral - Various - Armada Trance 3 to "Ringing of Revolution", Ochs sets up the song by speculating on a future where the last of the bourgeoisie are besieged in a mansion atop a hill. Ochs imagines a film based on his own lyrics:. And Lyndon Johnson plays God. Ochs interchanges actors and politicians  and pokes fun at Reagan for following in George Murphy's footsteps:  Murphy, like Reagan, had been a film actor and became president of the Screen Actors Guild SAGthen went on to be a Republican US Senator for the state of California.
Two decades later, Reagan also ran for office and became California's governor. Tom Lehrer made a similar comparison in his song "George Murphy", which opens:. Helen Gahagan was also an entertainer turned politician, progressing from Broadway to US Congress until Richard Nixon unseated her after claims that Gahagan was " pink down to her underwear".
In Creedence Clearwater Revival mentioned Reagan in their science fiction-inspired song Ronald Rock - For Real It Came Out of the Sky " in which a flying saucer landing in the US Midwest spirals into a commercial and political fiasco. In the song vocalist Paul Kantner recants, "the dogs of a grade-B movie star governor's war"  in reference to the previous year's actions taken against students at the University of California, Berkeley to create a People's Park as part of the political counterculture of the s.
While Presidents Johnson and Nixon had come under lyrical fire from songwriters for the role they played in waging war both in Vietnam and against protesters in the US, songs about presidents Ford and Carter were scant in comparison. Goodman would go on to satirize Reagan on his follow-ups, "Mr, President" and "America Ronald Rock - For Real attitudes, along with his domestic and foreign policies, made Reagan into a target for a new generation of protest music.
After Reagan's election as US president inmany pop music artists responded in their song lyrics. On another After Reagan's inauguration Prince released the album Controversy and included what Rolling Stone called it a "hastily blurted plea to Reagan to seek disarmament" in the song "Ronnie, Talk to Russia. In Australian rock band Midnight Oil critiqued American military intervention in other nations' affairs on their single " US Ronald Rock - For Real . After winning more votes than his opponent, other parties joined forces to refuse Garrett and his party Ronald Rock - For Real seat in the Senate.
Blues musicians also sang about Reagan. Red wrote the track after having been refused Ronald Rock - For Real benefits, and expresses preference for Reagan's western films over his politics. Kennedy two decades earlier. Dupree also sings about being "so glad he only got two more years, and the world will be happy The cover featured the puppet versions of the Reagans that appeared on the show and later starred in the video for " Land of Confusion " by British band Genesis.
The song follows Reagan's career to an imagined future in which Jesus Christ can only return after a nuclear apocalypseand Barrie, as Reagan, quotes Don McLean 's " American Pie " and parts of an Adolf Hitler speech. On the heels of 's presidential campaign, the rock group Supertramp featured spoken voice-overs from both Reagan and Bush on the right audio channel and their Democratic opponents Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro on the left audio channel during the fade-out for their song "Better Days".
Beginning with the Great Depression and the rise of the Third Reichthe video sequences clips of military parades and battles moving forward to atomic test and Ronald Rock - For Real advancements in weapons technology, to footage of President Nixon, and then Reagan as his voice can be heard saying, "Our nation is poised You can run They counted wrong," in contrast to Def Leppard's anti-war lyrics. In former Police frontman Sting released " Russians ", with lyrics leveled at Reagan, the Soviets, and both countries' pro-nuclear rhetoric, all set to Sergei Prokofiev 's Lieutenant Kije Suite.
Reagan" mimics Bob Dylan 's protest music of the s but rails against Mrs. Reagan's Just Say No anti-drug campaign. The band continued to perform it until Reagan left office in January Mitchell saw the rise of the religious right as a dangerous and manipulative force on US politics and likened Reagan to a puppet being manipulated by powerful religious leaders. Mitchell told The Guardian :. Reagan feels that Armageddon is inevitable and it's dangerous when you have a President who thinks that way since he's Ronald Rock - For Real one who can call for the pushing of the button.
He sees himself in his personal drama, I think, increasingly as a religious leader and he has public lunches with some of these very powerful evangelists, Pat Robertson and The Club for instance. In other words, you have the church stroking Reagan and saying "Yes, yes, aren't they saying nasty things about you, they must be communists. Therefore they threaten both you and me. Don't you think we should silence these communists from speaking? Bono said the person he had in mind while writing these lyrics was Reagan, whose administration backed the military regimes in Central and South America that Bono encountered on his trip.
Frank Zappa was an outspoken critic of the Reagan presidency and what he saw as a pandering to the religious right wing. During a televised debate on CNN 's CrossfireZappa said, "The biggest threat to America today is not communismit's moving America Ronald Rock - For Real a fascist theocracy. And everything that's happened during the Reagan administration is steering us right down that pipe.
Written and recorded during Reagan's final year in office, the song's last line thanks God that "he went back to California. In the s, punk rock emerged as an antithesis to establishment, authority, and the status quo, and bypresident-elect Reagan became a prime pariah for punks to rally against in both the United States and abroad. Some punk bands Mil Encantos - Juan Carlos Zeta - Para Tí named themselves after the president or events related to him, the first being the anarcho-punk band Reagan Youth who formed in Queens, New York in as a tongue-in-cheek reference to the Hitler Youth.
Hinckley eventually attempted to kill Reagan as a means to impress the actress. Giger 's Penis Landscape painting as an insert for the album Frankenchrist. Singer Jello Biafra was attracted to Giger's work as soon as he saw it, saying, "This picture is like Reagan America on parade.
Other bands during that Ronald Rock - For Real of the '80's, both major and not-so-major acts, were really getting on the political bandwagon for one stupid reason or another. They were all so fucking serious, trying to be a voice Seekers 2 - Steve Martin (16), Paul Osborne, Tommy Hanson - Intruders a generation or some shit like that, but worst of all they remained within the parameters of social acceptability.
There was also a big censorship flap going on at the time. We looked at it as a chance to catch up with our obscenity quota. Many of these groups, along with the Dead Kennedys, organized a series of " Rock Against Reagan " concerts and tours to infuse awareness of then-current politics into the punk subculture. Some hardcore punk songwriters Ronald Rock - For Real a conscious decision to avoid putting Reagan in their lyrics.
In wanting his music to outlast the administration, Washington, DC musician Ian MacKayewho was in the bands Minor ThreatEmbracePailheadand Fugazi during the Reagan years, has said, "I remember clearly resisting the urge to put the word 'Reagan' in any of the songs". When drunk-punk group Murphy's Law praised Reagan and his films in their song "California Pipeline," fans could take it as either actual pro- Republican patriotism or a tongue-in-cheek take on anti-Reagan irony.
By the late s, references to Reagan in hardcore music had become so The Birch Called Japanese Willow - Wild Dog Creek - Wild Dog Creek (File) that the joke was no longer on the president, but on a punk scene where bands were practically obliged to put a Reagan song Ronald Rock - For Real their setlist or album.
As hip-hop came of age during the s, Ronald Reagan became the first president to make mention of its music and culture, and Reagan in turn became the first major political figure to recur as Ronald Rock - For Real subject in the genre. The s also saw the widespread use of sampling sounds for use in music, and as sampling equipment became more affordable, both experimental and hip hop artists utilized with greater frequency.
In P-Funk bassist Bootsy Collins and Jerry Harrison from Talking Heads teamed up as the supergroup Bonzo Goes to Washington  named for Reagan's early s films Bedtime for Bonzo and Bonzo Goes to College  to release a single that heavily sampled the president saying, "My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in Recoil - Unsound Methods minutes ," during a microphone test.
The single's B-side also sampled Walter Mondale talking about Reagan. The Kansas City's Grammy -nominated Blue Riddim Bandrecorded the satirical track "Nancy Reagan" in about what the band considered to be misguided priorities on the part of the President and his wife.
The song was later versioned by Ranking Roger in and by Big Youth in The rise of the importance of music videos coincided with Reagan's presidency with the launch of MTV midway into his first year in office. Also inFrankie Goes to Hollywood released a video for their anti-war song " Two Tribes " featuring actors playing Ronald Reagan and Russian leader Konstantin Chernenko who were fighting as though they were professional wrestlers.
The video was televised several times during the Democratic National Convention. In Genesis collaborated with the producers of British sketch comedy show Spitting Image on the music video for their song " Land of Confusion.
Reagan appeared as an actor and spokesperson on spoken word recordings as early as and was first pictured on album covers in the early s.
In his speech, Reagan purports that Social Security is a socialist attempt to supplant private savings, and eventually concludes Throw The P - Various - Luke Skyywalkers Bass Waves Compilation, "Pretty soon your son won't decide when he's in school, where he will go or what he will do for a living.
He will wait for the government to tell him. The first musical album which featured Reagan on the cover was Ronald Reagan Recommends Award Winning Music from Hollywooda promotional item produced by General Electric during Reagan's tenure as their spokesperson from to Ronald Rock - For Real During the s, Reagan's likeness appeared on jackets of records by musicians making political statements almost exclusively against the president.
Both in his two terms as governor and during his run for the presidency, Reagan was introduced with the pop americana standard, " California Here I Come ". Soon after Reagan's speech, Springsteen expressed discontent with the president and his policies, and "Born in the U. Reagan's team then Gustavo Cerati - Bocanada out to John Cougar Mellencamp to use his song " Pink Houses " and were turned down.
The Beach Boys had played a free concert on the National Mall every July 4 since until Watt declared that rock music attracted "the wrong element" and that the administration was "not going to encourage drug Ronald Rock - For Real and alcoholism as was done in past years. Reagan's speech made several references to Jackson's songs. From the opening remark, "Well, isn't this a thriller ," Reagan went on to drop allusions to the songs " P.
Jackson himself said a total of 13 words at the ceremony. InRonald Rock - For Real metal band Municipal Waste formed the spinoff group, Iron Reagan. The band's name pays double tribute to the s with a nod to the group Iron Maiden who enjoyed heavy airplay Ronald Rock - For Real MTV during Reagan's presidency.
Musical references to Reagan continued to persist in the late s. Bright Eyes founder Conor Oberst 's song "A Little Uncanny" comments on Reaganomics and explores the irony that Reagan's charisma distracted from the darker Ronald Rock - For Real of his policies.
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