Rock 'n' Roll's Great Protest Anthems
by Justin Farrar | October 29, 2014
Rhapsody has officially declared it Classic Rock-tober! That means it's time to crank things up to 11, as we travel back in time to salute the finest in classic rock. Stay tuned each day of October for a new reason to rock out.
From "Refugee" to "I Won't Back Down," irascible dude Tom Petty has always possessed a knack for catchy rock songs that challenge society's status quo, stick it to the man and call out the myriad injustices and absurdities of America's political system. Hypnotic Eye, the classic rock legend's latest full-length with his trusted Heartbreakers, just might be his most political to date. Over wiry, grungy guitar riffs and neo-freakbeat grooves with a deliciously retro edge, Petty spits venom about money-hungry power brokers, neo-conservatives hell-bent on destroying America's middle class, small-town political corruption and the need to keep on fighting for that strange thing known as the American Dream.
Hypnotic Eye is just the latest expression of rock 'n' roll's longtime interface with political protest and social messaging. Indeed, protest anthems are as old as the genre itself, reaching all the way back to the '50s when The Coasters railed against overly demanding parents in "Yakety Yak." From Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's Vietnam-era jam "Ohio" to Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue blowout of the mythical "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall," our Rock 'n' Roll's Great Protest Anthems playlist chronicles the long and winding history of rock as protest music. We even include a few punk-rock classics for good measure, including The Sex Pistols' "God Save the Queen" and The Clash's "Clampdown." Whether you're a hardcore social activist or an armchair political analyst, our playlist is sure to inspire your inner Abbie Hoffman!