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Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

This Week in Music History | Feb. 5 – 11

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If you were asked to name the first thought that comes to mind when I say the words “concept album,” what would you say? For most, it would be fair to assume that nothing compares to the prog rock English band Pink Floyd and their monumental achievement that is The Wall. After The Wall‘s release at the tail end of 1979, the band began touring the album shortly after.

The first show was performed on February 7, 1980. With the theatrics and story that flowed through the album, a tour with equally exciting ideas was needed. Thus, the tour involved elaborate set pieces, costumes and puppeteer work. Lead creative force of the project, Roger Waters, appeared wearing numerous costumes during the show, from school outfits to Nazi war uniforms. Giant puppets were displayed around the stage, depicting characters from the album such as the Headmaster and the Mother. The most powerful visual used on stage was the giant wall itself, being built up all the way to the end, where more art is displayed against it like a giant screen. 

The creation of the concert entailed so much production that it would be too difficult to move around, so the shows were only played at five different cities, with a grand total of merely 31 performances. Pink Floyd took total creative control over their tour de force, having no sponsors and ultimately running the show on a net loss of money. The show also featured zero songs from previous works, with the entirety of The Wall being played in order, with the intermingling of three songs scrapped from the album. Regardless of Pink Floyd’s members’ relationship being at an all-time low, the group managed a feat to be remembered forever in rock history.

– Ryan Wilbert

 

The Beatles are strangers to nobody, being the most accomplished musicians of all time and known all over the world. Before The Beatles stepped foot into the United States though, they weren’t quite as well known globally as they are now. In fact, the event that is generally considered the start of “Beatlemania” and the “British Invasion” happened on Feb. 9, 1964, in New York City when the Beatles played on the Ed Sullivan Show. It is one of the most iconic moments in modern history, as an estimated 73 million people watched as this band from Liverpool, England took the stage and blew away everyone watching. Screams of the audience can be heard in the now-legendary videos, as every young person in the audience ate up the performance.

This was more than just a simple musical performance, though. It sparked rock ‘n’ roll’s entrance into the mainstream and its status as the most dominant genre for over 30 years. The Beatles’ performance on the Ed Sullivan Show inspired so many young musicians to pursue music. Along came a countless number of musicians seeking to specifically create rock music. This was only the beginning of the Beatles’ legendary career, where they would go on to be the world’s best-selling musicians ever, a record which may never be broken. Who would have thought a group of British musicians in their 20s would go on to accomplish all of that?

– Alex Jimenez-Vega

 

On Feb. 10, 1978, the world was forever changed — Van Halen was released. This was Van Halen’s first studio album, and is widely regarded as one of the best debut releases of all time. The album featured a raw and heavy sound that was far ahead of the rest of the late ‘70s scene. 

Van Halen set out to record their debut after countless hours of practice, and got the job done in about three weeks. This was an impressive feat at the time and completely unheard of, especially with the quality of what was created. It was produced with only about $40,000 in October 1977. In fact, they spent such a small amount of time in the preproduction phase that they treated the album like a demo, unaware of the beast that had actually been created.

Of course, many are familiar with the album because it encompasses some of Van Halen’s biggest hits to date. Songs like “Jamie’s Cryin,” “You Really Got Me,” “Runnin’ With The Devil” and “Ain’t Talkin’ Bout Love” are familiar to almost everyone, but the standout track of the album is undoubtedly “Eruption.” It’s the song that has inspired so many to pick up a guitar, and is still one of the most impressive guitar works in the entire universe. The track is most famous for its lightning fast shredding, however, it is also famous for something else: Eddie Van Halen’s newfound technique of tapping. Van Halen’s tapping involved hammering on and pulling off the same string simultaneously, instead of strumming, to produce an alien-like sound that has been reproduced and refined ever since. 

Another standout song was the cover of “You Really Got Me,” originally by The Kinks. It was actually Van Halen’s first-ever single. The band revamped the song to have a high-intensity feel, truly showing off their thunderous sound and providing the world with their spin on an already well-known track. The cover went on to be more successful than the original, but to Eddie Van Halen’s disappointment, it was almost too famous. In his own words, “It bummed me out that our first single was somebody else’s tune.” Nevertheless, the song still lives on as one of their largest successes and is a favorite to almost every Van Halen fan. 

For many, this was the album that got them into hard rock. It definitely was for me. There are only so many bands that have, in history, come out of absolutely nowhere with something completely revolutionary and different in all the best ways. This album definitely makes that list and has transformed music ever since. So, for the anniversary of the release, give it a listen from start to finish. You might find yourself subconsciously picking up a guitar — mind your wallet. 

– Ian Randall

 

If you grew up on the internet or know people who did, you’ve probably heard of “Friday” by Rebecca Black. Almost 13 years ago, Black released her debut single, “Friday,” along with its music video on Feb. 10, 2011. Writing that sentence just made me realize how old I am.

It took about two months for the song and video to reach virality, but once it did, everyone had something to say about it. The track itself consists of some pretty grating vocals heavily layered in autotune and accompanied with some straightforward lyrics destined to become staples in internet culture. My favorite bar has to be the following:

Yesterday was Thursday, Thursday /

Today it is Friday, Friday (Partyin’) /

We, we, we so excited, we so excited (Partyin’).”

When the music video went viral on YouTube, the public was not too fond of it. The comment section of the video was filled with typical internet hate, criticizing the flaws in the low budget music video and jabbing at the lyrics paired with Black’s vocals. The video currently sits at No. 24 for most disliked video on YouTube, with over 4 million dislikes. 

Though the song was not liked by the masses, that didn’t stop people from talking about it years after its release. While on a TikTok doom scroll, I encountered an old clip of disgraced and horrendous YouTuber, Shane Dawson, talking about how “Friday” could secretly be about the assassination of John F. Kennedy. He was shot on… Friday? This has to be correlated! 

Revisiting the comment section of the music video was a very interesting experience. Instead of more relentless online bullying, the comment section actually praises Black for a wide variety of things. For one, she never took the video down or turned the comments off, even though she was one of the most bullied individuals on the internet. People have also realized that the song is genuinely fun. The lyrics about being a teenager and “looking forward to the weekend” are carefree and extremely catchy. Many people cite nostalgia as the reason for their sudden liking of the song, and I’d have to agree with them. 

It took a while for the tides to turn, but Black is finally getting the love she deserves. The impact that “Friday” had, and still has, on internet culture is tremendous, and the name Rebecca Black will forever be cemented in the list of internet icons.

– Brooke Racine

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About the Contributors
Ryan Wilbert, Writer
Ryan Wilbert (he/him) is a freshman at MSU studying Information Science. He is usually found either playing his guitar or eating Crunch bars from the Sparty’s markets. His favorite artists include Car Seat Headrest, Radiohead and Arctic Monkeys, accounting for a good portion of his CD collection. “The ocean washed over your grave.” - Car Seat Headrest
Ian Randall, Writer
Ian Randall (He/Him) is an advertising management major at Michigan State. In his free time, he can be found bent over his guitar or playing Red Dead Redemption II. His favorite films are Top Gun and Napoleon Dynamite, and he frequently listens to Megadeth, Smashing Pumpkins, Van Halen and Tame Impala.  “A tout le monde, a tout mes amis, je vous aime, je dois partir.” - Megadeth
Brooke Racine, Writer
Brooke Racine (she/her) is a first-year student studying journalism at Michigan State. Besides writing for Impact and simply being cool, she enjoys playing her bass guitar, record collecting, creative writing, driving around aimlessly with a Baja Blast and hitting the trails on her snowmobile. You can reach this chill individual at [email protected]. “Hard to believe in God when there ain’t no mirrors around” - Tyler, the Creator

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