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Classic and Contemporary Corners
ayz7@cornell.edu
| November 19, 2012
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Classic and Contemporary Corners for November 13th, 2012

This week's Classic and Contemporary Corners come on the night of the release of the highly anticipated Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. As an avid gamer, Justin has prepared himself for the release by playing massive amount of Black Ops 1. As he played, he was reminded of some of the great music that was released in the mid to late 60's. And so, he convinced his lovely cohost to base this week's Classic and Contemporary Corners off that time period.

Classic Corner

Creedence Clearwater Revival's Fortunate Son

Released on 1969, this song is a bit of an anachranism in Black Ops 1, where it is played on the level preceding the Battle of Khe Sanh, which occurred a year before its release. Of course, we don't play video games for accuracy, so I'll let this one slide. One of the shorter rock songs out there, CCR released this song because they felt that there were some fortunate people who would not be involved in the war. At the time of the '68 elections, about 80% of the US population was in support of the Vietnam War. However, CCR said that they "knew we were headed for trouble." And they were correct in that prediction. In the following years, Vietnam became a social stigma, and the few fortuante sons who were not drafted were spared from the torments of Vietnam.

The Rolling Stone's Gimme Shelter

Also released in 1969, this song has a darker origin than Fortunate Son. As Jagger so eloquenty put it, "Well, it's a very rough, very violent era. The Vietnam War." This song has become synonymous with disaster, and is often played following a natural disaster. I think song reminds us of how much war and conflict can affect everybody, and how we should strive to put an end to it. While a dark song, it should be used to remind us to avoid conflict and war, and instead look to promote peace. 

 

Contemporary Corner

The Smashing Pumpkins's LandslideS

Ok, so Justin put a bit of a challenge on my corner this week (I'll get you back next time, just you wait). Since the focus was the late 60's/early 70's, I tried to look for covers of great songs from that time period. The original Landslides was released in 1975 by Stevie Nicks in this album Fleetwood Mac. Released only a few months following the end of the Vietnam War, it provides a good sampling of the music to come in the 70's. The Smashing Pumpkins cover is  an acoustic version of the song, which only helps to bring out the lyrical beauty behind the original song. Stevie Nicks even approved of the cover, and it quickly became the band's greatest hit. Released in 1994, it isn't exactly contemporary, but it's definitely more contemporary than the original song!

Nirvana's The Man Who Sold The World

Alright, so I had to get some help from Justin. I'm not a history buff like he is or a gamer. But after hearing his suggestion, I just had to put this song in Corners. The original song was released in 1970 by David Bowie. The original song also had no connection to the Vietnam War, so hah, take that Justin! (From Justin: Never said it had to be about the Vietnam War, but it's the easiest thing to get songs off from)Although, to be fair, I did have some thoughts about the Vietnam War when I listened to this song. Most striking was how it accurately described the G.I.'s who were serving overseas, and how they captivated the world. Sure, they didn't sell the world, but they certainly didn't sell the war and definitely had a lasting impact on US morale. The Nirvana cover was originally released in 1993 and was one of their best hits. Of course, David Bowie always got mad whenever he performs this song. And I quote: "kids that come up afterwards and say, 'It's cool you're doing a Nirvana song.' And I think, '@&^%!^ you, you little tosser!'"

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