Music and politics have been connected in many cultures since time immemorial. Music has over many generations been used to express anti-establishment or protest themes.
Popular music has a long and varied association with politics. It has provided the soundtrack to political protest and been the object of political censorship; politicians have courted pop stars and pop stars — like Bono of U2 — have acted as politicians.
There have been, and continue to be, several prominent groups that have consistently delivered their respective ideologies to the masses and made a good living as a result.
Here are five more notable music bands that you should be aware of:
The Irish band from Dublin was formed in 1976 and consists of Bono as lead vocals and rhythm guitar, the Edge (lead guitar, keyboards, and backing vocals), Adam Clayton (bass guitar,) and Larry Jr. (drums and percussion.
U2’s musical style has evolved throughout their career, yet has maintained an anthemic quality built on Bono’s expressive vocals and the Edge’s chiming,
Popular for their live performances, the group has staged several ambitious and elaborate tours over their career.
System of a Down also known as SoaD or simply System is an Arminian-American heavy metal band formed in Glendale, California in 1994.
It currently consists of Serj Tankian, Daron Malakian, Shavo Odadjian, and John Dolmayan who replaced original drummer Andy Khachaturian in 1997.
The band achieved commercial success with the release of five studio albums, three of which debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200.
All members of System of a Down are of Armenian descent, being born to Armenian immigrants or being immigrants themselves.
3. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
The band is an American rock band, that has been musician Bruce Springsteen’s primary backing since 1972. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014 and consisted of Guitarist Steven Van Zandt, Nils Lofgren, and Patti Scialfa, keyboardings Danny Federici and Roy Bittan, bassist Garry Tallent, drummer Max Weinberg, and saxophonist Clarence Clemons. But Bruce Springsteen has now stopped with the band.
Sleater-Kinney is an American rock band that formed in Olympia, Washington in 1994. The band’s current lineup feature Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein following the departure of longtime member Janet Weiss in 2019. The band is also known for its feminist and liberal politics.
5. Sex Pistols
The Sex Pistols are an English punk rock band that formed in London in 1975. Although their initial career lasted just two and a half years, they are one of the most groundbreaking acts in the history of popular music.
They were responsible for initiating the punk movement in the United Kingdom and inspiring many later punk and alternative rock musicians and they are often associated with anarchism within the music.
The controversial Sex Pistols single God Save the Queen was originally issued during 1977’s Silver Jubilee, the anti-royal song compares the UK to “a fascist regime” and says the Queen is “not a human being”.
At the time, it was banned by BBC and commercial radio stations, with Radio 2 controller Charles McLelland saying the song was “in gross bad taste”.
Despite that, it reached number two on the UK singles chart.