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History Repeats Itself – Through Our Radios.

The influence of past musicians on current hits

You may not have realised that your favourite artists are not as imaginative as it seems, with various tracks being sampled and remixed into some of today’s most played songs.


In recent years, Selena Gomez has become a household name for many families of the noughties, with her Disney career and various albums her success is widely known. However her hit track ‘Bad Liar’ credits the 70’s band, Talking Heads. Gomez commented that her and the writing team ‘are Talking Heads obsessed.’ and decided to pay homage to one of their favourite bands by writing over the bassline of the 1977 hit ‘Psycho Killer’. Despite some negative feedback from fans of Talking Heads, David Byrne, frontman of the band, has given his stamp of approval to the track, expressing his joy of ‘feeling appreciated’. Nevertheless, has Gomez paid tribute to an iconic song, or simply stolen its limelight? Ask the majority of today’s youth and they will be none the wiser to Bad Liar’s parent song, crediting Gomez’s talent wholeheartedly.  However, play it in the car to their parents and you will be met by reminiscent cries and accusations of theft where they feel generation Z has stolen another fragment of their youth.


Additionally, Led Zeppelin have influenced and inspired countless artworks and songs. Most notably and recently, world renowned singer songwriter Beyoncé has collaborated with a long list of current celebrities, noting artists such as The Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar, but to her audience’s surprise, Led Zeppelin sits strongly on her list of crediting writers. On her track ‘Don’t Hurt Yourself’ Beyoncé creates a fusion of her classic RnB vibes with John Bonham’s rhythmic drum cycles, once definitive of the rock and roll anthem ‘When the Levee Breaks’. Now the signature drum pattern has lent itself to the Beastie Boys ‘Rhymin’ and Stealin’ and to Bjork’s ‘Army of Me’.


Many may argue that this generation lacks any creativity, originality and that artistic integrity is now a thing of the past, but this is not the case. The inspiration of the past has lived on not solely in music, but in art, film and literature. Therefore, this nod to the past revives fading music and influences a new generation of bright minds to create and shape the future of our music.


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