Who is the most offensive band 20th Century popular music?

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Who has pushed the most buttons, irritated the largest, most diverse segments of the general populace, been the most morally indefensible, and basically pissed off the most people while they were making music? Would this band by extension be the "most punk" (since some people here equate punk w/challenging social preconceptions)? Or would the most marginalized band be the most offensive - since a large chunks of the populace couldn't even bring themselves to pay attention to the music? I have no answer to this meself, although several possibilities suggest themselves (Black Metal bands, Skrewdriver, Elvis...)

Shakey Mo Collier, Thursday, 23 January 2003 01:20 (nineteen years ago) link

Jesus shit, that should say "band IN 20th Century Popular Music". Sorry.

Shakey Mo Collier, Thursday, 23 January 2003 01:20 (nineteen years ago) link

coldplay

Tad (llamasfur), Thursday, 23 January 2003 01:22 (nineteen years ago) link

In the UK? Elvis, Snoop Dogg, Beastie Boys, Eminem (in spite of recent popular volte-face), and yes, Clodplay. Loads more, can't think right now.

Charlie (Charlie), Thursday, 23 January 2003 01:25 (nineteen years ago) link

Creed

Tad (llamasfur), Thursday, 23 January 2003 01:25 (nineteen years ago) link

rolling stones? (i mean i like em, but i bet more people hate em than any other band simply bcz more people have heard of em than almost any other band, and they worked very hard INDEED at being hated)

mark s (mark s), Thursday, 23 January 2003 01:26 (nineteen years ago) link

mistah sinkah hates zappa!

Tad (llamasfur), Thursday, 23 January 2003 01:28 (nineteen years ago) link

the question wasn't "list bands that are annoying" - I'm serious about the challenging moral sensibilities angle, people who deliberately provoked a negative, moralistic reaction (Snoop and Eminem are a little closer to the mark in this respect). Bands that people heard and said "this is WRONG. Music should not say/convey these things".

Shakey Mo Collier, Thursday, 23 January 2003 01:28 (nineteen years ago) link

I'm serious about the challenging moral sensibilities angle, people who deliberately provoked a negative, moralistic reaction (Snoop and Eminem are a little closer to the mark in this respect). Bands that people heard and said "this is WRONG. Music should not say/convey these things".

and Creed fits well within the foregoing parameters -- so i stand by that answer

Tad (llamasfur), Thursday, 23 January 2003 01:30 (nineteen years ago) link

well i'm sticking w.my answer then!!

(i don't find zappa offensive tad, just boring)

mark s (mark s), Thursday, 23 January 2003 01:32 (nineteen years ago) link

Dylan when he went electric, the Beatles/Stones when they got busted for drugs ("they're hugely famous and an example to children all over the world, how could they do this?" etc).

Charlie (Charlie), Thursday, 23 January 2003 01:33 (nineteen years ago) link

Anal Cunt?

Curtis Stephens, Thursday, 23 January 2003 01:35 (nineteen years ago) link

"well i'm sticking w.my answer then!!
(i don't find zappa offensive tad, just boring) "

Actually, I think the Stones are a good nominee - mostly because not only are they so well-known (thus affecting a wide swath of the general populace), but they're offensive on a variety of levels *over time*. They were offensive in the 60s with their androgyny and race-baiting, in the 70s with their excess and basically evil-rock-star behavior, and now in the 00's they're offensive because of their aging status and their blatant money-mongering....

Shakey Mo Collier, Thursday, 23 January 2003 01:36 (nineteen years ago) link

NWA

jm (jtm), Thursday, 23 January 2003 01:37 (nineteen years ago) link

N.W.A. Body Count. The 2 Live Crew. Eminem.

JoB (JoB), Thursday, 23 January 2003 01:39 (nineteen years ago) link

if more people knew about Anal Cunt, then maybe they would be the most offensive band of all time ... but i think that they can't claim the title, because the overwhelming majority of people never heard of them. same probably goes for most death-/black-metal acts, including Emperor (though Cannibal Corpse [denounced by Bob Dole in 1996] and Cradle of Filth ["jesus is a cunt!] might have reached the necessary critical mass).

Tad (llamasfur), Thursday, 23 January 2003 01:40 (nineteen years ago) link

mark is right, the rolling stones pioneered this
e.g. father of a friend finds _rolling_stones_record_ in his son's bedroom, so immediately takes it outside, sticks it on the chopping block and axes it (maybe my friend should have done more of his cutting firewood chore)

george gosset (gegoss), Thursday, 23 January 2003 01:41 (nineteen years ago) link

Well, you could always go with standbys like the Mentors ("Find her, Feel her, Fuck her, Forget her!" "Bend Up and Smell My Anal Vapour," "Heterosexuals Have the Right to Rock") or GG Allin (cue hundreds of simillarly offensive song titles here) and the afore-mentioned Anal Cunt, but it's not like these bands *really* reached the masses in the same way/capacity/manner/vast scope that Eminem or NWA do/did.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 23 January 2003 01:46 (nineteen years ago) link

whitehouse

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Thursday, 23 January 2003 01:51 (nineteen years ago) link

Emperor, Cannibal Corpse, Anal Cunt - surely these bands pushed *more* buttons than folks like the Stones, carried things to much farther extremes... maybe we need some kind of grading scale, with points awarded for popularity and level of offensiveness...

Shakey Mo Collier, Thursday, 23 January 2003 01:57 (nineteen years ago) link

Also, can bands be offensive if they're not taken seriously? I mean, I'm sure Cradle of Filth scare your average grandmother, but other than that, who really believes the schtick they're pushin'?

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 23 January 2003 02:00 (nineteen years ago) link

also is this for activities outside their music or music itself?

I'm with Alex in NYC. If they're just trying to think up naughty things to say its less offensive than a band that passionately sings their evil.

There's also the problem of bands being less offensive when they're older. AC/DC and Kiss play the fuckin' Olympics now. Ice Cube is doin' Barbershop and Eazy-E's an angel according to Bone Thugs so NWA is out. Who pissed people off to their dying day?

Professor Griff!

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Thursday, 23 January 2003 02:16 (nineteen years ago) link

I'm with Alex in NYC. If they're just trying to think up naughty things to say its less offensive than a band that passionately sings their evil.

now i really am sticking to my guns re: Creed!

Tad (llamasfur), Thursday, 23 January 2003 02:18 (nineteen years ago) link

[insert name of disco act here]

Nate Patrin (Nate Patrin), Thursday, 23 January 2003 02:19 (nineteen years ago) link

Which is hilarious because in the whole "disco sucks" frenzy, so much hatred was directed to a genre more populist and benign (as in 'free of anything to make it "harmful" or "wrong") than almost any other in its day except for dopey Denver stuff.

Nate Patrin (Nate Patrin), Thursday, 23 January 2003 02:24 (nineteen years ago) link

I mean, 2 Live Crew are the only band to have had their album declared legally obscene, correct? That's gotta count for a lot.

Mr. Diamond (diamond), Thursday, 23 January 2003 02:25 (nineteen years ago) link

but Tad, too many people LOVE Creed. The artist can't have many fans.

And WHO likes Professor Griff?

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Thursday, 23 January 2003 02:26 (nineteen years ago) link

but Tad, too many people LOVE Creed. The artist can't have many fans.

yeah, but the right people don't love Creed.

besides, the Stones (and 2 Live Crew and the Pistols and NWA) also had lots of fans and still managed to be pretty offensive, yes?

Tad (llamasfur), Thursday, 23 January 2003 02:31 (nineteen years ago) link

none, except the Stones had too many. And the Stones lost their offensiveness at the very least by Tattoo You. And that's giving them a lot of credit.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Thursday, 23 January 2003 02:33 (nineteen years ago) link

wack typo. first sentence should be: none except the Stones had as many as Creed.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Thursday, 23 January 2003 02:34 (nineteen years ago) link

Alex is right about the Mentors, although they were pretty funny. I heard a live version of "Rock 'Em Sock 'Em" that El Duce starts off with (paraphrasing), "...it takes a real man to smack his bitch...and a real bitch to deserve it, too!" How did he die? Wasn't he run over by a train when he passed out drunk on some tracks? And my wife had a curling iron and some Mazola oil with his name on 'em. Too bad.

Bryan (Bryan), Thursday, 23 January 2003 03:00 (nineteen years ago) link

REO Speedwagon.

maria b (maria b), Thursday, 23 January 2003 03:08 (nineteen years ago) link

http://image.allmusic.com/00/amg/cov200/drc500/c508/c50856ce54o.jpg

Tad (llamasfur), Thursday, 23 January 2003 03:11 (nineteen years ago) link

The Original Dixieland Jazz Band, hands down.

TMFTML
http://intonation.blogspot.com

TMFTML (TMFTML), Thursday, 23 January 2003 03:11 (nineteen years ago) link

Maybe Mayhem? The singer committed suicide by shooting himself in the head, their drummer made a necklace out of the skull fragments and their guitarist eat a piece of his brain. Their basist ended up murdering the guitarist and in their spare time they burnt down churches. I'd say that's far more offensive than anything Alice Cooper or Marilyn Manson did!

Other controversies have got more attention ("We're bigger than Jesus") and probably effected more people but I don't think there's ever been a band who's as morally corrupt as Mayhem.

CretanBull (CretanBull), Thursday, 23 January 2003 03:44 (nineteen years ago) link

I'd say that's far more offensive than anything Alice Cooper or Marilyn Manson did!

I dunno, just sounds like they were a bunch of fuck-ups. Is that offensive or just stupid?

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 23 January 2003 03:47 (nineteen years ago) link

surely Ned, of all ILXers, will agree with me that Creed are extremely offensive?

Tad (llamasfur), Thursday, 23 January 2003 03:52 (nineteen years ago) link

Most annoying fans:
Mission of Burma idiots.

Squire Rod, Thursday, 23 January 2003 03:54 (nineteen years ago) link

In the same way I regard dog dirt on my shoe as offensive -- it's there, but easily scraped away.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 23 January 2003 03:54 (nineteen years ago) link

hey, i can live with "Creed = dogshit" instead of "Creed = most offensive band in 20th Century popular music."

Tad (llamasfur), Thursday, 23 January 2003 03:59 (nineteen years ago) link

Milli Vanilli, cuz they got caught or Britney Spears because she didn't do anything worth getting caught doing.

Horace Mann (Horace Mann), Thursday, 23 January 2003 04:08 (nineteen years ago) link

Is that offensive or just stupid?

Both? Although after reading "The Lords of Chaos" I was left with the impression that Varg Vikernes (basist/murderer) is reasonably intelligent.

I can't imagine a band who's ever broken more taboos...suicide, canabalism, murder & burning churches all with in a small social circle? And thats just the surface...they (or alteast Vikernes) has worked closely with various neo-nazi groups, Euronymous (murdered guitarist) owned a record shop that also sold black magic & satanic paraphernalia, hosted satanic rituals etc. There's basically nothing truly offensive that one of them didn't do....surely this is MUCH worse than Eminem using the word "fag" ?!?

CretanBull (CretanBull), Thursday, 23 January 2003 04:24 (nineteen years ago) link

surely this is MUCH worse than Eminem using the word "fag" ?!?

In principle, yes of course, but this only works if Mayhem have/had the huge global (pop-)cultural impact as Eminem. Which they don't, obviously.

Charlie (Charlie), Thursday, 23 January 2003 04:38 (nineteen years ago) link

Who is the most offensive band in 20th Century popular music?

Philip Glass Ensemble, hands down.

hstencil, Thursday, 23 January 2003 06:24 (nineteen years ago) link

2 Live Jews

James Blount (James Blount), Thursday, 23 January 2003 07:57 (nineteen years ago) link

The Beatles. Until there's mass record-burnings of any other band, I think they win

dave q, Thursday, 23 January 2003 08:00 (nineteen years ago) link

the Peter Brothers used to do mass record burnings all the time though, didn't they?

James Blount (James Blount), Thursday, 23 January 2003 08:02 (nineteen years ago) link

whoever did the version of 'gloomy sunday' that caused all the hubbub maybe

James Blount (James Blount), Thursday, 23 January 2003 08:05 (nineteen years ago) link

I've got a picture of the Peters Bros. burning copies of the Cars' 'Candy-O'! I wonder what they objected to? Perhaps the Manichean heresy of "Double Life", or the cavalier handling of predestination in "Dangerous Type"?

dave q, Thursday, 23 January 2003 08:12 (nineteen years ago) link

'Candy gives you cavities! The Cars are trying to pervert our childrens teeth!'

Is Candy-O the one with the Vargas cover, because that probably would've been enough

James Blount (James Blount), Thursday, 23 January 2003 08:48 (nineteen years ago) link

The Cars are trying to pervert our childrens teeth!'

See: R. Kelly, Chocolate Factory

Jody Beth Rosen (Jody Beth Rosen), Thursday, 23 January 2003 08:50 (nineteen years ago) link

No-one's yet mentioned Throbbing Gristle, "the wreckers of civilisation".

Jason J, Thursday, 23 January 2003 10:57 (nineteen years ago) link

Granted, disco is not a "band", but with Disco Demolition Night in 1979, about 10,000 or more disco records were blown up at Comiskey Park.

Who gets to decide what's offensive? Appealing to all genders, races, classes and orientations was definitely too much for a lot of people to handle.

Kerry (dymaxia), Thursday, 23 January 2003 15:46 (nineteen years ago) link

...so clearly my vote goes to K.C. & the Sunshine Band.

Kerry (dymaxia), Thursday, 23 January 2003 15:47 (nineteen years ago) link

HA, R. Kelly is a great answer as far as his kiddy-fiddling is concerned.

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Thursday, 23 January 2003 16:07 (nineteen years ago) link

GnR at the peak of their bombast? Otherwise I'm with Q on the Beatles drop.

Roger Fascist (Roger Fascist), Thursday, 23 January 2003 16:24 (nineteen years ago) link

kiddy-fiddling

I get this image of him putting strings on a kid and playing it with his bow. *hides*

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 23 January 2003 16:25 (nineteen years ago) link

GnR at the peak of their bombast?

That was offensive?

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 23 January 2003 16:26 (nineteen years ago) link

I was thinking in particular of the rioting. There were one or two offended people around at that time I reckon. And all that shit about the lyrics to 'Patience'.

Roger Fascist (Roger Fascist), Thursday, 23 January 2003 16:29 (nineteen years ago) link

"One in a Million."

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 23 January 2003 16:31 (nineteen years ago) link

Ah. That's the badger.

Roger Fascist (Roger Fascist), Thursday, 23 January 2003 16:41 (nineteen years ago) link

I don't think they ever came close to pissing off as many people as the Rolling Stones have (though admittedly they had much less time to do it in), but the Sex Pistols seem like the obvious answer. I can't think of many bands that were attacked and slashed with razors on the streets because of one of their songs. In The Filth and the Fury they show that London councilor who says that "most of these punk groups would be vastly improved by sudden death" and calls the Pistols "the antithesis of humankind." I think my jaw literally dropped when I saw that. Eminem may offend a lot of people, but I can't imagine any U.S. politician calling for his death.

Justyn Dillingham (Justyn Dillingham), Thursday, 23 January 2003 17:09 (nineteen years ago) link

disco - the ChiSox had to forfeit the game.

James Blount (James Blount), Thursday, 23 January 2003 17:11 (nineteen years ago) link

"I can't think of many bands that were attacked and slashed with razors on the streets because of one of their songs."

It wasn't just the band, Sex Pistols *FANS* were attacked in the streets; and not even just by young hard cases either - I was even spat at in broad daylight in the middle of the high street of my home town in 1977 by some sweet little old dear who could have been my grandmother, just because I had a GSTQ T-shirt on.

Not the most offensive band in 20th Century music maybe, but they sure did seem to upset an awful lot of people at the time.

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Thursday, 23 January 2003 17:22 (nineteen years ago) link

How about Stravinsky's _Rites of Spring_ (assuming it's post-1900)? It caused riots when first performed...

mike a (mike a), Thursday, 23 January 2003 17:46 (nineteen years ago) link

Causing riots and pissing off politicians and old ladies is too easy to qualify

James Blount (James Blount), Thursday, 23 January 2003 17:53 (nineteen years ago) link

the pistols of course dissed the queen ("they called our sovereign a moron" etc etc) which plays well in the UK but raises not a murmur outside

stewart his name was BERNARD BROOKE-PARTRIDGE: age 16 i committed it to the black book of my year-zero mind as a capital offence against punk — he actually died very shortly after (though not i hasten to add as a result of anything i had done...)

the story of the rites of spring riots is very questionable: there was definitely a big noisy fuss at the first performance (at a vanue notorious for its let's-fuck-stuff-up audiences), but strav himself always noted that this was the ONLY ruckus it ever caused in performance, and in fact attributed it more to nijinsky's choreography (which was apparently somewhat michael clark-ish!!) (ie peasant-y and lewd)

mark s (mark s), Thursday, 23 January 2003 18:26 (nineteen years ago) link

"...plays well in the UK but raises not a murmur outside"

Seems to me the Pistols didn't get much shock-reaction from the US press until the Sid/Nancy murder thing. There is something peculiarly British about the Sex Pistols offensiveness. The Stones cut a wider swath (as did, I would guess, Elvis and NWA).

Shakey Mo Collier, Thursday, 23 January 2003 18:30 (nineteen years ago) link

they'd split by then anyway, and lydon was already attacking mclaren for wrekcing everything < / kneejerk pistols pundit/bore >

mark s (mark s), Thursday, 23 January 2003 18:34 (nineteen years ago) link

I'm sure Madonna would like to be mentioned in this thread.

Curtis Stephens, Thursday, 23 January 2003 20:48 (nineteen years ago) link

If a Pepsi video with burning crosses* doesn't count, what the hell does?

*which is "offensive" if you take it out of context etc etc

Nate Patrin (Nate Patrin), Thursday, 23 January 2003 21:01 (nineteen years ago) link

gg allin if no-one has said it

g (graysonlane), Thursday, 23 January 2003 21:09 (nineteen years ago) link

Patrin: the thing that freaked people out about "Like A Prayer" at the time is that she fucked a black Christ figure in a church. Plus her tits were practically heaving out of the dress which was the real root of the ga ga.

James Blount (James Blount), Thursday, 23 January 2003 21:25 (nineteen years ago) link

GnR at the peak of their bombast?

That was offensive?

Around that time Axl made some comment about AIDS that pissed off a lot of people.

j.lu (j.lu), Thursday, 23 January 2003 22:59 (nineteen years ago) link

Sure you're not thinking of Sebastian Bach there, Julia?

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 23 January 2003 23:02 (nineteen years ago) link

How about Stravinsky's _Rites of Spring_ (assuming it's post-1900)? It caused riots when first performed...

...and I'm told that people still walk out on it today.

Christine "Green Leafy Dragon" Indigo (cindigo), Thursday, 23 January 2003 23:29 (nineteen years ago) link

I've got a picture of the Peters Bros. burning copies of the Cars' 'Candy-O'! I wonder what they objected to? Perhaps the Manichean heresy of "Double Life", or the cavalier handling of predestination in "Dangerous Type"?

Did they ever burn Hall and Oates records? I know that a number of fundie types hated them (of all people) because of "Winged Bull."

Christine "Green Leafy Dragon" Indigo (cindigo), Thursday, 23 January 2003 23:34 (nineteen years ago) link

G.G. Allin

It's offensive to eat your own poop.

Evan (Evan), Friday, 24 January 2003 11:56 (nineteen years ago) link

Evan, what did you think of 'Caddyshack'?

dave q, Friday, 24 January 2003 12:48 (nineteen years ago) link

the brazen hussies, ha ha!

i think GG is prob. far from the most offensive

geeta (geeta), Friday, 24 January 2003 12:53 (nineteen years ago) link

i have never been offended by musical content. i have been offended by blatant dullness, but i'm not sure that counts.

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Friday, 24 January 2003 13:17 (nineteen years ago) link

I guess, if you don't find self-defecating nazis offensive

g (graysonlane), Friday, 24 January 2003 23:16 (nineteen years ago) link

Again, I ask you...was anybody NOT offended by the existence of Professor Griff?

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Friday, 24 January 2003 23:20 (nineteen years ago) link

I vote for Skrewdriver, Anal Cunt (I became a therapist to tell you it was your fault you were raped), Pitboss 2000, and maybe Boyd Rice because i find him rather offensive in a hilarious way.

mallory bourgeois (painter man), Friday, 24 January 2003 23:29 (nineteen years ago) link

If 'most offensive' means offending the most number of people then it's probably one of the bigger acts because more people have heard them, t/f more people could be offended by them.

If it means most morally objectionable I'd have to guess Skrewdriver or Mayhem, though it would be a total guess because I've never heard either band. Why would I want to?

If we're talking social impact - i.e. Their obscenity had an effect on people whether or not they had heard the record - I'd suggest Prince or 2 Live Crew for kickstarting the PMRC stickering nonsense.

richard stacey (analog75), Saturday, 25 January 2003 00:47 (nineteen years ago) link

The Prodigy got a lot of people's dander up with "Smack My Bitch Up."

I've always loved how Lennon weasled out of the apology he gave to the press: "...It was wrong, or it was taken* wrong..."

* It was a joke about how popular we are, haven't you stupid Americans heard of hyperbole?

nickn (nickn), Saturday, 25 January 2003 00:59 (nineteen years ago) link

Isn't that the standard response nowadays whenever a celebrity says something they regret? 'It was taken out of context', subtext: 'don't blame me for saying something stupid, a slimey-asshole-journalist-type made it all up'.

The only example I can think of right now is Charlotte Church for those 9/11 remarks that were discussed round here a while back. Could it be that she is the most offensive person in popular music?

richard stacey (analog75), Saturday, 25 January 2003 01:11 (nineteen years ago) link

Are Skrewdriver or Mayhem any good, given that you could ignore the behaviour of the people in those bands (and maybe the lyrics too)?

mei (mei), Sunday, 26 January 2003 09:09 (nineteen years ago) link


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