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Song Stories

“Cult of Personality”

Living Colour | 1973

Political statements in heavy metal became common during the late Eighties, as evidenced by Metallica's "Disposable Heroes," Megadeth's "Peace Sells" and Living Colour's "Cult of Personality." Living Colour's Vernon Reid wanted the latter's lyrics to focus on the mass appeal of certain world leaders. As the guitarist said, "I was thinking about how Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X were all very handsome. They had very profound things to say, and I just thought it was really weird that these are cats that are very important politically/socially, but they also look like matinee idols." "Cult" not only features a Zeppelin-esque guitar riff played by Reid, but it also has the 32nd President of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, uttering the final quote in the song.

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Song Stories

“Hungry Like the Wolf”

Duran Duran | 1982

This indulgent New Romantic group generated their first U.S. hit with the help of what was at the time new technology. "Simon [Le Bon] and I, I think, had been out the night before and had this terrible hangover," said keyboardist Nick Rhodes. "For some reason we were feeling guilty about it and decided to go and do some work." Rhodes started playing with his Jupiter-8 synth, and then "Simon had an idea for a lyric, and by lunchtime when everyone else turned up, we pretty much had the song." The Simmons drumbeat was equally important to the sound of "Hungry Like the Wolf," as Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor stated it "kind of defined the drum sound for the Eighties."

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