The culture makes a dictum of authenticity and a near tyranny of the “genuine,” so that anyone who capitalizes on untruths is sinning against the virtue of transparency. We so often destroy people who are truly themselves in all their brokenness, yet loathe those, like Lana, who can tell a whole lie (or at least make many music critics think she’s “fake”). But artifice is not only armor, and performance is not the same as faking it. It’s a salve against day-to-day cruelty to rewrite reality, to build pretty, fictional worlds to live inside for a time, because the alternative is to writhe in agony without them
Musically speaking there are few things which match the sublimity of the mashup - although nightcore and happy hardcore remixes of songs come close - and plenty of music typists have attempted to decrypt why. Nostalgia is the hook most commonly grasped, but that only explains part of it. Besides evoking the frisson of familiarity, like good comedy, mashups work by subverting expectations, presenting the familiar in new contexts and introducing an element of surprise. There is also the delayed gratification of anticipation, the same principle which explains why the bass drop has become such a fixation in contemporary music. That feeling when you sense one song fading out, or hear another one creeping into the mix, waiting to experience the introduction of a new element into the formula, is just as important.
On this day in music history: July 21, 1987 - “Appetite For Destruction”, the debut album by Guns N’ Roses is released. Produced by Mike Clink, it is recorded at Rumbo Recorders, Take One Studios in Los Angeles, CA and Can-Am Studios in Tarzana, CA from August - December 1986. In spite of a solid following on the rock club scene in L.A., the album will initially get off to slow start, taking more than a year it to earn signficant sales and upward chart momentum. Through a relentless tour schedule, the band will grow their fanbase beyond their hometown borders, eventually leading to MTV playing their videos. It will eventually spin off five hit singles including “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (#1 Pop), “Welcome To The Jungle” (#7 Pop) and “Paradise City” (#5 Pop), being certified 18x Platinum in the US by the RIAA, becoming one of the best selling debut albums of all time. “Appetite” is credited with bringing hard rock back to mainstream popularity during an era that is dominated by dance oriented pop music and lightweight pop metal acts. The albums’ original cover artwork by Robert Williams will be changed after some retailers refuse to stock it because of its graphic and violent imagery. “Appetite For Destruction” will hit number one on the Billboard Top 200 for five weeks (non-consecutive) in its 50th week on the chart on August 6, 1988.