Music Monday: Songs Of Future Past

by Scott Lydon

Happy Music Monday! Hey, everybody loves dreaming about the future, right? Wondering what great buildings will appear, what wars will be over, what fashion will look like… Well, music videos also love dreaming about the future. Today Scott's peeking at all those futures invented by the people of the past. Here's the first example...

Kool & The Gang - Fresh

 

This particular neo-funk future takes the story of Cinderella and sets it in a really strange dystopia, where people live in houses with tiny spikes and swings. They're also apparently ruled by a king who communicates his part plans via large text messages. Steampunk ain't got nothing on you, Kool & The Gang

There's more tomorrows to come after the jump. See you inside!

Before we talk about the future, let's look at the past. Remember our Spotify playlist will be featuring a great selection from last week's Music Monday comments. The theme of the mix this time is Songs That Started Dance Fads so go ahead and clear a space on the floor for shakin' it. But before you do THAT, check out our current Music Monday… now!

David Bowie - Diamond Dogs

 

What do you do when you're a rock star and your half-finished musical version of 1984 runs into rights issues? You re-skin it into a savage, somewhat incomplete story of a NYC hero in an urban wasteland! This David Bowie record moved him from glam rock to Philly Soul, and even though the plot might be hard to follow, it still rocks very nicely. Too bad there were no music videos back in those days, but as you can see above and here and here, the stage show wasn't too shabby. So I'm countin' it.

Styx - Mister Roboto

 

Oh, this is it, this is the mother of all poorly-considered apocalypses. This song comes from the slightly NSFW due to '80s-style racism and jokes about robot genitals two part mini-movie Caught In The Act, which was designed as a visual companion to the album Kilroy Was Here, the story of a young Jonathan Chance fighting to free his hero Kilroy from the fundamentalist rock-haters who have somehow taken over the country. Just reading that might help you understand why this concept led to Dennis DeYoung going solo. Even still, the song's a Top 40 classic, and it's quite the coff original idea for a dystopia.

Michael Jackson - Scream

 

You could maybe make an argument that all the Jackson family videos take place in some alternate universe with shapeshifters and magic lightning. I think it's because a kid with no budget limits is always going to dream big. "Scream" is perhaps the only good thing to come from the MJ accusations of the early 90s. As you can see, it's really just a boy playing make-believe with his kid sister. That would make it sweet if it existed in a vacuum… like the one in outer space? There's not a lot of back story for how these siblings wound up alone on a space liner, but clearly they have the place to themselves and they brought a lot of clothes. Probably there's a fan-fic that adds way too much detail. Don't post it here.

Billy Idol - Dancing With Myself

 

Maybe you missed what this song is really about because you were paying so much attention to the weird goth zombies climbing up the building in a dystopian ghetto. That's really quite understandable, and in fact, might have even been the point of the video. Consider this the world's first onanist apocalypse and pity those poor souls who get knocked back by Idol's discharge. Once you've seen it, this future's impossible to forget. PS: Idol gets one more future-point for his Lou Reed vs Patti Smith vs Max Headroom mashup a few years before such things were commonplace. Well done there, Billy!

What does our future hold now? Well, that's up to you! Be it 2525 or 2112, throw your personal favorite future prediction in our comments below. Then visit the Turntable.fm room of tomorrow, today!